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First video of new Champ Car at Speed First video of new Champ Car at SpeedUPDATE #2 Even more videos have been added to the link below.

08/22/06 See more photos and videos here taken today at Sebring by Scott Morris and Norbert Brochu.

08/22/06 The following links will open a Windows Media video file for your viewing.  The video was taken today of the new Champ Car DP01 at Sebring by Norbert Brochu/AutoRacing1.com
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Gelles Racing to field 3 cars in Montreal Gelles Racing to field 3 cars in MontrealIndianapolis – Gelles Racing  will be back to Montreal this weekend with its Champ Car Atlantic team for the eleventh round on the 2006 schedule as part of the Grand Prix de Montréal on beautiful Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.  Robbie Pecorari will be back with the Western Union #28 car on a racetrack where he clinched a podium last year in the Star Mazda series while Colin Fleming will finally get to drive the #14 eSoles/King Taco machine on the 2.709 mile, 14-turn facility he has heard about for many years. Finally, they will team up with 18-year old Red Bull finalist Casey Neal (#31) who will enter his maiden race in this series.

“We’re looking to Montreal to be a very exciting round, noted team owner Bob Gelles. Robbie and Colin have been working hard in the last three rounds and it is only a matter of time before they turn this hard work into podiums. I’m happy to see our drivers have been consistent all year, a significant accomplishment for an entirely new team. Robbie won the Toronto round and he and Colin have realized Top-10 performances race after race. But they want more and our crew will not quit until they achieve their goal. Casey will surely benefit from their experience but he is aware this will be a steep learning curve in this very competitive series. Casey is talented and I trust he can reach the top half of the field.”

Foyt sells off NASCAR team Foyt sells off NASCAR teamUPDATE A link directly to the Foyt Racing auction website.

08/06/06 Larry Foyt, who ran 66 NASCAR Busch Series races during the 2001/2002 seasons and 23 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races in 2003/2004, has not been seen since except for the past three Indianapolis 500 mile IndyCar races. It seems father, A.J. Foyt has recently decided it is time for Larry to step up and take a lead in the family business whether it's what he wants or not. “(A.J.) knew I didn’t want to quit driving, so that’s hard,” Larry said. “But, realistically, am I going to get a good ride? Probably not. At first it was tough for me to swallow, because I didn’t want to quit driving. But in the long run it will be a good opportunity. I’m just learning right now, hanging out. I certainly don’t want to be the boss’ son coming in here trying to run things. I’m just watching how A.J. wants things done, watch our people and other teams. We just have to start taking our operation to the next level." Complete public auction liquidation for A.J. Foyt Racing, Mooresville, N.C. will be August 23 - August 27, 2006. Pictures and information can be found by visiting sentmanauctions.com. Insider Racing
Edwards fined, placed on probation Edwards fined, placed on probationNASCAR announced today that Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 60 Ford in the NASCAR Busch Series, has been fined and placed on probation due to a rule violation at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19.

Edwards was fined $20,000 for violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing: hitting another competitor’s car after the completion of the race) of the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book

He was also placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2006.

Roush Racing Response

Roush Racing announced today that Carl Edwards recognizes and accepts NASCAR's penalty and will not appeal. 

“I put everything I can into winning races,” stated Edwards.  “I was wrecked and I reacted.  It was wrong on my part.  NASCAR penalized me and I respect that.  Most importantly I apologize if I upset any of my fans or sponsors.”

New Champ Car DP01 turns first full-speed laps New Champ Car DP01 turns first full-speed lapsSEBRING, Fla. – The future of open-wheel racing turned its first full-tilt testing laps today as the new DP01 Champ Car ran more than 100 trouble-free miles at Sebring International Raceway on a scorching Tuesday in Central Florida.

The new Panoz-built DP01, which will be the exclusive chassis to compete in the 2007 Champ Car World Series, completed its first full day of testing on the 1.67-mile Sebring course in the capable hands of former Champ Car and Formula 1 driver Roberto Moreno.

“I am extremely impressed with how quickly we got the testing program running and running well,” Moreno said. “All of the new systems showed great promise and should provide the teams and drivers with a car that they can really work with. The paddle shifters worked well and will really allow you to drive the car in the corners deeper since you don’t have to take your hands off the wheel. The brakes worked well, the cooling systems did a great job and I am excited about running even more testing tomorrow.”

The test program saw the car go through a number of short runs as the engineers were careful not to overheat the car on a 92-degree day in Sebring. The DP01 performed flawlessly, as did Moreno, who never put a wheel wrong through the seven-hour day.

“Everything is going according to plan,” said Champ Car Director of Technology Scot Elkins. “We are very happy with the results and we feel confident in our ability to complete our test plan. We are looking forward to increasing the length and the intensity of the testing as we go along.”

The testing program will continue through the remainder of the week in Sebring while the rest of the series heads to Montreal for round 11 of the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. This weekend’s Champ Car Grand Prix de Montreal will take place this weekend August 25-27, with Sunday’s race being shown live on NBC Sports beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Racing News
Weld files for bankruptcy, seeks sale Weld files for bankruptcy, seeks sale[Editor's Note: Greg Weld was once a great champion in USAC sprint cars and a Indy car driver.]

As a result of the bankruptcy, Weld Wheel Industries Inc., which employs about 380 people, plans to sell its assets to American Racing Equipment Inc., a company based in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., that is in a similar line of work.
"Debtors believe that the sale of assets ... is in the best interest of debtors' estates, the creditors, their employees and the community," Weld Industries said in a court document filed Thursday. "The (asset purchase agreement) provides going concern value for debtors' assets and the opportunity for continued employment for most or all employees as well as the preservation of the business in Kansas City, Missouri, and at some or all of the distribution centers."

In court documents, the company listed total assets and total liabilities as each being $31.7 million as of June 30. Taylor Weld, listed as the company's president, signed the bankruptcy form, which was filed in the Bankruptcy Court of Western Missouri. The company hired lawyers from Bryan Cave LLP to represent it in bankruptcy proceedings.

Weld Wheels, a family-owned business established in 1985, received $3 million in city incentives in 2003 and spent $15 million to buy and renovate a 290,000-square-foot facility on 17 acres in the Blue Valley.

The city provided the incentives, city leaders said, to prevent Weld Wheel from moving to Kansas City, Kan. The company left its former multistory location in the West Bottoms for a new single-level building at 6600 Stadium Drive, the former Rival Manufacturing Co. plant, to improve efficiency, company leaders said at the time.

The company is seeking court approval of sale procedures that would allow for the submission of competing bids, an auction and final sale hearing within six weeks, court records said.  More at Kansas City Business Journal

Bessette to take part in the Grand Prix de Montréal Bessette to take part in the Grand Prix de MontréalMontreal, Canada - 2005 Montreal Atlantic race winner Antoine Bessette will be returning to his hometown track this weekend. The French Canadian will drive the Brooks Associates Racing #8 Samsara Concept car and will team up with Brazilian Alex Sperafico. AB won two Canadian rounds last year in Toronto and Montreal, went on to finish 3rd in the standings, tied with teammate Katherine Legge and was selected for the Gilles-Villeneuve award at the end of the season. 

“Montreal remains the most important victory in my career, admits the 24-year old, especially in front of my home crowd. When an Atlantic seat became available at Brooks, we took the necessary measures with John to reserve it for Montreal. I want to take the opportunity to thank Samsara Concept, a Montreal clothing company, for making all this possible. I know competition is very high in this series for having entered an event earlier in Portland but I will do my very best to take up the challenge on my favorite track.”

“We’re very happy to have Antoine on board, adds John Brooks. He’s a quality driver I respect very much and highly capable of taking our car to the front. He will be engineered by Willie Hoplinger. Antoine and I have been in the same paddocks for years and I’m glad our paths finally cross.”

Winner of two rounds last year in Montreal and Toronto, Bessette was the Gilles-Villeneuve award winner and Best Canadian Race Driver from the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. Bessette will steer the #8 Samsara Concept machine this weekend. AB takes the opportunity to thank the fans who took some time to visit his web site at www.bessetteracing.com.

Two to debut at Infineon Two to debut at InfineonMicky Gilbert and Ryan Justice will make their Indy Pro Series debuts this weekend in the two races at Infineon Raceway.  Gilbert will drive the No. 4 Guthrie Racing Gilbert Engineering entry, while Justice will be behind the wheel of the No. 38 Northwest Autosport Sam Schmidt Motorsports car.  Gilbert competed in the Star Mazda Championship in each of the past two seasons, while Justice ranks fourth in that series this season. Justice has three podium finishes this season, including a victory at Mid-Ohio earlier this season. IRL
Bully Hill Vineyards to sponsor MMM's #4 team at Bristol Bully Hill Vineyards to sponsor MMM's #4 team at BristolBully Hill Vineyards will adorn the hood of Morgan-McClure Motorsports # 4 Chevy Monte Carlo for Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Morgan McClure Motorsports President and Team Manager Larry McClure announced today, "I am proud to announce that Bully Hill Vineyards has been signed as primary sponsor of the # 4 Morgan McClure Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the upcoming Bristol Sharpie 500 Race. We met with Ms. Taylor and some of her family recently while in Watkins Glen and immediately knew we could do business together. The family history behind the success of her vineyard parallels in many ways with the history of our race team. We share a love for racing that brought us to this one-race sponsorship." McClure continues, "I believe Scott Wimmer will do a good job for all of us in the Bully Hill Vineyard/Food City/Forward Air Chevrolet. He finished 19th at Bristol in the spring and we feel certain he is capable of improving on that in this race. Hopefully, with a good performance we will find the opportunity to do business together again in the future. We appreciate her knowledge of our sport and her commitment to our team." Bully Hill Vineyards has been actively involved in motorsports since 1996, and the companies wines are currently distributed in 32 states.Morgan McClure Motorsports
Skip Barber Signs 15-Year Lease with Sebring Skip Barber Signs 15-Year Lease with SebringLAKEVILLE, Conn. - Skip Barber Racing School LLC announced today the signing of a new, long-term lease agreement with Sebring International Raceway that will extend the company’s presence at the venerable racetrack. The agreement runs through April, 2016, with an option for an additional five years. The company currently operates its popular Driving School, Racing School and Race Series at Sebring seven months out of each calendar year. ‘‘Sebring has been the Southern home of Skip Barber since 1985, and our new agreement with the Raceway is the longest we have ever negotiated,’’ said George Ayres, president and chief operating officer of Skip Barber Racing School LLC.

‘‘We are Sebring’s largest tenant in terms of track days booked and programs conducted, and are extremely pleased to be continuing this great relationship.’’ ‘‘Skip Barber and Sebring are two names synonymous with motor racing worldwide,’’ stated Sebring President and General Manager Tres Stephenson. ‘‘This new agreement benefits both organizations and solidifies a successful relationship that goes back more than 20 years.’’ As part of the agreement Sebring will complete important facility improvements for Skip Barber customers and staff, including new classrooms and the renovation of approximately 20,000 feet of garage and shop space. zzzz

Skip Barber will also continue its tradition of conducting an open-wheel support race for the renowned Mobil 1 12-Hours of Sebring, which kicks off the 2007 American Le Mans Series season Saturday, March 17. The lease agreement sanctions a 10-year extension for the Skip Barber Race Series support race, which has run at Sebring since 1992. ‘‘To perform in front of the Sebring crowd during the 12-Hour weekend is pure excitement for our drivers,’’ said Ayres. ‘‘We are thrilled to continue our association with this prestigious event.’’

Headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut, Skip Barber Racing School LLC is the leader in motorsports education and entertainment, employing more than 200 team members in five base locations at Lime Rock Park, Conn.; Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.; Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.; and Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway in Florida. The racing and driving schools are offered at more than 20 tracks nationwide. A fleet of 150 racecars, 100 production vehicles and 12 transporters supports the retail schools, Corporate Events and OEM Events business units. For more information, visit www.skipbarber.com or call 800-221-1131.

Sebring International Raceway is America’s premier sports car racing facility. Nestled among the orange groves and cattle ranches of central Florida, it is the oldest permanent road racing.

Renault must await verdict Renault must await verdictRenault will have to wait until Wednesday to find out if their mass dampers are illegal or not.

The team was banned from using the dampers ahead of the German Grand Prix, however, the race's stewards later ruled that the device, which controls tire wear, was legal.

The FIA, though, appealed that ruling and therefore went to court on Tuesday to resolve the matter.

Although Renault were not directly involved in the court hearing, the team did attended as the ruling could largely determine whether or not they retain both titles.

The team, though, will have to wait until Wednesday for the verdict.

First on-track photos of new Champ Car First on-track photos of new Champ CarUPDATE Moreno is down to 55 sec. flat but is still running only 3 laps at a time. Track is very hot today with temperatures in high 90s.

08/22/06 AutoRacing1.com is live on-site in Sebring today to capture the first on-track test of the new DP01 Champ Car.  We will have close-ups later today as well as video of today's test session.  Early shakedown laps by Roberto Moreno were in the 57 second bracket, but he was not pushing hard. 

Photos by Scott Morris/AutoRacing1.com

Montreal to come alive with Ford Festival Montreal to come alive with Ford FestivalWhile the Champ Car racing action is on Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve this weekend, the party is on Crescent Street, where the Ford Racing Festival offers up three days of fun and entertainment, featuring unique car displays, top-notch musical acts on the Ford Fusion stage and a host of promotional activities. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., August 24-26.

"It's the chance for racing fans and literally anyone who enjoys having a good time to get a close-up look at some of the coolest cars they otherwise might never see, and just soak up the whole festival atmosphere, from morning to night," said Festival promoter Brian Fogt. "And, to top it off, it's all free."

This is the fifth edition of the popular event that attracted 240,000 visitors last year. Ford of Canada, a returning sponsor, is, for the first time, also presenting the musical acts on the Ford Fusion stage this year, performances that include tributes to Peter Gabriel and U2. Other activities occurring on the Ford Fusion stage will be autograph sessions with the Champ Car drivers. The first session will take place at 5:45 on Thursday evening, following the festival's Opening Ceremonies. A virtual who's who of Champ Car drivers will be on hand - Quebecers Alex Tagliani and Andrew Ranger, along with Sebastian Bourdais, Bruno Junqueira, Oriol Servia, Katherine Legge and Will Power. Champ Car drivers will return for two more sessions on Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m.

"Ford of Canada is proud to showcase its involvement in motorsports, including our Powered By Ford sponsorship of the Champ Car World Series," remarked Reg Modjeski, sponsorships manager at Ford of Canada. "We wanted to emphasize this involvement in an interactive manner, and Champ Car weekend in Montreal seemed like the ideal time for race fans of all ages to celebrate this with us on Crescent Street." zzzz

Highlighting the eclectic collection of vehicles are four of Ford's flagship model, the Ford GT, which is hailed as the world's most powerful production sportscar. The Ford GT, the official pace car at the 5th Annual Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal, can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 330 km/h.

Strolling through the Ford Racing Zone, festival-goers can feast their eyes on the most diverse display of racing-related cars gathered along a city block. There's the NASCAR Fusion Showcar, a working replica of what you would see racing in this series, and the NASCAR Fusion Cut-Away Car, originally created for the FOX TV network to help convey information to viewers during a race broadcast.

The Toronto Raptors Ford Fusion will fascinate visitors, and is truly a one of a kind customized basketball-themed vehicle. This unique Ford Fusion was developed in collaboration between Ford of Canada and the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association, and actually has a miniature hardwood basketball court and drop-down scoreboard with working audio-video set up in the trunk of the car.

Adding to the diversity are the Boy Racer Multimatic Car currently driven in the Grand-Am Series, HVM Racing's 800-horsepower Champ Car that reaches speeds up to 399 km/h on a superspeedway, and a Grabber Orange, 450-horsepower modified Mustang Saleen.

Other displays along Crescent Street include vehicles in all sizes and shapes, from a Godzilla Monster Truck Ford F150 to the latest go-kart models. Sirius Satellite Radio is represented by the Sirius Ford Explorer, which will be on display, and includes four listening stations and a plasma screen. The live talent on the Ford Fusion stage during the three days matches the glittering array of vehicles lining Crescent Street. Nino "The One Man Show" opens the Festival at 12:30 Thursday afternoon, followed by DJ LouLou and guest. After opening ceremonies and Champ Car drivers' autograph-signing session during the supper hour, stage activities resume with Big Time performing its Peter Gabriel tribute at 7 p.m. and the alternative and rock band Young Soul appearing at 9.

Nino and DJ LouLou return at the same times on Friday afternoon. The evening concerts feature Electric Waves and its tribute to the 1980's, and Pop Zone, one of Canada's top show bands, giving its rendition of the Top 40 from the '70's to the present. Jello Shots, a band composed of five young Montrealers with an eclectic repertoire, are on stage at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, followed by DJ LouLou. Blues and rock are in order Saturday evening, with Bad Boys Boogie, and the final concert features Joshua's U2 tribute. Throughout the weekend, visitors will have an opportunity to obtain promotional giveaways courtesy of Ford of Canada and other sponsors, have their photograph taken beside the car of their choice and try their luck at winning prizes, including an all- inclusive trip for 2 to the Champ Car Australian Grand Prix in Surfers Paradise, Australia on October 22, at the interactive Ford Racing Zone kiosks.

"This is the last of the four Festivals we've had on Crescent Street this summer, and it's another opportunity to show the local public and the many visitors to our city the wonderful diversity of restaurants, bars and retail stores that give this district such vibrancy, said Bernard Ragueneau, president of the Crescent Street Merchants Association. "We are extremely proud and delighted to welcome everyone as we celebrate another major event and the splendor of summer in Montreal."

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in briefUPDATE
Montagny to drive third Aguri in Turkey
Monteiro questions MF1's 'Friday' policy

Holiday didn't stir Schu decision - manager
'Damper' saga takes center stage on Tuesday
Team chiefs back Schu to win title
Audi, again, rule out F1 switch
Carpentier to drive Grand-Am race Carpentier to drive Grand-Am race[Editor's Note: Carpentier is now a France family driver and as such he is paying his dues in the lesser series with the hope of being given a chance in Busch or Cup.  So instead of racing in front of his home fans next weekend in Montreal for the Champ Car race, he will be at Sonoma racing in front of a few hundred fans.]

Patrick Carpentier will join CITGO Racing by SAMAX for the Aug. 26 Rolex Sports Car Series race at Infineon (Sears Point) Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. He will drive the No. 11 Pontiac-powered Riley Mk XI with Milka Duno of Caracas, Venezuela, replacing Olivier Beretta of Monaco, who was called away for a Michelin Formula One tire test.

Carpentier, who resides in Las Vegas and Joliette, Qué., is best known for his success in open-wheel racing. He set a record pace en route to the 1996 Player's / Toyota Atlantic Championship title, was the 1997 Championship Auto Racing Teams rookie of the year and finished third in the 2004 Champ Car World Series. He competed in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series in 2005 and finished fourth in the series race at Infineon Raceway.

He made his first Rolex 24 At Daytona sports-car start in January and has competed in three A1 Grand Prix races this season. After a brief sabbatical at his Québec ranch, he's anxious to get back on track.

"I am extremely delighted to start racing again. It was good to take a few months off and spend some time with my kids on the ranch, but now it is time to go back to racing," he said. "This is a track I enjoyed last year with the IRL and I'm looking forward to going back to it. I want to thank SAMAX and CITGO for giving me this opportunity."  zzzz

Carpentier will work with CITGO/SAMAX race engineer Steve Challis of Indianapolis, Ind., for the Sonoma race. The two were on the same team in 1998, but will be assigned to the same car for the first time this week.

"I'm looking forward to finally working with Pat. He has always had great results on natural road courses like Mid- Ohio and Laguna," Challis said, referring to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, and Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif.  "In this series, most of our races are on natural road courses, which he excelled in. I'm excited about our chances."

The Rolex Sports Car Series race is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 26 on the 2.52-mile Infineon Raceway road course in Sonoma, Calif.

Two pole positions and then.......close for Daly Two pole positions and then.......close for DalyAt New Castle Motorsport Park on Sunday August 20th, CytomaxMRPbirelAmerica driver, Conor Daly, could not turn the sheer speed of two pole positions into victories in the Yamaha Junior Super-can races. After leading race one, Conor was punted off the road and fell back to 10th place before recovering to finish in 3rd place. In race two, he led for more than half of the race but finished eventually finished in 2nd place.

14 year old Conor Daly, son of former Formula One/Indy Car driver turned TV commentator, Derek Daly, drives an Italian built Birel chassis for MRPbirel America prepared by Motorama Kart Parts based in Moorsville, Indiana (mkpshop.com). Conor races exclusively on Bridgestone tires and is sponsored by Cytomax Sport Energy Drink. Conor Daly PR

Industry News
Camaro: Made in Canada Camaro: Made in CanadaGeneral Motors of Canada announced Monday that the GM Oshawa Car Assembly Plant will make the 2009 Camaro. GM will spend $660 million to convert the plant to a flexible manufacturing facility capable of producing the new car.

The return of the Camaro, cancelled in 2002, is highly anticipated by auto enthusiasts. Production at Oshawa is to begin in 2008 with the vehicle coming to market in early 2009

Oshawa's selection comes as no surprise, said Michael Robinet, vice president of global forecast services for CSM Worldwide, an automotive consulting firm in Northville.

Oshawa routinely ranks as one of the most efficient auto plants in North America in the annual Harbor Report. It currently makes the Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, the Buick Lacrosse and the Pontiac Grand Prix. The Camaro will be built off a new rear-wheel-drive platform.

"Oshawa has had a good track record in the past for launching key platforms for General Motors," Robinet said.

He said the Camaro could be the beginning of a string of good news for Oshawa, as other new vehicles will surely follow. "You can't look at this just as the Camaro," Robinet said. "You just don't put one vehicle into this plant. They're going to be putting a host of vehicles into this facility and the Camaro is just the first one off this platform."

Raikkonen describes a lap of the Istanbul circuit Raikkonen describes a lap of the Istanbul circuit"A lap of the Istanbul Speed Park begins on the long start-finish straight, before braking hard for Turn 1 which is a 90º sharp left hander. The track then drops steeply downhill on a short run before flicking you right through turn two, which sees you reaching speeds of 310km/h before reaching a slow left-right-left."

"Through turns 3 to 5 the speed goes down to 100km/h and second gear as the middle right hander is very tight, slow and it drops very steeply on its apex. Accelerating out, there is a short straight where we reach speeds of 250km/h in fifth gear and this leads to a wide right hand hairpin, Turn 7."

"After this corner there is another short straight before entering, the most difficult corner of this track, already popular with most of the drivers, which is the triple apex left hander of Turn 8. This is extremely fast with speeds reaching over 300km/h by the exit and will see us under load for a long time."

"This swings you round onto another straight and sees you accelerate up to 320km/h in sixth gear before coming up to a slow left right chicane at turns nine and ten where you drop down to 95km/h and second gear, which takes you onto the back section of the circuit. This comprises of two long straights punctuated in the middle by a sweeping right bend which will easily be taken flat at speeds of 314km/h."

"We reach the highest speeds on the circuit along here and it is the best overtaking area of the whole circuit. You will need to brake very hard at the end of this long straight cutting your speed to 93km/h in second gear for the tight left-right-left complex at the end of the track that will bring you back onto the start-finish straight."  McLaren

Montagny returns in Turkey Montagny returns in TurkeyAt the German Grand Prix Franck Montagny was replaced by Sakon Yamamoto. Unfortunately for Montagny the Super Aguri team launched their new chassis at the race but a third car was unavailable. In Turkey though Montagny will make his return. Super Aguri has confirmed that for the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend there will be a third car available for Franck.
Reiser Wins Crew Chief of the Race Award Reiser Wins Crew Chief of the Race AwardBROOKLYN, Michigan – The Robbie Reiser led No. 17 team cruised to their third win of the season at Michigan International Speedway.  Matt Kenseth’s DeWalt Ford paced the field for a race high 87 laps in the GFS Marketplace 400 before taking the checkered flag over Jeff Gordon.  For leading his team to victory, Reiser won the WYPALL® Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award.

A panel of voters, including Tony Eury Sr., a member of the local media and a WYPALL® Wipers representative, all voted for Reiser as the Crew Chief of the Race.  “Robbie (Reiser) called a great race today,” said Eury Sr.  “A lot of teams tried out-of-sequence pit strategies, short pitting or taking just two tires to get track position.  Robbie stuck to his game plan.  He kept his car up front and took four tires each time he brought his car in.  It was a solid day all around.”

“My guys did a great job all day,” said Reiser after the race.  “This award is as much for them as it is for me.  The crew did a great job in the pits and Matt drove a great race.  My hat’s off to the whole team.” 

For winning the Crew Chief of the Race award, WYPALL® Wipers presented Reiser $1,000.  At the end of the season, the Nextel Cup crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000 and be crowned the WYPALL® Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.  This was Reiser’s third Crew Chief of the Race award in 2006, which ties him for second-place place in the standings with Tony Eury Jr.  Mike Ford, Chad Kanus and Todd Berrier are tied for third-place, all with two wins.  Darian Grubb, Todd Berrier, Doug Richert, Philippe Lopez, Frankie Stoddard, Scott Miller, Alan Gustafson and Roy McCauley are tied for fourth-place, all with one win. Kenny Francis is in the lead with four wins.

Andretti Foundation auctions VIP trip Andretti Foundation auctions VIP tripNAZARETH, PA - The Michael Andretti Foundation will be auctioning off a VIP package on eBay beginning August 23rd until August 30th. As a special guest of Michael Andretti, MAF and Andretti Green Racing, the winner and a guest will be invited to attend a weekend at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV to enjoy the team's post season celebration weekend.

Join Michael Andretti, Andretti Green Racing and the AGR sponsors for a post-season weekend celebration at the Palms Casino Resort Hotel in Las Vegas.  Spend a weekend enjoying Las Vegas and all of the amenities and fun of the Palms Casino Resort.

As a VIP guest of the Michael Andretti Foundation, you and a friend will attend a weekend of fun events and activities. You'll receive two nights lodging at the Palms Casino Resort and will get VIP access to all of the team celebration events and activities. The weekend begins on Friday, September 15th, where you will be entered in a Poker Tournament with the AGR drivers and sponsor guests.  On Saturday afternoon, enjoy sun and fun at the Palms Pool and bungalows.  On Saturday evening, you'll attend private "invitation only" AGR parties at the Ghost Bar, Palms pools and Rain Nightclub.  Get an insider's look at a post season weekend with AGR, a time for the team and sponsors to gather to mark the end of the 2006 IRL IndyCar season. zzzz

"There are a lot of neat celebration activities planned and the winner will definitely enjoy a fun weekend in Las Vegas." said Andretti.  All proceeds from the package will benefit the Father Tom Fratus Foundation and the Franciscan Outreach Association in Chicago, IL.

The VIP Package will be auctioned on eBay until Wednesday, August 30th. The package is available by visiting www.ebay.com or at: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290021975683. Winner and guest will need to be over 21 years of age to participate.

The Michael Andretti Foundation is a 501(c)(3) foundation that was established to help people who have shown need and to help promote programs for better health, education and welfare of America's children and citizens.  For more information about The Michael Andretti Foundation, visit www.andretti.com.

About Franciscan Outreach Association The Father Tom Fratus Foundation and the Franciscan Outreach Association reaches out to the homeless by providing food, shelter and practical help to guide them to a better life. Further information on this foundation is available at www.franoutreach.org or (773) 278-6724.

Featherlite to honor champions at Rolex banquet Featherlite to honor champions at Rolex banquetDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –  Representatives of Featherlite Luxury Coaches announced today that the company will honor the 2006 team champions of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve with the free use of a motorcoach for next season’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. The awards will be presented at the season-ending Rolex Champions Banquet at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, September 4th.

The luxury coaches, awarded to team owners of the Daytona Prototype and GT team champions, will be delivered to Daytona International Speedway once the teams acquire the space for the event weekend from the track. A representative from the company will be onsite to set up the coach and go over the operating instructions with the team owner.  The 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend is set for January 25-28.

“Featherlite has been a great partner of Grand American for many years,” said Grand American President Roger Edmondson. “We think the Champions Motorcoach is a great way to honor our series champions in 2007, and we thank Featherlite for their contribution.”

“Featherlite Luxury Coaches is pleased and excited to be a part of the premier series for sports car racing,” said Featherlite Luxury Coaches President and COO Jim Wooley.  “We look forward to a long term relationship in this series and welcome our champions to live and experience the ultimate in motorcoach luxury.”

Patrizi to drive final 2 races for Team Australia Patrizi to drive final 2 races for Team AustraliaAustralian Michael Patrizi will join Team Australia for the final two rounds of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship beginning this weekend in Montreal, Canada.

Patrizi, 22, will join Atlantic Championship leader Simon Pagenaud in the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Atlantic squad at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for this weekend’s 11th round of the championship in Montreal and the final round at the classic Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Patrizi will pilot the #5 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Swift previously driven by James Davison.

Contractual negotiations between Team Australia and the Davisons collapsed some time ago. The board of Team Australia tried to resolve the situation, but unfortunately were unable to come to a solution acceptable to both parties.

This is a legally sensitive issue and Team Australia will make no further comment regarding contractual arrangements, except to say that it is very disappointing to come so far and invest a lot of time and energy to have it fail at this very late stage.

Everyone at Team Australia is very disappointed that the team has had the further expense of switching to a new driver late in the season. zzzz

Patrizi already has a history and relationship with Team Australia. He drove one of the team’s Formula BMW’s in a one-off appearance at the Grand Prix of Denver in August 2005, qualifying fourth and finishing fifth. Patrizi also assisted Team Australia at last year’s Lexmark Indy 300, operating the pit board for Team Australia star Will Power on his Champ Car debut in the Aussie Vineyards car.

This season the West Australian has been based in the United Kingdom racing on a fully-funded BMW Motorsport program in the Formula BMW UK Championship. Patrizi was awarded the deal as a result of his impressive 2005 season in the Formula BMW Asia Championship, where he won the Rookie Cup and finished second in the overall championship. Patrizi currently lies eighth in the competitive Formula BMW UK Championship, where he drives for Motaworld Racing.


Michael Patrizi – #5 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Swift

“It’s really exciting to be joining Team Australia for Montreal and Road America,” said Patrizi.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I appreciate Craig and Derrick offering me the chance to drive the Aussie Vineyards Atlantic car at two of the best circuits on the schedule.

“I have been lucky enough to drive a Team Australia car once before in Denver last year and it was an amazing experience. It’s a very motivating feeling to get into one of those green and gold cars and I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity by Team Australia.

“Thankfully the final two rounds of the Atlantic Championship do not clash with the final two rounds of the Formula BMW UK Championship. It’s quite a difficult time to be flying across the Atlantic Ocean, but it is definitely worth it.

“I’ve been following Team Australia’s progress this year and Simon has been doing a superb job. It will be great to drive alongside him as he drives for the championship.

“The whole Atlantic championship has risen to a new level this year so I am itching to get over there and have a steer of the new car. I understand that it will be a huge challenge for me this weekend in Montreal, but I am fully aware of what I have to do.”

Craig Gore – Team Australia Co-Owner

“I’m very pleased to have Michael in one of our Atlantic cars for the final two rounds of the year,” said Gore.

“It’s exciting to be joined by a very talented young Australian driver for this final part of the season as Simon continues to push for Team Australia’s first championship.

“It’s disappointing that things with James didn’t work out the way we would have liked, but it’s fantastic that Team Australia will still field two green and gold Aussie Vineyards Atlantic cars in the final two rounds of the season.

“Michael is a very talented and genuine young man and I can’t think of anyone more appropriate to jump into the #5 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards car. Derrick and I have already worked with Michael and it’s great that he is back in the Team Australia colors for the final part of the season.”

Derrick Walker – Team Australia Co-Owner

“We have been dealing with an unresolved contract issue for some time with James Davison and his sponsors,” said Walker.

“Unfortunately time has run out and we were unable to resolve this issue so, therefore, we will replace James Davison with Michael Patrizi.

“We were very fortunate to have Michael available to us. We have worked together in the past and look forward to working with Michael again at Montreal and Elkhart Lake.”

Biffle and Busch appear out of Chase Biffle and Busch appear out of ChaseGreg Biffle and Kurt Busch appear out of this year's Chase For The Nextel Cup unless someone else falters badly.

Biffle is now 189 out of the Chase field.  Busch, meanwhile, is 279 points behind 10th place. With three races to go, those are large deficits to overcome.

"This kind of seals our fate out of the Chase right here," Biffle said. "We needed a win here today or finish in the top three, plus we needed somebody that was close to us have trouble. Granted, [Jeff Burton] and [Kyle Busch] had trouble, but they're so far up in the points, really, that it doesn't do us any good. We'd have to have another four races like that." 

"This year has been a long run trying to get in the Chase," Busch said. "We've been in it the past two years, but we're not disappointed in how we've run lately." 

Jeremy Mayfield Opens Up on NASCAR RaceDay Jeremy Mayfield Opens Up on NASCAR RaceDayJeremy Mayfield, who was terminated as driver of the No. 19 Evernham Motorsports Dodge early last week, spoke to Wendy Venturini in this past week’s ‘Real Deal’ segment of NASCAR RaceDay on SPEED.

Mayfield was candid about his relationship with his former boss and friend Ray Evernham, owner of Evernham Motorsports, and talked about what went wrong. Here is what he had to say to NASCAR RaceDay on SPEED:

Venturini: Jeremy, four and a half years with Evernham Motorsports and everything seemed to be clicking between you and Ray. How did it go so wrong so quickly?

Mayfield:  I really don’t know. I wish I could tell you that. Things had really gone good the last couple of years for us, but it seemed like at the end of last year – things were evolving I guess you could say. It just didn’t seem like the relationship he and I had, for sure, just wasn’t as close as it had been in the past. All of these things just kept getting further and further apart. zzzz

Venturini: Did you think the announcement was going to come sooner? Or did you even imagine that termination was in the cards?

Mayfield:  Well, I didn’t imagine it, especially for this year. We both agreed on finishing this year out. But then when I heard Elliott Sadler was out of his car and could be released, that’s when things really started picking up. All he (Evernham) had to do was come to me and say, ‘look, we’ve explored options and you’ve explored yours, we have something different going on for 2007. I did and he did too. All he could have said was, ‘let’s just don’t finish the year out, and let’s come to some type of agreement and we’ll be fine – and that’s what we had to do – or could have done, and been a lot better off.

Venturini: You had to consecutive years in The Chase, though. They pretty much switched your teams (with the No. 9 Dodge of Kasey Kahne) and wasn’t that the main difference in your performance ultimately?

Mayfield: It was pretty much just a communication deal between me and Chris Andrews, our team director. We just never clicked. We never had it going on.

Venturini: Where does that relationship with Ray stand right now? Where does your friendship stand?

Mayfield: Well I’ve been waiting on my friend to call me, and I’m still waiting. And he never calls. I felt he owed me a phone call anyway, to at least let me know what I did wrong. If your going to fire somebody, or get rid of somebody or terminate their contract – that’s pretty big. So, I would actually like to know what went wrong.

Venturini: Was it hurtful?

Mayfield: A little bit, just because I thought we were a little bit tighter. When a guy comes to me and says, ‘oh, let’s finish the year out and be friends at the end of it, and then gives you a big long story – that’s what you expect. Where I come from, when you say that to somebody, it means something. That’s one of the things I’ve always done. If I’m going to sit there and talk to you, it comes straight from the heart and straight up. Not tell you a bunch of stuff that’s not right.

Venturini: You’re waiting on a phone call from Ray Evernham, do you think that phone call is going to reconcile a friendship?

Mayfield: I don’t know. I think it would – or it could have – if I had already gotten the call. We’re fine. We’re going to get over it. I’m going to move forward. He’s going to move forward. If you put all of that behind you, I’m sure friendships can be fixed and that the phone call will certainly help. I just want to hear it from him. I think that would be the little ending to the story here.

Andretti slams Mansell Andretti slams MansellMario Andretti has described Nigel Mansell as the worst teammate he ever had.

Andretti, the 1978 world champion, was briefly partnered with Mansell when the Briton broke into Formula 1 with Lotus in 1980.

The pair were reunited in 1993 after Mansell sensationally quit F1 as the reigning world champion and switched to the US-based Champ Car series.

Mansell arrived in a blaze of publicity and the veteran Andretti – then in the twilight of his illustrious career – was effectively marginalized in the Newman/Haas team which he had been a key part of for over a decade.

Mansell won the Champ Car title first time out, but the love affair turned sour the following year when his car was uncompetitive. That led to increased friction within the team and more than one on-track clash with Andretti, putting a dampener on the Italian-American’s “arrivederci” testimonial year.

“I guess if Ronnie Peterson was the best team-mate I ever had, Nigel Mansell was the worst,” Andretti told F1 Racing magazine.

“He was a manipulator.

“He always got what he wanted – undivided attention and better equipment.

“I can’t blame him for pulling the team around him – and him only – but whenever things went wrong for him, he would instantly start trashing the team.

“That was so wrong. He was so ungracious.

“I had a lot of respect for him as a driver, but not as a man.” ITV/F1

Talladega Nights continues strong run Talladega Nights continues strong runThe Will Ferrell movie "Talladega Nights " continues to fuel the box-office, falling a scant 36% in its third week in release. “Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby” has earned an estimated $114.6M after three weekends in release. Hollywood Reporter
Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in briefUPDATE
Schu could have lived without break

GP to generate $64m for Istanbul
Drunk Kimi loses wallet at party
Massa vows to push Schu to title
Lauda doubts Schu speculation
Ron's job safe - spokesman
McLaren in talks over Montoya release
Massa says Schu better than Villeneuve
Racing News
Quotes of the week Quotes of the week
A1GP takes to the streets A1GP takes to the streetsTens of thousands of people braved the weather in the centre of Rotterdam this afternoon as the bright orange A1 Team Netherlands and multi-flagged A1GP World Cup of Motorsport cars roared around a 2km street circuit as part of the Bavaria City Racing festival.

With Jos Verstappen behind the wheel of the Dutch car and team seat holder, Jan Lammers experiencing his first real outing in an A1GP car in the other, the pair thrilled the crowd with a high speed demo throwing in a few donuts for good measure.

Jos Verstappen had a great time on track: “You can actually drive quite fast here. I even hit 220 km/h briefly. There are so many spectators along the circuit. You try to do donuts at as many places as possible to give everyone along the circuit the same show. This is really fantastic”. zzzz

Jan Lammers felt the same: “This is super; there is such a big audience. You drive here at 14,000 revs and still you hear the crowd.”

A1GP proved a popular attraction both on and off the track, as A1 Team Netherlands was honored with a visit by the Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende and the Mayor of Rotterdam, Ivo Opstelten as they toured the Paddock. Jan Lammers and Jos Verstappen explained the A1GP concept and talked Balkenende, a motorsport fan himself and Opstelten around the A1GP race car.

Following the event, the Dutch car headed straight back to Silverstone in the UK where it will take part in A1GP’s official team test session on 30-31 August. The test will be the last time the cars run ahead of the start of the 2006/07 season on 1 October when the Series returns to the Netherlands racing at Circuit Park Zandvoort.

More than 100,000 tickets have been sold for the A1GP Zandvoort making it one of A1GP’s most popular events. For those who have not managed to get their hands on a ticket, an extra 3,000 will go on sale via www.A1GP.com at 10.00 GMT on Wednesday 23 August 2006.

The home race of A1 Team Netherlands, with Jos Verstappen, promises to be a real spectacle, with a sea of orange lining the sand dunes around the circuit.

Ron Dennis won’t let Montoya drive Ron Dennis won’t let Montoya driveDodge Director of SRT and Motorsports Marketing Mike Accavitti said today that the manufacturer is still trying to free up Juan Pablo Montoya from his contract with the McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team so Montoya can begin driving stock cars.

The F1 season ends October 22, and even though McLaren replaced Montoya soon after he announced he would join Chip Ganassi Racing in 2007, Montoya, who will replace Casey Mears in the No. 42 car, is still prohibited to drive stock cars.

"We're still working with our partners at McLaren on when we can get him in the car," Accavitti said. "Right now, the earliest looks like it's going to be some time in October, but we're looking to move that up." Scenedaily.com

[Editor's Note:  As we saw when Bernie Ecclestone felt threatened by CART in the '90s, now that NASCAR is showing a little muscle, and moving into places like Montreal, a F1 stronghold, you won't see the F1 paddock cutting NASCAR any slack.  In fact, if any more F1 drivers move to NASCAR, we predict Bernie will go on the offensive.  You can be certain Ron Dennis won't be letting Montoya out of his contract until it expires.]

Dodge names new senior manager of motorsports Dodge names new senior manager of motorsportsDodge introduced Mike Delahanty today as its new Senior Manager of Motorsports Programs, partially filling the holes left by the retirements of John Fernandez and Bob Wildberger.

Fernandez, the former director of motorsports, has joined Chip Ganassi Racing, while Wildberger, the former program manager, is still exploring his next move. Delahanty and Dodge director of SRT and Motorsports Marketing Mike Accavitti will spearhead the manufacturer's racing program.

Laguna Seca Track Record Falls Again Laguna Seca Track Record Falls AgainSalinas, Calif. - On the final day of the Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races Presented by Toyota, Ricardo Zonta and the Panasonic Toyota Racing Team F1 car continued to lower the record for the 11-turn, 2.238 mile Laguna Seca Raceway.  Sunday's record-breaking time was 1:06.309 at an average speed of 121.504 mph on lap four of four flying laps.  Zonta, traveling on slicks for the first time this weekend, laid down four consistent laps for an average of 1:06.640.  His Saturday best time was 1:06.596 and Friday's best time was 1:07.587.  On all three days, Zonta bested the previous track record of 1:07.722 set by Helio Castroneves at the CART Honda Grand Prix of Monterey in 2000. Castroneves' speed was 118.969. Photos 

[Editor's Note: The $10 million Toyota F1 car was only 1.4 seconds under a 6-year Champ Car record.  The Champ Car only cost $300K and was using 6-year old technology, whereas the Toyota was a state-of-the-art machine from the best F1 has to offer today. We're not so sure Toyota and F1 should be bragging about this record too loudly.]

"This has been a very satisfying weekend," said Zonta after the session.  "This experience has brought up a lot of good memories from when I was here in '98 and won the FIA GT Championships. And, of course it's always a good feeling to come to a circuit and leave knowing you've set a new record." 

Zonta had to pilot the F1 car through the Raceway's famous and gut-wrenching "corkscrew" at Turns 8 and 8A, which is considered one of the motorsport world's most challenging turns, due to the drop in elevation as well as its blind apex.  Sunday also brought slightly windy and cooler weather conditions, as well as oil laid down on the track by the historic cars after a day and a half of racing. 

"The older cars dropped oil in places on the track and I didn't want to challenge the car because I couldn't be certain where the oil was.  I needed to assume there was a high possibility that oil was in many places.  It was also more windy today than before and the blowing dust made the track slippery in places." 

After one installation run, Zonta brought the car into the pits for new tires. "We put slicks on after the installation lap, but the sun came out later today and the track didn't heat like it did the last several days.  Unfortunately, the tires couldn't work as well as possible."

Michigan Notebook Michigan Notebook
- OUTSIDE LOOKING IN - Sterling Marlin's 14 car is now out of the top 35 in owner's points, meaning he must qualify on time next week.  Kyle Petty is on the bubble in 35th position, and with the loss of crew chief Todd Parrott one wonders about the long-term prospects of either Petty Enterprises team.
- Last year's winner, Jeremy Mayfield, was not even in the field today.  His former team had fallen out of the top 35 in owner's points, and court documents filed when Mayfield was released indicate a sordid, soap-opera environment that needed to end.  Rumor has it that Mayfield will sign with Bill Davis Racing, completing a slide from Penske to Evernham Motorsports to the bottom-dwelling Davis team.  Elliott Sadler finished in 10th in his first race in the 19 car.
- Once again, Michigan Speedway failed to sell out its Cup race.  For the first time in anyone's memory, both Cup races in a single season failed to be sellouts. 
-  Benny Parsons was not in the broadcast booth this week due to the effects of his chemotherapy. 
-  NASCAR's "Car of Tomorrow" will be tested tomorrow at MIS.  Drivers include Joe Nemechek, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Bill Elliott, Michael Waltrip, David Stremme, Scott Riggs, J.J. Yeley, Jeff Green and Matt Kenseth.
Rotterdam Street Demo a Resounding Success Rotterdam Street Demo a Resounding Success(Rotterdam, Holland) - Christijan Albers, Tiago Monteiro and the Midland Formula 1 Racing team delighted a crowd of approximately 500,000 motorsport fans who converged on the streets of Rotterdam to witness the second-annual Bavaria City Racing event on Sunday afternoon.

Despite heavy rain at the start of the event, both Midland drivers completed 4 laps of the temporary street circuit without incident, unless one includes the exuberant burnouts, lurid slides and doughnut spins that each driver used to punctuate his stint behind the wheel of the M16 race car.

Local hero Christijan Albers, who originally hails from Eindhoven, in the south of Holland, capped off his run on the drying track with an outrageous, nine-rotation doughnut that left the car engulfed in a cloud of tire smoke for minutes afterward. Upon climbing out of the cockpit, Albers doffed his helmet and threw it into the crowd of appreciative fans.

Albers also found himself pulling executive chauffeur duty today, driving extra laps in the safety car with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Rotterdam Mayor Ivo Opstelten as his passengers.

The street demo wrapped up three days of intensive preparation and publicity for Midland F1 Racing, including last night's "Burning Rubber" gala dinner, which Christijan got off to a raucous start by arriving in no less a head-turner than the M16.

The team is honored to have been invited to attend the Bavaria Street Racing event and looks forward to being a part of its continuing success.

Christijan Albers (NED), Car #19 - "Wow, that was just incredible! I knew it would be fantastic, because I participated in this event last year, but the enthusiasm of the Dutch fans never fails to amaze me. They turned out in record numbers today - in the rain, no less - so I hope they enjoyed what they saw here today. For my part, it was certainly a pleasure to be part of it, and I'm looking forward to more Dutch motorsport events in the future. including, hopefully, a Dutch Grand Prix!"

Tiago Monteiro (POR), Car #18- ""What an amazing day! I had such a fantastic time. Rotterdam has an amazing little street circuit and extremely dedicated race fans. It's great that we were able to come here and represent F1. The weather was terrible, which made driving the car quite tricky, but I still had a great time. I would like to thank the race organizers and the people of Rotterdam for the warm reception they gave us here today.

Cristiano da Matta Transferred Out of Intensive Care Cristiano da Matta Transferred Out of Intensive CareLOVELAND, Colo. – Champ Car World Series driver Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) has been transferred out of the intensive care unit at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wisc.  His condition has improved significantly over the past few days, though he is still not completely conscious, responsive or able to speak.  Da Matta was injured after colliding with a deer that ran onto the track near Turn Six at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. during a Champ Car Open Test on August 3, and has been at Theda Clark ever since, with his family and several members of the Champ Car community at his side. 

Champ Car Medical Director Dr. Chris Pinderski has been in constant contact with the medical staff at Theda Clark to monitor the condition of da Matta.

“Cristiano is still making daily progress while recovering from injury two weeks ago,” said Pinderski.  “Yesterday, he was transferred out of the intensive care unit to an intermediate care unit at Theda Clark Medical Center.  We will now begin the process of planning for longer term rehabilitation which is necessary after significant head injuries.” zzzz

Da Matta’s teammate, Justin Wilson (#9 CDW / RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone), traveled to Neenah yesterday with RuSPORT president Jeremy Dale, to visit da Matta and his family.

“Justin and I are both very happy to see the improvement in Cristiano’s condition,” said Dale.  “The staff here at Theda Clark has told us that he is making remarkable progress, and that is encouraging to us and to the da Matta family.”

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

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

Spengler wins from pole at Nurburgring Spengler wins from pole at NurburgringBruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class) won the sixth round of the 2006 DTM at the Nürburgring and achieved his second consecutive victory in the championship. Starting from his first DTM pole position, Spengler led throughout the race, posted the fastest lap and finished 10.7sec ahead of Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class). Jean Alesi drove the 2005 stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class to fourth place whilst Jamie Green ended up ninth. Due to an extra pit stop Mika Häkkinen (AMG-Mercedes C-Class) finished 12th. Schneider extended his overall lead after six out of ten races to 46 points ahead of Spengler and Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM), both with 34 points. 116,000 spectators attended the event during the weekend.

Starting in the rain, Spengler accelerated into an immediate lead from his first DTM pole position. Schneider, third on the grid ahead of Green, took second place, the Englishman followed in third position.

Alesi started 15th and charged through the field to fifth on lap 16. One lap later, the Frenchman passed Kristensen and improved to fourth. zzzz

At the front, meanwhile Spengler was the fastest driver of the field and opened a gap of 17.2sec until lap 18 when he pitted for the first time. Schneider and Alesi made their stops at the same time and Spengler resumed in first place.

Häkkinen started ninth and dropped to 11th in the opening stage. However, he fought back and after he had overtaken Christian Abt (Audi A4 DTM) in the last corner of lap 12 Häkkinen was eighth. On lap 19, he came in for his first pit stop.

After the first round of pit stops on lap 21, Spengler held the lead with 15sec ahead of Schneider. Alesi was now fifth and Häkkinen ninth ahead of Green. The Finn pitted for the second time on lap 25 followed by Green one lap later whilst Alesi and Schneider came in on laps 28 and 29 respectively. Spengler made his second stop on lap 30 again without losing the lead. On lap 32, he posted the fastest lap of the race with a 1:24.699.

Schneider was second and Alesi fifth, one second behind Kristensen. When the Dane made a mistake under braking at the beginning of lap 36, Alesi took fourth place. On the same lap, Häkkinen made an additional pit stop because he had not got enough fuel in the previous pit stops due to a canted fuel can. The Finn dropped from ninth to 12th.

After 43 laps, Spengler took the checkered flag for his second consecutive DTM victory. Schneider ended up second and Alesi came home fourth.

Stefan Mücke, who had qualified the 2005 TV-Spielfilm AMG-Mercedes C-Class sixth, was pushed into a spin by Alexandros Margaritis (Easy Rent AMG-Mercedes C-Class) on the second lap and dropped to 17th. Margaritis therefore received a drive-through penalty for which he drove through the pitlane on lap six. Finally Mücke came home 11th and Margaritis ended up 15th.

Bruno Spengler, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006, winner: “A great race and I am really happy to start from pole position for the first time and to win again, after my victory at the Norisring. In both wet and dry conditions my car ran faultlessly and I thank the entire team for a perfect job throughout the weekend.”

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006, second: “Yesterday’s qualifying was good and the race today was excellent. Of course, I would have preferred to start from pole and win; however, today Bruno was simply better. 12 points are a good advantage, but now I have to watch out for two competitors. Congratulations to Bruno for a great performance here at the Nürburgring.”

Jean Alesi, stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2005, fourth: “A super race and a good consolation for the Norisring disappointment. I scored points again, and I am happy for my Persson team which did a great job this weekend.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Congratulations and well done to Bruno Spengler who drove a great race in most difficult conditions and was always faster than the rest. Congratulations also to Bernd Schneider, he is the only driver to finish in the points in all six races so far and has extended his championship lead from eight to 12 points. Jean Alesi was again the well-known fighter and moved up from 15th to fourth position. This demonstrates the competitiveness of the DTM, which was also proved by the fastest lap times. However, the championship is not decided yet and the next races will be tough for us, also because of the new weight handicap.”

Pos. Driver Entrant Laps Gap
1. Bruno Spengler DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 43 1:06:28.696
2. Bernd Schneider Vodafone AMG-Mercedes Vodafone AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 43 10.743
3. Martin Tomczyk Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Red Bull Audi A4 43 12.504
4. Jean Alesi stern AMG-Mercedes stern AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 43 20.386
5. Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Abt Siemens Audi A4 43 25.743
6. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Audi Sport Team Abt Veltins Audi A4 43 27.479
7. Timo Scheider Audi Sport Team Rosberg Gebrauchtwagen Audi A4 43 32.380
8. Mattias Ekström Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Red Bull Audi A4 43 32.486
9. Jamie Green Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 43 32.866
10. Christian Abt Audi Sport Team Phoenix Playboy Audi A4 43 48.479
11. Stefan Mücke TV-Spielfilm Mücke Motorsport TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 43 49.882
12. Mika Häkkinen AMG-Mercedes AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 43 50.890
13. Mathias Lauda Junge Gebrauchte AMG-Mercedes Junge Gebrauchte AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 43 51.447
14. Pierre Kaffer Audi Sport Team Phoenix Castrol Audi A4 43 58.050
15. Alexandros Margaritis Easy Rent AMG-Mercedes Easy Rent AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 43 59.191
16. Daniel la Rosa TrekStor AMG-Mercedes TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 43 1:03.792
17. Nicolas Kiesa Futurecom TME Futurecom Audi A4 43 1:22.764
18. Vanina Ickx Futurecom TME Orgi. Zubehör Audi A4 39 4 laps
Susie Stoddart AutoScout24 AMG-Mercedes AutoScout24 AMG Mercedes C-Klasse 27 16 laps
Frank Stippler Audi Sport Team Rosberg S line Audi A4 23 20 laps

Capirossi all the way in the Czech Republic Capirossi all the way in the Czech RepublicA second victory of the season for Loris Capirossi was achieved in spellbinding fashion by the Ducati rider, who has struggled to come back from a crash at Catalunya earlier this year. Capirossi took the holeshot and continued to pull away from the pack, at one point eight seconds ahead of second placed rider Valentino Rossi, who had a rather more difficult time battling with young pretender Dani Pedrosa.

Camel Yamaha’s Italian star certainly had his hands full with the rookie who, after following behind for a number of laps, pushed past the reigning World Champion on lap 19. There then followed a series of exchanges between the two, ending on the final lap when Pedrosa misjudged a corner and lost valuable time. It had been the first direct back-and-forth battle between the two, a moment that fans had been waiting for.

Having dropped down the field in the initial stages of the race, Kenny Roberts Jr fought his way back to take an impressive fourth from the front row. The former 500cc World Champion had his hands full with a number of riders going all-out to improve their positions, with the eventual top six being rounded off by Marco Melandri and Casey Stoner. The young Australian showed great maturity throughout the race and avoided another of the crashes that have plagued him this season whilst in good positions. zzzz

John Hopkins made a late push to get past both Shinya Nakano and World Championship leader Nicky Hayden, who saw his championship lead cut to 25 points with a ninth place finish.

Full MotoGP race result from the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno, round twelve of the 2006 world championship.

1. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 22 laps
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team +4.902secs
3. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team +8.012secs
4. Kenny Roberts JrUSA Team Roberts +14.800secs
5. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda +15.025secs
6. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR +15.699secs
7. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP +16.775secs
8. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team +16.942secs
9. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team +17.061secs
10. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team +19.435secs
11. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda +22.215secs
12. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP +23.978secs
13. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda +24.967secs
14. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team +28.961secs
15. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha +29.296secs
16. Alex Hofmann GER Ducati Marlboro Team +29.801secs
17. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha +1min 02.982secs
18. Ivan Silva SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP +1min 44.775secs
DNF. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 6 laps-Mechanical

Mosley resolute as Cosworth cut jobs Mosley resolute as Cosworth cut jobs(GMM) Max Mosley has refused to apologize after independent F1 engine maker Cosworth announced that up to 40 per cent of its Northampton workforce will be cut at the end of 2006.

While formula one's governing body, the FIA, designed its impending engine 'freeze' principally to cut costs for smaller outfits, the first notable side effect is that around 150 current Cosworth workers now face redundancy.

But Mosley, the FIA president, is quoted by the Independent as saying: ''There are bound to be redundancies.''

There is no sign, however, that similar job losses will occur at the bigger engine makers, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Renault, Toyota or Honda.

Nonetheless, the British newspaper estimated employment income at around 30 per cent of most F1 budgets, with Mosley therefore hoping to radically slash the cost of running a small team.

He added: ''The target is to set the budget for a top team, which is currently spending €300m (US$384m), to €100m (US$128m), and then a small team could be competitive with €40m (US$51m) or €50m (US$64m).''

Alternate tires add to Champ Car strategy Alternate tires add to Champ Car strategyThe Grand Prix of Denver sponsored by Bridgestone was one of the most exciting and entertaining races of the 2006 season, highlighted by charges through the field from such Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford stars as Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais, although none could match the pace set by race winner A.J. Allmendinger.

Perhaps the key factor in the rollercoaster nature of the event could be found in the Bridgestone Potenza racing radials bolted on to each and every Champ Car, as the Bridgestone alternate tires played vital roles in the successes - and downfalls - of many cars in the field.

Being sole tire supplier to the Champ Car World Series is a great way to showcase the safety, reliability and advanced technology of Bridgestone's products. However, it also presents a challenge. Because the tires are so consistent and dependable, they could sometimes be overlooked or even taken for granted. In 2004, Bridgestone and its engineers developed a solution - a way to generate renewed interest in the tires by making the racing more exciting for the fans and more strategically challenging for Champ Car teams and drivers. Thus the "Bridgestone reds" alternate tire concept was born. zzzz

"It is quite a task to develop, test and approve for use a second Potenza tire compound for every Champ Car race except the Milwaukee Mile," said Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport. "But because the alternate tires became such a hit with the fans and organizers, we dedicated ourselves to expanding the program from five races in 2004 and 2005 to encompass all road- and street-course races on the 2006 schedule. From their easily-identifiable red sidewalls to the unpredictable racing they create on-track, we are excited to bring such an innovative product to Champ Car and its fans."

Providing an alternate Potenza racing slick with a softer tread compound means that the cars get more grip and go faster. By nature, however, a softer tread will wear away more quickly, so the gain in speed is a short-term advantage. Champ Car rules require that teams use at least one of their two sets of alternate tires during the race, meaning the teams that manage their tires the best will often win the race.

Finding the perfect balance between grip and durability is a constantly moving target, especially considering the diversity of circuits on the Champ Car schedule. Nowhere was this more evident than in Denver last weekend. Bringing alternate tires to the Mile High City for the first time, Bridgestone engineers selected the exact same standard and alternate tire specifications for the Grand Prix of Denver as they had used just two weeks prior on the streets of San Jose - but this time with very different results. The thinner air in Denver generated 20 percent less downforce on the 750-horsepower Champ Cars, resulting in less grip and more rapid tire wear.

As teams struggled to come to terms with the balance of the cars during the required stints on the reds, a great deal of activity transpired on the track. Which is exactly what Champ Car fans love to see! Of course, the teams that did not choose the best strategy and the drivers that did not manage the tire wear were dissatisfied with their results. But Denver was the best illustration of the red tires fulfilling their purpose - to make the racing more exciting for the fans. Just ask race winner A.J. Allmendinger...

"The Bridgestone tires played a big role at the Denver Grand Prix," Allmendinger said. "The Forsythe team made a brilliant decision to bring me in early during the first stint since the softer Bridgestone 'red' alternate tires were going off quicker. Having different types of tires definitely made this one of the most exciting races of the year - you really have to learn to manage your tires, and it makes the racing more exciting because it promotes more passing and more strategy."

A.J. is not the only one singing the alternate tires' praises. Champ Car's technical team is also behind the concept. "I fully support the Bridgestone alternate tire program as it provides an additional level of strategy and planning that is absent in most other forms of motorsports," said Champ Car Vice-President of Operations Tony Cotman. "I don't believe that anyone can argue with the results that the alternate tire yielded in Denver, as it was one of the most exciting races of the season. We will continue to work with the engineers at Bridgestone to provide the best racing possible for our fans."

While not every team and driver will benefit from the alternate tires every time out, Bridgestone feels that ultimately the fans stand the most to gain from this unique program.

Michelin appoints new MotoGP tire boss Michelin appoints new MotoGP tire bossMichelin has appointed a new director of its motorcycle racing activities. Jean-Philippe Weber will take over the position from Nicolas Goubert at the end of the 2006 MotoGP season.

The appointment comes at a crucial moment for the renowned French tire brand, with MotoGP switching to 800cc machines for the 2007 World Championship and the company withdrawing from Formula One at the end of this season. MotoGP is thus set to become an even bigger part of Michelin's global presence.

"I am happy, honored and humble to take over from Nicolas," says Weber, whose background is in chemical engineering. "I have been working with him and his team for several years, so I already know that it is very exciting to work with Michelin's MotoGP crew and with the company's partners. The results have been very impressive for many years, so it is a big challenge to maintain that success and to continue developing technology through competition." zzzz

Goubert, who has been with Michelin since 1988 and has run its motorcycle racing activities since 1997, will continue to grow his career with the company in a position to be announced shortly. "I've had a great time, meeting and working with some amazing people," says Goubert, who has presided over a period of unprecedented success. "This job has been my passion but I need a new challenge. My future is with Michelin, although it will be difficult to work in anything as fascinating and rewarding as MotoGP."

Weber, a keen street and off-road rider, began working on Michelin motorcycle race tires in 2001, focusing on MotoGP, Superbike and Supermotard. As a richly qualified chemist (with a doctorate in organic chemistry), his initial involvement was with compounds, though he soon began working on all aspects of tire development. His new job takes him from behind the scenes to a new position in the public eye. "This is my dream job because motorcycles are my life," he adds. "I own several streetbikes and dirt bikes but if I had 200 motorcycles I would still want some more!"

Maiden DTM pole for Spengler Maiden DTM pole for SpenglerAn exciting qualifying shoot-out at the Nürburgring. In the final 20 seconds, three different drivers topped the time sheets. Eventually, Canadian Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) claimed his maiden DTM pole-position with a lap time of 1:23.462 minutes and thus secured himself the most favorable starting position for the race on Sunday. At last, my maiden pole in the DTM. I am overjoyed, that is what I have been working for such a long time”, the Norisring winner beamed. The drivers will be starting into the first of 43 race laps of the sixth season round of the DTM on Sunday at 14.00 h.

Kristensen missed the pole by only 0.143 seconds. Just before Spengler set his fastest time, points leader Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG Mercedes) and then the second-placed driver from the championship standings, Tom Kristensen with the Siemens-Audi A4, were on pole. Thus, the grid order for the race on Sunday is exactly the reversed order from the current championship standings.

Lining up alongside Bernd Schneider on the second row of the grid will be his fellow-Mercedes-Benz-driver Jamie Green (Salzgitte-AMG-Mercedes). Fourth and fifth place were occupied by Mattias Ekström with the Red Bull-Audi A4 DTM and Stefan Mücke with the TV Spielfilm AMG-Mercedes C-Class. zzzz

Mika Häkkinen retired in second round of the shoot out. The first two heats of the shoot-out entertained the spectators with exciting battles between the former Formula 1-drivers for making it through. Just before the end of the first session, Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Audi A4 DTM) pushed Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2005) into 15th place, so that the Frenchman wasn’t qualified for the second heat of the shoot-out. In the second session, the driver from Mönchengladbach beat Mika Häkkinen (AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2006), who had to make do with sixth place on the grid. In eight place, Frentzen was the last driver to make it through into the third and final qualifying heat.

Bruno Spengler (1st place, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes): My first pole-position in the DTM, I am overjoyed. First my victory at the Norisring, today pole-position, just great! My final lap was perfect, my car was sensational.”

Tom Kristensen (2nd place, Audi Sport Team Abt): “Congratulations to Bruno. I am very happy with my qualifying session, even though I am a little bit disappointed having been pushed from pole in the final second. Last year, we scored a double win here in changing weather conditions. I think that everything is possible tomorrow as well. As the weather is so uncertain, we have to keep our strategy for tomorrow open. For sure, it will be a long evening for the engineers. Would I have been on pole, it would have been different.”

Bernd Schneider (3rd place, Vodafone AMG Mercedes): I am very happy with this qualifying, although I would have liked to be out in front. As I ruined one set of tires by my excursion in the first heat, I had only one set left for the final heat, so that I could react no more in the end.”

Mercedes-Benz motor sport director Norbert Haug: “For me, this was the most exciting DTM qualifying session that I can remember. And it could just as well have been the other way round. The improvement of the lap times from the second to the third session by almost a second is impressive. The drivers were totally focused. Tom Kristensen’s lap was great, but then Bruno Spengler countered in the final second. It can’t be more exciting. Remarkably and truly great motor sport action.”

Audi motor sport director Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “This was the first time that I was delighted with a pole position that we didn’t even have anymore at that moment. Of course, we had an eye on Bruno Spengler’s split times, but we didn’t expect him to do such a good time in the final sector to make it to pole. But that is also a part of motor sport and surely can only happen in a championship like the DTM, where all the cars are always so closely together. For tomorrow, we have the best conditions for an exciting race.”

1. Bruno Spengler Daimler-Chrysler-Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class 1m 23.462s
2. Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM 1m 23.605s
3. Bernd Schneider Vodafone AMG Mercedes C-Class 1m 23.698s
4. Jamie Green Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class 1m 23.743s
5. Mattias Ekström Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM 1m 23.985s
6. Stefan Mücke TV-Spielfilm Mucke Mercedes C-Class 1m 24.105s
7. Christian Abt Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi A4 DTM 1m 24.302s
8. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM 1m 24.308s
9. Mika Hakkinen AMG-Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 1m 24.493s
10. Martin Tomczyk Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM 1m 24.500s
11. Alex Margaritis Truck Store AMG-Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 1m 24.546s
12. Daniel la Rosa TrekStor Mucke Mercedes C-Class 1m 24.568s
13. Timo Scheider Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi A4 DTM 1m 24.584s
14. Pierre Kaffer Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi A4 DTM 1m 24.947s
15. Jean Alesi Stern AMG-Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 1m 25.148s
16. Frank Stippler Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi A4 DTM 1m 25.251s
17. Nicolas Kiesa Futurecom TME Audi A4 DTM 1m 25.387s
18. Mathias Lauda AMG-Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 1m 25.513.
19. Susie Stoddart Mucke Mercedes C-Class 1m 25.658s
20. Vanina Ickx Futurecom TME Audi A4 DTM 1m 26.371s

Toyota F1 car barely beats 6 year old Champ Car record Toyota F1 car barely beats 6 year old Champ Car recordUPDATE A reader writes, Don’t forget that Laguna Seca was repaved over in the past year and some of the turns eased so the track is faster.
Grand-Am was more than 1 second faster at Laguna this year over last year.
2006 Best Time for Grand-Am: 1:23.712
2005 Best Time for Grand-Am: 1:24.998

BTW, Grand-Am was slower at Laguna Seca than MotoGP and they call themselves a top flight sportscar series.  Those cars are pigs. Kurt Marks

08/19/06 [Editor's Note: A $10 million F1 car is only 1 second per lap faster than a $300,000 Champ Car from 6 years ago?  Talk about a waste of money.  The old Champ Car record was set when there was a tire war in Champ Car and they had more HP.  However, a Champ Car is a fraction the cost of an F1 car, so for it to be just 1 second a lap slower is quite shocking and just goes to show you that Max Mosley is correct, the cost of F1 must come down because teams are wasting money on technology that does not improve the show.  This also underscores the fact that a tire war accounts for about 80% of the speed gains.  We expect Zonta to lower the record again Sunday, but even if he is two seconds under the old Champ Car record, that isn't saying much given how light an F1 car is.]

Salinas, Calif. - On day two of the 33rd Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races Presented by Toyota, Panasonic Toyota Race Team driver Ricardo Zonta broke his 24-hour-old record, lowering it from yesterday's record of 1:07.587 to the new record of 1:06.596.  The record-breaking time came in the fifth lap of five flying laps in the 12:45 session this afternoon.  Zonta's lap speed around the 11-turn, 2.238 mile Laguna Seca Raceway was 120.980. 

Photos courtesy of Toyota

"The car and tires really performed great and breaking the record twice has been a fantastic experience," said Zonta after the first track session.  "It's been even more exciting because of how the people have celebrated our car." 

The Panasonic Toyota F1 car had a second track session later in the afternoon. "This afternoon I went out to enjoy myself," Zonta said after the final session.  "The team was concerned about oil on the track due to the historic races and we wanted to be a little careful.  Instead of speed, I thought the fans would like to see donuts, so I did them." 

Zonta last drove on the Laguna Seca track in 1998 when he won the FIA GT Championships behind the wheel of a Mercedes. 

The Panasonic Toyota F1 car will again take to the track Sunday at 12:35 and 3:25 p.m

NASCAR is WWF racing NASCAR is WWF racingDale Earnhardt unofficially won the Carfax 250 after bumping race leader Carl Edwards out of the race on the second-to-last lap.  Official race results will be released by NASCAR on Monday, Aug. 21.
TNT pit reporter Matt Yocum spoke with Carl Edwards following the race.
Edwards on his retaliatory bump to Dale Earnhardt Jr. after Earnhardt bumped him out of the race on lap 248:  "I was having a great time racing...and (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) just wrecked me.  I just wanted to make sure that he knew I was mad that he wrecked me.  But oh well, that's racing."
Edwards on getting loose on Turn 2 before being bumped by Earnhardt:  "We broke something, I think it was traction."
TNT pit reporter Marty Snider spoke with Dale Earnhardt Jr. on victory lane.
Earnhardt on the situation during lap 248:  "(The second-to-last lap) was a little crazy, I know Carl (Edwards is) really mad.  He got right off that corner and he was sideways.  I didn't know if he was going to hit the wall or whatever, but we got the back end of him.  I'm sure he's mad and thinks we bumped him on purpose...If I got disqualified #88 (Robby Gordon) would have won anyway...I'm really proud of everyone, we weren't good when it counted, there at the end we got tight.  Carl had the best car, but it doesn't always work out that way."
Earnhardt on whether or not it is ok to win after bumping another driver out of the lead:  "We've got a great core of fans, but that's definitely going to divide them right down the middle."
Earnhardt on whether or not Carl Edward's retaliatory bump after the race was okay: "No, not really.  I had my hand out the window after the race and he could've taken my hand off, luckily he didn't.  Pretty stupid, but I've seen him do it before, I should have known."
Junior Bumps Way to Wild Win at Michigan Junior Bumps Way to Wild Win at MichiganIn one of the wildest finishes of the NASCAR Busch Series season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. bumped Carl Edwards aside on the white flag lap of a green-white-checkered finish at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday to capture the 22nd win of his series career.

Edwards, Earnhardt and Robby Gordon had staged a three-way battle for the lead over the final 15 laps of the 125-lap event, with Edwards taking the advantage with nine laps to go following a gutsy crossover move. Gordon was driving the No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet for Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports team following the release earlier in the week of Mark McFarland.

Edwards’ lead came just as the seventh caution flag of the race came out, and his restart ahead of Gordon and Earnhardt was superb, allowing him to break away for what looked to be a sure victory. But with two laps remaining, Edwards’ Roush Racing teammate Todd Kluever had a transmission issue on the backstretch, bringing out the caution and the dramatic finish that ensued. zzzz

Gordon had been less than stellar on restarts throughout the day, but was up to the challenge, sticking to the bottom of the track. Edwards’ slim lead evaporated when he bobbled slightly, pushing him up the track in front of Earnhardt, who was taking his usual high line. What happened next depended upon who gave the explanation. Earnhardt did indeed get into the back of Edwards, pushing the No. 60 Henkel Ford away and taking the lead while Gordon was also able to escape. The caution flag ended the race and after a short video and scoring loop review, the win was awarded to Earnhardt.

Edwards claimed he was slammed out of the lead by Earnhardt. Earnhardt fired back that Edwards got loose on the restart and checked up in front of the No. 8 Menards Chevrolet, giving Earnhardt no choice but to drive through Edwards.

After video review, Casey Mears was awarded second place while Gordon was third. Matt Kenseth finished fourth and Busch Pole winner Mark Martin – who became the series all-time leader in poles with 29 – was fifth.

Earnhardt’s win was his second at Michigan – he also won in 1999 – and put him in a tie for fourth on the all-time NASCAR Busch Series win list with Tommy Ellis and Sam Ard.

Kevin Harvick finished ninth and continued his march toward the series championship, remaining solidly in first place in the point standings. Denny Hamlin moved into second while Edwards dropped to third. Clint Bowyer is fourth, followed by J.J. Yeley in fifth. Paul Menard, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Johnny Sauter and Kenny Wallace stand sixth through 10th, respectively.

Another track known for its exciting finishes is up next as the NASCAR Busch Series travels to Bristol for the thrilling Food City 250 night race on August 25.

Audis to start 1-2 at Road America Audis to start 1-2 at Road America
Carrio shatters track record Carrio shatters track recordElkhart Lake, Wisconsin. After several drivers lapped under the existing track record in Friday practice, championship points leader Adrian Carrio shattered the record in qualifying this morning to capture the pole position for Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at Road America. Driving the #14 World Speed Motorsports Rockford Fosgate Mazda, the seventeen-year old Carrio clocked a time of 2:03.849 (117.666 MPH) as the checkered flag fell to officially break the previous record of 2:04.621 set in 2004 by Daniel DiLeo.

"My crew stayed here until midnight last night working on the car and my engineer Mike Doyle made a couple of adjustments, and all those minor changes that fine tune the car make a huge difference at a track like this, finding just a little bit of time in each corner adds up, " Carrio explained. "The lap came late in the session because the pressure was on and I was able to get good track position for that last lap where I had a nice gap. This is the second time I've pulled out a pole on the final lap of qualifying and it's kind of fun to shock everyone at the end of a session." zzzz

Pablo Donoso, from Santiago, Chile, making his return to the series this weekend as a substitute for injured driver Brad Jaeger, topped the charts for most of the session before falling to second as he lapped the 4.048-mile circuit in a time of 2:04.127 (117.402 MPH) in the #2 Andersen Racing Team Mazda. "Dan Andersen called me if I would want to fill in for Brad this weekend and I said yes for sure," Donoso, who is currently competing in the USAC Silver Crown Series, commented. "I'm pretty happy here because the car is really consistent and I've been fast right from the start. It hasn't been difficult to adjust to this car, if you drive stock car or formula car it's the same, you have to go flat out so I just pushed the throttle and it was okay."

After setting an unofficial track record in practice yesterday Ron White came back this morning to improve on his time, lapping the track in 2:04.322 (117.218 MPH) in the #69 Ross Smith Racing Maxwell Paper Products Mazda, good for third on the grid as he makes his race debut for newly formed Ross Smith Racing. "We went out there early and did some testing and then put on some new tires for the end of the session but Adrian and Pablo put in some good laps," the Santa Clara, California resident said. "We'll be good for the race because the car is really fast and consistent. It's a forty-five minute race, everyone at Ross Smith Racing is working hard and I really want to win. I'm still getting used to having other people work on the car and run the team but I've been running faster than I have been all year and I'm really looking forward to the race."

All told, the top five drivers lapped under DiLeo's track record with Crown Point, Indiana native Logan Gomez, pilot of the #23 Velocity Motorsports The INDYana Kid Mazda, setting the fourth fastest time at 2:04.522 (117.030 MPH), and Ryan Justice, clocking the fifth fastest time at 2:04.595 (116.961 MPH) in the #38 Northwest Autosport J&M Body Shops Mazda during this morning's forty minute session.

Thirty-seven drivers posted times in the session, with Phil Saville and Gerry Kraut both failing to register times during qualifying, which was run under partly cloudy skies and moderate temperatures.

Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is scheduled to get underway at 1:05 PM Central Daylight Time.

Qualifying Results

Pos No. Name Best Tm In Lap Diff Gap Best Spd
1 14 Adrian Carrio 2:03.849 13 - - 117.666
2 2 Pablo Donoso 2:04.127 5 +0.278 +0.278 117.402
3 69 Ron White 2:04.322 7 +0.473 +0.195 117.218
4 23 Logan Gomez 2:04.522 5 +0.673 +0.200 117.030
5 38 Ryan Justice 2:04.595 5 +0.746 +0.073 116.961
6 3 Mark Wilkins 2:04.777 5 +0.928 +0.182 116.791
7 9 Gerardo Bonilla 2:04.790 5 +0.941 +0.013 116.779
8 53 Mike Potekhen 2:04.879 6 +1.030 +0.089 116.695
9 74 Kevin Lacroix 2:05.103 4 +1.254 +0.224 116.486
10 45 Matt Varsha 2:05.373 11 +1.524 +0.270 116.236
11 22 Ramiro Scuncio 2:05.482 6 +1.633 +0.109 116.135
12 8 David Stover 2:05.863 4 +2.014 +0.381 115.783
13 18 Rob Bunker 2:05.957 11 +2.108 +0.094 115.697
14 54 Mickey Gilbert 2:06.020 6 +2.171 +0.063 115.639
15 28 Russell Walker 2:06.043 4 +2.194 +0.023 115.618
16 93 John Faulkner 2:06.189 12 +2.340 +0.146 115.484
17 35 Peter Ludwig 2:06.224 7 +2.375 +0.035 115.452
18 60 Mark Patterson 2:06.360 6 +2.511 +0.136 115.328
19 11 Niki Coello 2:06.375 12 +2.526 +0.015 115.314
20 85 Jay Poscente 2:06.612 4 +2.763 +0.237 115.098
21 15 John Pew 2:06.625 4 +2.776 +0.013 115.086
22 46 Christopher Guerrieri 2:06.645 12 +2.796 +0.020 115.068
23 87 Doug Peterson 2:06.655 4 +2.806 +0.010 115.059
24 86 Charles Anti 2:06.789 2 +2.940 +0.134 114.937
25 77 Brian Thienes 2:06.878 6 +3.029 +0.089 114.857
26 25 Thomas Wieringa 2:07.533 13 +3.684 +0.655 114.267
27 50 Brian Johnson 2:07.715 11 +3.866 +0.182 114.104
28 71 Steven Hickham Jr. 2:07.744 5 +3.895 +0.029 114.078
29 56 Dan Tomlin III 2:07.878 9 +4.029 +0.134 113.959
30 44 Antonio Downs 2:07.913 10 +4.064 +0.035 113.927
31 52 Ken Losch 2:08.133 2 +4.284 +0.220 113.732
32 66 Emmett Murphy 2:08.509 7 +4.660 +0.376 113.399
33 58 Dan Tomlin Jr. 2:08.896 7 +5.047 +0.387 113.059
34 88 Dan Weyland 2:11.177 11 +7.328 +2.281 111.093
35 67 Richard Haskell^ 2:11.178 3 +7.329 +0.001 111.092
36 24 Jon Brownson* 2:11.515 1 +7.666 +0.337 110.807
37 61 Richard Zober 2:12.245 5 +8.396 +0.730 110.195
38 99 Phil Saville -.--- 0 - - -
39 55 Gerry Kraut -.--- 0 - - -

^ Penalized two starting positions on grid per Chief Steward for driving infraction
* Penalized four starting positions on grid per Chief Steward for driving infraction

David Gilliland on open wheel drivers David Gilliland on open wheel driversAutoRacing1.com exclusive interview with David Gilliland, who is making his Nextel Cup debut this weekend at Michigan:
"They're different... they're definitely different. When Sarah Fisher came over she definitely struggled on the stock car side. We'll have a better idea next year with Juan Pablo Montoya coming... They are definitely different. For me to run the Winston West Series and the Busch series then come to the Cup Series makes the transition way, way easier. They're all very similar. In the Indy cars there's nothing like it. You've got tons of downforce, lots of tire area, here you're got not a lot of downforce, not a lot of tire."
Do you ever get an urge to try an Champ or IRL car, just for grins?
"Yeah, I've never had an interest in that. I've just grown up watching stock car racing, and my dad being involved in stock car racing, and that's where my heart has always been. That's what we're gonna stick to." Click here for the full interview.
Note - Gilliland's only Cup start before this weekend was at Infineon. For a guy who likes road racing to claim that he's never wanted to jump into an open-wheeled car has to be somewhat discouraging to open-wheel fans.
Gilliland crashes at Michigan Gilliland crashes at MichiganNextel Cup rookie David Gilliland crashed his primary car in practice this morning, and is running the backup car. Tim Wohlford
Brno: Rossi grabs pole, Hayden 4th Brno: Rossi grabs pole, Hayden 4thValentino Rossi put his Yamaha on pole for tomorrow's MotoGP race at Brno.  American Nicky Hayden, the current points leader will start 4th behind fellow American Kenny Roberts.

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 56.191 secs
2. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 56.441 secs
3. Kenny Roberts JrUSA Team Roberts 1min 56.603 secs
4. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 56.694 secs
5. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 56.770 secs
6. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 56.875 secs
7. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 56.913 secs
8. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 56.967 secs
9. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 57.139 secs
10. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 57.185 secs
11. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 57.221 secs
12. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 57.679 secs
13. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 57.894 secs
14. Alex Hofmann GER Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 57.906 secs
15. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 58.239 secs
16. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 59.011 secs
17. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 59.289 secs
18. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 2min 00.971 secs
19. Ivan Silva SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 2min 01.433 secs

2005 Czech Republic Grand Prix:
Pole position: Sete Gibernau SPA Movistar Honda 1min 57.504secs
Fastest lap: Valentino Rossi ITA Gauloises Yamaha 1min 58.787secs

Brno: practice 3 times Brno: practice 3 times
1. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 57.404 secs
2. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 57.435 secs
3. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 57.510 secs
4. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 57.739 secs
5. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 57.947 secs
6. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 57.970 secs
7. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 58.364 secs
8. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 58.409 secs
9. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 58.517 secs
10. Kenny Roberts JrUSA Team Roberts 1min 58.542 secs
11. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 58.675 secs
12. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 58.957 secs
13. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 58.958 secs
14. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 59.556 secs
15. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 59.830 secs
16. Alex Hofmann GER Ducati Marlboro Team 2min 00.137 secs
17. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 2min 01.234 secs
18. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 2min 01.798 secs
19. Ivan Silva SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 2min 02.745 secs
McNish fastest at Road America McNish fastest at Road AmericaWelcome to Road America, Mr. McNish. In his first visit to this classic road course, Allan McNish set the fastest time in a two-hour test session for the American Le Mans Series' Generac 500 at Road America on Friday.

In the LMP1 championship-leading Audi R10 TDI, the Scot turned a lap of 1:51.455. His time was a half second better than Butch Leitzinger's track qualifying record from 2004. McNish and Dindo Capello enter the seventh round of the American Le Mans Series with the P1 drivers championship lead, having won five of the first six class races.

"It's a bit easy to go fast here because the flow is so natural and the turns are quick," McNish said. "But to very quick (consistently) will be very difficult. You really have to be perfect on the brakes, throttle and steering. The track is very natural, definitely out of the old school. It's already among my favorite tracks in North America."

Next was the other diesel-powered Audi of Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela, defending race winners and Series champions. Their time of 1:52.698 was 0.8 seconds better than Dyson Racing's James Weaver and Leitzinger, who were fifth overall.

First in LMP2 and third overall was Timo Bernhard in the No. 6 Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder. For the first time this year, Bernhard will team with Sascha Maassen as Penske and Porsche have stepped up their pursuit of Intersport Racing for the class drivers championship.

The other Penske Porsche of Romain Dumas and Lucas Luhr was second to Bernhard, just 0.329 seconds back. Intersport's Lola B05/40-AER of Clint and Jon Field and Liz Halliday was third in P2 at 1:54.876. Clint Field and Halliday lead Maassen and Luhr by 5 points in the drivers title chase entering the weekend.

In GT1, one of Aston Martin Racing's Aston Martin DBR9s posted the best time, courtesy of Stephane Sarrazin in the No. 009 entry. The Frenchman's time of 2:02.072 put him in front of class championship leaders Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin of Corvette Racing.  zzzz

The defending race winners were less than 0.2 second in arrears of the Sarrazin/Pedro Lamy entry. The other Corvette, of Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell, was just 0.043 seconds behind their teammates.

Mike Rockenfeller's late run in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR set the fast time in GT2, a 2:05.465 effort that was 0.184 seconds better than the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long. Alex Job Racing and Petersen/White Lightning put on a phenomenal show last year with Long and Bergmeister finishing 0.298 seconds ahead of Bernhard and Dumas, the closest GT2 finish in Series history.

Alex Job Racing's Mike Rockenfeller was the fastest GT2 driver Friday.
Next up Friday was the first of the two Risi Competizione Ferrari F430GTs. The No. 62 entry of Mario Dominguez and Stephane Ortelli were at 2:09.106 as Risi seeks its third straight class win.

There were two red-flag periods Friday. One was for Andy Wallace, who went off in the Highcroft Racing Lola at Turn 2. The Lola's brakes locked up as he entered the braking zone and overcorrected as he went off on the right side. The problem wasn't considered very serious, but the car didn't make it back on the track during the afternoon.

Neither did the No. 007 Aston Martin DBR9, which faced a much bigger problem after Tomas Enge lost control under braking in Turn 5 and impacted the retaining wall on the left side as the car spun backward. The damage didn't look too serious, but the underneath told another story. The left-rear chassis subframe and suspension both were bent as a long night awaited the crew.

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 www.americanlemans.com.

Montoya to be third to try Montoya to be third to tryTwo have attempted, but neither was successful. Now, Juan Pablo Montoya will become only the third Indianapolis 500 winner to attempt to kiss the bricks for winning the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, after tasting milk in Victory Lane for winning the “500” earlier in his career at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Montoya won the 2000 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race driving for team owner Chip Ganassi, and he is set to compete in the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series for Ganassi after a six-year Formula One career that included five starts at IMS in the United States Grand Prix.

When Montoya takes the green flag on July 29, 2007 at the 14th running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, he will join four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt and 1985 winner Danny Sullivan in his attempt to win both races. Foyt and Sullivan raced in the inaugural Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in 1994, finishing 30th and 33rd, respectively. zzzz

Montoya could become the first driver to win two of the Speedway’s three major events, and he will also make history by becoming the first driver to compete in all three major events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, the United States Grand Prix and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

As Montoya’s return and other storylines develop for the 2007 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, fans have another great incentive right now to renew tickets Online, as existing customers who renew or request an upgrade of their tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com by Monday, Aug. 21 will receive a free 2006 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard commemorative DVD.

Flag-to-flag highlights of the race, from Jeff Burton’s run for the pole position to Jimmie Johnson’s come-from-behind victory in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, are featured on the DVD. Johnson overcame a flat tire on Lap 39 to drive from the back of the field for an improbable win.

New customers can also place orders for tickets at this time, and first-time customers or customers who are upgrading tickets should act quickly to increase their chances of obtaining desired seats.

To qualify for the free DVD, customers must renew Online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, but ticket, camping and parking information for all IMS events is also available by contacting the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally, or by visiting the ticket office during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday).

The Ticket Office is located in the IMS Administration Building, at the intersection of 16th St. and Georgetown Road in Indianapolis.

Kubica a 'question mark' - Villeneuve Kubica a 'question mark' - Villeneuve(GMM) Departed grand prix racer Jacques Villeneuve has criticized BMW-Sauber's decision to replace him.

The French-Canadian, who won the world championship with Williams in 1997, said his successor at the team - 21-year-old Robert Kubica - is a dubious choice if the German team want to win in 2007.

''As of now, he doesn't have much racing experience,'' 35-year-old Villeneuve, who in the same interview with F1 Racing magazine slammed old nemesis Michael Schumacher, said.

''Experience is always important because racing involves getting yourself out of tricky situations -- and it's easier to get out of them if you've learnt from how you did and didn't get out of them.''

Jacques also warned against judging the rookie Pole until he has notched up more experience than Friday practice miles and one race.

''People should realize that doing a good Friday job isn't the same as doing a good job on race weekends,'' he insisted, ''and you won't find out what any driver is really like until he does quite a few race weekends.

''So Robert is a question mark.''

JV's future is precariously balanced at the moment, but he indicated that - F1 aside - NASCAR would be a better option than returning to America's open-wheeler categories such as Champ Car or the IRL.

He also mused: ''Le Mans, sports cars, DTM, IRL, Champ Car? Well, I'm sorry, but they're all a step down from F1.

''NASCAR isn't.''

Massa feels sorry for Rubens Massa feels sorry for Rubens(GMM)  Felipe Massa, who replaced his countryman at the Ferrari team this year, says he feels sorry for Brazil's Rubens Barrichello.

He told 'Eurosport Automagazin' that it must be difficult for Barrichello to have left a front-running team to join Honda, which - despite teammate Jenson Button's Hungarian breakthrough - has struggled so far in 2006.

''It was Rubens' decision to go to Honda,'' said 25-year-old Massa, ''but he is probably surprised at the way it has turned out.

Massa continued: ''They expected to go and fight for the championship, but they are not doing as well as that.

''I hope the situation improves for him.''

IRL Kentucky TV rating IRL Kentucky TV ratingUPDATE The final TV rating for the IRL race at Kentucky last Sunday was a 0.8/1 share on ABC, down 20% from a 1.0 overnight and right in line with Champ Car's network TV ratings.

08/14/06 The overnight TV rating for the Meijer Indy 300 from Kentucky Sunday was a 1.0/2 share on ABC, that's down 10% from last year's 1.1/2 share overnight rating.
NASCAR Watkins Glen TV rating NASCAR Watkins Glen TV ratingUPDATE The final rating for the Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen last Sunday was a 4.6/12 share on NBC.

08/14/06 The overnight TV rating for the NASCAR AMD at The Glen Nextel Cup race Sunday on NBC was a 4.0/10 share.  That's down 7% from a 4.3 overnight rating last year....which was down from a 5.0 overnight rating in 2003, all on NBC.  Overall it's down 20% in 3 years and continues NASCAR's slide in popularity that we have seen all year.

The Cleveland NBC station didn't even air the race.  They had Indians baseball instead.

TV News
USA TV reminders for Sunday USA TV reminders for Sunday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
Inside Drag Racing  
11:00am-11:30am ESPN2
MotoGP World Championship  Czech Republic
11:00am-12:00pm (SDD) SPEED
NHRA 2Day  
11:30am-12:00pm ESPN2
NASCAR RaceDay Michigan
12:00pm-2:00pm (L) SPEED
AMA Supersport Virginia
2:00pm-3:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup  Michigan
GFS Marketplace 400 
2:00pm-5:45pm (L) TNT
American Le Mans Series Elkhart Lake, WI
Road America
3:00pm-6:00pm (L) SPEED
AMA Superbike  Virginia
6:00pm-7:00pm (SDD) -Day 2 SPEED
NASCAR Victory Lane Michigan
7:00pm-8:00pm (SDD) SPEED
The SPEED Report  
8:00pm-9:00pm SPEED
Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain
Robin Miller (Open-Wheel Analyst)
Paul Tracy (Champ Car)  
9:00pm-10:00pm (L) SPEED
NHRA Memphis
10:00pm-1:00am (SDD) ESPN2

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

White sets record in final practice White sets record in final practiceElkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Driving for a new team, Ron White, from Santa Clara, California, set a new track record in practice for Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Moving this weekend to the newly formed Ross Smith Racing, White, driving the #69 Ross Smith Racing Maxwell Paper Products Mazda, lapped the 4.048-mile Road America circuit in a time of 2:04.388 (117.156 MPH) to break the previous record of 2:04.621 set in 2004 by Daniel DiLeo.

"After running my own team for the first part of the season it's an adjustment as I only have to focus on my job as a driver and not on all the other parts of running a team, so I've been working on my driving, and working on the data to keep myself busy," the 25-year old driver explained. "We didn't get much time yesterday to get out there and do some fast laps, and I had never run here in any type of car before, but we had a really good session. We just went out there to try to lay down a few good laps and my engineer Kent Stacy tried some things and the thing was fast. It's the first time I've been P1 in practice and a first for the team as well so it's been a good weekend so far." zzzz

Also lapping under the previous track record, with a time of 2:04.567 (116.988 MPH) in the #9 Andersen Racing Team Skip Barber Mazda, Gerardo Bonilla, of Orlando, Florida, was pleased to be back at the front of the field. "This is the resurgence that we've been trying to get to all year as we've had a roller coaster season, but through it all my team owner Dan Andersen has kept the faith," Bonilla, winner of the opening round at Sebring International Raceway revealed. "Everybody on the team has continued to work hard and this session was the culmination of their efforts as I was able to get into a grove that I haven't been in in a while and everything that we laid out for the weekend has been going to plan. We're dedicating this weekend to my grandmother who passed away last week and Road America is like a second home to me so I am excited with the way things are going this weekend."

Adrian Carrio, who topped the time sheets in the opening session of the day, was third fastest in the afternoon session with a time of 2:04.889 (116.686 MPH) in the #14 World Speed Motorsports Rockford Fosgate Mazda and remained confident heading into qualifying. "We had a good session but we set our fast time early in the session and it looks like the track was faster later in the session," the current championship points leader commented. "The car was good so we're just going to work on a couple of things with the car and try to go out there tomorrow morning and set a fast lap."

With final practice complete the drivers now turn their attention to qualifying which is scheduled to get underway at 8:00 AM Central Daylight Time on Saturday, August 19. Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, nineteen laps around the famed Road America road course, will roll off the grid at 1:05 PM Central Daylight Time.

Zonta breaks Laguna Seca track record Zonta breaks Laguna Seca track recordAfter one installation lap today on the 11-turn, 2.238 mile Laguna Seca Raceway, Panasonic Toyota F1 driver Ricardo Zonta easily set a new track record on his second flying lap with at 1:07:587 at119.206 mph. This time and speed edges the previous record of 1:07.722 set by Helio Castroneves at the CART Honda Grand Prix of Monterey in 2000. Castroneves’ speed was 118.969.

"The team made some adjustments after our test laps yesterday that helped the car run smoother on the track today and I had a feeling the car could go much quicker than yesterday," said Zonta after the session ended early in the third lap with an electrical short. "We had used tires on today and planned to change to new slicks in the second session, but we never got the chance. I am looking forward to new, slick tires tomorrow."

The plan for today called for one installation lap, three flying laps, a tire change to new tires, then a final three flying laps. On Saturday, the car will be making flying laps at 12:45 and 3:40 p.m. and on Sunday at 12:35 and 3:25 p.m. [Left, Ricardo Zonta with Sir Jack Brabham and Steve Earle (Historics race founder)] 

Zonta last drove on the Laguna Seca track in 1998 when he won the FIA GT Championships behind the wheel of a Mercedes.
Just one car for RuSPORT in Montreal Just one car for RuSPORT in MontrealLOVELAND, Colo. – Justin Wilson (#9 CDW / RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) will be the lone RuSPORT driver in the upcoming Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.  The team announced today that it will not enter a replacement driver for the injured Cristiano da Matta for the event on Aug. 27.

Da Matta continues to recover from a severe head injury he sustained during a Champ Car Open Test at Road America in Wisconsin on Aug. 3.

“After careful consideration by the RuSPORT management team, we have decided not to enter the No. 10 Champ Car in the Grand Prix of Montreal,” said RuSPORT president Jeremy Dale.  “This is a difficult decision for this very competitive group of people, but at this time, it is the correct decision for the team.  Our attention at this time is focused on two areas: Cristiano’s recovery and Justin’s ability to contend for the Champ Car driver’s title.  However, with the time available to us between the Grand Prix of Montreal and the event at Road America in September, we will have an adequate amount of time to make the best decision for the team, moving forward.”

Dale will appear by telephone on SPEED Channel’s weekly television show, “Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain,” this Sunday, Aug. 20, at 9:00 pm EDT.

The 2006 Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal will take place Aug. 25-27.  The race will be broadcast live on NBC on Sunday, Aug. 27, beginning at 1:30 pm EDT.

Wilson aiming for championship Wilson aiming for championshipBobby Wilson isn't lowering his sights. After being knocked out of second place in the Indy Pro Series point standings at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 13, Wilson's goal isn't only to regain the position. He wants to win the Indy Pro Series championship.

Wilson held a one-point edge over Jonathan Klein entering the Kentucky 100, but a seventh-place finish by Wilson and a second by Klein led to a reversal of positions. Wilson trails Klein by 14 points and leader Jay Howard by 39 points with three races remaining.

"I'm a little upset with what happened at Kentucky, but there's nothing much I could do," said Wilson, an Oconomowoc, Wis. native who lives in Ocala, Fla. "I was flat out all the way around, and you're pretty much stuck with what you have."

While that may be true on a high-banked, 1.5-mile oval like Kentucky, the two races at Infineon Raceway (Aug. 26 and 27) should require much more driver skill. zzzz

"I feel really confident that our team is going to be strong there," said Wilson, who made his Indy Pro Series debut on the 12-turn, 2.26-mile course last year. "It's not a 1.5-mile dyno run. I'm confident that I'm going to work well with the engineer and get to the front."

In fact, Infineon will be the first track on the 2006 schedule that Wilson has competed on previously in an Indy Pro Series car. He qualified second to Marco Andretti a year ago in a Brian Stewart Racing car. Neither Klein nor Howard has raced at Infineon in the Indy Pro Series.

The other advantage for Wilson - he's the only one of the top three competitors who has won on a road course this season. The 24-year-old drove the No. 24 Kenn Hardley Racing entry to Victory Circle at Watkins Glen in June. Howard's best road-course finish is second at St. Petersburg, while Klein's best effort was a third at Indianapolis.

The doubleheader weekend at Infineon offers the possibility of 105 points.

"I know going into a road course I'm going to be strong and really going to try and claw back that gap and maybe even jump ahead," Wilson said. "I'm going for the championship. I'm going to go there with the intentions of winning, and wherever that puts me, that's all I can do. Hopefully, things will go my way."

Gilliland finally confirmed for No. 38 car Gilliland finally confirmed for No. 38 carMasterfoods USA announced Friday that David Gilliland will be the new driver for its M&M’S Chocolate Candies sponsored entry in the Nextel Cup series effective immediately. Gilliland will be behind the wheel of the M&M’S #38 Ford for the remainder of the 2006 season and will compete full-time on the Nextel Cup circuit beginning in 2007, the first year of a three year agreement between the driver and Yates Racing. Todd Parrott returns as crew chief of the #38 this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. “We are proud to announce David as the driver for M&M’S Chocolate Candies,” said William Clements, director of Sponsorships and Sports Marketing for Masterfoods USA. “NASCAR fans, like M&M’S consumers, are extremely loyal and passionate and we are excited to continue our partnership with the Yates family. Our 39,000 associates worldwide welcome David to the Mars, Incorporated family and look forward to seeing him behind the wheel of our colorful M&M’S Ford.”

“It’s great to welcome David to our organization,” said Doug Yates, who will be listed as the team owner of the #38 beginning in 2007. “His track record is impressive and with his drive and dedication, he’s a great fit for the M&M’S Team. We are also excited to have Todd Parrott return as the leader of the #38 Team. We believe his knowledge partnered with David’s ability is the right combination to return our team to the front of the field.” Elevation Group PR

Seen in Las Vegas Seen in Las VegasFerrari F1 team boss Jean Todt was in the gift shop at Roger Penske's Ferrari Maserati dealership on Thursday evening, which is inside the new Wynn Las Vegas hotel/casino.  Presumably he was on a company business trip.  He was with a couple other Italian speaking gentlemen. 

Bernie Ecclestone made noises about wanting to race on the streets of Las Vegas but was never able to put together a deal.  Now that Champ Car has done a 5-year deal to race on the Vegas streets, that will not happen.

Brno: Free practice times (combined) Brno: Free practice times (combined)Full MotoGP free practice times (1 and 2 combined) from the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno, round twelve of the 2006 world championship.

1. Valentino Rossi ITA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 57.871 secs
2. Randy de Puniet FRA Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 58.028 secs
3. Loris Capirossi ITA Ducati Marlboro Team 1min 58.470 secs
4. Colin Edwards USA Camel Yamaha Team 1min 58.851 secs
5. Kenny Roberts Jr USA Team Roberts 1min 59.119 secs
6. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1min 59.240 secs
7. Carlos Checa SPA Tech 3 Yamaha 1min 59.254 secs
8. Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team 1min 59.258 secs
9. Marco Melandri ITA Fortuna Honda 1min 59.313 secs
10. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team 1min 59.387 secs *
11. John Hopkins USA Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1min 59.406 secs
12. Casey Stoner AUS Honda LCR 1min 59.607 secs
13. Toni Elias SPA Fortuna Honda 1min 59.893 secs *
14. Makoto Tamada JPN Konica Minolta Honda 1min 59.919 secs
15. Alex Hofmann GER Ducati Marlboro Team 2min 0.507 secs
16. Chris Vermeulen AUS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 2min 1.074 secs *
17. James Ellison GBR Tech 3 Yamaha 2min 2.426 secs
18. Jose Luis Cardoso SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 2min 2.730 secs
19. Ivan Silva SPA Pramac d'Antin MotoGP 2min 4.244 secs

* time set in Practice 1

Schu 'no comment' on Villeneuve outburst Schu 'no comment' on Villeneuve outburst(GMM)  Michael Schumacher's spokeswoman has refused to comment on accusations by Jacques Villeneuve that the seven time world champion is bland and a liar.

''We have been aware of the quotes since yesterday,'' Sabine Kehm reacted on behalf of the 37-year-old Ferrari driver.

She insisted: ''We don't even want to make a 'no comment' on this.''

In the 'Aftenposten' newspaper, meanwhile, Kehm responded to reports that a Norwegian journalist, Bjorn Benkow, twice faked exclusive interviews with Schumacher earlier this year.

''Michael only speaks with the press at press conferences,'' she explained, ''or on a few agreed occasions.''

Villeneuve slams Schumacher Villeneuve slams SchumacherJacques Villeneuve says Michael Schumacher will not be remembered among the greats of Formula One, despite the records he currently holds.

The former BMW-Sauber driver lashes out at his former rival, calling him a liar and a dirty driver, adding he will never be held in the same regard as Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost or Nigel Mansell.

"He's a racer - but a pure racer, nothing but a racer and, because of that, I think the day he hangs up his helmet people will just forget him," Villeneuve tells F1 Racing magazine in an interview to be published next week.

"Senna, by contrast, will never be forgotten. Some of that is the James Dean factor, of course, because he was killed in action at a young age, but not all of it. I don't even think Michael will live on in people's memories as strong or as long as Prost has - certainly not as strong or as long as Mansell has. Those people attained a hero status that Michael never has and never will.

"Michael simply isn't a great champion because he's played too many dirty tricks and because he isn't a great human being," said Villeneuve. "Yes, Senna played dirty tricks too but he did it with more class, more integrity. When he took Prost out at Suzuka in 1990, he said he was going to do it before the race.

"Unlike Michael, who ridiculously insisted he was innocent at Monaco this year, Senna said, 'Yes, I did it. But I told you before the race that I was going to do it.' That's very different from what Michael did at Monaco and Jerez (in 1997) and Adelaide (in 1994).

"It's quite sad, really - because the reason Michael did what he did (at Monaco this year) is that he thinks he's better than the rest of us," says the former world champion. "He thinks he's bigger than the sport, too, but he isn't. And when he retires, and no one really remembers him, that will become clear."

Michigan Cup race to air in Canada Michigan Cup race to air in CanadaTo support the growing NASCAR fan-base in Canada, NASCAR and NASCAR Canada have made the necessary arrangements for this weekend's GFS Marketplace 400 race from Michigan International Speedway to be televised live in Canada. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race will air this Sunday (August 20) at 2:00pm/et on Rogers Cable Television and Bell ExpressVu. The race will air live in its entirety and includes a free preview of the Emmy-Award winning NASCAR IN CAR package, featuring six in-car channels, live team audio and real time race data. The race was not initially scheduled to air in Canada. Bell ExpressVu is offering its free preview of the NASCAR IN CAR package on channels 441-446. Channel 440 will provide the network broadcast with full commentary and analysis. Bell ExpressVu will also offer High Definition coverage of the race, however the channel number has yet to be confirmed. Rogers Cable Television will offer its free preview of the NASCAR IN CAR package on channels 446-452. Subscribers can tune in to channels 85 and 445 for digital coverage of the race and channels 1 and 59 for analog coverage. High Definition coverage of the race will be available on channel 483. NASCAR Canada supports the continued growth of the NASCAR fan base and further extends the popular NASCAR brand in Canada through sponsorship and licensing opportunities, marketing initiatives, multi-platform media programs and grassroots projects. Established in June 2004, NASCAR Canada is a joint relationship between NASCAR and TSN, and is operated by TSN Events. channelcanada.com
GP2 series finale around corner GP2 series finale around cornerJust a month now remains until the end of season GP2 series prize giving ceremony in Monza In less than one month the 2006 GP2 Series season will come to its conclusion. In the middle of an exciting championship finale, the GP2 Series family is preparing for its annual charity event to be held after the competition concludes in Monza.

The GP2 Series 2006 Prize Giving Ceremony featuring the 5th Annual Winning Attitudes Awards Charity Dinner is the classic season-closing event focused on the world’s foremost Formula One feeder series. This year the event will be held on September 10, 2006 at 7:00 pm at the exclusive Sporting Club, Monza. The event celebrates the mental spirit of motor racing in connection with physical talent and team building. With this event the Gonzalo Rodriguez Memorial Foundation is able to continue giving support through its socially relevant sporting programs, helping thousands of Uruguayan children.

The 2006 Winning Attitudes Awards are chosen by an Independent Jury comprised of authorities and press and they are: Best Team Presentation, Best Team Communications, Best Team Marketing, Best Team Spirit, Best Team Strategists, Best Engineered Team, Most Friendly/Welcoming Team, Most Improved Driver of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Overtaking Maneuver of the Year, Driver Personality of the Year, Truckie of the Year, Best Media Support – voted by Independent Jury + GP2 Teams Press Officers, Best Driving Style – online poll at www.gp2series.com

For the second consecutive year, the Gonzalo Rodriguez Special Award will be delivered at the event. Last year Maestro Pablo Atchugarry created a magnificent marble piece inspired by Gonzalo. An authentic replica will be delivered to the person who holds the same values and virtues as the late Gonzalo. The award is voted for by anyone who in some way is related to this event and in 2005 the first winner was Mr. Charlie Whiting.

JV: BMW needs me JV: BMW needs meAfter being fired only a few weeks ago, Jacques Villeneuve has said that BMW Sauber needs him if they plan to win races. After the German GP, Villeneuve was replaced by test driver and rookie Robert Kubica. Villeneuve said: "If BMW plan to win races in 2007 then they absolutely should have kept me."

On the topic of his future, Villeneuve says "only one small team" has come forward with an offer for next season.

Albers announces new sponsor Albers announces new sponsorOn Thursday Christijan Albers was proud to announce his new sponsor ‘David Hart Vastgoed Group’ – a Real Estate company from Rotterdam. The DHVG logo will be featured on the helmet for the rest of the season, and at the front wing during the Bavaria Cityracing event this weekend.

Christijan Albers “I know David for a while already and he is a good driver himself actually. I’m really proud he made his choice to support my racing career in the upcoming years. It is an impressive company that is really important to the Port in Rotterdam.”

David Hart “What Christijan has achieved thus far is amazing and that is the reason why I will support his career from now on all the way to the top! I am convinced that with his talent and character he can make it. That is the reason why our company wants to be associated with Christijan and his fans.”

Honda and Willis part ways Honda and Willis part ways Former technical director Geoff Willis, who has been on what is known in F1 as 'gardening leave', will not return to his post at Honda, the team announced in a statement on Friday morning.

The Honda Racing F1 Team and its Technical Director Geoffrey Willis have reached a mutual agreement to conclude their working relationship. 

Nick Fry, Chief Executive Officer of the Honda Racing F1 Team said: "Geoff has made an invaluable technical contribution to the development of our team over the last five years, leading to our 2nd place in the F1 Constructors Championship in 2004 and of course contributing towards the momentous occasion of our first win in Hungary two weeks ago. His unwavering focus on the quality of our engineering and the introduction of robust engineering processes has provided foundations that will stand the team in good stead for years to come and pave the way for future success. I would like to thank Geoff both personally and from all our team. We wish him every success in the future." 

Geoffrey Willis said: "The last five years with the team has been a very challenging but rewarding time for me. It has also been a period of great change for the team and I would like to thank all of my colleagues who have helped to set and achieve new standards and establish the team as a technology leader in Formula One. It has been a great pleasure and an education to work with such an enthusiastic and capable group of people and I wish them every success in the future."
Q and A with Emanuele Pirro Q and A with Emanuele PirroEmanuele Pirro is ecstatic to be back in the American Le Mans Series, and it's safe to say so are his legions fans. After an unfortunate retirement at Sebring in the debut race for the diesel-powered Audi R10 TDI, Pirro and Biela returned to Europe in preparation of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which they captured for the fourth time in June. Now Pirro and Biela are back with Audi Sport North America, which has entered two R10 TDIs for the remaining schedule.

The following is a partial transcript of a conference call with Pirro, in advance of this weekend's Generac 500 at Road America and the Mobil 1 presents Labor Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport:

On winning Le Mans with the R10:
"Needless to say, every win is special and unique. This one was particularly wanted by everyone here. We were bringing into racing a new revolutionary engine. In Europe, more than half of the road cars are diesel, and in the US diesel is still searching for its market. No one has ever made a race-purpose diesel engine other than Audi. This was a unique opportunity to be part of motor racing history. We put a huge effort into developing the car in the best possible way. It really made me want to win the race very, very much." zzzz

Thoughts on Mosport:
"Mosport is one of my favorite tracks. I love fast corners, and Mosport provides a lot of those. Unfortunately, it doesn't bring me any good luck. The only two sports car accidents I have had happened at Mosport. Things don't seem to work for me very well here. Hopefully this year we can win one more time.

"Modern circuits have been updated and changed to comply with safety regulations and standards, especially in Europe. Most times, every update made it easier and easier and easier. I've driven for 26 years, and I've witnessed this process a lot. It made driving very much easier. I don't really like that. That's the reason I really like Mosport, because your ride is going to be a good one!"

The R8 vs. R10 TDI?
"We have to remember that the R8 is six years old, which means six years of newer technology. The R10 is much more advanced and sophisticated. The diesel engine requires a very special car around it. It (the diesel) is significantly longer, bigger and heavier than a petrol engine, as is the transmission because of the torque. Building a car around that is very, very difficult. I would like people to appreciate how difficult it is to build a car around this technology."

Off the track:
"Motor racing is my life. But it's not everything. I always wanted to learn many other things. I try to use my spare time in the best possible way and build something up for my future. Right now I have three main activities: a hotel business, a software company that is building a tool for kart tuning and driving and designing simulation, and also a marketing company.

"I play every sport. I fly. I dive. My time is very short, but I thank God for the time and ability to enjoy them."

On being the voice of Wingo in the Italian version of Disney Pixar's 'Cars':
"They just asked me. They wanted to use some known drivers for some of the smaller characters - Giancarlo Fisichella, Alex Zanardi, Jarno Trulli. It's fun for a child. Cars are very unique things and it was quite fun to make it. I haven't seen it yet. In Italy is coming out in a week's time. There actually was a problem with my children because when it is coming out I'll be in Canada. They'll be going by themselves and then going back to see when I come home."

On former F1 drivers (like Jacques Villeneuve) transitioning into the Series:
"I think former F1 drivers are very, very welcome to go on in their careers only if they want it. If they do it just for money and to avoid getting poor, they will just ruin their image in motorsport. If Jacques wants to put his reputation into the field and still wants to do it, I'm sure he'll find the right ride. I hope we don't get whoever comes to just cash a check. There is so much to learn and so much to do that you have to come in with the right attitude."

Reaction and reception of diesel in US:
"In Sebring when we were driving in practice, one gentleman came to me and said, 'Come on, you can tell me. This isn't a diesel, isn't it?' It gives you an idea as to what some people think. In Europe, people think this is a different race car but not that there's anything wrong with it because the roads are full of high-performance diesel engines. In America, people probably think 'What are they doing with this slow power?' They think of smoke and things opposite from a race car. The world is developing and people will soon learn that a diesel car is far different than what diesel cars used to be."

On driving adjustments with the Audi diesel:
"It is more than relatively quieter (than a petrol engine). At the beginning, it was a problem. When I first drove it, it felt like an electric motor. I even thought to put some kind of device to increase the engine sound in our ears. This was something that went away very soon and we got used to it very much. I never realized how much you drive with your ears and the rest of your body. At medium and high speeds, you don't hear the speeds because the engine noise is silenced by wind, suspension, transmission. It's a new world."

On not competing in America for the full season:
"We knew before Sebring that only one driver pairing was going to compete for the whole championship - the one who finished ahead of the other at Sebring. Sebring always was a test for Le Mans and we were going to run an R8 until Le Mans. We knew that Sebring was very, very important to be able to compete in the American Le Mans Series. We had a retirement and didn't have a chance to compete here. After Sebring, I was very, very sad about not competing here. But the reward at Le Mans made up for it. At the wheel, it's impossible for me to make a less than full effort. There is no problem of motivation at all."

TV News
USA TV reminders for Saturday USA TV reminders for Saturday
Courtesy of TVRacer.com
NASCAR Performance 
11:00am-11:30am  SPEED
NASCAR Busch Qualifying Michigan
11:30am-1:30pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Live! Michigan
1:30pm-2:00pm (L) SPEED
NASCAR Nextel Cup Final Practice  Michigan
2:00pm-2:45pm (SDD)  TNT
Speed World Challenge Denver 8/13/06
2:00pm-3:00pm -Touring Car SPEED
NASCAR Busch Series Michigan
2:45pm-5:00pm (L) TNT
AMA Motocross Millville, MN
Spring Creek MX Park
8/13/06 3:00pm-4:00pm OLN
Champ Car Atlantic Denver 8/13/06
3:00pm-4:00pm SPEED
AMA Superbike  Virginia
4:00pm-5:00pm (L) -Day 1
Sunday, August 20,
6pm-7pm (SDD) -Day 2 SPEED
Speed World Challenge Road America
6:00pm-7:00pm (SDD) -Touring Car SPEED
NASCAR Grand National, Busch East Series 150 Waterford, CT
7:30pm-9:00pm (L) HDNet
NHRA Qualifying Memphis
8:00pm-10:00pm ESPN2

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

TV News
Robin Miller and Paul Tracy on Wind Tunnel Robin Miller and Paul Tracy on Wind TunnelWith more opinions than time to share them, SPEED’s Robin Miller comes back to the Wind Tunnel studio to take over the co-hosting seat this Sunday, August 20th. From open-wheel news and rumors to well-thought out answers to all of NASCAR’s problems, Robin has it all and he’s rarely wrong!

Dave Despain and Miller…back together again…ready to make your Sunday night a lot more memorable than you had planned.

Featured Interview Paul Tracy (2003 Champ Car World Series Champion)

In the past 2 Champ Car races, 2003 series champ, Paul Tracy has quickly become one of the most unpopular drivers on the circuit. First, an on-track incident with Alex Tagliani in San Jose resulted in a pit road brawl that earned Tracy a 7 point penalty and a 3 race stint on probation.

Then just this past week in Denver, he collided with defending series champ Sebastien Bourdais in the last corner of the last lap while racing for the 2nd spot. That earned Paul a 3-point penalty, a $25,000 fine, and placement on probation until after the Surfers Paradise race.

So, what’s wrong with Paul Tracy? Is he really a villain or is he just a hard racer that’s had some bad luck? We’ll find out what’s behind Paul’s aggressive moves as he joins Dave Despain and Robin Miller on Wind Tunnel this Sunday August 20th.

Pastorelli happy to return home for race Pastorelli happy to return home for raceAs the Champ Car World Series and Nicky Pastorelli have been in full swing these last couple of weeks, the Holland-native returns home to participate in one of the biggest racing events in the Netherlands this weekend.

The Bavaria City Racing event is on Sunday, August 20 and is a demonstration and parade of national and international race cars and drivers from the most prestigious racing leagues.  Pastorelli will be attending the event in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and will drive an old Formula One car, an Alfa 12 cylinder from 1980.  He will also drive for the charity Kids Rights, where the passenger seat will be sold for a guest to join Pastorelli for a ride in another exotic car.

"I am really happy to do this event," said Pastorelli.  "I participated in the Bavaria City Racing event last year, and it was a huge success.  It was something fun for the people and the fans, especially for me getting to do something like this at home in Holland.  I am excited to drive one of the old Formula One cars, because any F1 car is nice to drive, but even more so an old one because of all the history that is behind it.  I hope to put on a nice show for all those who turn out and I think it is going to be a great time."

Champ Car and about 90 million TV viewers were introduced to Bavaria City Racing when Pastorelli's #8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone Champ Car was decaled with the blue-and-green event logo as he made his Champ Car debut on the streets of downtown Houston, Texas.

track news
Lukaskiewicz named Director of Communications Lukaskiewicz named Director of CommunicationsKansas Speedway public relations staff member Sammie Lukaskiewicz has been named Director of Communications for Michigan International Speedway, track president Roger Curtis announced today.

Lukaskiewicz, one of the original employees at Kansas Speedway who saw the speedway grow from construction in 2000 to its opening the following year, will assume her new duties at MIS on October 9 after the completion of the October 1 Banquet 400 at the Kansas City, Kan., track.

Lukaskiewicz is a 1993 graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.  She will receive a master’s of arts degree in management and leadership from Webster University in St. Louis in December. zzzz

As senior manager of public relations for Kansas Speedway, Lukaskiewicz worked with local, national and international media covering events at the track, developed and wrote all the content for the speedway’s press releases and Web site, acted as official spokeswoman for the track and oversaw the speedway’s credentials.

“We are thrilled to add Sammie to our staff at MIS,” said Curtis. “Her knowledge and enthusiasm will fit well with a staff that is dedicated to providing a great experience each year to everyone that visits MIS, including our race fans, media and corporate partners.”

Klein climbs into Indy Pro Series title contention Klein climbs into Indy Pro Series title contentionRace by race, Jonathan Klein continues to pick off the competition. On Aug. 13, the Long Grove, Ill., native moved into second place in the Indy Pro Series point standings with a thrilling second-place finish in the Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway.

Klein was in the middle of a pack of five cars battling for the lead throughout the 67-lap, 100-mile event. On the final turn, Klein dove to the inside of  teammate Jay Howard in a last attempt at taking the checkered flag. He fell short by 0.0190 of a second in the second-closest finish in Indy Pro Series history.

"It was a wild day really," said Klein, who earned his first career pole position the previous day with a qualifying lap of 189.392 mph. "Coming for the white flag lap, going into Turn 1, I got inside of Jay, came out of two in the lead. I thought that we were going to have it done. He was able to just eke by me at the start/finish line on the outside. But that's the way it goes. Rather be beat by my teammate than someone else."

The result catapulted Klein into second place in the standings, 14 points ahead of Bobby Wilson. Klein trails Howard by 25 points with three races remaining. zzzz

"Sonoma is going to be a big weekend," said Klein of the doubleheader race weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. on Aug. 26 and 27. "That's going to be a very tough weekend. Wilson is right behind me in points, as is Jaime (Camara). It's going to be a struggle. Everybody is going to be fast. All the top runners are going to be quick. It's going to be a dogfight till the end of the season."

Providing he stays in contention at Infineon, Klein, who has seven top-five finishes in the last eight races and scored more points on road and street courses than any driver, will make his final stab at the championship at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. on Sept. 9.

Howard penalized for Kentucky actions Howard penalized for Kentucky actionsThe Indy Racing League penalized Indy Pro Series driver Jay Howard 15 driver points and fined him an undisclosed amount for reckless and overly aggressive driving during the Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway on Aug. 13.

During the last several laps of the race, Howard touched wheels with third-place finisher Wade Cunningham to defend his position. Despite the penalty Howard retains a 25-point advantage in the point standings.

Howard was penalized for violating Rules 1.2 (B), 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3 (A) of the Indy Pro Series Rule Book.

Howard may contest the imposition of the penalty pursuant to the protest and appeal procedures in the Rule Book. This may result in an increase, decrease or no change to the penalty.

Carlos Slim raises stake in Telmex Carlos Slim raises stake in Telmex(Bloomberg) -- Carlos Slim Helu, the world's third- richest man, raised his family's stake in Telefonos de Mexico SA, Latin America's biggest fixed-line carrier, to 52.4 percent of Telmex Class L stock.

Slim owns 8.45 million Class L shares of Telmex, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Slim previously owned 8.33 million Class L shares, according to a July 21 filing. Slim still holds 92 million Class A shares in the company.

British F3
Senna slams bad driving Senna slams bad drivingBruno Senna took a second place in soaking wet conditions in the latest round of the British Formula 3 International Series at Silverstone as the young up-and-coming drivers supported the Grand Prix Masters race.

Senna's result started off a good day for famous families from Sao Paulo, which continued when Emerson Fittipaldi finished eighth in the GP Masters race!

But the day finished on a sour note, with Senna enraged by a maneuver from championship rival Oliver Jarvis which cost him a likely podium position in race two.

Bruno qualified his Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara-Mercedes on pole position for the first race and, on a wet track, led the field into the first corner. But he lost the lead to team-mate Mike Conway during the opening lap. Although Conway initially stretched an advantage, Senna was reeling him in when the safety car appeared late in the race. Then, after the restart, he made a mistake and was forced to settle for second place. zzzz

"I was close to getting him on the restart," said Senna. "I got into his tow but then I went straight off onto the grass at the Maggotts kink. That lost me a bit of momentum. But the race was really lost on the first lap - Mike has been racing cars for many years in England and he knew exactly where to go to find the grip on the wet track. Then when I found out where to go I closed on him."

Problems with traffic when his tires were at their best restricted Senna to fourth on the grid for race two. With the track now dry he made a superb start, but could not quite squeeze in between Christian Bakkerud and Jarvis into the first corner. Bruno then attacked Jarvis again going down the Hangar Straight and swept around the outside at Stowe Corner, but was squeezed onto the grass as they exited the corner. With debris on his tires, Senna dropped down to seventh place.

He then attacked Jonathan Kennard for sixth, but while trying to pass Kennard he was leapfrogged by James Walker. Both Senna and Walker jumped ahead of Kennard during an enthralling battle, but they then lost time at Abbey and were passed once again by Kennard. Senna finally finished in eighth place, and maintains second place in the points ahead of Jarvis.

"It was all down to bad driving by other people," he said. "When you're battling in eighth you expect to be in a shit position, because nobody has anything to lose. But I don't expect that when I'm fighting someone who is in the running for the championship like Jarvis. When I lost all my grip from the grass I was too nice to everybody. But I've learned my lesson - I'm not going to be nice now and I'm not going to give space to anybody.

"The first race was a fair result but I'm not happy with the second. Last month someone made me roll at 250 kilometers an hour at Snetterton and nobody did anything about it, so I'm not surprised they didn't do anything about someone pushing me off."

Kasemets Rocks the Glen and then rocks with fans Kasemets Rocks the Glen and then rocks with fansAfter a whirlwind two weeks of Grand Am and Champ Car testing August 1st through the 4th in Michigan and Wisconsin, prepping and traveling to upstate New York for another career first: his debut in the Rolex Grand Am event at Watkins Glen August 10 and 11th, then flying to Stamford, CT for a two day visit with friends, fans and business persons who kindly hosted the first Team Tonis Fan Appreciation Party at the Rack-N-Roll Sport Club Sunday... Tonis said it best, “We had a blast!”

Kasemets has returned home to Illinois, is finally taking a few days off but still carries a huge smile on his face as he reflects on the weekend.  As event organizer Brian J. Defreese of KB Marketing comments, “It was truly a unique and exciting event having Tonis here.”  And Tonis feels that the Fan Appreciation Party “was actually quite nice!”  He adds: “It was great to give back to the fans.  This was an excellent opportunity for ‘the driver’ and the fans to spend time together.  I had a wonderful time, met some very fun people who are truly loyal Champ Car fans. I think we are on to something here.  I’d like to do this again soon!” 

During Kasemets’ weekend in Stamford, he also attended the charity event hosted by “One”, the campaign to end poverty: 


Fans ventured from the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and surrounding areas to enjoy a rare opportunity to be with the up and coming “Estonian Rocket”, who is on a six-race deal as the Pilot of the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone Champ Car World Series entry.  Tonis’ next scheduled CC race is at Road America/Elkhart Lake, WI on September 24th with his finale’ in Mexico City on November 12th.  zzzz

Arranging the fan event in Stamford was a logical move, as Kasemets was in nearby Watkins Glen, New York for the Crown Royal 200 in the #50 Rocketsports Ford- Crawford Daytona Prototype (DP).  Thursday August 10th, Tonis took to the 2.45-mile road course for all three practice sessions before qualifying, running 14th fastest of 26 entries during his first practice outing.  Kasemets then put the #50 DP on the starting grid in row six/P12, the best starting position to date for the Rocketsports team in the Grand Am Championship. Tonis was afforded the opportunity of co-pilot, substituting for team owner/driver Paul Gentilozzi and shared driving duties with team regular Tomy Drissi. 


Unfortunately, the #50 succumbed to power steering failure early in the race Friday evening.  Tonis managed to put in nine laps before the team had to retire the car for mechanical issues.  Kasemets says his first GAC experience was “very fun and interesting.  I’m really looking forward to doing it again.  The DP suits my driving style, as the fundamental driving technique is similar to Atlantics and Champ Car.  Except everything happens slower, i.e. the DP is a heavier chassis.  I also want to thank Paul Gentilozzi for allowing me to fill in for him at the Glen.”  Before Tonis’ final 2006 events in Champ Car, he’ll get another shot in the #50 DP during the nine-hour Grand Am race at Miller Motorsport Park in Tooele, Utah on September 2nd. 
(Check local TV listings for air times of both Champ Car & Grand Am). 

While in Connecticut, Tonis received excellent hospitality from restaurants and their owners, such as Frank of Italia’s Risorante in Norwalk and Shamus of Tiernen’s Pub & Restaurant in Stamford.  J.C. of The Four Points Hotel/Starwood Resort “enjoyed having Tonis at his hotel.”  And they were wonderful hosts as well.

Sunday’s Fan Appreciation Party was the perfect atmosphere for fans to meet and greet Tonis while watching the Denver Champ Car race on the vast amount of 27 inch televisions at host locale The Rack ‘N’ Roll Sports Club.  Bar manager “Tiny” and bartender Rob provided a fun new “Team Tonis” drink, as well as a very comfortable setting for this unprecedented chance for the fans to meet one of the Personalities of Champ Car.  Food catered by Leo was a hit as well!

Also in attendance, rising Superbike star Athena Detlefs from Westchester, NY.  She’s leaning towards a career in open wheel and sat with Tonis for much of the race Sunday, asking questions and learning from him.  As with most up-and-comers he meets, Tonis offered Athena “any help (he) could”. 

One of the most frequent comments from those at the Sunday event, as Tonis “intensely” watched the drivers take to the Denver GP course: “It was as if he was driving right now! Yet you can interrupt him with any question and he gives you his total undivided attention.” 

In closing, we’d also like to thank promotional sponsor Alliance Limousine President Alan Oyugi, who was excited to learn about Tonis’ trade.  Alan comments, “Tonis is extremely personable and a lot of fun to talk to.”  Thank you Alan for taking such excellent care of Tonis while he was in your area. Tonis Kasemets PR

Racing News
Tom Carnegie to be inducted into HOF Tom Carnegie to be inducted into HOFLegendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway public address announcer Tom Carnegie will join the elite "Who's Who" of Motorsports Hall of Fame of America inductees in ceremonies at Detroit's State Theatre on Aug. 17.

Carnegie utilized his golden baritone voice to call 61 Indianapolis 500s - every race from 1946 through the 90th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on May 28 - plus 12 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and six United States Grand Prix events.

He becomes the first person to be inducted into the prestigious Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, located in Novi, Mich., for accomplishments as a track public address announcer.

"I am very grateful, it's a rare honor and I'm humbled to be the first announcer inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame," Carnegie said. "I am very fortunate to have spent my career at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway because I had the opportunity to get to know the drivers and many other compelling figures.

"Also, I was able to be on the ground floor of television broadcasting in Indianapolis. We aired the first television broadcast in the city's history at the "500" featuring drivers such as Ray Harroun, Wilbur Shaw, Louis Meyer and others. I have had the pleasure of working with many talented individuals."

Not only did Carnegie call every Indianapolis 500 since the close of World War II with grace and drama, but he was also involved in the first television broadcast in Indianapolis in 1949, which aired from the Speedway. On Race Day morning that year, television station WFBM (now WRTV) aired the Indy 500-themed documentary "The Crucible of Speed," and followed it with live coverage of the race. zzzz

The other members of the 2006 Motorsports Hall of Fame of America induction class are: Nigel Mansell, the 1992 Formula One World Champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 starter; longtime NASCAR standouts Hershel McGriff and Curtis Turner; popular drag racer Chris Karamesines; championship road-racer Elliott Forbes-Robinson; and Jeff Ward, who is being inducted for his longtime dominance in motocross and supercross. Ward is also a seven-time Indianapolis 500 starter.

1973 NASCAR champion and longtime NASCAR television commentator Benny Parsons was inducted in 2005, but he is also being honored Aug. 17 because he could not attend last year.

Ward and Mansell both won Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year honors, Ward in 1997 and Mansell in 1993. Ward finished third in 1997, but his best finish was second in 1999, and he has earned four top-10 finishes in his Indianapolis 500 career. Mansell finished third in 1993 and returned in 1994, but he was taken out of the race in an accident, finishing 22nd.

USGP gets June 17th date USGP gets June 17th dateThe 2007 United States Grand Prix is scheduled for Sunday, June 17 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the eighth consecutive year that a FIA Formula One World Championship event will take place at the world’s most famous racetrack.

On Wednesday, Aug. 16, IMS Chief Executive Officer Tony George and Formula One Management President and Chief Executive Officer Bernie Ecclestone came to an agreement on a one-year contract to bring Formula One racing back to IMS.

The event returns to the third weekend of June, when it was run in 2004 and 2005, after taking place on the Fourth of July weekend in 2006.

Ticket information for next year’s race will be announced soon.

“It was important for us to reach an agreement quickly so we can begin notifying fans that Formula One will again be racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007,” said Joie Chitwood, IMS president. “Though this contract is for only one year, it is still our goal to make the Speedway the longtime home of the United States Grand Prix.

“Our immediate focus, however, is making sure IMS sets the stage for creating a world-class sporting event. The first step in doing that is beginning the process to sell tickets. We will announce that process soon, making sure that our ticket account holders get the opportunity to renew their seats first.” zzzz

The 2007 race date is subject to final approval by the FIA, which is the sanctioning body for Formula One.

Formula One was revived in the United States in 2000 by IMS after a nine-year absence. Race Day crowds for the USGP have been among the largest in Formula One since the event came to Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway completed a multimillion-dollar renovation and construction project in 2000, including the building of a 2.605-mile road course for the USGP that includes part of the famed, historic IMS oval.

Michael Schumacher won this year’s United States Grand Prix on July 2 in his Ferrari, becoming the first five-time winner of a major event in IMS history.
Kentucky and Texas renew with IRL Kentucky and Texas renew with IRLThe IndyCar Series will return to the 1.5-mile ovals at Texas Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway in 2007, bringing the confirmed number of races to six.

The IndyCar® Series' annual stop at Texas will be held on Saturday, June 9, while Kentucky Speedway's 300-mile race will be run on Saturday, Aug. 11 as a twilight event for the first time. A 100-mile Indy Pro Series race will be held in conjunction with the IndyCar Series event at Kentucky.

"It is exciting to give fans of the IndyCar Series a Midwest option to watch our drivers and cars under the lights now that we have a new time slot for the Kentucky Speedway," said Brian Barnhart, the president and COO of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series. "And of course we are thrilled to continue the tradition of prime-time racing at Texas Motor Speedway, where Eddie Gossage and his team have done so much to build an anchor in our schedule." zzzz

Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile tri-oval located in Sparta, Ky., has hosted IndyCar Series racing since 2000 and was site of the second-fastest IndyCar Series race in 2003. The track is one of the most competitive in series history with five race winners and seven polesitters in seven events. Among the pole sitters are Sarah Fisher and Danica Patrick, the only female pole winners in IndyCar Series history.

"The time change is what we needed for this event," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said. "While we truly benefited and were extremely grateful to be able to showcase our venue and marketplace through the ABC national television broadcasts in past seasons, we think our fans will truly enjoy seeing high-speed Indy cars circling our speedway in the evening.

"A twilight start also will provide us the opportunity to complement the race with elements our fans have come to expect such as a post race concert or fireworks show to create a complete evening of family entertainment."

Kentucky Speedway will become one of a handful of facilities nationwide to host all of its major league racing events under the lights.

The IndyCar Series had prime-time races at Texas Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Nashville Superspeedway in 2006 and will return for another prime-time event at Texas Motor Speedway, located in Fort Worth, Texas.

The IndyCar Series activity begins on Thursday, June 7 with qualifying and returns on June 9 with the drivers and cars of the Indianapolis 500 battling in the Bombardier Learjet 500k, "America's Original Nighttime IndyCar Race."

"We're still working on a couple of items that will make this schedule even more enticing to the fans, and we will be announcing those plans down the road," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "Expect to see some tweaks that make this event even more fun for the fans."

The IndyCar Series previously announced that it would race at the Milwaukee Mile on June 3, it would return to the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., for the third Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 1 and race from the first time at Iowa Speedway on June 24. The 91st Indianapolis 500-Mile Race will be held on May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The remainder of the 2007 IndyCar Series schedule will be announced at a later date.

Cyberspeed Racing - Drops Grand-Am program Cyberspeed Racing - Drops Grand-Am programUPDATE We hear that this team will be moving into stock car racing. Not sure which division just yet, but one might assume NASCAR trucks or Busch.

08/17/06 LEEDS, Ala. - CyberSpeed Racing team owner Skip Cummins decided to withdraw the team's Riley Pontiac No. 97 from today's Porsche 250 Rolex Series race at Barber Motorsports Park here in light of recent decisions he has made as to the team's future focus.

The Daytona Prototype is being put up for sale and the Maiden, N.C.-based team will now concentrate on its plans to compete in another form of motorsports for the rest of 2006 and all of 2007.

"We'll have some exciting news to announce soon, but Skip decided to withdraw from today's race," co-driver and team managing director Tony Ave said. "He doesn't want to risk damaging the car, and is putting it up for sale in completely race-ready condition.  Now we're going to focus all our attention on another form of racing that will be a better fit for our team."

Industry News
Investors sell large blocks of GM stock Investors sell large blocks of GM stockTwo of General Motors Corp.'s largest institutional investors have sold big blocks of the company's stock, but others have increased their holdings, according to regulatory filings.

Capital Research & Management Co., a Los Angeles-based investment firm that is GM's second-largest investor, sold 19.2 million shares, or 24 percent of its holdings in the company, according to second-quarter reports filed earlier this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company's third-largest investor, Brandes Investment Partners LP of San Diego, sold 2.4 million shares, or 4 percent of its holdings.

But other investors increased their stakes in the world's largest automaker, including Credit Suisse, which bought 11.5 million shares; Fidelity Management & Research, which purchased 6.8 million; and Franklin Mutual Advisers LLC, which bought 4.6 million, according to Lionshares.com.

"It's natural for investors to periodically rebalance their holdings," said GM spokeswoman Brenda Rios, who declined further comment.

Capital Research and Brandes said they do not comment on their investments.

Shane Hmiel admits he took drugs Shane Hmiel admits he took drugsIn trying to collect his salary from last season, banned driver Shane Hmiel has had to admit that he violated NASCAR's substance abuse policy with a positive test for marijuana in 2003 and a positive test for marijuana and cocaine in 2005, this week's NASCAR Scene reports. Hmiel was suspended by NASCAR from September 2003 to January 2004 for the first failed test and then indefinitely after the second failed test in late May 2005. He was "suspended for life" after a third failed test, which was announced in February 2006. The admissions came in a filing in Hmiel's lawsuit against Busch Series team owner Todd Braun. Hmiel wants his paycheck for the time he drove for Braun in 2005 up until the time he was suspended in June 2005. According to the complaint, Hmiel says he is owed $135,513 for the races he drove and another $135,513 for bad faith dealings by Braun. As part of the lawsuit process, Hmiel had to answer questions from Braun, and those answers were filed last month in North Carolina court. Braun alleges that Hmiel knowingly and fraudulently signed a contract without revealing his physical condition. To prove that, Braun's attorneys asked for Hmiel to submit answers to pointed questions. In those answers, Hmiel admitted to using illegal drugs. He admitted that he "may have used marijuana on a regular basis" prior to September 2003, when he failed the first NASCAR test. He denied he was using drugs on a regular basis (at least once a week) in 2005. Braun asked if Hmiel had tested positive for heroin at any time from 2003-2005, and Hmiel denied that he had. In the filing, Hmiel attests that he was not under the influence of any drug at any time while he was racing, although admits the drugs were in his system. SceneDaily.com
Industry News
GM cuts price of XM Radio GM cuts price of XM RadioGeneral Motors plans to cut the price of factory-installed XM Satellite Radio service from $325 to $199 beginning with 2007 models.

More than 90% of GM's 2006 and 2007 vehicles offer XM Satellite's radio service as an option or as standard equipment, the Detroit-based automaker said Wednesday.

"The reduction in price is a function of improving technologies and cost reductions in the hardware," Chance Patterson, an XM spokesman, said. "XM is not funding the cost reduction."

GM, which was the first automaker to install satellite radio as a factory option in 2001, said more than 50 of its models have XM radios. New-car owners receive three months of free XM service. After that, the monthly subscription is $12.95. XM has said that 54.5% of new-car owners subscribe after the trial period.

Barron out, Bremer in at Polestar Barron out, Bremer in at PolestarFormer Polestar Racing Group driver and Atlantic race winner Ronnie Bremer (right) has been tapped to take over the seat vacated by Alex Barron for the next round of the 2006 Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda in Montreal, Canada. Bremer will pilot the #21 Polestar Atlantic entry with continued support from The RoomStore of Phoenix in Montreal, and possibly at the series finale at Road America in Wisconsin.

“We’re all sorry to see Alex go, but we understand his desire to explore some new opportunities for his future,” said Polestar co-owner Jim Griffith, who engineered Barron to the 1997 Atlantic championship title while competing for Lynx Racing. “We’re grateful for everything that he contributed to our team this year and certainly will continue to support him in anyway we can.

“When Alex expressed his intentions, Ronnie became a natural choice. He’s a proven race winner, knows the crew, and will transition easily into the team. We rate him very highly in terms of his technical expertise, commitment and racing ability.”

“This was really a hard decision, but I think it’s best for everyone involved,” said Barron, who competed in the Champ Car World Series and Indy Racing League from 1998 to 2005 with such teams as Cheever Racing, All American Racers and Team Penske. “I want to thank Polestar and Dan Selznick of The RoomStore for all of their support. The crew also did such a super job preparing the car for every session that we never had any mechanical failures. They’re a terrific group and I wish them the best for the rest of the season.” zzzz

“I’m excited to be back with Polestar,” said Bremer, who competed in last year’s Champ Car World Series with HVM and Dale Coyne Racing. “We shared some success together in 2004 and I’m looking forward to re-joining the team, as well as returning to what seems to be among the most competitive seasons in Atlantic history. We’re being realistic with our expectations, but at the same time, I hope to hit the ground running pretty hard.”

Bremer, 27, of Copenhagen, Denmark, competed in six events each with HVM, then Dale Coyne Racing in the 2005 Champ Car World Series. Although he missed one event (Toronto), he finished the season 12th overall and placed as the third highest rookie by virtue of seven top ten finishes.

He captured the Polestar team’s first Atlantic victory in 2004 at Denver and finished fifth overall in his rookie Atlantic season. He was honored with the BBS Rising Star award, in a 2004 season that featured five podium finishes and second in the Rookie-of-the-Year championship. Prior to Atlantic, Bremer competed in British Formula 3, British Formula Ford, and won numerous Danish karting championships.

Bremer will team with Polestar regular Alan Sciuto (#12 Sealy/PKV Racing/The RoomStore of Phoenix/W.S. Deans), who is currently eighth overall and sixth in rookie points after finishing fourth in Denver last weekend. The next round of the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic season will take place August 25-27 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Polestar

Indy signs contract for 2007 US GP Indy signs contract for 2007 US GP(GMM)  Indianapolis officials and Bernie Ecclestone have penned a new one-year deal for a United States grand prix in 2007.

The contract was signed on Wednesday for a race probably in mid-June, according to the Indianapolis Star newspaper, but the financial terms of the agreement were not known.

Motor Speedway CEO Tony George explained that the deal is only for one race because a formula one 'Concorde Agreement' for 2008 and beyond is still not signed.

He said: ''There are too many unanswered questions to commit any longer than that.  But our intention is to be long term.''

Santerre Motorsports to Debut NASCAR Spec Engine Santerre Motorsports to Debut NASCAR Spec EngineIf all goes well at the Andy Santerre Motorsports shop in Harrisburg, N.C.,  this week, a new era in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series racing will begin Saturday night in the Big Y World Class Market 150 at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl.

The Grand National Division spec engine, developed by NASCAR to reduce the cost to competitors in both the Busch East Series and its west coast counterpart, the AutoZone West Series, will make its race debut under the hood of the No. 44 Casella Waste Systems Chevrolet driven by Sean Caisse, who currently trails point leader Mike Olsen by just 34 points with four races to go.   

"It just arrived and we’re planning to put it in the car this afternoon. If it fits and nothing goes wrong, we're planning to race it at Waterford," said Andy Santerre, the four-time series champion who is masterminding Caisse's efforts in 2006, speaking from his shop on Monday.

"It's built by Carl Wegner in Wisconsin and it's part of the first batch of three engines with the new etching, the invisible marking to make sure the parts are what they're supposed to be. The other two engines are going to Bill McAnally in the (AutoZone) West Series," Santerre continued. The concept of the spec engine is to adopt the use of specified parts to control the cost of the engine, while continuing to allow Grand National Division teams to choose their engine builder and brand of car.  zzzz 

Santerre and Caisse both tested the prototype spec engine back-to-back with their regular powerplants last winter and found the performance almost identical but with different characteristics. "When we tested it, the spec engine was a little softer off the corners and a little stronger at the end of the straight (than the current engine)," Santerre said adding “I think that will help on short tracks like Waterford because you won't spin the wheels as much."

The engines are designed to cost less initially, as well as to save teams even more money in the long term by improving durability – something Santerre is eager to test this weekend at Waterford.

"We're looking for an advantage because all our motors are old," Santerre explained. "Although we haven't had engine trouble this year, we’re expecting things to start breaking. We're looking for more reliability with the spec engine."

Safety first! Safety first!Some of the most important safety features in Formula 1 are alongside the track. Generous run-off zones help reduce the speed of a car that has come off the track, while tire stacks absorb the impact energy of the car when hit. Both the run-off zones and tire stacks play a crucial part in the high safety standards of top-class motor racing.

Although the safety systems at Formula 1 tracks have been greatly improved in recent years, the authorities refuse to be satisfied with the progress. Frank Dernie at WilliamsF1 Team is not the only one to demand that “the improvement of track safety must remain an important development goal in Formula 1 in the future.”

If the car comes off the track because the driver has misjudged a braking point or is struggling with a technical fault, the run-off zone acts as a sort of emergency brake. The gravel traps are about 25 cm deep and filled with spherical gravel stones with diameters of between 5 and 16mm in diameter. The stones are designed to generate as much frictional resistance as possible – like sand scattered on an icy pavement – and so reduce the speed of a skidding car quickly and effectively. However, there is often a practical problem with this concept: with a ground clearance of just 50mm and a smooth underbody, the cars often slide over the surface of the gravel trap without braking sufficiently. There is also the danger they can be flipped by the heaped gravel and roll over. zzzz

The loose gravel traps are therefore being replaced by rough tarmac. It has the advantage of allowing the drivers, in some cases, to bring their skidding car back under control. Moreover, if the car does roll, the roll-over bar does not sink into the soft surface: another safety bonus for the drivers. WilliamsF1 Team driver Mark Webber thinks run-off zones made of tarmac are safer, but makes an important point: “Many drivers exploit that, and sometimes even overtake. In that way, they take a much bigger risk because the consequences of a spin are not so dramatic.”

Run-off zones are not a logical option on every section of track. For acute impact angles of less than 30°, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) recommends a smooth, continuous and vertical track boundary. Ideally, the cars slide along this wall or crash barrier and dissipate energy and speed. For less acute angles, on the other hand, gravel traps and tire stacks are absolutely indispensable. A tire barrier has to be at least as high as the boundary wall behind it (at least one meter) and must consist of between two and six rows of tires. Normal car tires are often used, but they must not be too worn to ensure they provide enough resistance in an impact. All the tires have to be bolted together: the front row is covered and reinforced with a 12 mm-thick rubber strap. Ideally, tire stacks absorb about 80% of the impact energy.

On some sections of the city track in Monaco, which is lined with 32 km of crash barriers and has hardly any run-off zones, full water tanks have been used since 1995 as an alternative to tire stacks. So-called “soft walls” were developed for the full-throttle banked corner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, filled with compact sheets of a polystyrene-like synthetic material and secured to the concrete wall with metal cables. Because it is a continuous system, it yields as a single unit in the case of an impact: the car does not get jammed and can slide smoothly along the barrier and slow down. Air-cushion fences are still in the test phase.

Despite the huge progress in both passive and active safety in passenger cars, coming off the road is still one of the most serious risks to road traffic. ESP, or Electronic Stability Program, is the most effective system to prevent skidding accidents, but roadside measures are an important second step towards preventing accidents and reducing the consequences of accidents. “First of all, the road should be laid out so drivers will keep as intuitively as possible to the speed for which it is designed,” explains Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser from the Allianz Center for Technology. “Crash barriers are sensible and necessary, for instance to prevent crashing into dangerous obstacles close to the road. However, a run-off zone is even better than driving into a crash barrier.”

Whichever system finally asserts itself in Formula 1, one thing is certain: the race to optimize track safety will never cross the finishing line.

“The track near Istanbul is not only the newest and one of the safest in Formula 1, but also one of the most interesting” Mark Webber said. “It’s a demanding up-and-down track, which we drive anti-clockwise. The biggest challenge is the incredibly quick Turn 8, which consists of four different straight sections, each of which has a different radius. That makes it extremely difficult to find the ideal line. Thanks to the generous run-off zones, the safety standards are exemplary.” Source: Allianz

Latest F1 news in brief Latest F1 news in brief
'Liar' Schu slammed as Jacques attacks
Da Matta 'improving' - doctor
Zonta to drive F1 car through 'Corkscrew'
Bernie thinks Montoya will return to F1
DC, Irvine, to star in TV show
Alonso happy with August break
BMW need me, says axed Villeneuve
Industry News
MYTH: The World Is Running Out of Oil MYTH: The World Is Running Out of OilWith the price now up to $70 a barrel, and gas at $3 a gallon, how can that not be true? Isn't that why the price is high?

But what people don't know is that there's a vast supply of oil just 500 miles north in Canada.

"The tar sands of Alberta alone contain enough hydrocarbon to fuel the entire planet for over 100 years," according to Peter Huber, co-author of "The Bottomless Well."

What is he talking about? The Canadian tar sands are a Florida-size patch of sand and rock, mixed with oil. Lots of it.

Huber said people think we're running out of oil because we're running out of cheap oil, the kind that's found in the Middle East, which is already liquid, clean and ready to refine.

"It's very cheap to get that oil out of the ground. So, of course, that's where people go first," Huber said.

They can pull it out of the ground for five bucks a barrel.

It costs three times as much to get oil out of Canada's tar sands, because they have to add hot water to the sand to separate the oil. But now that oil is expensive and likely to stay that way, companies find it profitable to do this.

Clive Mather, CEO of Shell Canada, said the Earth's supply of hydrocarbons is almost infinite.

"Those are not running out. In fact, we have hardly started to develop them," he said.  More at ABC News

Penske shuffles drivers Penske shuffles driversIt happens in nearly every big-league sport. When things aren't quite going the way a manager or coach thinks it should, tinkering with the daily lineup is one of the first remedies to improve championship chances. Heading into this weekend's Generac 500 at Road America, that begs a question.

Will the same hold true for the No. 6 and No. 7 Penske Porsches?

The two-car factory entry funded by Porsche and directed by the legendary Roger Penske still has its sights set on the LMP2 championship in the American Le Mans Series. But as Penske Racing heads into Round 7 of the 2006 Series at the historic 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course, it will do so with a new driver lineup in place.

Sascha Maassen, who had teamed with Lucas Luhr in the No. 6 Porsche RS Spyder, remains in the car. But he now will drive with Timo Bernhard, who comes over from the No. 7 entry. Luhr, in turn, will now work with Romain Dumas. zzzz

Sound confusing? Perhaps a bit, but the reasons for the move are quite clear: Porsche and Penske want to give themselves the best chance for the LMP2 drivers championship. Maassen and Luhr trail Intersport Racing's Clint Field and Liz Halliday by 5 points heading into Road America. Splitting Maassen and Luhr doubles the chances of producing a maximum result for the two challengers as all four Penske drivers have won American Le Mans Series races and are considered among the best road racers in the world today.

The other objective is to achieve better dependability with the RS Spyder machines. The last round at Portland offered a snapshot of the problems that have befallen Penske and Porsche this year. After qualifying on the pole with a record 110.992 average speed, Dumas in the No. 7 tangled with a prototype driven by Duncan Dayton, and the net result was a significant period in the paddock area while the car was fixed.

This allowed Field and Halliday the chance to move up to second place in class. Then with just under 20 minutes remaining Luhr's engine failed in the No. 6, forcing it out of the race and allowing Intersport's AER-powered Lola B05/40 to make up the necessary laps for the team's third class victory in six starts this year.

Considerable hoopla accompanied the RS Spyder's arrival in the American Le Mans Series last year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Seemingly, the only questions concerning the cars are their ability to remain reliable.

"Right now, we can't match their quickness," Halliday said. "But everyone at Intersport is working very hard to improve our speed in the Lola, and we have come a very long way. We know we have a very reliable car of our own, and through six races that has been demonstrated quite well."

Indeed, the Intersport Lola, in addition to its three class wins, has two seconds and a third place finish to its credit. Sunday's race at Road America will again pit the lap-eating No. 37 prototype against its younger, sleeker challengers.

"We will give it our best shot every time out," Field said. "Maintaining our lead is important to every Intersport team member and it remains our focus as we get to the latter stages of the season."

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 americanlemans.com.

LMP2 Points Standings
After Six Rounds

Drivers Championship
1. Clint Field 108
Liz Halliday 108
2. Sascha Maassen 103
Lucas Luhr 103
3. Timo Bernhard 74
Romain Dumas 74
4. Guy Cosmo 40
Jamie Bach 40

Team Championship
1. Penske Racing 111
2. Intersport Racing 108
3. B-K Motorsports 40

Chassis Manufacturer Championship
1. Porsche 111
2. Lola 108
3. Courage 42

Engine Manufacturer Championship
1. Porsche 111
2. AER 108
3. Mazda 40

Tire Manufacturer Championship
1. Michelin 111
2. Goodyear 108
3. Kumho 26 .

4 truck teams conclude LVMS test 4 truck teams conclude LVMS testFour NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams concluded tire tests for Goodyear at Las Vegas Motor Speedway tonight.  The next time they see the track will be Smith's Las Vegas 350 on Saturday, Sept. 23. Each of the four participating manufacturers were represented: Dodge (Brendan Gaughan of Las Vegas), Chevrolet (Dennis Setzer), Toyota (Todd Bodine) and Ford (Rick Crawford).

Hometown hero Brendan Gaughan - winner of the 2003 Las Vegas 350 at LVMS - still is fond of the old track but has found much to like about the new pavement and banked turns.

"I liked that old track," Gaughan admitted.  "It was smooth as glass and they did a great job.  But this place is going to be fun.  It's got some characteristics that Vegas didn't have before.  The speeds are 'way up and I think it's going to be a fast place if we can get Goodyear to pick us a good tire - they brought a couple different ones for us to try - we'll have a great race."

So how much faster is his Orleans Racing Dodge and the other NASCAR Craftsman Trucks going on the new track?  zzzz

"It depends on which set of tires you put on.  There's a couple sets of tires that are actually slower, and a couple that make us a little faster and a couple that make us 'way faster.  (The track qualifying record of 165.320 mph was set by Mike Skinner in 2004.)  It all just depends on what tire you put on.  All in all, I've seen us in race trim do 31.7s and 31.6s, so I think you'll definitely see at least a second faster."

Rick Crawford represented the Ford contingent in his Circle Bar Truck Corral F-150.

"This ought to be called 'Las Vegas Superspeedway' now," said Crawford, who just finished a 25-lap run.  "It's a really nice place.  You're going to have side-by-side racing, a lot of drafting, a lot of speed, a lot of excitement for the fans.  I can't wait to come back next month. I like the width and the grip of the race track.  They did a nice job on the construction.  The speeds are going to be faster.

"This Circle Bar Ford F-150 is brand new.  We used this opportunity to be one of the manufacturers to come out to test tires for Goodyear and we brought a brand-new piece and it's doing great.  It's a pleasure to drive something that (crew chief Kevin) 'Cowboy' Starland and the whole crew built for me.  When they make driving fun, we can breed success." 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.

Mexico’s rich build dynasties Mexico’s rich build dynasties[Editor's Note: This article is important in that there are some VERY wealthy families in Mexico and ultimately it will be racing's ability to connect with one or more of these families to support racing and Mexican participation. Carlos Slim's Telemex is already involved in racing, but they are now favoring NASCAR and want to get a Mexican driver in F1 as well as an F1 race in Mexico.]

Carlos Slim is rich. Insanely rich. Astronomically rich. If you took his $37.6 billion and laid the dollar bills end to end, they would stretch to the moon and back seven times, that's how rich he is.

That the world's third-wealthiest man is from Mexico, a country still plagued by poverty, is remarkable. But what's more remarkable is this: He's not the only ultrarich Mexican out there.

Mexico is quickly becoming a land of business dynasties, families that have grown fabulously wealthy through a combination of government favoritism and the privatization of hundreds of state-run enterprises in the 1990s. We have a huge concentration of capital in this country," said Celso Garrido, an economist at Mexico City's Autonomous Metropolitan University. "They're the superrich, the fantasticos."

These are the Mexicans who drive Porsches and live in mansions in Lomas de Chapultepec, the Beverly Hills of Mexico City. The kind of people who have no trouble getting U.S. visas and who fly into Scottsdale Municipal Airport on private jets for weekend shopping trips.

Other Mexicans refer to these people as "the 100 families" and know them from the social pages of the Reforma newspaper, where their sons and daughters appear playing polo, skydiving and sailing yachts.

These Mexican dynasties have also begun investing billions of dollars in the United States in the past decade. Americans buy and use their products, everything from cement to kitchen appliances, every day.

As these business conglomerates, often called grupos, grow, they face new challenges: greater scrutiny from foreign regulators, global competition and the advancing age of their patriarchs. But one thing remains clear: In Mexico, wealth is still a family affair. zzzz

Big business

The reach of these families and their businesses is enormous: Anyone in the western U.S. who ate a Thomas' English muffin, an Entenmann's pastry or a slice of Oroweat bread for breakfast already has contributed to the Servitje family fortune today. And tonight, countless American barflies will order up Coronas and make María Asunción Aramburuzabala, Mexico's richest woman, a little bit richer.

For these families, globalization has paid off handsomely. For example, 35 percent of stoves and refrigerators in the United States are made by a Mexican company called Mabe, founded and still led by the Berrondo family. They're sold under the Hotpoint and GE brand names.

Many of these families control the grupos that have so many kinds of companies they put General Electric to shame. Some are world leaders in their industries. They include the Bailléres family and its Grupo BAL, the world's biggest producer of silver. The Larrea family's Grupo México is the world's third-largest producer of copper and owns three mines in Arizona.

Cemex, controlled by the Zambrano family, is the biggest cement company in the United States, and its products are under eight regional brands, including Victor. Gruma, held by the González family, is the world's leading producer of corn products.

Meanwhile, América Móvil, one of Slim's companies, was named the top-performing technology company in the world by BusinessWeek this year. It beat out companies like Apple, Google, Dell and Microsoft.

Slim himself is now third on Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest people, right behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

Many of the Mexican business dynasties took off in the 1990s, when President Carlos Salinas de Gortari began dismantling Mexico's centralized economy. Salinas sold off more than 1,000 state-run companies from metal foundries to railroads. Mexican tycoons snapped them up at bargain-basement prices.

Slim, for example, led a consortium that bought the Telmex telephone monopoly for $443 million, less than two-thirds of its true value. Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who is unrelated to the former president, bought state-run Imevisión and turned it into the TV Azteca network, which has affiliates in Phoenix and Tucson.

The families then organized the companies into voting and non-voting shares. That allows them to control companies with little investment, sometimes 4 or 5 percent of the shares.

Many of the companies are expanding their plants and warehouses in the United States. Gruma is buying up competitors, including the Cenex Harvest States tortilla plant in Phoenix. Televisa, the media and sports empire controlled by the Azcárraga family, tried but failed to buy the U.S. network Univision this year. Slim bought the CompUSA chain of electronics stores in 2000 and owns a big chunk of Saks Fifth Avenue.

In all, Mexican capital investments in the United States went from nearly nothing in 1995 to $6.7 billion in 2005. The numbers show that far from being just a source of illegal migrants, Mexico is increasingly becoming a source of investors, said Dawn McLaren, a research economist at Arizona State University.

"Here are we are, complaining about illegal immigration and saying Mexicans should get out of our country," McLaren said. "So it is extremely surprising for Americans to find that there is a huge amount of foreign direct investment coming in." More at Arizona Republic

TV News
The SPEED Report to sponsor Sadler at Bristol The SPEED Report to sponsor Sadler at BristolWhen Hermie Sadler’s No. 00 MBA Motorsports Chevrolet rolls into Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend for the Sharpie 500, it will be carrying the colors for a new show on SPEED, The SPEED Report. The new show, which airs Sunday nights on SPEED at 8 p.m. ET, is hosted by Drew Johnson and Nicole Manske.

Sadler, the 1993 Busch Series Rookie of the Year, is looking forward to taking The SPEED Report entry to the track. “I have had the opportunity to be a part of some neat promotions and paint schemes, and this car is at the top of the list. The design of this car says a lot about the new attitude of SPEED and how they cover racing of all types. I look forward to a fun weekend.”

“The SPEED Report is the one show where race fans get the ‘why’ behind what’s going on in and around their favorite racing series,” said Chris Long, SPEED VP of studio productions. “We are excited about having the opportunity to team up with Hermie Sadler in Bristol, on one of NASCAR’s biggest stages – a place where SPEED will produce shows like Trackside, NASCAR RaceDay, NASCAR Live! and NASCAR Victory Lane.”

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