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Edmonton track will separate the men from the girls
Will drivers like Danica Patrick and Darren Manning fade in the physically difficult race on Saturday?  They better hope for a lot of cautions to rest their arms.
Steve Snoddy/IRL
Paul Tracy, a three-year veteran of Edmonton’s airport-street course, said Saturday’s 95-lap race will go to the strongest.

Tracy said the 14-turn circuit over bumps and hard-left-hard-right corners on the 1.96-mile (3.1-kilometre) course always takes its toll on the weak.

“Definitely it’s the most physical track you can do in North America,” said Tracy.

“Everybody’s going to tell you they’re in great shape, but in the last Champ Car races, you see the guys that were going fast at the end and you see the ones that were hanging on just to get to the end.”

He said he and Oriol Servia last year started at the back of the field but moved up as the sun beat down and the laps mounted.

“At the end of the race we were catching up guys that were getting tired and that’s going to be the case (on Saturday).

“This track is tough, tough as it gets.”

Australian Will Power said the track pounds the tires like no other course on the IndyCar circuit this year.

“Here over a stint, after 10 laps, (the tires) really start to go off, so when you’re driving that car you’re really on the wheel, which makes it even harder to not make a mistake.” Edmonton Sun


Martin Whitmarsh Q&A
McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh looks ahead of the forthcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, a very different challenge for the team following its success at the British and German Grand Prix.

The drivers have described the MP4-23 as being particularly well-balanced in high-speed corners, how do you expect it to cope with the low-speed twists and turns of the Hungaroring?

"The two circuits on the calendar that most resemble the characteristics of the Hungaroring are, bizarrely, Montreal, which is dusty and low-grip, and Monte Carlo, which requires a high-downforce set-up to cope with the minimal straights and numerous low-speed corners. And the reality is that we were reasonably competitive at both those circuits."

"While it has been true to say that one of the key strengths of our car is its pace in high-speed corners, we’ve done a lot of work to the package to strengthen its weak spots. At Silverstone, we were comfortable with our pace through the last sector, and at Hockenheim, we were comfortably quickest through the stadium section of the track, which is tight and reliant on good mechanical grip."

"We won in Hungary last season and travel to Budapest confident that we have strengthened the weaknesses of our package. Nonetheless, we are fully prepared for a battle with our rivals, whom we can never under-estimate."

Read more & Comment...

Tony Stewart unveils his two sponsors
Tony Stewart shows off the livery of his cars with the two primary sponsors
Office Depot and Old Spice will serve as co-primary sponsors of Tony Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet Impala SS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry beginning in 2009. Officials from the two companies, as well as from Stewart-Haas Racing, made the announcement today near Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Office Depot, a leading global provider of office products and services, along with Old Spice, the No. 1 antiperspirant/deodorant stick and body wash choice for guys in the United States, have entered into multi-year agreements with Stewart-Haas Racing to sponsor the new entry driven by Stewart.

Stewart-Haas Racing unveils livery showing two primary sponsors
In addition, both Office Depot and Old Spice are official NASCAR® partners, successfully leveraging their relationships with NASCAR and their race team sponsorships as powerful marketing platforms for their brands. "To have Office Depot and Old Spice throw their support behind me and this race team makes me extremely proud," said Stewart, who announced on July 10 that he had acquired a 50 percent stake in what is now known as Stewart-Haas Racing. "These are two partnerships that make a lot of sense. Delray Beach, Fla.-based Office Depot is the official office products partner of NASCAR, and its new sponsorship of Stewart, a two-time Sprint Cup Series champion, gives the multi-channel retailer continued star power in what will be its fifth year as a NASCAR sponsor.


Stewart admits to altercation with USAC official
Tony Stewart admitted to having an "altercation" with a USAC official during a race Thursday night at O'Reilly Raceway Park.
According to the Anderson Herald Bulletin, Stewart knocked a headset from an official's head and then shoved the official after becoming upset about a ruling related to a Tony Stewart Racing USAC car.

"There was definitely a disagreement," Stewart said Friday. "But that's the great thing about my relationship with USAC. We talked about it after it happened and after the race was over. They've got their eyes open and they're doing everything they can to make sure incidents like that don't happen again."

The incident Stewart was referring to occurred when his driver, points leader Tracy Hines, brushed the wall and had to come in for repairs. The crew fixed the car and attempted to get him back in the race before the restart, according to the Herald Bulletin, but a USAC official said the crew was too late to get the car in the race for the restart.

Stewart became upset, which eventually led to the altercation. He said he stayed until 12:30 a.m. talking with series officials to sort everything out, but told reporters Friday he expected to be penalized for his actions.

"When you're sitting there and you've got your corporate sponsors there and you've got a car on the race track and it's sitting on pit lane and they can't get a push truck to it, you're supporting your guys and your team that worked hard on that car trying to get it back out," he said in explaining his role in the altercation. Scenedaily.com


Brickyard Practice 1 times
Pos No Driver Make Time Gap To 1st Speed
1. 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge 50.226 179.190
2. 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 50.380 0.154 0.154 178.642
3. 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 50.619 0.239 0.393 177.799
4. 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet 50.833 0.214 0.607 177.050
5. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 50.924 0.091 0.698 176.734
6. 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 50.971 0.047 0.745 176.571
7. 70 Jason Leffler Chevrolet 51.003 0.032 0.777 176.460
8. 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet 51.051 0.048 0.825 176.294
9. 12 Ryan Newman Dodge 51.121 0.070 0.895 176.053
10. 83 Brian Vickers Toyota 51.190 0.069 0.964 175.816
11. 22 Dave Blaney Toyota 51.302 0.112 1.076 175.432
12. 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet 51.338 0.036 1.112 175.309
13. 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 51.403 0.065 1.177 175.087
14. 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet 51.406 0.003 1.180 175.077
15. 99 Carl Edwards Ford 51.434 0.028 1.208 174.982
16. 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet 51.448 0.014 1.222 174.934
17. 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 51.460 0.012 1.234 174.893
18. 42 Juan Montoya Dodge 51.615 0.155 1.389 174.368
19. 21 Bill Elliott Ford 51.759 0.144 1.533 173.883
20. 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 51.785 0.026 1.559 173.796
21. 16 Greg Biffle Ford 51.805 0.020 1.579 173.728
22. 84 A.J. Allmendinger Toyota 51.835 0.030 1.609 173.628
23. 44 David Reutimann Toyota 51.861 0.026 1.635 173.541
24. 20 Tony Stewart Toyota 51.980 0.119 1.754 173.143
25. 45 Terry Labonte Dodge 51.988 0.008 1.762 173.117
26. 26 Jamie McMurray Ford 52.039 0.051 1.813 172.947
27. 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota 52.050 0.011 1.824 172.911
28. 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 52.063 0.013 1.837 172.867
29. 2 Kurt Busch Dodge 52.075 0.012 1.849 172.828
30. 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge 52.120 0.045 1.894 172.678
31. 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota 52.142 0.022 1.916 172.606
32. 38 David Gilliland Ford 52.152 0.010 1.926 172.572
33. 28 Travis Kvapil Ford 52.240 0.088 2.014 172.282
34. 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 52.244 0.004 2.018 172.269
35. 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge 52.325 0.081 2.099 172.002
36. 6 David Ragan Ford 52.329 0.004 2.103 171.989
37. 10 Patrick Carpentier* Dodge 52.362 0.033 2.136 171.880
38. 77 Sam Hornish Jr.* Dodge 52.405 0.043 2.179 171.739
39. 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 52.430 0.025 2.204 171.657
40. 01 Regan Smith* Chevrolet 52.491 0.061 2.265 171.458
41. 00 Michael McDowell* Toyota 52.512 0.021 2.286 171.389
42. 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge 52.546 0.034 2.320 171.279
43. 147 Marcos Ambrose Ford 52.868 0.322 2.642 170.235
44. 08 Johnny Sauter Dodge 53.176 0.308 2.950 169.249
45. 7 Robby Gordon Dodge 53.215 0.039 2.989 169.125
46. 34 Tony Raines Chevrolet 53.724 0.509 3.498 167.523
47. 150 Stanton Barrett Chevrolet 54.109 0.385 3.883 166.331


Edmonton: Castroneves tops practice 3
Pos Driver Name Best Time Best Speed Best Lap Total Laps
1 Helio Castroneves (3) 1:00.8403 116.745 14 15
2 Will Power (8) 1:01.4364 115.612 8 18
3 Oriol Servia (5) 1:01.4566 115.574 12 19
4 Dan Wheldon (10) 1:01.5798 115.343 19 19
5 Justin Wilson (02) 1:01.5816 115.340 9 16
6 Ryan Briscoe (6) 1:01.5957 115.313 5 14
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay (17) 1:01.6315 115.246 7 13
8 Paul Tracy (22) 1:01.6553 115.202 12 14
9 Scott Dixon (9) 1:01.7673 114.993 15 17
10 Tony Kanaan (11) 1:01.7732 114.982 16 17
11 Graham Rahal (06) 1:01.8344 114.868 10 12
12 Mario Moraes (19) 1:01.8633 114.814 15 17
13 Mario Dominguez (96) 1:02.5268 113.596 13 19
14 Vitor Meira (4) 1:02.5720 113.514 18 19
15 Marco Andretti (26) 1:02.5741 113.510 12 15
16 A.J. Foyt IV (2) 1:02.7240 113.239 13 15
17 Darren Manning (14) 1:02.9542 112.825 9 15
18 Enrique Bernoldi (36) 1:02.9610 112.813 9 13
19 Danica Patrick (7) 1:03.0049 112.734 19 20
20 E.J. Viso (33) 1:03.0731 112.612 12 15
21 Bruno Junqueira (18) 1:03.1204 112.528 7 8
22 Buddy Rice (15) 1:03.1666 112.446 10 16
23 Ed Carpenter (20) 1:03.1871 112.409 19 19
24 Jaime Camara (34) 1:03.4611 111.924 15 18
25 Hideki Mutoh (27) 1:03.7785 111.367 2 3
26 Townsend Bell (23) 1:03.9007 111.154 13 16
27 Marty Roth (25) 1:07.2465 105.623 9 15


F1 German GP TV Rating
The final TV rating for the F1 race from Germany Sunday on FOX was a 0.7/2 share.  In other words the resurging IndyCar Series drew about twice as many viewers last Sunday.  A year or two ago that would not have happened.


IndyCar Mid-Ohio TV Rating UPDATE The final TV rating for the IndyCar race from Mid-Ohio was a 1.3/3 share.

07/21/08 After a horrible TV rating for the Nashville oval, the IndyCar Series rebounded for Honda Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio road course Sunday on ABC, garnering a respectable 1.5 overnight USA TV rating.  And that was up against the German GP F1 race on FOX, which finished far behind the IndyCar race.


Laguna Seca MotoGP TV Rating UPDATE The final TV rating for the MotoGP race from Laguna Seca held at a 0.9/2 share.

07/21/08 The MotoGP Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix live Sunday on CBS garnered an overnight TV rating of 0.9/2 share.


ALMS Mid-Ohio TV Rating UPDATE The final TV rating for the Mid-Ohio ALMS race fell to a 0.6/2 share.

07/21/08 Saturday's American Le Mans Series Acura Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio tape delayed on NBC Sunday garnered an overnight TV rating of  0.7/2 share.


2009 MotoGP calendar
The provisional calendar for the 2009 MotoGP has been revealed with a few minor changes, the most significant being that China has been dropped in favor of new race in Hungary.

2009 Provisional MotoGP Calendar

April 12th – Qatar, Losail (Evening Race)
April 26th – Japan, Motegi
May 3rd – Spain, Jerez
May 17th – France, Le Mans
May 31st – Italy, Mugello
June 14th – Catalunya, Catalunya
June 27th – Netherlands, Assen (Saturday Race)
July 5th – United States, Laguna Seca (MotoGP Class only)
July 19th – Germany, Sachsenring
July 26th – Great Britain, Donington Park
August 16th – Czech Republic, Brno
August 30th – Indiana, Indianapolis
September 13th – San Marino, Misano
September 20th – Hungary, Balaton
October 4th – Portugal, Estoril
October 18th – Australia, Phillip Island
October 25th, Malaysia, Sepang
November 8th – Valencia, Ricardo Tormo Valencia


Woman E denies Nazi theme
The woman who sold her story about Max Mosley's involvement in an S&M orgy to the News of the World has insisted that there was no Nazi theme to the party.

"No money is worth the sort of trouble and anguish it's caused everybody," the lady known only as Woman E told Sky News. "I have been stupid, naive and I wish I'd never done it."

She added: "I know for a fact, that it was spoken about, that Max actually found it quite a turn-on to speak to them in German. He liked the German language. It was prison uniforms because we were doing a German prison scene. But it wasn't Nazi."

"I constantly told them that I didn't want to put my name to that. I would never have said it was Nazi - I would never have said he was a liar. There was lots in that second article that didn't come from me.

"I signed the article but I was put under massive pressure as I was told I would be put on the front cover and basically they would do a story on me anyway."

[Editor's Note: Mosley will now extract a lot of money from the News of the World bank account when he wins his libel suit.  And if he is ever able to prove that Ron Dennis put them up to it like many speculate as revenge for McLaren's $100M Stepney Spygate penalty, you will see McLaren banished from F1.  When Mosley attacks, he is ruthless.  Anyone want to buy an F1 team for pennies on the dollar?]


Office Depot Inks Deal to be Official NASCAR Partner
Office Depot®, a leading global provider of office products and services, announced today that it has renewed its partnership with NASCAR and will continue “Taking Care of Business” for NASCAR in an exclusive relationship as the sport’s “Official Office Products Partner.”  The announcement was made today as part of a press conference near Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Office Depot and Old Spice were introduced as the new co-primary sponsors of Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet Impala SS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry beginning in 2009.


Record quarter for Honda
Honda Motor Co. reported record profit for a fiscal first quarter Friday as sales growth in new markets offset the damage from a stronger yen and soaring material costs.

The results came a day after U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. reported its worst quarterly loss ever. Honda, Japan's No. 2 automaker, earned a better-than-expected 179.6 billion yen ($1.68 billion) in the April-June quarter, up 8.1 percent from the same period the previous year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had forecast 131.3 billion yen ($1.2 billion) in quarterly profit.

Sales for the quarter dipped 2.2 percent from a year ago to 2.867 trillion yen ($26.79 billion), largely because the rising yen eroded the value of overseas earnings. If the yen's value had held at levels of a year ago, sales would have jumped about 7 percent, Honda said.

Riding on its reputation for making cars with good mileage, the Tokyo-based manufacturer of the Civic and Accord compacts has racked up solid results despite worries among the world's automakers about a U.S. slowdown and rising steel prices.

Honda sold more vehicles worldwide than in any other fiscal first quarter at 962,000 vehicles, up 1.7 percent on year.


Kovalainen over Bourdais on final day at Jerez
The final day of testing at Jerez Friday saw Heikki Kovalainen set the fastest lap, 4/10ths faster that Sebastien Bourdais in the Ferrari powered Toro Rosso.  These two drivers set their fast times on 2009 slick tires.  It's becoming clear that the Toro Rosso may very well be a force to be reckoned with based on their quick times all week long.  With Ferrari power and Bourdais' ability to work with engineers, the results are beginning to show.

Results Friday

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:18.385 116
2. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:18.746 113
3. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:19.494 93
4. Grosjean Renault 1:19.561 90
5. Massa Ferrari 1:19.611 92
6. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:19.724 100
7. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber 1:19.915 99
8. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:19.965 72
9. Button Honda 1:20.532 98
10. Kobayashi Toyota 1:20.878 90


Mosley sues German newspaper, and files another suit against News of World UPDATE (GMM)  As predicted, Max Mosley has indeed continued his legal action following the media expose about his sadomasochistic session with five prostitutes.

Having won a privacy suit against the original publication, News of the World, in the London High Court, it emerged on Friday that the FIA president began proceedings in Germany.

Mosley, 68, is seeking $2.35 million from Bild newspaper and its online edition, after the German newspaper echoed the evidently false claim that his prostitute session had a Nazi theme.

Also on Friday, the unnamed prostitute who secretly filmed Mosley broke her silence to back his claim the orgy did not have a Nazi theme.

Known in court only as 'Woman E', the prostitute - who did not testify and whose husband lost his job as an MI5 officer - told Sky News: "It wasn't Nazi."

Mosley's lawyers, meanwhile, confirmed that they have commenced further legal action against News of the World for libel.

Max Mosley isn't done with the News of the World just yet.  Remember, he never loses in court
07/25/08 (GMM)  Buoyed by his High Court victory this week, Max Mosley could now be considering more legal action against the British scandal newspaper News of the World.

The Times, which like News of the World is owned by Rupert Murdoch's publishing company News International, reported on Friday that Mosley, the FIA president, is considering a libel action.

While Mosley's High Court victory was based on invasion of privacy, subsequent legal action is likely to focus on the evidently false claim that his encounter with five prostitutes earlier this year was a "sick Nazi orgy".

Mosley's lawyers, Steeles Law, refused to comment, the British newspaper The Guardian said.

But a source at the firm said "there would be a time to talk about other things but that time is not now".

It is believed Mosley may also be considering legal action against newspapers that also carried the expose, and claims based on its falsehoods, in France, Germany and Italy.

Mosley on Thursday was awarded $120,000 damages by the London court, but the bill for the News of the World will actually be in excess of half a million, once the 68-year-old Briton's legal costs are factored in.

A successful libel action, meanwhile, could cost Murdoch's company hundreds of thousands of dollars.


IRL contingent impressed with fan turnout
IndyCar drivers are used to spending Friday and Saturday of race weekends looking at empty grandstands.  That was never the case for Champ Car, especially when they visited Canada.  IndyCar doesn't release attendance figures so we won't know if this year's Rexall Edmonton Indy (former a Champ Car race) attracts as many fans as Champ Car did the last three years. But one thing was certain, even though practice day was moved to Thursday, there were still thousands of fans in the stands and milling through the paddock.

Attendance for the Edmonton race has always been high, even on weekdays
"The crowd, it looks like a Sunday to us," said Tony Kanaan of Andretti Green Racing. "You can barely walk around the paddock. This is the type of events we need."

At the Watkins Glen race earlier this month there probably weren't as many people in the stands on race day as there were in the Edmonton stands Thursday.

Tim Cindric, president of Team Penske, liked the city centre airport setup, as well as the number of fans who turned out on a normal working day.

"I've always enjoyed coming to Canada because of the enthusiasm, the knowledgeable fans. They know more than just the drivers, they know a bit about the sport. They're very knowledgeable fans, which is refreshing."

And Tony George, founder and chief executive officer of the Indy Racing League, whose opinion will be influential in where the IndyCar schedule goes in the future, said he was also very impressed with Thursday's turnout. Edmonton has a three-year contract with the IndyCar Series.


Allstate 400 now just another race
When NASCAR arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Inaugural Brickyard 400 on Aug. 6, 1994, it was an event of epic proportions.
Not only was it the first time since 1918 that a race other than the Indianapolis 500 had been staged on the "hallowed grounds," but also the event helped launch NASCAR on its meteoric rise to national acceptance.

Sure, the 1979 Daytona 500 is regarded as the race that brought NASCAR into the national consciousness. But the first NASCAR race at Indianapolis proved that stock cars were just as worthy of racing at Indy as "the cars and stars" of the IndyCar racing.

The race was a huge success. Ticket demand was so high that it was estimated the first race could have been sold-out two-times over. In true NASCAR fashion, a young Jeff Gordon -- who spent his formative racing years in nearby Pittsboro, Ind. -- won the race for his second career victory. It helped make him a true legend and helped the Brickyard attain iconic status, leading some to predict that it would be bigger than the Daytona 500. With the late Dale Earnhardt winning in 1995 and Dale Jarrett in 1996, it was a race where the "big names" of the sport would triumph.

But 15 years later, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is no longer the "earth-stopping" event that it once was. Last year's race had as many as 50,000 empty seats at the massive Indianapolis Motor Speedway. These weren't simply scattered empty seats throughout the facility but large gaps in the North Tower Terrace, Turn 3 and both the north and south chute areas.

And as Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard looms closer, that trend is expected to continue in the face of a horrible economy with gasoline prices around $4.25 a gallon in the Midwest.

"Any time the economy takes a downturn, entertainment dollars become affected," says Joe Chitwood III, the president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Motorsports is more expensive to participate in because of the travel and the days of activity with the hotels. [The economy] affects the [racing] customer more than it does those who follow a stick and ball sport. That works against us."

But the 400 itself has become "just another race" because of several other factors: More at SI.com


French TV deal confirmed
French A1GP fans can watch every race this season on digital free-to-air channel NT1, it was announced today.

Races will be broadcast on the Sunday of each event at approximately 15.00, with some races being shown live and some pre-recorded.

With over 19.6 million viewers every week, NT1 is the TNT network’s third most popular channel.

Richard Maroko, General Programs Manager of the AB Group said: “NT1 continues to invest in top-level sporting events and is happy to broadcast the A1GP events in France. The high level of this competition organized around national teams is what attracted us in the first place. We’re delighted with this agreement and we can’t wait for the first race. Good luck to the French team!”

A1GP’s director of broadcasting Richard Dorfman added: “We’re very happy and proud to have reached a partnership agreement with one of the most promising channels on the French audiovisual landscape.”


NHRA POWERade Series ratings robust
In yet another indication of its increasing strength in the highly competitive sports marketplace, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series announced today that its ratings on ESPN2 are up 30 percent and household impressions are up 34 percent.

The number reflects Sunday race-day coverage through the first half of the 2008 season – Pomona to Norwalk – compared against the first half of the 2007 season. Thus far in 2008, NHRA has averaged a 0.69 rating and 659,340 households on Sunday versus .53 and 490,357 households in 2007, with rating increases at 11 of the first 12 races,

"This illustrates what we've known all along, that NHRA has a healthy, loyal, and growing fan base," NHRA President Tom Compton said. "These numbers speak volumes about both the tremendous value proposition NHRA offers to current and potential sponsors as well as the quality of the television broadcast."

NHRA officials point to a number of contributing factors, including additional  promotional drop-ins on ESPN's family of networks, the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, a fast-paced format that is appealing to younger viewers, by far the most diverse drivers in motorsports, the consistent prime-time (ET) time slots on Sunday for its races, and a number of great storylines.

Read more & Comment...

Too late for Button to be champion - Daly
(GMM)  Jenson Button's opportunity to ever become world champion may have passed him by, according to former grand prix driver Derek Daly.

Irishman Daly, who contested formula one races until the early '80s and is now a commentator, has written in a book that the fact Button's career stagnated at Honda may mean he now never wins a title.

He said that when Briton Button, 28, switched from Benetton to Honda-powered BAR earlier this decade, he looked like a future champion.

"The team then faltered," he said in his book Race To Win, of which extracts were published by The Sun newspaper on Friday.

"Jenson will have lost the Hamilton-Kubica type of hunger-drive and sometimes it's hard to get that back," Daly, 53, wrote.

Daly also offers critical observations about many of Button's current F1 rivals, including championship contenders Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa.

He said Hamilton's "technical abilities" - as well as Williams racer Nico Rosberg's - will not yet be "fully developed".

Daly, meanwhile, questions Ferrari driver Massa's "mental capacity".

"When he runs out of capacity he flies off the road," he said of Massa.

Daly advises Heikki Kovalainen to stop trying so hard.  "If his expectations were lowered he could develop to be superb in two years."


McLaren sprouts elephant ears
Today, the McLaren Mercedes team have tested Honda-like elephant ears during the test session at Jerez. The wings rise out of the top sides of the nose on the car and it is possible that the team will use them during the Hungarian Grand Prix. The new ears are part of the big MP4-23 development push to maintain Hamilton's first place in the championship and move up in the Constructors' Championship. F1technical.net


Stewart says Mosley should still step down
According to arch-enemy Jackie Stewart, disgraced FIA president Max Mosley should still stand down from his role at the head of world motorsport, despite winning a High Court privacy case against the tabloid that revealed details of his extra-curricular sex life.

Three-time world champion Sir Jackie Stewart has long been outspoken in his opposition to Mosley holding the top job - even before the sex scandal was broken by Britain's News of the World earlier in the year, and says he sees no reason why winning his action against the newspaper should prolong the president's stay in office.

"Max should now step down and be cut out of it totally," he told the BBC, "His stewardship of the FIA simply cannot be undertaken in its fullest form because of what has occurred."


Fans Vote Labonte, White Into Walk of Fame
The votes are in for the 2008 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame honorees. Bobby Labonte won by the closest margin in history for active driver, while Rex White won the inactive driver category by a landslide. Labonte and White will be enshrined to the Walk of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 4, during the AMP Energy 500 weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega is both a focal point saluting NASCAR's greatest names and a tribute to one of racing's brightest stars - the late Davey Allison. Developed in 1994, the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame has inducted one active driver and up to two inactive drivers since 1995 based on the fans' vote chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines.

White, 78, of Fayetteville, Georgia, will be inducted as this year's inactive driver. White won the 1960 NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) championship as a driver/owner, recording six wins and 35 top 10s in 41 starts. He is one of just six driver/owners in history to win a series championship. Fan voting for the 2008 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame began on April 15.

In addition to Labonte, active driver nominees this year included: Michael Waltrip, Jeff Burton, Morgan Shepherd, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Robby Gordon, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Ken Schrader and Carl Edwards. White competed against inactive drivers, Jim Paschal, Bill Rexford, Jack Smith and Speedy Thompson. In the park, Davey Allison is remembered with a large marble monument, while drivers inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame have bronze plaques placed around the park, accessible by walkways that form the shape of Talladega Superspeedway. For additional information, visit www.talladegawalk.com. TSS PR


Indy Goodyear Tire Notes
This is the first time Goodyear has brought this tire setup to Indianapolis Motor Speedway . . . this combination of left- and right-side codes was selected after a tire test with Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brian Vickers at the Speedway on April 22-23 . . . the chief tire issue expected this weekend is expected early in practice as teams put down a layer of rubber on the abrasive racing surface . . . as typically seen on the grooved racing surface at Indianapolis, tire wear is expected to be high during the early practice sessions . . . in anticipation of this extreme tire wear situation, teams will have two extra sets of tires for practice and qualifying this weekend (up to eight sets) . . . IMS is the only track at which Sprint Cup teams will run this particular tire setup this season . . . as on all NASCAR's ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Indianapolis . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 32-34 laps, based on fuel mileage. Goodyear PR


DEI names interim crew chief for Truex
Mike Greci will serve as #1-Martin Truex's interim crew chief beginning this weekend, the team said Thursday. Greci replaces Kevin Manion, who begins serving his six-race suspension after Dale Earnhardt Inc. lost its appeal this week. Grechi first worked with Truex when Truex competed in what is now called the Camping World East series earlier this decade. Manion can return at Richmond in early September. Virginian-Pilot


Barrett to attempt to make Brickyard 400
This upcoming Sunday, the NOS Energy Drink team will head into Indy to attempt to make the Allstate 400 race at The Brickyard. Piloting the #50 Chevy, team driver Stanton Barrett will look to erase the heartbreak of the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600, where despite valiant efforts, the car failed to qualify for the main events. The Allstate 400 is the third of four Sprint Cup events that the SKI Motorsports NOS Energy Drink team plans to participate in this season. This will also be the first time since 1999 that Barrett has a chance to drive in a Sprint Cup event at one of the most legendary race tracks on earth, Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “The sheer number of fans at The Brickyard is always incredible,” said Barrett. “We’ve got a good car, a great engine, and I’m looking forward to qualifying on Saturday.” SKI Motorsports PR


Ambrose to debut #47 team at Indy
Little Debbie, Marcos Ambrose and JTG/Daugherty Racing hope to get a jump-start on their future during this week’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard when the new team makes its Sprint Cup Series debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team, which plans a full-time schedule next year, will make four selected appearances this year, kicking off with one of the biggest races of the stock car season. JTG Racing currently fields a pair of Nationwide Series cars with Ambrose and Kelly Bires as drivers. The team’s expansion into the Sprint Cup Series this year includes the use of the #47 Ford Fusion. “We’ve planned for this for years,” said team co-owner Tad Geschickter. “It’s every racer’s dream to compete at the highest level. This is our first step and we’re proud to take it with Little Debbie and Marcos. We have done a lot of testing leading up to this first race, and will use this weekend as our first benchmark versus the competition.  We will leave this weekend with a clearer view on the things we need to work on as we prepare to run full time next season.” JTG Racing PR


Latest F1 news in brief
  • FIA to inspect Lewis Hamilton's V8 engine for cheating 
  • Indian GP still on track for 2010 - Mallya
  • Ferrari to test 'shark fin' engine cover
  • Another video keeps Kimi amid controversy
  • Valencia F1 track set to host first races
  • Spyker F1 chief fined for insider trading

FIA to inspect Lewis Hamilton's V8 engine for cheating
(GMM)  F1's governing body is to inspect the Mercedes-Benz engine that powered Lewis Hamilton to victory at last Sunday's German grand prix.

The inspection, although the first of its kind this season, is apparently both random and routine, in accordance with the current two-race per engine regulation, and the so-called 'freeze' on free engine development.

The inspection will take place during scrutineering prior to the Hungarian grand prix next week, the Spanish newspaper Diario AS revealed.

The FIA informed Hamilton's team, McLaren-Mercedes, of the pending inspection in the form of an official communiqué on Tuesday, the newspaper added.

Indian GP still on track for 2010 - Mallya
(GMM)  Preparations for an inaugural grand prix in India are still on track for 2010, Force India team boss Vijay Mallya says.

The Indian billionaire, who is also head of the Indian national motor sporting federation, said recently that organizers have obtained land, set aside race fees, and will build a circuit outside the capital city Delhi.

It is understood Mallya is not directly involved, but he explained to F1 reporters at Hockenheim last week that the CEO of one of India's biggest banks is backing the project.

Construction of the track will begin in early October, Mallya said.

"For the first time, now I think I feel very confident to be able to say to you that there will be a brand new track and that we will have our first grand prix in 2010," he said last Friday.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was in the Indian city Mumbai this week and he also backed the plans for a grand prix in the country.

"India is certainly going to have an impact on formula one in the next couple of years," the McLaren driver said.

"I believe the Indian market is enormous and if F1 can tap it, then it will benefit F1 as well as India in the long run," the Briton added.

Read more & Comment...

Dates Set for 2009 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix
The 2009 race marks the fifth consecutive visit for MotoGP teams and riders to the historic Monterey circuit and the first time the event has been staged on the July 4th weekend. The date for the event is tentative, subject to the release of the full FIM calendar in September.

Tickets for the event go on sale this October.  Reserved camping and hospitality tickets go on sale October 1, while all other tickets - general admission, grandstand, paddock, parade lap and parking - go on sale October 6.  Renewal forms will be sent to current customers on August 21.

Tickets and information for the remaining events in the 2008 season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca are available by calling (800) 327-SECA or online at www.laguna-seca.com.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's world-class 2008 racing schedule includes the 35th Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presented by Toyota August 15-17, the Corona AMA Superbike Finale September 27-28 and the Monterey Sports Car Championships featuring the American Le Mans Series October 17-19.

tv news

Dale Jr. - Shifting Gears Returns to ESPN with Final Two Episodes UPDATE #2 Reminder - The final episode of Shifting Gears airs today.

07/22/08 Reminder - the next to last episode airs today.

07/17/08 Dale Jr. - Shifting Gears, the sports documentary chronicling NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his unprecedented move from the team founded by his father to Hendrick Motorsports, will return to ESPN for the final two episodes on Tuesday, July 22 and Friday, July 25, at 7 p.m. ET. The new episodes, each one hour in length, are the fourth and fifth installments of a five-part series and air during the week leading up to ESPN’s live coverage of the Sprint Cup Series Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 27, at 1 p.m. from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The July 22 debut of the new episode will feature, among other things, reaction to the emotional conclusion of the Crown Royal 400 in May at Richmond International Raceway. It will segue into the July 25 finale, which highlights the driver’s popular Father’s Day victory at Michigan International Speedway. The original airings will be simulcast on ESPN MobileTV. The first of the two new episodes re-airs Thursday, July 24, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, and again Sunday, July 27, at 2 a.m. on ESPN2. The final episode re-airs Sunday, July 27, at 3 a.m. on ESPN2. ESPN PR


Marty Roth would be 13th on the Atlantic grid
We don't know what sounds worse.  Comparing the Atlantic Series and Indy Car Friday times at Edmonton, Marty Roth would have qualified 13th on the Atlantic grid (1:07.2), or another way to look at it, the first 12 Atlantic cars qualify for the IndyCar grid ahead of Roth.


Gray named NHRA vice president of technical operations
After a national search, NHRA has hired Glen Gray, formerly of Delphi Corp. and its electronics and safety division, for the newly created position of vice president of technical operations. He will report directly to Graham Light, NHRA senior vice president-racing operations.

Gray has spent 25 years working with Delphi in a number of engineering capacities. Most recently, he was motorsports engineering manager, leading a Delphi team of software, mechanical, and electrical engineers in the development of complex electronics products used in motorsports worldwide. In addition, he supported motorsports safety initiatives in several race series through the use of electronics and crash sled testing.

"Glen demonstrated, from the beginning of the process, his extensive experience in technical and safety issues," said Light. "To have someone join NHRA with his knowledge and understanding of these areas provides a great complement to our current team and ongoing initiatives specific to safety and technology."

Read more & Comment...

Keith Jones Fund Established
A fund has been established to assist injured De Ferran Motorsports crew member Keith Jones in his recovery process.

Jones, 49, of Greenwood, Ind., was injured last Saturday in a pit incident in the American Le Mans Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Jones was transferred Tuesday from the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, to the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Wishard Health Services in Indianapolis.

Jones’ condition was downgraded from critical to serious on his arrival to Wishard.

The Keith E. Jones Fund has been opened at National City Bank. Contributions to the fund can be made at any National City Bank.

The de Ferran Motorsports team has asked that best wishes be sent to the de Ferran Motorsports headquarters in Brownsburg, Ind.  The team headquarters are listed below:

Keith Jones
c/o De Ferran Motorsports
485  Southpoint Circle, Suite 900
Brownsburg, IN 46112


IndyCar knock-out qualifying explained
The IndyCar Series brings its unique road/street course qualifying format to Edmonton this weekend. After two practice session featuring all cars today, the field is randomly divided into two groups for tomorrow’s practice and Segment One of qualifying. The random draw occurred this morning prior to the driver’s meeting when the drivers drew either a red chip or a blue chip out of a bag. Drivers with a red chip will be in Group One. Drivers with a blue chip will be in Group Two.

In Segment One of qualifying, each group receives 20 minutes of track time. The fastest six cars from each group advance to Segment Two, while the remaining cars are assigned positions 13-26. Group One drivers will occupy the odd-numbered positions (13, 15, 17...) while Group Two drivers will occupy the even-numbered positions (14, 16, 18...) based on their fastest lap times.

During Segment Two, the 12 advancing cars receive 15 minutes of track time. The fastest six advance to the Firestone Fast Six Shootout while the remaining six cars are ranked in positions 7-12 based on their fastest laps.

During the Firestone Fast Six, the six cars receive 10 minutes of track time, with a guarantee of five minutes of green flag time. Each car receives one additional set of Firestone Firehawk tires for use during this final segment. At the end of the session, the cars are ranked 1-6 based on their fastest laps.


Hinchcliffe takes pole for Race 1 in Edmonton
Just as he did last year, Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe will start from the pole position for the first race of a Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda doubleheader at the Rexall Edmonton Indy.

Driving the No. 3 Indeck/Tire Rack/NOCO machine for Forsythe/Pettit Racing, Hinchcliffe clocked a best lap at 1:05.910 (107.765 mph) to score his second pole of the season in Thursday afternoon’s qualifying session at the 1.973-mile Rexall Speedway. Hinchcliffe also started from the pole for the first race of last year’s Atlantic doubleheader and went on to finish third in that race. As opposed to duplicating that performance, however, Hinchcliffe is hoping for a similar result to the last time he started from the pole in Atlantic competition in May’s Monterey Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In that race, he earned his second career Atlantic victory.

“Anytime you get a pole position, it’s a great feeling,” Hinchcliffe said. “To do it on home soil, obviously, makes it that much more special. Frankly, I’m surprised to be up here. We weren’t really running that well in the session. The car wasn’t quite where I wanted it. I think we need to work on our race car over a long stint. We managed to put in one good lap, but it’s a 50-minute race. We’ve got to be there at the end.”

Hinchcliffe is joined on the front row by American Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 26 Del Taco/Stone Brewing/Rockview Builders/RLM Investments entry from Mathiasen Motorsports. Bomarito clocked a best lap at 1:06.053 (107.532 mph) to score his second front-row starting spot of the season. The Californian started April’s season-opener at Long Beach from the pole position and has finished inside the top six in two of his three starts this season.

Read more & Comment...
tv news

Kasey Kahne on Regis and Kelly UPDATE A reminder that Kasey Kahne will be a guest on the "Live with Regis and Kelly" show on Friday, July 25.

07/23/08 NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne will be making a pit stop in New York City before he heads to Indianapolis for the Allstate® 400 at the Brickyard ®, one of the most prestigious races of the year. Kahne will appear during the Friday, July 25 episode of “Live with Regis and Kelly.” Kasey will chat with Kelly Ripa and guest co-host David Duchovny about the Allstate 400 and his involvement with the Allstate Teen Safe Driving Pit Stop program. Be sure to tune in; check your local affiliates for air times.


Edmonton: Castroneves tops Briscoe in practice 1
Pos Driver (Car No.) Diff Gap Best Time Best Speed
1 Helio Castroneves (3) ... ... 1:2.9327 112.863
2 Ryan Briscoe (6) 0.2103 0.2103 1:3.1430 112.488
3 Will Power (8) 0.2776 0.0673 1:3.2103 112.368
4 Oriol Servia (5) 0.3151 0.0375 1:3.2478 112.301
5 Tony Kanaan (11) 0.3273 0.0122 1:3.2600 112.279
6 Bruno Junqueira (18) 0.4242 0.0969 1:3.3569 112.108
7 Paul Tracy (22) 0.4418 0.0176 1:3.3745 112.077
8 Scott Dixon (9) 0.5133 0.0715 1:3.4460 111.950
9 Justin Wilson (02) 0.5212 0.0079 1:3.4539 111.936
10 Hideki Mutoh (27) 0.5250 0.0038 1:3.4577 111.930
11 Ryan Hunter-Reay (17) 0.5897 0.0647 1:3.5224 111.816
12 Graham Rahal (06) 0.8218 0.2321 1:3.7545 111.409
13 Dan Wheldon (10) 1.1664 0.3446 1:4.0991 110.810
14 Mario Dominguez (96) 1.1773 0.0109 1:4.1100 110.791
15 Vitor Meira (4) 1.2814 0.1041 1:4.2141 110.611
16 Marco Andretti (26) 1.3579 0.0765 1:4.2906 110.480
17 Darren Manning (14) 1.3917 0.0338 1:4.3244 110.422
18 Danica Patrick (7) 1.5089 0.1172 1:4.4416 110.221
19 Buddy Rice (15) 1.5573 0.0484 1:4.4900 110.138
20 Mario Moraes (19) 2.0599 0.5026 1:4.9926 109.286
21 A.J. Foyt IV (2) 2.1912 0.1313 1:5.1239 109.066
22 Enrique Bernoldi (36) 2.4200 0.2288 1:5.3527 108.684
23 EJ Viso (33) 2.5067 0.0867 1:5.4394 108.540
24 Ed Carpenter (20) 2.6290 0.1223 1:5.5617 108.338
25 Townsend Bell (23) 2.8708 0.2418 1:5.8035 107.940
26 Jaime Camara (34) 3.1141 0.2433 1:6.0468 107.542
27 Marty Roth (25) 7.4693 4.3552 1:10.4020 100.889


NHRA names safety task force
The National Hot Rod Association has named the members of a safety task force created to investigate, analyze and determine ways to implement added safety measures in drag racing.

The move comes in the wake of the death of longtime racer Scott Kalitta in a Funny Car crash on June 21.

The task force is headed by Dan Olson, NHRA director of Top Fuel and Funny Car racing. He is joined by Austin Coil, crew chief for John Force Racing; Jim Head, Funny Car driver/crew chief; Alan Johnson, crew chief for the U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster; Jon Oberhofer, crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta; Mark Oswald, co-crew chief on Melanie Troxel's Funny Car; and Tim Wilkerson, Funny Car driver/crew chief.

Other representatives from NHRA and the Professional Racers Owners Organization (PRO) will also participate.

"This task force provides a more structured process for NHRA, together with crew chiefs within the racing community, to tackle emerging technical issues and find solutions to build upon the sport's long-standing safety record," said Graham Light, senior vice president of racing operations for NHRA.


IRL burning out teams
This article and this article (and many others) talk about how the IRL is burning out its teams with a schedule that includes 6 straight weeks of racing.  However, AutoRacing1.com learned that at the owners meeting that was held in Watkins Glen the teams were told the league will do as much as they can to spread the schedule out next year.


Star Wars to sponsor Andretti at Infineon UPDATE Added photo below showing livery Andretti will carry at Infineon Raceway in August.


Livery for Andretti's Star Wars Car
Blockbuster and Star Wars are teaming up to sponsor Marco Andretti
For a few days in late August, the front lines of the upcoming animated adventure STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS will shift to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., and Andretti Green Racing driver Marco Andretti will lead his own army against the "dark side" of his IndyCar Series foes.

Andretti Green Racing, Blockbuster Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd. are collaborating for the second time in 2008, this time in support of the upcoming release of the first-ever animated feature from Lucasfilm, STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS. Andretti's #26 IndyCar will feature a promotional design during the Grand Prix of Sonoma, which will be run Aug. 24 on the Infineon road course.

"I can't wait to roll out the Clone Wars car at Infineon," said Andretti. "I had a lot of fun with the Indiana Jones car at the Indy 500 and I'm hoping that my upcoming battle at Infineon will be as exciting as anything in a Star Wars movie so I can win it for both Blockbuster and Lucasfilm."


Toyota outsells GM worldwide in first half
General Motors Corp., pummeled by falling U.S. sales and high gas prices, lost the global sales lead to Toyota Motor Corp. in the first half of this year, but the churning market makes it difficult to predict which automaker will end the year on top. Toyota sold 4,817,941 vehicles globally during the first six months of the year, company spokesman Hideaki Homma said Wednesday, beating GM by 277,532 vehicles. Toyota said its global sales rose 2 percent from the same period the year before, while GM's sales fell 3 percent.

It's the second time Toyota has beaten GM in sales in the first half of the year. In 2007, Toyota outsold GM by about 50,000 vehicles, although GM eked out a win for the full year, retaining its 77-year position as the world's largest automaker by sales.


Ford posts another huge loss
Ford Motor Co. today reported a second-quarter loss of $8.7 billion, or $3.88 a share — the company’s worst quarterly results ever.  The performance is a consequence of slumping sales, especially of trucks, in a sour U.S. economy with $4-a-gallon gasoline, as well as rising material costs.

Last year during the same period, Ford reported a net profit of $750 million, or 31 cents a share.

Revenues during the April-June period declined to $38.6 billion, down from $44.2 billion a year ago.

The second-quarter loss includes $8 billion, or $3.26 a share, in special charges, mostly in North America, which has been hit hard by an economic slowdown, a consequence of crises in the housing, credit and energy sectors.

Ford’s operating loss from continuing operations, excluding special items, was $1.4 billion, down from a year-ago profit of $258 million.

During the quarter, Ford’s cash reserves also decreased by $2.1 billion, to $26.6 billion.

Following Ford’s $100-million profit in the first quarter, Ford has now lost $8.5 billion through the first half of the year. Detroit Free Press

[Editor's Note: Getting their tails kicked by Toyota and Chevy week in and week out in NASCAR sure helps to contribute to Ford's downfall.]


Toyota not happy with NASCAR
Toyota Racing Development President Lee White said he was “extremely disappointed” in NASCAR’s decision to alter the spacer applied to Toyota’s Nationwide Series engine, which will result in lost horsepower.

“In our opinion, there is no technical justification to penalize the Toyota engine utilized in the Nationwide Series,” White said in a statement released Wednesday evening. “The success of the Toyota Camry this year in the Nationwide Series is the result of hard work and achievement by all of our race teams ... working in conjunction with [Toyota Racing Development].”

White said the manufacturer will work with its teams to make sure they remain competitive despite the setback. He warned that NASCAR’s decision “could be more far-reaching than simply mandating Toyota adjust its Nationwide engine.”

“The real impact will be felt by the Toyota teams as they adjust to the change, work to remain competitive for the remainder of this season and attempt to line up their sponsorships for next year,” he said.


Tracy: IndyCar doesn't kick ass like a Champ Car
Paul Tracy had his first 15 minutes of driving the IndyCar Dallara this morning and was pleased with what he felt. A late entrant for Saturday's Rexall Edmonton Indy, Tracy hasn't had a chance to drive the IndyCar until this morning when he was given 15 minutes alone on the track.

It was a chance for Tracy to test the car's system, to get somewhat familiar with the shifting and braking, and ensure the car was running properly.

"It doesn't kick ass like the Champ Car," said the Toronto native, but that was to be expected. The Dallara, with its 3.5-litre normally aspirated engine produces about 640 horsepower compared to more than 800 horsepower for the turbo-charged cars that Champ Car ran. Plus, Tracy was running on rain tires that will be switched for the quicker slicks for today's practice sessions.

Tracy said he was satisfied with the car, found the shifting and suspension stable, and he's ready to practice. The entire 27-car IndyCar field will have its first practice session today at 1:30 p.m., followed by a second session this evening. Canada.com


NASCAR: Monkey see, Monkey do
A reader writes, Why is it that NASCAR copies what other racing series invents and then takes credit for? 


Donuts after a victory (Zanardi, CART)
Climbing the fence after a victory (Castroneves, CART/IRL)
HANS Device (Jim Downing, CART/IRL/IMSA/Sports Car Racing)

Now NASCAR is copying the old tradition of the night before the 500 race at IRP.  The little good ol' boys will run at IRP the night before the Brickyard 400 with the regular good ol' boys.  Is anything sacred?  Does NASCAR want to take credit for inventing this too?  David Koeberlein

Dear Dave,  Unfortunately many of the fans, and some of the regular media that cover NASCAR, are Bubbas and have no clue about what may have been invented elsewhere and swallow the lies hook, line and sinker.  They are simply sheep that follow their shepherd (NASCAR).  Mark C.


Webber tops day 3 at Jerez
Mark Webber led the way on the third day of this week's F1 test at Jerez in his Red Bull machine. He edged out Nelson Piquet's Renault by just more than two tenths of a second. Both drivers used slick tires to set their best times.

Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest for Ferrari, on grooved rubber.

Results Wednesday

Pos Driver

Team Time Laps
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:19.176 85
2. Nelson Piquet Renault 1:19.334 95
3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:19.434 84
4. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Ferrari 1:19.544 86
5. Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.850 39
6. Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.029 77
7. Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:20.097 88
8. Tim Glock Toyota 1:20.421 78
9. Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:20.614 68
10. Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:20.896 97


Glock 'fine' after return to F1 cockpit
Timo Glock
(GMM)  Timo Glock on Thursday reported no ill-effects after making his return to the Toyota cockpit at the Jerez test in Spain.

The 26-year-old race driver spent last Sunday night in hospital following a huge backwards crash in the middle of the German grand prix.

"The main thing is that I've made a full recovery and I feel fine," Glock, the reigning GP2 champion and a German, said in a statement issued by his team Toyota.

Glock's program was only cut short at the end of the day when his TF108 broke down with a fuel system issue.


Wallace and Penske to run Stremme
Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing, LLC and Penske Racing announced today that Penske Truck Rental will serve as primary sponsor of Rusty Wallace Racing’s No. 64 entry, piloted by David Stremme, in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at O’Reilly Raceway Park.

Additionally, the parties announced an arrangement, under which, various Penske-affiliated brands will serve as primary sponsor of the Stremme-wheeled No. 64 in three additional events during 2008.  In addition to this weekend’s event, Stremme’s car will carry Penske-affiliated colors in the August races at Michigan, California and Bristol.

Noted Wallace, “I’m really excited about the opportunity to carry the Penske colors once again.  Roger and I are great friends and we’ve had a lot of success together over the years.  I’m looking forward to continuing that success with David Stremme and the No. 64 team this season.  They’ve had a great year thus far, so I’m confident in our chances to make “The Captain” proud.”

This occurrence marks a continuation of the long-term friendship between Team Owner Rusty Wallace and his former partner, Roger Penske.  The duo paired to form Penske Racing South in 1991 and Wallace piloted the team’s legendary No. 2 in the Sprint Cup Series until his retirement from driving in 2005.  Rusty Wallace’s tenure as a driver at Penske Racing produced 37 of his 55 career victories, 27 poles, 143 top-five finishes, 244 top-ten finishes and nearly 15,000 laps led in NASCAR’s premier series.

“David has done a great job testing for our NASCAR Cup program this year and Rusty mentioned that there was an opportunity to support them in a few races this year,” said Team Owner, Roger Penske. “I felt it would be a great way to show how much we appreciate David's effort and Rusty's friendship.”


F1 to stay ahead of rule changes - Hamilton
(GMM) Championship leader Lewis Hamilton on Thursday expressed confidence formula one can stay ahead of the sweeping rule changes set to come into force in 2009.

Teams are currently working hard in preparation for next year, when a drastic reduction in aerodynamic downforce poses a threat to the sort of lap times currently being set at grands prix.

The return of slick tires, and the 'boost' button in the form of energy-recovery KERS systems, should help the drivers to claw back the lost speed, and Briton Hamilton said on a visit to Mumbai that he believes development advances can stay ahead of efforts to slow the cars.

"GP2 is getting faster and formula one will have to stay faster," the McLaren driver said in India for a promotional event.

"Every time new rules and regulations are brought in, teams only get faster," Hamilton added, according to the news agency PTI.


“Allstate Chopper" at Brickyard this weekend
Allstate Chopper
Visitors to the Allstate Mobile Garage Tour during the activities at Allstate 400 will have a rare opportunity to view one of the latest innovations in on-road riding.  The street legal, Can-Am Spyder roadster is sure to impress with two wheels in the front and one in the rear.  While at the Mobile Garage visitors will be treated to an interactive experience offering massage chairs, misting stations, custom motorcycle displays, and Web access to AllstateGarage.com among other free activities. Fans will also have the chance to check out a completely refurbished classic early model Puch 250 and enter to win a custom-built chopper-style motorcycle, dubbed the “Allstate Chopper,” designed specifically for the insurer. Be sure to visit AllstateGarage.com for more info.

track news

Charles "Jug" Eckert dies
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway's largest food caterer, Charles "Jug" Eckert, passed away yesterday evening at 9:00 PM.  He was a fixture at the track for decades. 

Eckert, who started Jug's Catering nearly 40 years ago, was an institution at IMS. His commitment to serving great food has made him a pillar in the community and he provided many jobs for the people of Indiana.

See related article for more information and a photo of Jug.

Formula BMW

25 Formula BMW Americas drivers off to Valencia
Formula BMW Americas welcomes 25 young drivers as they prepare for the upcoming July 28-29 and August 4-5 2009 Licensing Courses. Held at the Formula BMW Racing Center at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, in Valencia, Spain, the Licensing Course is the first step the worldwide Formula BMW program. Following two days of intensive instruction by the Formula BMW Racing Center staff, successful drivers will receive their international Class C license and, possibly, a chance to be invited back to compete in the September 29-30 Scholarship Qualifying to compete for a 2009 Formula BMW Junior scholarship.

This year, Formula BMW Americas awarded $80,000 scholarships and automatic enrollment in Formula BMW's Education and Coaching program to Canadians Gianmarco Raimondo and Mikael Grenier, and Brazilian Alexandre Ruiz. They currently stand first, third and fourth in the Rookie point standings respectively.

Proving the global reach of Formula BMW, the 25 young drivers represent the most diverse group ever entered for the licensing courses in the five-year history of the Formula BMW Americas Championship. This year drivers from Australia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica, South Africa, Venezuela, as well as Brazil, Canada and the United States will attend.

Among the talented participants is Daniel Vela, of the Dominican Republic, winner of the Florida Winter Tour promotion in January. Also attending is Spencer Pigot, of Windermere Florida, who took advantage of Formula BMW Americas' unique Stars of Karting Recruitment Day and got behind the wheel of an FB02 at Miller Motorsports Park in April.

Read more & Comment...

Mosley 'delighted' with privacy case victory
(GMM)  Max Mosley on Thursday won his privacy case against the British tabloid News of the World, London High Court judge David Eady ruled.

"I decided that the claimant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to sexual activities (albeit unconventional) carried on between consenting adults on private property," he said.

Justice Eady also said there was "no evidence" to support the newspaper's claim that there was a Nazi element to his party with five prostitutes.

"I see no genuine basis at all for the suggestion that the participants mocked the victims of the Holocaust," he added, explaining there was "no public interest" for the News of the World's expose.

Mosley was awarded 60,000 British pounds ($120,000) in damages, compensating Mosley's "injury to feelings, the embarrassment and distress caused", Eady said.

He did not award punitive damages.

A statement issued by Mosley's lawyers said the 68-year-old is "delighted" by the ruling.

"I needed a strong judgment to make it absolutely clear that what the News of the World did was wrong.  Obtaining that in the full glare of the media has been extremely difficult but I am delighted that we have achieved what we set out to do," the FIA president added, reinforcing his promise to donate the money to the FIA Foundation.


Max Mosley wins lawsuit against newspaper
Max Mosley has last laugh
FIA president Max Mosley never loses in court and as we predicted, has won his privacy action lawsuit against the News of the World, being awarded £60,000 in damages, plus costs believed to total around £1 million (over $2 million).  He sued the tabloid for an invasion of privacy, which claimed that there were Nazi-themes to an orgy he had with prostitutes.

In a statement issued by his lawyers after the verdict, Mosley said, "This judgment has nailed the Nazi lie upon which the News of the World sought to justify their disgraceful intrusion into my private life," said Mosley.

"By law we are all entitled to have our privacy respected. The News of the World invaded my privacy, dreamt-up the most offensive headline possible, and decided that I should not be contacted before publication to prevent me asking the Court for the injunction I would have been entitled to. They and their lawyers have then conducted this case so as to cause maximum embarrassment in the hope that I would be discouraged from continuing.

"I needed a strong judgment to make it absolutely clear that what the News of the World did was wrong. Obtaining that in the full glare of the media has been extremely difficult but I am delighted that we have achieved what we set out to do.

"I hope my case will help deter newspapers in the UK from pursuing this type of invasive and salacious journalism. I have learnt first hand how devastating an invasion of privacy can be and how readily papers like the News of the World will destroy lives in the knowledge that few of their victims will dare sue them. I want to encourage a change in that practice."

"As I promised at the outset, the damages will go to the FIA Foundation to further their work for road safety and the environment.

"Finally, I would like to thank all those who have supported me during this difficult period."


200th start for Mears
Soon to be fired Casey Mears will make his 200th career Sprint Cup Series start this Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his previous 199 starts, Mears has earned one win (Lowe's Motor Speedway in May 2007), 12 top-five finishes and 40 top-10s. Hendrick Motorsports PR

racing news

Kyle Busch wins 2nd quarter Driver Of The Year award
NASCAR's best driver, Kyle Busch
Bob Heathcote/AutoRacing1
Kyle Busch just keeps winning. The 23-year-old Sprint Cup star has won second-quarter voting for 2008 Driver of the Year, repeating his victory in the first-quarter balloting. Busch won a total of four races in NASCAR’s top two series—three in Cup and one in Nationwide—during the quarter that ran from May 3 to June 29. He continues to lead the Cup point standings. In the second-quarter voting, Busch totaled 103 points as he took seven of 14 first-place votes and was listed on every ballot, with only one vote below second place. He handily beat Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, whose two IndyCar Series victories earned him five first-place votes and a total of 85 points. World of Outlaws star Donny Schatz, who drives for Tony Stewart Racing, had one first-place vote and was third in the voting with 48 points. The late Scott Kalitta, the Funny Car driver who died in a crash on June 21, got the other first-place vote. Associated Press


McMurray to drive drunks home
For the fourth consecutive year, Crown Royal will celebrate one of motorsports famed cities by providing Indianapolis residents and bar patrons an alternative ride home. As part of Crown Royal's signature "Safe Rides Home" designated driver program, #26-Jamie McMurray will hit the streets of Indianapolis to provide free, safe rides home for adult bar patrons. McMurray will get behind the wheel of replica No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusions on Thursday, July 24 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. to kickoff the program, which will be available both Thursday and Friday evenings. In total, eight Crown Royal Ford Fusions will be in rotation both nights and residents within a 20-mile radius of the signup location that are 21 years of age or older are eligible. Roush Fenway Racing PR


First Stock Car Start at the Brickyard for Hornish
This will be Hornish's first Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, however he is no stranger to the 2.5-mile oval - he has a total of seven IndyCar Series starts at Indy. In that series, he has one win and one pole at the famed speedway. Penske Racing PR


Kurt Busch to test at Road Atlanta next week
In preparation for the Aug. 10 return to road course racing at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Kurt Busch, Pat Tryson, and crew are scheduled to be testing at Road Atlanta next Tuesday (7/29/08). "We like Road Atlanta because it offers a layout that pretty much covers it all," Pat said of the 2.54-mile road course located in Braselton, Georgia. "It has the 'esses' and 12 turns, including one that runs downhill." Penske Racing PR


Latest F1 news in brief
  • BMW mechanic goes home after electric shock
  • McLaren employee sues company, Ron Dennis
  • Judge to rule on Mosley case on Thursday
  • Struggling Vodafone won't axe F1 backing
  • KERS - 2009 start-date may be called off
  • Toro Rosso ready to set Red Bull pace - report

BMW mechanic goes home after electric shock
(GMM)  The BMW-Sauber mechanic who received an electric shock during Jerez testing earlier this week was released from hospital and returned home to Switzerland on Wednesday.

After being thrown to the ground when he touched Christian Klien's KERS-equipped car at the Spanish circuit, the unnamed mechanic received treatment in the on-site medical centre for an injured hand and grazing.

He later went to hospital for checks when he complained of dizziness.

"He was subsequently released by the doctors who were happy with the results of their tests," the German team said late on Wednesday.

"The mechanic is on his way back to Switzerland this evening," a media statement added.

McLaren employee sues company, Ron Dennis
(GMM)  A former McLaren employee has brought legal action against team boss Ron Dennis.

The employee claims unfounded rumors that he was gay led to him being unfairly sacked last September.

The 27-year-old, who worked as Dennis' private jet steward, appeared over the matter in a Southampton (UK) employment tribunal this week, the British newspaper Daily Telegraph reports.

He said his relationship with Dennis, the F1 team principal and McLaren Group chairman, broke down "dramatically" amid rumors among colleagues he is gay.

The sacked employee, also claiming sexual discrimination and victimization, alleges things got "nasty" amid the furor, with a private investigator allegedly sent to his home to threaten him about the return of his Mercedes company car.

Lawyers for Dennis and McLaren Group companies argued that the employee was sacked because he "kept on falling asleep and was rude".

However, they accept he should have been given three months written notice of his dismissal.

A full hearing will be held after the F1 season, in January of 2009, so that Dennis can appear.

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Strous Leads Atlantic Championship Into First '08 Doubleheader

Jon Edwards in the Red Bull sponsored Atlantic car at Edmonton in 2007
The first doubleheader weekend of the 11-race 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season and the “stretch run” gets underway with this weekend’s Rexall Edmonton Indy twin-bill.

While the first four races of the 35th Anniversary Atlantic season were each separated by a month or more, the final eight races of the championship will be run over the next 12 weeks before a champion will be crowned at Road Atlanta on Friday, October 3. The driver currently leading the championship—for the first time in his Atlantic career—is second-year racer Junior Strous of The Netherlands.

Strous took the points lead when he drove his No. 6 NEM/Shell/HTP/Muermans Group/Red, White & Bluezz machine to a dominating victory after starting from the pole position in Round 3 at Circuit Mont-Tremblant last month. It was the first Atlantic race victory and pole position for Strous and came on the heels of his first career Atlantic podium result of third in May’s Monterey Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In fact, the Condor Motorsports/Team Holland driver hasn’t finished worse than eighth in any of the season’s races to date, and that consistency has propelled him to the top of the point standings.

If he is to stay there, however, Strous will have to hold off a bevy of hard-charging drivers. Going into the Rexall Edmonton Indy weekend, Strous holds a seven-point lead, 74-67, over Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe and Finnish rookie Markus Niemela, and neither driver appears likely to fade anytime soon.

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Herrington takes over No. 5 RLR/Andersen Racing seat
Daniel Herrington, who has four top-10 finishes in nine Firestone Indy Lights races on road courses, will take his oval rookie test July 24 at Kentucky Speedway and compete in the remainder of the season with RLR/Andersen Racing.

"Although Daniel hasn't been in any oval Indy Lights races yet, he finished second at Milwaukee in a Star Mazda race in 2006,” team co-owner Dan Andersen said. “We expect him to pass his rookie oval test quickly, and we'll field cars for both him and J.R. Hildebrand at the Kentucky race on Aug. 9."

Herrington competed in five Firestone Indy Lights races last year with SpeedWorks and four races this year with Michael Crawford Motorsports, finishing a career-best third last year at Watkins Glen 2. He was running at the finish in all but one event.

Herrington will replace Andrew Prendeville in the No. 5 car.

"Andrew gave our team its first podium finish in the Firestone Indy Lights Series last year, and we wish him the best," Andersen said.


Rexall sponsors Rahal in Edmonton UPDATE Added photos below of the Rexall/Oilers livery for Graham Rahal this weekend in Edmonton.

07/22/08 Leading pharmacy retailer Rexall and eight-time Champ Car Champions Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) announced today that Rexall has signed on as the title sponsor for Graham Rahal’s Number 06 Rexall-Oilers Car for the 2008 Rexall Edmonton Indy, July 24-26. Financial terms of the sponsorship were not released.

Edmonton Oilers (back L to R) Fernando Pisani, Steve Staios, and Kyle Brodziak, and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal (R) take to the track to unveil the Number 06 Rexall-Oilers Car prepared by Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
Rexall also announced that it is dedicating a portion of its branded space on the car to include the logo of the hometown Edmonton Oilers. "In Oil Country people are very proud of the Oilers. It’s terrific to see the Oilers logo on the car. The combination of the Rexall Indy, the great tradition of our Oilers and Oil Kings junior team and the community based Edmonton Eskimo Football Club have made  Edmonton a world–class sports destination,” said Daryl Katz, Rexall’s founder and chairman. “We’re looking forward to seeing an Indy car sporting the Oilers' copper and blue on the track on Saturday, hopefully taking the checkered flag first."

“Rexall has received tremendous value from its sponsorship of the Edmonton Indy,” said Andy Giancamilli, CEO, Rexall. “This sponsorship is a great way to build on Rexall’s successful relationship with Indy racing and further our support for an event that has become an important part of the community here in Edmonton.”

In addition to Rexall’s title sponsorship, Kimberley Clark, Mars and BMO will join NHLR’s sponsors McDonalds, Dasani and Bosch on the racecar.

"Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing is looking forward to coming back to Edmonton, where we have had great success," said Carl Haas on behalf of himself and co-owners Paul Newman and Michael Lanigan.  "This year we are even more excited about our return because of our partnership with Daryl Katz and the Rexall family of pharmacies.” 

Graham Rahal sporting copper and blue of the hometown Edmonton Oilers, special Rahal jersey #06. Rexall has signed on as the title sponsor of the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing car for the 2008 Rexall Edmonton Indy, July 24-26. Edmonton Oilers (back L to R) Fernando Pisani, Steve Staios, and Kyle Brodziak were on hand for the unveiling of the No. 06 Rexall-Oilers race car
“The fans in Edmonton are some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable fans we have encountered while racing around the world and they have always welcomed us.  In return, we take pride in putting on a good show for them.  This year, the race will be even more meaningful because of our affiliation with Rexall, the Oilers and the other top companies associated with the Katz Group as sponsors of our entry for Graham Rahal in the Rexall Indy."

In the three races run in Edmonton, NHLR has won two (2005, 2007) with Sebastian Bourdais and has earned five podium finishes, including Graham Rahal’s third place finish last year.

"We're very happy to have a great sponsor like Rexall on the car for the Edmonton race,” said Graham Rahal, Driver, Number 06 Rexall-Oilers Car. “Since Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has won two of the three races in Edmonton we felt almost like a 'home team' and now this partnership will make it official.  I'm a hockey fan so having the Oilers on the car is pretty special for me and I think the race fans will enjoy it too.  The Rexall program has been coming together for a long time so it is exciting to be working with these companies and especially a guy like Daryl Katz.  I'm excited to get to Edmonton and do a good job for Rexall and everyone."

On April 6th, 2008, Graham Rahal became the youngest winner in IndyCar Series history when he drove to victory in his IndyCar Series debut in St. Petersburg, Fla. at the age of 19.  Marco Andretti previously held the mark for youngest driver by winning at Infineon Raceway.

Rexall is proud to again be the title sponsor of the Edmonton Indy. Last year, the race attracted more than 167,000 spectators and contributed over $25 million to the local economy. Rexall’s sponsorship of the Indy builds on its commitment to Edmonton and all of northern and central Alberta, including recent support for the Edmonton Oilers Tickets for Troops Campaign, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, the Stollery Children’s Hospital, the University of Alberta and the 2008 David Foster & Friends Charity Gala.

The Rexall family of pharmacies is the largest integrated retail pharmacy network in Canada and one of the most trusted health care brands in the country. The Rexall name is seen on thousands of health care products and is exclusively carried by the Rexall family of pharmacies – Rexall, Rexall Pharma Plus, The Medicine Shoppe, Guardian and I.D.A. - across Canada as well as proudly displayed within numerous community and health events across the country.


An interview with Pablo Donoso and Bruno Junqueira
THE MODERATOR: We have several guests joining us today. Starting the call with us is Firestone Indy Lights driver Pablo Donoso, and joining us in a few minutes will be Indy Car Series driver Bruno Junqueira.

Pablo is a rookie in Firestone Indy Lights driving for Team Moore Racing and is riding a string of seven consecutive top‑10 finishes starting at Milwaukee. Three of those finishes were fifths, and last weekend Pablo finished third at Mid‑Ohio, which moved him up to eighth in the points.

Pablo, congratulations on your strong runs recently. Seems like the season got off to a bit of a slow start, but now you're really on a roll. Can you tell us a little bit about how the season has gone for you so far?

PABLO DONOSO: Yeah, like you said, the beginning was really hard. I was without a team with the last moment but was supposed to run IndyCar with Foyt but we had some problems, and we couldn't do that, but we started in IndyCar in Indy Lights with another team, and now I moved to Team Moore Racing, and on the last few races we had really good results. Not perfect, because I would like to be on the podium all the time, but this series is so hard, so competitive, so finishing in the top five is really, really good. We are learning, and we are going up, and we are having good results on the last race, and I hope to have the same result on the next four races and move up a little bit more in the championship.

THE MODERATOR: You're teammates with Jeff Simmons, a guy who has a lot of experience both in the Indy Lights cars and also some IndyCar Series experience. How much has Jeff helped you this season?

PABLO DONOSO: It's really good to have Jeff like a teammate or have some driver with a lot of experience. Like in my career, I had Enrique Bernoldi, who is running in IndyCar now, and now I have Jeff Simmons. And in USAC I had J.J. Yeley. So it's good when you have some teammates with a lot of experience who can drive fast, because that pushes you to be better and to be faster.

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Q and A with Paul Tracy
Vision Racing driver Paul Tracy met with members of the media in Edmonton. Select quotes are below:

“It’s good to be back. Obviously, everything came together kind of last minute. I’m excited about the opportunity with Derrick Walker, Vision Racing and Subway as the sponsor. We’re going to jump into the deep end here, but I think the team’s motivated, I’m motivated to do well, and if we can have a good result, we’ll see what develops for the future. That’s really the first step in getting back into the series full-time.”

(About pressure) “Not really. I’m not in a points battle. There’s really no pressure from where you finish in the championship. For me, it’s an opportunity to get going. We’re just going to take it step-by-step everyday. I haven’t driven since Long Beach, and the team hasn’t competed at this level since Long Beach, so from that standpoint we’ve just go to do the best we can. We all want to do well. Our expectations are to do well, but really haven’t set any type of goal for myself like we have to win the race or anything like that. We’re just going to go out there and do the best job we can. There’s always a possibility to win a race no matter what happens during a race.

Scott (Dixon) and Helio (Castroneves), I haven’t raced against Dan (Wheldon) and a couple other guys in the series, but all the frontrunners I’ve run against in my career.”

(About Edmonton) “You really have to be quick here to do well. It’s kind of like Cleveland where if you’re not on the pace, you’re really going to struggle. From that standpoint, the car has got to be good here. To stay in the front, you have to have the pace to do that, because it’s not too difficult to pass. I’ve been here before, Justin (Wilson) has been here before, the Champ Car guys have been here before, but the top level at this game, guys like (Scott) Dixon, Helio (Castroneves) and (Tony) Kanaan, they can learn a track in 10, 15 minutes. From that standpoint, there’s a small advantage maybe going into the first practice, second practice, but by the time qualifying comes, the top teams will have it figured out.”


Allstate 400 at the Brickyard notebook - Wednesday
ESPN and the IMS Radio Network once again will provide extensive live television and radio coverage of on-track action at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race Day TV coverage on the ESPN networks starts with "NASCAR Now" at 10 a.m. (ET) Sunday, July 27 on ESPN2. Coverage shifts to ESPN at 1 p.m. with the pre-race show, "NASCAR Countdown," and flag-to-flag race coverage starts at 2 p.m. on ESPN.

Qualifying coverage starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 26 on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com, which also will feature practice coverage at 2 p.m. that day.

ESPN2 and ESPN360.com will offer NASCAR Sprint Cup practice coverage at 3:30 p.m. Friday, July 25.

ESPN's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard coverage team will feature two-time Brickyard winner Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree as booth analysts, along with lead announcer Dr. Jerry Punch. Former championship crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the Tech Center, and Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will report from the pits.

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track news

New chairman for Milwaukee Mile
Officials from The Milwaukee Mile announced Wednesday that Marcus Lemonis has been appointed chairman of the track. Lemonis currently serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Camping World/Freedom Roads and will continue in that capacity.

Lemonis is a native of Miami, Fla. but attended college at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Camping World sponsored June’s racing activities at the track, giving Lemonis his first involvement with the track.

"The Milwaukee Mile is one of this state's treasures, rich in history and full of potential and my immediate goal is to reintroduce the speedway to Wisconsin-based companies and residents,” Lemonis said in a news release. "With their support, we'll be able to insure that the speedway continues to deliver a high caliber of outdoor entertainment.  I have chosen to get involved to be able to bring focus and attention to this great city and state.”

Lemonis replaces Craig Stoehr, who rejoined the law firm Latham & Watkins to open offices in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Doha, Qatar, where he will reside.

“We are making changes to our organization to program more activity at the speedway and bring instant success to the track and the Wisconsin State Fair grounds,” Lemonis said. “It is our belief that the national exposure The Milwaukee Mile garners will continue to grow and showcase the great state of Wisconsin. I am asking for the state community to rally around this historic track and embrace its history.”


NASCAR clips Toyota's wings, cuts HP
NASCAR officials issued a technical bulletin to Nationwide Series teams Tuesday night aimed at evening out the horsepower among manufacturers in the series.

The bulletin requires the Toyota engine to use a tapered spacer with openings smaller than the three other manufacturers’ engines. NASCAR took 10 engines from teams after the race at Chicagoland Speedway to test power numbers.

Toyota has won 14 of the 21 Nationwide races this year, and competitors have claimed Toyota has an advantage of 20 to 25 horsepower.

According to the technical bulletin, engines with a cylinder bore spacing of 4.470 inches or more must use a tapered spacer that is smaller than engines with a cylinder bore of 4.470 inches or less.

A NASCAR spokesman confirmed that Toyota’s is the only engine with a cylinder bore of 4.470 inches or more.

NASCAR required a tapered spacer for all engines this season. The spacer acts like a restrictor plate to rob engines of the air/fuel mixture, which decreases horsepower. Previously, all engines had a spacer with the same size holes.

The Toyota engine is the newest of the four manufacturers, as Toyota came into the Nationwide Series last year.

“Eventually, all teams that upgrade to new engine packages will be subject to this rule modification,” NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said in a news release. “Over the years in our sport, we’ve taken steps on numerous occasions to help maintain a level playing field among our competitors and we will continue to do so.”  Scenedaily.com


ESPN shifts gears, would allow Wallace to own Cup team
In an apparent shift from past policy, Rusty Wallace can own a Sprint Cup team and keep his job as an ABC/ESPN analyst, a network executive said Tuesday.

When Wallace started as a race analyst in the booth for the Indy Racing League in 2006 and then for NASCAR in 2007, he said he was not allowed to have ownership in a Cup team. He wasn’t even allowed to be a consultant/driver coach for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Juan Pablo Montoya in 2006 and 2007.

ESPN hired Ray Evernham as a contributor to the network at the start of the year, mostly for NASCAR-related shows during the week. Evernham’s job was different than that of Wallace.

But with studio host Brad Daugherty buying into JTG Racing and the new JTG Daugherty Racing team going to Cup next year, it appears the policy for Wallace – whose job primarily changed this year into a studio analyst as well – has been relaxed.

"The choice for Rusty to go into Cup racing is Rusty's choice and we have relayed our position to him on that,” ESPN Vice President of Motorsports Rich Feinberg said during a teleconference with reporters Tuesday.

Wallace owns Rusty Wallace Racing, which fields two Nationwide Series teams. When asked about the possibility of his team going Cup racing in the past, Wallace has cited his ESPN contract as a hurdle.  More at Scenedaily.com


Andy Petree on potential cutbacks by auto manufacturers in NASCAR
"There’s no substitute for money. This sport runs on money and that’s really what it comes down to. These teams have become so sophisticated in the past 15 years that they can provide their own technology as long as they have enough money to fund it. And back in the day before that, the car companies would provide a lot of the technology that you couldn’t afford to buy. The technology was probably more important 10-15 years ago; today the money is the most important thing. We used to take our cars up to GM when I was with Chevrolet and Oldsmobile teams, we would use their facilities like the shaker rigs, the VHF (vehicle handling facility) and wind tunnels. Now those things are available here, all you have to do is pay at the gate and go on in and use them. The wind tunnels are here in stock car country, and so are the 7-post rigs. Most of the top teams have those in-house. But it takes money to run them. The team owners, I would be a little nervous about the position that the car companies are in to be able to provide the resources to develop that technology. That being said though, I believe this is probably the best place for the car companies to spend their marketing dollars, and hopefully this will be one of the last places they make their cuts."

What can they provide other than money?

"The biggest thing that they provide is the engine technology. Teams can’t really design and cast their own engines, and blocks, and heads and that sort of thing. NASCAR has a channel for all of that. It comes through the manufacturers so that will be a piece of that technology that they will provide no matter how much money they were giving the teams. Teams couldn’t quite replace that. That part of it is probably always going to be there."


Jarrett: Kyle Busch is the best driver in NASCAR
Quotes from ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion on the season being enjoyed by NASCAR driver Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch - He may not be a "pretty boy" like some drivers, but he certainly can drive a race car better than all of them
"He’s just a phenomenal talent and I think that he’s found himself in the perfect position. A lot of people wondered what would happen to a young man’s confidence when he’s released from a high-profile team, but he was picked up shortly after that release to go to Joe Gibbs Racing. What was going to be his mentality? Could he handle that at such a young age? I think he’s shown everyone that he has a very strong mind and he definitely has the physical ability to do whatever it takes to win these races. Right now he is the story in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, and he can be in the Nationwide Series and the Trucks when he runs there. He’s a great talent and a young man who’s really good for our sport at this time.

"You’ve seen the maturity on and off the racetrack. Now that might be hard for some people to believe the way he goes about some of the antics off the racetrack when he gets out of his car and things, but I think what we’re seeing is a young man who’s just very comfortable with who he is and what’s happening now. I don’t know if this would have happened a couple of years ago. I don’t know that he would have been able to handle all of the success he’s having a couple of years ago.

Kyle Busch bows to his fans
"Even though he still looks like he’s totally out of control most of the time, he obviously is in control. The majority of time he knows his limits. Will he still scrape the wall occasionally? Yes, but that’s why we watch every single lap to see if he’s going to make it going wide open like he does.

"He has the ability, and I saw this when I raced against him, to drive a car yawed-out (loose) a little bit more than what others do. And I’ve been able to verify that through a contact that I have at Joe Gibbs Racing that yes, indeed, he does do that more than even the other drivers there at Joe Gibbs Racing. He’s able to drive that car with a freer motion than what the other drivers do, and I think that’s a big key as to why he’s winning with this type of car that everyone fights. The m.o. of this car has been loose in, tight in the center and loose off, and he’s able to get his car through the center because he’s able to drive it in the corner a little bit looser and that’s just a feel that he has that right now no one else does, and it serves him well."

[Editor's Note: To drive a stock car loose is very difficult and underscores why Busch has buried his JGR teammate Tony Stewart.  He simply has more talent than any other NASCAR driver right now.]

track news

Lowe's Motor Speedway Cuts Ticket Prices to avoid embarrassment
To avoid embarrassment of huge sections of empty seats caused by fans not being able to afford high fuel costs to drive to the race track, and ridiculous ticket prices, Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS) is "cutting ticket prices and adding other incentives in a comprehensive program to hold on to its fan base," according to an article by Erik Spanberg of the Charlotte Business Journal. LMS President & GM Marcus Smith yesterday unveiled plans to "make all aspects of attending" the October 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 "more affordable." The plan includes "discounted ticket prices, concessions and souvenirs," and LMS also has "negotiated an alliance with area hotels to remove the traditional three- to four-night minimum stay." Smith: "We have a fans-first initiative.

"We want to be the most customer-friendly entertainment company in the world, and this is part of that effort." Spanberg noted the hotel package is a "joint effort between the speedway and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority," and 36 hotels within a 30-mile radius of LMS "have agreed to cut prices 15%." Meanwhile, LMS, in partnerships with Circle K and Coca-Cola, also has created family four packages, which include "four [reserved] seats in the Diamond Tower section, four hot dogs and four 20-ounce Cokes" for $159.

The offer represents a 30% savings, and LMS officials "plan to sell as many as 10,000 seats at that price." Additionally, anyone buying the special ticket packages also "receives a 12-pack of Coke Zero at Circle K" 


Jerez: Vettel uses slicks to go fastest again
With air temperature a very hot 37 degrees Celsius and track temperatures of around 50, Scuderia Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel used 2009 slick tires to stay on top of the times on the second day of testing at the Jerez circuit on Wednesday.

With the benefit of slick tires the entire day, the German, who had also been quickest in yesterday's session, was the only driver who managed to lap the Spanish track in less than 1m19s.  Five other drivers used slicks, but not for the full day.

"I spent the whole time on the 2009 spec slick tires and the biggest difference you notice is in the slow corners,  where  you  feel  more  mechanical  grip,"  said Vettel.  "However, the low downforce configuration in line with next year's rules means  you  have  a  lack  of  aero  which  you  feel  on  the  high  speed sections, but it is balanced out by more grip from the tires. We tried two types  of  tire  and  it  was  an  interesting  experiment,  from  which  we  got loads of data to study."  Tomorrow, Sebastien Bourdais takes over for Toro Rosso the final two days.

McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa was second quickest, the Spaniard using the morning to work with a 2009 configuration, including slick tires and revised aero. In the afternoon he reverted to this year's tires.

Honda test driver Wurz suffered a suspected engine failure around noon, bringing out the red flag.



Driver Team Tire Type Time Laps
1. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari Slick 1:18.843 100
2. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes Slick & Grooved 1:19.081 122
3. Raikkonen Ferrari* Slick & Grooved 1:19.446 76
4. Rosberg Williams-Toyota Slick & Grooved 1:19.861 112
5. Webber Red Bull-Renault Slick & Grooved 1:20.021 105
6. Wurz Honda Grooved 1:20.416 77
7. Trulli Toyota Grooved 1:20.534 81
8. Liuzzi Force India-Ferrari Grooved 1:20.577 102
9. Piquet Renault Grooved 1:20.827 99
10. Klien BMW-Sauber Grooved 1:20.866 89
*Fast time set on grooved tires


Metatarsal fractures confirmed for Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo will be wearing a cast on his left foot for the next ten days, in order to recover from the clean fractures he sustained to his third, fourth and fifth metatarsal bones last Sunday.

The Fiat Yamaha rider was taken directly to the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus in Barcelona upon his return from Laguna Seca, in order to undergo a series of examinations by Dr. Xavier Mir. The Spaniard was injured in a crash on the opening lap of last Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix, the final round before the MotoGP summer break.

The findings of a CAT scan to Lorenzo’s left foot “confirmed fractures of the third, fourth and fifth metatarsal bones, without dislocation, with no new injury to the rider’s ankle,” according to Dr. Mir’s team. The recommended treatment for the injury is “immobilization of the foot with a cast for ten days, followed by the fitting of a weight-supporting splint to allow the rider to walk.”

Lorenzo will be able to start functional rehabilitation after his ten days of immobilization, with the target of regaining complete mobility as soon as possible. He is aiming for a return to full fitness for the Czech Republic Grand Prix, which takes place on August 17th in Brno.

Jorge Lorenzo
"I am pretty hurt and upset, because once again a crash has halted my progression. I have visited Dr. Mir and he confirmed that it is a painful injury but one that can be cured through rest. I have a cast on my left foot, but I can barely walk because of some pain in the right foot suffered in the crash. Thankfully that is not an injury, just a consequence of the impact. Luckily I have time to recover before Brno, although I won’t be having any holiday time now. For the moment I am going to enjoy following one of my interests – the Tour de France – on television!”


Bobby Hamilton Racing Announces Personnel Changes
Bobby Hamilton Racing Virginia announced today that the team and Crew Chief Bryant Frazier, who worked with Stacy Compton, are amicably parting ways. Charlie Wilson will fill in as interim crew chief this weekend at O’Reilly Raceway Park for the No. 4 Dodge Dealers Dodge entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.    Through 13 races this season Compton has scored three top-10 finishes and four top-15 finishes.


GM reports 5% 2nd Qtr decrease in sales
  • Total overseas sales grow 10 percent
  • Cadillac's overseas sales up 14 percent
  • Chevrolet posts strong growth in emerging markets, overseas sales up 19 percent
  • GM remains on track to post fourth straight year of 9 million global sales

DETROIT - Record-setting sales performance in GM's Latin America, Africa and Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe regions during the second quarter of 2008 helped General Motors sell more than 2.28 million vehicles globally during the second quarter 2008. GM sales outside of its North America region grew 10 percent (up 116,000 vehicles). Compared to second quarter 2007, GM's total sales were down 5 percent, reflecting continuing economic pressures and labor disruptions in the U.S. market, which pushed North America sales down 20 percent (236,000 vehicles).

GM sold 4.54 million vehicles in the first half of 2008, keeping it on track to exceed nine million vehicles for the fourth consecutive year. Sales outside of North America grew by 209,000 vehicles during the same period. On a year-over-year basis, GM total global sales were down 3 percent for the first six months of 2008.

GM Continues Growth in Emerging Markets

"Our sales performance around the world shows that we are moving quickly to respond to new market opportunities around the globe and are meeting customer needs with fuel-efficient products that offer compelling design and great value," Jonathan Browning, vice president, global sales, service and marketing, said today. "Our global sales performance during the second quarter was fueled by Chevrolet globally and Wuling and GM Daewoo regionally."

Chevrolet sales in Asia Pacific, the industry's second-largest region, grew 27 percent compared with the second quarter a year ago. Chevrolet sales in China (up 33 percent) and India (up 9 percent) powered much of this growth. The Chevrolet brand was recently introduced in Vietnam, a new market with strong growth. The Wuling brand continued strong growth in China with sales up 35 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period a year ago. The Buick LaCrosse ECO-hybrid, made by GM's flagship venture Shanghai General Motors, has just begun sales in China and is expected to be the first mass-produced hybrid sedan in China's mid and above market segment.

In the Latin America, Africa and Middle East region - a traditional Chevrolet stronghold - sales grew 18 percent compared with the second quarter 2007. Chevrolet accounted for nearly 90 percent of the region's second quarter sales.

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Mid-Ohio Indy Lights races to be televised
The Firestone Indy Lights doubleheader run at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 19 and 20 will be televised on Thursday, July 24, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET on ESPN2.  Tune in to see all the action.


Shocked BMW mechanic spent night in hospital
(GMM)  The BMW-Sauber mechanic who received an electric shock during Jerez testing on Tuesday spent the night in a local hospital, it has emerged.

As the Spanish group test kicked off, the mechanic went to push back Christian Klien's KERS-equipped 2007 car when he was thrown to the ground.

He received treatment in the on-site medical centre for an injured hand and grazing, and it was confirmed he then returned to the German squad's test team.

But it subsequently emerged he was taken to hospital when he later complained about dizziness.  The news was confirmed on Wednesday by a spokesman for the team.

He said hospital tests showed no serious problems, but some further tests will be conducted today.

At Jerez on Wednesday, Test driver Klien is at the wheel of a conventional 2008 BMW-Sauber car.


27 Cars entered for Edmonton race
Entry List
Car Driver Hometown Car Name Entrant Race Strategist
2 A.J. Foyt IV Hockley, Texas Lilly Diabetes/Vision Racing Vision Racing Tony George
3 Helio Castroneves Sao Paulo, Brazil Team Penske Team Penske Tim Cindric
4 Vitor Meira Brasilia, Brazil Delphi National Guard Panther Racing John Barnes
5 Oriol Servia Pals, Catalonia, Spain KV Racing Technology KV Racing Technology Jimmy Vasser
6 Ryan Briscoe Sydney, Australia Team Penske Team Penske Roger Penske
7 Danica Patrick Roscoe, Ill. Motorola Andretti Green Racing Kyle Moyer
8 Will Power (R) Toowoomba, Australia Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia KV Racing Technology Mark Johnson
9 Scott Dixon Auckland, New Zealand Target Chip Ganassi Racing Target Chip Ganassi Racing Mike Hull
10 Dan Wheldon Emberton, England Target Chip Ganassi Racing Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chip Ganassi
11 Tony Kanaan Salvador, Bahia, Brazil Team 7-Eleven Andretti Green Racing George Klotz
14 Darren Manning North Yorkshire, England ABC Supply Co./AJ Foyt Racing A.J. Foyt Enterprises A.J. Foyt
15 Buddy Rice Phoenix Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dennis Reinbold
17 Ryan Hunter-Reay Boca Raton, Fla. Rahal Letterman Racing Team Ethanol Rahal Letterman Racing Scott Roembke
18 Bruno Junqueira Belo Horizonte, Brazil Z-Line Designs Dale Coyne Racing Dale Coyne
19 Mario Moraes (R) Sao Paulo, Brazil Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Dale Coyne Racing Adam Schaechter
20 Ed Carpenter Indianapolis Menards/Vision Racing Vision Racing Jeff Britton
22 Paul Tracy Scarborough, Ontario Subway/Vision Vision Racing Derrick Walker
23 Townsend Bell San Luis Obispo, Calif. Dreyer & Reinbold William Rast Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Robbie Buhl
25 Marty Roth Toronto Roth Racing Roth Racing Duncan Charnell
26 Marco Andretti Nazareth, Pa. Blockbuster Andretti Green Racing Paul Harcus
27 Hideki Mutoh (R) Tokyo Formula Dream Andretti Green Racing Kim Green
33 E.J. Viso (R) Caracas, Venezuela PDVSA HVM Racing HVM Racing Michael Cannon
34 Jaime Camara (R) Goiania, Brazil Sangari Conquest Racing Eric Zeto
36 Enrique Bernoldi (R) Curitiva, Brazil Sangari Conquest Racing Conquest Racing Brandon Fry
96 Mario Dominguez (R) Mexico City Visit Mexico City/PCM Racing Pacific Coast Motorsports Michael Harvey
02 Justin Wilson (R) Sheffield, England McDonald’s Racing Team Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Mike Talbott
06 Graham Rahal (R) New Albany, Ohio Rexall-Oilers Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Todd Malloy


NCTS Ratings Up for 9th Consecutive Race
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on SPEED continued its significant upward ratings trend, scoring a Nielsen Household Rating of .82 (596,000 households) at Kentucky, peaking at a 1.14 (831,000 households). The average household rating is a 46 percent increase from last year’s .56 (398,000 households) and marks the ninth consecutive NCTS race on SPEED that has received a ratings increase this season.  The increase continues to be driven, in part, by double-digit growth in the younger audiences. The Nielsen rating for Men 18-49 was up 31 percent (0.47 vs. 0.36) from last year’s number.


Sears Auto Center on Carpentier's car
Patrick Carpentier and the Sears Auto Center/Valvoline crew have enjoyed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors at both Daytona and Chicagoland. They’re looking to earn top rookie honors again at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Gillett Evernham Motorsports PR


Big Red Slim Pack on Montoya's car
The #42 Dodge will sport the Wrigley's Big Red Slim Pack paint scheme this weekend for the Brickyard 400 at IMS. Indy will be the fifth time this season Montoya's car will carry the bold red colors of Big Red. Chip Ganassi Racing PR


Prilosec OTC Scheme for Burton at Indy
Prilosec OTC's major associate sponsorship of RCR's #31 kicks into high gear this weekend in Indianapolis as Burton and the #31 team transform their bright orange #31 AT&T Chevy into a purple Prilosec OTC racing machine for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. RCR PR


Lowe's and #48 Team "Racing for Relief" in July UPDATE Jimmie Johnson's efforts on the track raised $12,816 to benefit the American Red Cross as part of Lowe's Racing for Relief program. Johnson completed 267 laps at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Lowe's had pledged $48 per lap completed. The funds raised will help the Red Cross to provide food, clean-up supplies, counseling and other assistance to victims of the recent Central U.S. floods and tornadoes. GMR Marketing PR

07/11/08 Lowe's and Jimmie Johnson will be "Racing for Relief" at the Chicago and Indianapolis races this month to raise funds for the American Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of the recent Central U.S. floods and tornadoes. As part of Racing for Relief, the Red Cross logo will be displayed on the deck lid of the#48 Lowe's Chevy. Lowe's will donate $48 for each lap Johnson completes in the Chicagoland 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway on July 12 and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition, if Johnson wins either race, Lowe's will donate $4,800 per victory. GMR Marketing PR


Three drivers participate in day one of Goodyear Tire Test at Atlanta UPDATE Kyle Busch, along with Cup Series drivers Travis Kvapil and Scott Riggs, each participated in the second and final day of tire testing by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch, testing in a fully-decaled #18 M&M's Toyota, posted a best lap of 180.662 mph (30.69 seconds). Riggs was the fastest of the group in his red and gray primer Chevrolet with a Haas CNC logo on the hood as he reached 180.994 mph (30.63 seconds), while Kvapil's primer white, decal-free Yates Racing Ford hit 175.101 mph (31.66 seconds). Atlanta Motor Speedway PR

07/22/08 Kyle Busch, along with Scott Riggs and Travis Kvapil, hit the pavement Monday to test combinations of tire compounds and set ups for Goodyear. With two full days of testing, Goodyear is working to ensure the ideal tire for October's race. "I think it will be a lot better direction than what Goodyear had here in the spring. They came here and tried to be cautious with the tire," said Steve Addington, crew chief for the #18 team, referring to noted tire shortcomings during the Kobalt Tools 500. "Now, they've seen what they needed to see and that's the reason we're down here, to try to help them get the tire to where fans will see better racing. Atlanta Motor Speedway PR


Tony Stewart donates bulletproof K-9 vests
Tony Stewart is donating bulletproof, stab-proof vests to police dogs in Indiana and four other states. Stewart, a Columbus native, donated the money to provide 30 vests for the Indiana State Police K-9 unit and 10 for police dogs waiting for vests in Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina and Minnesota. Susie Jean of Socorro, N.M., requested a grant from the Tony Stewart Foundation for vests for the 14 dogs currently in the Indiana State Police unit. Stewart upped the amount to cover more vests upon learning the state police unit was expanding to 30 dogs. The vests cost $695 each, according to Jean's Web site, meaning 40 vests would total nearly $28,000. Stewart will present the vests to state police Thursday at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont. Associated Press/Indianapolis Star


Driver talent not required
We have said for years that winning on the oval tracks is almost all about how fast your car is and almost zero driver.  Oval lovers may disagree, but the facts are the facts. If you drive for the top-3 teams in the IRL, the teams that have all the money to do R&D (wind tunnel work shaker rig, rolling resistance, etc.) to make their cars faster, you are almost assured a win on the 100% throttle oval tracks.

Buddy Rice said he and everybody not involved in one of the top three teams - Team Penske, Target Chip Ganassi or Andretti Green - are quite happy to have hit the road course run of the schedule. "They've won almost all the races the last few years," he said of the Big 3. "Racing (and winning) on the ovals is all about money."


Dubious IndyCar honors award
Number of races without a win:
Vitor Meira 88
Ed Carpenter 77
A.J. Foyt IV 77
Darren Manning 53

Number of races since your last win:
Buddy Rice 65
Marco Andretti 30
Helio Castroneves 27


Latest F1 news in brief
  • F1 teams to discuss KERS issues
  • Hamilton swerved German GP disaster 'by inches'
  • F1 comeback 'not realistic', Ralf admits
  • Alonso career hit low-point at Hockenheim
  • F1 figures play public poker at Hockenheim
  • Haug insists no title conspiracy against team
  • German F1 hosts happy with alternating scheme

F1 teams to discuss KERS issues
(GMM)  Issues arising from the development of KERS systems for 2009 will be discussed at the next meeting of F1's Technical Working Group (TWG).

Before the German grand prix, Red Bull had to evacuate its Milton Keynes factory amid a smoke and fume scare, and at the Jerez test on Tuesday, a BMW-Sauber mechanic received an electric shock when he touched a car fitted with a developmental KERS system.

There are also suggestions doing the rounds that a potentially extremely dangerous by-product of exploded KERS batteries is the poison arsenic.

"First of all we need to understand exactly what has happened," Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said.

"I think that is something which will be discussed at the next Technical Working Group.

"We don't have to over-react to anything at the moment because of course it's a new project, we need to take care of all the safety aspects and all the other things," he added.

Domenicali explained that Ferrari has not itself encountered any of the serious problems that have emerged at some of the other teams.

Hamilton swerved German GP disaster 'by inches'
(GMM)  Hockenheim winner Lewis Hamilton only narrowly averted a disastrous finish to last Sunday's German grand prix.

The championship leader ultimately delivered a second consecutive dominant win for his McLaren team, but he very nearly threw it away in what would have been an embarrassing gaffe at engine partner Mercedes-Benz's home race.

Britain's Independent newspaper reports that Hamilton, 23, very nearly crashed his silver McLaren into the back of the similarly Mercedes-powered safety car following Timo Glock's mid-race accident.

The near-miss was not captured by the TV cameras, but on lap 41 in the stadium section, as he slowed down and then sped up in readiness for the restart, Hamilton missed hitting the safety car by a margin of "literally only inches", the newspaper said, citing eyewitnesses.

The British driver ultimately destroyed the opposition at Hockenheim, pulling out a four point advantage over his nearest Ferrari rival, Felipe Massa.

But amid the plaudits, Hamilton is refusing to agree he is now on a fast track to the 2008 crown.

"We're looking strong, we're looking good, but in a formula one season things change," he insisted.

"We will see in the next few races, I don't know what to expect. All I know is that we will have a competitive car and if we can challenge for wins, then great.

"We need to keep on pushing, simple as that, and I'm sure everyone else will be," Hamilton said.

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