EU Regulators Widen Aid Probe Into German F1 Grand Prix Track European Union competition regulators "stepped up" their investigation into state aid granted to the Nurburgring track in Germany, according to Foo Yun Chee of REUTERS. The racetrack hosts the German F1 Grand Prix every other year. The European Commission said that the extended probe "would examine several additional financial measures provided in May to help avoid an immediate insolvency." The measures included "rescheduling interest payments on previously awarded loans and, possibly, an additional shareholder's loan to keep the racetrack and its operator in business for six months during which a restructuring plan would be drawn up." Rhineland-Palatinate is facing pressure to push the track to pay after "pouring millions of euros into a racing-themed amusement park there" REUTERS
Allmendinger Opens Up On NASCAR Race Hub Driver A.J. Allmendinger, who was recently released from Penske Racing after a second positive drug test and admittance into NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery” program, sat down with SPEED NASCAR reporter Bob Dillner on tonight’s NASCAR Race Hub.
He talked about the challenges he’s currently facing and what his life has recently been like. The following is Part 1 of a two-part interview which concludes tomorrow.
Bob Dillner: Describe the event and the emotions, when NASCAR informed you in Daytona.
IndyCar news bits Seventeen drivers are scheduled to test at Auto Club Speedway on Sept. 12 - three days before the season finale. Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Takuma Sato are scheduled to put in a test day on the 2-mile oval Aug. 21.......Chevrolet will clinch the engine manufacturer championship with a win at Sonoma.
Hinchcliffe to co-host 'WindTunnel' on Aug. 12 James Hinchcliffe, driver of the No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com car for Andretti Autosport, will be a co-host of "WindTunnel" at 9 p.m. (ET) Aug. 12 on SPEED.
Hinchcliffe, coming off a fifth-place finish in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, is fifth in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings (63 points behind the front-running Will Power). He has five top-five finishes, with a best of third at Long Beach and Milwaukee, in his sophomore season.
The top 15 drivers in points are mathematically still in contention to win the championship.
Quality, respect play role in caution-free run Twenty-five IZOD IndyCar Series drivers have competed for 160 laps covering 358 miles on challenging road/street circuits the past two races without a single full-course caution for contact, a spin or even debris.
Following the Edmonton Indy on July 22, the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 5 was the second consecutive caution-free road race since 1987 (Laguna Seca, won by Robby Rahal; Miami's Tamiami Park, won by Michael Andretti). The last time there were three consecutive caution-free races was 1986 - Portland, Meadowlands and Cleveland.
The GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, which has had 18 total full-course cautions over the seven IZOD IndyCar Series races on the road course, is up next. INDYCAR president of competition and IZOD IndyCar Series Race Director Beaux Barfield said the talent and experience of the field has much to do with the lack of cautions.
The holes in AJ's story Here we go again, and surprise! It's Adderall!
By now you've probably read that AJ has decided (following the advice of Jeff Gordon) to tell the truth.
That alone is unsettling. How many weeks has it been since Daytona, and he's only NOW been persuaded to be honest? For the past month, he's been acting like a wrongly-accused, health-conscious, innocent guy who is reportedly "gathering everything in his possession" to have toxicology reports run to find out what could have caused this.
Team quits Grand-Am over biased officiating and rules Having earned class wins at the Twelve Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans along with the overall victory at the Brickyard Grand Prix and the inaugural North American Endurance Championship, Starworks Motorsport has no doubt been one of the hottest teams in the sports car racing world this year.
Despite their dream season, though, everything hasn’t been all rosy for the Peter Baron-led organization, particularly in its GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series program, where a series of events has led to its lead driver pulling the plug on his championship attack, with four races still to go.
Brian France about the Departure Of Dodge from NASCAR
Losing Dodge is another black mark on Brian France's record. Since he took over NASCAR it's been all downhill for the sport
"Dodge has been a great partner to NASCAR for many years, and they have been part of numerous memorable moments throughout our history," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "They made a business decision not to return in 2013, as they did in 1977 before returning in 2001. We wish them well and hope they again will choose to return to NASCAR at a later date. Our fans have a passion for cars and emotional connections to particular manufacturers, and that's why in 2013 we will debut new race car designs that are modeled after each manufacturer's production cars. This change is a direct result of feedback from our fans, who are the most brand loyal in all of sports."
Allmendinger said he took Adderall, a prescription drug that contains amphetamines
AJ Allmendinger plans to race again, but he doesn’t know where. And he doesn’t know when.
But Allmendinger believes he’s on the road back. Part of that path includes stepping into the spotlight and on Tuesday talking about why NASCAR suspended him July 7 for failing a June 29 drug test. Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely after a test on his B sample confirmed the positive test and agreed to enter NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program. He must complete the program in order to be reinstated.
Allmendinger said Tuesday that he tested positive for amphetamines that came from an accidental ingestion of the prescription drug Adderall.
Pennsylvania 400 Memorial Fund set up Pocono Raceway has established the Pennsylvania 400 Memorial Fund to benefit the victims of the lighting strike tragedy which occurred following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 5, 2012. Donations will be accepted at any PNC Branch or by mailing checks/money orders, addressed to "Pennsylvania 400 Memorial Fund" to the following address: Pocono Raceway Attn: Pennsylvania 400 Memorial Fund 1234 Long Pond Road Long Pond, PA 18334
NASCAR Penalizes RPM Nationwide Team NASCAR has penalized the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during post-race inspection last Saturday at Iowa Speedway.
The No. 43 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-12.8.1B (body height requirements – car failed to meet the minimum rear car heights) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book.
Reaction to dismal IndyCar TV ratings A reader writes, Dear Autoracing1.com: Your recent article on Indy Car (as well as ALMS’s) “dismal” network rating numbers reminds me of several articles I have written going back to 2008 ( http://mmgatl1.wordpress.com/ ), including articles that have appeared on AR1.com (http://www.autoracing1.com/article.asp?id=2366 or http://www.autoracing1.com/article.asp?id=1939 ), which illustrates the point that network coverage is no guarantee of ratings success. Admittedly, the Olympics skew heavily in the current outcome but as I have tried to communicate, the Indy Car television package on Versus (now NBC Sports Network) is not, respectfully, “a noose around Indy Car’s neck,” but perhaps more accurately an indication of Indy Car’s strength as a promotion platform; a mere reflection of Indy Car’s current level of popularity. It is up to Indy Car to find the new fans, as well as rekindle additional older ones, that can bring Indy Car back to some semblance of historically higher levels of fan popularity. Television coverage itself has virtually nothing to do with it until this first goal is closer to being realized.
SPEED Quotes: Reaction to Dodge's Exit from NASCAR Dodge announced today its exit from NASCAR at the conclusion of the 2012 season. SPEED will update this story on tonight’s NASCAR Race Hub at 6 p.m. ET, including an interview with Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Street and Racing Technology (SRT) Brand and Motorsports.
In the meantime, SPEED on-air personalities offer their perspective below on the news and its impact on the sport and its fans:
“In the ‘Age of the COT,’ the NASCAR role played by Detroit's ‘Big Three’ is nothing like it was in the days when King Richard's Mopar reigned over stock car racing, and the actual impact on the competition - the only two Dodges on the grid transforming into Fords - will be minimal. But symbolically this is a very big deal; it comes at a very bad time; and it's a kick in the gut to loyal Dodge fans.” --Dave Despain, host of Wind Tunnel
Dixon joins list of all-time greats with 29th Indy car win
Scott Dixon cracked the top 10 of the all-time Indy car victory list Aug. 5 in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. His 29th win, all but one with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, tied Rick Mears for 10th all-time.
"If I could run for another nine years that would be pretty cool," said Dixon, who is two wins from tying Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti, Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy for ninth. "That's a long time, but we would love to work our way to the top."
Only four drivers on the all-time wins list scored 30 or more wins before turning 33 years old, and Dixon, who turned 32 on July 22, still has nearly 12 months to match that feat.
Dodges quits from NASCAR SRT Motorsports announced that Dodge will withdraw from NASCAR competition at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Ralph Gilles, President and CEO - Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, made the announcement during a media teleconference call. The decision affects current involvement in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. Penske Racing currently fields two Dodge Charger cars in the Sprint Cup Series and two Dodge Challenger cars in the Nationwide Series. Penske Racing announced in February that it would end its partnership with Dodge, which started in 2003, at the end of the 2012 season.
"We've spent an intense five months working to identify and evaluate all options for our future involvement in NASCAR," Gilles said. "A number of opportunities emerged, and our team worked diligently to put a structure together to fit our overall business and competitive objectives. While we have been pleased and enthused with the amount of interest from teams and sponsors over that time, in the end, we simply couldn't develop the right structure."
F1 Teams wary of spiraling engine costs In 2014, Formula 1 will switch from its current 2.4-litre V8 engine format to brand-new, 1.6-litre V6 turbos. Although this will mark a new era for the sport, which is keen to maintain its image as a technological world leader, a possible shortage in engine companies is leading to fears of massive costs for teams.
As GPUpdate.net reported last year, Cosworth has not started to develop a V6 turbo and could end its current F1 development program by as soon as the end of this season. This leaves Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Renault as engine manufacturers as well as newcomers PURE, but the latter has recently hit financial trouble due to the loss of a key investor.
USF2000 Offers Tests to Top Skip Barber Candidates The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda is opening its doors to give up-and-coming drivers a taste of the next level car on the Mazda Road to Indy. The winners of the Skip Barber Winter and Summer Series presented by Mazda will be awarded a seat at the second annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test on October 10/11 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The test, dedicated to the memory of Sam Schmidt Motorsports’ Firestone Indy Lights team manager, brings together the three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder system including the Star Mazda Championship Powered by Goodyear and Firestone Indy Lights. Hosted by INDYCAR, the outing not only offers all three series a jumpstart on the 2013 season but also showcases the ladder system to prospective teams and drivers.
Did Pocono track warn NASCAR fans of severe thunderstorm soon enough? LONG POND, Pa. NASCAR and Pocono Raceway officials are reviewing the aftermath of Sunday night’s NASCAR Pennsylvania 400, where lightning strikes killed one fan, injured nine others and left some wondering whether the track did enough to warn them.
Some in attendance say there was little or no effort to warn fans until after driver Jeff Gordon had been declared the winner, at 4:55 p.m. That was 43 minutes after a severe thunderstorm warning was issued by the National Weather Service.
“When we finally got home last night, we watched the race on the DVR, and saw the (weather) radar the (NASCAR) crews were watching,” James Tenney, who traveled to the race from Walden, N.Y., told the Observer.
Pigot Extends USF2000 Championship Lead with Mid-Ohio Victory Rising American star Spencer Pigot took another step toward his goal of winning the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda when he guided Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing's #2 Team Pelfrey/Doug Mockett & Company/E-merging Technologies/Parathyroid.com/ California Scents/Mazda/Cooper Tires Van Diemen-Mazda to an accomplished victory on Saturday afternoon in front of an appreciative crowd at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Pigot started from the pole for Round 6, held in hot, sunny conditions immediately after the day's American Le Mans Series feature event, and was never seriously challenged during the 20-lap race. His eventual margin of victory was a comfortable 1.890 seconds over Scott Anderson.
Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series at Watkins Glen The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will go road racing this weekend with events at historic Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11-12. ESPN will have a live telecast of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race, with NASCAR Countdown at noon ET and the race’s green flag at 1:18 p.m. Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race airs on ABC, with NASCAR Countdown at 2 p.m. and the green flag at 2:33 p.m. Also from Watkins Glen, ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and Nationwide Series qualifying at 9:30 a.m. All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com.
Announcers: Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick (Sprint Cup); Marty Reid (Nationwide Series); analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree. Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown (Sunday): Nicole Briscoe (host); Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty (analysts).
Readers react to Allmendinger article A number of readers have written in regarding Stephen Cox's latest article on A.J. Allmendinger and his failed drug test.
Dear AR1.com, Great article by Stephen Cox about A. J. Allmendinger. If everything Stephen says is true and if A. J. didn't truly abuse drugs, then it's only a matter of time before NASCAR's biggest stars will all be suspended. Or it wouldn't surprise me if someone in NASCAR had another agenda for A. J. Paula Joseph
Dear Ar1.com, Your article is 100% right! I agree with the comments wholeheartedly. Unfortunately there are few in authority that do.......they are purely pushing "look good" political agenda. I have raced professionally myself and am completely against drug and alcohol use in relation to any sport. Thanks for you frank and honest views. Barry
Ford Statement on SCCA Mid-Ohio Protest STATEMENT FROM FORD RACING ON THE PROTEST OF ITS TEAMS IN SUNDAY'S SCCA WORLD CHALLENGE EVENT AT MID-OHIO:
"Ford is very proud of the Boss 302S and all the privateer teams that choose to campaign this production-based race car in SCCA World Challenge and other race series.
“Competitiveness is critical to the success of any racing series. The actions taken by the individual Ford teams on Sunday highlight the difficulty that World Challenge has had establishing and maintaining parity in the GTS class throughout the season and the resulting frustration of the competitors. We understand and share the Ford teams' concerns over the competitiveness and the resulting rules changes that have hurt them on track.”
“Ford Racing is committed to continuing to work with the SCCA Pro series and the Boss 302S owners to establish a rules package that will allow all vehicle makes to be competitive in the exciting GTS class.”
Soaked in sweat from 85 physical laps on the twisting road course and champagne from celebrating his fourth IZOD IndyCar Series victory at Mid-Ohio, it was pointed out to Scott Dixon that he had tied Rick Mears for 10th all-time with 29 Indy car victories.
At 32 years old, he's not pointing to A.J. Foyt's record 67 wins. But Bobby Unser's 35 (fifth on the list) is tantalizing to the New Zealander. Mears retired when he was 41.
Roush Yates to Provide Ford FR9 NASCAR Engines to Penske Racing Roush Yates Engines announced today that it will provide Ford FR9 engines to Penske Racing beginning with the 2013 NASCAR season.
Penske Racing announced earlier this year that it would be returning to Ford Racing in 2013 in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.
"It's truly an honor to provide Penske Racing with Roush Yates Ford engines," said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates. "I have always admired Roger Penske as a team owner and a respected businessman in our sport and beyond. I am looking forward to many wins, championships, and other successes in supporting the Penske organization."
Helio Tax defense An upcoming class teaches lawyers how to defend race car drivers/tax evaders. The speaker will be Roy Black, who defended Helio Castroneves.
Roy Black is the senior partner of Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf, P.A. He is one of the nation's premier civil and criminal trial lawyers with over 40 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney. Perhaps best known for his successful defense of William Kennedy Smith on rape charges in Palm Beach, Florida, Roy has represented clients such as Clear Channel Outdoor (formerly Eller Media), Rolls Royce, artist Peter Max, Rush Limbaugh, Kelsey Grammar and Indy racecar and Dancing With the Stars champion Helio Castroneves.
General Motors Sales in China Set July Record General Motors and its joint ventures sold a July record 199,503 vehicles in China, a 15.1 percent increase from last year’s previous high for the month.
Shanghai GM’s sales in China rose 5.7 percent on an annual basis to a July record 97,064 units. SAIC-GM-Wuling’s sales reached 98,694 units, an all-time high for July and an increase of 26.6 percent year on year. FAW-GM’s sales were up 3.1 percent to 3,379 units.
IndyCar drivers find rain a real challenge When it comes to driving in the rain, F1 drivers are the best, but of course they have tire warmers to get heat in their tires. At Mid-Ohio Sunday morning it rained for the IndyCar warm-up session and it was a comedy of errors. Dario Franchitti slid into the tire barrier in Turn 5, Oriol Servia spun in Turn 10, James Hinchcliffe spun in Turn 7, Graham Rahal spun on the front straightaway. and Ed 'I can only turn left' Carpenter spun three times, Turns 2, 4 and 6. Maybe it's time Firestone make an even softer rain tire since IndyCar won't allow tire warmers.
IndyCar Title Chase: Four On The Floor For a couple of reasons, it’s hard to believe that there are only four races left in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship. For starters, the calendar just turned to August; it also seems like the season started just yesterday.
Yet here we are, eleven races in, and it seems to be shaping up as a four-driver race for the title. Ryan Hunter-Reay used a recent three-race win streak to vault to the top of the standings; he leads Helio Castroneves by 23 points and Castroneves’ Penske Racing teammate Will Power by 26 points heading into this weekend’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Video: Best video of 1976 Japanese GP Watch as Mario Andretti laps the field to win the 1976 Japanese GP in horrible conditions as James Hunt wins the world title by one point after point leader Niki Lauda quit the race because he was scared.
Sadler scorches Iowa for fourth Nationwide win of 2012 It isn't how you start, but how you finish.
After earning three straight poles at Iowa Speedway, Elliott Sadler finally has a finish to match.
Sadler passed Justin Allgaier with 58 laps remaining and pulled away to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 on Saturday night at the 0.875-mile oval. The triumph was his fourth this season, setting a personal best for wins in a year.
Hendrick's success with rear suspension has other teams scramblingUPDATE Rex Stump is the Hendricks's suspension engineer. He is the one that designed Jeff Gordon's "T Rex" car several years ago that NASCAR told them never to bring to the track again. In fact Rex was banned from the track for a while by NASCAR. Hendrick hired him from GM when Rick was playing with Corvettes and GM sent Rex to help him with setting it up.
08/05/12 There aren’t many secrets in the Sprint Cup garage, so when the Hendrick Motorsports cars appeared to have a little different rear suspension than other teams at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week, teams took notice.
The rear suspension is an area of focus of teams, and NASCAR tried to eliminate some of their more creative measures with rules changes earlier this summer. But Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin certainly noticed something different in the HMS cars last week—Jimmie Johnson won while Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fourth and Jeff Gordon was fifth. Hamlin admitted Saturday he didn’t know exactly what the Hendrick teams were doing. That’s not a good sign as the Hendrick camp has confidence in its setups heading into the Pennsylvania 400 on Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
Sam Schmidt Motorsports' Tristan Vautier completed a weekend sweep of the Grand Prix of Trois Rivières with the victory on the street circuit.
Vautier was atop the time sheet in practice, started from the pole and went on to his third victory of the season.
At the drop of the green flag, Vautier was quickly swallowed up by Belardi Auto Racing's Peter Dempsey, who started fifth and made a daring move to second and took the lead all on the first lap. Dempsey maintained the point until Lap 9, when a gearbox issue forced him into the pits and out for the race.
Wind Tunnel Sunday Co-Host Ralph Sheheen (SPEED Commentator) Expert Analyst Tommy Kendall (4-time Trans-Am Champion) Expert Analyst Robin Miller (SPEED Open Wheel Racing Reporter) Expert Analyst Brad Doty (SPEED World of Outlaws Analyst)
This Week’s Races: · CUP, Trucks, and ARCA at Pocono · IndyCar and ALMS at Mid-Ohio · Nationwide in Iowa · NHRA in Seattle · World Superbike at Silverstone in England
Dragon Racing, the IndyCar team owned by Jay Penske announced today that they have secured a second Chevrolet IndyV6 engine for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma and will now be entering two cars at the raceway in Sonoma, Calif. on August 26.
“I am extremely grateful to Chevrolet for making this second engine available so we can return to a full team effort in Sonoma,” said Jay Penske, owner of Dragon Racing. “When we began the season in St. Pete it was our plan to run a full season with both the #6 and #7 TrueCar Dragon Racing entries, but due to circumstances beyond our control we had to reduce the effort to one car with the driving duties being shared among Katherine (Legge) and Sebastian (Bourdais). With the team back to full strength we are all really looking forward to competing in Sonoma, the home track for our sponsors and partners, McAfee, Microsoft, and TrueCar.”
Ecclestone unsure about Olympic Stadium racing Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone isn’t so sure about staging races at London’s Olympic Stadium after the Games. A group working in conjunction with F1 is one of four bidders being considered as future tenants for the east London venue. But Ecclestone says he would prefer a possible London Grand Prix to be staged through the centre of the capital past the iconic sights.
Touring the Olympic Park on Saturday, Ecclestone said: “I’d rather (have a race) where we originally planned in central London ... it’s a project we are going to try to make happen.” Ecclestone, though, will still discuss the feasibility of a race around the Olympic Park, with Intelligent Transport Services leading the project.
Keselowski would like input on teammate for the #22 Brad Keselowski has three Sprint Cup wins for Roger Penske this season. He also hopes he has his boss's ear when it comes to finding a replacement for recently-dismissed teammate AJ Allmendinger. "I hope that we can secure a teammate that is an elite talent that I can work with -- and certainly some of that responsibility is mine to communicate," Keselowski said.
"I think that's something that Mr. Penske takes very seriously."
Keselowski, currently ninth in the point standings, wants to be part of the decision-making process. Last season's pairing with Kurt Busch demonstrated to him how important positive give-and-take with a teammate can be. Both he and Busch qualified for the Chase, finishing fifth and 11th, respectively. "I told Roger from Day One, when I came to Penske Racing, I didn't want to be just a driver," Keselowski said. "I wanted to be part of a team and part of making Penske Racing as strong as possible. A replacement for Allmendinger is something we've discussed. But I can't say that we've come up with an answer." NASCAR.com
F1 fans to camp out for Austin F1 race Aside from staying at a friend's house, the cheapest place to stay for November's planned Formula One race will probably be one of several campsites near the circuit in southeastern Travis County.
Camping, both in tents and RVs, is common near racetracks around the world and offers people an inexpensive place to stay with like-minded fans without the hassle of traffic.
"It is the expected way to go for the British GP," Rachel Clarke, a Formula One fan who lives in London, told the American-Statesman recently. "You get up, get to the track and spend the whole day there. Then it's back to the campsite, where you spend the evening talking about the day, what will happen tomorrow and just reliving the whole experience. It's a lot of fun."
Why is Juan surprised?UPDATE Our response to the letter from the reader has been updated with more accurate information.
08/04/12 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Why is Juan Montoya surprised he is on pole at Pocono after being slow as a turd in practice? NASCAR has been computer generating grids for years and when a driver or sponsor needs some positive PR, they win the pole. Montoya and the Ganassi team have had a horrible year and NASCAR needs to make sure Target does not leave the series. Week in and week out there is a reason for the who is on pole in NASCAR. I think the fans are wising up to NASCAR's managed racing and are leaving in droves. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is leading the point standings this year? Why is that? Because they are losing fans at an alarming rate, and even though Dale Jr. is a wanker, they have him up on top. It's so transparent it's disgusting. Mordichai Rosen, LA, California
Dear Mordichai, It's always interesting to hear your perspective on things. Some interesting conspiracy theories, but we have no facts to prove your theory. NASCAR does have transponders in their cars. In fact they have a very sophisticated timing and scoring and officiating system so they do know within 1/1000th second accuracy the lap times of the cars. It is the same scoring system that is used by INDYCAR.
NASCAR does not distribute the full data stream that INDYCAR does, but they do provide electronic scoring results in real time to TV and the teams so they do not need to rely on their stop watches. They only get the basic single line scoring feed so they get lap counts and lap times. The back-end system available to the race officials is much more sophisticated and includes many more timelines around the track to help with the freeze the field officiating.
This does not preclude them from manipulating the results of course as one can always send out whatever data one chooses and if it’s within 1/10th of a second, most people won’t be able to tell and if it’s within 1/30th of a second even video won’t be able to tell. Mark C.
Pigot Extends Championship Lead with Dominant Victory at Mid-Ohio
Spencer Pigot took full advantage of a “gifted” pole position to score a clear victory this afternoon in an action-packed Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building products at the scenic and challenging Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The 18-year-old from Orlando, Fla., now has won five consecutive races with the #2 Team Pelfrey/Doug Mockett & Company/E-merging Technologies/Parathyroid.com/California Scents Mazda Van Diemen and holds a 17-point lead over teammate Matthew Brabham in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Ryan Newman says he is 100 percent focused on staying at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2013, not returning to Penske Racing. The #22 at Penske Racing became available for next season on Tuesday when the team released suspended driver AJ Allmendinger. Newman, who drove for Penske Racing from 2002 until 2008, said he has not contacted his former team about a possible return if sponsorship can't be found for him at SHR. SHR owner Tony Stewart has said he wants Newman back as long as sponsorship can be found.
"There's potential for absolutely anything,'' Newman said after Saturday's qualifying at Pocono Raceway. "My goal is to stay at Stewart-Haas and continue what we're doing. We're working on that.'' Asked to define the odds of his staying at SHR, Newman added, "Right now, 100 percent, I hope." ESPN.com
Video: Todd Bodine blames Piquet for his mistake Watch Todd Bodine take himself out of this afternoon's Pocono NASCAR Truck race and then throw his helmet at Nelson Piquet Jr. blaming him. It is clear from this video and Bodine was 100% in the wrong and for throwing the helmet he should be fined by NASCAR. But will NASCAR do that to a Good Ol' Boy when Piquet is a foreigner?
Hawksworth Wins Again in Star Mazda Race 1 at Trois-Rivieres
Well, if you're going to start from the pole, never put a wheel wrong and pull out a 24.394-second lead over your nearest competitor by the time the checkered flag waves, then you're going to have a lonely race. But, on a track that demands a surgeon's precision, it was also a magnificent race as English rising star Jack Hawksworth dissected the competition to score his seventh win from his eighth pole driving the #82 Team Pelfrey / TORGOEN Swiss Watches / EXA Networks Mazda. And, given that he turned the fastest lap of the race - for the 9th time this season - he will start from the pole in tomorrow's Race 2.
Finishing 2nd, 24.394-second back, was Sage Karam, who started third on the grid after qualifying just 2/10ths of a second off Hawksworth's pole time in the #88 Andretti Autosport / Comfort Revolution Mazda. Crossing the line third was Connor De Phillippi in the #2 Juncos Racing / ModSpace Racing / One24 Mazda. If scarcely happy - young men with a champion's temperament are rarely happy unless standing on the top step of the podium - he did at least seem to break the streak of bad luck that had dogged him relentlessly for the past several weekends.
Vautier wins pole for Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres
After setting the fastest laps in both practice sessions, Frenchman Tristan Vautier earned the pole for the 60-lap Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières, setting an outright track record at 57.1394 seconds.
For the second year in a row, qualifying for the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières was decided by a two-segment knockout session, similar to the Firestone Fast Six in the IZOD IndyCar Series. The first segment was a 30-minute session in which all cars battled for the top six advancing spots. Vautier led that session with a lap of 57.5010 seconds, followed by Team Moore Racing's Gustavo Yacaman. Last year's pole sitter and race winner Esteban Guerrieri, and teammates Sebastian Saavedra and Carlos Munoz all advanced to the final segment.
The first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 will campaign the third African-American driver in the Indianapolis 500.
A.J. Foyt Racing, in conjunction with Starting Grid principal Chris Miles, announced that 22-year-old Chase Austin will drive an A.J. Foyt Racing entry in an attempt to qualify for the 2013 race through a partnership with American Honda. Race Day is May 26.
Last year, Austin was the first African-American to compete in Firestone Indy Lights for Willy T. Ribbs Racing, including a start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Firestone Freedom 100.
Castromeves Statement after morning Mid-Ohio crash We were having a good session. Finally I was getting the rhythm, especially since we didn’t get to test last week. I was really starting to understand what the car needs. Unfortunately when (Mike) Conway was coming out of the pits, he didn’t know where to go. He was trying to help me but it ended up hurting me because he was chasing one line to give me room. Everywhere I would pull, it ended up being the line he would take to help. It’s one of those instances where it’s better to keep your line and not try to help each other. I didn’t have enough time to brake and I hit him on the back and the steering knob was kind of like whiplash and I hit my hand. Thank god it’s not broken. It’s just a bruise and now we’ll go out for qualifying.
Dale Coyne Racing's Justin Wilson led a Honda 1-2 in final practice for the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio Saturday morning. Wilson's last lap of 1m06.3018s beat fellow Honda driver and rookie sensation Simon Pagenaud who turned a lap of 1m06.4124s.
Will Power was third fastest in his Penske Chevy ahead of James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon who rounded out the top-5.
His career possibly ruined, Allmendinger will likely drive in Grand-Am when he returns
Less than a week after A.J. Allmendinger was released from his Penske Racing contract, the former Penske Racing driver was still a topic of discussion at this week's series stop.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon talked about Allmendinger and his chances of returning to the Cup Series during a break in practice at Pocono Raceway on Friday. It could be a difficult road back, especially if Allmendinger hopes come to back with a top team, according to five-time series champion Johnson.
“Yeah, it's going to be tough,” Johnson said. “There's no doubt about it. We don't have anyone else to really base it off of coming back into the sport to get a feel as to the corporate involvement, team owner's response, and how that's going to go for him. But in the car, he was developing at a great pace and showing plenty of speed and was very competitive. So, time will tell.
Roush says Penske will use Roush-Yates engines Jack Roush says Penske has decided to run Roush-Yates Ford engines next season. Penske has said he will not be shutting down the 80-man operation he currently has, but it would seem unlikely that Ford would care for one of its star new players to also continue building Dodge engines on the side. A possible sale of that engine shop to Dodge itself has been speculated as the only logical solution.
Roush: "Roger and I will cooperate on things that are in our common interests, and we will compete on things that reflect our need to be independent and justify our space on the race track. We've done the bulk of the work on the 2013 car; we did invite them to have a look at what we've done in concert with Ford, and made sure we had their blessing, along with the other Ford teams involved. The indication are -- though I don't know if the papers have been signed yet -- that he will use our engines. He does have a few things he does different with his cars and the way the engines are mounted; so we'll respect his experience and his package preference. Whether we wind up with the same package for all Ford cars or not is yet to be determined."
Roush, asked about the possibility of Penske becoming a business partner with Roush and Doug Yates in the engine operations, said "There is no plan on the table for Roger for any ownership in the engine program. But I stop short of saying that would never be a consideration going forward." MikeMulhern.net
Hawksworth Wins Star Mazda Pole #7 at Trois-Rivieres Jack Hawksworth collected his seventh PEAK Performance Pole Award of the 2012 season with a record-breaking run in his #82 Team Pelfrey / TORGOEN Swiss Watches / EXA Networks Mazda. On the 26th lap of the afternoon qualifying session for tomorrow's Race 1 of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the 43rd annual GP3R, Hawksworth bettered the existing lap record of 1:01.341 - set in 2009 by Rusty Mitchell - with a time of 1:00.850.
His quick time was just .042 quicker than arch-rival Connor De Phillippi, who will - for the first time this season - start alongside Hawksworth on the front row in his #82 Team Pelfrey / TORGOEN Swiss Watches / EXA Networks Mazda. De Phillippi won Star Mazda Race 2 here last year, and this year is fourth in the championship with two wins, two poles and four podiums.
NASCAR Pocono Truck Series preview The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be bringing their high energy brand of tail gate party to the Pocono Raceway for Saturday's running of the Pocono Mountains 125. NASCAR's truck brigade will be going full speed ahead on the raceway's massive 2.5 mile, three turn, facility known as the tricky triangle. This event has all of the potential ingredients of turning into a very exciting race. Then again, any time NASCAR’s trucks rolls onto any speedway the results are often exciting.
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