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Q and A with Castroneves, Montoya and Power at M-O
Juan Montoya
Helio Castroneves, Driver Of The No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, Juan Pablo Montoya, Driver Of The No. 2 Hawk Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, And Will Power, Driver Of The No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar met with members of the media at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.


"Good question. Make sure the gearbox stays all the way to the end! Or if there is a doubleheader, make sure we change everything. It's a very difficult decision to think through. You look back and maybe you take more risks in some areas. I don't know. I always worry about a rain day. When I say that, it's not literally but it's in case something bad happens. At least you have something in your pocket. At this point last year, I think we were more comfortable. We didn't think a bad thing could happen. It wasn't a rain day but it was like a thunderstorm. You have to keep going and working hard and not worry about the guys. Right now, just push it."

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Rick Pearson Wins IndyCar Championship of Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge
Rick Pearson
Lexington, OH– Rick Pearson of Chip Ganassi Racing has won the 2014 IndyCar Championship of the Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge, claiming the grand prize of $30,000. Pearson, who won the first two IndyCar chicanes of 2014, becomes the second consecutive transport driver from Chip Ganassi Racing to win the IndyCar Championship.

Upon being named the 2014 IndyCar Champion, an emotional Pearson exclaimed, "Thank you so much, Pilot Flying J, it’s such an honor to win this championship!" Pearson continued, "I've really enjoyed competing in the Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge with my friends. This award from Pilot Flying J means so much to me and my family!"

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Juan Pablo Montoya's son shares love of racing
Juan (L) with son Sebastian
Juan Pablo Montoya - the 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner who returned to open-wheel racing after seven years in NASCAR - shares his insights on and off the track with USA TODAY Sports during the season. Montoya, 38, spoke with Jeff Olson before IndyCar's visit to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

The first thing I asked my son Sebastian when he expressed an interest in karting was this: Do you really want to do it?

His answer was yes, so we pursued it. He hasn't regretted it, and neither have I. 

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Enerson wins U.S. F2000 Race 1 at Mid-Ohio
R.C. Enerson scored the win Friday at Mid-Ohio
Lexington, Ohio – RC Enerson bounced back into contention for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda by scoring an accomplished victory in this afternoon’s Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Race One. Enerson, 17, from New Port Richey, Fla., had seemed in control of the title-chase after winning three of the first four races of the season, only for a series of disappointing results – capped by a mechanical problem in the most recent race in Toronto – to slip behind both charging Frenchman Florian Latorre and his Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Jake Eidson.

Latorre earned his fifth pole in as many race weekends but it was Enerson who grasped the lead at the first corner and never looked back. Enerson refused to be distracted by a shower of rain which caused the leaders to cut their pace by up to 10 seconds per lap during the final three laps. He took the checkered flag 1.6223 seconds clear of Latorre to move within 18 points with four races remaining in the season.

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Mid-Ohio Quote board
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): "We didn't get enough laps on the tires on that last set we ran. It's taking a couple laps for the tires to come up to temperature and they're a bit slippery until then, so I don't think 12th (in the second session) is representative of where the car really is. I think there's a chunk of speed in the United Fiber & Data Honda and we saw some of it this morning. Luckily we have another practice session in the morning to know exactly where we are before qualifying."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 Snapple Honda): "Practice 1 was fine for us today. We didn't change anything (between sessions), but went so loose in Practice 2 and we didn't get a lap on new tires. The traffic made it tough, cars kept backing up before the line and there were a couple of flags. I don't think the car is bad, we just need more of a chance to get out there and run."

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New car show featuring INDYCAR'S Bohlander make debut on Velocity
A member of the Verizon IndyCar Series community is the co-host of "Garage Squad," a new car-oriented series that debuts tonight at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on Velocity.

Lauren Bohlander, wife of 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan and the Verizon IndyCar Series' at track video host, is a co-host of the show along with racing personality Bruno Massel.

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IndyCar Qualifying Groups
Ryan Hunter-Reay won pole at Mid-Ohio last year.
Below are tomorrow's Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying groups for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio:

Group 1

#2 Juan Pablo Montoya
#3 Helio Castroneves
#7 Mikhail Aleshin
#8 Ryan Briscoe
#10 Tony Kanaan
#12 Will Power
#14 Takuma Sato
#19 Justin Wilson
#20 Mike Conway
#27 James Hinchcliffe
#77 Simon Pagenaud

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Other NASCAR TV Ratings from Indy
NASCAR Nationwide Series: Lilly Diabetes 250 (Indianapolis) 7/26 ESPN 1.3 1,988
"NASCAR Countdown" 7/27 ESPN 1.3 1,889
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying (Indianapolis) 7/26 ESPN 0.7 1,078
"NASCAR Countdown" 7/26 ESPN 0.7 1,022
NHRA Mello Yello Series qualifying (Sonoma) 7/26 ESPN 0.7 1,018
1-800-CarCash Mudsummer Classic (Eldora) 7/23 FS1 0.6 873


NASCAR Brickyard 400 TV ratings (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 ESPN finished with a 3.4 rating and 5.2 million viewers for its final telecast of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last Sunday, down from a 3.6 rating and 5.46 million viewers last year. The figure is the second lowest for ESPN since it began airing the race in '07, behind only the '12 race, which went head-to-head with the London Olympics. NBC will again air the Brickyard 400 next year.

Brickyard 400 TV Rating Trend

'14 ESPN 3.4 5,196 '03 NBC 6.0 9,690
'13 ESPN 3.6 5,460 '02 NBC 6.3 10,183
12* ESPN 3.3 5,055 '01 NBC 6.2 9,657
'11 ESPN 4.0 6,377 '00 ABC 3.7 4,958
'10 ESPN 3.6 5,709 '99 ABC 4.6 6,919
'09 ESPN 4.1 6,487 '98 ABC 4.1 5,450
'08 ESPN 4.3 6,668 '97 ABC 5.3 7,737
'07 ESPN 4.2 6,574 '96 ABC 4.3 5,809
'06 NBC 5.5 8,645 '95 ABC 4.3 5,707
'05 NBC 6.2 9,510 '94 ABC 5.7 8,136
'04 NBC 6.1 9,315 - - - -
Table provided by SportsBusinessDaily.com

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Mid Ohio Friday 3:00 pm report - Bourdais fastest, Hunter-Reay overall best
- Afternoon practice is in the books for the Indy Racing League's big cars, and Sebastien Bourdais set the pace. Carlos Munoz, Takuma Sato, Justin Wilson and Ryan Briscoe rounded out the top 5. Last year's winner, Charlie Kimball, was next-to-last on the charts -- and was 17th in the morning session. "We had a great weekend (at Toronto) and finally capitalized on the pace and promises we've had coming into the season," said Bourdais, a resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., who joined 19 other drivers in testing at Mid-Ohio July 24. "It's great to be at the front at Mid-Ohio. It's a fun place. It's a very challenging track and balance is always the key. You have to hit it just right and gaps are always very minimal. It's a track that's very unforgiving and you have to get it right and when you do, it's a lot of fun. We had a good test last week, but we're still digging. Still looking for stuff and we're getting a lot closer every time we come out."

- "Yeah, I caught a lot of shit over it" explained Arie Luyendyk when asked about his spin while driving the pace car in Toronto. The car had full slicks when the rain hit, making it impossible to handle.

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Mid Ohio Friday 2:00 pm report
The nice thing about being in the right spot – and this weekend it is Mid-Ohio – is that you get to ask the right people the right questions. Derrick Walker not only emphatically confirmed that IndyCar will run aero kits next year, but those kits are currently in production. Part of the emphasis is just to make the cars look different, not only from each other but from other open-wheel racing series as well. However, admitted Walker, there is only so much you can do with open-wheel cars.

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Chip Ganassi to be honored for achievements in his racing career
Chip Ganassi
NASCAR, IndyCar and IMSA team owner Chip Ganassi is one of the most low-key guys in motorsports.

But on August 7, Ganassi will find himself smack dab in the spotlight as he’s honored during the International Motor Racing Research Center awards dinner at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y.

The event, to be held three days before the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup race at nearby Watkins Glen International road course, will honor Ganassi for a lifetime of achievement in motorsports, according to the Elmira Star-Gazette.

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Q and A with Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton spoke to Nemzeti Sport on how he esteems Fernando Alonso, who is behind his twitter posts and photos, what he thinks of the current fierce intra-team battle inside Mercedes.

Does the good car play a part in that respect that you seem to be more relaxed than before?
"I don’t think it is all down to that. It clearly helps, but I am simply happy. The right people are around me and I found the right balance in my life. On top of that I can fight for the world championship."

You seem to handle the disappointments better than before.
"I learn all the time, I get older, my personality develops and I got more mature."

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Hunter-Reay leads opening practice
Ryan Hunter-Reay
Ryan Hunter-Reay led Friday morning's opening Verizon IndyCar Series practice session for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. With a lap of 1:06.531, the driver of the #28 DHL Honda was 0.14 seconds quicker than second-place Simon Pagenaud, also in a Honda.

Four-time Mid-Ohio winner Scott Dixon was the fastest Chevrolet entry in third. Russian rookie Mikhail Aleshin was fourth, with Sebastien Bourdais rounding out the top five.

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Young guns shut out the vets at the Coates Hire Ipswich 400
It was described by some wags as the 'creche' when by Scott McLaughlin, Chaz Mostert and Nick Percat closed out the big guns in practice at the Coates Hire Ipswich 400.

A year on from last year's Ipswich event where McLaughlin and Mostert announced their arrival on the main stage the pair were at it again in practice, 1-2 at the end of the day.

The usual suspects in Whincup, Lowndes and Winterbottom were replaced by McLaughlin (21), Mostert (22) and Percat (25), albeit in what is often loosely considered the Friday 'Grand Prix'.

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Conway to race for Toyota in Austin
Mike Conway
TOYOTA Racing test and reserve driver Mike Conway will make his race debut for the team in the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, in Austin on 20 September.

The Englishman, already a two-time race winner this season in the IndyCar Series, will drive the #7 TS040 HYBRID in place of Kazuki Nakajima, who has conflicting Super Formula duties in Japan.

Mike has already gained experience of the TS040 HYBRID during winter testing and raced on the Circuit of the Americas in 2013, when he won the LMP2 class on his way to fifth overall.

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One Indy 500 winner honors another
Four-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Rick Mears will be the honoree at the third Safelite AutoGlass Rally for the Ranch on Aug. 1 in Columbus, Ohio.

Proceeds from the event, hosted by 1986 Indy 500 winner and Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner Bobby Rahal, will be directed toward The Buckeye Ranch and its programs for central Ohio youths and families dealing with mental, behavior and substance abuse issues.

In two years, the rally has raised $536,000.


Mid-Ohio kicks off championship stretch for Verizon IndyCar Series
Castroneves leads the points chase as IndyCar enters its last month
Verizon IndyCar Series championship front-runner Helio Castroneves takes a 13-point lead over Team Penske teammate Will Power heading into the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 3, which kicks off the four-race sprint to the season finale on Aug. 30.

The MAVTV 500 on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval is the final Triple Crown series race that carries double points, which will play a role in determining the driver and entrant champions. Those titles have been decided in the season finale the past eight years.

"The last race, double points, I'm going to say there will be four people in contention," Power said. "A lot can happen; (the points) can turn so quickly. You have to put your head down and not think about it and get the most out of every weekend."

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Mark Martin returns to Roush...as a coach
Mark Martin
Roush Fenway Racing announces that legendary NASCAR driver Mark Martin is returning to the race team where he excelled behind the wheel for almost 20 years - this time as the team's driver development coach. Martin was the first driver hired by team owner Jack Roush when he founded his NASCAR operation in 1988. The two went on to become one of the most successful duos in sports history, accumulating 83 NASCAR wins, four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship runner-up finishes, and building Roush Fenway into the winningest team in NASCAR history.

"I'm excited to return to Roush Fenway Racing, as it feels like I'm going home to where I belong," said Martin. "I was fortunate to help build this team from the beginning and it's very humbling to be a part of Jack's team again. When Jack first hired me in 1988 we didn't talk about salary or benefits or perks, we talked about testing, tires and putting the right personnel into place to win on the track. That commitment is what stood out to me then and it's still what stands out to me today."

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Rain in forecast for Mid-Ohio IndyCar race
Forecasts are calling for a wet weekend at Mid Ohio, and after the races in Toronto, many fans are wondering does IndyCar race in the rain or should they stay home?

Friday calls for 30% chance of Isolated T-Storms

Saturday calls for 80% chance of T-Storms

Sunday calls for 40% chance of afternoon T-Storms

Maybe IndyCar should move the race to 9:00 AM Sunday morning so they can run in the dry.


Mallya granted bail on tax case in India
Vijay Mallya (L) with Nico Hulkenberg
(GMM)  Although the meeting was ultimately cancelled, it was expected that one of the touted 'popularity working group' protagonists would be Vijay Mallya.

The Indian, reportedly now a former billionaire, has had a troubled time recently as his airline Kingfisher stalled, forcing him to dip into his main source of wealth, his United Spirits drinks empire.

Although he apparently put up his hand to sit on F1's new 'popularity' panel, ultimately it was his Force India deputy Bob Fernley who was drafted in for the (cancelled) meeting on Thursday.

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