SPEED's Varsha Talks F1 Stretch Run, Schumacher and more The 2011 Formula One season has offered many interesting storylines both on track and off. As the series heads into the final eight races – starting with the Aug. 28 running of the Belgian Grand Prix live on SPEED at 7:30 a.m. ET – it seems as if Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has a stranglehold on a second-straight World Championship.
SPEED is also scheduled to cover practice two (8 a.m. ET) on Aug. 26 and qualifying (8 a.m. ET) on Aug. 27, while the first and third practice sessions can be seen at SPEED.com.
But the drama is far from being over as series announcer Bob Varsha, Voice of Formula One on SPEED, recently relayed his thoughts on the current season, Michael Schumacher and the upcoming 2012 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Here is what he had to say…
France family talking to itself The France Family owns NASCAR and the France Family also owns Watkins Glen through it's majority control of ISC. So when this article says NASCAR is talking to Watkins Glen about the unsafe barriers, what it really means is the France Family is talking to itself in the mirror about its own unsafe track. Too funny....
NASCAR is "talking to officials at Watkins Glen International about adding SAFER barriers and reconfiguring the angle of walls in key areas around the road course following Monday's Sprint Cup race in which there were two violent crashes," according to David Newton of ESPN.com. The governing body also is "discussing the situation with engineers at the University of Nebraska that designed" the SAFER barriers about "what can be done to improve safety." NASCAR President Mike Helton said, "There are some areas, the engineers from the University of Nebraska have told us, where the SAFER barriers could be worse. We just have to make sure we do it right.'' Newton noted several drivers "called for changes" following Monday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen. Driver David Ragan, whose car "bounced off a steel and tire barrier" at the end of the race, said, "I've been to some dirt tracks that have better walls than that." Driver Jeff Gordon, who has been calling for SAFER barriers at the track since '09, said, "You can't have walls like that, do you know what I mean? You're going to find those places eventually, so you gotta fix them" ESPN.com
Wind Tunnel Sunday This is Dave Despain’s final week of vacation. He will return the following Sunday 8/28. Bob Varsha and Robin Miller will host the show together, the first time they’ve done so since May of 2009.
Guest Hosts Bob Varsha (Host, Formula 1 on SPEED) and Robin Miller (SPEED Open Wheel Racing Reporter) Featured Interview TBA Featured Interview TBA
PLUS: Leg 5 of Dave Despain’s Arctic Adventure (the final installment in this series)
Maryeve Dufault won't have as good a car as Danica Patrick, put in the looks department Ms. Dufault is No. 1
Canadian driver Maryeve Dufault will make her NASCAR debut on Saturday in the Nationwide Series Napa Auto Parts 200 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Dufault, who started racing in the ARCA Series this year, was a model on the Price is Right and according to IMDB, was a player for the New York Euphoria in the 2005 Lingerie Bowl.
Dufault has said that she used the money she earned from modeling to pay for tires and equipment so that she could go race.
Dufault, 29, has made 12 starts in ARCA in 2011 with one top 10, a 10th place finish at Chicagoland Speedway. She'll be driving the No. 81 for MacDonald Motorsports and is one of numerous Canadian drivers entered in Saturday's race in the series that is most commonly referred to as the AAA to the Sprint Cup's Major League.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Announces Partnership With SH Racing Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced today that they will join forces with SH Racing to run Tomas Scheckter in the Baltimore Grand Prix on September 1st. The team will prepare the No. 07 Redline Xtreme Machine that will be in the very recognizable blue shattered glass livery for the inaugural event.
"We are really excited to be partnering with SH Racing and to have Tomas back with us in Baltimore. We feel we've prepared an on-track product in 2011 on road and street courses that were capable of wins and numerous podiums, which we look to continue at the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. We'd like to welcome Sulli and TJ to our team and look forward to growing together in the future," stated Dennis Reinbold, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Co-Owner.
IndyCar announces protest hearing panel Brian Barnhart, INDYCAR's President of Competition and Operations, named Jerry Gappens, Rollie Helmling and Jeff Stoops to serve as the three-person panel that will hear the protests regarding the results of the IZOD IndyCar Series MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The protest hearing will take place Aug. 23 in Indianapolis, and the proceedings will be closed to the public and media.
Protests on behalf of the No. 2 car fielded by Newman/Haas Racing and the No. 9 car fielded by Target Chip Ganassi Racing were received by INDYCAR following the Aug. 14 race. Andretti Autosport has been invited to participate in the hearing because of its No. 28 car's interest in the outcome of the protests.
iPhone and iPad app issue (iPad Fixed)UPDATE The iPad app has been fixed. Please go to the Apple app store and download the latest version. The new version for the iPhone app to fix this issue is not ready yet. It will be soon.
08/10/11 For those of you using our iPhone or iPad apps you probably noticed that you are getting redirected to a website and you never get to the page you are trying to view. This is a problem with the Google ads that we use. Google has a problem on their side that is causing this. We have notified Google Support and await their reply or fix. We apologize for the inconvenience and will notify you when it is fixed.
Baltimore Grand Prix founder sues race's organizers The founder of the Baltimore Grand Prix has filed a $750,000 claim against the current organizers of the event, joining another early investor who claims he has yet to be paid.
Steven C. Wehner says Baltimore Racing Development LLC, the company that he created in his mother's Rodgers Forge basement five years ago, failed to make payments totaling $575,000 owed to him over five years in exchange for his 10.2 percent stake in the company. Wehner is also seeking attorney's fees and interest. After months and months and months and months of trying to negotiate with BRD in good faith, I was unable to get them to honor the terms of the contract," Wehner said in a brief phone interview Tuesday.
Wehner, who was an out-of-work mechanic recovering from crack addiction, came up with the idea for the race and sold city and state leaders and race officials on the idea. He surrounded himself with a team of local businessmen, who eventually took over the project and agreed to buy him out two years later in early 2010.
Video: Ken Block Gymkhana Four DC and Ken Block present Gymkhana FOUR: The Hollywood Megamercial. GYM4 surpasses the high-production style of Gymkhana TWO with even more spectacular effects shot in the backlots of Universal Studios, California. Filmed over the course of five days, director Ben Conrad (Zombieland and 30 Seconds or Less) and his team at Logan deliver a Hollywood caliber production complete with pyrotechnics, massive stunts and a series of unbelievable tricks. Featuring robotic sharks, deranged zombies, and a hilarious cameo by the Epic Meal Time guys, Ken Block and his Hybrid FunctionHoon Vehicle (H.F.H.V.) bring the magic of Hollywood and gymkhana together.
Repsol Honda riders test 2012 RC213V prototype at Brno
Stoner tests his new bike
After celebrating the all-Honda podium Sunday at Brno, the Repsol Honda Team returned back on track Monday for a one day test dedicated to the development of the Honda prototype for the 2012 MotoGP Championship.
It was a positive day of testing with both riders giving valuable feedback, which will allow the HRC engineers to continue the development of the new machine. As scheduled, the test began at 09h00 under dry conditions and finished at 18h00 with one hour lunch break. Fortunately, the rain that was expected did not arrive until the final 30 minutes of the day, when the Repsol Honda Team had already finished their program.
Czech Republic GP winner Casey Stoner, who already tested the RC213V in the Jerez test, was the fastest rider on track with a lap time of 1’56.168. Completing a total of 57 laps, he and his team took some important steps forward in the development of the 2012 machine.
Honda increases NASA support Honda Performance Development (HPD) and American Honda have increased support for the 2011 National Auto Sport Association (NASA) Championships, Sept. 6-11 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
A national championship will now pay $2,500 for registered members of the Honda Racing Line in any of the five Honda Challenge classes (H1 through H5). Cash awards also will be presented to all starters, in the same categories, with additional cash prizes to all podium [first, second and third-place] finishers in classes with more than 10 starters. To be eligible, Honda Racing Line members must display the required Honda or Acura decals on their cars.
Harvick team signs up with Champion Spark Plugs Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) and Champion®, a Federal-Mogul brand, announced today a multi-year partnership which includes a Personal Services Agreement (PSA) with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick. Champion, the world leader in manufacturing spark plugs for every kind of combustion engine, will also be the primary sponsor of the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado driven by four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday at Michigan International Speedway on August 20 and again at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 15.
Alongside the PSA and two Truck Series events, Harvick will become the Champion spokesperson for Federal-Mogul and the Champion brand as part of the multi-year agreement.
Red Bull only team with perfect reliability - analysis
The Red Bull cars are both fast and reliable
(GMM) Red Bull is the only team in formula one with a perfect reliability record so far in 2011.
An analysis by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport shows that the team is not only dominating the drivers' and constructors' championships, but its two cars were the only ones in the field to complete the maximum 1,362 laps.
"Over the years it has been said that Adrian Newey's cars were always fast but not always reliable. Those days are over," read the analysis.
Team boss Christian Horner is quoted as saying: "We are now better at knowing how to deal with Adrian's extreme cars."
NASCAR.COM Delivers Third Most-Trafficked Day of 2011 NASCAR.COM delivered the third most-trafficked day of the 2011 season with the 2011 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen on Monday, Aug. 15. As a result of the first rainout of the season on Sunday, Aug. 14, the official online destination of NASCAR recorded a double-digit increase in page views and unique users on Monday, Aug. 15. The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola and the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway rank first and second, respectively, this season as the highest-recorded days in page views and unique users.
Total Page views: 7.6 million, up +62% vs. 2010 Watkins Glen Race. Average Uniques: 1.1 million, up +44% vs. 2010 Watkins Glen Race. Source: Omniture
Biffle gives his side of the Boris Said incident When it was all said and done, Greg Biffle didn’t have to hide from Boris Said and Said wasn’t forced to find him as he had promised. The two spoke and aired their differences via phone Tuesday, and then Biffle headed to the SPEED Studios to share his side of the story with NASCAR Race Hub (Monday through Thursday at 7 p.m. ET)
Following is a transcript from host Steve Byrnes’ interview with Biffle:
IndyCar schedules Loudon protest hearings INDYCAR, the governing body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, will move forward with a hearing for protests filed by Newman/Haas Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing regarding the results of the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 14.
Protests on behalf of the No. 2 car fielded by Newman/Haas Racing and the No. 9 car fielded by Target Chip Ganassi Racing were received by INDYCAR within 30 minutes of the posting of official results.
The protest hearing will take place the week of Aug. 22 in Indianapolis. Andretti Autosport has been invited to participate in the hearing because of its No. 28 car's interest in the outcome of the protests.
In his role as Senior Official and pursuant to Rule 12.4, Brian Barnhart has elected to select individuals to resolve the protest. The individuals will be announced at a later date.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced today that Italian driver, Giorgio Pantano will join the team in Sonoma and Baltimore. Pantano will replace the injured Justin Wilson next weekend and will drive the team's No. 22 entry for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma and Baltimore Grand Prix.
"We are extremely excited about putting Giorgio in our car at Sonoma and Baltimore. He will add another dimension to our program and we are happy to have him on board for those events. We will be testing him at Sonoma this weekend and we are excited to get him acclimated to the car. Giorgio has a lot of experience and talent and we believe he will be a good fit," commented Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Co-Owner, Dennis Reinbold.
Pantano will compete with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the first time at Sonoma on August 24th and then in Baltimore on September 4th. The Padua, Italy native will return to the IZOD IndyCar Series after competing in the Auto GP Series last year and Superleague Formula in 2009. The Italian brings numerous experience to the table after winning the GP2 title in 2008, competing in F3000, Formula One and IndyCar for two road course events with Chip Ganassi Racing.
St. Pete race will be debut of new IndyCar in March For the second consecutive year, the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be the opening race on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule.
The event, entering its eighth year, will take place March 23-25 on the scenic streets of downtown St. Petersburg.
It was the first INDYCAR road/street course race in 2005, and it will host the debut of the next-generation car that is currently undergoing testing with St. Petersburg resident and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon behind the wheel.
Lorenzo to race in Massa's charity event Felipe Massa has announced on Monday during a press conference held at Costa do Santinho Resort in Florianopolis that Moto GP reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo is the first motor racing star guest already confirmed in the 2011 International Challenge of Go-Kart Champs field. "Yes, we have just received an OK from him", said the Ferrari driver. This year’s event will be promoted for the sixth time in a row in Santa Catarina state and once again at the Arena Sapiens.
Peter Windsor, former WilliamsF1 team manager and Ferrari general manager, returns to SPEED, where he worked as the network’s Formula One grid reporter from 2001 to 2009, in a new role emphasizing his insider access to the world of Formula One Grand Prix racing.
Beginning with SPEED’s live coverage of the Belgian Grand Prix from Spa-Francorchamps the weekend of Aug. 26-28, Windsor will provide exclusive interviews with significant members of the F1 fraternity, including drivers, engineers and team officials. Based in London, Windsor also will produce and edit material, including editorial features, between races and away from the race tracks, with all content being posted on SPEED.com.
"It's great to again be a part of one of the best teams in F1 -- SPEED,” said Windsor, who also will participate in SPEED.com social media initiatives. “And, as F1 begins seriously to embrace new media, it's both a challenge and a thrill to be working with SPEED.com."
Lola are pleased to introduce for 2012 their cost capped LMP2 Coupe - the Lola B12/80.
In true Lola fashion, we are the first constructor to introduce a true cost capped Coupe which utilizes the proven Lola endurance sports car product while ensuring maximum driver appeal.
Executive Chairman of Lola Group, Martin Birrane said: "Prototype racing has been at its most successful when there has been a period of rule stability. It is very reassuring that the regulations are now intended to remain stable for a minimum period of 5 years in LMP2."
Rossi may skip Motegi race due to radiation fears Nine-time motorcycle world champion Valentino Rossi is considering skipping the Japanese Grand Prix because of radiation concerns after the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.
Rossi tells Italian media "I really don't think I'll go to Japan. ... I was hoping that the championship organizers would make the right decision, but that hasn't been the case and now we've got a serious problem."
The Oct. 2 race is scheduled for Motegi, which lies north of Tokyo but several hundred miles south of the worst-affected radiation zones in northeastern Japan.
Rossi suggested moving the race further south to the Suzuka circuit.
Boris Said is going to beat the living daylight out of Greg BiffleUPDATE
According to Boris Said look for Greg Biffle (above) to show up at the race track with a black eye one day
More quotes from Boris Said: "I went over there to go talk to him. He wouldn't even let me get out of the car. He comes over and throws a few little baby punches and then when I get out, he runs away and hides behind some big guys. But, he won't hide from me long. I'll find him. I won't settle it out on the track. It's not right to wreck cars, but, he'll show up at a race with a black eye one of these days. I'll see him somewhere."
Added Boris’ crew chief, Nick Harrison: "Boris has had a problem, actually I think (Greg) Biffle has had a problem with Boris from a previous race so leading into this race, they already had some aggression toward each other. Early in the race, Biffle had run out of gas and was multiple laps down and was racing Boris. Boris thought that was dirty, so Boris relayed a message to the spotter he wanted to meet him after the race.’’
There were no quotes from Biffle after the race, but he noted on Twitter he would post some comments there when he got home. Stay tuned. This isn’t over.
Watkins Glen due to be repaved Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International, after the Cup tour's second such rain-postponement here in the past three years, is already talking with his track engineers about how to repave and redesign the 2.45-mile road course to make it racing-in-the-rain worthy, Printup said Monday morning just before the start of the Sprint Cup series race here in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York.
Goodyear has stock car racing rain tires, first designed and tested 15 years ago here. And they've been used by NASCAR, during a Cup exhibition in Japan and in a Nationwide race at Montreal two years ago.
And NASCAR teams have expertise and equipment to defog windshields and for wiping rain off the glass.
However the track itself must have adequate drainage to make it race-worthy for Cup drivers.
Dale Jr. loses appeal Dale Earnhardt Jr. was adamant that he should have finished 14th instead of 15th in Monday's Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International.
NASCAR didn't agree.
After protesting the order of finish for nearly 15 minutes, Earnhardt emerged from the NASCAR hauler giving the thumbs down signal to crew chiefs for Ryan Newman, David Ragan and Brian Vickers, who also questioned the results.
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel will certainly win the 2011 world championship, according to Germany.
The SID news agency commissioned market research company Promit to ask Germans if their countryman Vettel is a sure bet to become F1's first back-to-back world champion since Fernando Alonso five years ago.
An overwhelming 74.4 per cent answered yes, with only 11.8 per cent believing that one of the Red Bull driver's rivals - like Alonso or the McLaren duo - can win the 2011 title.
Lewis Hamilton, who along with his teammate Jenson Button as well as Ferrari's Alonso prevented Vettel from winning a single race in July, thinks he still has a chance.
Hanover’s Broadcast Sports Inc. wins Baltimore Grand Prix work The Baltimore Grand Prix has tapped Hanover’s Broadcast Sports Inc. to provide a drivers-eye view for those watching the inaugural IndyCar event on television Labor Day weekend.
BSI will supply a total of 17 camera systems in dashboards of car, including a high-definition on-board camera, four radio frequency hand-held camera systems, five wireless announcer systems, and one helicopter with a camera system to the event.
Buffalo Wild Wings to sponsor Conway in Baltimore Andretti Autosport announced today a partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings and Wings Across America, LLC (the Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar Maryland Franchisee), for the popular restaurant chain to be the primary sponsor of the No. 27 IndyCar driven by Long Beach Grand Prix winner Mike Conway in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix set for Sept. 2-4 in the streets of downtown Baltimore.
Conway joined the Andretti Autosport driver lineup this season and immediately scored his first victory in the streets of Long Beach, Calif., the most famous street race in America.
A double dose of girl power at Road America Andrea Robertson and Melanie Snow had so much fun driving together for the first time in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n that they’re making it two in a row. Robertson Racing has again paired the ladies together for the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase this weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Robertson and Snow will drive Robertson Racing’s No. 40 Doran-Ford GT in Saturday’s four-hour enduro around the famed 4-mile venue. They teamed two weeks ago at Mid-Ohio in a race cut short by rain late in the event. The fact that they are driving in the Series’ deepest and most competitive class makes the task that much more daunting.
Almost all Abu Dhabi GP tickets sold out Organizers of this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix claim that 70% of the tickets for the event have already been sold, while grandstand tickets for the Main, North and West Grandstands have all sold out, along with the Paddock Club.
Richard Cregan, Chief Executive Officer of Yas Marina Circuit, announced on Monday: “We are pleased with the way ticket sales are tracking and it is shaping up to be another great event. Preparations are in the final stages for our race here in Abu Dhabi. We are confident our customers will enjoy one of the most exciting sporting and entertainment experiences in the world.”
Abu Dhabi will be engulfed by a festival atmosphere featuring Fan Zones, giant screen TV coverage from the city’s Corniche and a host of Formula 1 related fringe events.
Hunter-Reay received one big lobster for winning on Sunday
Maybe Ryan Hunter-Reay was expecting a silver cup or a glass bowl?
During the Victory Lane ceremonies for the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 on Aug. 14, New Hampshire Motor Speedway general manager Jerry Gappens presented the race winner with "Loudon" - a giant New England lobster. It required both hands of the surprised Andretti Autosport driver to display the crustacean.
"It caught me off-guard," said Hunter-Reay, an avid sport fisherman who resides in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "The thing is looking at me as I'm holding it. He was huge. I didn't know they got that big. Hopefully, they put it back in the water or something."
Dixon takes over oval track lead Scott Dixon's third-place finish, coupled with Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti's 20th place, gave Dixon the lead in the A.J. Foyt Oval Trophy standings by 17 points. Will Power of Team Penske is third.
Franchitti leads the Mario Andretti Road Trophy standings by 28 points over Power heading to Infineon Raceway for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 28.
There are three road/street course (Infineon, Baltimore, Twin Ring Motegi) and two oval (Kentucky, Las Vegas) races remaining in the season.
Eddie Gossage hammers IndyCar Management In this blog Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage hammers IndyCar management over their handling of affairs in New Hampshire this weekend. Gossage calls them out for mishandling the final call to go green with a wet track and also for caving into team owners on the body kits for 2012 by postponing their rollout until 2013.
"But Indy Car, with its decision today, has once again yielded it's authority to team owners. How did that work out last time? Crash and burn," said Gossage.
Say what? IndyCar racing was never more successful when it was run by CART (team owners). It was not until Anton George created the IRL, split the sport and took away CART's biggest race, the Indy 500, that CART went downhill. This is well documented. So for Gossage to blame the team owners for CART's demise just shows how out of touch he is with reality.
Should team owners be running IndyCar? No, but should they have a say on rolling out new things they cannot afford? Absolutely.
Gossage needs to stick to promoting races, which he does best.
IZOD VP loved Power's 2 finger salute Speaking about Will Power's 2-finger salute to IndyCar race officials Sunday, some people loved it, some did not. Count series sponsor IZOD in the affirmative. “I’m happy as a clam,” said Mike Kelly, the Executive Vice President of the Marketing Group of Phillips-Van Heusen, the man behind the IZOD sponsorship of the IndyCar Series. “We owned the day because Will Power giving the `Double-Finger Salute’ out of anger shows real emotion. What went on here today will be played on SportsCenter and controversy generates attention.”
IndyCar driver flips race officials the 'double bird'UPDATE
Will Power gestures to IndyCar race control after the cars went green on a wet track and three cars crashed, including him.
After the race Power apologized for his behavior following the incident.
"First of all, I have to apologize for losing my temper after the accident that ended our race,” said Power. “Regardless of what happened on the race track, my behavior was inexcusable and I apologize to our sponsors, the fans, the IZOD IndyCar Series officials and the Penske Racing organization. I should not have behaved the way I did and I am sorry. It's definitely no excuse but I was just very frustrated because our car ran so well and our team had worked so hard to put ourselves into a position to get a good finish and I thought it was just ridiculous to restart the race under the dangerous conditions that existed on the race track. I am just glad the officials decided to make the decision to revert the finishing order back to what it was before the final restart. I want to thank my team for their hard work today and, again, I'm sorry for the way our race ended and how I handled the situation."
Mercedes figures admit 2012 title tilt unlikely (GMM) According to Michael Schumacher, "the train has already left" when it comes to fighting for this year's title.
But the seven time world champion also doubts Mercedes' next car will be good enough to challenge the leaders.
"It would be presumptuous if one expects us to fight for the title next year. At the moment we are too far behind," the 42-year-old German said at the weekend during the Mercedes event Stuttgarter Sternstunden.
(GMM) Michael Schumacher on Sunday moved to quash rumors he is set to return to retirement at the end of the season.
The Mercedes driver's manager Sabine Kehm had already slammed an Italian website for apparently fabricating quotes that suggested Schumacher, 42, was considering his seat.
"These (were) words reported on our website and our editorial staff didn't know anything about it. When we noticed that news, we invited the website to remove it, which was done," a Corriere dello Sport editor told 422race.com.
And at the Mercedes event called Stuttgarter Sternstunden at the weekend, Schumacher moved to end the speculation himself.
"I'll certainly be racing next year, that is definite," the seven time world champion said.
Baseball star Petrocelli impressed with IndyCars Rico Petrocelli says he purchased a Corvette with part of the bonus money he received from the Boston Red Sox back in the day and opened it up to 110 mph on the highway.
It was the fastest he had traveled in a car until Aug. 14 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he took a ride in an Indy Racing Experience two-seater with Al Unser Jr. behind the wheel.
"Almost as fast as a Nolan Ryan fastball," said Petrocelli, a Red Sox All-Star infielder from 1963-76 who spoke in chapel services before the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225. "I played in two World Series and that two-seat ride was more fun."
Petrocelli also toured the garages following the morning warm-up session.
Pre-race show added to IndyCar finale INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard said ABC has added a 30-minute pre-race show to the IZOD INDYCAR World Championship on Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Last week, INDYCAR and ABC announced that they signed an agreement in which ABC will continue to be the exclusive network partner of the IZOD IndyCar Series through 2018. The extension is concurrent with the remaining years of the VERSUS (on Jan. 2 to be rebranded NBC Sports Channel) contract.
"I want to thank ABC for their commitment. I think it says a lot that they were willing to do a new deal for six years," Bernard said. "It is substantially better for us financially as well as we believe there will be a lot of new promotional ideas in this contract that will help INDYCAR."
Miller sounds off on Brian Barnhart While rain forced the postponement of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race today at Watkins Glen International, rain eventually forced an early end to the IndyCar Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway … but not before all hell broke loose.
After a yellow-flag period due to rain, IndyCar Series officials waved the green flag with nine laps remaining. However, wet conditions triggered a large accident, as well as a flurry of emotions and criticism of Brian Barnhart, IndyCar Series president of competition and racing operations.
Robin Miller, longtime SPEED open wheel reporter/analyst, has never been one to shy away from offering his opinion. Below is a Q&A with Miller regarding his reaction to the events that unfolded in New Hampshire:
NASCAR Watkins Glen postponed until Monday At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, NASCAR and Watkins Glen International officials announced that the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race is postponed until 10:00 a.m. on Monday, August 15. Weather prevented the race from starting at the scheduled time of 1:00 p.m. this afternoon at the 2.45-mile road course. All tickets and return checks, although not required, will be honored on Monday.
The race has been rescheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, August 15 and will still air live on ESPN, Motor Racing Network (MRN) affiliates and SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. Gates will open for admission beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning. All grandstands will be open for general admission access and fans with general admission tickets are asked to please allow fans with reserved tickets to sit in the seat they purchased. Fans that purchased a Sunday Fan Walk pass for this weekend will be permitted to access the pits from 8:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.
We here at AR1.com doubt they will get the race in Monday either. The forecast is not good and at Watkins Glen if there is a chance of rain it almost always will.
IndyCar happy with initial shakedown of new car "We are extremely pleased with the results of our first test (at Mid-Ohio Monday and Tuesday) of the new chassis,'' said Will Phillips, IndyCar vice president of technology. "Everything performed as we expected in this initial shakedown. All systems were sorted and checked, and we look forward to our next test.''
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said the car would have two other tests at Barber Motorsports Park and at Texas Motor Speedway, where it was expected to undergo a high-speed session. "Our goal is providing competition, entertainment and value for the fans,'' Bernard said. "Fans want to see track records and if we can't provide that, then we're not being what IndyCar is all about.''
Newgarden laps Indy Lights field in New Hampshire Josef Newgarden didn't have any issues controlling the race pace following a Lap 1 spin of Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Bryan Clauson's car exiting Turn 2.
Following a Lap 69 caution for a spin of another teammate, Esteban Guerrieri, Newgarden didn't have any challengers.
By Lap 65, Newgarden had put all cars but the No. 7 Lucas Oil entry driven by Guerrieri a lap down in the New Hampshire 100 on the 1.025-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway and went on to his fifth victory of the season.
Newgarden increased his Firestone Indy Lights championship points lead over Guerrieri, who was the runner-up for the third time this season, with three races remaining.
IndyCar makes it official - no aero kits for 2012 INDYCAR announced today that it will delay the introduction of alternative aero kits for its new IZOD IndyCar Series chassis until 2013. The next-generation chassis remains on target to debut in competition at the start of the 2012 season.
"The most important thing we can do as a series is look at what is in the best interest of both our long and short term," said Randy Bernard, CEO of INDYCAR. "It is important that we maintain a high car count next year by ensuring we have cost containment for our teams. We must listen to our team owners and try to help. I'm the biggest advocate of the aero kit and I feel this is by far the best decision for our series. The 2012 season will be exciting with the debut of our new car as we focus on relevancy and technology with engine competition, turbochargers and direct injection among other things."
Button: Vettel’s already won the championship Many liken Sebastian Vettel’s dominance this year to Jenson Button’s championship charge in 2009, but the McLaren driver refutes the comparisons saying that the circumstances are totally different and that Vettel should not be feeling any pressure as he has all but won the championship.
Button told the Independent recently, “He [Vettel] has already won the World Championship, which is very important. You don’t feel the pressure so much, when you’ve already done it. It wasn’t easy for me to win consistently by the end of the year  but he still has a massive lead. He has no need to take risks and he’s driving a competitive car.
“Red Bull has great resources, so it’s a different situation to the one I found myself in with Brawn. And if I had the lead he’s got, I wouldn’t be feeling any pressure at all! He’s facing an eight-race World Championship and he’s starting it with an 80-point lead! That’s a massive gap. And he’s still in one of the quickest cars. That’s the best position possible,” claimed Button.
NASCAR Hall of Fame continues to bleed red-ink The NASCAR Hall of Fame has reported a $1.42 million operating loss for the fiscal year ending June 30. Owned and operated by the City of Charlotte, N.C., through a license from NASCAR, the attraction opened in May 2010 and will induct its third five-man class in January.
The hall's losses are covered by Charlotte's tourism board reserves. But almost $980,000 is owed to NASCAR, which has deferred collecting royalties until the facility becomes profitable. The year-end loss was slightly higher than the $1.24 million predicted in January. June attendance was 17,604 visitors, compared with 28,678 for June 2010, the month after the hall opened.
Stoner leads Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso
Casey Stoner captured his sixth win of the season in front of 155,400 fans at Brno for Sunday’s race, stretching his Championship lead to 32 points over Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) got the hole shot off from his first pole position of the season, with Lorenzo taking the lead from him on the second lap. Stoner then took second from the Yamaha rider, just as Pedrosa crashed out of the front of the field, handing the Australian the lead.
While Stoner lengthened the gap at the head of the pack, Lorenzo came under pressure from Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda), the Italian passing the Spaniard to take and hold second position. Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) then caught and passed Lorenzo, moving into the third podium spot and keeping it until the finish line, the first podium of his MotoGP class career.
Quote of the Week It's obvious Travis Pastrana has a lot to learn about NASCAR. For example, if he wants his car to get through inspection, he should stop talking about driving in the Las Vegas IndyCar finale. Michael Knight
John Hopkins sidelined in Brno Suzuki Team Manager Paul Denning says John Hopkins was left feeling 'devastated' with his forced withdrawal from Brno, with the American dislocating two fingers during a practice fall at Turn 3. It was quickly apparent that the injuries occurred would rule Hopkins out of the running for the rest of the weekend, an sour end to his event.
"Saturday morning’s injury is a huge disappointment to all of us at Rizla Suzuki and of course mostly to John," said Denning. "He is completely devastated that he is not able to compete in the Grand Prix, especially as his form yesterday was extremely promising.
“He was just building up to speed very gradually in the wet conditions and, on the first lap that he tried to push a little bit harder, he made a simple mistake and folded the front. It was on exactly the same corner that Casey had done the same thing at the start of the session, but John was just less lucky and as he entered the gravel trap the angle of his hand meant that the impact folded his fingers.
"This caused a substantial break to one finger and further damage to another. If the injury had been his left hand he would be on the GSV-R this afternoon, but to control a MotoGP bike and expect to be competitive with that injury to his throttle and braking hand is completely unrealistic."
Virtual lap of New Hampshire Speedway Check out what it's like to drive an IZOD IndyCar Series car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Note the full grandstands, a fantasy. Thanks to Immersion Media for the video.
Pippa Mann crashed three times on the Loudon oval. Twice on Thursday and the third time on Saturday she put herself in the hospital with back pain. Hopefully it's not another broken back
Pippa Mann tweeted that she had "a decent concussion," and a swollen ankle and knee. The impact was more than 100 Gs, she said. "I guess I just had my first big one," she said of the accident.
Ed Carpenter ran into trouble in the same location of the 1.025-mile track. He spun in practice, with rookie Charlie Kimball right behind him. Kimball might have been able to avoid the Sarah Fisher Racing car, but Danica Patrick hit him from behind.
Neither Patrick nor Kimball had time to react to the incident. All three cars were repaired for qualifying. Indy Star
08/13/11 IndyCar rookie Pippa Mann will miss Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after crashing during a practice run Saturday.
She is scheduled to undergo an MRI on her back on Monday in Indianapolis and will not be cleared to race before the results of the test are known, a spokesman for the series said.
Mann, whose only other IndyCar race this year was the Indianapolis 500, was set for her first race as part of the Rahal Letterman team before her car hit a wall during a morning practice run. She was helped out of the car and supported under her arms as she walked slowly to a stretcher.
IndyCar TV ratings on Versus down from 2010 Sunday's event at New Hampshire marks the 12th of 17 events on the 2011 schedule. ABC will broadcast five events this year, including the Indianapolis 500, and the other 12 races are carried on the cable network Versus. Outside of the Indy 500, TV ratings remain low and relatively stagnant. In 2008, ABC's broadcast of events earned a 1.0 average rating, with ESPN earning a 0.6 average. In 2009, events on ABC earned a 0.83 average rating, with Versus events getting a 0.33. In 2010, the ABC number was 0.8 and Versus 0.39. Through 11 events this year, ABC coverage has earned a 1.01 average rating and Versus a 0.35 average, down from last year's 0.39 as it remains a noose around IndyCar's neck.
Allianz to sponsor 2011 F1 Korean Grand Prix Allianz Life Korea, one of the country’s leading life insurers, said Friday that the Seoul-based outfit will sponsor the 2011 Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix, which will be held in Yeongam, South Jeolla Province, in October.
Allianz Life Korea CEO Cheong Min-kuk signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Jeolla Governor Park Joon-young with regard to the sponsorship contract. Park is also head of the F1 organizing committee.
Newgarden wins Indy Lights pole in Loudon Firestone Indy Lights championship points leader Josef Newgarden -- the final qualifier -- posted a two-lap time of 49.4908 seconds (149.119 mph average) in the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/SSM car to prevent Clauson from earning his first Sunoco Pole Award of the season.
Esteban Guerrieri will start third in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/SSM car, ending his series-record-streak of six consecutive front-row starts. But Sam Schmidt Motorsports drivers will start 1-2-3 in a race for the third time this season. Anders Krohn matched his best qualifying effort with a fourth in the No. 4 Liberty Engineering Racing Special for Belardi Auto Racing.
It was the third pole start for Newgarden -- his first on an oval and the third in the past four events.
Rahal tops final IndyCar practice in Loudon Chip Ganassi's IndyCars are always strong on road courses, but even more so on ovals. Two of his four drivers were fastest in final practice for Sunday's MoveThatBlock.com race. Graham Rahal was fastest followed by his Ganassi teammate Dario Franchitti.
Third and fourth were James Hinchcliffe and Takuma Sato.
NASCAR changes rule for gasman The following rule change is effective August 11, 2011 for all three NASCAR national series: 9-15 Pit Procedures During Race: The fuel handler must be in control of the fuel can at all times when fuel is being added to the car. The fuel handler will not be permitted to perform any adjustments or other pit stop procedures while the fuel can coupler is engaged with the car-mounted adapter. "In an ongoing effort to keep pit road safer, we have made this adjustment to the duties of the fuel handler. If the fueler's only responsibility is to fuel the car, he will do a better job and make fewer mistakes on pit road." - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby. NASCAR
Busch and Busch top Nationwide qualifying at The Glen Kurt Busch will start on the pole for Saturday's Zippo 200 Nationwide Series race after posting the quickest lap in qualifying at Watkins Glen International.
Busch, who is filling in for the injured Brad Keselowski in Penske Racing's No.22 Dodge, lapped the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course at 123.241 mph for his third pole in 12 career Nationwide starts. Kyle Busch qualified 0.16 seconds behind his brother to claim the outside pole.
Carl Edwards and Elliott Sadler will start on the second row, while JR Motorsports teammates Ron Fellows and Jimmie Johnson will roll off from row three. Johnson, the five-time defending Sprint Cup Series champion, is making his first Nationwide start since October 2008.
First pole of the season for Pedrosa Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took the front position on the grid with a time of 1’56.591 in qualifying on Saturday, a time fast enough to put him on pole but still not a fast as the crushing lap he dealt Friday by a margin of 0.268s.
The premier class took to a dry track after the morning wet practice session, with reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) taking an early provisional pole and Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) leading in second half of qualifying. But Pedrosa retaliated, grabbing back the top spot and keeping it until the end of the outing.
Lorenzo pushed hard, bettering his previous best time by four tenths with a time of 1'56.704, giving him a front row start in the second spot, followed by Stoner with lap of 1'56.860 to put him in the final front row spot.
New HANS device approved NASCAR officials have approved the Sport II HANS device for competition in all NASCAR series. The new device features a lower rounded collar and is lighter, making for an easier fit for drivers. "No matter what type of car, what kind of track, drag strip or off-road event, a head and neck restraint should be included in any driver's safety equipment," said Gary Milgrom, vice president of HANS Performance Products. Charlotte Observer
Stoner moves to top in the wet The final practice before MotoGP qualifying began with rain falling on the Brno circuit, until the last 5 minutes which saw the sun trying to break through but never drying the track. The premier class riders none the less took advantage of the wet session, pushing hard for good times and consistent paces in anticipation of a wet race on Sunday, though times were more than ten seconds slower than those of the day before.
Jorge Lorenzo topped most of the session, until Casey Stoner took his spot and held it on top of the timings in the last five minutes. The Australian had crashed at the start of the session on the cold track, but remained unruffled and proceeded to push, posting a final time of 2'07.321.
NASCAR prepared to race in rain again NASCAR officials confirmed that the Nationwide Series race will start as planned even if it rains today at Watkins Glen International. There is only a 40 percent chance of rain for the Zippo 200 this afternoon and the Canadian Tire 200 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race tonight so fans will be treated to plenty of racing, the only question is whether it will be in the wet or the dry. Many races at WGI have been held in the rain over the years, but it would be the first time ever a NASCAR race had been run in such conditions at The Glen. The green flag will fall on the Zippo 200 at 2:00 p.m. and will be followed by the Canadian Tire 200 at 6:00 p.m.
Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International, announced earlier today that Jeff Gordon has been named the first member of the Class of 2011 for the Legends of The Glen. In front of local, regional, and international media, Printup presented Gordon with a hand-blown glass vase made by Vitrix Glass of Corning, NY, during an induction ceremony held in the historic road course’s media center. Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, was also in attendance to acknowledge Gordon’s contributions to the sport and join the celebration. Today’s ceremony will not be the last induction that is scheduled to occur during the 2011 season at The Glen.
“When you talk about Watkins Glen International and NASCAR, one of the first people that have to be mentioned is Jeff Gordon and it is well deserved with the incredible success that he has achieved here,” said Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International. “He has represented The Glen as our champion four times and each time has done so with exceptional class and dignity. We are thrilled to welcome Jeff into this elite group of people that have had such a profound impact on our history.”
Niki Lauda says Schumacher should not stay in F1 just for the fun
Formula One legend Niki Lauda has urged Michael Schumacher to ‘be honest with himself about what the Austrian says is a failed comeback.
“I have always been a big supporter of Michael’s comeback – because I did it, and I know what it’s all about,” the Austrian three-time F1 World Champion told Motor Sport Magazine.
Lauda returned to the sport in 1982 having walked away from the sport in 1979 as a double world champion. He won the world championship for a third time in 1984, before retiring a year later after a season well off the pace.
200th start for Castroneves, heated tempers expected
Helio Castroneves’ career has seen many milestones, and he will be adding to the list when he appears in the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 tomorrow at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The race will represent the 200th career start in IndyCar with the red and black team colors of Team Penske for the native of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“It’s usual for you to find the best teams, but it’s unusual for you to stay with one team for a long time, because of rotation or you are trying to find something better or a team ends up doing something different,” said Castroneves, who has appeared in more IndyCar races for Team Penske than any other driver. “It’s an honor to be here so many years and so many races, and I’m hoping for 200 more.”
Good show could mean return trip to NHMS for IndyCars Tomorrow’s MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 race will mark the return of the Izod IndyCar Series to New Hampshire Motor Speedway after a 13-year hiatus. The drivers are well aware of the importance of putting on a good show to draw more fans and ensure the mile-oval at NHMS becomes a permanent fixture on the IndyCar Series schedule.
“This is a great market and we need to be here,’’ said Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the No. 28 Honda-powered Dallara fielded by Andretti Autosport. “Hopefully we’ll have good attendance on Sunday that makes it worthwhile coming back.
“I think we’d all like that. I think the short ovals are good for racing.’’
Pedro Martinez is the new front tire changer for the #42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy and driver Juan Pablo Montoya in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Martinez, 22, replaces Trevor Lysne, who was arrested Tuesday and charged with trafficking marijuana in Huntersville, N.C. Lysne is no longer employed by EGR. "It is something that the team had to deal with it and NASCAR had to deal with it," Montoya said. "We left it at that. Personally, we made some changes in our crew. And that's it. We get on with our business to try to win here and that's it." Martinez, a San Antonio native, previously worked with the development team at EGR. Fox Sports
Faces of Vietnam Veterans on Army NASCAR, NHRA Cars The U.S. Army, in conjunction with Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Don Schumacher Racing in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, will run special paint schemes honoring the men and women who served in the Vietnam War on the Soldiers' race cars during Veterans Day weekend.
In honor of these Veterans' service and sacrifice, who served during the conflict that started 50 years ago, selected photos will be featured on the hood, trunk, side panels and bumpers when Ryan Newman gets behind the wheel of the #39 U.S. Army Chevy at the Nov. 13 Kobalt Tools 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher's U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster will don the custom paint scheme when he straps in at Pomona, Calif., for the Nov. 13 Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.
Beginning today, Vietnam Army Veterans, along with their families, friends and loved ones, can go online and submit photos of the men and women who have embraced the call of duty and helped build and protect our country at www.goarmy.com/yourphotohere. All Vietnam Veterans shown in uniform are eligible for inclusion among the photos in the special paint scheme. Images will be collected through Sept. 16. Army Racing PR
No plans to change Chase schedule Don't expect the Chase schedule to change anytime soon. When asked Friday at Watkins Glen about the possibility of a road course being included in the Chase, NASCAR president Mike Helton said that while he wouldn't completely rule out the idea, it's not on NASCAR's radar. "There's nothing on the table today," Helton said. "We wouldn't stack races up in the Chase for the benefit of the Chase. The Chase is the last 10 races of the season. But as the evolution of changes go on, who knows what could end up as the last 10 races."
Helton explained that when NASCAR came up with the Chase format, it had no intention of establishing a new 10-race schedule. Rather, NASCAR simply took the schedule as it was and made the last 10 races the Chase schedule. He added that he doesn't anticipate that changing. Yahoo Sports
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