INDYCAR modifies testing regulations for 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series INDYCAR's 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series testing regulations released today include no in-season on-track team activity but the re-introduction of Open Tests before selected races.
Provisions have been made in the rulebook for potential Firestone tire tests, new Verizon IndyCar Series teams and first-year drivers.
The regulations apply from Aug. 31 through Sept. 20, 2015. A team is permitted a total of 14 test days, comprised of engine manufacturer tests, team tests, Open Tests and full-size wind tunnel tests. Full-season entrants are allocated a maximum of 10,000 total miles for use in all on-track activity from the first race or Open Test of 2015 to the end of the race season.
Bubba Burger Named Official Burger of Auto Club Speedway UBBA burger, the #1 branded frozen burger in the United States, is named the Official Burger of Auto Club Speedway. The three year agreement offers race fans, a juicy and flavorful burger produced from 100% all natural meat without any fillers, trimmings or additives.
Fans attending the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships on Saturday, Aug. 30 can purchase the BUBBA burger at the BUBBA burger concession trailer in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone at Auto Club Speedway. The BUBBA burger will also be available during NASCAR’s Auto Club 400 weekend at Auto Club Speedway next Spring and at select events at Auto Club Dragway.
Nico Rosberg's Review of the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix A rollercoaster weekend for Nico Rosberg at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps saw his emphatic pole position neutralized by an eventful race - culminating in a tough recovery drive to second place.
In his latest video blog, Nico reflects on a controversial Sunday in Belgium:
"We had in important discussion after the race. The good thing is we have great leadership in the team - that is really important in such situations and I'm confident we'll get back to our way."
Nico Rosberg hints tire knife was because of Hamilton disobeying team orders
(GMM) Nico Rosberg on Monday remained reluctant to talk about his explosive clash with title rival and teammate Lewis Hamilton at Spa.
Reporters in Belgium tried and failed repeatedly to press the championship leader on the incident, after his furious Mercedes bosses had said the behavior that ultimately led to Hamilton's retirement was "unacceptable".
Eventually, however, it was Hamilton's suggestion that, in a post-race briefing, Rosberg had admitted he made the move on purpose that triggered the first real response.
Motorsports This Week on ESPN Drag Racing’s Biggest Event, NASCAR Doubleheader at Atlanta
ESPN2 Airing 12 Hours of NHRA U.S. Nationals Coverage The biggest event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season will have 12 hours of coverage on ESPN2 this weekend with the running of the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. Expanded qualifying and eliminations telecasts will culminate with six consecutive hours on Labor Day Monday, the final day of competition. Shootouts for the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes will be included in Sunday’s telecasts. In addition, ESPN3, ESPN’s multi-screen live sports network, will air live coverage of Friday qualifying as well as the full day of eliminations on Monday. Four-time NHRA champion Gary Scelzi will join ESPN’s commentary team for the event. All NHRA programming on ESPN2 and ESPN3 is available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliate provider. The schedule:
Lewis Hamilton Q&A: The full transcript of his explosive statements
Hamilton talks to media
Lewis Hamilton spoke to the press to explain his views about his lap-two clash with Nico Rosberg, what happened in their heated race debrief, and if he can trust his team-mate anymore.
From your point of view, can you sum up what happened with Nico on the second lap? Lewis Hamilton: "I don't really have a reaction, I think. This year, the team have allowed us to race and we've been good at racing wheel-to-wheel closely. I think I heard someone say it was inevitable we were going to crash one day; I don't feel today was that inevitability.
Video: Belgium Grand Prix - Post Race - Lauda: Bad Result For Mercedes Niki Lauda says there will be a meeting to discuss the incident between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Toto Wolff, who immediately condemned Rosberg's driving as "unacceptable" after the race, claims that he admitted crashing deliberately "are nonsense".
The FIA are not expected to launch a retrospective investigation into Nico Rosberg’s crash with Lewis Hamilton despite the Englishman's claim his team-mate confessed to causing the collision during a Mercedes debrief.
According to Hamilton, his solitary title rival Rosberg "basically said he did it on purpose" when the two drivers were called to account by their Mercedes team after the race.
However, sources close to the governing body have revealed the FIA regard the incident as closed after the Spa stewards adjudged the second-lap crash, in which Rosberg punctured Hamilton's W05, as a racing incident.
Trivia Question (Update)UPDATE Only one person, Ira Fierberg, got the correct answer. They are all of Italian heritage. While they held citizenship in different countries, all the drivers are really Italian.....and that includes Ayrton Senna.
08/24/14 What do the following greatest drivers in history all have in common?
Fisichella passes Henzler on final lap to win TUDOR Championship race at VIR DANVILLE, Va. – The drama of the closing laps was not lost on winning GT Le Mans (GTLM) class driver Giancarlo Fisichella in Sunday's Oak Tree Grand Prix, part of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Virginia International Raceway.
"That was maybe one of the best races of my life," said Fisichella, who was able to execute a final-lap pass against Wolf Henzler's Porsche, after pulling door-to-door but failing to get by on each of the previous three laps.
It was the second consecutive victory in GTLM for Fisichella and Kaffer, who won two weeks ago at Road America.
Both Target and DHL had hundreds of corporate sponsors at the GoPro Sonoma Grand Prix Sunday. While the Target folks and DHL folks went home happy with Dixon winning in a Target car and Hunter-Reay finishing 2nd in a DHL car, they are not stupid. They had to peer out over the grandstands and see them all near empty and think to themselves, this series is dying.
With IndyCar losing the youth of America and with no clue how to get them back, the series continues to see declining attendance. The Obama Administration says unemployment is dropping (the real unemployment rate is at record highs but they keep that quiet) so what's the excuse?
On television it looked even worse, the overhead shots showing vast grandstands void of people, and others maybe 2% or 3% full.
Nissan's Infiniti Seeks U.S. Trademark For Eau Rouge
Lewis Hamilton climbs top of Eau Rouge
Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti "is seeking a U.S. trademark for 'Eau Rouge,' the name of a storied Formula One racetrack bend in Belgium," for a potential luxury car that may cost more than $100,000, according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. The application, filed by a Nissan lawyer on Jan. 8, "is still being considered, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website."
Eau Rouge "is an uphill bend at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit with a reputation for being among the most beautiful and dangerous in racing." The circuit, built in the '20s and owned by the regional Wallonian government, "has a case for receiving compensation from any sales of the car, according to Edward Chalfie, a trademark lawyer at Dennemeyer, an intellectual property consultancy."
Spa-Francorchamps Circuit Administrative & Legal Dir Marc Genicot "declined to comment in an e-mail on whether it objected to the application." BLOOMBERG
Lewis Hamilton claims that Nico Rosberg told the Mercedes Formula 1 team that he deliberately allowed their collision to happen at the Belgian Grand Prix "to prove a point". Hamilton many times makes passes by bullying his way past another driver and pushing their car aside with wheel-to-sidepod contact so apparently Rosberg felt it was time to teach Hamilton how it felt when the shoe was on the other foot.
Mercedes F1 chiefs were left furious when their drivers clashed with each other while fighting for the Spa race lead.
"We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose," said Hamilton.
"He said he could have avoided it. He said 'I did it to prove a point'. He basically said I did it to prove a point.
Jack Harvey of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports completed a weekend sweep with a victory in Race 2 of the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Sonoma. The win brought the Englishman into a tie with Belardi Auto Racing's Gabby Chaves who finished second both days to Harvey.
However, with both drivers scoring 4 wins on the season, the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Series championship went to Chaves by virtue of his 5 second-place finishes.
Andretti Autosport's Zach Veach rounded out the podium in third-place.
Sonoma pole winner Will Power is one of ten drivers starting the race on Firestone 'Reds.'
The Verizon IndyCar Series teams have made their selections between Firestone Alternate 'Reds' and Primary 'Blacks' for this afternoon's GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
1. Will Power, Alternate 2. Josef Newgarden, Alternate 3. Scott Dixon, Alternate 4. James Hinchcliffe, Alternate 5. Ryan Briscoe, Alternate 6. Helio Castroneves, Alternate 7. Sebastien Bourdais, Alternate 8. Tony Kanaan, Alternate 9. Carlos Munoz, Alternate 10. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Primary 11. Charlie Kimball, Primary 12. Mikhail Aleshin, Primary 13. Marco Andretti, Primary 14. Graham Rahal, Primary 15. Simon Pagenaud, Primary 16. Justin Wilson, Primary 17. Mike Conway, Primary 18. Jack Hawksworth, Primary 19. Juan Pablo Montoya, Primary 20. Takuma Sato, Primary 21. Carlos Huertas, Primary 22. Sebastian Saavedra, Alternate
DANVILLE, Va. (August 24, 2014) – Luis Diaz took over where teammate Sean Rayhall left off at Virginia International Raceway, leading every lap of Sunday’s 45-minute Prototype Challenge (PC) segment to give the No. 25 8Star Motorsports Takis/Speedsters ORECA FLM09 the overall victory in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event.
Rayhall led all 23 laps in Saturday evening’s segment, while Diaz led 24 laps on Sunday, holding off the efforts of Bruno Junqueira, Colin Braun and Renger van der Zande, who each took turns in second. The event ended under caution following a late incident involving Junqueira, who spun and made contact with a tire barrier in Turn 7.
Combined points from the weekend’s two segments determined the final results for the eighth PC race of the season.
“My plan was to stay out front,” Diaz said. “I’m not very good with math, that’s why I’m a race car driver. I knew I didn’t have as fast of a pace as the other guys, so I couldn’t make any mistakes. I had a lot of pressure on me, I was playing the game of not looking in my mirrors. I was thankful the yellow flag came out. I knew Colin was stronger than me, and we didn’t have to fight against this good driver.”
Braun finished the segment in second in the No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 started by Jon Bennett, who finished seventh in the opening segment. Renger van der Zande took third in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Martini entry started by Mirco Schultis, who was eighth on Saturday.
“They certainly had a good car, a fast car, and hats off to them,” Braun said. “Guys who finished second always say if they had more green flag running we would have had a shot at them at the end. It would have been fun to race Luis at the end, but that’s the way it goes. It was certainly exciting racing.”
Diaz led Junqueira for the opening 14 laps, before Junqueira spun in the No. 09 RSR Racing Linospresso USA entry driven to second by Duncan Ende on Saturday. Braun then ran second for several laps, but lost the position to van der Zande while challenging Diaz in the Oak Tree Turn.
Van der Zande had an off-course excursion of his own three laps later, with Braun moving to within a half-second of the lead before the final caution.
“It was a real bullfight, a sprint race, and I enjoyed it,” said van der Zande, a two-time winner in 2014 competition. “My fight for the lead was amazing – all fair and clean, with a little paint exchanged.”
In the combined final results, David Ostella (fifth on Sunday) and James French (third on Saturday) finished second in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA FLM09, followed by Braun and Bennett.
“James did an awesome job going from seventh to third yesterday, but I struggled with the car today,” Ostella said. “I can’t complain about second overall. It’s our best finish of the season. Hopefully we will get it one better at the next one.”
The next race for the PC competitors will be at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, with all four TUDOR Championship classes featured on Saturday, Sept. 20.
Just a few minutes ago, it was announced at Sonoma Raceway that Josef Newgarden has signed with the newly-formed CFH Racing for 2015 with an option for 2016. Here is the announcement per the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing website.
Gutierrez Wins the Battle as Pigot Wins the Pro Mazda War No one could have written a script as convoluted as the one which played out in today's Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Sonoma. The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires was at stake, along with a $588,800 MAZDASPEED Driver Development Scholarship for the series champion to graduate to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the next step on the Mazda Road to Indy, in 2015.
A sequence of almost unbelievable dramas enabled 17-year-old Mexican Jose Gutierrez to emerge with his first-ever victory, while Juncos Racing teammate Spencer Pigot claimed the championship spoils after Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing's Scott Hargrove experienced a broken transmission while in the lead with just four laps remaining.
Sonoma Raceway Undamaged by Quake; Racing Will Continue Today (Update)UPDATE
Earthquake can't derail Will Power's title run
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office reported power outages in the city of Sonoma and surrounding area but no significant damage.
Structural damage and fires have been reported in Napa. It's the largest quake in Northern California since the Loma Prieto temblor in 1989. It is the strongest non-Alaska earthquake in the U.S. this year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Residents felt moderate tremors from the quake as far north as Sacramento and as far south as Santa Cruz.
08/24/14 Racing will continue as planned today at Sonoma Raceway for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series event.
Mercedes furious with second lap accident Leading figures within the Mercedes AMG F1 team have showed furious about the coming together of their drivers on lap two during today's Belgian Grand Prix.
After re-taking second place from Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg tried to take first from Lewis Hamilton under braking into Les Combes, as the end of the 23s full throttle section of Sector One at Spa-Francorchamps. As Lewis Hamilton went defensive, Rosberg attempt to go round the outside, but failed to get out of the way quick enough when it became clear it was going to be difficult for him to make the pass work.
Vettel to get new engineer for 2015 F1 season Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel will have a new race engineer next season, with long-serving Guillaume Roquelin moving to a new role within Red Bull.
Vettel's new race engineer will be Gianpiero Lambiase, who is currently Sergio Perez's race engineer at Force India.
Earnhardt Jr. comments on Bristol wreck Dale Earnhardt Jr., involved in an on-track accident on lap 160 when #4-Harvick got into #11-Hamlin, who was leading at the time. Hamlin slid into the inside wall, came back on the track and collected the #88.:
Q) WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT ACCIDENT? Earnhardt Jr: "I couldn't see what happened to Denny (Hamlin), but he got turned around or something and was coming up the track. There was a lot of smoke so I couldn't really judge the speed of his car to know whether I needed to be going up there and go around him on the top. I had to make that choice. I just went ahead and went to the top and ended up getting into him. It wasn't too hard of a hit just did a lot of damage and tore the lower (control arm) off the left-front. We are going to have our hands full when we get it back out there. We are going to try to fix it, but I don't know. Obviously we are many laps down. We will see if we can run a decent speed."
Johnny Cecotto (Trident), Felipe Nasr (Carlin), Jolyon Palmer (DAMS)
Williams F1 test driver Felipe Nasr was untouchable on his way to an easy win in this morning’s sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps, easily taking the lead at the start of the race and pulling away at will, claiming his fourth victory of the season from Johnny Cecotto and title rival Jolyon Palmer.
The win was set up at the start when the Brazilian made a sharp getaway from fifth as the lights went out: ahead of him poleman Daniel Abt made a decent start but fellow front row starter Artem Markelov struggled on the damp side of the circuit, holding up the second row enough to give Nasr a clean run up the inside at La Source for the lead ahead of Abt, Palmer and a fast starting Cecotto.
Lauda relieved Mercedes gap now over 2 seconds over rivals
The Mercedes is so superior now no one else has a chance.
(GMM) Niki Lauda has expressed relief at Spa as Mercedes pulled out an even greater advantage over the chasing pack.
The F1 legend and Mercedes' team chairman said that after Red Bull's victory in Hungary prior to the summer break, he had been worried the field was closing in.
"My big concern was the summer break," Lauda told German television RTL after qualifying in Belgium, where pole sitter Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had a huge advantage over their chasers in wet conditions.
"So this race was very important and I have to say honestly -- it could not be better.
(GMM) The delayed announcement of McLaren's 2015 lineup will not drag on until the winter, boss Eric Boullier insists.
On paper, the Woking team is the only F1 grandee whose driver plans for next year are not at all clear.
It is known that McLaren's new works engine partner Honda is pushing for a truly top name - like Alonso, Hamilton or Vettel - to spearhead the project.
But Spaniard Alonso could be on the cusp of falling out of the running, with Ferrari's Marco Mattiacci answering a clear "yes" at Spa on Saturday when asked by the British broadcaster Sky if he is keeping both existing drivers for 2015.
Harvey Wins in Sonoma to Ensure Final Race Indy Lights Shootout
Englishman Jack Harvey maintained his dominance on the road courses by romping to a clear victory in today's Indy Lights Grand Prix of Sonoma. Harvey's third win of the season aboard Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian's #42 Racing Steps Foundation entry vaulted him to second place in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires point standings, just 12 points behind today's second-place finisher Gabby Chaves (Belardi Auto Racing) with one race remaining.
The scenario tomorrow for Chaves, who has led the title-chase for much of the 14-race season, is quite clear. Even if Harvey wins again - and claims the bonus points for leading most laps and posting the fastest race lap - Chaves must finish second to secure the coveted championship and a scholarship package worth $750,000 to assist with graduation to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2015.
Ferrari Rides Momentum To TUDOR Championship GTLM Pole At VIR Riding a wave of momentum that began by winning the pole position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the GT Le Mans (GTLM) race in the most recent TUDOR United SportsCar Championship round at Road America, Ferrari and Risi Competizione earned the pole position for Sunday's Oak Tree Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway.
Pierre Kaffer became the ninth different pole winner in nine races this season, lapping the 3.27-mile circuit in one minute, 43.797 seconds (113.414 mph) in the No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia. Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella took the top GTLM starting spot at Indianapolis.
The Risi Competizione team recovered from an incident in morning practice to earn the top spot in the 15-minute session. The car was damaged less than three hours before qualifying when Fisichella made contact after going off in Turn 11. The team replaced or repaired the driver's door, front fender, splitter, radiator and undertray to have the car ready for qualifying.
THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with today's Verizon IndyCar Series media availability. We're joined by Scott Dixon.
Scott, tell us about being back here at Sonoma, your goals heading into the weekend.
SCOTT DIXON: This might be the first year I don't finish the race (laughter).
Yeah, it's a fun place. It's a place we obviously test a lot, too. I think we come twice a year, sort of normally February, March, then just recently as well. It's a tricky track, very low grip, especially in the low-speed corners like 11 and seven.
IMSA Saturday VIR Notebook In a nail-biting battle all the way to the checkered flag, Kris Wilson held off Robin Liddell by a scant 0.242 seconds to take a Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge victory alongside No. 07 Aston Martin co-driver Max Riddle in a two-and-a-half hour event at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday afternoon.
"Max handed me the car in perfect shape," said Wilson. "I saw Robin coming, and I knew he was coming from the back. He raced me clean, and I knew he had more to lose than me, because he’s in the points and we’re not. I took the inside line in every corner."
Liddell wound up second in the No. 6 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R he shares with Andrew Davis.
Helio Castroneves', driving the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car, topped the time chart in the second 45-minute practice session for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma with a lap of 1 minute, 18.6582 seconds on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course.
Ryan Briscoe, driving the No. 8 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing car, was second (1:18.6920) and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was quickest in the morning session, was third (1:18.7984) in the No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport car.
Reigning series champion Scott Dixon was fourth and Power was fifth.
The three rounds of qualifying for the 85-lap race are live on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Florian Latorre, driver of the #10 Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, has won the 2015 Cooper Tires U.S. F2000 Powered by Mazda championship. The 17-year old native of Auriolles, France, scored a win earlier today in Race 2 of the U.S. F2000 Grand Prix of Sonoma to clinch the title over Americans R.C. Enerson and Jake Eidson.
Ryan Hunter-Reay turned in a lightning quick time in opening practice at Sonoma.
2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay led opening Verizon IndyCar Series practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. With a lap of 1:17.7150, Hunter-Reay clocked in 0.18 seconds ahead of Scott Dixon. Dixon's Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan was third.
The Team Penske duo of Helio Castroneves and Will Power rounded out the top-five.
The second IndyCar practice session is scheduled to get underway at 1:15 p.m. local time, with qualifying for the tomorrow's race scheduled for 4:35 p.m.
Marciello takes first win in chaotic GP2 feature race
From left, Stoffel Vandoorne (ART Grand Prix), Raffaele Marciello (Racing Engineering), Johnny Cecotto (Trident)
Raffaele Marciello has claimed a long overdue debut win in sodden conditions in today’s feature race at Spa-Francorchamps, with the Ferrari Academy driver surviving the oppressive conditions and overtaking local man Stoffel Vandoorne late in the race for the win, with a distant Johnny Cecotto rounding out the podium.
The McLaren test driver started his home race from pole position, with Series leader Jolyon Palmer alongside him, and with the rain starting as the lights came on Vandoorne used his local experience to easily lead the grid towards La Source: Palmer spun his wheels and dropped backwards, with Marciello running wide at the corner and allowing Mitch Evans and Johnny Cecotto through.
The livery is different, but Barracuda Networks is back for this weekend as primary sponsor of the #98 machine.
We have not received official notification of this. However, BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian co-owner Bryan Herta tweeted just minutes ago that Barracuda Networks will be on the #98 Honda of rookie Jack Hawksworth for this weekend's GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
The Campbell, California based cloud-connected and storage security solution firm of course, served as the primary sponsor for the team in 2012 and 2013, and also serves as primary sponsor of the #14 Ford Fiesta Bryan Herta Autosport fields for Austin Dyne in Red Bull Global Rallycross.
Enerson wins US F2000 Race 1; keeps championship hopes alive
R.C. Enerson capitalized on Florian Latorre's misfortune yesterday. He enters today's season finale a mere 4 points behind the Frenchman.
Sonoma, Calif. - A dramatic first-lap incident between Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda front row qualifiers and title rivals Florian Latorre and RC Enerson ensured that the championship outcome will remain undecided until tomorrow's season finale. Frenchman Latorre extended his championship lead to a seemingly comfortable 31-point margin by virtue of qualifying on pole for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, but his advantage virtually evaporated at Turn Two on the opening lap when Enerson's move to the inside resulted in contact between the two with Latorre's car making stout contact against the barriers. With Latorre out of the race, Enerson took over the lead in the #7 Peninsula Pipeline/Patriot Bank/Tampa Bay Rays/Bell Helmets/Sparco Van Diemen-Mazda and held it for the remainder of the 15-lap contest.
Latorre still leads the points prior to tomorrow morning's second leg of the USF2000 Grand Prix of Sonoma, but by a much-reduced four-point margin, 279-275, over Enerson. Latorre's teammate, Jake Eidson, who finished third today, also remains solidly in the title picture on 269 points.
Mexican Driver Daniel Suarez Could Help NASCAR Tap Into Hispanic Demographic (Update)UPDATE The LATIN TIMES' Michael Duarte reported the "man behind the movement for Mexican drivers in NASCAR is none other than Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim." Slim, who "has the funds to put his money where his mouth is," acted as a "liaison in the recruiting process" between Suarez and JGR. LATINTIMES.com
08/23/14 Joe Gibbs Racing's signing of Mexican driver Daniel Suarez this week "represents the most important achievement yet in NASCAR's diversity efforts," according to Jeff Gluck of USA TODAY. Suarez, 22, represents a "chance to change the face of NASCAR and its fans." If he is successful on the track, Suarez "could help NASCAR tap into the Hispanic demographic it dearly wants to attract."
Lowe's Grants Johnson's Request To Dump Unlucky White Paint Scheme For Bristol
Jimmie Johnson is 0-for-11 with the "white lightning" paint scheme this season
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson has asked sponsor Lowe's to "change the color of his No. 48 car" heading into Saturday night's Sprint Cup Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, according to Jeff Gluck of USA TODAY. Johnson wanted to "dump the seemingly unlucky white paint scheme and restore the more successful blue." Lowe's used the "white lightning" paint scheme as an "alternate last year and then made it the primary look for this season, but it went 0-for-11 in 2014 -- often with poor results."
For Johnson's three Cup wins this season, two "were a Kobalt Tools paint scheme and one was a Lowe's patriotic look." Johnson said, "I'm just excited to have a sponsor that's easy to talk to and willing to have a little fun with it and try to change the luck." Gluck notes when Lowe's is "on the No. 48 for the rest of this season, the car will be blue." Johnson has a "blue firesuit on order, too." USA TODAY
NASCAR, ESPN Team Up For New Ad Campaign Based On Varying Drivers' "Nations" NASCAR's latest effort to "broaden its appeal while holding on to longtime fans" is a campaign that will "portray popular drivers and their supporters as nation-states fighting for hegemony," according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES.
The campaign, "scheduled to begin this weekend, promotes a revamped 10-race playoff format" for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The effort, via Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y., includes "online content and fast-paced commercials with an intensity that suggests the theme perhaps ought to be 'Onward, NASCAR drivers, racing as to war.'"
NASCAR Assigns Phelps, O'Donnell To Top Posts NASCAR today announced that it has elevated the responsibilities of STEVE PHELPS and STEVE O'DONNELL with both assuming leadership roles in NASCAR's Charlotte-region offices effective immediately. Phelps, who will maintain his title of Exec VP & CMO, now will lead the company's operations at NASCAR Plaza in Uptown Charlotte. He will continue to report to NASCAR COO BRENT DEWAR and retains all current responsibilities. He also will assume oversight of licensing, as well as entertainment marketing to bolster integration between the L.A.-based division and the other marketing and content disciplines operating primarily out of Charlotte.
O'Donnell, who has been named Exec VP & Chief Racing Development Officer, assumes leadership of NASCAR's Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C. He maintains oversight of racing operations, industry services, green innovation, touring/weekly series and membership services in addition to his new responsibilities. Phelps and O'Donnell had been based in NASCAR's Daytona Beach HQs.
In a session that started out wet then eventually dried, Valtteri Bottas turned the fastest lap in the final practice for the Belgian GP at Spa with a time of 1m49.465s in his Williams with huge Mercedes HP under the bonnet.
While there was not much action on the wet track early, the end of the session was very busy once the track surface dried and Daniel Ricciardo nabbed second right at the flag 0.268s back in the Red Bull Renault.
Nico Rosberg was third with a 1m49.739s for Mercedes.
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