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DATE News (chronologically)
07/27/05
nascar
irl
Gateway Busch race nears sellout Gateway Busch race nears selloutLess than 8,000 tickets remain for the Wallace Family Tribute 250 Presented by Shop 'n Save at Gateway International Raceway.  There are still plenty of good seats available and they also can be purchased the day of the race.  The track has already sold more tickets than it sold in total for 2004. 

Saturday night July 30, "The Wallace Family Tribute 250 presented by Shop 'n Save" will feature the NASCAR Busch Series on the Gateway 1.25-mile oval.  The all-star lineup includes St. Louis natives Rusty, Mike and Kenny Wallace, Michael Waltrip, Jimmy Spencer, Sterling Marlin Columbia, Missouri native Carl Edwards and defending Busch Series and 2004 Gateway Race Champion Martin Truex Jr.

[Editor's Note; Whereas open wheel racing could not draw big crowds at Gateway (due to Tony George splitting the sport and destroying it) NASCAR's 2nd tier Busch Series has always done well at Gateway and this year may even sell out.......such is the popularity of NASCAR now.]

07/27/05
alms
Tour de Road America Tour de Road AmericaCyclist Lance Armstrong recently finished up an endurance race of his own, winning the Tour de France for a record seventh consecutive time. So it makes sense that the ALMS would do its part to help raise money for Armstrong's cancer research foundation.

The second annual Tour de Road America is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 20 at the 4.048-mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Drivers and team members from the ALMS and IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin (among others), will join with series personnel, families, friends, fans, local cyclists, and cancer survivors for a fun ride around the track in an effort to raise $50,000 to help people survive cancer.

Among the ALMS drivers already signed up include JJ Lehto, Frank Biela, Marco Werner and Emanuele Pirro of Champion Racing; Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long of Petersen Motorsport/White Lightning Racing; Ron Fellows and Oliver Gavin of Corvette Racing; Chris McMurry of Miracle Motorsports; Johnny Mowlem of ACEMCO Motorsports; Guy Cosmo of B-K Motorsports; and Marino Franchitti of Panoz Motor Sports. More drivers and teams will enter as the event draws closer.

"This will be a great event," Pirro said. "I am very happy to take part in this for two reasons: 1) It is something which will help cancer research which is very important, and 2) Lance Armstrong is an incredible athlete so I am happy to support whatever he is involved with."

Pre-registration ends Aug. 17. To sign up or to see more information on the event, visit www.pelotonride.org.

07/27/05
alms
Around the ALMS paddock Around the ALMS paddockWhen Andy Wallace won the overall pole at Infineon, he became the fourth different driver this season to do so. With five rounds of the 2005 ALMS down, this is the deepest into the season the series has gone without having a repeat pole winner since 2000........So far this year, James Weaver (Road Atlanta), Hayanari Shimoda (Mid-Ohio), Werner (Lime Rock) and Wallace have been on the pole this year. In 2000, pole winners in the first five rounds were Pirro (Sebring), Lehto (Charlotte), Mimmo Schiattarella (Silverstone), Rinaldo Capello (Nurburgring) and Allan McNish (Sonoma). The 2000 ALMS went seven rounds before McNish became the first repeat pole winner at Mosport....... Four Portland events in the ALMS have produced four different overall pole winners. Lehto scored the first Portland pole in 1999 at the wheel of a BMW V12 LMR. Subsequent pole winners were Capello (Audi R8), David Brabham (Panoz LMP1) and Wallace (Lola EX257)..........Olivier Beretta and Dirk Muller are the only two drivers to win more than one class pole at Portland. Beretta sat on the GT1 pole last year for Corvette Racing and 2000 in an Oreca Viper. Muller is the only driver to win back-to-back class poles, doing so in 1999 and 2000, both for Alex Job Racing in Porsches.
07/27/05
irl
Red Bull Cheever Racing forms partnership with IZOD Red Bull Cheever Racing forms partnership with IZODRed Bull Cheever Racing’s new marketing partnership with Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, for the fashion sportswear label IZOD, is an innovative deal designed to bring together the fashion and motorsports industries. The partnership between Red Bull Cheever Racing and Phillips-Van Heusen kicked off at this year’s Indianapolis 500.

“I want to welcome Phillips-Van Heusen and Izod to their first season in the action-packed world of IndyCar Series racing,” team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. said. “Personally, IZOD is a label I have always loved to wear. Professionally, fashion and motorsports have always mixed well together, so I am looking forward to building a successful partnership with IZOD.” Zzzz

The partnership includes branding on the No. 51 and No. 83 Red Bull Cheever Racing Toyota IndyCar Series cars, and clothing will be provided, for various occasions, for drivers Alex Barron, Patrick Carpentier and owner Eddie Cheever Jr.

"We want to be associated with world-class sports platforms. When we met Eddie, and he introduced us to Red Bull Cheever Racing and the IndyCar Series, we saw this as a great fit," said Mark Weber, President and incoming CEO for Phillips-Van Heusen.
07/27/05
nascar
Allstate 400 schedule Allstate 400 schedule
Friday, Aug. 5:
1:30-2:30 p.m., NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice
3:30-4:30 p.m., NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice

Saturday, Aug. 6:
10 a.m., NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series qualifying (two laps)
2:10-2:55 p.m.: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series practice
3:45-4:30 p.m.: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series final practice

Sunday, Aug. 7:
1:10 p.m.: Driver introductions
1:30 p.m.: 12th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard (160 laps/400 miles)

07/27/05
cc
Drifting
Formula D drifts into San Jose Formula D drifts into San JoseDrifting, the wildest new spectacle in motorsport, slides into San Jose this weekend (July 29-31) to help the 750-horsepower turbocharged Champ Cars convert downtown San Jose into a screaming haven of speed and competition during the inaugural Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose. As the sixth and final drifting exhibition of the 2005 Champ Car season, Formula D will be closing its first ultra-successful year of partnership with the Champ Car World Series by bringing a dozen of its very best competitors and cars to put on a slide show San Jose and California's Bay Area will not soon forget!

"San Jose is one of the epicenters of the sport compact and youth automotive culture," said Formula Drift principal Ryan Sage. "We are honored to be a part of the first-ever Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose, an event that will assuredly be a huge success, and our drivers and sponsors are thrilled with the opportunity to close this great year we've had with Champ Car in this market and on the streets of California."

Formula D's top professional drifters - Ken Gushi, Alex Pfeiffer, Calvin Wan, Dai Yoshihara, Ernie Fixmer, Andy Yen, Tyler McQuarrie, Hubert Young, Casper Canul, Conrad Grunewald, Taka Aono, and Hiro Sumida - will drift the entire 11-turn San Jose street circuit all three days of the event. Also taking to the streets for Champ Car's inaugural Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose is the Toyota Atlantic Championship Series, Trans-Am, Historic Stock Car Racing Series, and the United States Touring Car Championship.

For tickets visit www.sanjosegrandprix.com or call 408/998-TIXS, 415/421-TIXS, or 510/625-TIXS 
www.sanjosegrandprix.com
www.formulad.com
www.champcar.ws

07/27/05
atlantic
Legge On Wind Tunnel Legge On Wind TunnelLegge will be one of the featured guests this weekend on SPEED Channel’s popular motorsports talk show, Wind Tunnel. Legge will join host Dave Despain and guest co-host Rusty Wallace of NASCAR fame on this Sunday night’s show, which airs from 9-11 p.m. ET. The live interview with Legge, conducted via satellite from the track in San Jose, is scheduled to air at 9:20 p.m. ET.
07/27/05
cc
Champ Car and Intel to provide free Race Director Champ Car and Intel to provide free Race DirectorUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, While making Race Director free and open is a great initiative, I worry that Champ Car will end up with egg on their face over network problems. I have been a subscriber to the service, and as much as I like it, it already faces big buffering/stuttering problems for races not covered live. Opening it up completely will be a disaster if they haven't vastly improved their bandwidth issues. Dennis Johansen in Copenhagen 07/27/05 The Champ Car World Series is working with Intel Corporation to bring the very latest in up-to-the-second technology to fans of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, by providing Champ Car’s Race Director application free of charge to fans around the world, including those using WiFi enabled laptop PCs, such as systems based on Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology, during the upcoming Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose, July 29-31. The Race Director free trial can be accessed at the official website of the Champ Car World Series, www.champcar.ws.

In San Jose, Intel is also the primary sponsor of the #9 Intel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone of Justin Wilson, who won the Bridgestone Pole Award for the Portland race while carrying the Intel colors on his RuSPORT car.  Additionally, Intel is sponsoring the post-race chat with the San Jose race winner that takes place on the series’ website.

With the help of Intel, Champ Car will provide free access to the subscription-only service to fans throughout the entire weekend, giving race fans access to live streaming audio and video as well as live timing and scoring of all on-track Champ Car sessions. Race Director also provides live in-car audio coverage, bringing fans inside the cockpit as their favorite drivers and teams work their way through the inaugural San Jose race weekend.

“We are excited about working with Intel, and are very pleased that they are providing such a valuable service to our loyal fans,” said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. “Our Race Director feature has been a resounding success in the last two years, and we expect even more interest once people are exposed to everything that Race Director offers to the Champ Car fan.”

The inaugural Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose will take place July 29-31 with practice and qualifying on both Friday and Saturday, with the race beginning at 2 p.m. local time on Sunday.

07/27/05
cc
San Jose race has some residents upset San Jose race has some residents upsetThis San Jose Mercury News article talks about what the organizers of this weekend's San Jose GP did to compensate Balbach Street residents who were affected by the race.  In general most people were satisfied, but some expressed some concern and felt more could have been done. 

Next year Champ Car must lengthen this Mickey Mouse 1.443-mile track by doing something like we show to the right in red.  This will also affect residents along Almaden Ave., which runs parallel to Almaden Blvd. (the Pit Straight) in addition to those affected on Balbach this year.  Hopefully then the pit straight will be long enough and we might see some passing.  We are concerned that this race will be a crashfest on the tight circuit as drivers, desperate to make a pass, try to stick their nose into a spot only to find they run out of room and a crash results.  After a spectacular race in Edmonton and Toronto, two proper race tracks, San Jose could see the pace car lead the most laps.

07/27/05
irl
Andretti Green backpedals on autograph boycott Andretti Green backpedals on autograph boycottUPDATE A reader writes, No wonder they are backpedaling, someone there probably did the math and figured out that Danica has more fans than all of those guys combined, and that the backlash to AGR could be potentially huge. That was a bad move on their part. I bet they get booed at the next event. I wonder how the AGR sponsors would feel if Danica's fans decided to make a public display of boycotting them? Kim Alamos, Las Vegas 07/27/05 Andretti Green Racing drivers will attend a mandatory autograph session around Sunday's IRL race at Brooklyn, Mich., one week after boycotting an appearance near Milwaukee because organizers set up a separate waiting line for popular rookie Danica Patrick, the series' only female driver.

IndyCar Series points leader Dan Wheldon, who missed the session along with teammates Dario Franchitti, Bryan Herta and reigning series champion Tony Kanaan, promised Tuesday that all four would participate in Friday's event in Jackson, Mich. But he stressed that last week's decision to boycott Milwaukee was made by AGR co-owners Kim Green and Kevin Savoree.

"Anytime your boss tells you yes or no, you have to respect their decision," Wheldon said during the IRL's weekly teleconference.

Green and Savoree met Tuesday with IRL senior vice president of business affairs Ken Ungar and members of the public relations and marketing staff, and both sides described discussions as candid and constructive. No further meetings are planned, and there was no talk of fines or other sanctions for the boycott.

"The misconception is that we have a problem with Danica Patrick, and it's not about Danica," AGR spokesman Al Larsen said. "Beyond that I don't want to say too much. But we like where it's going. Our drivers did not make that call."  More at USA Today

07/27/05
f1
Tragedy in Hungary Tragedy in HungaryUPDATE #4 Reports on Hungary news tonight say that Hawker had fallen out of the window during the night but his corpse was found only this morning by a hotel employee because he fell to the inner backyard of the hotel. The investigations are ongoing. 07/27/05 Despite earlier reports, McLaren Mercedes has just announced that their employee, Darren Hawker, was a chef not a mechanic. He was working for Absolute Taste. The company is responsible for the cooking and food for McLaren. "We all can say we lost not only a colleague but even a friend." - reported McLaren. 07/27/05 McLaren Mercedes officially announced that their chef, Darren Hawker lost his life in a fatal accident today. The 29 years old employee of McLaren Mercedes fell out from the window of 8th story of the Marriott Hotel in Budapest this morning. The McLaren Mercedes team expressed their condolences to Hawker's family relations and friends.  Endre Kormos, the press attaché of The Hungarian Police Office (BRFK) ruled out murder by the investigations which are being continued by the Hungarian police. Rita Horvath, Chief Editor of Champ Car section, Motorsportok.hu - American series in Hungarian for Hungarians

07/27/05 The fatal accident was also confirmed by a trustworthy source but there is still no information the British man's identity.

Laszlo Palik the CEO of Hungaroring Sport Inc said to origo.hu: "I don't know absolutely nothing about the victim's identity. Regarding the tragedy we still did not get any request or appeal from McLaren Mercedes. If they would like to inform us they will do it for sure. Of course we will be immediately at their disposal if they would like to."

According to Hungarian Police Office (BRFK) there is no track of any crime. The investigation of accident has just begun in an administrative procedure. Rita Horvath, Chief Editor of Champ Car section, Motorsportok.hu - American series in Hungarian for Hungarians

07/27/05 Very sad news regarding the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix. According to a Hungarian internet website, Index.hu, a 29 years old British man has fallen out from the window of the 8th story of the Marriott Hotel, Budapest today. Unfortunately he immediately lost his life.

The fatal accident was confirmed to the Hungarian Press Office by Laszlo Palik the CEO of Hungaroring Sport Inc. who also confirmed to Hungarian television channel (Hir TV) that the this guy was a mechanic worker of McLaren Mercedes F1 team. However this fact - that he was a team worker is still not confirmed by the Hungarian Police Office and the hotel they just stated a British tourist had a fatal accident from the 8th story.

Source: http://index.hu/politika/bulvar/brt5486/

07/27/05
cc
Rocketsports signs sponsor deal Rocketsports signs sponsor dealRocketsports Racing would like to introduce TOMOS USA as their official supplier of paddock transportation. TOMOS USA has signed on to support Rocketsports Racings efforts in the Bridgestone Present the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford and the Trans-Am series. TOMOS USA is a division of international company Hidria whose products ranges from scooters and motorcycles less than 125 cc, power tools to diesel engine components. This is the company’s first venture into the world of motorsports.

TOMOS USA is a US based subsidiary of TOMOS, which is part of Hidria Corporation, a large multiple division European holding company with manufacturing facilities in Slovenia (4), Holland, Mexico (discontinued in 2003) and Ecuador and a total employment force of 3,500. The long established TOMOS European Operations Division (600 employees) is the manufacturing source for TOMOS brand vehicles which account for approximately 80% of 2-wheel moped sales worldwide, primarily in US, Holland, Canada, Caribbean, Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany and Slovenia. In addition sales are conducted in the UK and Japan. TOMOS brand name vehicles and genuine parts have been sold in the US and Canada since 1977. Since 1999 they’ve been sold through Tomos USA a division of Hidria USA Inc. a North American subsidiary of Hidria Corporation. TOMOS brand name vehicle is a simple high quality unit that meets and exceeds US DOT standards and Canadian Transport Canada requirements.
“Tomos USA a division of Hidria USA Inc. is very excited about the partnership with Rocketsports R acing,” said Domen Bockor, General Manager of TOMOS USA. “We are extremely proud that Rocketsports Racing selected TOMOS brand among potential partners.  We truly believe that our initial cooperation will evolve in a long-term partnership sharing a common dream – TO WIN!” zzzz

Operating since 1985, the East Lansing, Michigan based Rocketsports Racing is in their third year of Champ Car World Series competition. In 2005, the race winning team fields Cosworth powered Lola’s for Rookie-of-the-Year contender, Timo Glock and veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay. Rocketsports history is deep in North America’s longest running road racing series; Trans-Am. Owner Paul Gentilozzi is a four-time Trans-Am champion and hold the all-time wins record with 30 victories.

“We are pleased to have an international company like TOMOS, who is aware of the benefits of Champ Car, join the Rocketsports team,” said Gentilozzi. “TOMOS will receive extensive exposure as we visit different markets around the world. With our attendance and television rating continuing to rise, TOMOS is sure to benefit. The Revival TS moped is a smooth ride and will help us get around the paddock quickly as our daily schedules are full.”

07/27/05
alms
Maserati adds F1 veteran to lineup Maserati adds F1 veteran to lineupFinland's Mika Salo is returning to the American Le Mans Series at next weekend's Portland Grand Prix, Round 6 of the 2005 ALMS. The former Formula One competitor will team with Fabrizio de Simone in the No. 35 Maserati MC12, which will compete in GT1.

Salo is one of several drivers with F1 experience to tackle ALMS racing. His only other appearance in the ALMS came in 2003 at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. There, he finished sixth overall and in LMP900 with Jonny Kane and Perry McCarthy in an Audi R8.

From 1994-2000 and in 2002, Salo made 110 career starts in Formula One. His best season came in 1999 when he finished 10th in the World Championship, including six races with Scuderia Ferrari. Salo's best race finish was a runner-up showing in a replacement drive for Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari in 1999. Salo also finished third that season at Monza.

Andrea Bertolini will return to the No. 35 entry for the Generac 500 at Road America next month.

07/27/05
alms
ALMS goes primetime this weekend ALMS goes primetime this weekendThe American Le Mans Series will go primetime for the first this weekend when the Portland Grand Prix marks the first ever primetime broadcast of an ALMS race on SPEED Channel.

ALMS fans will be able to see the action unfold live on Saturday night as the series makes its fourth visit to the Portland International Raceway with president and CEO Scott Atherton keen to point out how important the broadcast will be for the championship.

"This is another step forward in the development of the American Le Mans Series," he said. "By placing the ALMS in prime time on a Saturday night in July we are potentially exposing our truly world-class sports car racing to a new audience while at the same time giving our existing fans something many have asked about.

"Other forms of motorsports have had success racing under lights in prime time. The American Le Mans Series cars are specifically designed to race with just their headlights. It makes for very dramatic imagery on television, and we expect this broadcast will also be well received by our fans, teams and corporate marketing partners."

SPEED Channel's announce crew also see the three-hour broadcast as a positive for the series as it officially enters its second half.

"For any sports fan that's out there on the weekend, there are so many things to see on TV, so it will be great for anyone looking to catch something to watch on Saturday night," Calvin Fish, who will serve as the analyst on Saturday night's broadcast, said. "It will be a great opportunity for the regular viewers to tune in and not interrupt anything with the family, as well as bringing in new viewers. This is a great thing for the ALMS."

Fish, a former class winner at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will be alongside lead announcer Greg Creamer on Saturday with Andrew Marriott and Krista Voda covering the action from pit lane.

07/27/05
irl
Danica Patrick will win at MIS Danica Patrick will win at MISWhereas Milwaukee and Indy were a drivers track that required some skill, Michigan this coming weekend is banked, fast and wide-open with plenty of room to pass. Look for Danica Patrick, whose car is 50 to 100 pounds lighter than all the rest, to win this weekend. With a car that light she can't lose, unless she throws it away. Expect the IRL to get as much mileage out of the win as possible. Sorry AGR boys, you'll have to take a backseat to Danica again this week.....or amputate two legs to get your weight equal to hers.

If history is any indication, Michigan International Speedway might just be the perfect place for IRL IndyCar Series rookie Danica Patrick to capture her first career victory. 

An astounding 12 drivers have captured their first major open-wheel victory at MIS in just 62 total races, including legends such as Indianapolis 500 winners Tom Sneva and Emerson Fittipaldi, along with current IndyCar Series drivers Tony Kanaan and Patrick Carpentier.

Since the inception of the IRL IndyCar Series in 1996, only three drivers have captured wins during their rookie season, including Buzz Calkins (1996) and Jim Guthrie (1997). Tomas Scheckter brought home a victory most recently during his rookie season in 2002, at none other than Michigan International Speedway. zzzz
 
Many have pointed to the Firestone Indy 400 at MIS as Patrick’s best chance to win in her rookie season since her fourth place finish in the Indianapolis 500. So, could Sunday be her day?

“Do I think I have a good chance of doing well? Of course I do,” Patrick said Tuesday. “I keep my fingers crossed. I definitely have a good feeling. I think it could be (my time). At the end of the day, though, every one of these weekends has been a little success in itself, just improving one area at a time.”

While Patrick has never raced at MIS, there are many reasons why the track lends itself to first time winners. One of the longest races of the year, along with its wide racing surface where cars can run two and three wide, is where the Honda horsepower of Rahal Letterman Racing will most likely shine.

“I think it’s probably easier than other tracks because it’s large,” she said. “You can run two cars wide for sure. I’m sure that helps. We run strongest on the big ovals. We hope to be successful at MIS.”

While the native of Roscoe, Illinois has garnered considerable attention since her historic run in the Indianapolis 500, she feels she doesn’t necessarily have to win right away, but knows her desire to win and her experience may pay off at MIS on Sunday during the 11th race of the IndyCar Series season.

“I think we’ve done well in all areas earlier this season, whether it’s race condition, qualifying or pit stops,” Patrick said. “We improved again in Milwaukee and over the last couple of weekends. They just need to come together at the same time. I think we have a very good chance as the year progresses (to win) as our experience levels go up.”

Things are coming together a little more each week for Patrick. She feels that her time to win gets closer each week, but doesn’t feel any more pressure to win as the races have gone by.

“It takes a lot longer than eight or 10 races to win a race for the first time,” added Patrick. I think that as much as I go into each weekend thinking I really want to win, there’s never a have. I think it will come when it comes.”

If history repeats itself, “when it comes” may be this weekend at MIS.

Tickets are still available for Sunday’s Firestone Indy 400 IRL IndyCar Series race at MIS. Tickets can be purchased by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010 or by logging on to www.MISpeedway.com.

Drivers who have captured their first major open-wheel victory at Michigan International Speedway
1968 Ronnie Bucknum, Inaugural Race
1970 Gary Bettenhausen, Michigan Twin 200
1973 Bill Vukovich, Michigan 150
1975 Tom Sneva, Michigan Grand Prix 150
1978 Danny Ongais, Gould Grand Prix 150
1981 Pancho Carter, Michigan 500
1985 Emerson Fittipaldi, Michigan 500
1992 Scott Goodyear, Michigan 500
1995 Scott Pruett, Marlboro 500
1999 Tony Kanaan, U.S. 500
2001 Patrick Carpentier, Harrah’s 500
2002 Tomas Scheckter, Michigan Indy 400

07/27/05
cc
San Jose by the numbers San Jose by the numbers6,600- The number of high technology companies that call San Jose home. 300- How many average days a year, the sun shines in San Jose. 250 – The number of Champ Car victories earned by Cosworth Racing. 20- Number of drivers that have recorded a top 10 finish this season in Champ Car. 11- Number of turns on the San Jose street course. 10- San Jose is the 10th largest city in the U.S. 3- San Jose is the third largest city in the state of California, behind Los Angles and San Diego. 1.443 – number of miles in one lap around the Mickey Mouse San Jose course. 1 – San Jose is number one when it comes to the nation's best public safety record of any metropolitan area.
07/27/05
nascar
Roush Racing Announces 25 Drivers For Competition Roush Racing Announces 25 Drivers For CompetitionTwenty-five men and women are one step closer to realizing their dream of becoming a NASCAR superstar as Roush Racing and Discovery Channel today announce the list of drivers who will compete in this year's Roush Racing gong show.

 Jack Roush and his team of judges poured over 1,700 applications and narrowed it down to a list of 25 drivers from across the United States, Canada and New Zealand in search of the best drivers to take part in this exclusive competition.  The winner will be awarded a fully sponsored ride in the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. 

Roush Racing is teaming up with Discovery Channel to capture all of the excitement and drama of the competition on film with unprecedented access to the gong show.  Candidates will compete on and off the track, testing their skills behind the wheel as well as their marketability and fan appeal.  This high-energy 13-part series will debut on Discovery Channel this fall.

Following is a list of the drivers selected to compete in the first round at Martinsville Speedway, August 2-4:

Name Age Hometown Current Racing Circuit
Justin Allgaier 19 Springfield, Ill. ARCA; NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Tim Andrews 22 Concord, N.C. Legends Pro division; NASCAR Busch North Series
Chuck Barnes 23 Louisville, Ky. Sunoco Super Series Late Model division
Sam Beam 25 Mooresville, N.C. USAC Focus Midgets
Jason Boyd 24 Orlando, Fla. Fascar Sun Belt series
Jeffrey Choquette 19 Loxahatchee, Fla. Late models
Johnny Clark 26 Hallowell, Maine P.A.S.S. tour
Erik Darnell 23 Beach Park, Ill. ARCA; Autozone Elite
Sondi Eden 28 Crawfordsville, Ind. USAC midgets
Nevin George 23 Matawan, N.J. modifieds
James Gué 23 Athens, Ga Grand Am series
Jason Hogan 23 Cleveland, Ga. Autozone Elite SE series
Matthew Jaskol 21 Las Vegas, Nev. ASA Speed Trucks
Bud Kaeding 26 Indianapolis, Ind. USAC
Travis Kittleson 26 Mooresville, N.C. Sunbelt Series
Michael Lewis 26 Noblesville, Ind. USAC sprints & midgets
Scott Lynch 25 Las Vegas, Nev. NASCAR Grand National West division
Matt McCall 24 Denver, N.C. UARA late models
Danny O'Quinn 20 Coeburn, Va. ARCA; USAR Hooter's Pro Cup
Christi Passmore 23 Pryor, Ok. ARCA
Michael Pickens 22 Auckland, New Zealand midgets
Bubba Pollard 22 Senoia, Ga. SAS late models; ARCA
David Ragan 20 Kannapolis, N.C. ARCA
Peter Shepherd 19 Norval, Ontario CASCAR
Auggie Vidovich 24 Lakeside, Calif. Autozone Elite Southwest

07/27/05
f1
nascar
irl
cc
SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver Ranking SPEED Channel Weekly Top 20 Driver RankingUpdated 7-27-05
Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (1) Fernando Alonso (F1) 11.018
2. (2) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 7.939
3. (7) Rusty Wallace (NASCAR) 7.820
4. (3) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS) 7.757
5. (9) Kurt Busch (NASCAR) 7.569
6. (6) Paul Tracy (CCWS) 7.242
7. (10) Ryan Newman (NASCAR) 7.078
8. (23) Sam Hornish Jr. (IRL) 7.013
9. (19) Mark Martin (NASCAR) 6.958
10. (13) Michael Schumacher (F1) 6.936
11. (11) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 6.796
12. (12) Justin Wilson (CCWS) 6.740
13. (8) Dario Franchitti (IRL) 6.645
14. (15) Oriol Servia (CCWS) 6.639
15. (5) Greg Biffle (NASCAR) 6.601
16. (22) Dan Wheldon (IRL) 6.438
17. (20) Dale Jarrett (NASCAR) 6.332
18. (21) Jeremy Mayfield (NASCAR) 6.315
19. (NR) Carl Edwards (NASCAR) 6.253
20. (18) Bobby Labonte (NASCAR) 6.198
Last week’s ranking in parenthesis
Provided by STATS Inc.
07/27/05
f1
McLaren previews Hungary McLaren previews HungaryMcLaren Mercedes arrives in Hungary for race 13 of the 2005 World Championship. Kimi Raikkonen remains second in the Drivers' World Championship with 51 points, whilst Juan Pablo Montoya is fourth with 34 points.

In the Constructors' rankings Team McLaren Mercedes also remains second with 95 points. Due to EU tobacco legislation, the Grand Prix also marks West's final Formula One race with the team, after eight successful years of Title Partnership.

The Hungarian Grand Prix has been held at the Hungaroring, which was purpose built for Formula One, since the inaugural event in 1986. Located 12 miles / 19 km north of Budapest, the circuit is set in a natural valley surrounded by rolling countryside. At the time, it was the first major motor sport event in the former Eastern bloc, and remains the most high profile attracting 260,000 spectators over the course of the Grand Prix weekend.

West McLaren Mercedes driver Mika Hakkinen won at Budapest in 1999 and 2000. His team mate David Coulthard came home second and third in both years respectively. To date, McLaren has won the Grand Prix on five occasions.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is one of the slower races on the Formula One calendar. In the first race in 1986, drivers were shown the checkered flag one lap earlier than planned because the two-hour limit had been reached, even though there hadn't been a drop of rain. zzzz

Kimi Raikkonen
"I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel this weekend and working with the team to take a good result. Hungary is always really hot, but it has been like that at some of the last races already, so it is not a problem. The track's layout is similar to Monaco, it is very short and slow, this makes it feel quite like a karting circuit."

"Also there are lots of corners and gear changes like Monte Carlo, and in the heat it means it is quite tough physically. As there are no real chances to overtake, so qualifying is very important, and unfortunately I will be going out first so will be affected by the dusty track, but the car is quick and I will push hard. I always enjoy Hungary as there is always a really good atmosphere because of all the Finns come down to the race. It is like a home Grand Prix for me, and I hope I can give the thousands of Finnish fans something to cheer about."

Juan Pablo Montoya
"The track in Hungary is very dusty when we get there, it does clear up on the racing lines after the first few sessions, but is really dirty off line for the whole weekend. This means it is very slippery once you get off the racing line, which makes it tricky to overtake and there is no room for error. Because of the lack of grip and the need to use the curbs a lot, we need to make sure the car is well balanced. We use a high downforce, but need to make sure to set the car up so that it is fast on the main straight, as the first corner is the only place to overtake if you get a good run down into it The Hungaroring is not one of my favorite tracks, but it has got better since the changes were made a couple of years ago."

Alex Wurz
"The characteristics of the Hungaroring demand a very precise set- up, it is a very tight and technical circuit. In addition to tire selection with Michelin I will also spend some time on Friday working on this."

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren CEO
"Despite the obvious disappointments in Germany, Kimi and Juan Pablo's drive illustrated the pace of the MP4-20's, and as a team we need to use this speed in Hungary to secure strong results and take a large points haul away from the Grand Prix."

"The surface at the Hungaroring is very abrasive, and this combined with the demands of constant cornering play a significant role in tire choice. Going into the three week break, everyone within the team remains motivated and we are looking forward to continuing our challenge for both Championships at the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix on 21st August, however we need to focus on improving our reliability in order to achieve the desired results."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes VP
"After Kimi retired from the Hockenheim GP things have not become easier for us. However, everybody in the team is working hard to achieve top results at the Hungarian Grand Prix, although this won't be an easy task at the Hungaroring."

"The track's layout is completely different from what we have experienced in the last three races. With an average speed per lap of a little less than 200 kph the circuit is the second slowest on the calendar behind Monaco. Less than 60 percent of a lap is run under full throttle."

"There is only one line to be driven on and overtaking is nearly impossible. After he retired at Hockenheim, Kimi faces the difficult challenge of going out first in Saturday's qualifying. The speed is there as Kimi and Juan Pablo proved again at Hockenheim, and from now on we also want to be reliable enough to achieve the best possible results with both cars." McLaren Mercedes

07/27/05
f1
McLaren bids fond farewell to West McLaren bids fond farewell to West"Everyone within the West McLaren Mercedes team is very appreciative for all the support West, formerly owned by Reemtsma and latterly by Imperial Tobacco, have given us over the last eight seasons. This time has embraced two Drivers' World Championships, one Constructors' title and 38 race wins. Our Partnership began with victory in Australia 1997, and it is very satisfying to be leaving the Partnership at a time when we have a competitive package and are challenging for victories." Ron Dennis
07/27/05
f1
Industry News
Abu Dhabi government investment group buys stake in Ferrari Abu Dhabi government investment group buys stake in FerrariFerrari and Mubadala Development Company - a principal investment company wholly owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi - have announced the purchase of a five percent stake in Ferrari by Mubadala from Mediobanca.

The deal sees Mubadala pay €114 million to purchase five percent of Ferrari from Mediobanca, valuing Ferrari at a total of €2.28 billion. The agreement provides also for an earn out in favor of Mediobanca in case the IPO of Ferrari is completed within the next 24 months, at a price ensuring to Mudabala an Internal Rate of Return above 10%.

“This is the first time that we, Fiat, have welcomed a non-financial institution to become a Ferrari shareholder. The key benefit of extending our shareholder base beyond traditional financial institutions will be a new opportunity for our development”, said Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of Ferrari and of Fiat (56% majority shareholder in the Italian luxury brand). “We know Mubadala is committed to being an extremely reliable, stable shareholder and partner to existing shareholders”, he added.

“Moreover, the strategic alliance with Mubadala, and therefore the Government of Abu Dhabi, is set to bring us compelling and dynamic new strategies especially in the Middle East and North African markets. Our initial areas for consideration will range from the creation and development of road and racing car testing initiatives, along with professional driving schools through to the leveraging of opportunities around brand experiences and merchandising”.

His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Planning & Economy said, “This is a sound financial and strategic investment on numerous levels. It continues our track record of being involved with premier global companies and brands who are the leaders in their fields”.

“Importantly, it also meets our own investment objectives that include the creation of blue chip commercial partnerships that will directly and indirectly benefit the Abu Dhabi economy”, he added.

“Through Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi Government has a track record of investment, involvement and positive contribution to premium projects and selected companies around the world. We are therefore proud of their involvement in Ferrari”, added Mr. Montezemolo.

Piero Ferrari, who owns 10% of the company, stated "I know Abu Dhabi well. I have had the opportunity to meet government representatives, His Highness and his family and I am therefore happy to welcome them into the Ferrari fold”. Ferrari

07/27/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'Breakaway' less likely
Ferrari plug on
Why Red Bull signed Concorde
'Flav' to make movie debut
No tire switch for Toyota
Farewell to an F1 record
BMW begin Sauber expansion
07/27/05
nascar
cc
irl
Sponsorship investment in American motorsports Sponsorship investment in American motorsportsSponsorship investment in the three top classes of American Motorsports (Source: Derek Daly's Motorvation program)

NASCAR team sponsorship (average)
$25M Top team $25M
$18.5M Next 9 teams $166.5M
$15.5M Next 15 teams $223.5M
$12M Next 8 teams $96M
$8M Next 10 teams $80M
 

Sub-Total

$591M
  *Activation of $2 to $1 of top 25 teams $830M
 

Total

$1,421B

IRL team sponsorship (average)

$10M Top 2 teams $20M
$8M  Next 3 teams $24M
$5.5M  Next 5 teams $27.5M
$3.5M  Next 5 teams $17.5
$3M  Next 5 teams $15M
 

Sub-Total

$104M
  *Activation of $2 to $1 of top 5 teams $88M
 

Total

$192M

Champ Car team sponsorship (average)

$5.5M  Top 5 teams $27.5
$3.5M  Next 5 teams $17.5M
$2.5M  Next 10 teams $25M
 

Sub-Total

$70M
  *Activation of $1 to $1 of top 5 teams $27.5M
 

Total

$97.5M

Average Grand Total = $1,710,500,000 spent on motorsports sponsorship in top three categories in America.

07/26/05
irl
Michigan preview Michigan previewThe IRL IndyCar Series continues its 10th season of competition with the Firestone Indy 400 on Sunday, July 31 at the Michigan International Speedway.

The 2-mile oval is known for fast, wide-open racing and has produced two of the 17-closest finishes in series history. The close-quarter, high-speed action makes Michigan a challenging tracks for drivers and their teams as described in the following first-person narratives:

THE DRIVER:
Buddy Rice made his IndyCar Series debut at Michigan International Speedway in 2002, finishing second to Tomas Scheckter. Last year, he claimed a victory of his own on the 2-mile oval.

Rice has struggled to regain his winning form in 2005, but will have extra motivation for running well at Michigan. His mother's family hails from Lansing, Mich., not far from the track.

"I really like the track at Michigan International Speedway. It is wide and very fast. It is pretty special for me. My mom's side of the family is from Lansing, and we have a good group come to that race.

"I have had very good runs there including my IRL debut in 2002 when I finished second to my teammate at the time Tomas (Scheckter). MIS was a good place for my IRL debut. It is wide and a driver can make a mistake, and he won't pay for it.

"Then last year, we had a great strategy and it played out for us. Winning the MIS race was a very satisfying win because we stay right behind Tony (Kanaan) and played a waiting game. It is always tough for a driver to sit back and wait because you want to go to the front and lead if you have the car to win.

"We had a strong car and played out the strategy just right. You can't always do that in racing. We need that kind of performance again this week. I expect us to have another good race for our team. I think Vitor (Meira), Danica (Patrick) and I will be there at the end."

THE ENGINEER:
Wisconsin native Garrett Mothersead is in his first season as race engineer for Alex Barron's Toyota-powered Dallara at Red Bull Cheever Racing.

Mothersead, who served as a data acquisition engineer for Red Bull Cheever Racing in 2004, has previously worked with several Indy-style teams, including Team Rahal. zzzz

"Michigan is a classic superspeedway, which require minimum drag and lots of horsepower. Both Alex and Iain Watt (engineer for the No. 83 car) won there together in 2003, so they both have a good feel for the place, which should help our team. Michigan and Fontana are very similar, except Michigan has a little more banking, about 18 degrees.

"Michigan winters have given the track very odd bumps and some of them are quite big. Qualifying is pretty straight forward, but you can win this race from anywhere in the pack, so a majority of your time is spent working on the race.

"The race itself tends to be all about drafting and being in the pack, so you must pay particular attention to the balance in and out of bad air. Also three-wide racing happens, so you have to make sure the balance is good in any groove.

"It's a long race and you have to keep working on the balance and not make any mistakes on the track or in the pits."

WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD:
Firestone's race tire development team considers the configuration of each track as it chooses the tire compound to be used at each track.

According to Firestone engineers, the high banking at Michigan requires a Firehawk tire built for most durability and a compound with high-heat durability that are needed at all superspeedways.

The tire specification for MIS is new for 2005, featuring a new left-side tire compound and minor modification to the front-tire construction. The changes were made to help the Firehawks stand up even better to the punishment handed out by the high speeds and loading forces generated at this high-banked superspeedway.

RACE FACTS:

WHAT:
Firestone Indy 400, 11th race in 17-race 2005 season

WHERE:
Michigan International Speedway, 2-mile asphalt oval

WHEN:
3 p.m. (EDT), Sunday, July 31

DISTANCE:
200 laps/400 miles

PAST RACE WINNERS:
2004 - Buddy Rice; 2003 - Alex Barron; 2002 - Tomas Scheckter

TV:
ESPN (live), 3 p.m. (EDT), July 31.
Talent: Todd Harris (play-by-play), Scott Goodyear (analyst), Jack Arute, Jamie Little and Dr. Jerry Punch (pit reporters).

RADIO:
Qualifying webcast: 3:30 p.m. (EDT) July 30, www.indycar.com. Wrap-up show: 4:30 p.m., IMS Radio Network.
Race: IMS Radio Network, 2:30 p.m. (EDT), July 31.
Talent: Mike King (host), Pancho Carter (driver analyst), Dave Wilson (color commentary), Mark Jaynes (backstraight play-by-play), Kevin Lee and Nicole Manske (pit reporters).

07/26/05
cc
San Jose ranks on Yahoo! Sports San Jose ranks on Yahoo! SportsSports
Rank Subject 1-Day Move
1  Battle At the Bridges +692.83%
2  Buick Open +148.83%
3  Mercedes Benz Cup +110.38%
4  NCAA Football +106.41%
5  Natalie Coughlin +101.51%
6  New York Knicks +99.07%
7  San Jose Grand Prix +93.81%
8  Baltimore Ravens +92.00%
9  Colorado Avalanche +86.19%
10  Ricky Williams +84.27%
11  Daytona +78.97%
12  Tampa Bay Buccaneers +78.87%
13  Detroit Red Wings +76.43%
14  Atlantic Coast Conference +72.60%
15  New York Jets +70.03%
07/26/05
nascar
NASCAR slams two more cheaters NASCAR slams two more cheatersNASCAR has levied penalties against a pair of Nextel Cup crew chiefs in response to infractions last weekend at Pocono Raceway, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday.   Kenneth Glen, crew chief of the No. 52 Dodge driven by Derrike Cope, was fined $5,000 for an unapproved rear-end gear ratio. NASCAR said that was a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), and Section 12-4-CC (violation of specified rear end gear ratio) of the rules.

The infraction was discovered during pre-qualifying inspection.  Shane Wilson, crew chief for the No. 77 Dodge driven by Travis Kvapil, was fined $1,000 for an unapproved body modification.  That is also a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), and Section 12-4-Q (parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR Rules) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book.   That one, too, was found during pre-qualifying inspection.

07/26/05
nascar
Trucks to run at Talladega Trucks to run at TalladegaThe NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will hold its first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 2006, creating a three-event weekend and taking on college football. The race will be held Saturday, Oct. 7, on the eve of the Nextel Cup UAW-Ford 500 at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, track and NASCAR officials said Tuesday. The ARCA series race, normally run Saturday, will be held a day earlier.

Like the ARCA race, the truck race will go head-to-head with college football games in a state that relishes both sports.

"We've been racing since 1997 in the fall, and we feel like the truck series will be a good event on that day," said Rick Humphrey, vice president and general manager of the superspeedway. "We just have to do what we can. We hope that fans here on this property and fans around the state will see a value in the truck series and come out and join us."  More at AP Story

07/26/05
Industry News
Infineon's losses quadruple Infineon's losses quadrupleGerman semiconductor maker Infineon Technologies AG reported Tuesday that its net loss more than quadrupled in the most recent quarter, with one-time charges and low prices for computer memory burdening the bottom line.

Infineon's fiscal third-quarter net loss rose to 240 million euros ($290 million) from 56 million euros in the same quarter a year ago. That was larger than the 118 million euros ($142 million) loss expected by analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

The company said the loss was party due to the planned phase-out of production at its Munich-Perlach facility and low prices in several sectors including its core memory chip business.

Infineon said revenues dropped 16 percent to 1.61 billion euros ($1.94 billion) from 1.91 billion euros a year ago, which partly reflects lines of business the company sold off in the interim. Chief Executive Wolfgang Ziebart said the fourth quarter should be better.

"In the third quarter we have seen adverse effects on memory products," said Ziebart. "In spite of this, we expect an improved fourth quarter compared to the third quarter."

The poor quarterly results come on top of the resignation Sunday of a senior manager amid an investigation of corruption, fraud and tax evasion allegations.  More at WTOPNews.com

07/26/05
cc
Champ Car transporter parade hits San Jose Champ Car transporter parade hits San JoseUPDATE Our Bob Heathcote snapped some photos of the transporter parade in San Jose today.
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B2FB0344.jpg B2FB0338.jpg B2FB0337.jpg B2FB0336.jpg B2FB0333.jpg
B2FB0331.jpg B2FB0327.jpg B2FB0326.jpg

   
Bottom row by Paul Castoro

07/26/05 About 1,000 came out to see the San Jose GP transporter parade today. No team transporters were in the parade, only Champ Car transporters. The Canary Fund promo Champ Car was on a trailer pointed backwards, looking like it was being trailered to the local dirt track. Historic dirt track stock cars actually drove down Almaden Avenue and the fans liked those. Sad but true. What connection these have with Champ Car we're not sure. Both cars have four wheels and make noise. Perhaps the next generation Champ Car to be announced soon will be front engined and race on dirt!

07/26/05
cc
Another sponsor joins HVM team Another sponsor joins HVM teamHVM Racing, a two-car team in the Champ Car World Series, today announced The South Bay Plastering Contractors Association (SBPCA) as an associate sponsor for the Taylor Woodrow San Jose Grand Prix.

The SBPCA and their website, www.plasterconnect.com will be promoted by HVM throughout the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix, while both the #4 and #55 entries will carry the plasterconnect.com web address.  “We’re pleased to welcome the SBPCA to HVM for the San Jose Grand Prix.  This is a great opportunity for us to assist with their Union contractors, as the San Jose Grand Prix will be another extremely successful event on the Champ Car circuit.  HVM looks forward to making this a great experience for the SBPCA and their guests.  We intend to maximize their website exposure both on and off the racetrack,” commented Keith Wiggins, Owner and Managing Director of HVM Racing.

The South Bay Plastering Contractors Association is dedicated to pride in craftsmanship.  The goals of this association are to promote the plastering industry while working with industry professionals.
“To be involved with HVM Racing in one of the largest sporting events in Northern California is a great opportunity to promote our website, plasterconnect.com and to show our appreciation to the Union contractors.  This event allows the SBPCA to promote itself along with world-class athletes and world-class companies, both local and International, in front of a global audience,” said Mike O’Donnell, president of the SBPCA.

The members and associate members of this organization strive to preserve the integrity of the Plastering Industry.  The industry is always changing materials, techniques and tools.  SBPCA wants profession designers, architects, specification writers, the homeowners and builders to have the most current Lath and Plaster information possible.  For more information on the South Bay Plastering Contractors Association, please visit www.plasterconnect.com.

The South Bay Plastering Contractors Association joins Bradford White and WHCI who announced their participation with HVM for the San Jose Grand Prix last week.

07/26/05
F1
Schumacher: Budapest will not be an easy race Schumacher: Budapest will not be an easy raceThe next Formula 1 race will take place on Sunday, just a week after the Hockenheim meet. It will be run at the Hungaroring, a circuit situated close to Budapest.

Michael Schumacher considered his prospects for the upcoming weekend: "this is the last race before the brief summer break. Taking into account the results of the last few weeks, it will probably not be an easy race. There are only a few days separating Hockenheim and Budapest and so it is unrealistic to expect big strides to have been made. Naturally, we will go on trying to improve the current state of affairs".

Turning his attention to the track, the Ferrari driver underlined the difficulty of overtaking here: "the Budapest circuit, after the modifications made two years ago, is technically very demanding and, in my opinion, more interesting as a result. However, it is almost impossible to overtake and this has always been a crucial factor here. We will see what we are able to do... I recently stated that I didn't want to make predictions and this stands for Hungary too. We will be trying to do our best". Ferrari Press

07/26/05
irl
Manning and Ganassi part ways Manning and Ganassi part waysTarget Chip Ganassi Racing announced today that the team and their likeable IndyCar driver Darren Manning will part ways, effective immediately. The team has decided not to exercise the option on their contract with Manning for the 2006 IndyCar Series season, and both parties feel it is in their best interest to move on with plans for their future racing endeavors.

“Darren did a great job for us and we were very happy to have had him as part of our team,” said Target team owner Chip Ganassi. “The team does regret that we weren’t able to bring him to Victory Circle in our time together, but we certainly wish him the best of luck in his racing career.”

Manning, the 29-year-old British driver from North Yorkshire, England, joined Target Chip Ganassi Racing in November of 2003 and took the helm of the no.10 Target Toyota/ Panoz G Force for his inaugural season in the Indy Racing League. In his 24 IndyCar starts for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Manning produced five top-fives and 12 top-10s including career-best fourth-place finishes at Japan, Nashville and Pikes Peak.

Manning, who after a 20th place showing in Milwaukee, stood 13th in the title hunt with 186 points, and held the highest position in the standings for Target Chip Ganassi Racing to date in 2005 IndyCar Series competition.

Earlier this year, Manning took part in the team’s three-car Daytona Prototype assault on the Rolex 24 at Daytona, partnering with fellow Target drivers Casey Mears from the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and 2003 IndyCar Champion Scott Dixon to cross the finish line in sixth place. At the end of last season, Manning also helped secure the Grand American Championship for Chip Ganassi Racing with a third-place finish, co-driving in a third entry with Dixon at California Speedway in the Rolex Sports Car Series finale.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing continues its preparations as planned for competition at this weekend’s Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway with drivers Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe. The Firestone Indy 400 will be presented on Sunday, July 31st at 3:00 pm EDT and broadcast on ABC Live.

07/26/05
nascar
Win a Toyota Tundra Win a Toyota TundraWatkins Glen International announced today that Toyota will be giving away an Toyota Tundra SR5 Double Cab during pre-race activities prior to the NASCAR SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen on Sunday, August 14th as the Grand Prize in their Upstate Toyota Dealers (TDA) Sweepstakes. Fans can sign up at The Shop, the official retail store of Watkins Glen International, located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen, NY, at any participating Toyota Dealership or they can stop by the Toyota display and sign-up on-site, between August 11-13th.  Three runner-up winners will get a portable DVD player and 34 lucky fans can win a four (4) package of tickets to the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen, Zippo 200, and CompUSA 200 event weekend, August 11-14th. Fans need to sign up at The Shop by August 3, 2005 in order to qualify.  Pre-race activities will be filled with several promotional giveaways including the Toyota Tundra Sweepstakes and the Start your Suzuki Giveaway featuring a 2005 Suzuki King Quad 700. Toyota is the Official Vehicle of Watkins Glen International. Suzuki is the Official Motorcycle and All Terrain Vehicle of Watkins Glen International. Sweepstakes rules and a complete listing of participating Toyota dealers can be found on TheGlen.com.
07/26/05
cc
Q and A with Marcus Marshall Q and A with Marcus MarshallMarcus Marshall, driver of the No. 5 Aussie Vineyards/Team Australia Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola, carries some momentum into this weekend's inaugural Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose (Calif.) following his best-ever Champ Car finish: 10th place at the West Edmonton Grand Prix of Edmonton two weekends ago. Marshall, in his first year in the Champ Car World Series, won Australian and British Formula 3 championships in 2003 and '04, respectively.

How are you feeling about your rookie year so far? "I'm really excited to be in Champ Car. So far, it's been really, really good. A few things could have gone my way a bit better, but I'm getting all my bad things out of the way. Finishing 10th in Edmonton was just what I needed - what the team needed. Champ Car is one of the toughest circuits in the world and I know I have to work very hard to get on the podium."

Being a rookie in this series, on average, how quickly have you been able to pick up on the layout of the track and figure out what you need to do to be successful? "To a certain extent, you can figure out a track in four laps, but there is always something else you always find throughout the weekend. If you can't pick up on a track quickly, then you're just out of luck. Usually within four or five laps you've got a good idea of it all. Alex (Tagliani, teammate) has been a big help. His knowledge of the Lola chassis, and knowing that Walker Racing did not have any knowledge of the Lola until this season - if we were racing Reynard, it would be a different story. I could say that Tag's our engineer, having brought a lot of experience from all those years racing the Lola chassis." zzzz

Aside from Alex, are there any other racers mentors in your career? "Other than Alex -- he's my role model for the moment. Seriously, in modern day, I'd say definitely Michael Schumacher. Schumacher has set the level for a lot of people to step up in the racing business"

When you return home, are there any young racers who look to you for racing guidance? "A guy who has backed me in motorsports for years, his two sons race go-karts, and when they race they think it's cool for me to be there and watch them. If I can help anyone at that age, I am more than welcome to share my knowledge. When I was that age, I didn't have anyone like that, so it probably slowed my progression down a bit. I learned the hard way. But if I can sort of speed things up for children interested in a racing career, I'd like to help."

ON THE INAUGURAL RACE AT SAN JOSE. "As a driver, we're all on even playing ground so that is a good thing. Knowledge for set-up -- no one has any idea. The person who guesses the best on set-up in a sense, to start, will be ahead. It will be a very interesting weekend."

Return visit to Australia... "I'm looking forward to Surfers Paradise because I know which direction it goes." Ford

07/26/05
nascar
NASCAR announces diversity program NASCAR announces diversity programThe National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced the details for the 2005 diversity scholarship program. NASCAR will honor 12 students with the Wendell Scott Scholarship Award through the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). This year will mark the fifth year that the scholarships have been awarded.

"My father was forever explaining to all of his children, and any other youth that crossed his path, that a person needs an education, be they rich or poor,” said Wendell Scott Jr. “He'd share that his greatest accomplishment was working hard enough to send all six of his children to college. He believed one's best show of competitiveness was walking across that stage to receive one's diploma. The Wendell Scott Scholarship Award is a victory for those of us from diverse backgrounds; it's better than any checkered flag. We, the Wendell Scott Family, salute you NASCAR for having the courage to want to help." zzzz

Eight undergraduate and four graduate scholarships will be awarded to students based on a number of criteria. Students must attend any of the 39 UNCF-member colleges and universities or 39 HACU-member colleges and universities during the 2004-2005 school year. To qualify for the awards, students must carry a minimum grade point average, provide a nominating letter from a current faculty member of the student’s university and write a one-page statement demonstrating an interest in the motorsports industry.

“The diversity scholarship program is another great example of NASCAR’s commitment to diversity,” said Earvin “Magic” Johnson, co-chairman of NASCAR’s Executive Steering Committee for Diversity. “I look forward to continue working with NASCAR on this and the many other diversity initiatives currently in place.”

“We are extremely pleased to reward these deserving students with the scholarships in tribute to NASCAR pioneer Wendell Scott,” said Tish Sheets, NASCAR director of diversity and special projects. “The scholarships are an important part of our overall commitment to further diversifying the sport.”

This year’s scholarship recipients are: Uralonda Prioleau (Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C.), Michael Coaxum (Claflin University), Tia Carter (St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C.), Crystal Wells (Wiley College in Marshall, Texas), Brandon Ellison (Lane College in Jackson, Tenn.), Kayla Strickland (Lane College), Vanesa Casado (University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.), Ricardo Contreras (Texas A&M University, Kingsville), Jose Cotto (Universidad Metropolitana in Cupey, Puerto Rico), Robert Dominguez (St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas), Monique Nelson (Texas A&M University, Kingsville) and Teresa Ernest (University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla.).

In addition to the Wendell Scott Scholarship Awards, NASCAR also awards scholarship funds to the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida, the Urban Youth Racing School and North Carolina A&T University Motorsports Program.

Wendell Scott was the most prominent African-American driver to compete in NASCAR’s premier division.  Scott competed in 495 events in his 13 year career, tying him for 27th on the all-time list.  He earned his only career win at Jacksonville (Fla.) Speedway Park in 1963.

For more information, contact:  Josh Hamilton, NASCAR Public Relations, (386) 681-4285 or jhamilton@nascar.com

07/26/05
ta
Trans-Am hot topics Trans-Am hot topicsStories for fans to follow for this weekend's Trans-Am race in San Jose:
  1. Randy Ruhlman comes into San Jose leading the points, a position he’s held all season. Ruhlman is 16 points ahead of rookie Klaus Graf. Joey Scarallo, Tomy Drissi and Greg Pickett complete the top five in the championship. Just 24 points separate the top five in the standings.
  2. Jaguar leads the Manufacturers’ Championship, though it is tied in points with Chevrolet with 61. Jaguar has three victories to Chevrolet’s two, so it gets the top spot in the standings. Ford is third with 31 points.
  3. Boris Said returns to Trans-Am competition this weekend. He won the pole at Long Beach but finished 10th there after suffering a wheel failure. zzzz
  4. Greg Pickett will debut his new 310-c.i. fuel-injected engine this weekend in his Jaguar XKR. The Hasselgren-developed pushrod engine is similar to the carbureted powerplant he used all season, except it uses Bosch electronic fuel injection. Due to his setup, Pickett will carry an additional 25-pound of weight.
  5. There are two other fuel-injected engines in the field, in the No. 7 and No. 1 Jaguars of Klaus Graf and Paul Gentilozzi. These engines are production-based overhead camshaft engines similar to the engines used in Jaguar’s XKR road car. Both get a 100-pound weight break due to the setup.
  6. Greg Pickett will be the only car in this weekend’s carrying a Weight Indexed Neutralization System (WINS) Weight adjustment due to his victory at Edmonton. Pickett’s car will carry 25 pounds of WINS Weight due to his victory. WINS was created to help even the playing field in Trans-Am.
    With his second-place finishes at Long Beach and Toronto, Greg Pickett is now tied for first with Paul Gentilozzi and George Follmer in all-time Trans-Am second-place finishes.
  7. Though San Jose is a new venue, the Trans-Am Series is no stranger to the Bay Area. It has run a total of 33 races at Infineon Raceway (24, beginning in 1969) and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (nine, also beginning in 1969). Two drivers in this weekend’s field have won at those Bay Area tracks. Greg Pickett won five Bay Area races (Laguna Seca in 1978 and 1980 and at Infineon in 1978 and both races in 1984). Boris Said won last year’s race at Infineon.
  8. Entered drivers with at least one Trans-Am win on a street or temporary venue include Tomy Drissi, Paul Gentilozzi, Greg Pickett, Randy Ruhlman, and Boris Said. Tim Barber (2005 Edmonton/Finning) and Steve Kelso (2005 Long Beach) have been Trans-Am GTA class winners on such circuits.
  9. Paul Gentilozzi owns the most street or temporary race victories in Trans-Am history: 18.
  10. Ruhlman (Round 1: Long Beach and Round 3: Cleveland), Gentilozzi (Round 4: Toronto) and Pickett (Round 5: Edmonton) have each won a race on a street and temporary course this season. Klaus Graf also won this season, at Portland International Raceway’s permanent road course.
  11. San Jose is the second of three new venues on this year’s Trans-Am Series schedule and one of two inaugural events, Edmonton being the other venue. Trans-Am will also make its debut in Montreal at the end of next month.
  12. Klaus Graf has won three of five poles this season, while Paul Gentilozzi and Boris Said have one pole apiece this season.
  13. In 2005, winners have come from second, fifth, 13th, first, and third starting positions with polesitters finishing second in the first three races, winning at Toronto, and finishing seventh at Edmonton. Only one fast qualifier (fifth starter) has won—Klaus Graf at Portland. Otherwise, fast qualifiers have finished sixth, 10th, 11th, and 12th. The Trans-Am Series inverts the top five after qualifying through its Fast Five® Qualifying program.
07/26/05
irl
Danica to appear on TV Guide and Life Magazine Danica to appear on TV Guide and Life MagazineUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, The news (Reuters article) today regarding the flagging fortunes of TV Guide provides yet another reality check for Danica Patrick and the IRL. With circulation falling to a paltry 3.2 million readers and its stock down 40% this year alone, is quite clear that Danica's cover shot doesn't represent her celebrity at all - more likely its just a case of a failing publication grasping for anything that might sell a few more copies.
 
Maybe they should think about a centerfold?
 
Sadly for open wheel fans this story is just 'more of the same' from Tony George and his P.T. Barnum mentality of "there's a sucker born every minute."  The IRL's shell game still manages to fool enough media types to keep it all going merrily along. Or maybe its just straight out of the Wizard of Oz ("pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!").
 
I respected Shirley Muldowney and Janet Guthrie for their achievements. Ditto for Desire Wilson and Lyn St. James. But I feel genuinely sorry for Danica Patrick because no amount of success in the near future will suspend her IRL-driven notoriety. Winning a race won't do it. Winning the IRL title won't matter - except in the 'Twilight Zone' of Tony George, where apparently anything is possible, if given enough spin.
 
There is no doubt that Danica is talented and that she will win in time, but what message does this send to the public when there is one set of rules for Danica and another set for the rest of the drivers - and what about winners like Katherine Legge, who is contesting the championship title, or Samantha and Josephine Grace who are racing karts in British Columbia, Canada?
 
How different do you think things would be for Danica today if Bobby Rahal hadn't sold his soul for a bag of gold and had remained loyal to Champ Car and Kevin Kalkhoven in their hour of need? Scott Adams, Chicago, IL  Dear Scott, 3.2 million circulation is still good exposure for Danica and the IRL.  We see NASCAR drivers on TV Guide regularly, and now an IRL driver.  We don't see any Champ Car drivers on there, no effort to make them household names, which ultimately will determine its success.  This may be the end of that PR concept, however.  Plans call for the current 140 editions to be cut to one.  TV Guide is also cutting the circulation it promises advertisers by getting rid of 3 million sponsored sales, which is circulation paid for by third parties (such as NASCAR or the IRL).  Ironically, rumor has it Danica will be pictured on TV Guide with a Toyota Atlantic car from last year. We have not seen it yet. Mark C.

07/26/05 Danica Patrick is coming to a checkout line near you.  The IndyCar Series rookie's rise to racing prominence and international media attention is detailed in an "exclusive interview" in the July 31-Aug. 6 issue of TV Guide magazine, just in time for ABC's broadcast of the Firestone Indy 400 on July 31 from Michigan International Speedway (3 p.m. EDT).

In part of the country, Patrick standing next to a race car is the main cover image. In the alternate cover, a photo of her is in the upper right corner with the stars of "Law and Order: Special Victim's Unit" the main photo. This past weekend at The Milwaukee Mile, Patrick was photographed for an upcoming issue of LIFE magazine. IRL

07/26/05
Industry News
Sunoco announces new race gas Sunoco announces new race gas"After months of careful development, our much-anticipated and requested HCR Plus is ready," commented Rob Marro, General Manager, Sunoco Performance Products and Automotive Events.  "Rather than rush to get a fuel out the door, we wanted to make sure HCR Plus would answer all the demands of racers and engine builders while complementing our existing fuel line-up. As the racing gasoline industry leader, we at Sunoco Race Fuels believe it is our obligation to set the standard.  With our HCR Plus we are confident the standard has been set for high compression, sustained load applications." 

HCR Plus is specifically targeted for racing engines with a very high compression ratio that operate under sustained high speeds and loads.  It has an (R+M)/2 octane rating of 114.  It contains no oxygenates and will tolerate a lot of heat which helps resist vapor locking.  The fuel is leaded, so it is for off-road use only. 

Sunoco has been working with Coronet Racing Engines, Malcuit Race Engines and other top late model engine builders for several months to develop this fuel.  Billy Moyer, current World Of Outlaws Stacker 2® Late Model Series championship point leader, has been testing this fuel this season.  In fact, Moyer won his fourth WoO Late Model event, the  "27th Annual Coca-Cola Summernationals Classic 50" at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, OK  just last week.  "I have been very pleased with the fuel,"  stated Moyer.  "Given how hot it has been where we have raced lately, it really helps to have a fuel that runs this cool." 

The fuel will be available from Sunoco Race Fuels master distributors  August 1st.  Please contact your local Sunoco Race Fuels dealer to place an order.  To locate the master distributor for your area, please visit the Sunoco Race Fuels website: www.racegas.com or call 1-8700- RACE GAS  (1-800-722-3427). 

07/26/05
nascar
Whelen Engineering to Sponsor ppc Racing at Gateway Whelen Engineering to Sponsor ppc Racing at Gatewayppc Racing officials announced today Whelen Engineering will be the primary sponsor on the No. 22 ppc Racing Ford Taurus race team with driver Kenny Wallace this weekend at Gateway International Raceway (GIR).  Since 1952, Whelen Engineering has made LED and Strobe lightbars and lightheads for police, fire and rescue, emergency, DOT and maintenance and construction equipment, all made in the U.S.A.

“Our company is big on family values,” said Phil Kurze, director of Whelen Motorsports at Whelen Engineering Co.  “Kenny Wallace and ppc Racing typifies our philosophy as one big family.  Kenny is a dedicated family man.  When we realized his need for sponsorship to complete the season after meeting in New Hampshire earlier this month and thought The Wallace Family 250 would be the best race for Whelen to sponsor.  Kenny has a great personality and is a regular face seen on TV commercials and shows and represents every sponsor he has had in racing.  This is a wonderful opportunity for us at Whelen Engineering and we are pleased to help Kenny and ppc Racing with their run toward the championship.”

“Whelen Engineering has been a recognizable sponsor in NASCAR for many years,” said Greg Pollex, car owner at ppc Racing.  “They are more than just a team sponsor, they are a participant in the sport by providing products and services to the teams, tracks and the sanctioning bodies in racing.  We are pleased to have Whelen Engineering as a sponsor for this race just outside of St. Louis, home of Kenny Wallace and The Wallace Family.”

07/26/05
Speed World Challenge
Papis Aims to Return to Top Step of Podium in Portland Papis Aims to Return to Top Step of Podium in PortlandTeam Cadillac driver Max Papis has enjoyed the sweet smell of success in the City of Roses. He savored the view from the top step of the podium after winning from the pole in a CART race at Portland International Raceway in 2001. Now four years later, "Mad" Max hopes to repeat his previous success in Portland with his Cadillac CTS-V performance luxury sedan in the SCCA Speed World Challenge race at PIR on July 31.

"In 2001, I won the pole position in the wet and won the race in the dry, so it was a really good event for me," Papis recalled. "The next year at Portland was my last Champ Car race because the team I was with had financial problems and had to shut down. Now going back to Portland with Team Cadillac, nothing would be better than standing again on that podium. I felt really comfortable on the top step!"

Papis likes Team Cadillac's chances on the fast and flat 1.94-mile road course.

"The circuit will suit the SPEED GT cars well because of the long straightaway that will definitely allow overtaking," he noted. "The infield section requires a lot of technique, and I know my way around there. It's a track with a long racing tradition and the fans are very knowledgeable. I feel really good going back to Portland."

07/26/05
Formula BMW
Formula BMW USA begins second-half of season Formula BMW USA begins second-half of seasonFormula BMW USA begins the second-half of its 2005 season at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, on July 28-31. A new circuit for the series, the twisting 2.3-miles of Barber Motorsports Park will be quickly followed by Formula BMW USA's second visit to the streets of Denver, Colorado for the Aug. 11-14 Denver Grand Prix. These two weekends are sure to prove critical in the hopes of the Formula BMW USA drivers with a chance at the Overall and Rookie crowns before the final weekend of the season at Road Atlanta on Sept. 30 - Oct. 1.

Three BMW Junior drivers, Kevin Lacroix, of St-Eustache, Quebec; Frenchman Richard Philippe, of Key Biscayne, Florida; and Robert Wickens, of Etobicoke, Ontario, stand in the top-three of both the Overall and Rookie Championships, sharing seven of eight wins to-date among themselves.

Lacroix, 16, has led the Overall points since his opening victory in Round 1 and has two additional wins in his column, but three finishes out of the points means he only has a three-point advantage on Philippe and Wickens, who are tied in second.

Lacroix is on top for now, but knows his three point cushion is not much. "For sure I want to try to win the races," he says. "But first of all, I must finish since I had three crashes in past races. I am very happy to lead the Championship points since the first race at Laguna Seca. A Championship in my first year of open-wheel racing would be very good for my future. Since the USGP, I have trained and tried
to stay relaxed."

Richard, the younger brother of Champ Car driver Nelson Philippe, has shown speed well beyond what would be expected of a 15 year old in his first year of racing car competition.  He has four pole positions to his credit, but, like Lacroix, Philippe's three wins have been tempered by three poor finishes.

He knows what he must do. "Maybe I will be a little bit more cautious, but must take risks to win races. Winning means scoring the most points. Fighting for the Championship is part of racing, but I don't feel more pressure than earlier in the season. There are a lot of good drivers and if I make any mistakes I am finished."

07/26/05
cc
Industry News
Cosworth d-Power on display at San Jose CHAMP CAR race Cosworth d-Power on display at San Jose CHAMP CAR raceThose attending the San Jose, California CHAMP CAR race, July 29-31 will be able to see Cosworth d-Power Duratec performance products first hand. The infamous “Snap Orange” Cosworth Focus along with a full range of Cosworth Duratec performance parts will be on display under the CHAMP CAR tent in the paddock area.  Parts range from intake manifolds, pistons to exhaust manifolds and more.  Be sure to stop by and pick up a catalog.  See also ad on our Home Page with more information.
07/26/05
f1
Schumacher losing is bad for F1 business Schumacher losing is bad for F1 businessUPDATE According to this article, TV ratings for last weekend's German GP were up 40% in Holland. Why? Because they have two drivers in F1 now to cheer for. As we have said, it is the drivers that drive the success of a sport. In Italy, the TV ratings were off slightly due to Ferrari's poor performance this year. 07/25/05 According to this article on a German website, TV ratings in Germany are down over 20% this year and there were a lot of empty seats at the Hockenheim Sunday for the German GP, resulting in the organizer losing around $2 million. Why? Because Michael Schumacher isn't winning, which furthers our argument that heroes make racing (or any sport) successful.
07/26/05
nascar
Allstate 400 Grand Marshal Allstate 400 Grand MarshalActor Dennis Haysbert will be the grand marshal of this year's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Aug. 7 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Haysbert is a spokesman for Allstate Insurance Company and has appeared in commercials for the company since 2003. He made his feature film debut in 1989, portraying baseball player Pedro Cerrano in "Major League." Indy Star
07/26/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
BAR's plan to retain Button
Ferrari to snub summer ban
2006 race likely - Indy boss
Fisi's 'incredible' drive
Coulthard fined
FIA will listen to 'GPMA'
Hungarian rain
Doornbos - 'I'm sorry'
'We've won nothing' - Flav
07/25/05
nascar
Marlin to replace Fedewa Marlin to replace FedewaFitzBradshaw Racing announced today that Sterling Marlin will assume driving responsibilities for the No. 12 Dodge Charger for the upcoming races at Gateway International Raceway and Michigan International Speedway. FitzBradshaw Racing Director of Competition Scott Eggleston will serve as crew chief.

“After four years running the No. 12 car, we need to find the right combination to run competitively,” commented team co-owner Armando Fitz. “The Supercuts/HOT TAMALES Dodge has not had a top-10 finish all year. We can’t sit idle. We’ve got to do something.”

Marlin will replace driver Tim Fedewa who has been behind the wheel of the No. 12 Dodge for just over two years.

“I’ve been in the NASCAR Busch Series for a long time,” said Fedewa. “I’ve learned over the years that change is part of this business. I am proud to be associated with this series and to have had the opportunity to represent sponsors like Supercuts, HOT TAMALES and Goulds Pumps.”

07/25/05
nascar
Brickyard charity event to benefit tsunami victims Brickyard charity event to benefit tsunami victimsThe winning bidder of an auction live on popular Internet auction site eBay will win four suite tickets and accommodations for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Aug. 7 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with proceeds benefiting the Samaritan Children's Home in Sri Lanka.  The Samaritan Children's Home was destroyed in the Southeast Asian tsunami in December 2004.

The winner of the auction, presented by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will receive a VIP prize package to the annual NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event. In addition to four tickets in a luxury suite at the track, the winner also will receive:

  • Two rooms at the Comfort Inn West for three nights from Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7, 2005. The Comfort Inn West is located at 5855 Rockville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46224.
  • Credentials that provide access to restricted areas of the track and garage area.
  • A police-escorted caravan from the hotel to the racetrack on race morning, helping beat the traffic flowing to the Speedway for one of the world's largest single-day sporting events.

Click http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6548360619 to see the auction listing. The auction ends July 30.

For more information on the Samaritan Children's Home, visit www.samaritanchildrenshome.org. Samaritan Home Relief, Inc. is a non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Maryland. Application for recognition of federal tax exempt status is currently in process.

07/25/05
irl
Andretti Green drivers protest Danica Patrick Andretti Green drivers protest Danica PatrickUPDATE #3 Another reader adds, People want to hear about Danica Patrick.  They don't care about these other guys.  That is the reason that the IRL and Champ Car are where they are today - in NASCAR's shadow running about 5mph while NASCAR speeds off into the sunset.  So I'm sorry, AGR drivers, but Danica is going to have her own autograph line because she needs it.

As for the comment that winning Indy should lead to endorsements for Dan Wheldon, who is the last driver to secure a major endorsement from winning the 500?  It wasn't Castroneves or Rice or de Ferran or Montoya.  I know that much.  Winning Indy does not carry the prestige that it once did.  In order for it to make a comeback, which could help a guy like Dan Wheldon get endorsements if he won it again, the Indy 500 has to become more relevant to the American public.  Having Danica Patrick constantly in the spotlight will add to the race's relevance.

These drivers and teams also need to stop blaming the IRL for promoting Danica over the male drivers winning races.  Where did that get them the past few years?  It got their ratings in a downward slump and their attendance flattened out.  Two months into Danica mania and the IRL's ratings have grown for the first time (maybe ever - sorry - I have not been following the IRL since its inception so I don’t have the exact answer there).  And even after the ratings are growing, the league is still promoting other drivers.  Watch the espn2 show.  Read the press releases.  It's just the media that's choosing to cover Danica because it's a more interesting story and it's selling newspapers and magazines and growing TV news ratings.  It's what the people want to see.

By the way Andretti Green Racing, if Danica brings more fans and more viewers, it adds more value to the sponsorships that you need to sell to be able to run your team.  So no, you may not have the most popular drivers, but Danica's popularity will help you to keep them on the track.

The attitudes that Kanaan and Franchitti are showing by boycotting the autograph session are just a snapshot of the issues that have buried open wheel racing the past 10 years.  Get over yourselves.  You are no better than me or Mark Cipolloni or the guy with the office next to mine.  You just have a better job.

The fans have voted.  They choose the hot girl that drives a race car.  You may want to do more public appearances in hopes that the public develops a fondness for you too.

P.S. I am a Dan Wheldon and Paul Tracy fan and I think Danica is all hype.  But that doesn't change the facts. Trevor Parrinello  Dear Trevor, We have the solution. If the AGR drivers have a sex-change operation the media will give them equal billing with Danica and all will be well in the world.  Only kidding of course. Mark C. 

07/25/05 SPEEDTV.com reports today - Tension between AGR drivers and Patrick has been evident since the Indianapolis 500, when Patrick received far more attention for her fourth-place finish than Wheldon did for winning.

Earlier this season, Kanaan joked about a nationally circulated magazine in his native Brazil that devoted its cover to Patrick after the Indy 500. “I really need to congratulate this girl,” Kanaan said with a laugh. “We’ve been working for 22 years to get a single line in that magazine, and we’ve never been there. She finishes fourth at Indy and gets three pages.”  zzzz

07/25/05 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, AGR needs to grow-up and put the ego aside for a moment. That's just like Michael to pout and cry when he doesn't get his way. What about when Michael first started out and got all the attention more because of his father's last name than his own results? Sure, his results came as will Danica’s'. She is doing great as a rookie, and while she still has a thing or two to prove, she is great for the sport. The IRL should and is taking advantage of the media spin. Any IRL press is good press and good for the sport as a whole. Rob Anderson, Phoenix AZ Dear Rob, I think many people are overlooking the crux of this issue. We can see AGR's point of view. Not only do the 'male' drivers who are winning races and not getting the media coverage have egos like most good athletes, it's a matter of earning money. Dan Wheldon won the Indy 500, yet for the first time in a long time we have not heard of him getting any endorsements of products as a result of it. Instead Danica Patrick is getting all the endorsements and she hasn't won a race yet! That has to gall the 'male' drivers, especially Indy 500 winner Wheldon. It also could affect sponsorship that AGR is able to land. Remember - when in doubt, follow the money. Mark C. 07/25/05 Andretti Green Racing's four drivers -- Indianapolis 500 winner and IRL points leader Dan Wheldon, defending IRL champion Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta -- boycotted Saturday evening's mandatory fan autograph session at Wisconsin State Fair Park because organizers created a different waiting line for rookie Danica Patrick, the league's only female driver.

The same process was used at the June race at Texas Motor Speedway.

AGR team members don't like the way the league has promoted Patrick over other drivers in marketing efforts.

"It's a serious issue and we need to talk (with league officials) about it," AGR co-owner Kevin Savoree said Sunday prior to the A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile. More at Indy Star [Editor's Note: We predicted this would happen, so it's not surprising at all. Prancing her into the post-race press conference recently as a 9th place finisher while the winner, Tony Kanaan, had to wait for her press conference to finish is just an example of how the IRL is trying to exploit Patrick at the expense of all the better drivers. Making the cover of Sports Illustrated as a 4th place finisher at Indy instead of winner Dan Wheldon was also galling. When and if Danica ever wins a race with her unfair weight advantage, then perhaps she will deserve the media attention.]

07/25/05
irl
Wheldon gets clothing line endorsement deal Wheldon gets clothing line endorsement dealDan Wheldon, winner of the 2005 Indianapolis 500® and current points leader in the Indy Racing League® (IRL), has reached a sponsorship agreement with Blue Collar (BC) Ethic Clothing, a trendy men’s apparel company based in Southern California. In addition to clothing Wheldon off the racetrack, BC Ethic will design a personalized line of Dan Wheldon logoed apparel and assist in marketing this apparel and the Wheldon brand at select retail outlets across the U.S.

“As a fan of the fashion world, I’m excited to announce this deal with BC Ethic clothing,” said Wheldon. “I really like the look that BC Ethic portrays. They’re cool…They’re trendy… They’re vintage…And they’re all about fast cars, rock and roll music, the nightlife and looking good. I’m a racecar driver and that’s what I’m all about. I’m looking forward to this partnership with the crew at BC Ethic and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

“We're extremely happy to be on board as a clothing sponsor to Dan Wheldon, the winner of the 2005 Indianapolis 500," said Mark Zacher, BC Ethic CEO. “Dan's admiration for our clothing and the style he brings to it will prove to be a great fit for both of us. His good looks, his talent behind the wheel, and his professionalism will only enhance our company's visibility in the marketplace. We see a bright future for both Dan and our clothing line.”

As a well-respected player in the fashion industry, BC Ethic will design and manufacture a personalized line of Dan Wheldon logoed apparel to be sold at the racetrack, and eventually in select retail outlets where BC Ethic clothing is sold across the U.S. Wheldon will don BC Ethic sleeve patches on his racing fire suit for the remainder of the 2005 IRL season, and will make appearances at trade shows, product launches, red carpet parties and/or VIP events surrounding the fashion, music and entertainment world in Los Angeles. [Editor's Note: Interesting how this came about after the AGR drivers expressed their unhappiness at the IRL favoritism of Danica Patrick. Can't say we ever heard of BC Ethic.]

07/25/05
ta
Greg Pickett To Debut New Engine Package in San Jose Greg Pickett To Debut New Engine Package in San JoseTeam CytoSport will introduce a completely new engine package during the Cytomax Sport Drink 100 Trans-Am Series race July 29-30, part of the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose weekend. Team owner/driver Greg Pickett will debut the new 5.1 liter, 310 cu. in. Hasselgren electronic fuel-injected pushrod Ford V-8 in the No. 6 Cytomax/Muscle Milk Jaguar XKR. Previously, the team had campaigned a traditional carbureted Ford V-8 built and prepared by Rocketsports Racing.

The engine development project began during the winter off-season. The engine has successfully undergone substantial dyno testing as well as track testing at Infineon Raceway. Per Trans-Am Series rules, the Jaguar XKR will be required to carry an additional 25 pounds of weight. zzzz

“It became obvious to me midway through last season that the four-valve, fuel-injected engine system that Paul Gentilozzi was developing at Rocketsports was going to be a daunting package, and arguably the fastest out there,” explained Pickett, whose made Trans-Am history with his recent win in Edmonton becoming the only Trans-Am driver to have won a race in each of four decades of competition. “With the Bosch engine management system, which I believe to be the world’s best, now mandated, it made sense to move toward a fuel-injected combination.

“Hasselgren, who has a very good relationship with Bosch from the Toyota Atlantic Series, approached us and said ‘if you’re interested, we interested,” continued Pickett, who has three podium finishes in four starts this season. “We gave them one of our Lozano assets (engine block) and we got started.

“The fuel-injected package has much more torque, especially in the slow to mid range,” said Pickett, who ranks fifth in points. “It has good throttle response which will help keep the rear tires under the car; a very important trait on a street circuit like San Jose. It’s also easier to tune it to an individual’s driving style and to a particular track’s idiosyncrasies.

“We feel we’ve made the right decision to move in this direction; we’ll see how it plays out this weekend. You have to try to combinations to stay competitive and move forward. When you’re racing with the best (drivers), with the best (equipment), it makes it hard to be the best. That’s what we’re striving to achieve,” concluded Pickett.

The Cytomax Sport Drink 100 Trans-Am race will run on Saturday, July 30, and begins at 4:00 p.m. PDT on the city streets of San Jose. The race will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on August 7 at 1 p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel.

07/25/05
irl
Milwaukee IRL attendance plummets 24% Milwaukee IRL attendance plummets 24%In Milwaukee, Dave Kallmann reports the IRL race yesterday drew 28,592, down from 37,821 last year (24.4% plummet), despite the presence of  Danica Patrick. Officials said that there was “less ‘buzz’ about the race than there was for last year’s inaugural event, and that the stifling heat limited walk-up ticket sales” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
07/25/05
f1
’GPMA’ unfurl 2008 rules ’GPMA’ unfurl 2008 rulesForget GPWC, F1's 'breakaway' alliance will forthwith be known as 'GPMA' -- Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association.

The rogue troupe, effectively made up of every team and carmaker except Ferrari, issued a statement on Monday claiming to have finalized 'joint proposals' for the future.

The framework, they said - which has been sent to the FIA - is 'in line' with the governing body's recent fan survey.

''(A) discussion (with the FIA is) planned shortly,'' a bullet point summary revealed.

''A ... plan for the prosperity of the sport and its key constituents should be put in place,'' the statement continued, ''so that those parties which contribute greatly to the sport's success have a stable and economically viable future.''

The GPMA also vowed to safeguard F1's technological edge, and expressed confidence that the FIA will 'consider (the) proposals carefully.'

The full press release is as follows: zzzz

Following a meeting on Saturday in Hockenheim between nine teams and five car manufacturers currently participating in Formula One, a summary of joint proposals for the sporting, technical and legal framework of Formula One as of 2008 was sent to the FIA to form the basis for constructive discussion.

  • Agreement on key principles for 2008 Technical, Sporting and Legal framework - in line with recent FIA fan survey
  • Summary of proposals sent to the FIA - discussion with Governing Body planned shortly
  • Grand Prix Manufacturers’ Association (GPMA) founded – manufacturers and teams continue working together on providing world’s best sporting spectacle

The proposals have been prepared in a range of meetings since January by Technical, Commercial and Legal Executives from the nine teams BAR, Jordan, McLaren, Minardi, Red Bull, Renault, Sauber, Toyota and Williams, and from the five manufacturers BMW; DaimlerChrysler, Honda, Renault and Toyota have been working closely together.

Their thoughts and actions were driven by a number of key principles. First and foremost, to maintain and build upon Formula One’s position as the number one annual sports series in the world, it should attract, excite and provide the best possible sporting spectacle and good value on a worldwide basis. Moreover, Formula One must consolidate its position at the pinnacle of motorsport, by presenting the most exciting, technologically advanced and global motorsport series. Also, a long term plan for the prosperity of the sport and its key constituents should be put in place, so that those parties which contribute greatly to the sport’s success have a stable and economically viable future. The participation of independent teams will be supported and encouraged, particularly by enabling small teams to secure a stable source of engine supply.
 
Where possible, costs should be significantly reduced, providing that the sporting spectacle and competition is not compromised. The vision is for a fair and transparent sport with well–funded and highly competitive teams on every row of the grid, with the best drivers competing on the most exciting race tracks around the world.

Formula One has to be at the forefront of technology and continue to showcase technical innovations in line with those in the auto industry. At the same time the introduction of potentially expensive innovations should not jeopardize the commercial and sporting viability of independent teams. Cost saving is a fundamental objective for the teams and manufacturers, as it is important that new technologies can be introduced at the lowest possible price.

Considering the fact that their alliance represents 90% of the current grid, and views from key stakeholders such as circuits, broadcasters, sponsors and fans are included, the teams and manufacturers are confident that the FIA will consider their proposals carefully.

The teams and manufacturers look forward to entering into a constructive dialogue with the FIA shortly, and have therefore requested that representatives from their group will meet with the FIA President shortly.

First announced on 9 May 2005 in Barcelona, the new manufacturers’ association, formally named Grand Prix Manufacturers’ Association (GPMA), has now been formed by BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Honda, Renault and Toyota. The manufacturers’ interests will be represented solely through this new entity, which will provide the manufacturers with an opportunity to shape the future of the sport and to provide exciting racing for its fans. Like the teams, the manufacturers hope to achieve the group’s objectives within the sport.

07/25/05
NASCAR
NASCAR proposed testing rule causes stir NASCAR proposed testing rule causes stirNASCAR's planned testing rules and tire-leasing program for next season is already creating waves among Nextel Cup crew chiefs, who are not all pleased. But car owners should like the monetary savings. And small-team owners should be especially pleased, since the tire-leasing program, coupled with NASCAR's planned testing limits, should take away some of the immense testing advantage large teams have had. "Next year there will be less testing, that's firm, but how much less we don't know, and how we will organize it we don't know," NASCAR's John Darby, the Nextel Cup director, said. "So we're bouncing ideas off the teams. "The biggest reason is the expense. An average two-day Cup test is six-figures. And to do it every week, we just feel there is too much of that going on." Winston Salem-Journal
07/25/05
NASCAR
NASCAR Lobbying hard for WA. Track NASCAR Lobbying hard for WA. TrackInternational Speedway Corp. has intensified its courting of Washington state lawmakers as it gears up for a second attempt to build a NASCAR racetrack in the state.  Between December 2004 and April, three Olympia lobbyists met at least 81 times with lawmakers on behalf of the racetrack company, according to a review of lobbyist expense reports filed with the Public Disclosure Commission. That was more than five times the number of meetings between February and November 2004 during the period when a Northwest location or the Marysville site were being discussed, the reports show. For all its efforts in the state so far, ISC has spent a total of $151,000 on lobbying in Washington, including lobbyist compensation and entertainment expenses. The more recent meetings took place mostly over meals in and around Olympia, at restaurants ranging from Outback Steakhouse to the more highbrow Jean-Pierre's Restaurant in Tumwater, where the dinner menu includes such entrees as New Zealand spring lamb chops and fresh king salmon topped with melted French brie. The lobbyists met with lawmakers individually and in groups, and submitted meal expenses ranging from $6 to $400. The lobbyist expense reports also shed new light on the speedway company's wooing of state officials and legislators last year, when ISC first began looking to build a racetrack in Washington. State lawmakers took trips around the country to some of auto racing's premier events. Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, for instance, had the good fortune of sitting in the owner's box the day President George W. Bush visited the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.  More at Seattle Business Times/MSNBC.com
07/25/05
NASCAR
Car of the Future being tested Car of the Future being testedNASCAR tested the prototype of the car of the future in the wind tunnel last week. The most dramatic change is a larger cockpit. The bodies will be completely different, according to series director John Darby. Sporting News/ Lee Spencer
07/25/05
NASCAR
Earnhardt, Jr. called to NASCAR trailer Earnhardt, Jr. called to NASCAR trailerDale Earnhardt Jr. was called into the NASCAR trailer after the race to be reprimanded for exceeding the pit road speed on lap 53 when he raced out of the pits in an attempt to stay on the lead lap. He was penalized with a drive-through. His pit road exit speed was clocked at 143 mph. The pit road speed limit was 55 mph. Junior was told by NASCAR officials that they understood his desire to remain on the lead lap, but that they wouldn't tolerate his methods. Yahoo! Sports
07/25/05
NASCAR
Casting Call, Will Ferrell's NASCAR movie Casting Call, Will Ferrell's NASCAR movieWill Ferrell's unnamed NASCAR movie is looking for thousands of extras to play country music fans, line dancers, racing fans, hospital workers and ordinary people on the street. Beyond the extras, casting director Shirley Crumley is looking for two boys, ages 6 and 10, to play Ferrell's sons. The boys will give up school for three months while the shooting is taking place. A private tutor will be hired for the boys. The movie will begin filming Sept. 6 and run Tuesdays through Saturdays until November. Extras could work as little as one day to the full three months, depending on the part. Casting for extras will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Casting for the roles of Ferrell's two sons will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Both sessions will be at Charlotte's E.E. Waddell High School, 7030 Nations Ford Road. Myrtle Beach Online
07/25/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
F1 future starts Monday
'Schu can count me out'
F1 buyout runs out of fuel
Human error caused Kimi exit
Minardi urge Hyundai into F1
Alonso has title in pocket
Montoya may 'help' Kimi
Kimi's come-uppance?
Shnaider urges team support
07/25/05
cc
Champ Car in San Jose, NHRA at Infineon Champ Car in San Jose, NHRA at InfineonThe San Francisco Monitor is finally getting into the act running this story on the upcoming San Jose Champ Car race - One would think Infineon Raceway president and general manager Steve Page would be more concerned.  Roaring into the Bay Area market for the first time this weekend is the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose, featuring the Champ Car World Series and its sleek and sexy open-wheel racing on the streets of downtown San Jose. More....
07/24/05
MotoGP
Rossi wins British GP in heavy rain Rossi wins British GP in heavy rainValentino Rossi came through one of the most accident-strewn races in MotoGP history to seal his seventh win of the season in today’s betandwin.com British Grand Prix at Donington Park. With torrential rain throughout the day leaving several centimeters of standing water on the track, Rossi was one of only ten riders to stay on two wheels throughout the race although he had to avoid several scares before eventually shaking the attentions of Kenny Roberts and Alex Barros with a breathtaking surge to victory seven laps from the end. zzzz

“That was one of the most difficult races of my career – the conditions were incredible,” reflected Rossi, who crossed the line imitating a violin player by way of celebration. “It was very, very cold and the track was very slippery. Today was not like riding a bike, it was like a boat because there was a lot of water between the wheels and the track – always spinning the rear and locking the front. I tried to understand the points where I could push more and said: ‘Now I try and we see what happens.’ I was able to go a lot faster and keep the advantage. It was a great job by the team because the bike worked well even though we only had 20 minutes this morning. I did the violin celebration because after my pole lap yesterday I decided it was a fine art – like the violin!”.

Second place for Roberts represented a first podium for the former World Champion and his Suzuki team since Rio in 2002, whilst Honda’s Alex Barros was able to celebrate his 250th Grand Prix appearance in style by joining the rostrum in third place. However, the biggest celebrations in the paddock took place at Yamaha, where Rossi’s team-mate Colin Edwards picked up fourth place to move ahead of Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau into third in the championship, just one point behind Marco Melandri in second.

Biaggi, Gibernau and Melandri all fell victim to the treacherous weather conditions, with Biaggi the first rider to crash out at the end of the opening lap. Melandri soon followed, crashing at the same point as his compatriot on the exit of Goddards corner and taking Troy Bayliss with him into the dirt, whilst Gibernau, who was leading the race, went down on lap four. John Hopkins briefly led on the Suzuki before gradually losing positions and then himself sliding out of fifth place at the chicane, returning to the track to take eleventh.

By that time local favorite Shane Byrne was already dreaming about what might have been after delighting the 75,661 home crowd with a charge to sixth place on the Proton KR-KTM machine before also crashing out, following Ruben Xaus, Nicky Hayden, Shinya Nakano, James Ellison and Franco Battaini back to the pits. Carlos Checa and Loris Capirossi produced a late charge to close the gap to Edwards but were forced to accept fifth and sixth place respectively ahead of Makoto Tamada, Alex Hofmann, Toni Elias, Roberto Rolfo and Hopkins – the only eleven riders to finish the race.

07/24/05
irl
Danica came roaring into town with a whimper Danica came roaring into town with a whimperA reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Danica comes roaring into town! That was the headline in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week. The grandstands today looked as bad or worse than the recent Champ Car race, with maybe 10,000 in attendance.  Friday and Saturday it was a ghost town.  I guess her roar was a mere whimper.

Then I watched as Dario Franchitti got a little squirrelly but saved his car in Turn 2. Danica came through right after him, ran out of talent and crashed. Given her car is 50 to 100 pounds lighter than everyone else's she should be winning every race. What's all the hype about? They make a big deal about her beating her teammates, yet her car is so much lighter, so she should. Mordichai Rosen, LA, California

 
The IRL suffered the same dismal attendance at Milwaukee that Champ Car did.  The IRL did not have a NASCAR 2 for 1 ticket deal to help it at this race 
Photos courtesy Honda and Toyota

07/24/05
f1
Flavio the movie star Flavio the movie starGazzetta dello Sport reports that Flavio Briatore will make his debut as an actor when he makes a cameo appearance in an Italian movie.  He will play himself in an Italian film titled Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), which will be shot around his Billionaire nightclub in Sardinia.  "I will play a part I know already: that of Flavio Briatore, aiming for the excesses, obviously. I'm laughing already," he said.
07/24/05
cc
Mercury News backs San Jose race Mercury News backs San Jose raceToday's San Jose Mercury News has a 52-page pullout section highlighting next weekend's Taylor Woodrow San Jose Grand Prix Champ Car race. See it all here. Except for one article by Mark Purdy, the pullout is very supportive of the race.

The negative stuff (How did this get published? Is anyone minding the store?) - The Grand Prix here will feature competitors from the Champ Car series, which critics disparage as AMERICANS THIRD-STRING RACING CIRCUIT. The top dog at the moment is NASCAR, which consists of large rolling stock cars rolling around mostly oval tracks. That’s is where Gordon races.

THE SECOND-MOST POPULAR AMERICAN CIRCUIT IS THE INDY RACING LEAGUE(IRL),which features racing machines similar to the Champ Cars-with open wheels, low-slung design, and wings to create the downforce that allows drivers to take corners at much faster speeds. THE IRL IS WHERE PATRICK, THE ROOKIE FEMALE DRIVER WHO HAS GRACED MAGAZINE COVERS, DOES HER RACING BUSINESS.

Among racing freaks, there is constant debate about whether IRL racing is better than Champ Car racing, and vice versa. BUT THE IRL IS OPERATED BY THE SAME FAMILY THAT OWNS THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY AND STAGES THE INDIANAPOLIS 500, THE COUNTRY'S LARGEST RACE. CHAMP CAR STAGES ONLY SEVEN RACES IN THE UNITED STATES. THAT MEANS THE IRL IS ALWAYS GOING TO GET MORE ATTENTION DOMESTICALLY.

07/24/05
irl
Foyt crashes again Foyt crashes againAJ Foyt IV lost control of his Toyota powered car yet again today, finding the wall at the Milwaukee Mile in morning warm-up.  The team patched the car together but after being lapped twice early Foyt pulled in and called it a day.  His sponsor, ABC Supply brought 1,500 employees to the race to cheer him on.  They went home disappointed.
07/24/05
IPS Series
Simmons wins IPS race Simmons wins IPS raceIndy 500 veteran Jeff Simmons defeated Wade Cunningham in a classic two car dual on the historic Milwaukee Mile. Simmons overcame hot, slippery conditions to score the win with a lap 97 of 100 pass. "Once I got the lead on the 31st lap I was able to stretch it out," Simmons remarked in Victory Lane. "I guess I had fuel starvation on the lap 74 restart, and Cunningham got by. I took me a while to figure out how to get back in front.

"It was really slippery, and I think the track got a little bit better while we were running. Those first few laps everybody was trying to figure it out, and a lot of us were able to move up at the beginning.  I was able to get the feel for it a little quicker than some of the other guys I think.  But there at the end, me and Wade (Cunningham) gave it a heck of a battle. I didn't know if I was going to get him. I was counting on that draft at the end. 

(About winning for Kenn Hardley Racing): "This is huge. They've been in it since almost the beginning. Kenn is such a great guy and loyal to everybody on the team. Really trying to help me out by getting me in front of people and allowing me to show what I can do in the race car. I'm so happy for him and the family and for his company, ISI.

(About winning at The Milwaukee Mile): "Just awesome. It's also one of the toughest tracks in terms of the ovals as well. You saw that with the way the guys were sliding around here today. It was hot, it was greasy and a long race.  I mean 100 laps on the same set of tires is a testament to Firestone as well and the Infiniti engines."

Results Sunday of the Milwaukee 100 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series event July 24 at the 1-mile Milwaukee Mile, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (7) Jeff Simmons, Dallara-Infiniti, 100, Running
2. (3) Wade Cunningham, Dallara-Infiniti, 100, Running
3. (5) Nick Bussell, Dallara-Infiniti, 100, Running
4. (2) Jon Herb, Dallara-Infiniti, 100, Running
5. (1) Jaime Camara, Dallara-Infiniti, 100, Running
6. (6) Jay Drake, Dallara-Infiniti, 100, Running
7. (4) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 98, Running
8. (11) Travis Gregg, Dallara-Infiniti, 98, Running
9. (9) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 96, Running
10. (8) Chris Festa, Dallara-Infiniti, 63, Accident
11. (10) Scott Mayer, Dallara-Infiniti, 4, Accident

Race Statistics
Winner's average speed: 110.881 mph
Time of race: 00:54:55.4370
Margin of victory: 1.7870 seconds
Cautions: 2 for 16 laps
Lead changes: 3 among 2 drivers
Lap leaders: Cunningham 1-30, Simmons 31-73, Cunningham 74-97, Simmons 98-100. Point standings: Cunningham 301, Camara 265, Gregg 261, Bussell 235, Herb 231, Festa 224, Drake 217, Simmons 215, Roth 191, Luyendyk 160.

07/24/05
ARCA
Frank Kimmel dominates Pocono for 60th ARCA victory Frank Kimmel dominates Pocono for 60th ARCA victoryFrank Kimmel dominated Saturday's Pennsylvania 200 for Automobile Racing Club of America cars, holding on easily to win after a restart with four laps to go. Chad McCumbee, the driver who played Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a movie about the late Dale Earnhardt on ESPN last year, finished second. Erin Crocker, driving a car owned by Ray Evernham, passed David Ragan for third place as their cars crossed the finish line.  Kimmel, a six-time ARCA series champion, won for the fourth time this year and increased his lead in this year's standings. It was his first victory at Pocono in six seasons.
07/24/05
f1
cc
F1 gets preempted in some markets F1 gets preempted in some marketsA reader writes, Champ Car is not the only series that has its issues when the races are broadcast on CBS. I just settled in to watch the F1 race from this morning only to find out that in Dayton, Ohio the CBS affiliate is showing a preview of the US Senior Open golf and the highlight show from the 1991 US Senior open golf. At least with the Children’s Miracle Network which plagues Champ Car broadcasts all the time it is a live event and not something from 1991! Rick Flaute, Dayton, Ohio Dear Rick, This happens with all time-buy TV events and it is not only an issue with CBS. Local affiliates are free to broadcast another show that might bring them higher revenues or have a special local interest, though it is discouraged by the network. Mark C.
07/24/05
f1
GPWC rules proposal similar to FIA’s GPWC rules proposal similar to FIA’sUPDATE #2 The group formerly known as 'GPWC' will reveal its 2008 regulations proposals to the media and the FIA on Monday.  It will be distributed in the form of a joint press release bearing the names of F1's carmakers and every grand prix team except Concorde signatories Ferrari, Red Bull and Jordan. 07/24/05 The FIA has already published its own low-tech vision of the future.  Toyota F1 president John Howett said: "We have a synergy between what we have agreed and what the FIA has put out, and we will seek to have talks soon."

Honda Racing vice president Otmar Szafnauer said: "On Monday there will be a press release saying what was agreed and the FIA is going to get our sporting and technical regulation ideas.

"There are some differences to the FIA's proposals, but a lot are the same and I think we will have discussions after the FIA has had time to digest what we are giving them."  BBC Sport

07/24/05 Formula One's group of nine teams and five manufacturers have agreed their proposals for the 2008 regulations and will send a document to motor racing's governing body, the FIA, on Monday. The group met in the Hockenheim paddock Saturday afternoon and several of the representatives confirmed here Sunday morning that they have reached an agreement, although they will not yet reveal the details.

"On Monday there will be a press release saying what was agreed and the FIA are going to get our sporting and technical regulation ideas," confirmed Honda Racing vice president Otmar Szafnauer. "There are some differences to the FIA's proposals, but a lot are the same and I think we will have discussions after the FIA has had time to digest what we are giving them."

The document was expected to be released here this weekend but has been delayed until the FIA receive the full details and Toyota president John Howett said that further discussions will take place in private. "I believe we have a synergy between what we have agreed and what the FIA has put out and we will seek to have discussions soon, but they will be done in private," said Howett. Source: AFP

07/24/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Button slams 'monkey' talk
Kimi's Hockenheim hurdle
How McLaren kept Newey
Juan not sorry after crash
Finally, Schu is optimistic
Track notes - Hockenheim
Wind tunnel trouble at Grove
Alonso vows victory charge
'Flav' kicks habit
07/24/05
gp2
Pla wins race 2 at Hockenheim Pla wins race 2 at HockenheimOlivier Pla has taken his second consecutive Sunday win in race two at Hockenheim, pushing hard from pole to open up a gap to his rivals at the start and finishing almost seven seconds ahead of Giorgio Pantano, Scott Speed and Nico Rosberg.

The Frenchman made a storming start off the line to lead fellow front row starter Borja Garcia into turn one, followed by Pantano and Speed. Behind them title rivals Heikki Kovalainen and Nico Rosberg were scrapping, and both drivers ran wide over the asphalt run off before following the top four through turn two. zzzz

Rosberg obviously felt aggrieved by the Finn’s staunch defense of the position, but a lap later he was presented with an opportunity to rectify the situation when Kovalainen ran slightly wide at the hairpin – it was all Rosberg needed, and he was through on the inside and off in pursuit of Speed mere seconds later.

Further back Nelson Piquet was struggling with a slow looking car, and the Brazilian’s usual smooth driving style was becoming ragged in defense of his eighth position under the attack of Alex Premat and Hiroki Yoshimoto.

There were no such dramas for Pla, who was sailing on serenely at the front of the pack and pulling away from Garcia, who was dropping back towards the clutches of Pantano. Garcia lost three spots in as many laps, with Pantano, Speed and Rosberg all passing the Spaniard on the inside of the hairpin a lap apart.

With the top four positions settling down the action was hotting up further back. On lap eight Yoshimoto went for a gap inside of Premat at turn two, but the Frenchman cut back sharply into the corner and the pair collided before running side by side through the next series of corners.

Premat held the position and Yoshimoto sat and waited for another opportunity, which came two laps later. The Japanese driver looked to have made the move stick this time, but he ran slightly wide and found the marbles, causing his car to wobble and allowing the pursuing Jose Maria Lopez and Adam Carroll to gratefully took the position from him.

Further up the road Kovalainen was unable to make many inroads into the gap between him and Garcia, and his teammate Nicolas Lapierre was all over his rear wing and looking for the final points paying position, compelling the Finn to spend more time looking into his mirrors than at the man further up the road.

On lap 22 Yoshimoto stopped on the front straight, his car having given up after the punishment meted out earlier in the race, with the Japanese driver jumping the fence into yet another retirement that he didn’t deserve.

Pla was now more than four seconds ahead of Pantano, who was soaking up enormous pressure from Speed and Rosberg for a number of laps despite his tires clearing past their best.

The pressure came to a head on lap 23 when Pantano locked up his tires into the stadium complex; Speed looked to go around the outside but the move was never going to happen, and Pantano ran back across to cover.

This gave Rosberg the chance he’d be patiently waiting for, and he pushed inside the pair at the next corner. He was easily by Speed and alongside Pantano, but when he put the power back on through the exit of the corner, he realized he was in first rather than second gear and the extra torque threw his car into a spin.

Rosberg was clearly furious with himself afterwards, despite not losing any positions to his pursuers, and he set about a series of laps that showed just how much pace the ART team have put into his car. He was four seconds behind at the end of the lap, before running the fastest lap of the race, and was back onto Speed’s tail just two laps later.

But he had run out of time, as Pla was across the line to record his second win of the season, with a struggling Pantano in an ill-handling car the next driver through. Speed was unable to attempt a pass, and followed Pantano across the line with Rosberg on his tail. Garcia ran a lonely race to finish in fifth, ahead of Kovalainen, who kept his teammate at bay to take the final point of the race.

Position Driver Team Behind Laps
1 O. Pla DPR - 27
2 G. Pantano Super Nova 00'06"900 27
3 S. Speed iSport 00'07"400 27
4 N. Rosberg ART 00'07"600 27
5 B. Garcia Racing Eng. 00'16"600 27
6 H. Kovalainen Arden 00'17"700 27
7 N. Lapierre Arden 00'18"400 27
8 N. Piquet Hitech Piquet 00'20"000 27
9 A. Premat ART 00'20"800 27
10 J. Lopez DAMS 00'21"700 27
11 A. Carroll Super Nova 00'23"700 27
12 E. Viso BCN Comp. 00'27"900 27
13 R. Sharp DPR 00'34"000 27
14 G. Bruni Coloni 00'37"000 27
15 F. Monfardini Durango 00'37"500 27
16 F. Fauzy DAMS 00'47"000 27
17 C. Piccione Durango 00'48"000 27
18 A. Negrão Hitech Piquet 00'51"400 27
19 S. Hernandez Campos Racing 01'05"500 27
20 C. Artam iSport 01'05"800 27
21 M. Lauda Coloni 01'08"500 27
22 N. Jani Racing Eng. - 24
23 H. Yoshimoto BCN Comp. - 21
24 J. Alvarez Campos Racing - 17

07/24/05
MotoGP
Rossi smashes record Rossi smashes recordAfter recording his worst result of the season so far with third place in Laguna Seca two weeks ago, Valentino Rossi was firmly back on top of the MotoGP pile with a stunning new pole record at Donington Park on Saturday afternoon. In warmer temperatures than yesterday’s free practice and with dry track conditions Rossi beat his own previous best at this circuit by almost a full second as he scorched to a lap of 1’27.897, some 0.285 seconds quicker than his closest challenger Sete Gibernau. Sunday’s race will be the third time Rossi has started from pole position at this racetrack and on each of the previous two occasions he has gone on to take victory. zzzz

“I think for tomorrow everybody will be waking up and hoping for good weather because yesterday we lost a lot of time because of the rain,” said Rossi. “Today the situation was better, it was a few degrees warmer and when the conditions are like this it is a great pleasure to ride at Donington Park. With the MotoGP bike it is incredible, one of my favorite tracks, and I always go very well here. I am happy because I was able to do a great lap – almost one second faster than last year. The bike is quite good and the feeling is not bad, also with the race configuration. For sure the race will be hard but we will try to fix a few last things in the morning and I hope to do well”.

Whilst second place for Gibernau represented a huge improvement on his qualifying performance from Laguna Seca, where he started from 13th on the grid, the Spaniard is sure to come under pressure from the men behind him, with the top fourteen qualifiers all lapping inside Colin Edwards’ circuit record this afternoon. The closest of those is Gibernau’s team-mate, Marco Melandri, who clinched third place to secure his sixth front row start of the season.

Alex Barros will start his milestone 250th Grand Prix from fourth place and the Brazilian is joined on the second row by American pair Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards, who took first and second place respectively in the last round. Hayden is looking to become the first rider to follow up a debut success with a consecutive victory since Kenny Roberts in 1999. Troy Bayliss backed up his improved results at Laguna Seca with the seventh fastest time in today’s qualifying session, with Max Biaggi and Makoto Tamada joining the Australian on an all-Honda third row.

After lapping third fastest yesterday Suzuki rider John Hopkins was unable to repeat his performance today and slipped to tenth on the time sheets, signifying a fourth row start in front of the large support provided by his English family and friends. Loris Capirossi and Shinya Nakano complete the fourth row of tomorrow’s grid for the ninth round of the championship.

07/23/05
f1
German GP Friday Press Conference German GP Friday Press ConferenceTEAM PRINCIPALS: Flavio BRIATORE (Renault), Ron DENNIS (McLaren), Paul STODDART (Minardi); MANUFACTURER REPRESENTATIVES: Mario THEISSEN (BMW) Transcript
07/23/05
f1
German GP Saturday Press Conference German GP Saturday Press Conference
07/23/05
nascar
Ganassi to pick up McMurray option Ganassi to pick up McMurray optionUPDATE Chip Ganassi Racing has exercised the option in Jamie McMurray's contract that will keep McMurray in the No. 42 Dodge for the 2006 Nextel Cup Series season, a team source said Friday. "The option for Jamie is exercised," said Tyler Epp, Ganassi team manager. "Unless something tragic happens, he will be in the #42 next year driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates." Sources close to McMurray said Friday that he is unhappy with the decision, and that McMurray is legally unable to discuss the matter at this time. Mark Martin, whom McMurray will replace in the No. 6 Ford in 2007, isn't ready to completely accept the viability of the team's stance. Are you going to take and say that is concrete, or take that and say that's what they say today?" Martin said. "I've been given indication he'll be at Chip's next year. It's Chip's option. There's been no indication otherwise. That's not new news. That's exactly what Chip said when Jamie told him what he was going to do." NASCAR.com 07/22/05 In today's USA Today:
Q.) Will Chip Ganassi's team let Jamie McMurray out of his contract for next season?

A:) No. Team co-owner Felix Sabates said Thursday that the team would pick up its option on McMurray's contract for next season and expected him to honor it. "There never was any question on our part," Sabates said. Sabates said McMurray would remain in the No. 42 car with sponsorship from Havoline next year. Ganassi hasn't announced its full driver lineup for next season; Casey Mears' fate is still up in the air, and the team might expand to four cars in an attempt to keep up with the Roush and Hendrick superteams. "We've talked about it, but right now we don't have anything in concrete," Sabates said. USA Today
07/23/05
cc
San Jose construction photos - II San Jose construction photos - IIWorkers are feverishly erecting the San Jose Grand Prix Champ Car track hoping to make it in time for next weekend's inaugural race. As can be seen in the photos, the track is in a picturesque setting, but it definitely has its shortcomings. The barrier and fencing are now going up and the Mickey Mouse high school quality bleacher seats are almost complete. Pity the poor fan who has seats behind the pit lane (Gold 1 and Gold 2). The track is so far away, and the bleachers at such a shallow angle they will see pit lane but that's about it. The 1.4-mile Mickey Mouse track is in serious need of lengthening. The pit straightaway needs to extend all the way down to the Interstate (Shown in red on map to left). This will effect about 5 or 6 homes on Almaden Ave, because the track will now run down their street. They would all have to be sent on a nice all-expenses paid vacation, but that cost would easily be offset by the additional grandstands that can be built. Photos
07/23/05
irl
Briscoe crashes again Briscoe crashes againTarget Chip Ganassi driver Ryan Briscoe has hit the turn 2 wall in practice this morning at The Milwaukee Mile. He was helped out of his car, and was moving slowly, but is otherwise OK. He will qualify his backup car.

Poor Chip Ganassi has had to pay for so much crash damage in the IRL the past few years, plus one of his drivers was killed in a test at Indy, and the fact his team is no longer one of the top teams, has some saying he is beginning to regret his move to the IRL.  Some also speculate whether he has the stomach to stay in the IRL once Toyota stops subsidizing him.
07/23/05
F1
German GP - Ferrari on rows three and eight German GP - Ferrari on rows three and eightTen places, five rows and over one second separate the two Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers on the grid for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher is fifth and Rubens Barrichello is fifteenth. It has been clear throughout the two days of free practice that the F2005 cannot match the pace of the front runners and this led to the two Ferrari men making different tire choices and opting for very different strategies for tomorrow’s race.

The World Champion has evidently gone for the more aggressive option, presumably running a lighter fuel load, while Rubens is hoping his more conservative approach will see him move up the order as the race develops.
Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time in qualifying and for the first time in three races, the McLaren-Mercedes driver is penalty-free and will therefore actually start from pole position for the fourth time this season. His team-mate was less fortunate: Juan Pablo Montoya spun and starts on the back row, alongside the Jordan of Narain Karthikeyan, after the Indian driver aborted his lap, having made a couple of mistakes.
Joining Raikkonen on the front row is Jenson Button in the BAR-Honda. The second row is an all-Renault affair with series leader Fernando Alonso ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella. On row three, Michael has the Williams-BMW of Mark Webber for company.

If one accepts the fact that the F2005 overall package is not competitive enough to win this race on merit then perhaps the weather might help Michael and Rubens put on a good show for the huge crowd expected at the Hockenheimring tomorrow. There is a chance of rain in the afternoon which would obviously add a welcome edge of uncertainty to proceedings. Ferrari

07/23/05
IPS Series
Only 10 cars qualify for IPS race Only 10 cars qualify for IPS raceJaime Camara, a two time winner on the Menard's Infiniti-Pro tour this season, won the pole position for tomorrow's Milwaukee 100. Camara averaged 142.852 MPH. Only 10 cars qualified, and an 11th might be added if Travis Gregg can get his car fixed after clouting the wall in practice.
1 Jaime Camara (1) ... 25.5790 142.852
2 Jon Herb (6) 0.0372 25.6162 142.644 1 25.7953 141.654 2 D/I/F Pit
3 Wade Cunningham (33) 0.3609 25.9399 140.864
4 Arie Luyendyk Jr. (3) 0.4258 26.0048 140.513
5 Nick Bussell (9) 0.5197 26.0987
6 Jay Drake (20) 0.5459 26.1249 139.867
7 Jeff Simmons (24) 0.7855 26.3645 138.595
8 Chris Festa (19) 0.9338 26.5128 137.820
9 Marty Roth (4) 1.0602 26.6392 137.166
10 Scott Mayer (11) 2.7840 28.3630 128.830
11 Travis Gregg (7) 0.0000 -0.0001 0000
07/23/05
gp2
Rosberg dominates Race 1 Rosberg dominates Race 1
07/23/05
f1
Track notes - Hockenheim Track notes - HockenheimMcLaren 'Friday' driver Alex Wurz copped a $5000 fine for ignoring yellow flags in Germany.

Williams' Nick Heidfeld will also need to open his wallet -- the German edged 3kmh over the pitlane speed limit but that costs a sinful driver $1500.

Title leader Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, says he has not decided whether or not to fly to Cannes (France) for next month's GPDA meeting with Max Mosley.

''No I haven't,'' the Spaniard told the 'Marca' newspaper when asked if he had made a decision either way.

07/23/05
f1
Coulthard: 'I'd quit first' Coulthard: 'I'd quit first'David Coulthard has vowed to quit Formula One immediately if he ever lost the urge to go flat-out. The Scot denied any suggestion he is in cruise-and-collect mode in the twilight era of a long career.

''This isn't a pay day for me,'' millionaire and Monaco hotel owner DC, 34, said at Hockenheim.

''I know there will come a day when I wake up and think 'I've had enough.'  I just hope it happens at the end of a season because if it happened in the middle you can't go on.

''I would pull a sickie.'  So sturdy is Coulthard's will to race that he said he would have accepted a test-only role in 2005 if he hadn't found the Red Bull Racing drive.

07/23/05
f1
Tobacco or no tobacco? Tobacco or no tobacco?Tobacco backed F1 teams are still awaiting the British government's ruling about whether they can run cigarette liveries outside of Europe beyond the Hungarian GP.

McLaren sponsor 'West' will withdraw from the sport in Budapest, but Renault's Flavio Briatore - with backing from Japan Tobacco (Mild Seven) - said he would like to maintain the blue paintjob.

''Tobacco has done a lot for F1,'' said the Italian, ''investing a lot for a long, long time.''

Asked whether he would respect the Europe-wide tobacco ban, to come in force after the Sunday of the Hungarian race, flamboyant 'Flav' replied: ''I don't know. If we are told not to use (the livery) we won't use it.''

Briatore indicated that the British teams were awaiting a 'letter' from the UK government.

07/23/05
f1
No maths, just wins - McLaren No maths, just wins - McLarenForget teams orders and mathematical strategy, title pretender McLaren has vowed to simply 'win'. Ron Dennis deflected any talk of Juan Pablo Montoya, the less likely of the silver clad pair to lift the crown, having to defer to Kimi Raikkonen.

''We're not worrying about that at the moment,'' said the boss.

''To win this championship, we have to win races while Renault only have to come second. Our task is to win -- that is our approach.''

Dennis, the Woking based principal, put the 'favorite' tag on Fernando Alonso because his Renault team can play a 'cautious game. ''They don't have to go 100 per cent,'' said Ron, ''and that enhances their reliability.''

Ron's deputy, 'CEO F1' Martin Whitmarsh, agrees that telling Montoya to tuck in behind Raikkonen would de-motivate him. ''We want to ensure that (Juan Pablo) has the maximum motivation for the rest of the year,'' he told The Guardian.

07/23/05
gp2
Rosberg takes 2nd pole in row Rosberg takes 2nd pole in rowNico Rosberg has taken pole at his home race by half a second from Scott Speed for the GP2 series' first race at Hockenheim, with the German’s teammate Alex Premat lining up behind him on tomorrow’s grid.

The drivers went out to the track under a gloomy, cloud filled sky, but apart from a few drops the rain stayed away throughout the session, allowing Rosberg to set a lap time of 1:24.691 on dry weather tires.

With the clouds threatening to open at any time, every driver bar Gimmi Bruni was immediately on track, and the opening round went to Rosberg, who slotted in at the top of the sheets, just ahead of Premat and Speed.

The trio then spent the remainder of the session trying to outdo each other – Speed claimed first place at the halfway mark with a time of 1:25.195, but Rosberg came out a few minutes later and reclaimed the top spot and was not headed again.

Behind them a number of drivers were caught out in the tricky conditions – Fairuz Fauzy spun into the last corner before driving back along the track to re-enter the pits, while Jose Maria Lopez and Olivier Pla also spun during the session.

Nelson Piquet was unlucky not to claim the top spot – late in the session he set the fastest first sector overall and his quickest second sector, but was unable to close the deal in the final section. He will line up eighth on the grid tomorrow.

Behind the top three Pla resumed his new found form by claiming fourth spot, ahead of an impressively quick Borja Garcia and Ernesto Viso. Championship contenders Adam Carroll and Heikki Kovalainen will line up seventh and ninth respectively on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Rank Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 N. Rosberg ART 01'24"691 - 10
2 S. Speed iSport 01'25"195 00'00"504 13
3 A. Premat ART 01'25"623 00'00"932 12
4 O. Pla DPR 01'25"832 00'01"141 13
5 B. Garcia Racing Eng. 01'25"845 00'01"154 11
6 E. Viso BCN Comp. 01'25"861 00'01"170 15
7 A. Carroll Super Nova 01'25"955 00'01"264 12
8 N. Piquet Hitech Piquet 01'26"006 00'01"315 10
9 H. Kovalainen Arden 01'26"041 00'01"350 11
10 C. Piccione Durango 01'26"126 00'01"435 10
11 G. Pantano Super Nova 01'26"249 00'01"558 12
12 H. Yoshimoto BCN Comp. 01'26"279 00'01"588 13
13 G. Bruni Coloni 01'26"325 00'01"634 9
14 N. Jani Racing Eng. 01'26"368 00'01"677 10
15 N. Lapierre Arden 01'26"403 00'01"712 12
16 R. Sharp DPR 01'26"561 00'01"870 13
17 F. Monfardini Durango 01'26"610 00'01"919 8
18 A. Negrão Hitech Piquet 01'26"627 00'01"936 13
19 J. Alvarez Campos Racing 01'26"680 00'01"989 11
20 J. Lopez DAMS 01'26"693 00'02"002 12
21 F. Fauzy DAMS 01'26"982 00'02"291 12
22 M. Lauda Coloni 01'27"157 00'02"466 12
23 S. Hernandez Campos Racing 01'27"245 00'02"554 14
24 C. Artam iSport 01'27"319 00'02"628 16

07/23/05
cc
Grand Prix organizers nailed the big picture Grand Prix organizers nailed the big pictureWhen I (David Cameron, Edmonton Sun newspaper) was in Portland last month covering the Grand Prix there, all I told the Champ Car people and other media when they asked me what to expect in Edmonton was the two things I did know:

1) The airport venue is a great place to see a whole race unfold.

2) Edmonton is full of motorheads.

The truth is you just never know what is going to happen with a first-time event. But, minor complaints aside, Grand Prix of Edmonton organizers nailed the big picture. It wasn't all motorheads who made up the 200-freakin'-thousand people who showed up, but shindigs like this can turn the uninitiated into race fans. Which is half the goal for these "three-day festivals of speed."
 
It also turned the Champ Car people into Edmonton fans. "Everybody from Champ Car, all the teams, all the sponsors, everybody was absolutely thrilled with what happened up there," series' PR director Steve Shunck said from Indianapolis yesterday.

"The track was first class, the fans were first class. More...

07/23/05
Industry News
Top 100 Branding values Top 100 Branding valuesThe Interbrand agency has just published its annual ranking of brand value, which will make interesting reading for auto racing marketing people. None of the racing series made the top 100, including NASCAR, F1, IRL or Champ Car.

Top of the list is Coca-Cola which has an estimated brand value of $67.5bn, ahead of Microsoft ($59.9bn), IBM ($53.3bn), GE ($46.9bn) and Intel ($35.5bn).

The first Champ Car brand on the list is Intel and McDonald's, though Intel was only on for one race.  The top Formula 1 brands on the list is Toyota in ninth place with an estimated brand value of $24.8bn, just ahead of Marlboro ($21.1bn) and Mercedes-Benz ($21.2bn). Hewlett-Packard is 13th, BMW 16th, Honda 19th and Budweiser 26th.

In bold are those companies involved in racing, in one form or another.

Rank Brand Brand Value $m Delta % of Market Cap Country Sector
1 Coca-Cola 67,525 0% 64% US Beverages
2 Microsoft 59,941 -2% 22% US Computer Software
3 IBM 53,376 -1% 44% US Computer Services
4 GE 46,996 7% 12% US Diversified
5 Intel 35,588 6% 21% US Computer Hardware
6 Nokia 26,452 10% 34% Finland Telecoms Equipment
7 Disney 26,441 -2% 46% US Entertainment
8 McDonald's 26,014 4% 71% US Restaurants
9 Toyota 24,837 10% 19% Japan Automotive
10 Marlboro 21,189 -4% 15% US Tobacco zzzz
11 Mercedes 20,006 -6% 49% Germany Automotive
12 Citi 19,967 0% 8% US Finance Services
13 Hewlett-Packard 18,866 -10% 29% US Computer Hardware
14 American Express 18,559 5% 27% US Finance Services
15 Gillette 17,534 5% 33% US Personal Care
16 BMW 17,126 8% 61% Germany Automotive
17 Cisco 16,592 4% 13% US Computer Services
18 Louis Vuitton 16,077 Restatement 44% France Luxury
19 Honda 15,788 6% 33% Japan Automotive
20 Samsung 14,956 19% 19% Republic of Korea Consumer Electronics
21 Dell 13,231 15% 14% US Computer Hardware
22 Ford 13,159 -9% 71% US Automotive
23 Pepsi 12,399 3% 13% US Beverages
24 Nescafe 12,241 3% 11% Switzerland Beverages
25 Merrill Lynch 12,018 5% 23% US Finance Services
26 Budweiser 11,878 0% 32% US Alcohol
27 Oracle 10,887 0% 17% US Computer Software
28 Sony 10,754 -16% 32% Japan Consumer Electronics
29 HSBC 10,429 20% 6% UK Finance Services
30 Nike 10,114 9% 45% US Sporting Goods
31 Pfizer 9,981 -6% 5% US Pharmaceuticals
32 UPS 9,923 New 13% US Transportation
33 Morgan Stanley 9,777 -15% 18% US Finance Services
34 J.P. Morgan 9,455 -3% 8% US Finance Services
35 Canon 9,044 12% 19% Japan Computer Hardware
36 SAP 9,006 8% 17% Germany Computer Software
37 Goldman Sachs 8,495 7% 18% US Finance Services
38 Google 8,461 New 11% US Internet Services
39 Kellogg's 8,306 3% 44% US Food
40 Gap 8,195 4% 43% US Apparel
41 Apple 7,985 16% 26% US Computer Hardware
42 Ikea 7,817 9% N/A Sweden Home Furnishings
43 Novartis 7,746 New 6% Switzerland Pharmaceuticals
44 UBS 7,565 16% 9% Switzerland Finance Services
45 Siemens 7,507 1% 11% Germany Diversified
46 Harley-Davidson 7,346 4% 53% US Automotive
47 Heinz 6,932 -1% 55% US Food
48 MTV 6,647 3% 12% US Entrainment
49 Gucci 6,619 Restatement 55% Italy Luxury
50 Nintendo 6,470 0% 46% Japan Consumer Electronics
51 Accenture 6,142 6% 28% US Computer Services
52 L'Oreal 6,005 2% 12% France Personal Care
53 Philips 5,901 Restatement 17% Netherlands Consumer Electronics
54 Xerox 5,705 0% 43% US Computer Hardware
55 eBay 5,701 21% 11% US Internet Services
56 Volkswagen 5,617 -12% 39% Germany Automotive
57 Wrigley's 5,543 2% 43% US Food
58 Yahoo! 5,256 16% 10% US Internet Services
59 Avon 5,213 8% 29% US Personal Care
61 KFC 5,112 0% 34% US Restaurants
62 Kodak 4,979 -5% 66% US Consumer Electronics
63 Pizza Hut 4,963 -2% 33% US Restaurants
64 Kleenex 4,922 1% 16% US Personal Care
65 Chanel 4,778 8% N/A France Luxury
66 Nestle 4,744 5% 4% Switzerland Food
67 Danone 4,513 1% 18% France Food
68 Amazon.com 4,248 2% 29% US Internet Services
69 Kraft 4,238 3% 3% US Food
70 Caterpillar 4,085 7% 12% US Machinery
71 Adidas 4,033 8% 53% Germany Sporting Goods
72 Rolex 3,906 5% N/A Switzerland Luxury
73 Motorola 3,877 11% 9% US Telecoms Equipment
74 Reuters 3,866 5% 37% UK Media
75 BP 3,802 4% 2% UK Energy
76 Porsche 3,777 4% 58% Germany Automotive
77 Zara 3,730 New 22% Spain Apparel
78 Panasonic 3,714 7% 10% Japan Consumer Electronics
79 Audi 3,686 12% 26% Germany Automotive
80 Duracell 3,679 9% 7% US Consumer Electronics
81 Tiffany & Co. 3,618 -1% 77% US Luxury
82 Hermes 3,540 5% 48% France Luxury
83 Hertz 3,521 3% 19% US Automotive
84 Hyundai 3,480 New 28% Republic of Korea Automotive
85 Nissan 3,203 13% 7% Japan Automotive
86 Hennessy 3,201 4% 9% France Alcohol
87 ING 3,177 11% 5% Netherlands Finance Services
88 Smirnoff 3,097 4% 7% UK Alcohol
89 Cartier 3,050 11% 9% France Luxury
90 Shell 3,048 2% 1% Netherlands Energy
91 Johnson & Johnson 3,040 3% 2% US Personal Care
92 Moet & Chandon 2,991 5% 8% France Alcohol
93 Prada 2,760 7% N/A Italy Luxury
94 Bulgari 2,715 New 80% Italy Luxury
95 Armani 2,677 2% N/A Italy Luxury
96 Levi's 2,655 -11% N/A US Apparel
97 LG 2,645 New 27% Republic of Korea Consumer Electronics
98 Nivea 2,576 7% 27% Germany Personal Care
99 Starbucks 2,576 7% 12% US Restaurants
100 Heineken 2,357 -1% 16% Netherlands Alcohol

07/23/05
Industry News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
GP2 CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Hockenheim, Germany
6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
NASCAR This Morning
Pocono Raceway
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED
FORMULA ONE
Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Germany
Hockenheim
12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET (SDD) CBS
INDY RACING LEAGUE
IndyCar Racing: The Fast Life
Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon, Darren Manning
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
TRANS-AM SERIES
Edmonton, AB (07/16/05)
Winner: Greg Pickett
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. ET, SPEED
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP
Pennsylvania 500
Pocono Raceway
1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (Live) TNT
AMA SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP
Mid-Ohio
2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ET, Day 1 (07/23/05) SPEED
3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET, Day 2 (Live) SPEED
INDY RACING LEAGUE
ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt 225
The Milwaukee Mile
2:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. ET (Live) ESPN
AMA SUPERSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP
Mid-Ohio
4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
FIM MotoGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
betandwin.com British Grand Prix
Donington Park, England
5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
FIM MotoGP 250 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
betandwin.com British Grand Prix
Donington Park, England
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane
Pocono Raceway
8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET (SDD) SPEED
WIND TUNNEL with Dave Despain
Guest Co-Host: Erin Crocker
Featured Interview: Beth Ann Morgenthau
Featured Interview: Scott Hollingsworth
Expert Analyst: Steve Matchett
9:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ET (Live) SPEED

For a complete listing of Sunday's TV Programs, see TVRacer.com and Race Fan TV.

07/23/05
f1
Alonso unworried by tough Friday Alonso unworried by tough FridayUnusual weather conditions and software problems disrupted Renault’s program on Friday. But Fernando Alonso is still confident for the rest of the weekend.

Fernando, how did the first day go? - "It was… a bit strange. First of all, the weather conditions are not exactly what we expected. There is no Hockenheim heat wave this year – it was about 20°C today and it won’t change much before Sunday. It nearly rained at the end of practice in fact. Then, we had some electronic problems this morning. That meant we only started running properly in the second session."

Is that a handicap? - "Not really, because we don’t usually do much running on Friday morning. We prefer to wait for the track conditions to improve to do our tire comparisons, and that meant it didn’t delay us too much. But it is never good to start the weekend with some technical problems."

You ran a lot this afternoon – 34 laps. Did you complete your program? - "Yes, it was not a problem. We have got the information we need to choose our tires for the weekend."

How is the car handling? - "It is well balanced, and seems consistent. We have a good level of performance, because we are higher up the times than usual on Friday. I am the second race driver, and that’s encouraging. But the McLarens seem very quick and we will have a big fight this weekend. We will know more tomorrow, because we still have to work on the set- up to find some speed."

Will it be a problem if it rains? - "Not as long as we are ready for it. The engineers took the cold conditions and the possibility of rain into account when they prepared our programs today. After that, the forecast for the rest of the weekend will dictate how we prepare. But I am feeling optimistic." Renault

07/23/05
f1
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
Teams herald FIA verdict
Button told to hurry up
Kimi smiles at weather report
F1 champs in racing comeback
Schu not stopping
'Toyota won't win in '05'
Hungarian delight
'GPWC' rules not ready
07/23/05
f1
McLaren boys 1-2 in 2nd Saturday practice McLaren boys 1-2 in 2nd Saturday practiceIn the final practice before qualifying for the German GP, the two McLaren drivers continued their inter-team battle as they swapped fastest time. In the end it was Raikkonen on top with 1m 14.128s, with Montoya three-tenths behind on 1m 14.449s. Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella were not far behind however in their Renaults. The Spaniard lapped in 1m 14.758s, while the Italian made a late jump with 1m 14.958s.

There was encouragement for Jenson Button as the BAR proved good enough for fifth fastest time in 1m 15.072s, while Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld were happier than of late with the Williams as they set the sixth and eighth best laps; Webber managed 1m 15.111s, Heidfeld 1m 15.255s. Between them sat the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher, struggling with 1m 15.253s.

P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'14"128 222.135 Km/h
 2. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'14"449 + 0'00"321
 3. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'14"758 + 0'00"630
 4. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'14"958 + 0'00"830
 5. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'15"072 + 0'00"944
 6. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'15"111 + 0'00"983
 7. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'15"253 + 0'01"125
 8. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'15"255 + 0'01"127
 9. 15 KLIEN RedBull Cosworth M 1'15"391 + 0'01"263
10. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'15"417 + 0'01"289
11. 14 COULTHARD RedBull Cosworth M 1'15"491 + 0'01"363
12. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'15"599 + 0'01"471
13. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'15"699 + 0'01"571
14. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'15"781 + 0'01"653
15. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'16"037 + 0'01"909
16. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'16"072 + 0'01"944
17. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'16"674 + 0'02"546
18. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'16"912 + 0'02"784
19. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'17"210 + 0'03"082
20. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'17"966 + 0'03"838

07/23/05
f1
McLaren boys 1-2 in first Saturday practice McLaren boys 1-2 in first Saturday practiceMcLaren and Renault squared up to one another at Hockenheim this morning, and if the lap times are any indication there will be another nip-and-tuck fight between them in qualifying and again on Sunday afternoon.
 
The first session belonged to McLaren, with Kimi Raikkonen just shading Juan Pablo Montoya, 1m 15.684s to 1m 15.753s, and Fernando Alonso trailing them with 1m 16.477s. Christian Klien and Felipe Massa were next up for Sauber and Red Bull respectively.

P. No Driver Team - Engine Tires Times Ave/Gaps
 1. 9 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 1'15"684 217.568 Km/h
 2. 10 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'15"753 + 0'00"069
 3. 5 ALONSO Renault M 1'16"477 + 0'00"793
 4. 15 KLIEN RedBull Cosworth M 1'16"698 + 0'01"014
 5. 12 MASSA Sauber Petronas M 1'16"799 + 0'01"115
 6. 14 COULTHARD RedBull Cosworth M 1'16"926 + 0'01"242
 7. 7 WEBBER Williams BMW M 1'16"961 + 0'01"277
 8. 16 TRULLI Toyota M 1'17"053 + 0'01"369
 9. 6 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'17"061 + 0'01"377
10. 4 SATO BAR Honda M 1'17"331 + 0'01"647
11. 3 BUTTON BAR Honda M 1'17"397 + 0'01"713
12. 11 VILLENEUVE Sauber Petronas M 1'17"408 + 0'01"724
13. 8 HEIDFELD Williams BMW M 1'17"536 + 0'01"852
14. 2 BARRICHELLO Ferrari B 1'17"599 + 0'01"915
15. 1 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'17"617 + 0'01"933
16. 19 KARTHIKEYAN Jordan Toyota B 1'18"102 + 0'02"418
17. 21 ALBERS Minardi Cosworth B 1'18"217 + 0'02"533
18. 17 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota M 1'18"229 + 0'02"545
19. 20 DOORNBOS Minardi Cosworth B 1'19"083 + 0'03"399
20. 18 MONTEIRO Jordan Toyota B 1'19"103 + 0'03"419

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