Ambrose top final Cup practice at The Glen Marcos Ambrose paced the final Sprint Cup practice at Watkins Glen International.
Ambrose's lap of 126.604 mph Friday afternoon was a touch faster than Penske Racing's Kurt Busch (125.795) and points leader Carl Edwards (125.761).
Brad Keselowski (125.722) and Martin Truex Jr. (125.636) rounded out the top five.
Matt Kenseth and Robby Gordon got together early in the final 80-minute Cup practice with Gordon’s car suffering damage to its right rear quarter panel. Kenseth locked up the brakes on his car and suffered left front fender damage.
Baltimore ready for Labor Day IndyCar Grand Prix The street paving is finished, safety barriers and fences are in place, grandstand seating in three different locations is completed, and signs of major sponsors are evident in downtown Baltimore as the city prepares for its first street circuit IndyCar race, which kicks off Labor Day weekend.
The two-mile Baltimore Grand Prix race, part of the IZOD IndyCar series, is expected to attract more than 100,000 fans during the holiday weekend for three days of 180-mile-per-hour street races, concerts and other entertainment at the first IndyCar competition in a major East Coast city.
"We were told that ticket sales would spike as we got closer to the event, and we're seeing that with ticket sales being out the roof," said Jay Davidson, president of the Baltimore Racing Development Corporation. "We have people purchasing tickets from 46 states and six different countries, so everything is going very well and we're confident it will be a great race."
The Senna Movie opens tonight in Manhattan and Los Angeles
This documentary about Brazil's Ayrton Senna is a moving tribute to one of the best Formula One drivers who ever lived and who died tragically when he crashed on a race track. "After the film ended, Ron Dennis cried for 10 minutes," Pandey remembers. "Then he sat and talked about Senna for two hours." Such is the power of this man, and this film.
"Senna" is a documentary with the pace of a thriller, a story of motors and machines that is beyond compelling because of the intensely human story it tells.
Brazil's Ayrton Senna was the boy genius of Formula One racing, winner of three world championships before dying in a crash in 1994 at age 34, a driver current and former Formula One racers recently voted the greatest who ever lived.
Gordon and Ambrose to race in Montreal The event promoter learned today that fan favorite Robbie Gordon will enter the upcoming NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge which will be held August 19-20 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The American veteran will be driving the #77 Speed Energy Dodge Charger especially prepared for the Watkins Glen and Montréal events. While Gordon was confirming his third presence in the five years of the event, Australian Marcos Ambrose was committing to the event he swore he would compete in until he won it. In four Montréal starts, the Tasmanian driver has earned two poles and collected three Top-10 finishes, two of them in the Top-5.
Scheckter to run MoveThatBlock livery in Loudon As Dreyer & Reinbold Racing heads into this weekend for the 12th round of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season, they are proud to announce that Tomas Scheckter will campaign the MoveThatBlock.com primary livery for the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225. The South African will substitute for Wilson this weekend.
"Any time you can bring in new partners, it helps fuel our growth at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. We work hard day in and day out to improve both the Commercial and Competition areas of our business, which both continue to grow. We look forward to working with MoveThatBlock.com to help further achieve their goals this weekend at New Hampshire," stated Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Co-Owner Dennis Reinbold.
Tree Huggers defeated in BaltimoreUPDATE A reader writes about the Tree Huggers defeat, Dear AR1.com I work in Baltimore every day and I have been lobbying for a race in Baltimore for years!!! I am stoked! to see it will FINALLY happen!!
Just for informational purposes regarding the Baltimore GP tree cutting saga, I would like to note that there were already fresh balled trees awaiting planting all along Pratt Street in front of the Convention Center on Wednesday afternoon and I believe I saw a stump machine waiting to remove the stumps from the areas where the trees were removed. I have been working since then, however I would assume all of the trees I saw Wednesday would have already been planted by now. What the complainers fail to admit is for several years now, the city has been cutting down and re-planting trees throughout the city anywhere the trees are planted within the city sidewalks to prevent roots from popping the sidewalks. As nice as they can be for shade and green, large mature trees do not belong planted within city sidewalks in the main tourist and business district of the city where they cause a hazard. Name withheld by request
08/12/11 Residents angered by the removal of trees downtown to make way for the Baltimore Grand Prix got a sympathetic but firm lesson in the law Monday, as a city Circuit Court judge summarily dismissed a lawsuit seeking to prevent any more trees from coming down.
By day's end, however, the protesters had won one of their goals — release of the agreement the city struck with the racing organization detailing the tree removal and plans for planting nearly 200 trees to make up for the disruption.
Judge Evelyn O. Cannon ruled that the complaint filed Friday by David C. Troy and seven other residents didn't get to first base, legally speaking, so she had no basis for granting a temporary restraining order halting any further tree removal.
NASCAR hit with class action lawsuit A class action lawsuit has been filed against NASCAR over claims that a text message promoting coverage of the 2011 Daytona 500 on Sprint phones violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in California, was one of three filed Wednesday by the San Diego law firm Hyde & Swigart that focuses on texts that allegedly violated the law. The National Football League and GameStop also were subject of lawsuits.
The unsolicited text in question was one that was sent Feb. 19 to California resident Badie Jaber that said: “FREE NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile lets you watch the action from Daytona live on your phone. Download now: http://sprint.us/nascar Reply END to stop”
She was a young regional fencer and tennis champion. However, winning her first-ever go-kart race was all Swiss-born Simona De Silvestro needed to fuel her passion for a career in motor sports.
Just three weeks shy of her 23rd birthday, De Silvestro was set to run in Aug. 14 Izod IndyCar 225 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. De Silvestro was the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 2010, but could only complete 44 laps this year after brushing the wall led to a series of failed pit attempts to fix the car, ending in a premature exit.
Q.You started the Indy race from the 24th position, ahead of many others in the field.
A. We were pretty happy with where we were. We wish it had been a little more up front, but it was a good starting position for the Indy 500, and you can be pretty much anywhere you want as long as you make the show and that's something really cool.
Spa F1 tickets selling well Ticket sales for this year’s Belgian Grand Prix are progressing well, with all grandstand seats now sold out according to organizers. However, fans can still ensure their place at the iconic venue later this month, as a selection of standing spots remain available.
According to race director Andre Maes, a total of 38,000 tickets have already been sold for the race, adding that he expects the event to top its 2010 spectator total of 55,000.
Maes believes there will be an increase of 10,000 visitors as a result of home favorite Jérôme d'Ambrosio, explaining: "Jerome has definitely had a positive effect on ticket sales. In 2012 there will be more visitors as he will be even more famous by then."
IndyCar never let NBC bid on TV deal Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and Versus, said Thursday his company didn't waste time considering a bid to become the network home of IndyCar because negotiations never opened.
ABC/ESPN, which holds the rights to such coverage through 2012, had an exclusive period to negotiate, and that was extended through the signing of a new deal that runs through 2018.
Perhaps it's just as well, because Miller said it would have been challenging for NBC to line up network time slots.
"Our schedule on weekends is different, for example, than ABC's schedule is," he said. "Where they have an (IndyCar) event on the third weekend in June, I wouldn't be able to do that because we have (golf's) U.S. Open, and where they have an event the second weekend in May, I have the Players Championship. And then I have the Stanley Cup playoffs and things like that.
NASCAR Pocono TV RatingUPDATE ESPN's coverage of last weekend's main NASCAR event, the Sprint Cup race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, was ranked eighth among cable programs for the week, the Nielsen Co. said. The race, won by Brad Keselowski, was seen in 3.92 million homes and drew 5.48 million viewers. The coverage was ranked between No. 7 "Pawn Stars" on History and No. 9 "Falling Skies" on TNT, according to the Nielsen rankings. MTV's "Jersey Shore" led the rankings for programs on cable for the week of Aug. 1-7 with 8.78 million viewers. The IndyCar race, getting killed on Versus, had a 0.2 rating and 309,000 viewers.
08/09/11 ESPN's live coverage of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 7, earned a 3.9 household coverage rating, averaging 5,485,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The 2010 race earned a 4.4 rating and was the highest-rated NASCAR Sprint Cup race to air on ESPN last year.
Will MLS on NBC help IndyCar? Major League Soccer and the NBC Sports Group have announced a three-year contract that calls for 45 MLS games and four U.S. men's national team matches to be televised live each year, starting in 2012.
The games will be shown live across both NBC and NBC Sports Network each year. This marks the first rights deal for the newly-named cable channel that will be re-branded from Versus in January.
NBC will broadcast two regular-season MLS games, two playoff matches and two appearances by the U.S. each year, marking the first time four MLS games will be broadcast on English-language network television since 2002.
Transcript from Earnhardt Jr.'s Interview on NASCAR Race Hub
Dale Earnhardt Jr. showed NASCAR fans a side of himself many may have never seen before Thursday night on NASCAR Race Hub in a lengthy sit-down interview with host Steve Byrnes. Earnhardt openly discussed a variety of topics that ranged from everything from his perspective on retirement and marriage to what irks him and how he thinks his Hendrick Motorsports team has performed this season.
Following is a transcript of the interview:
Byrnes: People want to know what Dale Jr. thinks or what he feels about a certain topic but when you’re interviewed, it’s almost like people trying to psycho-analyze you. Does it seem that way to you?
Pedrosa off to a flying start at Brno The MotoGP bikes hit the track for the first practice session of round 11, with grey clouds overhead and cool temperatures welcoming the field into the second half of the season. Pedrosa took his Repsol Honda on a flying lap of 1.56’328, substantially faster than the rest of the field and the only rider under the 1.57” mark.
Fresh off the back of a victory at Laguna Seca Stoner, Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) was second in the field, though his lap of 1.57'294 was nearly a second behind the Spaniard. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), who topped the timesheets briefly with 30 minutes to go, was 1.080s behind Pedrosa and third fastest of the session. The Italian ended the session with a crash in turn 13 but was unhurt.
Gibbs fourth team "a long shot" Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs said plans for a fourth Sprint Cup team were not necessarily derailed when Carl Edwards opted to remain with Roush Fenway Racing, rather than jump to JGR. "In each of the last three years, we've looked around to see what kind of things pop-up that would allow us to make (a fourth team) work," Gibbs said. "But it all has to come together. You have to have a driver, which is key. You need the right partner to sponsor the team (and) you have to have the right crew. If all that comes together, we're good to go. We can go quickly. But we've also learned that if all that doesn't come together, we're better off waiting, instead of trying to force something to go together. That's where we are right now. We can go quickly if it all lines up, and that's our hope." He admitted that a fourth Sprint Cup Series Toyota in 2012 is "probably a long shot, (since) we're not lined up with the right partners. But I also wouldn't rule it out. We don't have to plan something out six months in advance. We can cut it a little closer and make it work. We're in no hurry. There's no panic and we're not going to force it, but if the opportunity is there, we can take advantage of it quickly." Sirius Speedway
Mayfield appeal tentatively set for Nov. 8UPDATE A day after tentatively setting a Nov. 8 hearing date for Jeremy Mayfield’s appeal in his case against NASCAR, the U.S. Court of Appeals took the case off that session and said it will set the hearing for another day. The court indicated that Mayfield’s appeal was taken off the Nov. 8 session because of “scheduling reasons.” It wasn’t immediately clear whether it was attorneys for NASCAR or Mayfield who asked for the change. That likely means that the case won’t be heard until the Dec. 6-9 session at the earliest, although there is a chance that it could be put on the Oct. 25-28 calendar.
08/11/11 The U.S. Court of Appeals has set a tentative date of Nov. 8 for Jeremy Mayfield's legal challenge to NASCAR's ruling that he tested positive for methamphetamines in May 2009. Attorneys for Mayfield and NASCAR were notified of the tentative Nov. 8 date Wednesday and have until Monday to ask for a different date. The appeal will be heard by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which is based in Richmond, Va., but will actually conduct the Nov. 8 hearing at the Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh. Typically, a decision comes a few months after the hearing. The three-judge panel will decide whether Mayfield has enough evidence for the case to continue. Scene Daily
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Nikon): "The Nikon car was good today. My first order of business today was to learn the track and the first run felt good. It is definitely a lot easier to learn a place when the car is doing what you want it to. We worked on the car all day just trying to change some bits and pieces and improve. It was very difficult to find those small gains, but we did reach our goal by the end of the day. I think we are in good shape now and we will be chasing the track a little bit this weekend. The engineers have done a great job preparing this weekend. Scott (Dixon) came up and tested here for us and did a good job getting information for us. "
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "The car felt good today. We struggled at the beginning of the day with a few set-up changes we had to go through. Traffic is chaotic here because it seems like some cars are very slow and you catch them fast. So must of the challenge is dealing with that. We spent a lot of time on working on the race car and I feel pretty comfortable now. The Target cars were quick today and so was Graham (Rahal) so we are in good shape for now but we will see what happens Saturday and Sunday."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team All Natural Snapple): "I think the track is going to be fun, we just have to get a handle on it. The Snapple car was fast this morning but we went the wrong way with some changes this afternoon and lost some speed. Overall I think we'll be competitive come Sunday."
IndyCar Loudon Day 1 Notebook The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225, a 225-lap race at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) Sunday. The Firestone Indy Lights will contest the New Hampshire 100, a 100-lap race at 1:15 p.m. (EDT) Sunday.
This is the fourth IZOD IndyCar Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but the first since 1998. Past winners at New Hampshire include Bobby Rahal (1992), Nigel Mansell (1993), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Andre Ribeiro (1995), Scott Sharp (1996), Robbie Buhl (1997) and Tony Stewart (1998).
Marco Andretti's racing machine will sport a new look for the next three IZOD IndyCar Series races with "All Natural Snapple" as the primary sponsor on the No. 26 Andretti Autosport entry.
Andretti, winner at Iowa Speedway in June, will pilot the maroon and gold No. 26 All Natural Snapple Honda/Dallara/Firestone car this weekend in the MoveThatBlock.com 225 event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In addition, the All Natural Snapple livery will be presented at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 28 and the Baltimore Grand Prix on Sept. 4.
Scheckter, SH Racing will return to series in Baltimore
Tomas Scheckter and SH Racing will rejoin the Izod IndyCar Series for next month's inaugural street circuit race in Baltimore on Sept. 4, but their program won't be in partnership with KV Racing Technology.
Program officials on Thursday announced that they will not be with the team that helped them finish eighth in the Indianapolis 500 in May. They did not specify their plans, but the technical partner they select is part of planning for next season. SH is owned by James Sullivan, but it's a race team on paper only; it doesn't have IndyCar assets other than a contract with Scheckter and sponsorship. It will partner with another team at Baltimore and next year.
Scheckter is competing in this weekend's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in place of the injured Justin Wilson, who suffered a fractured back last weekend during practice for the race at Mid-Ohio. Wilson, who drives Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's No. 22 car, is set to be out of racing for three months, which means his season is over. However, doctors say he will not need surgery. AutoWeek
Dario Franchitti running Nikon livery this weekend
Dario Franchitti and other IZOD IndyCar Series drivers have set their sights on the Indy car track record at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He had a quick lap of 21.5665 seconds (171.099 mph) on the 1.025-mile oval to top practice Aug. 11 for the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225.
The Indy car lap record is 21.466 seconds by Andre Ribeiro (Ana Beatriz's manager) in qualifying on Aug. 19, 1995. The IZOD IndyCar Series track record is 21.719 seconds by Richie Hearn in 1996 - the first of three times the series raced at then-New Hampshire International Speedway.
"My first order of business today was to learn the track and the first run felt good," Franchitti said. "It is definitely a lot easier to learn a place when the car is doing what you want it to. I think we are in good shape now and we will be chasing the track a little bit. We'll see if we can continue this form into the weekend."
Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota to combine engine efforts Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Research and Development announced Thursday that they are combining their engine efforts in 2012. Officials said there is a chance that JGR cars could use engines out of TRD headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., before the end of this season, but that the focus is on next year.
Economics in part drove the merger. As Lee White, the president of TRD said, "Building for three teams or less is extremely expensive and inefficient."
JGR builds all of its engines while the other Toyota teams -- Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull Racing -- receive engines from TRD. With JGR looking to expand its Nationwide presence and add a Trucks program, the merger gives the organization more flexibility.
Video: Austin track construction time-lapse for July As seen from Turn 1, the grandstand subgrade preparation has begun, the paddock building base material has gone down and pier drilling for the pit building can be seen. Subgrade work under the track areas continues. The track contours are visible and major infrastructure features such as tunnels, drainage and retention facilities are in place. Preparation is under way for vertical construction including the grandstands, and pit and paddock buildings.
Montoya crewman arrested on drug chargesUPDATE EGR fired both Lysne and Frey, EGR owner Chip Ganassi announced Wednesday. NASCAR indefinitely banned both men, for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the substance abuse policy) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.
"I am extremely disappointed with the news that we received about two of our crew members," Ganassi said in a statement. "We have a zero tolerance policy in this organization and effective immediately both individuals' employment has been terminated."
08/10/11 Police in Huntersville, N.C., made a drug bust Tuesday, and one of those arrested is a front tire changer on Juan Pablo Montoya's #42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Sprint Cup car. Trevor L. Lysne, 40, is charged with trafficking marijuana, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and maintaining a dwelling to distribute marijuana, according to the police report. Jerome D. Frey, 27, also was charged with trafficking marijuana and possession with intent to sell and deliver after the Huntersville Police Department intercepted about 10-1/2 pounds of marijuana that had been shipped out of California. Sporting News.
Canadian Tire to Sponsor Watkins Glen Event [Editor's Note: Yet another CART sponsor that fell into NASCAR hands after Tony George started the IRL, split the sport, and nearly destroyed it. The amount of destruction caused by Tony George's action (and all the minions who supported him) continues to mount.] Watkins Glen International and Canadian Tire, the largest automotive retailer in Canada, have agreed to a partnership that makes Canadian Tire the title sponsor of the historic road course's GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race during the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen weekend, August 11-14. The newly titled "Canadian Tire 200 at The Glen" will be broadcast live on SPEED and is scheduled to take the green flag at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 13.
"Watkins Glen International is a destination for so many passionate Canadian race fans making this a perfect partnership," said Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International. "WGI is recognized as the premier road racing facility in North America making us the perfect platform for Canadian Tire to connect not only with fans from Upstate New York but across the entire United States. We are thrilled to have them join our family of incredible partners and look forward to another electrifying night of racing by Scott Pruett, Max Angelelli, David Donohue, and the rest of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series."
British film writer working on Lauda scriptUPDATE #2 Ron Howard, Director of future Formula 1 motion picture Rush, says the script for his latest project is ‘mesmerizing’, arguing that the film will be of global appeal when released. Written by Peter Morgan, the movie will depict the dramatic and hard-fought title race between McLaren driver James Hunt and Ferrari's Niki Lauda in 1976.
After returning from a near fatal incident at the Nürburgring, Lauda ultimately lost out to Hunt by a solitary point, deliberately retiring his car during the finale in Fuji because of the treacherous conditions. Howard, who is piecing together the drama, admits that this compelling but truthful story was one of the main reasons for getting involved.
"There are two reasons," Howard said during an interview with the official Formula 1 website. "Firstly, I am a huge fan of sports - almost any kind of sport - not just motor racing. Secondly, I am always in search of a good story with great characters.
Indy 500 will remain on ABC into 2018UPDATE A reader asks, Dear AR1.com, Is there anything about the new ABC/ESPN TV deal that is good? Let's face it, having 5 of the races each year on a competing network with no cross promotion, can't help. Dawn Morgan
Dear Dawn, Well yes in fact there is. ESPN International will continue to distribute the IndyCar race broadcasts worldwide. They are the best at doing that. In fact we are willing to bet that if you added up the number of viewers worldwide that watch each IndyCar broadcast, the total world top the TV ratings here in the USA and make the series look better. That would be an important number to provide to potential new sponsors. However, we never see any numbers published so we have to think IndyCar doesn't feel the need to hire a firm to collect that data. Mark C.
08/10/11 A Memorial Day weekend television tradition will continue with a new, six-year rights agreement that will keep the Indianapolis 500 on ABC through 2018, extending one of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a television network past the half-century mark.
ESPN on ABC will broadcast the 500 Mile Race for the 48th consecutive year on May 27, 2012, and, with the new agreement taking effect in 2013, also will televise the 100th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2016.
As part of the new agreement, ABC will be the exclusive broadcast network partner for the IZOD IndyCar Series from 2013-2018 and will continue to televise four races each year in addition to the Indianapolis 500. The worldwide presence of the Indianapolis 500 and the series on television will continue as ESPN also has international syndication rights for all IZOD IndyCar Series races.
Brownsburg annexes Luca Oil Speedway Is Brownsburg rivaling Speedway as the auto racing epicenter in central Indiana?
Maybe not yet, but it certainly is growing its racing enterprises faster than Speedway. Last month Brownsburg arguably made its biggest coup of all, and did it all while drawing very little attention.
I had heard rumblings that Brownsburg was angling to annex the racing complex formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park. But when I was reporting a story about life after NASCAR at the track in Clermont, I was surprised to discover that the annexation was all but a done deal.
The Brownsburg Town Council voted on July 21 to annex 2,200 acres, including the 267-acre racing venue. And Brownsburg officials said they’ll work with the track to develop the surrounding land, possibly into other racing-related ventures.
IndyCar drivers active off the track too Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay visited Children’s Hospital in Boston yesterday as a representative of Racing for Kids . . . Robbie Buhl, a 1985 graduate of New England College in Henniker, N.H., was at the forefront of the Racing for Kids initiative when he was a driver. Now a co-owner with the two-car Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team, Buhl will return to NHMS, where he recorded the first of his two career IndyCar wins in 1997 . . . Kanaan said he would squeeze some special events into his schedule in October. After the IndyCar Series event at Kentucky Speedway Oct. 2, which comes on the heels of a race at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan, Sept. 17, Kanaan will travel to Hawaii to compete in the Ironman Triathlon. He is an avid triathlete but has never competed in an Ironman event. “I’ll be doing the Indianapolis 500 of triathlons,’’ he said. He will fly from Hawaii to Las Vegas for the Izod World Championship, then head out to Australia to compete in the Armor All Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercar event at Surfer’s Paradise Oct. 21-23. Boston Globe
Falken Tires prove superior in the rain Declaring “perseverance pays off,” Team Falken Tire survived the storm that hit Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 30 minutes before the finish and took top honors in GT class for the first time in the performance tire manufacturer’s three-year ALMS career.
Derrick Walker, Falken’s ALMS Team Manager, made the comment after previously expressing confidence in Falken’s capability at Mid-Ohio, a track he knows very well from years of competing as a manager and owner of IndyCar teams.
Credit also went to Falken’s two team drivers, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler, and his partner, Bryan Sellers, who persevered through the race on a track notoriously tough on tires. Sellers qualified 9th and expressed disappointment with the position, considering Falken has finished in fifth place the last two races. However, Sellers started the race and started moving forward until he was hit from behind by the #04 Ford GT, which dropped the Porsche to 12th. The veteran driver fought hard and turned the car over to his teammate in 10th. Henzler entered the race and gradually moved to 7th place in GT, remaining there for a good portion of the race.
20 finalists announced for HOF Class of 2012 The field has been narrowed and only 20 finalists remain for induction into the Class of 2012 International Motorsports Hall of Fame, IMHOF officials announced today. The final inductees will be elected when the last round of voting begins in August.
“Practically every form of racing, from stock cars to open wheel to motorcycles to airplanes are represented. They are drivers, car builders, engine builders, owners, pilots, daredevils, pioneers and innovators,” states Executive Director, Grant Lynch.
Ecclestone Statement Confirms United States Grand Prix in November Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone was quoted today in the media confirming earlier reports of a revised 2012 F1 schedule, placing the United States Grand Prix on November 18, 2012. The schedule, which contains numerous adjustments from the calendar issued in June by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, is not considered official until the World Motor Sports Council ratifies it at its meeting later this year.
“I have been hoping for a late season race date since this project began and see this as a very positive sign from Formula One that it wants its U.S. event to be an over-the-top success,” said Tavo Hellmund, Chairman of the United States Grand Prix. “Mr. Ecclestone has dozens of competing issues to consider when it comes to the race calendar. He has to balance the interests of the teams with those of the promoters and even consider the unique situation of each host country. To put our race near the end of the schedule puts us in a prime spot to welcome the world next year – and I could not be more personally and professionally appreciative.”
Pocono to switch to 400 mile racesUPDATE Pocono Raceway's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974, a second Sprint Cup Series race was added to the Pocono schedule in 1982. Sunday's Good Sam RV Insurance 500 was the 68thSprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway. Each race was scheduled for 500 miles and each produced its share of drama and excitement. Starting with the June 10, 2012 Pocono Sprint Cup Series race, the scheduled distance for both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races will be shortened to 400 miles. "The 400 mile distance will make NASCAR racing at Pocono even more exciting," stated Raceway President and CEO , Brandon Igdalsky. "Race strategies will change, fuel mileage calculations will be altered and I firmly believe that our fans will be treated to outstanding racing at the 400 mile distance." "NASCAR supports Pocono Raceway's move to two 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2012," stated Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Racing Operations . "We believe this will be a good transition for the fans and competitors. It will provide the teams with a new type of strategy and should make for even more exciting competition at a unique facility that has a long-standing history in our sport." Eight weeks after the Pocono 400. It will be the August 5, Pennsylvania 400. Both 400 mile races will have the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards as companion races. The August Pennsylvania 400 weekend will also feature a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on August 4. Pocono Raceway
08/10/11 Raceway President Brandon Igdalski told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that cutting the track's two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 500 miles to 400 next season is "being considered". "We're looking at things, but we haven't made that decision quite yet," said Igdalski. "We're looking at it for the future, whether it's this year, next year, or a couple of years down the road. It's a different sport and a different time than it was years ago, and we're always looking at things." Igdalski took the helm of the historic tri-oval when his grandfather, track founder Dr. Joseph Mattioli, announced his retirement Friday. Igdalski said he was unaware of his grandfather's plans, adding, "We got a call about 30 minutes beforehand saying, `Be in the Media Center in half an hour.' I had no idea he was going to retire. My jaw hit the ground."
CART 1993 - Cleveland - Mansell vs. Fittipaldi We ask that you watch this video from 1993 - a CART race at Cleveland with Nigel Mansell and Emerson Fittipaldi passing and re-passing each other lap after lap. One of the best races of all-time, but this was typical CART and why it was hugely popular. This was CART IndyCar racing at its best. Two years later Tony George announced the creation of the IRL, which led to the ultimate destruction of CART (because they lost their crown jewel - the Indy 500) and of IndyCar racing the way it used to be. Contrast and compare that to the racing we see today and you will understand why so many people despise Tony George for destroying the sport they loved.
Busch to sub for Keselowski “As Brad Keselowski continues to recover from the injuries suffered last week at Road Atlanta, Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch will pilot the No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Watkins Glen International. Penske Racing is fortunate that Kurt, who is a former NNS winner at Watkins Glen, is in its stable of drivers. We appreciate him lending a hand during this time. We will continue to monitor Brad’s recovery. His NNS schedule will be determined on a race-by-race basis.” Tim Cindric, President, Penske Racing
Fellows to race at Watkins Glen for Tommy Baldwin Racing Ron Fellows will return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition this weekend, as the road-racing ace climbs aboard Tommy Baldwin Racing's No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet for the race at Watkins Glen International. Fellows will join the team's other driver, Dave Blaney, for the Aug. 14 road-course event, the final one of the Sprint Cup Series season.
Rolex Series plans 'triple crown' of endurance races Grand-Am plans to link together its biggest Rolex Sports Car Series endurance races--Daytona International Speedway, Watkins Glen International and Indianapolis Motor Speedway--in a triple crown mini-championship, perhaps as early as 2012.
Grand-Am boss Tom Bledsoe explained that the confirmation of next year's three-hour race on the Indianapolis road course, during the same weekend as NASCAR's Brickyard 400, was the catalyst for the idea. He said that the triple crown, which would have its own prize fund and points structure, could become a reality next season.
Weekly NASCAR cheating report Johnny Sauter no longer leads the Camping World Truck Series standings as NASCAR has penalized him and the ThorSports Racing team six points because the right rear of his truck was too high following the event Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
With the six-point penalty, Sauter dropped to second in the standings, one point behind Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon.
Crew chief Joe Shear was fined $5,000. Team owner Mike Curb also was docked six owner points.
The truck Sauter raced was a backup after he had crashed in qualifying Saturday. Sauter started in the rear of the field and raced his way to a fourth-place finish.
NASCAR also announced that Roush Fenway Racing crew chief Mike Kelly and TriStar Motorsports crew chief Gary Cogswell were fined $2,500 and put on probation until Sept. 21 because of lug nuts that were less than the minimum thickness. Those lug nuts were discovered during prequalifying inspection Aug. 6 at Iowa.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was built to be a playground for Les Griebling and his friends. It soon became much more than that, hosting the biggest names in racing in the 1960s and '70s. When Jim Trueman bought it in 1981, he was a multi-millionaire businessman who moonlighted as a racer. Buying Mid-Ohio was a logical next step in satiating the love of his hobby. It soon became more than that, evolving into a cornerstone of the family's business and one of America's premier racing venues.
In 2011, Kim Green and Kevin Savoree bought Mid-Ohio and its school. They are professional racers whose experience in the sport goes back decades. They earned their livings first through owning race teams, then by promoting races.
They aren't dabblers, and they aren't hobbyists. They are motor sports businessmen with a desire to wring every last bit of potential out of the venerable road course -- because they love the sport and because it's their livelihood.
Two-day tire test carried out at Monza British driver Ben Hanley was on hand to undertake a two-day GP2 tire test at Monza last week, completing 180 laps of the Italian venue to aid future simulator developments. The 26-year-old, who took part in four rounds of the 2008 season, was joined on-track by Pirelli’s Lucas di Grassi, with the latter completing further F1 tire evaluations.
"We scanned different F1 and GP2 2011 tires in various setup configurations such as warm up laps, starting procedures, qualifications and long runs," said GP2 Series Technical Director Didier Perrin. "Our objectives last week were not to test new compounds, but to help improve Pirelli’s development tools on the medium and long terms.
The loss of GoDaddy princess Danica Patrick to NASCAR has been anticipated for years
The pursuit of Danica Patrick continues and most signs indicate she will switch from the IZOD IndyCar Series to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2012, with perhaps seven races in Cup. And while that deal is far from being completed, many in IndyCar are already preparing for life without Danica next season. How would her departure affect the series? Would TV ratings plummet, would ticket sales suffer? Those in the industry have mixed thoughts on those issues as they await official word on whether she's staying or going.
"I'm a realist," says Randy Bernard, the CEO of IndyCar, "and my opinion is where there is smoke there is fire. I don't have time to dwell on whether she is or isn't going; my job is to build the series with who is here. We'd love for her to stay. But if she came to me with a wish list of what it would take for her to stay, I'd do whatever I [could]. But IndyCar has played its role and she will make that decision whether she will stay or not in the near future.
"I also believe she will help the Nationwide Series significantly," added Bernard. "She will give them a bump because she brings a lot of attention with her. I give GoDaddy a tremendous amount of credit because they found a very attractive sports athlete that was a good driver and were able to leverage her and showcase her in an edgy way that showcases GoDaddy.com. That is the one sponsor I don't want to lose in our series because they really understand how to build a superstar. When you look at the money they poured into helping build Danica Patrick, that is what I'm more concerned about losing -- the Super Bowl ads and all the things that developed her into what she is today."
Kanaan will drive the Jana Living Commodore with Jason Bargwanna
The number of former IndyCar or Champ Car Champions at this year’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 has increased to four with Brad Jones Racing confirming Tony Kanaan as part of their squad for this year’s October 21-23 event.
Kanaan, who won the IndyCar series in 2004, will co-drive with Jason Bargwanna in the Jana Living Racing Commodore, which is prepared in BJR’s Albury-based workshop.
Kanaan, who currently drives for Australian Kevin Kalkhoven at KV Racing Technology in the IZOD IndyCar Series, will join former IndyCar champions Scott Dixon (2003 & '08) and Dan Wheldon (2005) in the field as well as four-time Champ Car Series winner Sebastien Bourdais (2004, '05, '06 & '07).
BJR has been one of the big improvers in this year’s V8 Supercar Championship and Bargwanna won the first ever V8 Supercar Championship round on the Gold Coast back in 2002.
The confirmation of “TK” also brings the number of Brazilians in the field to three with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves confirmed with Tim Slade in the Lucky7 Ford at Stone Brothers Racing and Augusto Farfus in a Fujitsu Commodore at Fujitsu Racing/GRM.
Does new IndyCar have to be so butt ugly? AR1.com has received many emails saying how butt ugly the Dallara 2012 IndyCar is. While true, it is indeed butt ugly (at least that hideous bodywork around the rear wheels is), the good news is that Honda, Chevy and Lotus will each produce their own bodykits, so there is hope a better looking car will evolve. Dallara seems to have a knack for designing ugly race cars. Take for example the current Dallara IndyCar - for years it was considered butt ugly alongside a Champ Car by the large majority of fans. One of the many factors holding IndyCar back from skyrocketing in popularity. Where is the 'wow' factor if your car is ugly?
Is IndyCar using crashes to promote sport? A reader asks, Dear AR1.com, Something has been bothering me for a while. The TV promo pieces have been promoting crashes, not racing. Sunday, at Mid-Ohio, the Jumbotrons featured a lot of footage on crashes throughout the season. I'm not talking about race coverage, that is a news item that needs to be shown. Is this Randy Bernard's idea of using Bull Riding type advertising to promote a sport to the masses? Mike Seidenman
Dear Mike, YouTube replays of race accidents get the most viewers, so it seems fans like to see crashes. Americans seem to like contact sports like football, basketball and NASCAR. So do you give the customer what he likes? IndyCar knew right well that going to double file restarts would lead to more contact, and it has. TV ratings are up, so....... Mark C.
Next time Justin Wilson steps into an IndyCar is likely to be testing the new 2012 car
Justin Wilson was released from hospital in Indianapolis Tuesday. He was transported from Ohio to Indianapolis on Sunday to meet with INDYCAR'S medical consultant Dr. Terry Trammell who found that Justin has a stable burst fracture of the T5 vertebra with no spinal cord injury. He is being treated with a brace and will receive a regular x-rays and check-ups, but will be unable to drive for a minimum of three months.
During Saturday morning's practice session in Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Justin ran wide on the exit of Turn 1 and the No. 22 car porpoised through the grass, hitting an access road which then sent the car airborne. Although the car was undamaged, Justin was immediately aware that he had hurt his back.
"Obviously, I have a little bit of a backache, but I'm just frustrated to not be at the racetrack," said Justin today. "I think that we had just started to get our season turned around and the car was really good at Mid-Ohio. I know that I'm going to miss the ovals and I think we've found some good stuff that was going to help our oval performance, so I'm disappointed to not be in the car".
Ganassi "Heartbroken" Over Disappointing NASCAR Season
Considered the most talented driver in NASCAR, Juan Montoya is straddled with Ganassi cars that are just not up to snuff. Too bad Montoya wasn't driving Ganassi's IndyCars instead. He would me mopping up. A shame really, another career of star open wheel talent wasted in NASCAR
Ganassi: “A year ago, we had the best cars … and we just lost our way right here in this building.”
Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi sat down with Steve Byrnes on NASCAR Race Hub (Monday through Thursday at 7 p.m. ET) for an interview that aired Tuesday evening on SPEED. The IndyCar Series/NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owner discussed his NASCAR team’s dismal season in which neither Jamie McMurray nor Juan Pablo Montoya have a win or a legitimate chance of making the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Following is a transcript from the interview:
Byrnes: Are you disappointed on the NASCAR side based on the year you had a year ago versus where we sit now?
Ganassi: “Very disappointed. Very disappointed. I’m heartbroken, to tell you the truth. We lost our way a bit. A year ago, we had the best cars. A year ago, we had the best engines. And we just lost our way here right in this building. I think our engines … we were on the ragged edge of our engines and we had some engine problems. It’s a cycle thing and I’d like to think we’re in the bottom of the cycle right now. We have some work to do. I just came out of some meetings this morning on that subject.”
Wagner joins TMR for New Hampshire race Team Moore Racing announced that Firestone Indy Lights race winner Brandon Wagner will drive the #22 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car at the New Hampshire 100 in Loudon, NH on Aug. 14.
Wagner, a veteran of USAC short track racing, has been competing in series since 2009. During the 2010 season he only competed in five races but garnered three top-10 finishes and his first win at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to race with Team Moore Racing, they are a great team. I hope to bring them the success I know we're both capable of," Wagner said.
Last weekend took an unexpected turn for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 22 Roll Coater machine, was involved in a single-car incident in practice for the Honda Indy 200.
During the Saturday morning practice session in Mid-Ohio, Wilson ran off on the exit of Turn 1. As a result, he dropped two wheels off the asphalt and then went hopping through the grass, which then sent the car airborne.
Wilson was transported from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to MedCentral Hospital in Mansfield, Ohio by ground transportation and was kept overnight. He was transported to Indianapolis last Sunday to meet with Dr. Terry Trammell and today, he was released from the hospital. Wilson has a stable burst fracture of the T5 with no spinal cord injury. He will be treated with bracing and serial x-rays. Wilson will be unable to drive for a minimum of three months.
Terry Labonte to Drive No. 38 at Watkins Glen Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Terry Labonte will return to Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International for the first time since 2007 - and he'll do it for the first time in the seat of the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford. "Texas Terry" has had solid runs in his career at the 2.45-mile road course, earning two poles, three top-5 finishes and six top-10 finishes at the track.
The No. 38 Ford will also carry a special message at the Glen. The car will feature a decal to raise awareness for the Jenni-Lyn Watson Memorial Fund. The 20-year-old college student and aspiring ballerina from Central New York was tragically murdered last November in a case that drew national attention.
Pippa Mann (R) with Eric Bachelart when she tested with Conquest back in March
IZOD Indy Car Series rookie Pippa Mann knew she would have Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s top-flight mechanics and technicians working on her car in her debut with the team this weekend, but the British driver today gained the support of thousands more qualified automotive professionals through a partnership with NTB - National Tire and Battery®.
NTB will be on the #30 Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry for this weekend’s MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, while Big O Tires® will be featured on the RLL car at Kentucky and Las Vegas. NTB, which is part of the TBC Retail Group, has sponsored Rahal Letterman Lanigan Indy Car efforts in the recent past with Graham Rahal and Jay Howard with not only NTB, but fellow TBC Retail Group partners Big O Tires and Service Central®.
Racing Legend Gary Nixon Passes Away It is with great sadness that we bring news of the passing of Motorcycle Hall of Famer Gary Nixon. Nixon died today at the age of 70 in Baltimore Maryland due to complications from a recent heart attack. His accomplishments included back-to-back AMA Grand National titles in 1967 and 1968 and the U.S. National Road Racing Championship on a Kawasaki in 1973. He also competed in the Formula 750 championship, where he was denied the championship due to a point deduction and the ensuing politics. He was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2003.
NASCAR races cause possible hearing loss Gentlemen, start your engines. Race fans, cover your ears. If you don't, you may be doing irreparable damage to your hearing.
According to readings taken with a sound level meter during the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, noise levels near the track reached 114 decibels. Higher up in the stands, the readings were closer to 90 dB.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a leading organization on hearing safety, says that exposure to sounds above 85 dB (a lawnmower, iPod headphones at full blast) can cause gradual hearing loss if ear plugs or other forms of protection are not worn.
For Danica, moving to Nationwide is an upgrade from IndyCar IndyCar has endeavored mightily to reverse the decline that it experienced over the past decade, but it is hard to get over the feeling that America’s premier open-wheel racing series is settling in to minor-league, minor-sport status. Even its attempts to emulate NASCAR -- which is experiencing its own malaise -- are troubled. For example, as the season began, IndyCar made several attempts to goose up the action it was providing fans, including two-abreast lineups for restarts. But those efforts have had mixed results, and now the series has decided to crack down on drivers who mix it up too much.
While trading paint is OK in NASCAR, it is just not OK in an open-wheel series where the possibility of catastrophic crashes from such actions is much greater. In light of that, drivers Mike Conway, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alex Tagliani have been put on probation by IndyCar officials through December 31 for “multiple instances of initiating avoidable contact during IZOD IndyCar Series events this season.”
Hayden tests resurfaced Indianapolis circuit Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week, evaluating the changes on a Ducati 1198 street bike ahead of the circuit's MotoGP event later this month. The 2006 Champion declared the changes as ‘pretty much perfect’, with troublesome bumps now eliminated.
"The new surface is just what I expected, it's pretty much perfect," Hayden explained. "There are a couple corners that the riders requested to be redone and IMS went above and beyond, and actually the whole infield from Turn 5 to the finish is repaved, so I'm looking forward to getting back here on the race bike and laying some rubber down.
Security Guards Stabbed at Pocono Raceway Two Philadelphia-area men were in the Monroe County jail over the weekend after police said one stabbed two security guards at Pocono Raceway early Sunday. Daniel Kupper, 20, of Melrose Park, is in Monroe County Correctional Facility on $100,000 bail after Pocono Mountain Regional Police said he stabbed two members of the track's security force during a fight around 3:20 am.
Police said Louis Kupper, 23, of Elkins Park, didn't stab either of the two unidentified guards, but is in jail on a parole violation. According to police, the Kuppers were passengers in a van that disobeyed traffic directions given by the event staff at the track's staging area. Both got out of the vehicle and began fighting with security and event staffers. Daniel Kupper then stabbed a 50-year-old security staffer in his neck, shoulder and back, police said. He also stabbed a 55-year-old security staffer in the collarbone and back, police said.
Both were taken to local hospitals for treatment. The 55-year-old was listed in stable condition at Lehigh Valley Medical Center, but no condition was available for the 50-year-old victim. Both were employees of the Strike Force Protective Services company. Daniel Kupper is being charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and underage drinking. After a Sunday preliminary hearing, he is in jail on $100,000 bail. Louis Kupper is charged with simple assault, furnishing alcohol to a minor, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He is being held in the jail on a parole violation and is waiting for an arraignment hearing. Pocono Record
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