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DATE News (chronologically)
07/30/12
nassprint

Patrick blows engine early in Goodyear tire test
Even a tire test didn’t go well for Danica Patrick in a season that could be best described as a “learning process.”

Part of the learning came Monday, when Patrick was among the more than two dozen cars testing tires at Michigan International Speedway.

But her test didn’t last all that long, as she blew an engine and wrecked in a Stewart-Haas Racing car.

Track president Roger Curtis said Patrick’s engine let go, and according to those at the track, Patrick drove the car back to her garage reportedly with damage to the right front.

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07/30/12
nassprint

Goodyear confirms new NASCAR tire combination
A tire test at Michigan International Speedway saw fast speeds and happy drivers.

The daylong tire test allowed teams and Goodyear to check out the new tires the teams will race when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series return in a few weeks.

Goodyear has selected a new combination for the two-mile racetrack – a combination of the original tires from the April test and a slightly softer version of the harder tire used during the June race.

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07/30/12
f1

Valencia looking for ways to cut F1 costs
New Jersey is rumored to be taking Valencia's slot on the F1 calendar in 2013
Valencia regional President Alberto Fabra will continue talks with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone to "try to find a way to cut the cost" of staging the European Grand Prix, according to Iain Rogers of REUTERS. The General Secretary of the region's ruling party Serafin Castellano said Fabra was "in a process of negotiation to reduce the cost of the Formula One levy." Castellano added: "(Formula One) is very important not only from an image point-of-view but also due to the economic impact, the creation of jobs and what that means for the Valencia region." Valencia is attempting to lower the cost of staging its race as "cash-strapped local administrators are under pressure to make budget cuts as part of a central government austerity drive" REUTERS

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07/30/12
Team USA

Candidates Announced for 23rd Annual Team USA Scholarships
What do INDYCAR race winners-turned-team owners Jimmy Vasser and Bryan Herta, Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, American Le Mans Series Champion Joey Hand and Grand-Am Rolex Series Champion Andy Lally have in common with rising stars such as Charlie Kimball, J.R. Hildebrand, Josef Newgarden, Bryan Sellers, Conor Daly, Connor De Phillippi and Spencer Pigot? They are all former winners of prestigious Team USA Scholarships which since 1990 have provided opportunities for young American race car drivers to display their talents on an international stage early in their careers.

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07/30/12
irl

Ryan Hunter-Reay to Display Pelotonia Livery at Mid-Ohio
Hunter-Reay's  Pelotonia paint scheme for Mid-Ohio
Andretti Autosport and DHL announced today that Ryan Hunter-Reay will display a special paint scheme at Mid-Ohio to include Pelotonia and represent the 28 million people battling cancer.

Pelotonia is a bicycle ride headquartered in Columbus, Ohio that was founded in 2008. This year's ride will take place August 10-12, with every dollar raised going towards cancer research. In its first three years, Pelotonia has attracted over 8,300 riders from 38 states, about 2,800 volunteers and raised $25.4 million for cancer research.

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07/30/12
irl

Bobby Rahal on 50 Years of Memories at Mid-Ohio
Bobby Rahal
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has been a part of Bobby Rahal’s life since he was a child.  He was inspired by his experiences at the track and went on to compete in races there, including 16 Indy car events from 1983-1998.  Nine of those races were as a driver and the following seven were as a team owner/driver.  He won two Indy car races (1985 from pole, 1986), two poles (1983, 1985), made three front row starts (2nd in 1987), finished on the podium in eight of his 16 races for a 50 percent average, and earned 9 top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes.

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07/30/12
irl
ga

IndyCar Drivers spend off weekend in endurance events
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Sebastien Bourdais teamed with Alex Popow to win the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Bourdais took the checkered flag under caution in the No. 2 Soloson Daytona Prototype fielded by Starworks Motorsport in the three-hour race on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile course. Bourdais took the lead for good on Lap 74 of the three-hour race, which ended after 91 laps. He dove under Ryan Dalziel entering Turn 1 for the decisive move. There were three caution periods after Bourdais took the lead, but he was able to pull away on restarts each time.

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07/30/12
irl

Wilson launches social media trading card
Justin Wilson
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson has formed a partnership with Meet-Meme.com, a Milwaukee-based social media trading card company, which will provide the Dale Coyne Racing driver with a range of social media services, including a custom-designed QR code allowing fans to quickly follow him across all of his social media platforms.

"We are excited to partner with Justin to provide him with his own personal scan code and digital dashboard," said Jonathan Brewer, director of awesome at Meet-Meme. "Justin is the first to receive his own vanity URL, custom designed QR Code, and integrated twitter feed into the desktop version of his Meet-Meme dashboard. We are honored to be a part of such a progressive IndyCar Series experience - bridging the online and offline worlds. Now fans can easily connect with Justin online after they meet him."

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07/30/12
nassprint

NASCAR approves designs for 2013 Sprint Cup cars
NASCAR, which has worked with its four participating Sprint Cup manufacturers to create car bodies that better resemble their production counterparts, has approved the 2013 designs for each.

Three of the four manufacturers already had unveiled their cars—the Ford Fusion, Dodge Charger and Toyota Camry—with the caveat that they could be altered pending final approval.

Chevrolet has not unveiled its new SS.

NASCAR has had all the cars in the wind tunnel several times in order to achieve parity among the manufacturers.

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07/30/12
irl
alms

Baltimore GP track layout altered
New Baltimore Layout
Three alterations to the 2-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit for the Aug. 31-Sept. 2 Grand Prix of Baltimore will be incorporated into its construction, which was scheduled to begin overnight July 30.

A news conference to position a ceremonial track barrier took place earlier in the day.

The chicane on the Pratt Street main straightaway will be removed, the right-hand Turn 1 will be widened and the shape of Turns 5-6 (also pit entrance) will be changed, according to Tony Cotman of NZR Consulting, which is contracted to build the circuit.

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07/30/12
nnw

Video: Danica Patrick wrecks Reed Sorenson


Comment
07/30/12
nassprint

Empty seats at Brickyard as attendance declines UPDATE Super Weekend was a marketing idea that was meant to fill seats in the grandstands surrounding America’s most famous speedway. The ‘Super Weekend at the Brickyard’ was designed to give fans an entire weekend of racing at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, at a price of course. While no one can fault the idea on paper, the reality turned out to be an embarrassment of near epic proportions (see photo in this article).

Almost immediately after the announcement fans and critics began to question the idea of allowing anything but the top tier series of NASCAR to race at the ‘Big Track’. After all it had taken some time for open wheel fans to warm up to the idea of allowing stock cars to race on the famed yard of bricks, now it seemed that the kids were going to be allowed at the adult table. The addition of the Nationwide race at Indy meant that the loss of a race at the little track across town which while known as many names, was always simply Indianapolis Raceway Park. The Friday night racing under the lights there was some of the best of the year and always held in front of packed grandstands. IRP however would lose the event that was the highlight of the year for many.

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07/30/12
f1

No Schumacher contract announcement at Spa - Haug
(GMM)  Norbert Haug has played down expectations Michael Schumacher's plans beyond the 2012 season will be discussed and decided during the month-long August break.

With the seven time world champion's three-year 'comeback' contract set to expire this year, it might be said the big gap between Sunday's Hungarian grand prix and F1's next outing at fabled Spa-Francorchamps in early September is an ideal opportunity for his crucial talks with Mercedes.

News of a new deal would also be timely, given Schumacher's special connection with the Belgian grand prix, and the fact the 2012 event coincides with the triple-century milestone in the 43-year-old's epic grand prix career.

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07/30/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Monday
  • Kimi Raikkonen
    Boullier urges Raikkonen to stay at Lotus
  • 'Frank Williams happy' with Senna's progress
  • Schumacher parked in wrong grid slot
  • Teammate feud brewing at Marussia - report
  • Winning structure still in place at Lotus - Villadelprat
  • Father urges McLaren 'loyalty' for son Hamilton
  • Mid-season points gap 'not enough for title' - Alonso
  • 'Many problems' at Toro Rosso also last year - Alguersuari

    Read more & Comment...
07/29/12
motogp

Stoner beats Lorenzo at Laguna Seca
Stoner passes Lorenzo and leads
At this weekend’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in Laguna Seca it was Repsol Honda Team’s Casey Stoner who recorded a hard-fought victory ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. It was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo who took the holeshot into the tricky turn one, with Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa and Stoner in tow. Stoner was the only one of the front-runners to have started on the softer option rear tire, with the two Spaniards opting for the harder spec. San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Michele Pirro was an early crasher in the first turn, while Pramac Racing Team’s Toni Elías crashed out a lap later. 

On lap two Stoner was finding his pace and made his way past Pedrosa as he started to chase down Lorenzo at the front. As Lorenzo was keeping the Repsol pair honest, Yamaha’s Ben Spies was heading up a group in fourth including Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, as well as Stefan Bradl. With 22 laps reaming Crutchlow was all over the back of the rear wheel of Dovizioso, as the pair continued their season-long tussle. Back at the front Lorenzo was having to continuously hold off Stoner, who was all over the back of the Spaniard looking for a way past, as Pedrosa seemed content to look on in third. A lap later, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden was finding his stride in eighth, as he made up headway to the front with Valentino Rossi in tow.

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07/29/12
nassprint

Economy and lack of action chip away at NASCAR's popularity
Despite getting Danica Patrick, NASCAR's popularity continues to plummet
NASCAR's popularity seems stuck in neutral, never a flattering description even outside this sport.

Although NASCAR remains among the nation's most popular sports, attendance at many of the 19 Sprint Cup Series races this season was either flat or dipped from a year earlier. So did NASCAR's average television ratings.

Now -- as the series moves further into the 36-race season's second half with Sunday's Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- the question is whether NASCAR's appeal will pick up as it gets closer to its "Chase for the Cup" title playoff this fall. And then into 2013.

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07/29/12
irl

What's holding IndyCar back?
Why is it that the IZOD IndyCar series is still struggling for survival? Why are already anemic TV ratings flat or down? Is it the racing?

Well, other than the train wreck of Belle Isle, the racing has been phenomenal. Arguably, this year has been the most compelling in recent history, with championship likely to go down to the 500-mile finale in Fontana. Furthermore, despite a merely “solid” effort in Edmonton, Ryan Hunter-Reay, an American, is leading the points race (3 wins in a row helps explain this). So what is the issue?

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07/29/12
gp3

Felix Da Costa records double win in Budapest thriller
Felix Da Costa, Niederhauser & Pal Kiss
This is one weekend Portuguese driver Antonio Felix Da Costa won’t forget in hurry. After winning Race 1 yesterday, the Carlin driver started from eighth on the grid in a race dominated by strategy. He fought his way impressively through the field in the latter stages to produce a magical win, becoming the first driver in GP3 history to achieve a double victory during the race weekend. Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport) and Tamas Pal Kiss (Atech CRS GP) finished second and third.

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07/29/12
gp2

Gutierrez rockets to GP2 sprint victory
Nathanael Berthon (Racing Engineering), Esteban Gutierrez (Lotus GP), Luiz Razia (Arden International)
Esteban Gutierrez dominated this morning's sprint race in Budapest with a storming drive from pole, leading from lights to flag to claim his third victory of the season and put himself on the top step of the podium ahead of Nathanael Berthon and series leader Luiz Razia.

The win was set up at the start when Gutierrez eased away from the grid with Berthon on his rear wing, while behind them Giedo van der Garde slid past Jolyon Palmer at the first turn, and Razia running around the outside of the Briton at turn 2. With James Calado slow off the line, Davide Valsecchi and Max Chilton took advantage of his misfortune to follow the leaders down the road.

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07/29/12
motogp

Lorenzo claims fourth consecutive Laguna Seca pole
Lorenzo
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was on record-breaking form during qualifying for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca this weekend as he stole pole position in the final seconds for tomorrow’s race ahead of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo left it until his last lap to take his fourth consecutive pole at the track from Repsol Honda Team’s Stoner, who had posted a new track record just a few laps before. Completing the front row in third is his teammate Dani Pedrosa, who had shone in yesterday’s practice sessions, but was unable to match the two at the front, who were on blistering form.

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07/29/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Sunday
  • Adrian Sutil
    Manager admits Sutil visited Ferrari headquarters
  • Teammate says McLaren stay 'right thing' for Hamilton
  • F1 drivers on notice about cutting corners
  • Petrov handed fine for pit lane speeding
  • Williams achieves double top ten result
  • Hamilton delighted with latest McLaren updates
  • Perez settles differences with Maldonado

    Read more & Comment...
07/28/12
nnw

Kahne on pole at Indy
Kasey Kahne will start on the pole in the inaugural Nationwide Series race at the famed Brickyard with Kyle Busch on the outside. Points leader Elliott Sadler will roll off fifth.

NASCAR Superstar and most popular driver, Danica Patrick, will start 20th.

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07/28/12
f1

Worst Mercedes qualifying in two years
The Mercedes is a slug in Hungary
Mercedes will start the Hungarian Grand Prix from the lowly grid slots of 13 and 17. Having been off the pace since Friday practice, Michael Schumacher was the biggest loser as he was the slowest car in Q2. The result marks the team’s worst qualifying since Valencia 2010.

“It was quite a tough and difficult day for us,” said Schumacher, whose weekend had begun with a crash on Friday. “We have to clearly see that we did not have the pace to be at the front. I could have done a faster lap probably, without the dust having been brought onto the track by Maldonado, but then I still do not think it would have taken me into Q3.

“I don't think we could have done much more. This morning we practiced for long runs, as yesterday we could not do that due to the rain, but I don't think it compromised our performance. You have to accept the gap is quite big.”

The result comes in stark contrast to 2001, when Schumacher claimed his fourth world title in Hungary for Ferrari.

Comment
07/28/12
f1

Austin RV spots for F1 race weekend going for top dollar
Monaco has its yachts. Circuit of the Americas will have a small sea of RVs.
At the racetrack under construction southeast of Austin, track-side RV parking spots will be among the most prized places from which to watch the Formula One race planned for November.

The spots — 78 along the back straightaway — will offer people a familiar place to stay throughout the race weekend without the worry of getting stuck in post-race traffic, which organizers have estimated will take race-goers two to three hours to clear.

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07/28/12
f1

Austin F1 girding for rash of copter traffic
As many as a thousand Formula One fans will use helicopters to reach the Circuit of the Americas each day for November's inaugural Grand Prix event here, officials estimate, with each of them paying more than $500 for what is likely to be a brief trip to and from the track.

That unusual mode of travel for a Central Texas sporting event has required track organizers to bring on aviation partners familiar with handling reservations and scheduling for hundreds of helicopter flights during each of the three days of racing, and to work with city and federal officials on flight rules and routes for the copters.

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07/28/12
f1

Horner denies latest 'parc ferme cheat' claims
Christian Horner
(GMM)  Red Bull remained on the defensive in the Hungaroring paddock on Friday, as boss Christian Horner fended off the latest cheat claims.

A German magazine this week revealed that, in Canada, the FIA asked the reigning champions to remove a hand-adjustable damper system from the RB8.

The rules state that the adjustments can only be made with a special tool, thus ensuring a team cannot secretly make performance-enhancing changes during the strict 'parc ferme' period between qualifying and the race.

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07/28/12
f1

Ecclestone drops more hints about 2013 calendar
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone on Friday dropped a few more hints about the likely composition of the 2013 calendar.

Earlier, the F1 chief executive revealed that, like this season, next year's schedule will feature 20 races.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the diminutive Briton then paid a brief visit to the media centre at the Hungaroring, stating that if the Nurburgring cannot solve its financial crisis, "We will be in Hockenheim" next year.

The report said Valencia is being dropped, making room for New Jersey. 

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07/28/12
nnw

Moving Nationwide Series race to big speedway seems wrong
It's a few minutes after 10 a.m. on Friday and Mike Broge is resting peacefully in a red reclining lawn chair underneath the shade of a tent in Raceview Family Campground.

"It's kind of lonely," says Broge, wearing a green t-shirt with Cooter's Wrecker Service on the front.

In years past, Broge would be a few hundred yards away outside the general admission gate near Turn 1 at what most refer to as the "Little Track." He would be there with several hundred other fans hoping to reserve a spot for that night's Camping World Truck or Nationwide Series race on the knoll with a canvas tarp or blanket.

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07/28/12
gp3

Vainio scorches to Budapest pole
Top 3: Vainio, Felix Da Costa, Evans
Finland’s Aaro Vainio is enjoying the Hungaroring this weekend. Fastest yesterday in Free Practice and again today to claim pole in dominant style! The Lotus GP driver broke the circuit record en route to the front of the grid and has clawed back points on Series leader Mitch Evans. Antonio Felix Da Costa and Evans line up second and third.

The 30 minute qualifying session got underway with searing track temperatures of 34 degrees under clear blue skies. Once the installation laps were set, Buller was leading the way until Evans shot to P1. Vainio went quickest with Felix Da Costa rising to P2, ahead of David Fumanelli at the midway point.

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07/28/12
British F3

Superb dates and circuits for British F3 in 2013
The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series is set for a bright future and an exciting 2013 season, it was confirmed at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. The championship will visit five Grand Prix-standard circuits next year, with five meetings in mainland Europe, most of them supporting the successful Blancpain Endurance Series for sports cars.

Highlights of the provisional calendar - announced by SRO Motorsports Group CEO Stephane Ratel during the championship’s annual visit to the Belgian Grand Prix circuit - include a return visit to the historic Pau Grand Prix in France, races on the Grand Prix circuits of Italy, Belgium, Great Britain and Germany alongside BES, and also a summer Blancpain event at Paul Ricard in the south of France.

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07/28/12
f1

Hungary GP: Webber tops final practice
Mark Webber
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in both Friday sessions at the Hungaroring.  However, come Saturday morning when it counts, Mark Webber beat the McLaren driver by 0.093 seconds in final practice for the Grand Prix of Hungary.

Hamilton ended up in a Red Bull sandwich ahead third-placed Sebastian Vettel.

Bruno Senna took a very strong fourth for Williams, much to the disbelief of the paddock.

Read more & Comment...
07/28/12
f1

Latest F1 news in brief - Saturday
  • Hamilton denies 'not focused' after paparazzi reports
  • Red Bull denies losing pace due to 'engine maps' saga
  • Petrov could leave Caterham after 2012 - manager
  • F1 drivers criticize Pirelli's wet tires
  • Alonso 'calmer' than 'aggressive' Schumacher - Hamashima
  • 2014 F1 engine supplier 'Pure' hits roadblock

    Read more & Comment...
07/28/12
ga

Pedrosa fastest on day one at Red Bull U.S Grand Prix
The first day of free practice at Laguna Seca finished with Dani Pedrosa topping the time sheets. Dani fully utilized his new specification RC213V Honda with updated engine and chassis to lap three tenths under the circuit record. His best lap time was 1'21.088, while Casey Stoner, who also worked with the new engine but mounted on the 'standard' chassis, recorded a fastest lap of 1'21.457 for third ahead of the Yamaha of points leader Jorge Lorenzo.

DANI PEDROSA 1st 1'21.088

"We did a good job today, we managed to get a good lap time in the morning and improved it in the afternoon, although the grip level was very poor and we struggled a bit with the rear. The tires were working a little better in the afternoon, but it was hard to work on the consistency due to the lack of grip. I hope to be able to work on the pace tomorrow to prepare the race. The new bike is working good here, I will continue working on the set up tomorrow".

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07/28/12
ga

What if they raced and nobody came? UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I have often wondered how the Grand-Am survives with near zero attendance.  It's clear to me that the France Family is using voodoo economics to prop up the Grand-Am Series until ALMS dies, just as the Hulman George family used voodoo economics to prop up the IRL until Champ Car died.  With almost no one in attendance at Indy Friday for the grand-am race, who paid the prize money?  You can bet it was the France family who has used family money (NASCAR profits) and voodoo economics for years.  Do you want to bet where Tony George learned that tactic from?  Mordichai Rosen, LA, California

07/28/12 Grand-Am held their first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday.  The crowd, disguised as aluminum seats, was huge.

Comment
07/28/12
tv news

Wind Tunnel Sunday
Co-host, David Hobbs, will join Dave Despain in the Wind Tunnel studio. John Andretti will co-host the show from our studio in Indianapolis.

In addition, we’ll be joined by analysts, Kyle Petty, and Scott Russell. Kyle will join us from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with reaction to the day’s Brickyard 400. Scott Russell will be at Laguna Seca where he will provide thoughts and insight into Sunday’s MotoGP event.

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07/28/12
irl

GoPro Becomes Title Sponsor of INDYCAR Race in Sonoma
GoPro, the world's most versatile camera, has been named title sponsor of the annual INDYCAR race at the raceway in Sonoma, officials announced today.

GoPro, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has signed a three-year agreement with the raceway that extends through May, 2015. The GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, which will take place Aug. 24-26 in 2012, will feature the best in open-wheel racing with high-profile drivers such as Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves and Will Power.

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