Injured IndyCar driver Mikhail Aleshin to return to Indiana
After sustaining serious injuries in a crash during the IndyCar season finale weekend at Auto Club Speedway last month, Mikhail Aleshin has apparently made enough progress to warrant a return to Indianapolis this week.
In a RACER.com report from Marshall Pruett and NBCSN's Robin Miller, IndyCar medical consultant Dr. Terry Trammell is quoted saying that the Russian rookie will be transferred to Indy "either tomorrow [Tuesday] or Wednesday."
Trammell added that he'd like to keep him at Indy's Methodist Hospital for at least one night "so everyone can see him." From there, he can choose to stay in Indy or go home to Russia.
Motorsports This Week on ESPN Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup Begins at Chicago The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s 10-race version of the playoffs, begins with a new four-round elimination format with the Myafibstory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Sunday, Sept. 14. ESPN will have a live telecast of the 400-mile race on the 1.5-mile track, with NASCAR Countdown presented by 5-Hour Energy at 1 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag at 2:16 p.m. All Chase races will feature NASCAR Nonstop, a split-screen commercial format, during the second half of the race telecast. Also from Chicagoland, ESPN2 will televise NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m. The race airs live in Canada on TSN2 and will air in Spanish on ESPN Deportes on Sept. 15 at 5 a.m.
ESPN SportsCenter will air interviews with some of the 16 drivers qualified for the Chase at Chase Media Day in downtown Chicago on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 11, as well as on Wednesday, Sept. 10, with Nicole Briscoe on hand in Chicago. In addition, driver Kevin Harvick will visit ESPN on Sept. 10 and will appear on SportsCenter and other ESPN programs and platforms. ESPN analyst Ricky Craven will be in the SportsCenter studio for analysis both pre and post-race for all Chase races and Marty Smith will report for SportsCenter from Chicago and all Chase races.
Scuderia Corsa Planning Expanded Pirelli WC Effort in 2015 After having dipped its toes into the water in last month's round at Sonoma Raceway, Scuderia Corsa is now preparing for expanded program in Pirelli World Challenge for 2015.
The Los Angeles-based organization, which currently fields Ferraris in both the IMSA-sanctioned TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Ferrari Challenge series, is poised to add at least one full-season 458 Italia GT3 to the roster in the growing sprint race GT championship.
Speaking to Sportscar365, team principal Giacomo Mattioli revealed they are in negotiations with three "serious parties" that have expressed interest competing in World Challenge, including Mike Hedlund, who scored a career-best fourth place finish at Sonoma last month.
Video: Violent drag bike crash Top Fuel Drag Bike rider Filippos Papafilippou collides at almost 200mph with fellow competitor Steve Woollatt and is flung off his bike and onto the wheelie bar of his competitor during the 2014 FIA/FIM European Drag Racing Championship Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, England!
IndyCar TV ratings up, sponsors want more Although television viewership of IndyCar Series races is still lagging far behind what most sponsors and potential sponsors would like to see, there is cause for some optimism in the open-wheel paddock.
The 12 IndyCar races airing this season on NBC Sports Network saw an average rating increase of 34 percent from the cable channel's average viewership of IndyCar races in 2013, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research. The 2014 season concluded Aug. 30 with a late-night event in California.
Versus, which became NBCSN viewership numbers compared to ESPN. ABC is much higher than that. Despite what the PR types say, clearly IndyCar is hanging from the noose of the NBCSN TV ratings. Infomercials on ABC get more eyeballs.
This season marks the second consecutive year of TV viewership increases on NBCSN in the two years since Mark Miles became CEO of IndyCar parent Hulman & Co. This year's average viewership was the second-highest at 378,000 viewers since the open-wheel series moved its races to NBCSN in 2009. In 2011, the series' races on NBCSN averaged 402,000 viewers.
From left Stefano Coletti, Jolyon Palmer and Stephane Richelmi
Series leader Jolyon Palmer's remarkable comeback has been capped by a solid victory in this morning's sprint race in Monza, an incredible reversal after starting yesterday's feature race from the back of the grid by leading today from pole to flag ahead of Stefano Coletti and teammate Stephane Richelmi.
The Briton set up the win at the start, making a solid enough getaway as the lights went out to hold fellow front row starter Marco Sorensen for the lead into the first chicane, while behind them Stoffel Vandoorne and Felipe Nasr had poor starts, allowing Richelmi, Andre Negrao and Coletti to follow the lead pair through, with the DAMS man taking advantage when Sorensen ran deep at the second chicane.
Tony Stewart comes up short and misses Chase Tony Stewart started 19th Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway in the race that finalized the field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, climbed as high as 10th inside the final 100 laps and then fell back when his crew missed a lug nut on his final pit stop. "That's all I had, bud," Stewart radioed after his 15th-place finish.
"Pretty impressive to drive all the way up those guys," replied crew chief Chad Johnston. "We had a better car than that, but far cry from where we started the weekend." Stewart struggled through most of Friday's two practice sessions before qualifying 19th, his best starting position at Richmond in four years. This is the third time in the 11 years of the Chase format that Stewart has failed to qualify. The three-time champion missed the Chase last season when a broken leg sidelined him for the final 15 races of the year. Stewart did not wish to speak with reporters after climbing from his car, team PR representative Mike Arning said. The driver spoke with his crew briefly and then disappeared inside his hauler.
With 10 races remaining, Stewart is winless for the first season of his career. Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's long-time crew chief and now the vice president of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing, said Friday the team planned to assess its position after Saturday night's and then assess the rest of the season. Stewart's is co-owner of four race teams, and drivers #41-Kurt Busch and #4-Kevin Harvick qualified for the playoffs. #10-Danica Patrick did not. Associated Press
Johnson collapses on pit road after race (Update)UPDATE
Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy
Team Chevy Post Race Notes and Quotes: Q) TELL US ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED? Johnson: "Just got dehydrated in the car. Not exactly sure what led to it we will have to dig in and see what happened. I started cramping when I got out of the race car. Then when I was cramping I was trying to stand-up because I was fine when I sat down then I would stand-up I would get dizzy. When I would sit back down I would start to cramp again. Just really dehydrated. Ended up with five liters of IV in me. I was definitely dry. I will have to dig in and understand what happened in the car. I was hot in the car so I will have to make sure all my fans were working and stuff like that. Scary moment and I hate that it happened, but have to learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again." Q) TALK ABOUT NOT BEING ON THE CHASE STAGE AND HAVING THIS HAPPEN FOR AN ATHLETE A GUY WHO IS PROBABLY THE BEST TRAINED. IT WOULD BE ODD THAT YOU WOULD BE THE ONE TO HAVE DEHYDRATION: Johnson: "Yeah there is something that went wrong today. It could have been my own nutrition plan. I felt like I came in plenty hydrated. We will have to make sure that all the fans and stuff were working in the car. I was warm at the midway point and didn't feel like my helmet fan was working. That could definitely cause an issue."
NBCSN's favoritism toward NASCAR begins As the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season races to a dramatic finish this weekend at Richmond International Raceway, NBCSN's NASCAR AMERICA is gearing up for an expanded set of 60-minute Monday shows that begins on Monday, September 8 at 4:30pm/et, and will continue each week through the 2014 playoffs. In addition, NBCSN will present a 60-minute NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase special on Thursday, September 11. On July 23, 2013, NASCAR and NBC Sports Group reached a comprehensive agreement that grants NBCUniversal exclusive rights to the final 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR XFINITY Series events, select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content beginning in 2015. NBC No such show for IndyCar. With friends like that, who needs enemies.
NASCAR considers changes to its falling souvenir business On Thursday, just as NASCAR teams were arriving at RIR for tonight's race that will complete the field for the series' championship-deciding Chase for the Sprint Cup, business executives were meeting at NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla., to hash out the future of the sport's at-the-track souvenir business. Sales of T-shirts, caps, jackets, miniature die-cast cars and other racing souvenirs - once a robust revenue stream for NASCAR, its tracks and teams - have lagged as NASCAR race attendance has diminished and fans have grown more reluctant to spend. As a result, stock car racing's leaders are contemplating changes to the on-site merchandising of apparel and other souvenirs. "We are working with the industry through a robust process," Blake Davidson, NASCAR's vice president of licensing and consumer products, said Friday. He declined to provide details but said "we are pleased with the progress we have made in identifying next steps."
Clint Bowyer And Others Cannot Race Way Into Chase Five laps from the finish of Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway, Clint Bowyer asked his team on the radio if he was going to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
There was no response.
The answer became evident when the checkered flag waved. Bowyer would not be in the Chase. Bowyer finished seven points behind Greg Biffle for the final transfer spot.
Entering the race both Ryan Newman and Biffle held the final two transfer spots. They kept those spots, as Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and others could not win or score enough points to surpass either.
20-race 2015 calendar surfaces at Monza (GMM) A preliminary calendar for 2015 is doing the rounds in the Monza paddock.
The schedule, first published by Speed Week after seeing it at the scene of the Italian grand prix, features all 19 grands prix that are on this year's calendar, plus Mexico, with the old Mexico City layout set to host a race in late October.
"The track only needs to be resurfaced," Bernie Ecclestone told reporters earlier at Monza.
But according to Speed Week, many of the dates on the provisional 2015 calendar - currently featuring an unprecedented 20 races - are in fact not set in stone.
Champion Chaves Turns Heads in Dallara IL-15 Oval Outing
Chaves drives the Dallara IL-15 in oval trim
Following a one-day test with Verizon IndyCar Series stars Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe yesterday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, the AER turbo-powered Dallara IL-15 returned to the track today at the hands of 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion Gabby Chaves. Chaves was on deck to handle testing duties on the iconic 2.5-mile oval in the final development outing of the new car which will make its debut next year.
Following a lengthy delay due to rain, Chaves began his first-ever laps aboard the Dallara IL-15 around 2:00 pm ET. During 190 problem-free miles, Chaves recorded a best speed of 191.900 mph, which unofficially broke the track record set by Wade Cunningham of 190.177 mph on May 22, 2009.
Italian GP: Hamilton tops final practice, Rosberg sidelined with broken gearbox
With his teammate on the sidelines with a broken gearbox, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton had no one to challenge for fast time in the final practice for the Italian GP at Monza. Hamilton improved his time to 1m25.519s on his last lap to lead Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by 4/10th of a second.
They were followed by three Mercedes powered cars of Valtteri Bottas in the Williams, his teammate Felipe Massa and the McLaren of Jenson Button.
For the third practice session in a row Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull did not have reliability issues and hence he was faster than his teammate in all three sessions in 7th place.
Afternoon update from new Indy Lights car test at Indy (Update 3)UPDATE #3
Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe tested the new Indy Lights car today at IMS.
It’s been a few hours since James Hinchcliffe finished his afternoon test session of the Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The Canadian made fewer setup changes than Scott Dixon, who tested earlier. He said the car was fun to drive and will make a great little race car, noting the increased power with the power with the turbo-charged engine.
Of note, they did make the car a lot softer in the rear than when 2012 Indy Lights champion Tristan Vautier tested at Mid-Ohio. Hinchcliffe said he would need more time in the car to give a further evaluation of what it needed.
After that talk in the media center shifted to the schedule. There was even talk about having a race at IMS in October. A finale at IMS to end the IndyCar season? I have no idea where they may have gotten that idea.
Atherton: "I See the Timing of the Changes as Being a Positive" IMSA announced Friday a significant shakeup in its management, which has seen the addition of Simon Hodgson and Beaux Barfield to the competition department, with former VP of competition Scot Elkins, being refocused to technical regulations only.
The sweeping changes, with two races remaining in the inaugural season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, comes at a positive, according to IMSA President and COO Scott Atherton, who has explained the reasoning behind the reshuffle.
"The reason we are bringing in Simon Hodgson is to provide a level of leadership and a [single] team management model focused on the Daytona headquarters," Atherton told Sportscar365.
Servia to replace Conway in Formula E Mike Conway and Dragon Racing have today announced that Conway will not be driving for them in the 2014/15 FIA Formula E Championship.
IndyCar Long beach and Toronto race winner Conway was due to participate in the first three races of the all-electric championship but unfortunately, his commitment to Toyota Motorsport and their sports car program means he will no longer be able to participate. Dragon Racing have confirmed today that Oriol Servia will fill Mike's seat and race the temporary circuit in Beijing, which is built around the city's Olympic Stadium, for the first race in eight days time.
I’m looking forward to watching the new series unfold and hope Servia and d’Ambrosio bring home some podiums for the team."
Mike will fly to Austin for the fourth round of the 2014 World Endurance Championship on the 20th September.
Nationwide Expands Sponsorship Of Hendrick Motorsports' No. 88 Car Nationwide has expanded its deal with Hendrick Motorsports to become the primary sponsor of the No. 88 Chevy driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. for a majority of races in the '15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The insurance company will increase its primary sponsorship to 21 races, including the Daytona 500, for each of the next three seasons. The revised deal increases the number of primary races by nine in '15 and eight in '16 and '17. Nationwide will preview a new paint scheme at Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 400 in Richmond Nationwide PR
The No. 88 car's primary sponsorship for '15 breaks down as 21 for Nationwide, five for PepsiCo, one for Kelley Blue Book and 11 unannounced. TWITTER.com
Beaux Barfield leaves IndyCar, IMSA announces other changes
Beaux Barfield leaves IndyCar
Verizon IndyCar Series race director Beaux Barfield will leave his post after a three-year stint, in order to take on a full-time role as IMSA race director.
As the 2014 inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship prepares for its two final races and plans for the 2015 season take shape, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced a number of enhancements to its competition department. IMSA adds motorsports veterans Simon Hodgson and Beaux Barfield to key leadership positions while establishing key new roles for existing IMSA competition officials Scot Elkins, Paul Walter and Mark Raffauf.
Hodgson, a native of the United Kingdom, brings more than 25 years of experience in motorsports to his new position as IMSA's Managing Director, Racing Operations. Hodgson's experience includes positions in Formula 1, IndyCar and IMSA / GRAND-AM, where he most recently served as general manager of Wayne Taylor Racing's championship-winning Prototype team.
Sebastian Vettel (7th, 1:26.762): "It was quite slippery out on track; this year's cars are down on grip and we have minimum down force in Monza. It was a good day for us, we didn't have any problems and were able to do a lot of laps and test some things. It's important to get Friday right in order to be able to build on that for the rest of the weekend. The tires mean it should be a one stop race on Sunday, but we will see. I think some struggled to get them to work; there's not so much different between the medium and hard tires here. I think tomorrow should be better, as it should be warmer and the track will start rubbering in a bit. I felt a bit more in charge of the car today."
Update on the National Guard sponsorship of the #88 in 2015 The following is a team statement from Hendrick Motorsports its continuing relationship with the Army National Guard: "Representing the National Guard and its Citizen Soldiers is an extraordinary honor and source of pride for our entire organization. Communication is ongoing with regard to the future of the sponsorship, which is contracted through the 2015 season." Hendrick Motorsports
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Do you feel pressure for the race tomorrow night to get into the Chase?
"The pressure is on the line, but we've been here before a few years back. It's been several years back that we had to race our way in here. You can't take back what happened last week -- it's been a season full of ups and downs for us. Unfortunately, we just had one at the wrong time there. If I could ever pick a track that I had to go to that I had to try to fight my way into this Chase, it's this one. This is one of my best tracks. I love this place and love racing here and competing here. Hopefully, she'll be good to me one more time."
What makes this track so good for you?
"It's just a perfect race track. It's always been that way. Ever since I started in the Nationwide Series with Richard (Childress), it's always fit my driving style. It's that short track and I've always said that I wish we had four or five of these all across the country. They certainly hit the mark when they were making this place."
Vandoorne storms to second pole Stoffel Vandoorne has claimed his second consecutive pole position with a spectacular late run with no reply from his rivals in this afternoon’s qualifying session in Monza: traffic and a yellow flag put the McLaren test driver on the top spot with a time of 1:31.707, ahead of this morning’s fastest driver Arthur Pic and Mitch Evans.
With heavy clouds hanging low over the dry circuit as the pitlane went green, the entire grid was immediately on track to take advantage of the conditions while they could. Pic set the first competitive time ahead of DAMS teammates Stéphane Richelmi and Jolyon Palmer at the five minute mark, with first Evans and then Vandoorne soon slipping past to sit just behind the Frenchman on the timesheets.
Will Power Talks IndyCar Manufacturers, Castroneves' Perfect Hair Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power appeared on CBS' "Late Show" last night and talked about the earthquake in Northern California during the weekend of the Sonoma race. Power: "I thought it was the end of the world. I really did. I actually woke up and I’m like, 'This is it! This is it!'" CBS' David Letterman: "This happened to me one time but it turned out I was just next door to the Honeymoon Suite."
Power added, "Myself and Helio Castroneves were the only two drivers staying at that hotel and it was absolutely destroyed. We got evacuated, got outside and Helio had his robe on and his hair was just perfect. Like seriously, how does this guy, even when he takes his helmet off, his hair is perfect.” Letterman: "He's got his earthquake gel with him."
Morning update from new Indy Lights car test at Indy
Scott Dixon talks to Tony Cotman
Here in Indy at test. They are still putting the new car together (see photos). I don't think they will start at 9 am at this rate.
We hear there are 10 cars on order. We hear that Belardi has ordered 4. That new McCormack Racing team ordered 2. They were planning on running Peter Dempsey, winner of Lights race in Indy 2013, in the car, in addition to Scott Dixon.
Will send more info later. Lucille Dust reporting from Indy
Arthur Pic has set a benchmark for the rest of the grid after running at the top of the timesheets for most of this morning’s free practice session in Monza to claim the best time in warm but overcast conditions from McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne and Series leader Jolyon Palmer.
The Frenchman led the way for much of the session before improving his best time 2 minutes before the checkered flag for a laptime of 1:32.256, somehow finding an extra tenth to double his lead over his closest rivals at a circuit which traditionally sees a tight contest on the timesheets.
Heavy rain hits Richmond, floods garage Heavy rain and lightning scrapped the final half-hour of NASCAR Nationwide Series practice Thursday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway, but the mid-afternoon downpour caused more lasting issues for race teams. The Nationwide Series official hauler and about a dozen other team transporters were flooded by several inches of standing water, even an hour after rain had subsided at the .75-mile track. The race teams placed their cars on jack stands to avoid submersion, but the rainwater was deep enough to cover the tops of the scales in the NASCAR inspection area. Crewmembers walked from their haulers in the garage area in bare feet and rolled-up pants legs after the gully-washer.
No surprises with Mercedes powered cars leading the way with 4 of the top 5 spots at Monza in opening practice for the Italian GP. It was a good morning for McLaren as well, with Jenson Button, who is fighting to keep his job, second. It is amazing how fast F1 drivers go when their contract is on the line.
Nico Rosberg was 8/10ths off the pace but reported that he got a big vibration following a big lock-up.
Hamilton was feeling pretty happy after drawing first blood in his rivalry with teammate Nico Rosberg ahead of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix - the 2008 World Champion's time of 1:26.187 slotting him in at the top.
This week's edition of the "Penske Files" At Penske, our Pit Crews takes the Chase very seriously and are doing everything they can to prepare for the Chase...What exactly? Find out in the latest Penske File.
Game-Changing FORMULA E Premieres Sept. 13 on FOX Sports 1 The future is now in the world of motor sports, as the brand new, fully electric FIA FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP series premieres live from Beijing, China on Saturday, September 13 (3:30 AM ET) exclusively on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports GO, with a replay airing Sunday, September 14 (1:00 PM ET).
"We expect this championship to become the framework for research and development around the electric car, a key element for the future of our cities," said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings.
FOX Sports 1 taps into the international broadcast team of Dario Franchitti (4-time IndyCar Series champion; 3-time Indianapolis 500 winner), Jack Nicholls (motor sports broadcaster), Nicki Shields (science reporter) and British actor Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge).
Dates For 2015 SCCA Runoffs Revised The dates for the 2015 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Daytona Int’l Speedway have been moved up a week to avoid a conflict with the season-ending IMSA race at Road Atlanta.
The 2015 SCCA Runoffs will begin with a test weekend, Sept. 17-20, and run through Sunday, Sept. 27.
The change moves the full calendar one week earlier than what was announced in May 2014.
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