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TV News
USA TV reminders for Friday USA TV reminders for FridayCourtesy of TVRacer.com

NASCAR Live! Michigan
2:00pm-3:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying  Michigan
3:00pm-5:00pm (L) SPEED
ARCA RE/MAX Michigan
5:00pm-7:00pm (L) SPEED
Trackside Michigan
7:00pm-8:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying  Michigan
9:00pm-11:00pm (R) SPEED

All times listed are ET.  For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.
Weekly NASCAR cheater report Weekly NASCAR cheater reportTwo NASCAR Busch Series crew chiefs have been fined by NASCAR as a result of rule violations during last Saturday’s race at Watkins Glen International.

Todd Brewer, crew chief for the No. 25 Ford driven by Ashton Lewis Jr., and Dave Fuge Jr., crew chief for the No. 34 Chevrolet driven by Brian Simo, have both been fined $2,000 for violating Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 9-4-A (crew chief assumes responsibility for actions of team members); 9-15-G (permitting individuals without a proper NASCAR license into the car servicing area); and 20A-17B and 17.1A (entering the car servicing area without the proper safety equipment) of the 2006 NASCAR Rule Book.

Argent, Rahal sue photographer Argent, Rahal sue photographerUPDATE Further analysis of the lawsuit reveals that it doesn’t appear that Rahal and Argent are claiming ownership at all.  It looks like they are claiming they are not responsible for third parties infringing the copyright that the photographer has on these photos.  If anything it looks as if they agree the photographer does own them, but apparently he has threatened THEM with a lawsuit because of actions by a third party.  Looks like this suit is to force the photographer to quit threatening THEM and go after the third party instead.

Plaintiff alleges defendant made two contentions of wrongful on the part of plaintiff. The first is plaintiff used the photos in a way (unspecified) that violated plaintiff's copyright. The second is plaintiff is responsible for a third-party's alleged misuse (unspecified) of the photos. Possibly the two claims by defendants are connected, i.e., by allowing the photos to be possessed by the third party Argent/Rahal violated copyright (never should have given them to the third party) and therefore are in addition responsible for third party's usage in violation of the copyright.

08/16/06 Argent Mortgage and Rahal Letterman Racing have filed a lawsuit against a photographer over Danica Patrick photos he took for the team. The photographer claims he owns the rights to the photos and Argent and Rahal claim they do. Typically the photographer owns the rights and gives the buyer the right to use them, hence the photographer can sell them to others. That is how photographers make a living. It will be interesting to see how this case turns out because to the best of our recollection, a previous case set a precedence for how photographers operate.
Gibernau forced out of Czech GP Gibernau forced out of Czech GPGibernau has not fully recovered from the Catalunya crash
Ducati rider Sete Gibernau has been forced to miss this weekend's Czech MotoGP in Brno because he has still not recovered from his broken collarbone.

Gibernau made a two-race comeback after suffering the injury at the Catalan Grand Prix in June, but a doctor ruled that he was not fully fit to race.

Alex Hofmann, who stood in for Gibernau at the Dutch and British Grands Prix, will replace him once again.

Track News
Ticket sales up 13% at Milwaukee Mile Ticket sales up 13% at Milwaukee MileThe new promoters of The Milwaukee Mile, led by Chairman Craig Stoehr and President & CEO Andy Randall, have seen an increase in race fans attending auto races at America’s Legendary Oval through three of four large spectator event weekends in 2006.

Attendance for each and every event has increased over 2005, according to Randall.  The Milwaukee Mile is currently the only speedway that hosts all three major American sanctioning bodies in the same season – Champ Car World Series, NASCAR and the Indy Racing League.

“As we entered into an 18 year agreement with the Wisconsin State Fair Board late last year, we came into this season with a schedule in place and we went to work on growing awareness and ticket sales for each of our race weekends,” Randall said.  “We are encouraged by the response of our valued fans and with the initial success we’ve had in attracting new fans to experience an event weekend with us thus far.”

In early June, the Champ Car World Series competed in the Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225.  The Friday night June 23rd Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series was well attended, and the popular AT&T 250 NASCAR Busch Series event, won by Wisconsin’s own Paul Menard, drew over 41,000 fans. zzzz

Just weeks prior to the August 10 announcement of a return to tradition with the stars of the Indianapolis 500 racing the Sunday after the ‘500 at The Mile beginning June 3, 2007, Tony Kanaan picked up his first IndyCar Series victory this season in the ABC Supply / A.J. Foyt 225.

The upcoming August 25-27 Governor’s Cup weekend brings the tradition of stock car racing in August back to the historic oval, the oldest operating motor speedway in the world, dating back to 1903.  There will be 500 miles of stock car racing among four divisions of national and Wisconsin grass roots stock car racing divisions.

Teams from the ARCA RE/MAX Series will headline the weekend, racing in the Sunday afternoon, August 27 Governor’s Cup 200.  The debut of the ASA Late Model Challenge Series in the Governor’s Cup 150, the Mid-American Stock Cars return on Saturday, and the first-ever visit of the Wisconsin Challenge Series complete a busy weekend of on-track activity.

With the popularity growing with the ARCA RE/MAX Series, response has been positive, according to Randall, with advance sale tickets on a steady pace to exceed last season’s August Governor’s Cup attendance.

For the 2006 season, there has been no increase in ticket prices, with family-affordable $9 race day tickets available each weekend.  For the upcoming Governor’s Cup events, reserved seat race day tickets range in price from as low as $7 to $25.

To learn more about the August 25-27 Governor’s Cup weekend and available ticket  and pit & paddock pass options, call 414-453-8277, or visit the speedway’s website, www.milwaukeemile.com.

Track News
2007 TMS schedule announced 2007 TMS schedule announced
Pro Cuts Weekend
(TMS Dirt Track)
March 1: Practice, 7 p.m.
March 2: SUPR Late Models and Modified heats, 5:30 p.m.
March 3: SUPR Late Models and Modified heats and championships, 5 p.m.

RadioShack 500 Weekend
April 12: The Dallas Morning News Qualifying, NASCAR Busch Series; Aaron’s Fandango 6 season ticket-holder event.
April 13: The Dallas Morning News Qualifying, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup; Crown Royal International Race of Champions.
April 14: O’Reilly 300, NASCAR Busch Series.
April 15: RadioShack 500, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.

Bombardier Learjet 500k Weekend*
June 7: Qualifying Night, IRL IndyCar Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
June 8: Sam’s Town 400, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
June 9: Bombardier Learjet 500k, IRL IndyCar Series.

Dickies 500 Weekend
Nov. 1: Qualifying, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Nov. 2: Qualifying, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series; Silverado 350k, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Nov. 3: O’Reilly Challenge, NASCAR Busch Series.
Nov. 4: Dickies 500, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.

*The IRL IndyCar Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will pair up once again for a June race weekend that features all the action under the lights. The race week begins Thursday, June 7 with qualifying for both the IndyCar Series and Craftsman Truck Series. The Craftsman Truck Series returns the next evening – Friday, June 8 – to compete in the Sam’s Town 400. The weekend closes on Saturday, June 9 with the IndyCar Series field battling in the Bombardier Learjet 500k, “America’s Original Nighttime IndyCar Race.”

Da Matta’s Condition Improving slowly Da Matta’s Condition Improving slowlyLOVELAND, Colo. – Champ Car World Series driver Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) has not yet fully regained consciousness, but his condition continues to improve as he recovers from a serious head injury at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wisc.  Da Matta was injured after colliding with a deer that ran onto the track near Turn Six at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., on August 3, and has been at Theda Clark ever since, with his family at his side. 

Champ Car Medical Director Dr. Chris Pinderski flew back to Wisconsin today to monitor the condition of da Matta.  The following statement is an update from Pinderski on da Matta’s medical status.

“Cristiano still continues to show daily improvement while in the intensive care unit at Theda Clark Medical Center.  He is becoming more alert each day and has been removed from the ventilator that was providing respiratory support since his accident.  It is anticipated that he will be transferred from intensive care to a step-down unit in the next 24-48 hours where his recovery will continue.” 

Further updates on da Matta’s condition will be issued by RuSPORT as they become available.

During the past weekend’s Grand Prix of Denver, fans of da Matta and RuSPORT turned out en masse to show their support.  The team received a substantial amount of cards, gifts and well-wishes throughout the weekend.

“We were overwhelmed by the concern and support for Cristiano that we saw in Denver,” said RuSPORT president Jeremy Dale.  “RuSPORT would like to thank all of the fans for the support they have given to Cristiano and his family though this difficult time.  It’s very comforting to the team and to the da Matta family to know that the fans care so much about Cristiano.”

Since da Matta’s accident on August 3, RuSPORT and Champ Car have received many messages of support for da Matta.  In response, RuSPORT also announced that, in lieu of sending flowers and gifts, anyone wishing to express their support for da Matta during his recovery is asked to please make a donation in his name to Hole in the Wall Camps, an official charity of the Champ Car World Series.  Donation information can be found by visiting http://www.holeinthewallcamps.org, or by calling 203-562-1203.

Get well cards for da Matta can be sent to:
Cristiano da Matta, patient
Theda Clark Medical Center
130 2nd St.
Neenah, WI  54956

Racing News
SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Rankings SPEED Weekly Top 20 Driver Rankings
Updated 8-16-06
Pos. (LW) Driver (Series) Pts
1. (4) Kevin Harvick (NASCAR) 8.114
2. (11) A.J. Allmendinger (CCWS) 7.979
3. (5) Kyle Busch (NASCAR) 7.336
4. (NR) Sam Hornish, Jr. (IRL) 7.253
5. (1) Sebastien Bourdais (CCWS) 7.184
6. (2) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) 7.116
7. (8) Jeff Burton (NASCAR) 7.079
8. (9) Denny Hamlin (NASCAR) 7.074
9. (10) Michael Schumacher (F1) 6.893
10. (17) Tony Stewart (NASCAR) 6.879
11. (16) Jeff Gordon (NASCAR) 6.817
12. (20) Carl Edwards (NASCAR) 6.580
13. (3) Matt Kenseth (NASCAR) 6.516
14. (15) Dan Wheldon (IRL) 6.424
15. (14) Kurt Busch (NASCAR) 6.319
16. (6) Justin Wilson (CCWS) 6.312
17. (7) Helio Castroneves (IRL) 6.266
18. (12) Mark Martin (NASCAR) 6.139
19. (NR) Brian Vickers (NASCAR) 6.098
20. (NR) Jamie McMurray (NASCAR) 6.058
Dropped out: Vitor Meira (IRL), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (NASCAR), Clint Bowyer (NASCAR)
Provided by STATS Inc.
Current year results, last 10 races, last five races and last race are factored in equally, with an adjustment factor to compensate for the series different scoring systems. In addition, a competition difficulty factor has been included to balance the competitive depth of each series.
Ethanol fallacy slammed Ethanol fallacy slammed[Editor's Note: Don't say we didn't tell you so.]

One tankful of the latest craze in alternative energy could feed one person for a year, Lester Brown tells Fortune.

The growing myth that corn is a cure-all for our energy woes is leading us toward a potentially dangerous global fight for food. While crop-based ethanol -the latest craze in alternative energy - promises a guilt-free way to keep our gas tanks full, the reality is that overuse of our agricultural resources could have consequences even more drastic than, say, being deprived of our SUVs. It could leave much of the world hungry.

We are facing an epic competition between the 800 million motorists who want to protect their mobility and the two billion poorest people in the world who simply want to survive. In effect, supermarkets and service stations are now competing for the same resources.
This year cars, not people, will claim most of the increase in world grain consumption. The problem is simple: It takes a whole lot of agricultural produce to create a modest amount of automotive fuel.

The grain required to fill a 25-gallon SUV gas tank with ethanol, for instance, could feed one person for a year. If today's entire U.S. grain harvest were converted into fuel for cars, it would still satisfy less than one-sixth of U.S. demand. More at CNN.com

Sadler confirmed for No. 19 Sadler confirmed for No. 19Elliott Sadler will take over the #19 Dodge at Evernham Motorsports beginning with this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway, a team official confirmed to The Associated Press. Sadler secured an early release from Robert Yates Racing late Tuesday evening, clearing the way for him to replace Jeremy Mayfield beginning Sunday, according an Evernham official who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not yet been made. Associated Press
Racing News
Luyendyk supporter Dick Miller dies Luyendyk supporter Dick Miller diesArie Luyendyk found more than two victories at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after coming to the United States from his native Holland to race in the 1980s. He also acquired a second father.

"In a way I've always called Dickie my American dad," Luyendyk said after learning of the death of his longtime friend and associate, "because that's what he was to me."

Luyendyk was referring to Richard Lawrence "Dick" Miller of Albion, Ind., who passed away on the morning of Aug. 14 at Fort Wayne (Ind.) Parkview Hospital. He was 86.

"He fathered over me and I sensed he liked doing that," Luyendyk said. "Next year is not going to be the same without him."

Miller was public relations director for Provimi Veal Co. in Waukesha, Wis., a longtime sponsor of Luyendyk. He handled the trackside hospitality for the company and this brought on his association with the driver from the Netherlands. Their relationship has lasted over the years and last May Miller was involved as Luyendyk's son, Arie Jr., qualified for his first "500."  zzzz

Miller, past president of the 500 Oldtimers Association, attended his first Indianapolis 500 in 1930 and became deeply involved during the 1950s when he owned a clothing store in his hometown of Wabash, Ind. One of the top drivers of that era was Jimmy Daywalt, also a native of Wabash and Miller's close friend.

Daywalt finished sixth in the 1953 race and was named rookie of the year. Miller attended both the race and the Victory Banquet. "I looked at these fellows at the Victory Banquet, and a bell rang," he said. "To me, these guys look terrible, they need to be dressed up. So I got the idea maybe I could do something."

The following year after the banquet Miller approached Speedway owner Hulman and proposed a $1,000 wardrobe for the winner "so we can get these guys dressed properly."

Bob Sweikert, the 1955 Indy champion, became the first driver to make the journey to Wabash in north central Indiana to be outfitted. The award today doesn't sound like much, but in the 1950s it was quite a prize. He received three suits, ties, shirts and other items, all name brand clothing. Over the years Indy winners like Rodger Ward, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones and Mario Andretti were among the clothing recipients.

Scotsman Jimmy Clark won in 1965 but initially said he could not appear at Miller's shop because he was scheduled to return to England. However, when he and car owner Colin Chapman flew to Detroit after the race, Ford officials told them it was a nice affair and they should attend. Chapman liked the entire program so well that after Clark selected his clothing they stayed for the banquet.

What made that year so special was that since Clark said he wasn't going to be able to appear, Miller invited rookie of the year Andretti to take his place and be outfitted. Thus two drivers cleaned out his racks. Andretti won Indy in 1969 and made a return visit.
Foyt was the only driver to pick up new clothes on three occasions. But by the time he had won a fourth "500" in 1977, Miller had ended his involvement in the program.

Miller sat in the Pagoda press box with his father as a 10-year-old in 1930. He only missed one Indianapolis 500 thereafter when daughter, Mary, graduated from Manchester College. However, he did listen to the radio broadcast.

Over the years, Miller worked for Tony Bettenhausen, the Andretti's and Nigel Mansell, as well as Luyendyk, doing hospitality and other behind-the-scenes activities. He was a charter member of the United States Auto Club, Motorsports Hall of Fame in Novi, Mich., the Championship Auto Racing Teams series, the Vintage Car Association, and he was an Indianapolis 500 Hall of Fame selection committee member. He also refereed high school basketball for six years.

Miller also acquired the gifts each year that were handed out to the Oldtimers club members attending the annual May banquet. He was deeply involved in Wabash city politics and activities. He once ran for mayor of the community.

Born April 5, 1920, he married Mary Jane Martin on Aug. 19, 1944. He was a graduate of Wabash High School and the Kahn Tailoring Co. in Indianapolis.
Survivors include his wife, daughters Jane Ann Marteeny and Mary Kathryn Tipton, a brother Jack, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Services will take place at 10:30 a.m. (ET) Aug. 18 at the Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service, Wabash Chapel. Calling will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Aug. 17 at the same site.

Online condolences may be may be delivered on the funeral service's Web site, at www.grandstaff-hentgen.com. Memorial contributions can be made to the Wabash County Historical Museum.

Tracy brings Champ Car added publicity Tracy brings Champ Car added publicityIn sports they say any press is good press, even if it's about something controversial. Champ Car's 'bad-boy' Paul Tracy has been getting plenty of media attention lately by getting into scuffles with fellow drivers. After his knock-em-down fight with Alex Tagliani in San Jose two weeks ago, he got into a shoving match with Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais Sunday in Denver after the two got together in the final turn of the final lap of the race.

For this Tracy got what amounts to a slap on the wrist from race officials with a minimum penalty and no suspension.

Bourdais isn't impressed.

"I'm not going to say what I think should have been done because it's not my role," Bourdais said in a phone interview with the Toronto Star from his Florida home. "But I can say (Tracy) is probably smiling right now.

"(Not suspending Tracy) plays against the credibility of Champ Car, but we can't afford to sit anybody out because of the number of cars we have. That's the sad reality right now."

Even publications like Forbes is picking up his stories. Love him or hate him, he is helping Champ Car get much needed media coverage.

Allmendinger: She’s my dream come true Allmendinger: She’s my dream come trueHe has a new love in life, a beautiful fiancée Lynn Kushnirenko. He's winning races now. Is everything right in the world for A.J. Allmendinger?

"It's right, but it's hectic right now. Wow, it's a crazy year, honestly. I haven't felt like that I've ever had time to rest since I guess I was let go.

"So there's a lot of happiness in life and there's also a lot of stress. But I wouldn't have it any other way honestly. I wouldn't change it. I wouldn't change the way I got let go, the way Forsythe called me, win the races, get engaged all through that time. It's something that I'll always remember the rest of my life. I know it was the best thing in my life.

"She makes me so happy off the racetrack. You know, for me with her, she's my dream come true. It's nice to have that. I think you ask anybody. I mean, it's funny, because when I was 21, I was asked about personal life towards racing. I said, doesn't matter. I said, there's racing and then there's your personal life. Those don't mix.

"As you get older, you realize they do mix because if you're not happy racing, your personal life's not good, nothing's good. You can leave your house every day and you're happy because you're married and you have a loving wife, you're getting to that point, you show up at the racetrack, you're going to be a happy person. It's going to make a difference."

More in this AJ Allmendinger interview with AutoRacing1.com President Mark Cipolloni.

Petty Brings New Colors to Michigan Petty Brings New Colors to MichiganThis weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Marathon American Spirit Oil Dodge team will head to the two-mile Michigan International Speedway, located in the city of Brooklyn, for Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400. Petty will debut the Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil scheme for the first time this season. It's a "home" race for the brand because Marathon has a regional office located in nearby Findlay, Ohio. Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil will be the primary sponsor for three more races this season and an associate on both the No. 43 and the No. 45 cars the rest of the year. Petty Racing/Moore Consulting Group PR
Wallace loses sponsor Wallace loses sponsorKenny Wallace will drive the #78 car next year full time in Cup, the #22 next year full time in Busch and still his my normal SpeedTV duties. AutoZone [Wallace's Busch Series sponsor] will not be returning next year on any race car full time. AutoZone felt that it was best if their advertising budget was best spent on commercial spots instead of on a race car.
Baldwin new crew chief for Waltrip Baldwin new crew chief for WaltripTommy Baldwin, recently hired by Bill Davis Racing to oversee competition, is now serving as crew chief for Michael Waltrip in his #55 Waltrip-Jasper Racing Dodge in the Nextel Cup Series. Waltrip had been using Joe Shear as a crew chief since Charlotte in May. "I have a new crew chief with Tommy Baldwin on the box," Waltrip said during a teleconference Tuesday. "Tommy has really taken over the NAPA car, and hopefully this weekend, his signature or his presence will be something that will help us continue going at the level that we are used to. In the two weeks we've had him, he's made a very big difference for our team," Waltrip said. "He's a proven crew chief and knows the ins and outs of a race car. I have the utmost confidence in him and the decisions he makes in the NAPA pit. It's comforting to me as a driver to know that I have someone as knowledgeable as Tommy on the other end of the radio so that I can concentrate on doing my job on the track." SceneDaily.com
track news
Rave reviews for LVMS changes Rave reviews for LVMS changesLAS VEGAS -- Four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams are testing tires for Goodyear at Las Vegas Motor Speedway tonight and tomorrow in preparation for the Sept. 23 Smith's Las Vegas 350. Each of the four participating manufacturers was represented: Dodge (Brendan Gaughan of Las Vegas), Chevrolet (Dennis Setzer), Toyota (Todd Bodine) and Ford (Rick Crawford).  For three of the four drivers, it was their first time out on LVMS' new pavement and high-banked turns. Having won the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Sam's Town 300 and last year's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Las Vegas 350 at LVMS, Todd Bodine perhaps knows his way around the 1.5-mile superspeedway better than any of the other participating drivers.  The new banking surprised the veteran from Chemung, N.Y.

"I'll tell you, I was a little skeptical at first, riding around in a (stock) Tundra," Bodine admitted.  "But then I got in the race truck and I was very impressed.  The track itself - the shape, the entries and exits, the corners - they're much better than they appear to be.  I think it's going to be a really good track to race on.  I've won here in Busch and Truck and I've always loved coming to Vegas. Hopefully we can get our truck just as good as it was last time." "It's a big, big change," said Chevrolet's Setzer.  "It's a huge change - I cannot believe how much has been changed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  The banking's going to be fun to work with, I think.  It's got some characteristics unique to Vegas already.  We'll see how it works."

Testing will continue Wednesday at 4 p.m.  The session is not open to the public.

Tickets for the Smith's Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Sept. 23 may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com.

Axed Villeneuve revs-up singing career Axed Villeneuve revs-up singing career(GMM)  Dumped BMW-Sauber driver Jacques Villeneuve made a surprise appearance at a Canadian festival last weekend.

The former world champion, who earlier this year released his debut music single 'Accepterais-tu?', performed the song as a duo with French-Canadian pop singer 'Garou'.

35-year-old Villeneuve and his wife are currently holidaying in the region, where the event - part of the 'International Balloon Festival' in his home town of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Quebec) - attracted some 60,000 spectators.

Schu makes grid in 'Forbes' rich ranking Schu makes grid in 'Forbes' rich ranking(GMM) He can anonymously holiday in the country, but US business magazine 'Forbes' has placed Michael Schumacher inside the top-twenty of its latest list of high-earning celebrities.

Hollywood director Steven Spielberg tops the charts with more than a staggering (US) $330 million for the year, while Ferrari's Schumacher - his annual take estimated at around the $60 million mark - is placed fifteenth.

On Forbes' ranking of 'celebrity power', meanwhile, 37-year-old Schumacher is situated just thirtieth, although he ranks sixth of the athletes, behind names including Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.

Intriguingly, the magazine also found that Schumacher is the highest paid athlete who is not sponsored by Nike.

In another publication, however, 'Sport Illustrated' said Schumacher topped its recent International Top-20 list, estimating the German's annual earnings at some $80 million.

He was trailed by Valentino Rossi, Ronaldinho, Maria Sharapova and David Beckham, although Tiger Woods topped the list of American athletes with a whopping $97.6m wage.

track news
Variable Banking makes Homestead races close Variable Banking makes Homestead races closeHOMESTEAD, FL, -- Is Homestead-Miami Speedway the most competitive race track in the country? A closer look reveals how results from recent IRL IndyCar® Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events at the Speedway make this a compelling argument.

In an article published for the 2006 September issue of Speedway Illustrated, statistical data from the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season was calculated to determine the Series’ most competitive track. Of the four areas measured (lead changes, margin of victory, lap leaders and qualifying speed differential), Homestead-Miami Speedway tied for second (with Talladega) trailing only Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the top overall spot.

Of the top three, Homestead-Miami Speedway is the only track to host both an IRL and NASCAR sanctioned event and currently holds the closest margin of victory in the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (0.017 seconds) and the current 2006 IRL IndyCar® Series (0.0147) season thru 12 events (see diagram).

Year Event Margin of Victory HMS Rank
2006 IRL Toyota Indy 300 0.0147 sec. #1 to-date
2005 NNCS Ford 400 0.0170 sec. #1 overall zzzz

In 2003, Homestead-Miami Speedway embarked on the most technologically advanced track reconfiguration project in the history of motorsports utilizing a state-of-the-art computerized design never before seen in race track design technology. The success of the first-ever computerized designed track has established the speedway as a leader in all of motorsports.

“By adding the variable banking, Homestead-Miami Speedway has become one of the premier tracks on both the NASCAR and IRL IndyCar Series circuits,” said track president Curtis Gray. “International Speedway Corporation (ISC) set the industry standard with Homestead-Miami Speedway and became the first track in history to create a new banking design through computer modeled technology and created the template for which others will follow in their future designs. In doing so, fans now see competitive side-by-side racing that allows competitiveness from start-to-finish with the winning margins being less than one-tenth of-a-second. I believe we’ve succeeded.”

At last year’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Ford 400 qualifying at Homestead-Miami Speedway, pole setter Carl Edwards’ margin of -0.758 seconds over Mike Skinner (43rd position) represented the second-closest differential between the fastest and slowest qualifier all season. Only the 2005 Advanced Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway half-mile oval (.0696 sec.) was closer.

Year Event Driver Position Time Differential
2005 NNCS Ford 400
Carl Edwards POLE 30.673 sec. - Mike Skinner 43rd 31.431 +0.758

What was once considered by many a boring flat course, Homestead-Miami Speedway’s 18-20 degree variable banked design has created thrilling side-by-side action from start-to-finish. Two-time Ford 400 champion and defending race winner Greg Biffle agrees.

“I think it’s the progressive banking [that makes the track so competitive], definitely,” Biffle recently told Speedway Illustrated. “It’s obvious that they had the will to make it perfect. And they’ve made a dang-near perfect track for racing.”

“We’re proud to host the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Championship and believe that our Speedway has proven itself as a championship track,” added Gray. “Whether it’s open wheel or stock cars, Homestead-Miami Speedway has defined itself into one of the premier racing facilities in the nation.”

The Chase for The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway November 17-19 as the final contenders in the Chase take their shot at becoming the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion. All three NASCAR Series, the Craftsman Truck, Busch, and NEXTEL Cup will crown champions ‘under the lights’ during Ford Championship Weekend.

Fans can still order tickets to the Ford 200 and Ford 300 race days and travel packages for Ford Championship Weekend by calling 866-409-RACE or online at Homestead-Miami Speedway’s official website www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com or www.racetickets.com Homestead Miami PR

[Editor's Note: 100% throttle racing makes margins artificially close.]

Allmendinger: Ovals scare the living hell out of me Allmendinger: Ovals scare the living hell out of meIn this interview with AutoRacing1.com President Mark Cipolloni, Champ Car's hottest driver right now, AJ Allmendinger, says the Indy 500 can wait and expresses his dislike for racing open wheel cars on high-speed ovals..

With the split, not able to run Indy, does he have any regrets?

"No, because I really -- for me, Indy is not that big of a deal," said Allmendinger. "My opinion might change if I was sitting on the grid there and all the prerace activities are going on and I'm, you know, starting the Indy 500. My opinion might change."

Does he care if the merger never happens then?

"No, the merger needs to happen. There's no doubt the merger needs to happen," he added. "And if Indy is a part of the schedule when the merger happens, which it would be, then great, I'm all for it. But just to go as a one-off race, not having a merger, I'm not really into it."

He made no secret about his dislike for the dangers of open wheel racing on high speed oval tracks.

"I do not like an oval in an open-wheel race car. It honestly scares the living hell out of me, whether it's Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Indy. When they [IRL] run places like Texas, there's no want for me to go do that."

Allmendinger holds Justin Wilson in high regard Allmendinger holds Justin Wilson in high regardIt's no secret that AJ Allmendinger had a great relationship with his former teammate at RuSPORT, Justin Wilson, but he reveals something about how special that relationship was in this interview with AutoRacing1.com President Mark Cipolloni.

"Justin and I had a great relationship, and we still do," said Allmendinger.  "We had one as teammates. Now we just have one as friends. (At right Justin Wilson shares the Portland podium earlier this year with race winner AJ Allmendinger.  Photo courtesy of Champ Car

"I think he was genuinely happy for me when I won. I was the same for him in Edmonton. He's an amazing driver. He did a lot for me in my career to really learn from and understand somebody with his wealth of experience, and he never hid anything to try to keep me down.

"What I respect him most about was this - there was no secret about how much I was struggling at times and how frustrated I was. I think any other teammate, a lot of people, would have used that against me because ultimately we're compared to our teammates. That's who you're always compared to. That's the nature of the beast.

"He could have easily just really put the knife in me and turned it and kept turning it until I couldn't take it any more. But he never said a word about it. We could go out and hang out after a race at home, since we live near each other. We'd never say a word about it.

"I don't know many people that would have done that. I don't know if I would have been that good about it. But he was. He more than anything tried to help me instead of trying to use it against me. That's really where my respect comes from and just, you know, a lot of thanks to him for that."

Suspended crew chief returns Suspended crew chief returnsShane Wilson, crew chief for the Busch Series point leader Kevin Harvick, will return to the track this weekend after serving a six-week suspension for violations found after qualifying at Daytona in late June.

Todd Berrier, Harvick's crew chief on the Nextel Cup side, and Pat Smith, crew chief for the part-time Richard Childress Racing No. 29 Busch Series car, had been directing the team's operation at the track.

 "It was really tough not being at the track," Wilson said in a team news release. "Racing has been my whole life. I've been going to a race track and working on cars forever, so to be told 'You can't go' was really hard.

"All the guys on this U.S. Coast Guard team stepped up, and I am really proud of them. I really have to thank Todd Berrier and Pat Smith for stepping up and helping this team during my absences. They did a great job, and now I have some big shoes to fill."

Andretti Foundation makes donation Andretti Foundation makes donationThe Michael Andretti Foundation recently donated $30,000 to the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation to support paralysis research programs. The money was raised from an eBay auction for a VIP trip to the 2006 Indianapolis 500 as guests of Michael Andretti.

"We're so happy that we were able to put together a fun auction package to raise money for such a great cause," the IndyCar Series championship-winning team co-owner said. "The response to the auction was overwhelming, and we had such a great weekend entertaining the winning couple at Indy."

The donation for the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (SSPF) will be used to further spinal cord research by supporting the work of the most accomplished medial investigators throughout the world.  zzzz

Through the Foundation's Quality of Life Programs, funds will be distributed to organizations that directly impact the lives of individuals who have spinal cord injuries and other types of disabilities.

Additionally, the donation will help to expand SSPF's 'Day at the Races' program. Since the program's inception, SSPF, along with the generosity of Andretti Green Racing, have entertained more than 1,000 spinal cord individuals, including patients from rehabilitation hospitals, VA hospitals and members of the Paralyzed Veterans Association and provided resource materials, mentoring opportunities and the chance for an up-close experience of IndyCar racing.

"It doesn't surprise me, but at the same time, I'm almost embarrassed by what they've given us this year," Schmidt said.. "They sponsored the gala in May, they sponsor all of our Day at the Races programs at the track - with lunch and everything else. We've got a great business relationship with them in the Indy Pro Series. They're so generous."

Iowa Corn to sponsor Iowa Speedway event Iowa Corn to sponsor Iowa Speedway eventThe Iowa Corn Promotion Board officials announced Aug. 15, it will be the title sponsor of the IndyCar Series' inaugural event at Iowa Speedway.
The Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Ethanol will be held at the 7/8-mile oval in Newton, Iowa on June 24, 2007. The inaugural race is scheduled to showcase ethanol before a live national television audience by ABC.

The announcement was made at the Iowa State Fair by IndyCar Series broadcaster  and former NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace, who designed Iowa Speedway. Wallace was joined by Team Ethanol IndyCar Series driver Jeff Simmons, Iowa Speedway officials, and representatives of Iowa Corn and presenting sponsor the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC).

"I've watched the impact ethanol fuel is making on racing, especially the Indy Racing League," Wallace said, "It's an honor for us to have a major sponsorship - for a major race - from a major industry group here in the state of Iowa. It's really great for racing, for Iowa Speedway, and for the many folks here in Iowa who make their living growing corn."  zzzz

Kyle Phillips, ICPB chair-elect and a corn grower from Knoxville, Iowa, said Iowa Corn is proud to carry their ethanol message to consumers nationwide by sponsoring the race.  

"This is a great opportunity to show the entire U.S. that ethanol is a winner," Phillips said. "With all the Indy Racing League cars running on 100 percent ethanol in 2007, it's an ideal fit."

Iowa Speedway President, Stan Clement said Iowa Corn, Iowa Speedway, and the Indy Racing League make a nice fit.  "If you're a farm kid growing up in Iowa, or anywhere in the Midwest, you usually have a pretty good understanding of corn, cattle, and auto racing," Clement said. "I think the Indy Racing League also has a good understanding of what ethanol fuel can mean for racing, too. So, we're delighted to have Iowa Corn as our title sponsor for next year's Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Forsythe Racing responds to Tracy penalty Forsythe Racing responds to Tracy penaltyFollowing a penalty imposed by the Champ Car World Series to Paul Tracy (#3 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola) because of a last lap incident at the Grand Prix of Denver, Forsythe Championship Racing issues the following statement: 

Neil Micklewright, Vice President of Team Operations
"I believe that the penalty imposed to Paul Tracy for the last lap incident is simply wrong and not appropriate, but we have to accept the decision of the Series even if we don’t agree with it.  That’s the nature of the sport.  We eagerly await the penalty that we believe should be handed to Sebastien Bourdais for his part in the incident, including running across a 'hot' track and initiating physical contact with our driver."
21 drivers to pull double duty at MIS 21 drivers to pull double duty at MISA record number of drivers will enter both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup GFS Marketplace 400 and the NASCAR Busch Series Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. 21 regular drivers from the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series are entered to compete in the Carfax 250, giving the 15th installment of the Busch Series at MIS a distinct elite flavor.

The 21 NEXTEL Cup drivers entered have a total of 75 career Busch Series starts at MIS with eight wins among them. Entrants from every NASCAR Busch Series race at MIS dating back to 1992 are represented in the Carfax 250. The record contingent is led statistically by veteran Mark Martin, who has two victories in eight Busch Series starts on the two-mile oval, making him just one of three drivers in MIS Busch Series history to have taken two checkered flags. Martin will enter the Carfax 250 in the No. 6 Ameriquest Mortgage Ford.

Highlighting the list of Cup stars competing in the Carfax 250 are Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick. Earnhardt Jr. has made three Busch Series starts at MIS, including a win in 1999 that helped propel him to the NASCAR Busch Series championship. He will pilot the No. 8 Menards Chevrolet. Harvick, a winner in the NASCAR Busch Series at MIS in 2003, currently leads the Busch Series in points and has collected five wins and 20 top-10s in 24 Busch Series starts this season while holding on to third place in the NEXTEL Cup standings. He will drive the No. 21 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet in the Carfax 250. zzzz

Also slated to compete is Carl Edwards, who will drive the No. 60 Henkel Ford. Edwards is currently in second place in the NASCAR Busch Series standings and has recorded seven top-10 finishes in seven starts at MIS across the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Truck Series. Edwards finished third in last season’s Busch race at MIS.

NEXTEL Cup veterans Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth will join the field for the Carfax 250. Stewart will drive the No. 33 Old Spice Chevrolet, and Kenseth will be behind the wheel of the No. 17 Ameriquest Mortgage Ford.

Four-time MIS winner Greg Biffle will look to conquer the one NASCAR national series in which he has not won in the Irish Hills. The holder of two victories in both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on the two-mile oval, Biffle will pilot the No. 16 Ameriquest Mortgage Ford in the Carfax 250.

Kurt Busch will return to the Busch Series circuit after his thrilling victory at Watkins Glen last Saturday, the second of his 2006 Busch Series season. Busch will drive the No. 39 Penske Truck Rental Dodge and will look to add to his two victories and six top-10s in his seventh start of the season. His start will be the first of his Busch Series career at MIS.

Past MIS Busch Series winners Kyle Busch (No. 5 Lowe’s ShopVac Chevrolet),  Michael Waltrip (No. 99 Cottman Transmissions Dodge), Jeff Burton (No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet), and Bobby Labonte (No. 66 Cub Cadet Ford) are slated to compete.  Busch won at MIS in 2004, Waltrip won in 2002, and Labonte won in 1994. Burton’s 1998 victory remains the only Busch Series win at MIS to come from a polesitter.

Other NEXTEL Cup regulars expected to compete include: Clint Bowyer (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet), Scott Riggs (No. 9 Lawry’s Dodge), J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Vigoro/The Home Depot Chevrolet), Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet), Jeff Green (No. 36 Robots.com Chevrolet), Casey Mears (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge), Brian Vickers (No. 57 Mountain Dew Chevrolet), and Robby Gordon (No. 88 NAVY Chevrolet).

Though NEXTEL Cup regulars have won 22 of the 24 NASCAR Busch Series races in 2006 and make up nearly half of the entry list for the Carfax 250, the Busch Series regulars will not step aside. Paul Menard, entered in the No. 11 Menards Chevrolet, is one of two Busch regulars to win in the Busch Series in 2006 and sits seventh in the point standings. Johnny Sauter is currently ninth in Busch points and will enter the No. 00 Yellow Transportation Chevrolet.

Tickets to all remaining events during the 2006 MIS season delivered by Domino’s Pizza, including the ARCA RE/MAX Series Hantz Group 200 on August 18, the NASCAR Busch Series Carfax 250 on August 19, and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series GFS Marketplace 400 on August 20, are currently on sale at MIS’s official website, www.MISpeedway.com, or by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010.

Elan Motorsports and F2000 Series alliance Elan Motorsports and F2000 Series allianceThe F2000 Championship Series and Élan Motorsports Technologies are very proud to announce the forming of a strategic alliance between the two organizations to further the growth and enrichment of F2000 racing in North America.

With this alliance, Élan Motorsports Technologies (EMT), the manufacturer of F2000 Van Diemen race cars, will fully support the F2000 Championship Series as the premiere tube-frame F2000 professional racing series in North America starting with the immediate finalization of overall plans for the 2007 season and going forward.

EMT plans new research, design and product development targeted toward advancing the high performance and safety for all of its F2000 Van Diemen tube-framed cars. FIA safety testing is planned for all of their components. zzzz

"Van Diemen has such a terrific heritage in racing," said David Bowes (EMT CEO), "and we are delighted to have reached this alliance with the F2000 Championship Series. Our cars have been champions in all forms of racing for many years and that will continue. Van Diemen chassis’ have always provided great value for money and we are committed to continuing that strength for many years to come for all of our customers.” Bowes added, “The F2000 Championship Series has tremendous growth potential, having proven that with a very successful 2006 season, which is why we are renewing our commitment to F2000 racing in North America. The professionalism exhibited by the management and competitors of the F2000 Championship Series has been a great encouragement to all of us at EMT. We look forward to a great 2007 and wonderful success for all involved for many years to come.”

"All of us at the F2000 Championship Series are very excited about this news," said Michael Rand, Series Director for the F2000 Championship Series. "This is a win-win situation for all involved, and particularly for all current and future owners of F2000 Van Diemen racing cars competing with us. We are looking forward to closely working with David Bowes for the ongoing benefit of our competitors and the continued growth of the F2000 Championship Series.”

With the inaugural success of this year’s F2000 Championship Series, for 2007 the series is looking to add more high-profile events and is currently in negotiations with those circuits and sanctioning bodies towards an early finalizing of the 2007 schedule.  The F2000 Championship Series features both Zetec and Pinto powered F2000 cars that compete in a single-class on a level playing field all racing exclusively on Hankook Tires. The inaugural F2000 Championship Series has featured events at historic North American road racing circuits such as Watkins Glen, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Virginia International Raceway and Summit Point Raceway.

Learn more about the F2000 Championship Series by visiting http://www.f2000series.com/.

Champ Car penalizes Tracy Champ Car penalizes TracyThe Champ Car World Series has imposed penalties to 2003 series champion Paul Tracy for his actions at Sunday’s Grand Prix of Denver Sponsored by Bridgestone.

Tracy’s on-track actions in Denver were determined to be in violation of his probation, which was a part of his penalty for his actions during the Champ Car event in San Jose July 30.

As a result, Tracy will forfeit three (3) championship points, will be fined $25,000 and will have his probation extended for one more race. The original probation was for three races, and will now be extended to include the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia. Champ Car

Track News
Toyota F1 car to run at Mazda Raceway Toyota F1 car to run at Mazda RacewayMonterey, Calif. – Spectators at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will receive a rare opportunity at the 33rd Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races Presented by Toyota August 18-20, when the TF106 Panasonic Toyota Formula One car will run demonstration laps around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit.

The F1 car, piloted by Panasonic Toyota Racing Team driver Ricardo Zonta, will hit the track on Friday from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. to make final set-up adjustments and then demonstration runs will take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons as part of an F1 car showcase that displays the evolution of early F1 cars to present. Between demonstration laps, the car will be available for spectator viewing in the garage area.

Zonta, who won the 1997 FIA GT Championship race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, has publicly stated that he estimates top speed for the Panasonic Toyota could reach as high as 195 mph in ideal conditions on the world-renowned road course.

“In bringing the F1 car to Monterey, Toyota wants to provide an unusual and exciting opportunity for race participants and spectators to view an F1 car up close on the track and in the garage,” said Jim Farley, Toyota vice president of marketing. “Other than the recent United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis, this is the only appearance the F1 car will make in the U.S. and the only time it will be easily accessible for viewing by spectators.”

The term "F1" refers to the Formula One World Championship, the pinnacle of formula series racing governed by the International Automobile Federation. The F1 World Championship is a major world sporting event that travels to 16 countries, running a total of 18 grand prix races, is televised in 200 countries, and viewed by a cumulative two billion viewers over the course of the year.

“The Panasonic Toyota Racing Team is excited and honored to share our F1 car with everyone at the Monterey Historic event,” said Team President John Howett. “With only one race in the U.S. it is difficult for fans to experience F1 and to get an idea of the technology behind it. Ricardo and the crew are looking forward to being part of the demonstration runs, showcasing the evolution of Formula 1 car construction, and giving fans the opportunity to encounter F1 live and up-close in the garage.”

The Panasonic Toyota TF106 car and crew will be at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Friday through Sunday. During the weekend, in addition to demonstration runs on the track and public viewing of the car in the garage area, Zonta will participate in a public Q&A Forum and sign autographs for event attendees on Saturday morning.

Tickets are on sale now for the remaining events of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s 50th Season of Racing including the 33rd Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races presented by Toyota August 18-20 and the Monterey Sports Car Championships featuring the American Le Mans Series October 20-22.

Tickets and more information are available by calling (800) 327-SECA or on-line at www.laguna-seca.com.

IRL Michigan TV Rating IRL Michigan TV RatingUPDATE #2 The TV rating for the actual Michigan race, which was moved to ESPN2 and delayed, was a dreadful 0.2/0.6 share.

08/04/06 The final rating for ABC’s Sunday rainout coverage of the IRL Firestone Indy 400 was a 1.0/2 share, down from the overnight of 1.1/ 3 share.

07/31/06 ABC’s Sunday rainout coverage of the IRL Firestone Indy 400 was a 1.1/3 share (overnight), down 26.7% from a 1.5/3 share last year, when the full race aired. In other words the event got a 1.1 rating and there was no actual racing. Not bad for open wheel. We have no overnight rating for the actual tape-delayed race on ESPN2 from 12:15-2:45am.
A1GP cars roar around streets of Manchester A1GP cars roar around streets of ManchesterAround 25,000 people lined the streets of Manchester in the UK Monday as six A1GP race cars roared around the city centre, reaching speeds of up to 70mph.
A1 Teams Australia, China, Great Britain, Ireland, Lebanon and Malaysia thrilled the crowds along a purpose built 1.5km course as part of the Sky Festival, promoting the broadcast of the entire 2006/07 A1GP race season live on Sky Sports in the UK. The calendar of 13 A1GP races will be broadcast to over 100 countries around the world across a network of more than 40 television partners.
The hour-long demonstration, the highlight of the three-day Sky Festival event, was kicked off by British model Lady Isabella Hervey who waved the cars off on their high-speed parade. It was the first time that multiple A1GP race cars have run since the close of the first competitive season in Shanghai last April.
Before the parade, Lady Isabella got her hands dirty in a simulated pit stop, changing the tire on a real A1GP race car. Olympic athlete Ewan Thomas, tried his luck on the tire change challenge on Saturday afternoon but it was two-local lads who set the fastest time over the weekend, changing the tire in 14+ seconds.
Over 200,000 people attended the Sky Festival event which included a real-life A1GP race paddock display. Members of the public had the chance to get up close and personal with the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport series taking part in the tire change challenge, dressing up in a race suit and getting in an A1GP car and seeing the prestigious A1GP World Cup of Motorsport trophy which sat alongside the FA cup and the Ashes in the Town Hall Trophy Room.
While the national A1 Teams prepare for the Series’ test session at Silverstone at the end of this month and the start of the 2006/07 race season in Zandvoort, Holland on 1 October, fans will have a little longer to wait to see the cars in action on British soil. The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will return to the historic Brands Hatch circuit in Kent for its season finale on 29 April 2007.
The following A1GP drivers took part in this afternoon’s demonstration:
A1 Team Driver
Australia Neil Cunningham
China Tengyi Jiang
Great Britain Robbie Kerr
Ireland Michael Devaney
Lebanon Khalil Beschir
Malaysia John O’Hara
IRL Chicago race package from American Express IRL Chicago race package from American ExpressAmerican Express customers can redeem 50,000 points for a free race weekend for the Chicagoland race (details).

This special package includes:

2 Roundtrip tickets on AirTran Airways
2 Nights at the Park Hyatt Chicago
2 Passes to the Cardmember hospitality suite to watch the qualifying and championship races
2 Passes to the Andretti Green Racing Pit and Garage
Their guest at a trackside dinner on Saturday September 9th, with the owners and drivers of Andretti Green Racing

MF1 deny breaking test ban MF1 deny breaking test ban(GMM) Midland-owned team 'MF1 Racing' has rejected suggestions that it last week broke formula one's August ban on testing.

With test driver Adrian Sutil at the wheel, the Silverstone-based squad clocked up 328 kilometers at the Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire last Thursday, in what was described by chief engineer Dominic Harlow as an 'aerodynamic test'.

Referring to the 2006 test agreement, Harlow said: ''Clause D specifically makes provision for 12 days of straight line aero testing outside the restrictions of the more widely understood Clause A.''

For the three-week summer break, Clause A specifically prohibits running between the Hungarian and Italian GPs.

Harlow added that the test, consisting of running up and down long runways, was mostly to aid 'the calibration of our wind tunnel'.

Doornbos roars down Dutch highway Doornbos roars down Dutch highway(GMM)  With his Red Bull racer on Tuesday morning in the usually quiet town of Den Oever, Robert Doornbos clocked up an impressive 326kph on the famous 'De Afsluitdijk' highway in Holland.
Denver race replay Denver race replayReminder:  The Grand Prix of Denver Champ Car race will be replayed on Wednesday, August 16, at 12:00 pm-2:30 pm ET on SPEED.
Karting News
Daly wins another karting event Daly wins another karting eventAt Badger Raceway, Dousman, Wisconsin, CytomaxMRPbirelAmerica driver, Conor Daly, son of former race car driver turned TV announcer Derek Daly, won his third WKA Grand National event of the year with a superb win in the Yamaha Junior Super-can Lite event on Saturday, August, 12th, 2006.  Conor qualified 3rd fastest and finished 2nd in the pre-final. He took the lead at the start of the final and was never headed.
Industry News
Ford to consolidate dealer networks Ford to consolidate dealer networksFord Motor Co. plans to extend its North American restructuring to its retail network by consolidating dealerships in 18 major markets.

The move comes as Ford's declining U.S. market share leaves its 4,300 U.S. dealers fighting for a piece of an ever-smaller pie.

Ford officials confirmed the plan Monday as Ford stock surged back into positive territory for the year after a prominent Wall Street analyst upgraded his rating for the company's stock.

Bear Stearns analyst Peter Nesvold upgraded Ford to "outperform" from "underperform" on the promise of an accelerated North American restructuring plan that is due out next month.

"We expect (Ford) to re-emerge in September with a more aggressive turnaround," Nesvold said. "We think investors will warm up in hurry to a restructured Ford."

Spokesman Jim Cain said Ford's restructuring must extend to the company's dealer network.

"Our goal is to work with our dealers to build a business model that's profitable for them, profitable for us and sustainable across the business cycle," he said. More at Detroit News

Tracy to learn fate today Tracy to learn fate todayPaul Tracy will learn today whether he will be suspended for a late-race crash that knocked him and Sebastien Bourdais out of the Denver Grand Prix, or handed some other penalty.

Bourdais, the series leader, rushed over to Tracy afterward and shoved him.

"He is on probation so I just hope the race officials do what is necessary to correct that unfair situation," Bourdais said. "I had passed him but he crashed into me. I just pushed him because he was asking for it."

"Too bad he wouldn't take his helmet off, then we really would have settled things," Tracy said in Sunday's post-race interview. "But French guys always keep their helmets on."

Tracy dismissed the idea that Champ Car might suspend him, even after being fined and put on probation for his tussle with Tagliani.

"I don't think we have enough cars on the grid to be suspending guys or sitting guys out of a race," he explained.

"Right now we're at 16 cars and we don't need to be at the race with 15. I see it as a racing incident, I see it as something that happens every weekend. If you watch the highlight reels, you'll find there's always a last lap incident that happens somewhere." 

Champ Car spokesperson Steve Shunck said officials would review the Denver crash today and decide whether to discipline Tracy further.

Q and A with Tiago Monteiro Q and A with Tiago MonteiroConducted by MF1 Racing's press office.

Q. For the last few races, you and Christijan have been contenders for the top 16 in qualifying, and you made it through again in Hungary. Have you been impressed by the consistent improvement in performance?

TM: "Definitely. The last five or six races have been an improvement, and you can see that by the fact that we are always fighting for the top 16. When we don't make it, we're only two or three tenths away from it, and we're much closer to pole than we've ever been. It's very encouraging and very motivating for everyone - the drivers and the team. I'm pretty happy with that."

Q. At the start of the year, there seemed to be some problems that made it hard to have a clean qualifying session...

TM: "True, but that's part of the game. When we started the season, we were three or four seconds off pole, like last year, and to be honest, we were not happy at all. We had high expectations for the M16 and we were really hoping to be closer to our opposition at the beginning of the season, right out of the gate.

"But the fact is that we didn't test that much early in the year, so most of the testing we did took place on race weekends. That's a lot of development time to overcome, but we're catching up." zzzz

Q. You also had some niggling failures in races, which must have been very frustrating.

TM: "It was for me, especially, since I wasn't used to technical problems after last year, when we were one of the most reliable teams! In 2005, we basically ran a 2004 Jordan chassis, so it was therefore a very reliable, mechanically-sorted car that everybody knew very well.

"This year, we have a brand-new car that's more competitive, but that also means it's a little bit more fragile. These cars are pushed to the limits, and it's normal in F1 to have problems. What wasn't normal was to not have problems, like last year!

"So we weren't used to having these kinds of problems. Anyway, apart from the mechanical issues – which seem to be more or less under control – we are still not performing as well in races as we are in qualifying. So we need to find out what the others are doing differently than us to give them the extra race pace that we can't seem to be able to maintain. We're working on that, believe me."

Q. What's been the highlight for you this season, or do you think it's still to come?

TM: "It's still to come, definitely. To get into the top 16 is important, and we've done it a few times this year. But my feeling is that a proper highlight is still to come."

Q. What about disappointments? There have been a few first lap dramas…

TM: "I guess Monaco was disappointing, because I think it was a race where we could have done something, especially when you look at the results. I'd been in the top 10 or 15 all weekend, so it was supposed to have been the first race where we were going to be in the top 16, and it should have been.

"But in qualifying, Barrichello blocked me on my flying lap, and then in the race, well, we all know what happened. Unfortunately, it was the kind of race where you needed to be there at the end, because points were on offer. So that was a big disappointment. The other one, I would say, was having two retirements in a row, in Indy and Magny-Cours. That's definitely not normal for me."

Q. You and Christijan are always going to be lining up on the same part of the grid, which increases the chances of both of you being involved if something happens…

TM: "That's exactly the point. We are in identical cars, fighting at a similar level, so we we're always close to each other on the track. And we're both competitive, we both want to win, so there's always going to be some risk. It's part of the game, because we are fighting side by side.

"If I am always sitting next to Raikkonen or whoever, the chances of us coming together are going to be higher. In Monaco, I think Chris made a mistake, but I understand how it could have happened. I can also accept responsibility for my role in the collision in Canada.

"OK, we're on the same team, so we should be helping each other finish races – everyone understands that. But at the end of the day, we're also fighting each other for position, and that has to be taken into account."

Q. Is it good to have a quick teammate to push you?

TM: "Yes, I think so. Last year, Narain often had amazing pace but sometimes he was a bit too erratic and not as consistent, unfortunately. I don't know if Christijan is as quick as Narain over one lap, but he is a lot more consistent. He hardly ever makes mistakes, and he is a very solid driver.

"So we are pushing each other a lot, and that's good for us and it's good for the team. One of the reasons the team is progressing so much is that there's not one session where my focus can be less than 110%, and it's the same for him. Every time we're out on track, we're always pushing hard. And off track, we're putting in the effort, as well, and not only with regard to physical fitness.

"I think I'm spending more time than ever with my engineers, because I'm paying attention to all the details. Everything on the car is important, from the tiniest little part to the smallest adjustment – it's amazing. I guess that is what sets F1 apart as the top form of motorsport. I've still got a lot to learn on that side, but I'm getting better at giving feedback and interpreting how everything affects the car."

Q. If Ferrari's form is anything to go by, Bridgestone has clearly been strong recently. Has that been a big help?

TM: "Yes, absolutely. So much of our success depends on the tire choice we make for each track, so it's very important to get it right. Because of production schedules and lead times, we have to choose them very early, so it's always a bit of a gamble.

"But luckily, we've been making some good choices at the last few races. Let's hope that trend continues for the rest of the season and helps us score a few points before we're done."
No plans to retire, says Coulthard No plans to retire, says Coulthard(GMM) Scottish veteran David Coulthard says he has no plans to quit F1.

The 35-year-old, who has already signed a new contract to keep racing for Red Bull in 2007, insists that although he is the second-oldest face on the grid, he is not too old.

''Michael Schumacher is older than me and he is still winning,'' said Coulthard, who last won a race in a McLaren in 2003.

He said of his health: ''I go every year to a clinic ... where they check everything out. I know that I am fit and well and not about to die.''

Admitting frustration with the perpetual rumor, however, the Scot told the 'Evening Standard' newspaper: ''I am not retiring.

''Why can't people understand this?''

Coulthard even denies that he is in the twilight of his career, insisting that he still wants to add to his tally of thirteen GP wins.

He said: ''Ok, I haven't in a while, but I will win again.''

Tires to decide title - Niki Lauda Tires to decide title - Niki Lauda(GMM) Tire performance in the remaining five grands prix of 2006 will settle the outcome of the F1 world championship.

That is the insistence of former triple title winner Niki Lauda, who told 'Welt am Sonntag' newspaper that protagonists Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher are similarly talented.

''Everything depends on the tires,'' said Lauda, 57, after the respectively Michelin and Bridgestone-clad Alonso and Schumacher shared eleven of the thirteen wins this year.

Referring to the swinging fortunes of the tire war so far in 2006, the Austrian veteran said that the situation can change 'at each race' from now on.

Lauda also made mention of the 'stupid mistakes' made by both rivals at the most recent grand prix in Hungary, adding: ''They are both on the same level, and so are their cars.

''Only the tires will make the difference.''

SPEED to deliver expanded truck coverage SPEED to deliver expanded truck coverageSPEED will deliver an additional 30 minutes of pre-race coverage as part of the network’s live and exclusive coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series for seven of the season’s final nine events.

SPEED pit reporter Ray Dunlap will anchor the expanded coverage.

“As summer begins to fade and fall inches in, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams will compete in eight races over 10 weeks,” Dunlap said. “During that time, our newly expanded pre-race show will take viewers inside the garage area and introduce them to the people making news. The ‘chase’ for the Truck Series title began back at Daytona … stay with SPEED all the way to Homestead.”

Expanded pre-race coverage is now planned for the following events (all times ET and subject to change):

Race site Date Time
· Bristol Aug. 23 8:30 p.m.
· New Hampshire Sept. 16 1:30 p.m.
· Talladega Oct. 7 2:30 p.m.
· Martinsville Oct. 21 12:30 p.m.
· Atlanta Oct. 28 4:30 p.m.
· Texas Nov. 3 8:30 p.m.
· Homestead Nov. 17 7:30 p.m.

Gordon to drive for JR Motorsports Gordon to drive for JR MotorsportsJR Motorsports announced today that Robby Gordon will drive the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the NASCAR Busch Series events at Michigan International Speedway and California Speedway.

“We’re looking to improve our performance in the Busch Series, so we’ve been making changes to get to where we need to be,” said team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Martin (Truex Jr.) was a big help last week and we’re going to continue our due diligence with Robby Gordon this weekend in Michigan. He brings a ton of experience and will be able to relay some good feedback on our cars. Robby’s got more on his resume than any driver in the series, he’s raced in everything from the Indianapolis 500 to the Baja 1000, and I appreciate the fact that he’s willing to help JR Motorsports out.”

“The U.S. Navy is very proud to be associated with JR Motorsports. Martin really hung in there last week and acted as a sailor to get the job done,” said Senior Chief Jeff Priest, the Navy’s Motorsports Program Manager. “We are also looking forward to Rob  by’s performance this week and continue to support Dale Jr. and the team as we continue this season and next. It is an exciting time for the Navy and JR Motorsports.”

Audi closes on another LMP1 title Audi closes on another LMP1 titleBraselton, Ga. - After six consecutive championships in the American Le Mans Series' LMP1 class, another might seem "old hat" for Audi. That is far from the case as the German marque is closing in on another title, this time with a revolutionary prototype that has taken the sports car world by storm.

The diesel-powered Audi R10 TDI is unbeaten in its four starts around the world - including three in the American Le Mans Series. Combined with a perfect 3-0 mark in class for the now-retired Audi R8, Audi Sport North America is well on its way toward its seventh championship in as many seasons in North America. The next step is the Generac 500 at Road America, Round 7 of the 2006 season.

"I felt if we had reliability, we could compete," said Allan McNish, who leads the drivers championship with teammate Dindo Capello. "The team and driver lineups had won in America before with the R8, and we just had to wait to see what the  R10 TDI was like as well as seeing the competition, which is getting stronger each race." zzzz

McNish and Capello have a 39-point advantage over Dyson Racing's James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger, and the Audi factory team has a 43-point edge in the team standings over the independent Dyson Racing squad heading into Road America, where Audi is unbeaten in four starts. Little is being taken for granted though, as the R10 TDI is making its maiden ventures at each of the remaining three venues on the schedule.

"Allan and I must drive with one eye on the championship, which means we cannot afford a non-finish and want to score as many points as possible to protect our lead," Capello said.

New York-based Dyson Racing has struggled at times with its two new Lola B06/10-AERs, but the last two rounds have given renewed optimism. The two Lolas had the front row to themselves in qualifying at Portland and showed the pace and reliability that could make the last four rounds go down to the wire.

But since Le Mans, Dyson has had to challenge not just the McNish/Capello Audi, but also the R10 TDI of defending Series champions and 2006 Le Mans winners Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro.

"It's clear that we are competing to help Dindo and Allan in their fight for the title," Pirro said. "We nevertheless want to make a strong showing as we did at Salt Lake City and Portland and obviously win if possible."

The Generac 500 at Road America, Round 7 of the 2006 American Le Mans Series, is scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT on Sunday, August 20. The race will be televised live by SPEED at 3 p.m. EDT, and MotorsTV will broadcast the race live to Europe from 9 p.m. to midnight CET. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA Live Timing & Scoring will be available at http://www.americanlemans.com

Rutherford Named Grand Marshal for Sonoma Rutherford Named Grand Marshal for SonomaThree-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford has been named grand marshal of the Aug. 27 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway.

Rutherford, who handles special projects for the Indy Racing League and drives the Honda Accord Hybrid Pace Car, won the Indianapolis 500 in 1974, '76, '80 and is one of only two drivers to win the prestigious race from the pole twice (1976, '80).

"I'm honored. I remember in the early 1970s racing at what was then-Sears Point Raceway and having a great time," Rutherford said. "To see how much the track has progressed over the years is really gratifying. For Infineon Raceway to ask me to be Grand Marshal of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma is a real honor." zzzz

Rutherford will be honored at the annual Grand Marshal's Banquet, which will be held on Aug. 25 at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. All proceeds from the gala will benefit the Valley of the Moon Teen Center in Sonoma through Speedway Children's Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway.

"We are ecstatic to be part of this event and know that this money will not only enhance the programs that we have, but it will also enable us to develop new programs," said Stefanie Shackelford, board president of the Valley of the Moon Teen Center.

The selection of Rutherford as Grand Marshal continues a trend that began last year at Infineon Raceway when Al Unser Sr. had the honor. Unser competed in the first major open-wheel race at Sears Point Raceway in 1970, the USAC IndyCar 150, placing third. Rutherford competed in that same race, taking fifth place.

In addition to honoring Rutherford, the evening will also feature IRL drivers Marco Andretti (Andretti Green Racing), Vitor Meira (Panther Racing) and possibly others. The evening will be hosted by ABC/ESPN commentator Dr. Jerry Punch. IRL

Fisher to return at Chicagoland Fisher to return at ChicagolandFollowing a 12th-place finish in the Meijer Indy 300, officials with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing confirmed that Sarah Fisher will drive the No. 5 Honda-powered Dallara in the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 10.

"We are looking forward to Chicago," team co-owner Dennis Reinbold said. "We will be working hard between now and then to get (Sarah) a very good race car that we can go make some noise with." 

Fisher, who started 12th at Kentucky, fell as far back as 18th early in the race, but flirted with the top-10 on two occasions. She passed Jeff Simmons on a Lap 195 restart to claim 12th.

"We had a little bit of trouble with straight lines," she said. "I don't know if we put on too much downforce or what. We'll review that and try and figure it out. We had a good race car down low, and I got a run on some guys. The draft now is different when they cut you off; so that is something I'll have to think about for the next go-around.

"A long time ago when we were in Chevys, aiming for a top 12 would have been sweet. What we did today shows that we are still here. I'm still here. We'll have it figured out for Chicago. Really, today was about getting into a rhythm. I'm in better shape than I was back then. I'm more calculated. I have better car control. I'm more mature about how the cars handle and with my feedback."

Reinbold, who also serves as the team's race strategist, agreed.

"Sarah did a great job getting back in the car," said Reinbold, who noted that Ryan Briscoe will drive the car on the road course at Infineon Raceway on Aug. 27. "She drove an incredible race. She liked the car; the handling was good. Her starts and restarts were excellent. Everyone in the pits did a great job. It's hard to leave today in the 12th place." IRL

BMW pulls out of ALMS, and Grand-Am BMW pulls out of ALMS, and Grand-AmBMW North America announced it will end its 12-year relationship with Tom Milner’s Prototype Technology Group team at the close of the American Le Mans Series season. It is the end of a successful partnership that has yielded 54 wins from 114 race starts from 1995 to 2001 and from 2003 to 2006 in almost every U.S. sports car series.

A BMW North America spokesman says the company canned PTG’s long-running program because it no longer has any relevance to BMW’s product range. PTG races an E46-shape BMW M3, a car that is disappearing from dealerships. A new M3 likely won’t appear in the United States until 2008, and BMW does not want to race a car it does not sell.

BMW has not ruled out returning to sports cars in 2008, and Milner says PTG will continue next season, perhaps running its GT-2 class M3s in the ALMS on a privateer basis. AutoWeek

Racing News
2nd Sprint Car driver killed over weekend 2nd Sprint Car driver killed over weekendAfter a Sprint Car driver was killed over the weekend at Knoxville comes word a 2nd Sprint Car driver was killed as well - both by crashing into an oval track wall. 

The Hoosier Outlaw Sprint Series is investigating the accident that killed Joe Rebman of Mansfield on Friday night at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, the racing league said in a release on its Web site Sunday.

Rebman, 21, was pronounced dead at MedCentral/Mansfield Hospital shortly after 11 p.m., a nursing supervisor said. Richland County Coroner Stewart Ryckman said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Rebman was competing in the 30-lap feature race around the half-mile track when his car hit a wall during the 26th lap and flipped onto its side. Emergency workers tended to him on the track, and the rest of the race was canceled.

The Mansfield Motorsports Speedway has foam-reinforced barriers designed to absorb the impact of a crash, the Hoosier Outlaw racing series said. 

[Editor's Note:  Only silly Americans race open wheel cars on oval tracks.  We feel sorry for the families, but the list of body bags filled with dead American oval track drivers the last 50 years far exceeds the young men and women we lose in many wars.]

Renault vow to 'respect' Court verdict Renault vow to 'respect' Court verdict(GMM)  Renault has backed away from reports that the Enstone-based team might appeal the outcome of this month's ruling on the legality of 'mass damper' systems.

In a statement announcing the team's attendance at the Court of Appeal next Tuesday, Pat Symonds was quoted as saying the verdict is likely to be 'unbiased' and 'final' and he vowed to 'respect (the Court's) decision'.

He added: ''(We) will attend the hearing and will put forward a case.''

Earlier this month, Symonds - Renault's executive director of engineering - refused to rule out appealing the verdict.

''But we are so convinced that the (stewards' original) decision will be upheld,'' the Briton had said, ''we haven't actually even thought of that process yet.''

Atlantic drivers prefer standing starts Atlantic drivers prefer standing startsWe quizzed the top-3 finishers in Sunday's Champ Car Atlantic race, Graham Rahal, Raphael Matos and Simon Pagenaud if they prefer standing starts over rolling starts now that they have done both types several times this season. To a man they all said they preferred the standing starts saying they are safer, fairer (no funny games with on and off the gas antics by the pole sitter who is controlling the pace), and more exciting. Mark C.
Racing News
Schatz wins Knoxville Nationals Schatz wins Knoxville Nationals46th Annual Knoxville Nationals Race Results
Pos. No. Driver
1 15 Donny Schatz
2 9 Joey Saldana
3 41 Jason Johnson
4 83 Danny Lasoski
5 14 Jason Meyers
6 11 Steve Kinser
7 7 Craig Dollansky
8 14AJ Wayne Johnson
9 44 Don Droud Jr.
10 21x Daryn Pittman
11 20 Paul McMahan
12 22 Fred Rahmer
13 4J Jeff Shepard
14 11K Tim Kaeding
15 1z Dusty Zomer
16 2L Ed Lynch Jr.
17 26 Shane Stewart
18 1s Sammy Swindell
19 24x Terry McCarl
20 17G Billy Alley
21 44G Kaley Gharst
22 18 Tony Bruce Jr.
23 28 Brian Paulus
24 R19 Jason Solwold  zzzz

B-Feature (Top 4 Transfer)
Pos. No. Driver
1 4J Jeff Shepard
2 26 Shane Stewart
3 24x Terry McCarl
4 83 Danny Lasoski
5 29 Travis Rilat
6 21 Brian Brown
7 8 Brooke Tatnell
8 1x Randy Hannagan
9 55 Ricky Logan
10 40R Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
11 w20 Greg Wilson
12 0 Janathan Allard
13 35 Jac Haudenschild
14 19 Stevie Smith
15 12c Chad Layton
16 77 Todd Shaffer
17 5w Lucas Wolfe
18 11H Kerry Madsen
19 15k Chad Kemenah
20 2 Skip Jackson
21 7TW Brandon Wimmer
22 9w Gary Wright

C-Feature (Top 2 Transfer)
Pos. No. Driver
1 35 Jac Haudenschild
2 8 Brooke Tatnell
3 7s Jason Sides
4 25 Lance Dewease
5 D1x Justin Henderson
6 11AU Trevor Green
7 70 Calvin Landis
8 6 Dean Jacobs
9 75x Jesse Hockett
10 44x Luke Cranston
11 11D Dion Hindi
12 9T Travis Whitney
13 33c Jon Corbin
14 40 Clint Garner
15 11B Brock Mayes
16 10c Jeremy Campbell
17 20E Brian Ellenberger
18 10 Rager Phillips
19 35m Dennis Moor Jr.
20 12 Lynton Jeffrey
21 55K PJ Chesson
22 36 Jason Martin

D-Feature (Top 2 Transfer)
Pos. No. Driver
1 11B Brock Mayes
2 6 Dean Jacobs
3 13 Mark Dobmeier
4 4 Danny Smith
5 4K Kelly Kinser
6 12x Robert Ballou
7 99 Kyle Hirst
8 71R Ryan Anderson
9 46 Jan Howard
10 7w Tim St. Arnold
11 1w Chad Meyer
12 4x Toni Lutar
13 5c Chad Hillier
14 47 Matt Moro
15 94 Jerrod Hull
16 12m James Mosher
17 19x Becca Anderson
18 12L John Lambertz
19 3 Bob Bennett
20 56 Chris Walraven
21 4N Neil Shepherd
22 2H Tim Hunter

E-Feature (Top 3 Transfer)
Pos. No. Driver
1 12L Jaohn Lambertz
2 4x Toni Lutar
3 3 Bob Bennett
4 69 Mike Moore
5 1m Kim Mock
6 9x Rich Bubak
7 98 Dan Shelter
8 47D Dale Howard
9 18x Brian Carlson
10 17J Jerry Brey
11 3J Greg Jones
12 15s Jerrel Slinkard 
13 71 Robert Bell

Symonds backs stewards' Alonso penalty Symonds backs stewards' Alonso penalty(GMM) Pat Symonds has no quarrel with Hungarian GP stewards' decision to penalize Fernando Alonso after an incident with Robert Doornbos.

In Budapest earlier this month, the championship leader copped a two-second qualifying penalty after swerving into Red Bull's Doornbos, who allegedly blocked him, before then brake-testing the Dutch tester.

Spaniard Alonso protested his innocence to reporters after the Friday incident, but Symonds - Renault's director of engineering - is now quoted as saying that the 25-year-old, 'like everyone, makes mistakes'.

He told Holland's 'Formule 1 RaceReport': ''In the heat of battle, these things happen. I say no more.''

Asked if he questioned the stewards' arguably harsh reaction to Alonso's on-track behavior, Symonds replied: ''Absolutely not.

''We must uphold standards in formula one, which is why Fernando's punishment has not been criticized.''

And although Alonso insisted that his clash with Doornbos was 'something that happens at every race', Symonds reckons the Renault driver will wish 'deep down' that it never happened.

Schu to win and then quit - Montoya Schu to win and then quit - Montoya(GMM) Michael Schumacher will win the 2006 world championship and then retire, departed McLaren driver Juan Pablo Montoya thinks.

''Surely he is smart enough to do that,'' the 30-year-old, who acrimoniously left McLaren last month to start a NASCAR career for 2007, told Colombian newspaper 'El Tiempo'.

''Michael will win, and if he does he will stop,'' said Montoya. ''If not, what I have avoided could happen to him.''

Montoya insists that a seven time world champion like Schumacher should not quit the sport 'a loser'.

Seven time grand prix winner Montoya, meanwhile, also let off a bit of steam following his formula one exit, insisting that he was 'bored' with the pinnacle of racing.

''There were too many (car) failures,'' he explained, ''and it is no fun to be fighting for fifth or sixth places.'

"At the end I wasn't even speaking to Ron Dennis," Montoya said. "When I left, his lawyer called mine and said: 'This is what we will do'. That's how it was done: from lawyer to lawyer."

"My relationship with Ron was fine until I broke my shoulder [at the beginning of 2005]. I called him and told him what happened. The British press made up another story and they started to make fun of Ron for believing my version.

"And he thought I had made him look like an idiot to everybody. From that moment, our relationship was never the same."

[Editor's Note: Ask Michael Andretti what kind of person Ron Dennis is. Andretti was terminated from McLaren after a 3rd place finish at Monza for McLaren that year after Dennis deliberately kept Andretti from doing hardly any pre-season testing, which resulting in Andretti not being prepared for the switch from CART to F1. For that one year only the FIA changed the rules so that each driver only had in the neighborhood of 7 to 13 laps per practice and qualifying session. With no pre-season testing and very few laps to run during race weekends, Andretti had no chance to learn the tracks or the car. He was doomed for failure. This was during a period when Bernie Ecclestone was worried about CART getting too big and he would badmouth CART every week in the media to put them down. Many speculate that Andretti was setup to fail to make CART drivers look inferior. If so, they accomplished their mission.]

Press 'milking' Button win - Watson Press 'milking' Button win - Watson(GMM) Former F1 driver John Watson is not sure that Hungarian grand prix winner Jenson Button has the 'fire' to win a world title.

''Michael (Schumacher) showed unbelievable fire (in Hungary),'' said the Ulsterman, referring to the German racer's much-criticized defending of position in Budapest that ultimately cost him the race.

But Watson, who won five grands prix in the 70s and 80s, told the Guardian: ''(Fernando) Alonso has it. So does Kimi Raikkonen. Not many others.

''It's up to Jenson now to prove that he has it in him.''

Watson's comments follow an extraordinary period of excitement among British journalists following 26-year-old's breakthrough win for Honda after a 113 GP drought.

Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and Sir Jackie Stewart have all cropped up in the press with their praise, but Watson noted of Button's surprise win: ''The motor sport magazines are struggling for sales. They'll milk this for all they're worth.''

Meanwhile, at a wet Silverstone on the weekend, Eddie Cheever won the 'GP Masters' race, ending Mansell's unbeaten record as the 1992 world champion retired after several spins.

Denver Hot News recap Denver Hot News recapHearing that Friday attendance was up and that Saturday is also looking very positive.......Spoke to CDW's Bruce Delahorne who is extremely happy that Champ Car is going to China starting next year. CDW is going to start doing business in China and they recently were approved to use their current branding/logo there.....Spotted Red Bull Motorsports boss Helmut Marko meeting with Kevin Kalkhoven, no doubt talking about Christian Klien coming into Champ Car as well as Red Bull's involvement with the ladder series.

Hearing that Saturday attendance is also looking very positive.......Spoke to CDW's Bruce Delahorne who is extremely happy that Champ Car is going to China starting next year. CDW is going to start doing business in China and they recently were approved to use their current branding/logo there.....Spotted Red Bull Motorsports boss Helmut Marko meeting with Kevin Kalkhoven, no doubt talking about Christian Klien coming into Champ Car as well as Red Bull's involvement with the ladder series.

Bobby Rahal and son Graham appear confident of a win this weekend, since Graham had a healthy 1/2 second advantage over the field in provisional Atlantic qualifying and Graham loves the Denver track, having run very well here in the past......Alex Tagliani was quite happy with his 3rd place provisional qualifying result for Walker Racing/Team Australia..... Paul Gentilozzi is looking forward to next year's new Champ Cars for his Rocketsports Team. "We locked everything down so teams cannot spend money redesigning things, which will level the playing field a lot," said Gentilozzi. He also told us he would enter two cars for him and Drissi in the two SCCA Trans-Am races in Topeka, KS later this year. He thinks 30 cars will show up. He also said that Trans-Am is trying to convince Chevy, Ford and Dodge to enter the series with their resurrected Pony Cars (Camaro, Challenger, Mustang and Jaguar), which would bring new life to the famous 40 year old series.

Despite accident, Bourdais increased points lead Despite accident, Bourdais increased points leadDespite being taken out by Paul Tracy in the final corner of the final lap in Sunday's Denver GP, Sebastien Bourdais increased his points lead by one point.  He was leading Justin Wilson by 31 points going into Sunday's race and came out with a 32 point lead over new second place man AJ Allmendinger.  Bourdais finished 7th Sunday while Allmendinger won vaulting him up into 2nd place.
Racing News
Quotes of the week Quotes of the week
Dr. WOLFGANG ULLRICH, Head of Audi Motorsport
"To us, the recent regulation changes made by IMSA appear to have been made at random and are unjustified. A year ago hardly anybody could believe that it would be possible to win a race with a diesel powered sportscar. We demonstrated that it is feasible, and thanks to ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ we produced the world’s most state-of-the-art LM P1. We cannot accept that our life will now be made artificially difficult. Audi, the manufacturer, which has supported and promoted the ALMS for years and helped to make it what it is today, will only continue its American Le Mans Series program if there are again stable and consistent rules, like at Le Mans, which also contribute towards justifying manufacturer’s involvement and expenditure.” 
NIKI LAUDA, 3 Times F1 World Drivers Champion
''If he had driven with more brains, he could have been just five or six points behind instead of ten.  He cannot make any more mistakes.  I can't explain it.  He's not completely brainless, otherwise he would never have won seven titles, but he does have some big weaknesses and for a long time I have wondered why.''  Lauda thinks Michael Schumacher's biggest weakness is his inability to admit an error.  "He's done it his whole career.  It was the same with the incident in Monaco and it is the same now.  Sportsmen need to know how to own up to a mistake and learn from it.  But (team boss Jean) Todt always backs him up.''  (Referring to mistakes Michael Schumacher made during the Hungarian Grand Prix)
MARC SURER, former Swiss F1 driver
"(Michael) Schumacher drives like a go-kart driver."
ROLF SCHUMACHER, father of Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F1 driver, 7 Times F1 World Drivers Champion
''My feeling is that Michael will go on, but I cannot speak for him.  It is his decision alone.  If Michael has stopped having fun, he will stop.''  Rolf Schumacher continued, ''And if he says 'I can still beat the boys', then I see him going on. If Michael says in Monza, 'I am stopping', then I am sure that will disappoint many people.  But life goes on, and there is still another Schumacher in Formula One ...''  (Referring to the rumors that Michael will retire at the end of this season)
BOBBY UNSER, USAC and IROC Champion, 3 Time Winner of the Indy 500
"Why would I want to drive down there?  I’m not dumb. The world thinks I’m smart. So why would I want to drive down Unser Boulevard if some guy is down there with a gun shooting at people?  Cops have a bad habit of covering up for each other. What one says the other one is going to say yes to it.  Citizens should have some sort of a right."  He says one deputy pulled especially hard on his handcuffs.  "He’s got them so tight, it’s really hurting, and I said, ‘My shoulder is just out of a fresh operation. Easy!’ And he says, ‘Oh, no, handcuffs are supposed to hurt.’  You don’t treat good citizens like they’re the worst crooks in the world.  Our prisoners get better treatment than this.  We did nothing wrong.  The (police) report is full of blatant lies.  This is a typical police thing when they’re in trouble.   I am so mad that steam should be coming out of my ears.  They yanked Al out of his truck while the truck was moving.  They threw him on the ground and Al's got a titanium shoulder.  There's no reason to do that to Al."  (Angry comments made to the media after Bobby and his brother Al Unser, Sr. were both arrested while separately attempting to drive through a roadblock to get to their Albuquerque, NM property.) This video of Bobby Unser was a gem! http://www.kobtv.com/snapshotskob/html/27226.html

“When we caught PT (Paul Tracy) who was having pick-up problems, he just crashed us. He was obviously in big trouble, he was running out of fuel but that’s no excuse to crash the competitor of your teammate. All I can say is that I hope it was clear enough that he tried to crash me in turn 3 on the lap before, he tried to crash me on the back straight when he blocked me to the inside and I had to go around him on the outside, on the marbles. I gave him plenty of room, I went straight braking for Turn 9. Basically he completely overshot the braking point, got sideways and ran into the side of the McDonald’s car. He is on probation so I just hope the race officials do what is necessary to correct that unfair situation because it could have been a brilliant day for the McDonald’s car. We still had the fastest car at the end of the day and turned the fastest lap times consistently at the end of the race. I just asked Paul ‘What do you want from me?’ I had passed him but he crashed into me. I just pushed him because he was asking for it but it didn’t go any further.” (Referring to Paul Tracy taking him out on the last lap of the Denver GP)

PAUL TRACY, Champ Car driver
“We had fuel pickup problems last five laps of the race. It was pretty frustrating. I had a seven second lead but when the engine started to cutout Sebastien was able to close in. He made his move in the last corner of the last lap on the outside, and when you already have 35-point lead in the championship and want take that risk over two points that’s what you get. To be honest, I don’t feel bad for him; he’s taken me out plenty of times so I don’t feel too bad about something like that on the last turn of the last lap.” Asked if he thinks he will get suspended for the next race in Montreal, Tracy said: "Yeah, they're going to sit me out of the Canadian race. Get real."  (Referring to his last lap accident with Sebastien Bourdais in the Denver GP)

Denver postscript Denver postscriptA.J. Allmendinger won his fourth race of the season today, becoming the first U.S.-born driver to win four Champ Car races in a season since 1996 when Michael Andretti (five) and Jimmy Vasser (four) each turned the trick.

Allmendinger’s 20-second margin of victory was the largest in a Champ Car World Series race since Alex Zanardi beat Mark Blundell by more than 30 seconds at the 1997 U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway.

Today’s third-place performance by Dan Clarke, coupled with a fifth-place run by teammate Nelson Philippe, allowed CTE Racing – HVM to see both its cars finish in the top five for the first time since Mario Dominguez and Ryan Hunter-Reay completed the feat at Australia in 2004.

Rookies Dan Clarke and Will Power finished third and fourth respectively today, marking the first time that two rookies have finished in the top four since A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Wilson placed third and fourth in the 2004 Mexico City event.

Dan Clarke is the first rookie to finish on a Champ Car podium since Timo Glock placed second last season in Montreal.

No team orders at Newman/Haas No team orders at Newman/HaasAt the end of the Denver GP Sebastien Bourdais passed his Newman/Haas teammate Bruno Junqueira and some wondered if there were any team orders to allow Bourdais to get as many points as possible since he is in contention to take his third straight Champ Car title. 

"No, zero," said Junqueira.  One of the nicest things about Newman/Haas, there is no team orders.  For sure when he went to pass me, he didn't like completely pass me.  I could have like maybe tried to make the corner and keep ahead.  But already got together here in 2004.  I kind of give him a lot of space.  Then I got on the marbles outside.  When I got the marbles, I went wide, then he had a chance to pass me turn two.  Maybe if I was racing somebody else, I would play a little bit harder.  But I was on the 'push to pass', didn't let him by.  He was faster than me at the end.  In the beginning of the race, I was faster than him, and I passed him. 

"There is no team order on the team.  That's nice.  The only team order is don't crash each other.  That's what we try to do." Mark C. 

Clarke celebrates first Champ Car podium Clarke celebrates first Champ Car podiumDan Clarke celebrated his first podium finish at the Denver round of the Champ Car World Series with last lap drama for two frontrunners giving the young driver a well-deserved third place finish, his best result so far this season.

The spray of champagne was a fitting finale to one of the toughest races that Clarke has endured, providing welcome compensation for the disappointment of the previous round in San Jose, when he was running in second place until mechanical problems left him stranded on track and out of the race. (Right a happy Dan Clarke after race.  Photo courtesy of Champ Car)

Clarke was prepared for the challenges of another street circuit in the Champ Car calendar, but the Denver track brought its own idiosyncrasies which kept the team searching for a setup which gave the young Brit the best chance for a strong race performance. Clarke, along with most of his rivals, struggled with a lack of grip which held him back from showing the turn of speed which he’s shown in earlier races.

At the outset of the weekend Clarke used the practice time to learn the circuit. With the temporary street circuit environment becoming familiar territory for the racer, he quickly mastered it, but the lack of grip was a feature of all his build up sessions and he was never able to show his true speed potential. At the conclusion of the two qualifying sessions Clarke was 14th quickest to line up on the seventh row of the grid for the race. zzzz

In the race today, Clarke made a strong start and with a couple of drivers succumbing to the pressure of the race opening laps he was able to make up positions and was run comfortably in tenth. After a slick pitstop he was soon up to ninth place. The middle section of the race saw Clarke running consistently and maintaining his pace, with his CTE HVM Racing engineers developing a strategy to put him in a strong finish position. After the final pitstop he was lying in sixth place and pushing hard to pass an ailing Justin Wilson ahead of him in fifth.

With less than ten laps to the finish Clarke sped past his fellow countryman, Wilson, to take away his fifth place and into the ‘top Brit’ position. Ahead on the track by over 20 seconds was fourth placed driver Bruno Junqueira and with only a few laps left Clarke looked secure for fifth. It was two rivals’ misfortune that resulted in a podium for Clarke, with Paul Tracy and Sebastian Bourdais tangling on the final lap, to lose their second and third place positions and promote the talented Clarke into the third podium slot.

Clarke said after the celebrations, “That was an amazing race. I really didn’t expect to be on the podium today after the tough weekend we’ve had, but it just goes to prove how perseverance can pay off. A few laps from the end I passed Justin Wilson and knew I was top British driver, and was pretty pleased with that, and fifth spot was set to be my best finish of the season. To take third place is just unbelievable. It certainly compensates for San Jose where we should have had our first podium finish. We knew it was only a matter of time and today is okay by me! My thanks go to the CTE HVM crew who worked really hard - it was the teamwork that brought this great finish today. It’s given me a confidence boost and we’ll be carrying the momentum to Montreal, where we’ll be looking to build on this. What a great day!”

Bourdais furious with Tracy Bourdais furious with TracyAfter Paul Tracy ran into the inside of Sebastien Bourdais in the last corner of the last lap of the Denver GP taking both drivers out of the race, Bourdais climbed out of the car and was one very mad Frenchman.

Bourdais ran across the track where Tracy was standing and had some harsh words with him. He then shoved Tracy. Tracy then signaled to Tracy to come back over here. When Bourdais came back more words were exchanged and then Tracy shoved Bourdais. At that point the safety crews broke them up. (Photo right courtesy of Champ Car)

Bourdais was ushered to the back of the safety truck and waved his arms in disgust, having lost a 2nd place and valuable points toward the championship.

Tracy was already on probation for his incident in San Jose two weeks ago that saw him take out Alex Tagliani that resulted in a fight.

Bourdais' Opinion

Back in the pits Bourdais said "He's just the biggest (jerk) in the world, What else can I say?"

"We caught Paul Tracy who was having fuel pickup problems and he just crashed us.

"He was obviously in big trouble, he was running out of fuel but that's no excuse to crash a competitor. All I can say is that I hope it was clear enough that he tried to crash me in Turn 3 on the lap before, he then tried to crash me on the backstraight when he blocked me on the inside and I had to go around the outside, on the marbles.

"I gave him plenty of room, I went straight braking for Turn 9. Basically he completely overshot the braking point, got sideways and ran into the side of the McDonald's car.

"He is on probation so I hope the race officials do what is necessary to correct that unfair situation because it could have been a brilliant day for the McDonald's car. We still had the fastest car at the end of the day and turned the fastest lap times consistently at the end of the race.

"I just asked Paul, "What do you want from me?" I had passed him and he just crashed into me. I just pushed him because he was asking for it, but it didn't go any further."

Tracy's Opinion

“We had fuel pickup problems the last five laps of the race.  It was pretty frustrating.  I had a seven second lead but when the engine started to cutout. Sebastien was able to close in. He made his move in the last corner of the last lap on the outside, and when you already have 35-point lead in the championship and want to take that risk over two points that’s what you get. 

"To be honest, I don’t feel bad for him; he’s taken me out plenty of times so I don’t feel too bad about something like that on the last turn of the last lap.”

Domino's Pizza to sponsor Waltrip at Michigan Domino's Pizza to sponsor Waltrip at MichiganDomino’s Pizza will make its first appearance as a primary Nextel Cup Series team sponsor of racing veteran, Michael Waltrip August 18-20 at Michigan International Speedway. Waltrip will be the first driver to compete in a Domino’s Pizza Nextel Cup car in NASCAR’s premier series when he takes the wheel of the #55 Domino’s Pizza vehicle next Friday [in practice and qualifying]. “We’re excited to see the Domino’s Pizza brand make its debut as a Nextel Cup Series primary team sponsor with Michael and the #55 team in the backyard of our world headquarters,” said Ken Calwell, Domino’s Pizza executive vice president and chief marketing officer. As part of its 2006 motorsports program, Domino’s Pizza has been, and will continue to be an associate sponsor of Waltrip’s #55 Nextel Cup Series team. Waltrip previously carried the Domino’s Pizza banner as his primary sponsor of his #99 Busch Series team twice in 2005 and once in 2004. Domino’s partnerships extend to Michigan International Speedway, branded “MIS Delivered by Domino’s Pizza” and will feature fan entertainment, displays, signage, product sampling and guest hospitality throughout the race weekend. More information on the Company can be found on the web at www.dominos.com
Mayfield won't drive for Waltrip Mayfield won't drive for WaltripWhile it's not yet official that Jeremy Mayfield will drive for Bill Davis Racing next year, Michael Waltrip said the driver won't be part of his three-car program in 2007. Released by Evernham Motorsports last week, neither Mayfield nor his business agent have returned calls from NASCAR Scene. But sources at Indianapolis indicated that Mayfield had struck a deal to team with Dave Blaney at BDR. Last month at New Hampshire, Waltrip had said that Mayfield would be his top candidate to join a program that will also include Dale Jarrett. But Sunday morning at Watkins Glen, Waltrip said Mayfield's out of the equation. "He and I have pretty much figured out that it wasn't going to work out," Waltrip said. "I don't know where he's going to wind up. But he's looking at other deals, I think." The search, meanwhile, continues for Waltrip. "We've talked to a few guys and are working with the sponsors to try to get the guy that they want and couple that with the guy we want," Waltrip said. "That process has taken a little bit longer than we hoped it would. But nothing has happened to this point to where we don't think we can get a cat that we can be successful with." SceneDaily.com
Formula BMW
Reed Stevens wins in Denver Reed Stevens wins in DenverReed Stevens (HBR Motorsports Team USA) took the Round 12 Formula BMW USA victory today at the Grand Prix of Denver. He finished .517 seconds ahead of Ryan Phinny (Hearn Motorsports) in the 23-lap race around the 1.657-mile temporary street course. The win was Stevens' third of the year and moved the 21-year old Californian up one position to third in the overall points. Phinny, making the most of his first front row start, delivered his very first runner-up finish and set a new race record (1:14.854) on lap 22. Point leader Robert Wickens (EuroInternational) finished third, moving back to an 18 point margin over Matt Lee in second. Lee, the Round 11 winner yesterday and polesitter today, finished ninth. 

Daniel Morad (AIM Autosport) was again the highest finishing Rookie driver in the field, moving up one spot from his Round 11 finish to fourth today. Race Johnson (HBR Motorsport Team USA) finished fifth, but was penalized by IMSA 20 seconds for unjustifiable risk that moved him back to the 11th finishing position. Following this decision Sebastian Saavedra (Gelles Racing) moved up to round out the top-five. Maxime Pelletier (Gelles Racing) also received a 20 second penalty from IMSA for blocking and was moved from his 10th finishing position to 16th. 

Simona de Silvestro (EuroInternational), moved to the rear of the 24-car field following post-qualifying technical inspection, kept her championship hopes alive by finishing sixth. Her fine drive, passing 17 competitors, meant she only lost one place in overall points to fourth, ten points from Stevens in third.

Rahal wins again Rahal wins again
Jay Howard wins IndyPro race Jay Howard wins IndyPro raceAs we told you long ago, Jay Howard is a guy to watch out for in the future.  Today he won his second IndyPro Series race in a photo finish and increased his points lead in the series.  He looks set to win the IndyPro Series championship in his very first year, which we predicted would happen as he has won the championship his first year in every series he has raced in.

Sparta, Ky. - Results Sunday of the WAMZ 100 IRL Indy Pro Series event Aug. 13 at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis, laps completed, reason out (if any) and money earned: 
1. (3) Jay Howard, Dallara, 67, Running $32,500
2. (1) Jonathan Klein, Dallara, 67, Running $26,000
3. (2) Wade Cunningham, Dallara, 67, Running $20,000
4. (4) Travis Gregg, Dallara, 67, Running $17,000
5. (13) Sean Guthrie, Dallara, 67, Running $16,500
6. (8) Nick Bussell, Dallara, 67, Running $16,000
7. (9) Bobby Wilson, Dallara, 67, Running $15,500
8. (10) Chris Festa, Dallara, 67, Running $15,000
9. (6) Ben Petter, Dallara, 67, Running $14,500
10. (11) Mike Potekhen, Dallara, 66, Running $14,000
11. (14) CR Crews, Dallara, 66, Running $13,000
12. (7) Tom Wood, Dallara, 66, Running $12,000
13. (16) Racer Kashima, Dallara, 66, Running $11,500
14. (5) Jaime Camara, Dallara, 62, Accident $11,000
15. (12) Brett Van Blankers, Dallara, 38, Mechanical $10,750
16. (15) Alex Lloyd, Dallara, 0, Accident $10,500     

Race Statistics      
Winner's average speed: 156.752 mph      
Time of race: 37:57.3271       
Margin of victory: 0.0190 of a second      
Cautions: 2 caution flags for 9 laps      
Lead changes: 6 among 2 drivers      
Lap leaders: Howard 1-7, Cunningham 8-9, Howard 10-19, Cunningham
20-60, Howard 61-65, Cunningham 66, Howard 67.      
Point standings: Howard 319, Klein 279, Wilson 265, Bussell 243, Camara 242, Cunningham 242, Van Blankers 179, Festa 175, Lloyd 170, Matos 154.


JAY HOWARD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, WAMZ 100 winner): "That was mega. The car was really good. I was patient. I had the opportunity to lead early on. I wasn't going to play games all the way through - cat and mouse. Wade (Cunningham) had the lead. I knew I could get by him." (About running in the middle): "I was just where I wanted to be. When I was down low, it was just killing the car, and up high just wasn't enough grip up there. So I wanted to be in the middle. When Jono (Jonathan Klein) came down on the inside, it didn't really matter because I planned on running that middle line anyway. That was the closest race I've ever won. That was good. Win number two and three more to get." (About championship race): "I'm not planning on having a bad race. I'm sure we've got a bit of a cushion. Obviously Infineon is going to be a big decider. If we go there and finish in the top two or three in both races, then I think that sort of secures the championship. We can go to Chicago, enjoy the race, no pressure at all and try to get it up to five wins total." zzzz

JONATHAN KLEIN (No. 27 Klein Tools/Turn-Key Forging, finished second): "It was a wild day. You can never predict what's going to happen in the race because the car was a handful. We had a good race car for qualifying, but during the race we had more than a few close calls. But we stayed patient and stayed calm, and in the end we were there. I thought we were going to get it done, but Jay was able to get by me at the finish. I'd rather lose to my teammate than anyone else."
WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 1 Brian Stewart Racing, finished third): "Everything was going well, and I knew there was going to be a challenge at the end. It was pretty obvious. At the restart, I expected the same courtesy that I gave the other competitors, but it wasn't there. I had a tire cut because I was driven into deliberately. Trying to run the last lap with a flat tire is pretty difficult. I kept my foot into it, hoping it wouldn't smash into the wall. I feel we had the best car and would have won today if we'd been given the opportunity, but that's the way it is."

TRAVIS GREGG (No. 77 Lucas Oil/Argosy Casino/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, finished fourth): "It went OK. Early in the race, I was trying to fix a tight condition, so I had to use the controls in the car. The car came to us, and we started to pass cars. We were working with the cars in front of us. Fourth place was where we started, so it's not bad. It's a top five, so I'm happy."

SEAN GUTHRIE (No. 41 Trace Die Cast Guthrie Racing Car, finished fifth): The car was perfect. These guys worked really hard. We haven't figured out qualifying yet, so that's why we started in the back. I knew the car was going to be good. We just kept running towards the front. We were third there for a while. Jaime (Camara) and I had a little contact and clipped the front wing. That last restart, I was a little too cautious, and I let those guys by me. If we didn't have that caution, we would have finished third. If we didn't have that contact and that caution, I probably would have won the race. Yeah, that caution hurt us, but at same time that's racing."

Meira and Danica crash Meira and Danica crashSPARTA, Ky. -- Tight racing in the final IndyCar Series 30-minute practice session at Kentucky Speedway resulted in two cars making contact at the transition from the racing surface to pit road in Turn 3.

The No. 4 Panther Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone driven by Vitor Meira made contact with the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Argent Dallara/Honda/Firestone driven by Danica Patrick late in the session to prepare for the Meijer Indy 300 Presented by Coca-Cola and Secret.

Meira closed quickly on Patrick and tried to miss the No. 16 car by running in the infield grass, but his car tagged Patrick's right rear, spinning both cars.

Patrick car, which qualified 11th (215.456 mph; 24.7289 seconds) on the 1.5-mile oval, sustained damage to the left and right rear suspension and radiator. At the request of Honda, the engine also was changed.

Meira's car sustained front suspension damage. He will start ninth (216.182 mph; 24.6459).

"The main problem was we had a bunch of cars together," Meira said. "Some guys, I think it was the 55 (Kosuke Matsuura), was a little bit too close to me. I did not want to hit Danica, but that is racing."

Front-row starter Sam Hornish Jr. turned only 23 laps because of a fuel pressure issue. The car was returned to the garage. Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon (219.203; 24.3062 seconds) topped the speed chart.

The field was separated by 0.6823 of a second. Indycar.com
Plato wins controversial race 2 Plato wins controversial race 2Jason Plato has won the second of today's three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races in controversial style after clashing with series leader Matt Neal at the final bend.

Neal's Team Halfords Honda span as he and Plato's SEAT Leon collided. Plato went on to cross the line first while Neal was a recovering eighth.

SEAT's James Thompson was second to give the Spanish manufacturer another 1-2 result. Team RAC driver Colin Turkington, who started at the back of the grid, came through to finish third. He also earned a bonus point for setting the race's fastest lap.

The result means that Turkington, second in the championship, has now cut back Neal's lead on him to 19 points.

With victory in race one, Plato, third in the standings, has also begun cutting into Neal's lead and is now 29 points adrift.

German F3
Ho-Pin Tung maintains point lead Ho-Pin Tung maintains point leadThis weekend the Recaro Formula 3 Cup had two races in Assen during the Rizla Racing Days event. On Dutch ground Ho-Pin (23) scored some more points for the championship with sixth and fifth place. JB Motorsport teammate Ferdinand Kool slipped into second place in the championship standings behind the Dutch Chinese driver. "This weekend I haven't used the full potential but I still have a comfortable lead in the championship. I look forward to the next races because I have always done well at Salzburgring and Oschersleben".

Point standings with four races remaining
1. Ho-Pin Tung / China 103
2. Ferdinand Kool / Netherlands 83
3. Joey Foster / England 76
4. Nico Hülkenberg / GER 75
5. Harald Schlegelmilch / LAT 75
6. Renger van der Zande / NED 63
7. Riccardo Azzoli / ITA 33
8. Cyndie Allemann / SUI 26
9. Recardo Bruins / KOR 23
10. Marcello Thomaz / BRA 17
11. Johnny Cecotto / VEN 16
12. Salvatore Gatto / ITA 10
13. Natacha Gachnang / SUI 9
14. Dominik Schraml / GER 8
15. Johannes Theobald / GER 6
16. Marcel Schuler / GER 5
17. Ronny Wechselberger / GER 5
18. Leonardo Valois / SVK 5
19. Rolf Biland / SUI 4
20. Nathan Antunes / AUS 4
21. Hiroyuki Matsumura / JPN 3
22. Marko Nevalainen / FIN 3
23. Norman Knop / GER 2
24. Martin Konrad / AUT 2 Ho-Pin Tung PR

Cheever wins at Silverstone Cheever wins at SilverstoneOn Wet tarmac, 650 horsepower and no traction control. Today's GP Masters race was always going to be a belter, and it delivered in spades. The lead changed seven times during the 26 lap race, with pole sitter Christian Danner surrendering his position to Stefan Johansson at the start. The lead was then seized by Eddie Cheever. Cheever and Eric Van de Poele had an exceptional battle for supremacy, but the conditions would get the better of Eric, and he dropped back after a couple of thrilling 360s. Cheever's race craft was faultless throughout, giving the 48 year-old American his first GP Masters victory.

1st Eddie Cheever (USA): "I kept looking in my mirrors thinking 'I know Nigel's going to be up here any minute', but then I saw him sat in the garage on one of the big TV screens and thought 'Okay, I have a crack at this today'! It was very slippery and very busy at the start. I was lucky that Warwick and Danner both spun out in front of me, and then had a really exhilarating race with Eric Van de Poele where we swapped the lead several times. It's a testament to the commitment of the British fans that they showed up in the rain. I have always loved driving at Silverstone, ever since I first came here as a 17 year-old, and hope to be back soon." zzzz

2nd Eric Van de Poele (Belgium): "For me it was incredible. I couldn't see anything! I actually spun twice out there, so this is a good position to finish in. For a long time, even when I was in the lead, I didn't know what position I was in because I was concentrating so hard on keeping the car pointing forwards. I was afraid to look at the pit board or press the radio button."

3rd Christian Danner (Germany): "I was running second up until the end of the first lap when I was hit up the bum by Mr. Warwick. We both spun and had to wait for most of the field to go by before we could rejoin, putting me right down the order. I had to overtake a lot of cars and had a wonderful battle with Hans for third. It's easy to overtake in these cars. There are no pitstops, no traction control, no tactics - it's just your right foot that matters and that's why this series is so good."

4th Hans-Joachim Stuck (Austria): "For me, fourth place is like a win considering the problems we've had this weekend and the fact that I've had so little running. Thank you to GP Masters for getting all the cars to the grid. A lot of people forget that there is only one team here. An F1 team only has to field two cars, these guys look after 16. And that's 16 totally crazy drivers to organize. We're having so much fun. The camaraderie between us is just so fantastic and it's exactly how motor racing should be. I want more!"

5th Alex Caffi (Italy): "Having not done the qualifying session yesterday or spent much time in the car, this was an unexpected result. I had some good fights out there. It was a good show, and the best race so far."

6th Riccardo Patrese (Italy): "If two years ago anyone had said to me that I'd be racing a single-seater at Silverstone in 2006 I would have told them they were crazy! The race was fantastic, and I was very happy to bring the car home without any spins. I think overall we gave the public some great entertainment this afternoon."

RET Nigel Mansell O.B.E (Britain): "First of all, congratulations to Eddie - he did a superb job. I think there should be a special prize for how many spins you can have in one lap. I spun three times going to the grid! Unfortunately the differential had exploded and I lost drive at the rear. That's just the reality of motor racing - it's not an easy sport to do. Occasionally these failures happen, and today it happened to me. I went out again in the middle of the race for one more lap, which I hope the fans enjoyed - I certainly didn't! I spun three times again, but I made it back to the pits and I think that deserves a round of applause!"

Scott Poulter (CEO, GP Masters): "I'd like to thank all the mechanics and engineers for making it all happen today and getting all the drivers out there. Thank you also to Dr Raghbir Sian and his team who really turned it on at the last minute. The boys on the shop floor made a Herculean effort on the engine front. The race was pretty unpredictable the whole way through, very challenging and brilliant entertainment. The next GP Masters race will be in South Africa in November, and we've been made an offer to race in Qatar next year which we're hoping to finalize in the coming weeks.

Pos Driver Time
 1. Eddie Cheever 1h01:08.625
 2. Eric van de Poele + 16.677
 3. Christian Danner + 36.555
 4. Hans Stuck + 53.514
 5. Alex Caffi + 1:03.023
 6. Riccardo Patrese + 1:06.867
 7. Pierluigi Martini + 1:46.355
 8. Emerson Fittipaldi + 1 Lap
 9. Rene Arnoux + 1 Lap
10. Andrea de Cesaris + 2 Laps
11. Patrick Tambay + 3 Laps

Did not finish:

 Driver Laps
 Stefan Johansson 24
 Jan Lammers 15
 Eliseo Salazar 8
 Nigel Mansell 2
 Derek Warwick 2

'Own up, Schu' - Niki Lauda 'Own up, Schu' - Niki Lauda(GMM) Niki Lauda says it is 'possible' that Michael Schumacher last weekend threw away his last opportunity to win an eighth world championship.

''If he had driven with more brains,'' the outspoken triple world champion told Bild am Sonntag newspaper, ''he could have been just five or six points behind instead of ten.

''He cannot make any more mistakes.''

Ferrari's Schumacher, who in Hungary was penalized before qualifying by overtaking under red flag conditions, then dropped out when he clashed with Nick Heidfeld late in the race.

''I can't explain it,'' Austrian Lauda, 57, added. ''He's not completely brainless, otherwise he would never have won seven titles, but he does have some big weaknesses and for a long time I have wondered why.''

Lauda reckons 37-year-old Schumacher's biggest weakness is his inability to admit an error.

''He's done it his whole career,'' Niki Lauda continued. ''It was the same with the incident in Monaco and it is the same now.

''Sportsmen need to know how to own up to a mistake and learn from it. But (team boss Jean) Todt always backs him up.''

Plato wins race 1 Plato wins race 1Jason Plato and James Thompson have finished 1-2 for SEAT in a dramatic opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship round at Snetterton, Norfolk.

Plato led from start to finish, but Thompson only took second near the end when Vauxhall's Gavin Smith damaged his car while lapping a backmarker and fell to fourth behind team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi.

Smith at least set the race's fastest lap for a bonus point.

In the title race, Matt Neal survived two collisions with other drivers - including arch rival Colin Turkington - to finish sixth in his battered Team Halfords Honda. He has thus extended his series lead to 27 points over Turkington who retired his Team RAC MG with mechanical problems when he was in front of Neal.

Plato has moved back up to third ahead of Team Halfords' Gordon Shedden who span his car out of sight into a crop field.

The second of today's three races is scheduled to start at 12.45.

Toyota hires aero chief Toyota hires aero chiefProfessor Mark Gillan, BEng, PhD, MAIAA, FRAeS, CEng, currently employed at the University of Surrey, is to join Toyota as its new head of aerodynamics.

A graduate of Queens University, Belfast (the same as Renault technical director Bob Bell), Gillan worked for a couple of years as a research engineer with Bombardier and then became a lecturer at Queens before being hired by McLaren in 1998. After four years he moved to Jaguar Racing in 2002 as head of vehicle performance. In February 2005 he was offered a job as professor at the University of Surrey but obviously an offer from Toyota was too much too turn down. Grandprix.com

Mi-Jack Conquest team puts in best qualifying effort Mi-Jack Conquest team puts in best qualifying effortThe Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team showed they were amongst the quickest in the morning practice as Charles Zwolsman and Andrew Ranger were respectively sixth and seventh. That speed was confirmed this afternoon, during the final round of qualifying when Andrew Ranger equaled his best qualifying performance of the season by taking the sixth place on tomorrow’s starting grid for the Grand Prix of Denver. Ranger put in lap time of 1:00.007 on his 14th and second to last lap. Charles Zwolsman was on his way to securing his best qualifying result of the season when he was blocked heading into his penultimate lap costing him precious time. The Dutchman had to settle for 12th, a frustrating result for Zwolsman who was ninth on the provisional grid. Tomorrow’s race begins at 3:45 p.m. eastern and will be broadcast live on SPEED starting at 3:30 p.m. eastern.

Andrew Ranger “We had a very good qualifying session. We were 12th with our first set of tires so we worked on the car a bit before going out on the red tires. It paid off because I jumped up to sixth. I was pushing really hard on my last lap and I was up by two tenths but lost time in turn 9 and that cost us a few positions. This result is great for the team, they gave me a really good car and I am excited to be starting on the third row.”

Charles Zwolsman “I’m not very happy right now. I had two laps to go and I got blocked by Jan Heylen as I was finishing a lap and starting my final one. Those would have been my two fastest ones. I know I could have been up there with Andrew.”

The Word from Denver - IV The Word from Denver - IV
• Sebastien Bourdais’ pole position today was the 24th of his career, moving him into sole possession of eighth place on the all-time Champ Car list. He moved ahead of Johnny Rutherford with today’s pole and is now just one behind Paul Tracy, who is seventh on the list.

• Justin Wilson is sporting a new helmet design this weekend, wearing a helmet submitted through a contest conducted by the Boys and Girls Club of Denver. The helmet features an image of the Denver skyline and featured one of the city’s trademark sunsets. The helmet will be auctioned off after the race with the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club.

• Today’s qualifying was especially hard on the Champ Car rookies as the bottom six drivers on the final grid are all first-year Champ Car drivers. This is the second time this season that this has occurred, the first time coming on the streets of Toronto.

• After failing to start in the top 10 for any of the first six races, Andrew Ranger of Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing has now started eighth or better in each of the last four events. He matched a season-high today by taking the sixth spot for tomorrow’s race.

Rahal tops Pagenaud for pole Rahal tops Pagenaud for pole
Kurt Busch Wins the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen Kurt Busch Wins the Zippo 200 at Watkins GlenKurt Busch won the pole and picked up his first NASCAR victory as a married man with a win in the Zippo 200 NASCAR Busch Series event at Watkins Glen, N.Y. It was Busch’s second career series win in only the sixth start for the newlywed who tied the knot just two weeks ago. The race featured a rousing duel for the lead between Busch and Robby Gordon throughout most of the event with the two drivers “trading paint” through the inner loop on the final lap. It must have been a flashback from last year’s race for Gordon as he finished second behind the Penske No.39 Dodge at Watkins Glen for the second year in a row. Ryan Newman won the race in 2005 with Gordon finishing close behind.

A contingent of foreign drivers made the field which included Adrian Fernandez, Carlos Contreras, Michel Jourdain Jr. and open-wheel star Max Papis. The Italian-born Papis was making his NASCAR debut starting in the 43rd position and coming home a respectable 14th. Jourdain led the event for several laps around the half-way mark before dropping out of the race due to mechanical problems. zzzz

Road course ace Ron Fellows and Greg Biffle had to drop to the rear of the field at the start due to unapproved changes. Both drivers went on to finish in the Top 10. John Andretti had his best finish of the year with a fifth place run and crowd-favorite Boris Said, complete with 450 of his fans sporting “Said Head” wigs, came home in eighth place after a miscue in the inner loop area of the track early in the race. Said was also assessed a pass-through penalty for failing to stop following his inner loop incident.

Jamie McMurray did a great job bringing his overheating Dodge home third with Biffle, Andretti, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Boris Said, Ron Fellows and Scott Pruett making up the Top 10 finishers. It was Truex’s first start in the JR Racing No. 88 since taking over the ride for a departing Matt McFarland.

Kevin Harvick continues to stretch out his point lead. Second place point contender Carl Edwards finished 27th giving Harvick a 443 point advantage over his fellow competitors. Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and J.J. Yeley round out the top 5 in points. The race was slowed five times for caution. The lead changed hands eight times among seven drivers.

The series moves to the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway for next Saturday’s Carfax 250. The green flag drops at 2:55 pm eastern with TNT broadcasting the event.

Klein nips Cunningham for pole Klein nips Cunningham for poleJonathan Klein claimed the first SWE Race Car Parts Pole Award of his Indy Pro Series career, earning the pole for the WAMZ 100. Klein, who earned a point for his pole, moved into a tie with Bobby Wilson for second in the series point standings. Wade Cunningham qualified second followed by Jay Howard, Travis Gregg and Jaime Camara.

Qualifying Saturday for the WAMZ 100 IRL Indy Pro Series event on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis and speed:
1. (27) Jonathan Klein, Dallara, 189.392
2. (1) Wade Cunningham, Dallara, 189.019
3. (7) Jay Howard, Dallara, 188.824
4. (77) Travis Gregg, Dallara, 187.683
5. (11) Jaime Camara, Dallara, 187.172
6. (8) Ben Petter, Dallara, 186.803
7. (42) Tom Wood, Dallara, 186.468
8. (52) Nick Bussell, Dallara, 186.154
9. (24) Bobby Wilson, Dallara, 185.464
10. (51) Chris Festa, Dallara, 183.335
11. (76) Mike Potekhen, Dallara, 183.154
12. (3) Brett Van Blankers, Dallara, 182.474
13. (41) Sean Guthrie, Dallara, 181.891
14. (4) CR Crews, Dallara, 181.706
15. (26) Alex Lloyd, Dallara, 170.925
16. (9) Racer Kashima, Dallara, no time  zzzz

JONATHAN KLEIN (No. 27 Klein Tools/Turn-Key Forging, SWE Race Car Parts Pole Award winner): "The car was fantastic. When it comes down to qualifying, it comes down to two hot laps. You get in and hang on, and that's what I did. The crew did a fantastic job." (About benefit of bonus test with Dario Franchitti): "The test was big. We used it to learn a lot of things and really get a feel for the track and learn my way around here. It's always beneficial to get track time. That definitely played a part in us getting the pole position here today. (Dario) helps out a ton, because he's been here and done that. He knows what it's all about and what it takes. Having him is great. I can't thank him enough for what he does." (About pole): "As you've seen the last few races, it's not always the pole sitter who wins the race. Anything can happen in this race. I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch. We'll see how the warm-up goes tonight and take it from there. I'm pretty confident. I know the car will be good. Hopefully, it will work out for us tomorrow."

WADE CUNNINGHAM (No. 1 Brian Stewart Racing, qualified second): "I'm not surprised we're not on the pole, just a little disappointed. We spent a lot of the morning working on the race setup because it's something we haven't done the last two races. That came to bite us right at the end. We didn't do the homework to be starting out front. Our qualifying suffered a little bit. We're second, and you can't go much further forward than that."

JAY HOWARD (No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, qualified third): "The car felt good, but obviously not good enough for the pole. Honestly, I'd rather be third than second, but we'll see. The car was really good in traffic and that's the most important thing. I'm confident in our chances tomorrow."

TRAVIS GREGG (No. 77 Lucas/Argosy Casino/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, qualified fourth): "Considering the situation, the car felt pretty good, and I think it has enough to take another checkered flag. Being in the car for the first time with this team this year, I'm pleased with where we qualified. I'm sure we'll probably be working on it right up to the race, but I think by race time we'll be right." (About racing with front runners): "Wade (Cunningham) and the guys in front of me have been tough all year. And I don't they're going to give everything up. With Jonathan taking his first pole. I'm also sure he'll be going for his first win, so we'll have our work cut out for us."

JAIME CAMARA (No. 11 Neo Quimica, qualified fifth): "That was the best we could do for qualifying. It was a bit hotter than this morning, and we lost some speed. We have a very good car for the race. It was good drafting this morning and I think we're in good shape for tomorrow."

BEN PETTER: (No. 8 Michael Crawford Motorsports, qualified sixth): "The car is running really well. I've worked very closely with engineering and I think we worked out a pretty good balance. We had a pretty good idea on where to run for a qualifying setup, and I think we've got a pretty good idea for the race."

ALEX LLOYD (No. 26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, qualified 14th): "It was a fuel pressure problem, no power. We did the one lap and then pulled in. We weren't going anywhere. It's disappointing, but we'll just have to try and make up those places in the race.

Rahal tops Pagenaud for pole Rahal tops Pagenaud for poleGraham Rahal was again fastest to secure the pole position for Sunday's Champ Car Atlantic race.  More later.....

Pos Driver Car# Team Lap Time
1 Graham Rahal 18 Mi-Jack Conquest Racing 1:06.798
2 Simon Pagenaud 15 Team Australia 1:07.026
3 Raphael Matos 6 Sierra Sierra Enterprises 1:07.045
4 Alan Sciuto 12 Polestar Racing Group 1:07.045
5 Andreas Wirth  37 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:07.055
6 Jonathan Bomarito 23 PR1 Motorsports 1:07.104
7 Richard Philippe 33 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:07.164
8 Robbie Pecorari 28 Gelles Racing 1:07.235
9 James Hinchcliffe 3 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:07.268
10 Danilo Dirani 1 Condor Motorsports 1:07.298
11 Alex Barron 21 Polestar Racing Group 1:07.311
12 Ryan Lewis 30 Mi-Jack Conquest Racing 1:07.480
13 Leonardo Maia 7 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:07.516
14 James Davison 5 Team Australia 1:07.542
15 David Martinez 4 US RaceTronics 1:07.578
16 Colin Fleming 14 Gelles Racing 1:07.715
17 Joe D'Agostino 34 Newman Wachs Racing 1:07.743
18 Tim Bridgman 2 Jensen MotorSport 1:07.745
19 Steve Ott 35 Newman Wachs Racing 1:07.850
20 Alex Sperafico 10 Brooks Associates Racing 1:07.971
21 Mike Forest 32 PR1 Motorsports 1:08.271
22 Justin Sofio 26 Mathiasen Motorsports 1:08.336
23 Ricardo Vassmer 22 Jensen MotorSport 1:08.950
24 Dan Selznick 49 The Room Store 1:09.354
25 Brian McAtee 19 McAtee Motorsports 1:13.709

Woman gets 70 speeding tickets in 5 months Woman gets 70 speeding tickets in 5 monthsAs a mortgage broker in Arizona, Francesca Cisneros is used to working with big numbers. It's the double-digit speed limits she has trouble with.  Cisneros racked up 70 speeding tickets in the last five months, a record for the Scottsdale Police Department, police said on Friday.

Speeding cameras in Scottsdale, a suburb of Phoenix, snapped pictures of the 32-year-old woman as she tore through the sun-baked city in her Honda Civic between March 2 and July 31.

"She told arresting officers she was speeding because she seemed to be late for client meetings all the time," Scottsdale Police Department spokesman Mark Clark told Reuters. "I guess she's got some time management issues." More....

Ganassi duo top IndyCar practice Ganassi duo top IndyCar practiceCombined session results:

Rank Car Driver C/E/T Time Speed Total Laps
1 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/F 24.3536 218.777 2 67
2 10 Wheldon, Dan D/H/F 24.3720 218.612 1 89
3 3 Castroneves, Helio D/H/F 24.3776 218.561 2 94
4 6 Hornish Jr, Sam D/H/F 24.4505 217.910 2 82
5 8 Sharp, Scott D/H/F 24.5432 217.087 1 77
6 55 Matsuura, Kosuke D/H/F 24.5604 216.935 2 88
7 27 Franchitti, Dario D/H/F 24.5825 216.740 2 91
8 4 Meira, Vitor D/H/F 24.5879 216.692 1 78
9 2 Scheckter, Tomas D/H/F 24.6175 216.431 1 44
10 20 Carpenter, Ed D/H/F 24.6240 216.374 2 44
11 11 Kanaan, Tony D/H/F 24.6416 216.220 2 93
12 7 Herta, Bryan D/H/F 24.6703 215.968 2 98
13 26 Andretti, Marco D/H/F 24.6891 215.804 2 109
14 16 Patrick, Danica D/H/F 24.6966 215.738 2 89
15 14 Bucknum, Jeff D/H/F 24.7251 215.490 1 94
16 17 Simmons, Jeff D/H/F 24.7256 215.485 2 65
17 5 Fisher, Sarah D/H/F 24.7321 215.429 1 92
18 15 Rice, Buddy D/H/F 24.8275 214.601 2 91
19 25 Roth, Marty D/H/F 24.9594 213.467 1 103

The word in Denver - III The word in Denver - IIIHearing that Friday attendance was up and that Saturday is also looking very positive.......Spoke to CDW's Bruce Delahorne who is extremely happy that Champ Car is going to China starting next year. CDW is going to start doing business in China and they recently were approved to use their current branding/logo there.....Spotted Red Bull Motorsports boss Helmut Marko meeting with Kevin Kalkhoven, no doubt talking about Christian Klien coming into Champ Car as well as Red Bull's involvement with the ladder series.
Bourdais fastest in practice Bourdais fastest in practiceDefending Denver GP champion Sebastien Bourdais topped Saturday morning Champ Car practice ahead of Paul Tracy and Justin Wilson.
Suomi - Panasonic Toyota Racing meets Helsinki Suomi - Panasonic Toyota Racing meets HelsinkiCrowds estimated at over 45,000 people gathered in the streets of downtown Helsinki today to catch a glimpse of the first ever Formula 1 car to hit the streets of the Finnish capital.

F1 enthusiasts were presented with a unique chance to view and experience an F1 car up-close as Panasonic Toyota Racing driver Jarno Trulli drove 6 laps on a track which wound its way from Rautatientori Square up to Kaisaniemenkatu and with a 90-degree turn down Vilhonkatu back to Rautatientori Square.

The day was packed with roaring sounds of the F1 engine, awe-inspiring acceleration and the chance to watch the pit activities from up-close. One of the most popular activities was the Toyota Pit Stop Challenge, where more than 1000 fans put together teams to compete against each other to see who could change the tires of an F1 car the fastest. A Bridgestone safety belt simulator showed the crowd why, even in regular passenger cars, it is important to fasten our seatbelts before driving off.

Caught up in the excitement of the day himself, Jarno Trulli commented:

"We had a fantastic crowd here in Helsinki today, and were able to show the people of Finland a little of the excitement of Formula 1. People were watching from every vantage point - buildings, windows and rooftops, and I've had a superb welcome here today.

With the temperatures and the winding track today in the centre of Helsinki, it felt a little bit like Monaco, although I found the track conditions slightly more difficult - the grip was very low with all the cobble stones and tram lines crossing the track.

With the possibility to touch and feel F1 that close, even closer than on a race track, I am sure that all the people had a great day."

Danner wins GP Masters pole Danner wins GP Masters poleA captivating qualifying session today gave us some real edge-of-the-seat action, as only 700ths of a second separated the top three drivers. Ex-Formula One driver and German Touring Car Champion, Christian Danner, took pole position with 1:36.916, followed by Stefan Johansson with 1:36.932 and local hero Derek Warwick with 1:36.982. Nigel Mansell meanwhile had a day he would rather forget. A hydraulic failure caused a pipe to blow on his first lap out of the pits, and the 1992 World Champion spun on his own water at terrifyingly high speed. He will start from the back of the grid tomorrow. Will he be able to carve his way through the pack? Well, this is 'il Lione' after all.

Not classified - Nigel Mansell (Britain): "First of all I'd like to congratulate GP Masters on the most fantastic qualifying session yet. To have nearly four cars separated within a tenth of a second is a tremendous success. For me the session was quite difficult. I didn't get out until half way through and then we had a major problem with the engine and gearbox. Eventually there was a hydraulic lock on the water system which blew one of the pipes off. Then I had a huge spin at about 170mph, which woke me up a bit! Knowing the problems we have, I parked it as soon as I could so we didn't destroy the engine. Success tomorrow will be tough, coming from the back of the grid. Plus I've had so little running. I'm not holding my breath, but I would love to have a great race tomorrow." zzzz

Scott Poulter (CEO, Grand Prix Masters): "Today has again proven the scintillating and close competition that GP Masters promotes. There's less than a second separating the top eight drivers, and I'm certain the action tomorrow will be enthralling. We are, however, extremely disappointed in being let down by our engine supplier this weekend. We have undertaken 32 engine changes in two days and many drivers have suffered as a consequence. Nigel, for example, has done hardly any running today and his qualifying lap ended with frustration. Mind you, if anyone can come up from the back of the grid it's him. He is a master of overtaking in any environment, and Silverstone has witnessed some of his most iconic moves. As ever, he'll be relying on his fans to drive him on."

1st Christian Danner (Germany): "I was lucky to finish the session ahead of Stefan and Derek, as it was very close. The car is easy to set up and I was able to dial it into my driving style, and I had no problems from the car or engine. It's so much fun to drive a car with this much power on big slick tires around a track like this - you think you're never going to make it through the corner, and yet it manages to find the grip. I'm in a great position to get down to that first corner first. We're a pretty experienced bunch and we've got a few race starts to our names, so hopefully we'll all keep it together."

2nd Stefan Johansson (Sweden): "I had a few problems this morning to do with the engine mapping, but I've been happy with the handling and I think the session went pretty well and it's looking good for me. The long fast corners of Silverstone are such a challenge, and I've always loved to drive on circuits like this. You can really really push it."

3rd Derek Warwick (Britain): "Full credit to GP Masters for getting all the cars onto the grid for tomorrow. There have been 32 engine changes over the course of the past couple of days, and they'll have changed 40 by tomorrow. We as drivers feel very let down by the engine manufacturer, Nicholson-McLaren, but we're also very proud of the GP Masters guys for dealing so well with the problem, by juggling engines and giving everyone time on the track. So, full compliments to them. On my quickest lap I mistakenly went from fourth to sixth gear as I exited Becketts and the car bogged right down. I went back for new tires but on my last run pushed a bit too hard. I think I just got a bit frustrated with myself and overdrove. However, we all out-qualified Nigel Mansell. Okay, so he only managed half a lap, but that's not our problem! Nigel, coming from the back, should be an interesting spectacle.

4th Riccardo Patrese (Italy): "I made some small mistakes, so I'm happy with fourth on the grid. The times are very close, closer than we've ever seen them. Everyone's pushing harder than ever because we all want to win this. Silverstone has so much history and tradition that coming here again after all these years, with our old colleagues, is a wonderful treat."

5th Jan Lammers (Netherlands): "I think it's incredible that I'm only three tenths off pole and I'm fifth on the grid. It goes to show what a great job the guys have done with these cars. I was pleased today because I managed to get quite upset, and that just shows how much we care! I had a collision with Andrea DeCesaris in the complex. He apologized to be afterwards, explaining 'I was looking in my mirror, just the wrong one!' He's a character."

6th Eddie Cheever (USA): "Many of us haven't driven around here in a single-seater in 20 years, and it's fantastic to blow the cobwebs out of my head. I love the level of commitment Silverstone demands. It's a shame what happened to Mansell. I got caught in traffic, which slowed me for a while. We're all focused on victory tomorrow and the racing tomorrow will be tight and exciting."

1. Christian Danner Team LUK 1min 36.916s
2. Stefan Johansson Team Virgin Radio/BP 1min 36.932s
3. Derek Warwick Team Lixxus 1min 36.982s
4. Ricardo Patrese Team INA 1min 37.087s
5. Jan Lammers Team LG 1min 37.242s
6. Eddie Cheever Team GPM 1min 37.492s
7. Andrea de Cesaris Team INA 1min 37.761s
8. Emerson Fittipaldi Team LG 1min 37.859s
9. Hans Stuck Team Phantom 1min 38.511s
10. Eliseo Salazar Team Phantom 1min 40.314s
11. Patrick Tambay Team Lixxus 1min 40.532s
12. Rene Arnoux Team Golden People 1min 42.390s
13. Nigel Mansell Team Altech No Time

The word from Denver - II The word from Denver - IIAJ Allmendinger’s father Greg fell off a golf cart late yesterday and fractured the back of his skull. Apparently he was standing up on the back of the cart and the driver did not know it. He took off quickly and Greg fell backwards onto the cement pavement, hitting the back of his head. The Champ Car safety team immediately attended to him. He remains hospitalized and will do so for several days to make sure he is OK. As we understand it he is no immediate danger.
Formula BMW
Matt Lee takes pole for race 2 Matt Lee takes pole for race 2American Matt Lee won the pole again for the second Formula BMW race in Denver this weekend. With the two points for the two poles he has now cut Robert Wickens point lead to 18. Wickens will start third. More later.....
The word in Denver - I The word in Denver - ISaturday morning has dawned sunny and warm, though there is a risk of thunderstorms this afternoon.......Bobby Rahal and son Graham appear confident of a win this weekend, since Graham had a healthy 1/2 second advantage over the field in provisional Atlantic qualifying and Graham loves the Denver track, having run very well here in the past......Alex Tagliani was quite happy with his 3rd place provisional qualifying result for Walker Racing/Team Australia..... Paul Gentilozzi is looking forward to next year's new Champ Cars for his Rocketsports Team. "We locked everything down so teams cannot spend money redesigning things, which will level the playing field a lot," said Gentilozzi. He also told us he would enter two cars for him and Drissi in the two SCCA Trans-Am races in Topeka, KS later this year. He thinks 30 cars will show up. He also said that Trans-Am is trying to convince Chevy, Ford and Dodge to enter the series with their resurrected Pony Cars (Camaro, Challenger, Mustang and Jaguar), which would bring new life to the famous 40 year old series..
Warwick leads final practice Warwick leads final practiceDerek Warwick was the fastest driver in final Grand Prix Masters practice at Silverstone Saturday but the big story remains the engine woes that keep most of the drivers off the track because of the problems we reported Friday.

Practice times:

Pos Driver Time
 1. Derek Warwick 1:37.715
 2. Riccardo Patrese 1:38.084
 3. Christian Danner 1:38.163
 4. Emerson Fittipaldi 1:38.362
 5. Jan Lammers 1:38.363
 6. Stefan Johansson 1:38.625
 7. Eddie Cheever 1:39.670
 8. Andrea de Cesaris 1:42.355
 9. Rene Arnoux 1:48.462

 Did not practice

 Nigel Mansell
 Eric van de Poele
 Hans Stuck
 Patrick Tambay
 Pierluigi Martini
 Eliseo Salazar

Champ Car drivers signal for merger Champ Car drivers signal for mergerChamp Car drivers say a unified open-wheel series would benefit all concerned, especially with the ever-growing popularity of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.
"We need one series," said Champ Car driver Justin Wilson, who pilots the No. 9 CDW Ford-Cosworth for the Loveland-based RuSPORT team.

Some minor progress has been made recently in the possible merger between Champ Car World Series and its rival, the Indy Racing League.

"Having the two series competing against each other isn't good for either one of us," Wilson said. "I know I want to race against the best drivers in the world. Unfortunately, the merger is something drivers like myself don't have any influence on."

A.J. Allmendinger, who drives the No. 7 Indeck Forsythe Championship Racing entry, echoed Wilson.

"I think it's a necessity that we have one series," said Allmendinger, a native Californian who is the only American driver in the Champ Car series. "But, I don't worry about something I have no control over."

Sebastien Bourdais, who is behind the wheel of the No. 1 Newman Haas Racing McDonald's entry, said having one series is a "necessity."

"I would be happy if we had one series," said Bourdais, who has won the past two Champ Car series championships. "It just doesn't seem to be happening though." Rocky Mountain News

[Editor's Note: Given recent moves by both sides that clearly undermine the other, it's hard to imagine that a merger is going to happen for years, if ever.....unless they are the best diversionary tactics to fool the media in racing history.]

The importance of tire warmers The importance of tire warmersNo matter what stage a Grand Prix is at, there is always a stack of Michelin tires warming in the corner of the Team McLaren Mercedes garage.

Cold tires are the foe of the racing driver, so it's no surprise that teams go to great lengths to heat up the rubber to give the tires grip as soon as they touch the asphalt.

The system that Team McLaren Mercedes has for doing this is straightforward. A control box allows the tire technician to set the temperature. Power then flows along the wires to the blankets, which are wrapped around the tires. Elements in the blankets are surrounded by a conductive gel, which heats the surface of the rubber to in excess of 100 degrees C.

"Basically, we wrap up the Michelin tires in the blankets, stack them up, plug them in and they're subjected to a constant heat until we turn them off," says Marcus Prosser, Race Team Tire Technician. All clear-cut, you think. But just consider that each tire needs to be heated for a minimum of two hours, and that numerous kinds of tire must be heated and on hand. Now it is getting a little more complicated.

"We have all three options of Michelin tires warming: dry, intermediate and full-wet tires," Prosser continues. "We also heat the different scrubbed tires that have been used over the weekend, as putting a new tire on is not always the best course of action. We even had full wets warming in Bahrain , where the track is in the desert and it hadn't rained for five months! We have to be prepared." zzzz

The warmer the tire, the more grip the driver has. Watch a re-start after the Safety Car has pulled into the pits and you'll see that for yourself.

Rubber temperature also influences the pressure of the tire. "Pressure is as important as grip," explains Prosser. "If the pressures are low, the car will sit lower down. That makes a softer ride, whereas higher pressures make a stiffer ride. The race engineers will often request a pressure adjustment along with a mechanical change."

With so much importance placed on tire temperature, it is no surprise that Prosser and the team constantly monitor the control box to make sure everything is going to plan.

* Technical Spec
* Length – 200m of filament per warmer
* Temperature – In excess of 100 degrees C
* Number of sets – 24 in 2005

Source: McLaren Mercedes

TV News
ABC Sports to change name ABC Sports to change nameThe sports division that spanned the globe to give viewers a constant variety of sports and famously asked pigskin-crazed fans if they were ready for some football has a new name: ESPN on ABC. ESPN will become the overarching brand for all sports programming carried on the ABC Television Network beginning Saturday, Sept. 2 -- the debut of ABC's college football season. "We're using the word evolutionary," said George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks. "We're trying to move the ball forward in sports television and we think this is another step in that direction."

ESPN said the new approach will cover all of the sports programming on ABC, encompassing all aspects of the production effort including on-air look, graphics and branding. "It's going to be interesting news outside of the sports media industry," said sports television consultant Neal Pilson, a former president of CBS Sports who runs his own consultancy firm and often works with ESPN. "It reflects the continued expansion of influence of ESPN. This is a company that not only has four 24/7 cable channels, plus it's online, Internet, mobile phone, you name it, they now will basically contract for and control some 400 hours of network broadcast time. This isn't to say they don't already do it. But now they are going to have this additional brand platform."

Track News
Knoxville to consider SAFER Barrier Knoxville to consider SAFER BarrierKnoxville Raceway race director Ralph Capitani said this afternoon that track officials will look into the viability of installing SAFER Barrier walls in Turns 1, 2, 3 and 4 at the half-mile dirt track.

Steve King, a sprint car driver from Jetmore, Kan., died Thursday of head injuries suffered in a wreck during a preliminary feature race on Wednesday.

King, 33, collided with the Turn 3 fence after something broke on his car, officials said.

"The danger is when you go head-on into the wall," Capitani said. "If it's a glancing blow, it kicks you out. That danger comes at the midpoints of the turns, so we're going to take a look at it."

Tight title fight for Indy Pro Series Tight title fight for Indy Pro SeriesFour races to go, one-third of the season, and six drivers remain in the thick of the battle for the Indy Pro Series championship.

Jay Howard, Bobby Wilson, Jonathan Klein, Jaime Camara, Nick Bussell and Wade Cunningham are involved in the closest point race in Indy Pro Series history. The group is separated by just 64 points.

"The championship is really hard to predict," Bussell said. "There have been so many different winners this season, there's not one person who's in control. There are quite a few guys with a good shot at it. Jay is sitting pretty good, but Bobby Wilson is right there. Even Wade isn't out of it, especially with the way he's been running."

The remaining schedule features two races on 1.5-mile ovals, Aug. 13 at Kentucky Speedway and the season finale at Chicagoland Speedway, and two races on a road course, a doubleheader weekend at Infineon Raceway. zzzz

"I'm not very happy with the lead I have as such," said Howard, who has held the point lead since round four, the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "I think it could have been bigger. As long as we don't have any more dramas, mistakes, we should go on and win. I am fortunate to have a 30-point lead."

Howard won the pole at Homestead-Miami Speedway earlier this season, the only 1.5-mile track the series has competed on in 2006, and earned his first career victory on the 1.33-mile oval at Nashville. His No. 7 Lucas Oil/Isilon car sat on the pole the past two seasons at Kentucky with Travis Gregg behind the wheel.

"If Kentucky goes to plan - we tested there and the car was good - then we should be in good shape," Howard said.

Howard's nearest competitors are Wilson and Klein who are 30 and 31 points behind the leader, respectively.

Wilson, whose win this season came on the road course at Watkins Glen, hopes a solid finish at Kentucky keeps him within striking distance for Infineon.

"I'm looking for a consistent finish at Kentucky, and can't wait to get to Infineon," said Wilson, whose average finish is 5.75 in four oval races this season. "In the oval races, anything can happen, so it would be nice to get out of there with a solid finish. We're looking to dominate at Infineon. I think we should have a very good car."

Klein has his eyes set on passing Wilson for second at Kentucky and moving in on Howard down the road.

"I need to maximize points by all means necessary at Kentucky," said Klein, who qualified second at Homestead. "I'm only one point behind Bobby, and I know he'll be one of the strongest cars at Infineon, and that's a double weekend. Jay's 31 points ahead, but one DNF and I could be right there. It's real cutthroat right now. It's a moment of truth."

Klein is coming off three straight third-place finishes and is looking for his first career victory.

Camara, Bussell and Cunningham are 43, 54 and 64 points back, respectively, and realize they have their work cut out for them.

"Kentucky is a track that you need a very good setup, because you need a car that stays with the same balance until the end of the race. I just need to make sure things proceed the way they are since Nashville," said Camara, who has climbed back into the championship battle with four top-four finishes in the past five races, including a second at Nashville and a win at Milwaukee.

Said Bussell: "Myself, I haven't even thought about the championship. We're so concerned about running better. We haven't been in a position to win, but we're still in contention. Anything can happen on the 1.5-mile ovals. Our best result was on a 1.5, and we've got two of those coming."
The Michigan native finished second at Homestead-Miami and has three consecutive top-six finishes for Cheever Racing.

Cunningham remains the wild card. The defending series champion has nothing to prove, and after missing two races early this season due to illness, can aggressively pursue race wins.

"To win the championship, I'd have to win a majority of the races left and the leaders would have to have horrible luck," Cunningham said. "I'm not banking on that. If you look at the entrant points, we're second, so if we hadn't have missed St Pete we'd be in a much better position."
Cunningham has surged from 14th to sixth in the standings in the last five races with a win and two seconds. He's won three of the last five pole positions and has led laps in four of those five races.

"At Kentucky, we'll roll out a fast car and hope for a repeat of Indy, the test at Nashville and qualifying at Milwaukee. We want to carry our momentum and race at the front."

However things play out at Kentucky, the lead is still Howard's to lose.

"I really don't want to go to Chicago with all types of scenarios in play," he said. 'If so-and-so wins, you have to finish fifth.' That type of thing, because invariably something goes wrong."

IRL notebook IRL notebookAlex Lloyd will return to the #26 Automatic Fire Sprinklers entry in the Indy Pro Series after missing the last two events with an illness. Rookies C.R. Crews, Ben Petter and Racer Kashima will also race in the WAMZ 100. Crews will make his first Indy Pro Series start on an oval, driving for Guthrie Racing while Petter, a midget car driver from Redmond, Wash., will make his series debut with Michael Crawford Motorsports. Kashima, who was the first Japanese driver to race in the series in 2004, also will drive for Michael Crawford Motorsports. . Marco Andretti is currently 7th in IndyCar Series points. This is the highest a rookie has been in points with three races to go since Felipe Giaffone was 4th in the standings at this point in the 2001 season. Giaffone finished sixth. . The top six drivers in the 2006 IndyCar Series standings have an average finish of 6.49.
Fastenal to back Fisher at Kentucky Fastenal to back Fisher at KentuckyDreyer & Reinbold Racing announced a primary sponsorship agreement with Fastenal for Sarah Fisher's No. 5 Honda Dallara at the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 13.
"We are very excited to have Fastenal join our team as Sarah gets back in the car," said Robbie Buhl, team co-owner.  "It's a nice opportunity to develop a relationship with a new sponsor that enjoys and sees the benefit of a sponsorship in motorsports.  We are definitely looking forward to having a productive weekend with Sarah in the car and for our newest sponsor, Fastenal.
Fastenal, a Minnesota-based industrial and construction supply company, currently sponsors Bobby Hamilton Jr.'s No. 18 entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Their sponsorship of Sarah Fisher's car will be their first entry into the IndyCar Series.
"This is a single-race sponsorship, said Pat Resch, Vice President of Marketing for Fastenal. "It is an excellent opportunity for Fastenal to look at the IndyCar Series as a means of promoting Fastenal. The Meijer Indy 300 is a nationally televised event. We have a full-car promotion setup complete with an in-car camera. We're proud to be a part of this exciting sport and helping bring Sarah Fisher back to her open-wheel race fans." 

The 25-year-old Fisher, who won her first pole at Kentucky Motor Speedway in 2003 and owns the track qualifying record there, is very grateful for the support from Fastenal.

"I am so thrilled to have Fastenal join our team for the Meijer Indy 300," said Fisher, who holds the two best finishes by a woman in the IndyCar Series (second and third).  "My dad uses a lot of their products in his fabrication business as they have always been a reliable supplier.  We look forward to a positive weekend." IRL

Papis eager for NASCAR debut Papis eager for NASCAR debutUPDATE Max Papis did not qualify for his debut NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen despite qualifying faster than some of the drivers who did make the lineup.  NASCAR has a protection system in place that guarantees a starting slot for "regular" drivers and past champions.

08/09/06 Italian open-wheel star Max Papis will make his NASCAR national series debut at Watkins Glen, replacing Tim Sauter in the No. 36 Sport Clips Chevrolet for McGill Motorsports for this race. Papis also is entered in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, the car normally driven by Kenny Wallace in that series.

“Mad Max” will add stock-car racing to his impressive 2006 resume, which also includes racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Indianapolis 500 and at Le Mans. Other road-course specialists joining Papis in the NASCAR Busch Series race this weekend: Scott Pruett (No. 1 Miccosukee Gaming Dodge) is in for Mike Wallace, Boris Said (No. 9 Ingersoll-Rand Dodge), a New York City native who won the Busch Pole at Mexico City and finished second there, Michel Jourdain Jr. (No. 15 Kraft Singles Ford) returns to series competition as does Mexico countryman Adrian Fernandez (No. 57 Lowe’s Chevrolet). Trans Am veteran Brian Simo (No. 34 No Fear Chevrolet) is entered for Frank Cicci while Grand Am driver Butch Leitzinger will drive the No. 79 WMRA/Jasper Dodge. Eduardo Troconis, a native of Mexico City with stock car experience in the Desafio Corona Series, will attempt his series debut in the No. 23 Keith Coleman Racing Chevrolet. Chris Cook (No. 43 visitPA.com Dodge) will put his driving school instructor experience on display at The Glen as well.
No. 36 McGill Motorsports Chevrolet - Max Papis : " I'm excited to get the opportunity to drive in NASCAR," Papis said.  "I've been working hard for a long time to make this happen and I thank team owners John and Nancy McGill for giving me the chance. He continued, "It means a lot to me that Sport Clips, who was my Indy 500 sponsor, has stepped up to support my Busch Series effort.  Sport Clips CEO Gordon Logan and I have had a great relationship and I'm looking forward to giving him a great finish."

No.78 Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing - Max Papis:  "I am very thankful for Furniture Row giving me the opportunity to make my first Nextel Cup start," Papis said. "The crew has been great to work with and Joe and I have a great relationship. I'm looking forward to getting in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet and having a strong run."

Papis, 36, said if he makes the race at The Glen, it will complete a nearly perfect year for him.

"I've run the Daytona 24 hours race, the Indy 500, Le Mans, watched Italy win the World Cup and, the most exciting thing, watched my son, Marco, being born," Papis said. "I am truly enjoying life right now and my NASCAR debut just adds to the excitement.

"I'm proud to represent my country, Italy, and to be the first Italian in the modern era to be in NASCAR and I'm going to work as hard as I can to make the most of the opportunity and make my country proud. I hope to have a great weekend at The Glen."

Mayfield fighting his termination Mayfield fighting his terminationUPDATE There was a hearing on the injunction Friday in North Carolina, and the parties had agreed in principle to settle after the hearing, a Dodge spokesman confirmed.

08/11/06 Jeremy Mayfield, whom Ray Evernham said he terminated on Monday, was hoping to stall the firing by getting a temporary injunction Friday. The hearing was scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. in North Carolina Superior Court in Iredell County.

"Jeremy Mayfield has been terminated," Evernham said. "We have 2007 plans in place. We hope to be able to announce them soon."

While Mayfield is expected to drive for Bill Davis Racing beginning next year, a source familiar with the situation said that team doesn't have an immediate ride available for the driver.

Evernham Motorsports, though, is looking for a driver for the rest of the season and owner Ray Evernham would welcome the chance to get a jump on 2007 if the driver he's signed for next year were to become available sooner. More at SceneDaily.com

TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Inside Drag Racing
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
NASCAR RaceDay  Watkins Glen
11:00am-1:00pm (L) SPEED
11:30am-12:00pm ESPN2
Star Mazda Trois Rivieres 8/19/06
1:00pm-2:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup  Watkins Glen AMD at The Glen
1:00pm-4:30pm (L) NBC
Mercedes AMG Test Drive
2:00pm-3:00pm (R) SPEED
IRL Sparta, KY
3:30pm-5:30pm (L) ABC
Champ Car Denver
3:30pm-6:00pm (L) SPEED
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Weedsport, NY
6:00pm-7:00pm SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Watkins Glen
7:00pm-8:00pm (SDD) SPEED
NHRA Brainerd, MN
7:00pm-10:00pm (SDD) ESPN2
The SPEED Report
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Guest: Nicky Hayden (MotoGP)  
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED

All times listed are ET. For a complete listing of TV Programs, see TVRacer.com.

Champ Car Denver qualifying on TV Champ Car Denver qualifying on TVReminder. Qualifying for the Grand Prix of Denver Champ Car race will be shown Saturday night, same day delayed, at 9:00 pm - 9:30 pm ET on SPEED.  The race will be broadcast live on Sunday at 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm ET on SPEED.
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