Evernham returning to NASCAR garage Former championship-winning crew chief and Sprint Cup Series team owner Ray Evernham told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he will return to the NASCAR garage next season in an unofficial capacity with Hendrick Motorsports.
Evernham has spent this season away from the NASCAR garage, working as a consultant for the Hendrick Companies overseeing strategic initiatives for Hendrick's auto dealerships and aftermarket retail business, while driving his own Sprint Car in a limited schedule of events, He said his driving career could come to an end in the near future, however, as he transitions back to NASCAR in 2013.
"I've got six or seven more Sprint Car races before the end of the year, then I'm probably going to have to make a decision about how much I'm going to race next year," said Evernham. "I'd like to get back to the (NASCAR) race track more in 2012, so I think my Sprint car racing is going to suffer." Evernham said he has no desire to return to the crew chief ranks, saying his role will be unofficial and undefined. "I will have no real official capacity, other than being a part of Hendrick Motorsports," he said. Sirius-Speedway
SPEED Live from MotoGP Indy SPEED offers live coverage of this weekend’s MotoGP race from Indianapolis on Sunday, beginning at 2 p.m. ET. Hosted by Ralph Sheheen, with play-by-play from Leigh Diffey, analysis from Hall-of-Famer Scott Russell and pit reporting from Greg White, SPEED’s exclusive coverage of the 12th event on the MotoGP schedule will highlight some of the top riders in the world, including points leader Casey Stoner, 2010 champ Jorge Lorenzo, the legendary Valentino Rossi and American greats Ben Spies, Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards.
In addition, SPEED is providing same-day coverage of MotoGP qualifying from historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday at 11 p.m. ET.
Danica's NASCAR announcement delayed a day The announcement of Danica Patrick's plans in NASCAR will be made tomorrow, "one day later than expected." Sources said that Patrick's main sponsor, GoDaddy.com, was "working to set up a news conference for Wednesday but it has been postponed."
The press conference will be held at Go Daddy HQs in Phoenix. Patrick, JR Motorsports co-Owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Stewart-Haas Racing co-Owner Tony Stewart "did not deny reports" that deals were being finalized for her to drive a full Nationwide and partial Sprint Cup Series schedule.
Sebring winners to return for Petit LeMans Winners at the 12 Hours of Sebring last March and 5th at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Team ORECA Matmut will concentrate on Petit Le Mans for the end of the 2011 season. The event, penultimate round of the ILMC, will see the No. 10 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP make its comeback to the U.S.A.
This decision was not easy to make," explains Hugues de Chaunac. "It was taken for a number of reasons. Among others, we have strategic choices to make concerning the 2012 season. We prefer to focus our energy into preparing our future programs."
It’s on to Baltimore for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n and the final street race of the 2011 season. The inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix is the seventh round of this year’s championship and the 19th street circuit race in ALMS history.
There have been eight previous street races in the American Le Mans Series, dating back to the Race of a Thousand Years in Adelaide, Australia in 2000. The mid-Atlantic offers familiar surroundings to the Series, which raced at RFK Stadium in Washington DC during the 2002 season.
Military to be honored at Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Infineon Raceway will continue its long-standing tradition of honoring the United States Armed Forces with Military Appreciation Day at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday, Aug. 28.
Major General Mike Myatt has been named Grand Marshal of the race weekend and will take part in issuing the most famous words in racing, "Drivers, Start Your Engines."
Among his many honors, Myatt commanded the 1st Marine Division during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm (1990-91). His unit defeated seven Iraqi Army divisions and also liberated Kuwait City. Myatt, who retired from the Marine Corps in 1995, also served two tours in the Republic of Vietnam. Myatt, a San Francisco native, is currently the chairman of the San Francisco Fleet Week Association, as well as President and CEO of the Marines' Memorial Club in San Francisco.
Schmidt, Jay Penske partner for Sonoma entry Ho-Pin Tung will become the first driver from the People's Republic of China to race in the IZOD IndyCar Series when he takes the green flag in this weekend's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
Tung, from Wenhou, China, will drive the No. 88 Mouser.com Dallara/Honda/Firestone for Schmidt Dragon Racing. He tested the car at a test with the team last week at Infineon Raceway.
"The track is very technical, with many differences in height, really challenging," Tung said. "This circuit requires an intelligent approach. I am very excited about the chance being offered by Mouser, Motegi Wheels and other partners to race at Sonoma."
Newman/Haas team reacts to NH appeal loss Newman/Haas Racing released the following quotes today regarding the decision by the IndyCar Series panel to deny the protest filed by the team following the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on August 14.
Carl Haas, owner of Newman/Haas Racing: "The IndyCar Series granted us a hearing and has been very cooperative in providing us with requested information enabling us to adequately present our case. We feel that we gave the panel proof that Oriol was the winner of the event when the checkered flag ended the race. Naturally we are very disappointed in the panel's ruling that five laps of the race be struck from the results but we appreciated the opportunity to state our position."
Oriol Servia, driver of the No. 2 Telemundo entry for Newman/Haas Racing “I am very proud of Newman/Haas Racing and how they proved that the restart procedure was correct and that we were leading when the yellow came out. The panel resolution doesn't deny that. Their resolution states that Brian Barnhart has the power by the rulebook to make certain decisions at his discretion, and that is what happened.”
Andretti team happy with New Hampshire appeal outcome
Michael Andretti happy with decision
A three-person panel named Ryan Hunter-Reay as the official winner of the MoveThatBlock.com 225 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway after Monday's protest hearing in Indianapolis. Panelists Rollie Helmling, Jeff Stoops and Jerry Gappens voted in favor of the Aug. 14 race finishing order when Hunter-Reay was awarded the winner after a red-flag rain delay on lap 220. The driver of the No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car led 71 laps of the 215 laps counted at the one-mile oval track in Loudon, N.H. The win was Hunter-Reay's first in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season and fifth of his IndyCar Series career. The victory was the third 2011 win for Andretti Autosport. Mike Conway won at Long Beach and Marco Andretti was victorious at Iowa.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: "We are very pleased with the decision given by the committee on the New Hampshire race finish. Ryan drove a tremendous race in the No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car at Loudon and his crew was outstanding that day. We, at Andretti Autosport, believed all along that Ryan was the winner of the MoveThatBlock.com 225 and this decision verifies his victory. This was our team's third win with three different drivers this year. We're the only team to have three winners in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series. We have two big road racing events coming up in the next two weeks at Sonoma, Calif., and Baltimore, Md., and we can now focus on getting back to victory lane at those races. Thanks again for the support of our sponsors and fans."
IndyCar announced today that the top three finishing positions of the Aug. 14 MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway were upheld during a protest hearing Aug. 23 in Indianapolis.
The hearing was conducted by a panel consisting of Jerry Gappens, Rollie Helmling and Jeff Stoops. As Senior Official and pursuant to IZOD IndyCar Series Rule 12.4, INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations Brian Barnhart elected to have a panel resolve the protests filed by Newman/Haas Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
The protests were denied based on these grounds, according to a signed statement from the panel:
"After hearing the excellent presentations by each of the participants in the protest hearing and after reviewing and being sympathetic with each of their positions, the Protest Panel was unanimous in its decision. It is this Protest Panel's conclusion that INDYCAR Senior Official Brian Barnhart had the authority under the governing 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook to render the decision that was made. We also agree that his decision to abort the restart and set the finishing positions that existed before the attempted restart to be an exercise of reasonable discretion. The protests as to Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. d/b/a Target Chip Ganassi Racing car number 9 and Newman/Haas Racing, LLC car number 2 are hereby denied."
Ho-Pin Tung will become the first driver from the People’s Republic of China to race in the IZOD IndyCar Series when he takes the green flag in this weekend’s Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
Tung, from Wenhou, China, will drive the No. 88 Mouser.com Dallara/Honda/Firestone car for Schmidt Dragon Racing. He tested the car at an open test with the team last week at Infineon Raceway.
“The track is very technical, with many differences in height, really challenging,” Tung said. “This circuit requires an intelligent approach. I am very excited about the chance being offered by Mouser, Motegi Wheels and other partners to race at Sonoma.”
Ferrari now working flat-out on 'innovative' 2012 car Ferrari has admitted the development of its 2011 car is "almost at the end of the road" as it switches its attention to its "very innovative" 2012 challenger.
This weekend's Belgian Grand Prix will be round 12 of 19 this season, but with Ferrari and its drivers some way off the title leaders Red Bull, team principal Stefano Domenicali has confirmed that the team is winding down its development of the 150§ Italia. However, he is convinced the 2011 Ferrari will still be quick enough to challenge for more victories this season after taking its first win three races ago at Silverstone.
Willy T. Ribbs to return to racing after 10-year hiatus
Willy T signs autographs at Indy back in May
Willy T. Ribbs never pondered a racing comeback until friend Chris Miles tossed the idea out there awhile back, and the rest is history.
Willy T. Ribbs, now 56 years old, is returning to racing after being out of the sport for 10 years.
At least, that's what Ribbs hopes will result with Wednesday's announcement of his return after a 10-year hiatus. The Indianapolis 500's first African-American starter in 1991, he will compete on Sept. 4 in the Firestone Indy Lights Series' inaugural street race in Baltimore and doesn't rule out more starts if the urge hits him and he's able to line up financial support.
"It's kind of like coming back to (Class) AA baseball after being out of the major leagues for a while," said Ribbs, 56. "I'll have to bring my walker to get it on with those kids, and they're all kids since none of them were born when I raced."
Pirelli previews Spa race Spa-Francorchamps, in the heart of the Ardennes, is a favorite of all the drivers because of the unique challenges that it provides. At 7.004 kilometers, it is by some margin the longest track on the Formula One calendar, underlining its status as an epic circuit from a bygone era. Corners such as Eau Rouge and Blanchimont have entered into grand prix legend, requiring the sort of commitment that pushes not just the driver, but also the tires to the limit.
As well as the immense speeds and G-forces, one of the greatest challenges of Spa-Francorchamps is the variable weather that characterizes the region. Due to the widespread layout of the circuit, similar in style to the old Nurburgring Nordschleife, different microclimates mean that it can be raining on one part of the track but completely dry at another.
Conor Daly was impressed by the speed of the cars and size of the crowd at last weekend's World Series by Renault races
MAZDASPEED driver Conor Daly continues to crisscross the Atlantic Ocean as he heads to Belgium to take in Round’s 13 & 14 of the GP3 Series. Starting with the German Grand Prix weekend, July 23rd-24th, Conor will have visited nine different countries in eight consecutive weekends as he finishes out his GP3 and Indy Lights seasons.
“The hectic travel schedule was good to me a few months back,” comments Daly. “I came off of a 14 hour flight, missed the first day of practice and still won in Long Beach. I am particularly looking forward to Spa because it is just such an awesome track to race on. People always talk about Spa – it’s historically significant, challenging and really fast.”
TMS confirms IndyCar doubleheader again in 2012 The IndyCar Series twin race format will return to Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, and the track's two NASCAR stops will be highlighted by a Saturday night spring race and the eighth Chase race, it was announced Tuesday night.
The TMS schedule starts with the Samsung Mobile 500 on Sat., April 14, and will be the first Saturday night race of the Sprint Cup season. NASCAR returns to Texas on Nov. 4, for a Sunday afternoon race -- the eighth stop in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, NASCAR's playoff format.
Situated between those two Cup weekends is the Firestone Twin 275s, the twin races in the IndyCar Series that debuted last year at TMS. Those two races will be Sat., June 9, and will follow the Indianapolis 500 -- the series takes a week off after the Indy 500 before coming to Texas.
Meet Andretti, IndyCar stars at Macy's SF event You'd expect to see racecar drivers in a garage, not a men's store. But fans (and customers) can meet five current IndyCar stars and an all-time legend Thursday at Macy's Union Square Men's Store in San Francisco.
Before they hit the track at Infineon Raceway for this weekend's Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves along with Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, Simona de Silvestro and Marco Andretti will greet fans and sign autographs at the Thursday evening event.
As a special guest, Indy 500 legend Mario Andretti - Marco's grandfather - will be on hand for the 6 p.m. fan fest.
There are IndyCar-related bonuses for shoppers from series sponsors IZOD. With the purchase of any IZOD merchandise during the event, customers will receive a free IZOD IndyCar Series cap. Customers who make a purchase of $50 or more will receive a pair of tickets to the Sunday's IndyCar race at Infineon Raceway.
The store is located at 170 O'Farrell St., San Francisco.
Jerry Baxter fined $5,000 by NASCAR for fighting like a girl Pastrana Waltrip Racing crew chief Jerry Baxter has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through the end of 2011 for pulling Steve Wallace’s hair following the Nationwide Series NAPA Auto Parts 200 on Saturday in Montreal.
Baxter was crew chief for Patrick Carpentier, who already had announced he would retire following the race. Wallace had run into Carpentier while the two were battling for fourth place, ruining Carpentier’s day with less than 20 laps to go.
Norris Named Crew Chief of Roush Fenway’s No. 16 Chad Norris has been named crew chief of Roush Fenway’s No. 16 Nationwide Series team with driver Trevor Bayne. Norris will assume the role immediately, serving as crew chief for the team this weekend at Bristol. Norris, who has been with Roush Fenway since 2005, led Marcos Ambrose’s winning effort from atop the pit box last weekend in Montreal.
“I am excited for the opportunity to work with Trevor Bayne,” said Norris. “Trevor is obviously one of the most talented young drivers in the garage and I’m looking forward to working with him starting this weekend at Bristol; a track that I know means a lot to him."
Norris takes over for Chris Andrews. Andrews’ role in the organization will be announced at a later date.
IndyCar protest hearings to be held todayUPDATE IndyCar officials said no ruling would be issued before Wednesday morning.
08/23/11 A three-person panel will convene Tuesday morning in Indianapolis to hear protests from Newman/Haas Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing over the final results from the IZOD IndyCar Series race held Aug. 14 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay was awarded the victory when IndyCar officials used the running order before a final restart to determine the finishing order.
Wet conditions caused a multi-car crash on that restart, and the protesting teams believe their drivers (Oriol Servia, Newman/Haas; Scott Dixon, Ganassi) had passed Hunter-Reay before IndyCar officials threw the caution flag. Servia was listed second behind Hunter-Reay and Dixon third in the posted results.
IndyCar president of competition and operations Brian Barnhart chose the three panelists for the hearing. They are New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens, USAC chairman Jeff Stoops and former USAC president and chief executive officer Rollie Helmling. Andretti Autosport also was invited to participate in the protest hearing.
Kyle Busch pleads guilty to speeding violation NASCAR points leader Kyle Busch lost his driver's license for 45 days on Tuesday in a case stemming from his high-speed joy ride in a luxury car.
The Sprint Cup star pleaded guilty to speeding and no contest to reckless and careless driving in North Carolina District Court in Iredell County. Busch, who doesn't need a license to compete in NASCAR, also was fined $1,000, sentenced to 30 hours of community service and put on one year of unsupervised probation.
Busch addressed the court before his sentencing by District Court Judge H. Thomas Church, apologizing again for driving 128 mph in a 45 mph zone in a bright yellow 2012 Lexus on May 24.
NASCAR Michigan and Montreal TV RatingUPDATE ESPN's live telecast of the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 21, earned a 3.7 final national household coverage rating, averaging 5,028,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was up from a 3.6 for last year's race that also aired on ESPN.
ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal on Saturday, Aug. 20, earned a 1.5 final national household coverage rating, averaging 1,872,000 viewers. Last year's race aired on ESPN2 and earned a 1.7 rating.
08/22/11 The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 led all sports telecasts with a 3.2 overnight on ESPN, up 18.5% from a 2.7 rating for the race last year.
Camry To Serve as Daytona 500 Pace Car Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) and Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced today the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry will serve as the official pace car for next year's DAYTONA 500®.
Toyota will showcase the new Camry -- the best-selling car in America for nine years running -- at Daytona in 'The Great American Race,' Feb. 26, 2012. The race annually kicks-off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
"We're thrilled to be able to feature the new Camry in Daytona at the season's biggest race," said Ed Laukes, TMS corporate manager of motorsports marketing. "We think the DAYTONA 500 is the perfect place to showcase the all-new Camry -- which will go on sale this fall. We knew when the opportunity arose to partner together with Daytona that it would be an extraordinary way to highlight our new Camry, as well as reinforce Toyota's commitment to NASCAR and its fans."
Hayden to use new bike in USA Nicky Hayden will switch to Ducati’s GP11.1 bike for this weekend’s Indianapolis MotoGP. Previously, only team-mate Valentino Rossi had been using the chassis which is effectively a prototype of the team’s 2012 version.
“We’re going to Indy and we’ll see what the new track surface does,” the 2006 World Champion said on Tuesday.
“I’ve ridden it and the bumps are definitely gone, although I’d say it will take some time on Friday to clean it up and get some rubber down.
Nasr on the brink of British Formula 3 championship title Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna, Rubens Barrichello, just four of the 11 illustrious names on the list of Brazil-born champions of British Formula 3. Early next month there’s a strong chance that a 12th name, that of Felipe Nasr, will be added to the roll call.
The 19-year-old from Brasilia is hoping that a return over the weekend of 3/4 September to the Rockingham circuit will be a lucky omen, for the Northamptonshire speedway was the venue last year for his maiden Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series victory.
That Rockingham win was Nasr’s sole triumph in 2010 but, since switching to the Carlin team and Volkswagen motive power at the start of the season, Felipe has become the driver against which all the others measure themselves. Twin wins at Monza at the start of the year were followed by victories at Oulton Park, Brands Hatch and the Nürburgring, and then Nasr added another two at Paul Ricard in July to bring his tally for the season so far to seven.
Romain Dumas returns to Muscle Milk team Fast Frenchman Romain Dumas is returning to the Muscle Milk team to co-drive the Aston Martin LMP1 car with Klaus Graf at next week's American Le Mans Series race at the Baltimore Grand Prix.
Dumas first raced for the team at Mosport International Raceway last season replacing an injured Greg Pickett.
The French and German combination of Dumas and Graf had dominated the race weekend by topping the time sheets in every test, practice and qualifying session and by leading all race laps to take what was the Muscle Milk team's second overall victory of the 2010 season.
Ticket sales remain strong for Singapore GP With just a month to go before the fourth running of the FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX, ticket and hospitality sales for Formula One’s only night race on 25th September continue to be strong, with 85% of this year’s targeted sales already achieved. All three-day Zone 4 Walkabout, Stamford Grandstand and Esplanade Waterfront Grandstand tickets are sold out. Premier Walkabout, Connaught Grandstand, Turn 2 Grandstand and Republic (Turn 3) Grandstand tickets are also selling fast, with only limited availability.
Hospitality Sales In addition to all the places in the Formula One Paddock Club™ being fully sold out for several weeks, all dedicated hospitality suites across the Circuit Park and The Green Room at both Turn 3 and Stamford have now been taken up. Only limited places now remain in the Shared Suites at the Pit Straight, Turn 1 and Stamford. A total of 10,500 places have been released across the Formula One Paddock Club™, Sky Suites, Club Suites and The Green Room.
Rossi 3rd to soon to be F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo on Saturday, turned the table and beat him on Sunday, only to lose out after the race on an obscure technical infraction by his Fortec team
Fortec drivers Alexander Rossi and Cesar Ramos have been disqualified from Silverstone's second Formula Renault 3.5 race. In post-race technical checks both cars were found to have non-complying wheel nuts. A Renault-Sport spokesman said that the wheel nuts had been modified to improve the speed of the pitstops. Rossi, one of the stars of the race, had finished runner-up while Brazilian Ramos took the checkered flag in ninth.
"There's a problem with the grooves of the wheel nuts," said Rossi. "They said 'Okay, there are all there, but the thickness is not enough.' How can you remove me for that? The rules say you cannot modify the wheel nuts. We're in the process of appealing. The pitstop was quick, but that's because in the private test at Snetterton last week we did, like, 60 of them, that's why they were a bit worn - they weren't modified. It is not a question of safety but they're saying it's a performance advantage. It's disappointing, but other than that it was a good race. The grooves were not compliant, but the amount of grooves was all there. Obviously there was a reason why they were looking at them because it was quick stop. I know the whole length of the pitstop process was 27 seconds and the next best was 29 seconds, so it was pretty impressive. It is a shame as we had closed to 20 points behind JEV [Jean-Eric Vergne, in second position in the points] and we had a good opportunity to catch him."
ISR teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Nathanael Berthon are promoted to second and third as a result of the decision. Autosport
Robert Wickens takes his 2nd win of the weekend. Note full grandstands
Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency
08/21/11 How important is this series for a young driver who has F1 aspirations? 120,000 showed up over two days at Silverstone to watch the two World Series by Renault cars and drivers. How fast are these cars? About 6 seconds per lap slower than GP2 cars, but the new car next year will be much faster. Not that it really matters. What matters is that they perform at a very high level and you race against some of the best young drivers trying to make it to F1. Rossi is only 19, has three less years experience than Wickens and Ricciardo, yet sometimes beats them both, so his future looks bright. The ideal scenario will be for Rossi to make his F1 debut next November at the USA Grand Prix in Austin for Ferrari. Recall that America's last world champion, Mario Andretti made his debut at the USGP at Watkins Glen for Lotus and put the car on pole. With next year's USGP slated to be very late in the season, Ferrari will be looking to push Massa, whose contract is up at the end of 2012, out early to give his replacement a look.
Video: Mario Andretti unplugged - Part 1 Racing Legend Mario Andretti talks about developing a new chassis year after year when he was racing, including his best and worst throughout the years. From the beginning IndyCar had new cars every year - innovation was at the forefront. Then Tony George came along, created the IRL, split the sport in two and destroyed the sponsorship that was in the series. Then there was no longer enough money to have new designed cars every year and it became a 'spec' sport. The Great Depression could not do it. World War 1 could not do it. World War II could not do it. But one man, Tony George, managed to bring the sport of Indy Car Racing to the lowest of lows. Only now, with him kicked out of the sport by his own family, will the sport try to recover from being a 'spec' series (spec series should only be at the lower rungs of the sport) to something more.
Scott Speed has signed on with Whitney Motorsports to run the rest of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races in the #46 Ford Fusion. Speed has recently been driving the #37 Ford and has qualified for all three NSCS races that he has attempted. Speed also just came off of a sixth place finish for Kevin Harvick Inc. this past weekend in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal. The #46 Ford Fusion, with the FR9 Roush Yates engines, owned by Dusty Whitney, plans to run the remainder of the races this season in the NSCS starting at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. "I really like Dusty and his guys," said Speed. "They work really hard with the little amount that they have. There is a lot of passion over here and I love how tight of a group we are, we are the underdogs and I love it."
"Scott has shown us what a tremendous asset he is," said Dusty Whitney, owner of Whitney Motorsports. "We are extremely excited about having him drive our car. He is a great guy with an amazing talent. We hope to make our mark before the season is over. We have sponsors lined up for Atlanta and Kansas, and are on the prowl for the other races. I feel that Scott and this team have a lot to offer anyone that wants to get into the sport of NASCAR." The #46 Ford Fusion sits outside the top-35 in the NSCS Owners Points, therefore Scott Speed will have to qualify the car at each race. Scott Speed Facebook
Baltimore Grand Prix: Downtown businesses rev up for racing event weekend
Baltimore GP course
Managers at the Pratt Street Alehouse tend to keep their expectations low for Labor Day weekend, typically a sleepy affair in the city.
But not this year.
Because the pub's outdoor dining patio sits just a few feet from Pratt Street, where open-wheeled racecars will speed past on their way around a 2-mile circuit in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, managers are preparing for a full house — the kind of numbers generated by Opening Day for the Orioles or a Ravens-Steelers football game. We’re going to make as many opportunities for [customers] to be served as we can," said Greg Keating, general manager of the Alehouse. "Our goal is we get full and we stay full."
Indy Grand Prix weekend at Infineon Raceway starts Friday The IZOD IndyCar Series makes its seventh annual visit to the Valley with a weekend full of high-speed action on Infineon’s 12-turn, 2.303-mile road course which begins this Friday, Aug. 26, and continues through Saturday, Aug. 27, and Sunday, Aug. 28, when the featured Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County race takes place.
Along with the 75-lap Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County – the 13th race on the IZOD IndyCar Series’ 17-race schedule – the weekend will include the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge and Formula Challenge, as well as feature races for the Star Mazda Championship and Historic Grand Prix.
At last Thursday’s IndyCar testing at the Sonoma raceway, defending Infineon Indy Grand Prix champion Will Power (Team Penske) posted the fastest time at 1 minute, 19.04 seconds; followed by former Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma winners Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) in 1:19.49; and teammate Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) in 1:19.60.
Danica is more a sex object than a race car driver
Danica Patrick plays right into auto racing's long and widely known history of women as objects, as firecracker beauty queens and Hooter's girls and hood ornaments
Your sexpot American sporting press welcomed Danica Patrick to NASCAR late last week. Barring cataclysm, or a better offer from "Dancing With The Stars," Patrick is expected to announce in a day or two her intention to travel full-time next season with the big roundy-rounder tent-and-revival show. Abandoning the "IndyCar Series," whatever that is these days, she'll drive the 2012 Nationwide circuit in a car with fenders owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
She was presented with a pair of high heels at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last year. It's worth asking how often that happens with male drivers. Her agents, managers, publicists, stylists, sponsors, accountants and fans are no doubt delighted by this, as are the hundreds of selfless board-certified radiologists who camp the Turn 3 infield at Daytona every year offering free mammograms and margaritas to passing women of every shape, size and age on race day.
Corvette Bridge Returns to Road America Great tracks are known by great landmarks. The Dunlop Bridge at Le Mans, Eau Rouge at Spa-Francorchamps, the Pagoda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway instantly identify these celebrated circuits. For generations of road racing fans, the Corvette Bridge was the symbol of Road America - and now it's back.
Standing like a sentinel at the approach to Turn 6, the Corvette Bridge has witnessed amazing feats by drivers and machines since it first carried the Corvette logo in 1963. Over the years, the Corvette branding has reflected changes in graphic design and marketing objectives. Now after a hiatus of 16 years, the Bridge is back.
Memphis International Raceway Drag Strip Officially Opens After several months of track improvements, Memphis International Raceway drag strip is ready for racing.
On Sunday evening, Memphis International Raceway (MIR) hosted the Drag Racing Track Tune Up. Dozens of MIR loyal drag racers participated in the invitation only event. Feedback from the racers solidified MIR officials’ decision to officially open the drag strip.
“We are very excited to be opening the drag strip at MIR,” said Pam Kendrick, General Manager and VP, Memphis International Raceway. “We held the Track Tune Up to prepare the MIR staff and facility for a full drag racing event. At the conclusion of the event on Sunday, we determined that facility is safe and race-ready for both racers and spectators. Thanks to all the racers and spectators for joining us on Sunday; we had a solid group of cars.”
Repaving becomes more complicated when a Safer Barrier fist has to be removed
The asphalt is still sizzling from Kyle Busch’s victory burnout following Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400, but that hasn’t stopped Michigan International Speedway from moving toward next season and 44 years of history.
Crews were hard at work Monday removing the SAFER barrier that surrounds the two-mile D-shaped oval in preparation of the track’s repave. The steel and foam energy reduction wall absorbs impacts from crashes.
Some 5,575 feet of SAFER wall will be removed from the outside crash wall. SAFER walls mounted on interior walls on the backstretch, at pit-in and at pit-out will stay in place.
Before all eyes focus on next weekend’s inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, we couldn’t let Saturday’s epic finish at Road America pass without a quick look back. Baltimore will have a tough time topping the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase – a four-hour classic that featured the closest overall finish in the history of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n.
Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf won by just 0.112 seconds in Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing’s Lola-Aston Martin coupe over Dyson Racing’s Chris Dyson and Guy Smith. That broke the previous record of 0.148 seconds, set in 2000 at Mosport between Audi and BMW.
The outcome was the latest in seven years of thrilling Road America finishes. The total margin of victory in ALMS overall races in Elkhart Lake now stands at 9.509 seconds.
Toyota to announce new Camry Toyota is scheduled to introduce the completely redesigned 2012 Camry on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 beginning at 1:00 pm/et. This first-of-its-kind webcast reveal for Toyota will include a presentation by Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, live from Hollywood, and a visit to the Camry plant in Georgetown, Ky. to view the first vehicle coming off the assembly line. In addition, a special NASCAR-related announcement will be made as part of the program. Toyota is engaging the public in this unique event by offering consumers the opportunity to view the program live on Toyota.com and, following the webcast, Bob Carter will be hosting a TweetChat via Twitter at 4:00 pm/et. Toyota
HVM announces new sponsor for Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing and Entergy are seeing continued success in spreading the 'Nuclear Clean Air Energy' message on the 2011 IndyCar season as AREVA - ranked first in the global nuclear energy industry - has come on board for the Baltimore Grand Prix.
AREVA has signed on to support the Nuclear Clean Air Energy #78 IndyCar race team driven by Simona de Silvestro for the inaugural road race in Baltimore that will take place Sept. 2-4, 2011.
"As the global leader in clean energy production, AREVA understands the importance of raising awareness about the benefits of nuclear energy," said Jacques Besnainou, CEO of AREVA Inc. "Partnering with Simona and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy team offers us a unique way to talk about our energy challenges and nuclear energy as safe, reliable and clean electricity that is powering one of five American households."
Jack Roush ready to resume flying It was a year ago when Sprint Cup car owner Jack Roush arrived at MIS with facial injuries, making his return to the series after he had crash-landed his plane in Oshkosh, Wis., the previous month. Roush, 69, enjoys flying his planes as much as he loves motor sports, and that is why he's so excited to return to piloting this week at Willow Run Airport for the first time since the crash. "I'm totally recovered," said Roush, of Livonia, wearing his trademark Panama-style hat while signing autographs. "I just got my medical back from the FAA, indicating that I'm medically sound and I'm without restriction. I have one more validation flight for the (injured) eye and I have that Tuesday. Once I get that done I can fly anything I did before. I plan to fly Tuesday." Roush suffered a ruptured left eyeball, broken jaw, damaged left cheekbone and had a compression fracture in his back from the crash. He said at the time "that everything will come back except the sight in my left eye." Detroit News
Jordan: Schumacher has had his day (PVM) Eddie Jordan has slammed Michael Schumacher for continuing in Formula 1, saying that the seven times world champion has had his day at the pinnacle of the sport and should move aside to allow young talent to flourish.
Irishman Jordan, who gave Schumacher his break twenty years ago at the 1991 Belgian GP, told F1Today during the Bavaria City Racing event in Rotterdam: “This sport has known many champions and Michael Schumacher has had his day.”
“He has had many successes and is a very successful driver, but someone should try to talk to him and convince him to make way for other talented young drivers,” added the former Formula 1 team owner.
Boris Said still doesn’t agree with Greg Biffle, and it’s still probably a good thing for both of them they will race in different cities this weekend.
The two drivers who nearly came to blows Monday at Watkins Glen spoke to each other Tuesday but still don’t agree on what happened in the Sprint Cup race and still don’t like each other.
“I still think Greg Biffle is a jackass but we’ve settled our differences,” Said told reporters Friday after Nationwide Series practice in Montreal. “I won’t be going to Christmas dinner with him, that’s for sure, but I don’t think I’ll be swinging any punches at him, either.”
After winning the pole, Biffle was pretty frank in how he feels about Said:
Realtree to sponsor four cars at Bristol Realtree Camouflage Designer and President Bill Jordan announced sponsorship on four different Chevrolet Sprint Cup cars at the August 27 Bristol Night Race. Look for Realtree's new Antler Logo in the primary sponsor position on Richard Childress. Racing's #29 Realtree/Bad Boy Buggies car, driven by Kevin Harvick; Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's #1 Bass Pro Shops car, driven by Jamie McMurray; and Stewart-Hass Racing's #14 and #39 cars, piloted by Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman, respectively. "All of us at Realtree are excited to have such a big presence at one of NASCAR's most prestigious races of the year," said Jordan. "Of course, this race comes at a time of year when hunters are really getting fired up about the fall. It's amazing how many of our fans are passionate about both racing and hunting. And many of the drivers feel the same way. In fact, three of the guys we're sponsoring at Bristol& Harvick, Stewart and Newman& have hunted with me and the Realtree cameras many times, and McMurray is an avid outdoorsman too. For many years now, Realtree, Chevrolet and NASCAR have been partners in connecting fans to the outdoors, and just recently we all teamed up with Outdoor Channel to bring fans 'Realtree's NASCAR Outdoors'. The show has been a huge success. Fans really enjoy seeing their favorite drivers on hunts, and drivers and others from around the NASCAR garage are strong ambassadors for the outdoors. It really is a fun project for everyone involved, including the fans." Realtree
Ford proposing NASCAR version of the X-Games A NASCAR version of the X-Games? Something like that is what Ford Motor Company is proposing to NASCAR executives, as a way to use NASCAR to promote new small street cars, to the $14,000 MSRP youthful demographic. How much interest other car companies might have in any such NASCAR/X-Games venture is not clear. Chevrolet racing boss Jim Campbell, who is using Sunday's Michigan 400 to promote GM's new small-car Sonic, as pace car, says he is "open" to using motorsports to push Chevrolet's new small car line. While Toyota and Honda made their names as purveyors of small cars, Ford and Chevrolet on the other hand have been more to the muscle-power side of the game, with powerful trucks like the F-150 and sporty cars like the Mustang, Corvette and Camaro. NASCAR once had a four-cylinder national touring series, the Baby Grands, back in the 1970s, which proved highly popular, and then fairly inexpensive. Precisely what Ford is proposing to NASCAR isn't clear. MikeMulhern.net
One of the world’s classic racetracks. Eau Rouge, Pouhon, Stavelot and Blanchimont are corners synonymous with speed and they’re all found here, at Spa-Francorchamps.
The 7.004km track is the longest on the F1 calendar and its mix of long straights and high-g corners makes it one of the toughest of the year for drivers and cars. Only six drivers have won at the track more than once and they’re all world champions.
The weather often has an influence on the outcome of races. The Ardennes region of Belgium seems to have a microclimate of its own, and such is the circuit’s length that it can be raining on one section and dry on another.
Jenson Button to compete at 2011 Race Of Champions
2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button has signed up to compete in this year’s Race Of Champions at Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena.
Button made his last ROC appearance at the event in Beijing just days after the end of his fairytale title-winning F1 season two years ago. Since then he has produced a string of stunning grand prix victories for McLaren, many of them in the wet-dry track conditions that he has made his own. That has continued in 2011 with his mighty ride from the back of the field to the front in Canada and his storming win in last month’s Hungarian Grand Prix. Now ROC organizers are proud to announce that Button will return to its unique stadium environment on December 3-4.
CART had some great race at Road America, and then Tony George created the IRL and destroyed it all. Click photo to see some of the crowd
A reader writes, Dear Autoracing1.com, After watching this weekend's exciting, edge-of-my-seat ALMS race at Road America, I am left wondering why Indycars don't race there? Why does the IndyCar series waste time racing in either boring circuits (Alabama, Sao Paolo, Edmonton) or venues where fans do not attend (Milwaukee, New Hampshire, Motegi)? Tony, Little Falls, New Jersey
Dear Tony, When in doubt, follow the money. Road America does not want to pay IndyCar the money the series wants as a sanctioning fee. Because the track has no hospitality suites, there is no place to entertain corporate guests, many of whom are not hardcore race fans. So money from corporate sales is minimal. And the track is so far from a big city that unless you have drivers or cars casual fans want to see they are not going to drive an hour to come out to the track and buy a ticket. IndyCar has to grow the popularity of its series before Road America becomes financially feasible for all involved. With that said, Road America is a kick-ass track for IndyCars - not for the current slug, but it was for the Champ Cars and it will be for the new IndyCar.
As for Alabama, Sao Paolo, and Edmonton, they all draw a big enough crowd and have corporate suites such that a race makes more sense than it does at Road America right now. Stick a fork in Milwaukee, it's done (opening the door for nearby Road America), Motegi is done after this year, but New Hampshire actually has some potential if the promoter is willing to work at it. Mark C.
Baltimore hopes for tourism boost from inaugural auto race
Construction for the Baltimore Grand Prix has been snarling downtown traffic all summer, but in a few weeks race cars will be flying along downtown streets at 180 mph on the newly paved temporary circuit.
The 2-mile, 13-turn course is taking shape as crews set up grandstands and cement walls topped by fences. Drivers will hurtle past the Inner Harbor, around Oriole Park at Camden Yards and down a main boulevard.
Baltimore has become known for crime dramas set in the city such as The Wire and Homicide, but this event will give the world another reference, said Councilman William Cole, whose district includes the circuit and surrounding neighborhoods.
"We're exposing the city to a completely new set of people, a new audience," he said. "To me that's the biggest motivation. We're changing the way people see Baltimore."
Grand Prix organizers seek a mix of hard-core fans and novices Nick Nicaise's first word was "car." While his childhood pals mooned over Mickey Mantle, he idolized driver Dan Gurney.
And when his wife glimpsed a grown-up Nicaise beaming as he flitted around the garage area at an IndyCar race, she told him, "You're acting like a 12-year-old girl at a Beatles concert."
Nicaise, a computer reseller from Catonsville by day, is one of the thousands of car nuts for whom the arrival of the Baltimore Grand Prix is an unexpected gift. These guys and gals might not be as visible as Ravens fans, but they record races on their DVRs every weekend, drive their own cars at tracks around the Mid-Atlantic and travel to see the pros burn rubber in Indianapolis, Toronto and California. Grand Prix organizers are counting on these fervent fans to make up the core of their audience for the IndyCar event on Labor Day weekend. But they acknowledge that the hard-core fans won't be enough to make the race a success. They also must capture the casual fans who might watch a few races a year and, most importantly, the novices looking to witness a spectacle the likes of which the city has never seen.
Cars and drivers relive past glories at Monterey Reunion
1955 Ferrari 375
One of Rock and Roll’s most enthusiastic lead singers on stage is the rock band AC/DC’s Brian Johnson. His enthusiasm intensifies, however, when he puts on his driver’s suit and climbs into his 1965 Lola T-70 like he will do tomorrow at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, where 550 historic automobiles are competing in 17 groups that run the gamut from Pre-1940 Sports Racing and Touring Cars to 1981-1989 FIA Mfg. Championship & IMSA GTPs.
“This is my first time here at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and my first time at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,” said the 63-year-old Scotsman, who resides in Sarasota, Fla., “but I’m going to come here for the rest of my life, and that’s a promise. “
Carlin team clinches World Series by Renault title With two pole positions and two race wins, Carlin’s Robert Wickens has enjoyed the perfect weekend at Silverstone. The Canadian’s double success means he leaves the UK with a solid lead at the top of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship standings. It also secures a first Teams title for Carlin boss Trevor Carlin and his famous British team – a victory they fittingly celebrate on home soil. Alexander Rossi (Fortec Motorsports) and Daniel Ricciardo (ISR) completed the podium in a repeat of yesterday’s result. However, Rossi was later disqualified for a technical infringement, handing second place to Ricciardo and third to Nathanael Berthon.
Robert Wickens was held up in traffic outside the Silverstone circuit this morning, and as a result he missed the opening ten minutes of qualifying. However, the delay did not prevent the Canadian from scoring his sixth pole of the season, qualifying ahead of team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne to complete an all-Carlin front row. Similarly, the second row was an all-ISR affair, with Nathanael Berthon starting in front of Daniel Ricciardo.
Video: Red Bull F1 car roars through streets of Austin Downtown Austin buzzed Saturday morning with the high-pitch scream of a Formula One car.
The car, Red Bull Racing's running show car, was on streets north of the Capitol for a few hours for a promotional video on the sport's planned return to the United States at a track in southeastern Travis County next year.
In what could be an iconic image, the car, driven by Scottish driver David Coulthard , made several passes up Congress Avenue toward the Capitol — on some runs turning a doughnut or two in front of the pink dome — and then back to its mechanics at 17th Street.
ENGINE: Type: V8 ZRS03 – 3396 cc Supplier: Zytek Motorsport Max power: 530 bhp at 9250 rpm Max torque: 445 N.m at 7250 rpm Max engine speed: 9500 rpm Electronics: Cosworth Electronics Electric power management: XAP Electronique
TRANSMISSION: Type: rear-wheel drive Gearbox: Ricardo six-speed sequential gearbox with Shiftec pneumatic control Gearshift: semi-automatic, steering wheel-mounted Differential: self-locking limited slip Clutch: 140 mm carbon triple disc
Risi Competizione, the privately-owned Ferrari team from Houston, Texas, today secured the first GT victory in the American Le Mans Series for the Ferrari 458 Italia, the new-for-2011 GT challenger from Maranello. There were four hours and 101 laps of scintillating racing at the scenic 4-mile Road America track in Wisconsin, the sixth round of the American Le Mans Series, and it was the Rosso Red Ferrari which took the checkered flag ahead of the two BMWs of Bill Auberlen/Dirk Werner and Dirk Muller/Joey Hand.
The victory was witnessed by a delighted Ing. Amedeo Felisa, the CEO of Ferrari SpA and Mr. Marco Mattiacci, President and CEO of Ferrari North America as well as two of their fellow directors who had all travelled to Road America for the day to view the race.
Video: Close battle at end of ALMS race Another great ending to a ALMS race at Road America. After 4 hours of racing the leaders are separated by less than a car length. And GT traffic is an issue as well...
A large crowd poured into Silverstone this Sunday morning for the free aero configuration race in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. After a couple of warm-up laps Albert Costa (Epic Racing) set a benchmark time in 1m 47.528s just as Sergio Canamasas (BVM Target) brought out the yellow flag when he beached his car in a gravel trap.
The drivers pitted to put on new tires. Costa was still in front from César Ramos (Fortec Motorsport), Kevin Korjus (Tech 1 Racing), Alexander Rossi (Fortec) and Walter Grubmüller (P1 Motorsport). Only Robert Wickens (Carlin) hadn’t put in a flying lap. The Canadian had been caught up in the traffic at the entrance to the circuit and began his session 15 minutes after his rivals! He did a couple of exploratory laps on worn tires and then pitted to shod new rubber.
Silverstone hosted the first ever Formula One Grand Prix and is one of the most iconic circuits in world motorsport. So what better place to unveil the new Formula Renault 3.5 Teams and drivers were introduced to Renault Sport Technologies’ brand new single-seater on Saturday, while the British public will catch their first glimpse of the car on Sunday morning. They will also hear the roar of its new V8 530 bhp engine for the first time in an exciting, on-track demonstration by Romain Grosjean. The new Formula Renault 3.5 will make its competitive debut next season in the World Series by Renault.
The Formula Renault 3.5 was first launched in 2005 as part of the World Series by Renault, and has received several modifications over the years. However, the newest version of the single-seater – developed by Renault Sport Technologies and its various technical partners – promises to take the series to a whole new level. The new Formula Renault 3.5 is more powerful than its predecessor and boasts a number of cutting-edge features, while complying with the latest safety regulations and fitting comfortably within season budgets. It shares even more common features with a Formula One car, making it the ideal vehicle in which to prepare drivers for the unparalleled demands of F1 competition.
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