Evernham Joins SPEED Beginning Sunday, Ray Evernham joins SPEED as a regular analyst on SPEED Center, the definitive motor sports news program. Evernham will be introduced on tonight’s show (11 p.m. ET), promoting his Sunday appearances (10:30 a.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET).
Evernham, the dominant crew chief of the 1990s, when he partnered with driver Jeff Gordon for 47 wins in 216 starts, netting three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships, two Daytona 500 victories and a win at the inaugural Brickyard 400, has a wide-ranging resume that offers SPEED a fresh voice across multiple topics and platforms.
Eddie Sharp acquires KHI truck inventory Eddie Sharp Racing currently a one-team operation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, announced today that they have acquired a controlling interest in two of Kevin Harvick Inc. Truck Series teams. With the acquisition of the No. 8 and No. 33 KHI trucks, ESR will field three full-time NCWTS teams in 2012. The NCWTS driver line up for ESR will be announced in October. The teams will operate out of Eddie Sharp Racing's current 40,000 square-foot five-star facility in Denver, N.C. "The timing couldn't have been any more perfect," said team owner Eddie Sharp.
"We are ready to take this opportunity head on to utilize what Kevin and DeLana have built. It was a marriage made in heaven, because we were ready to move forward at ESR, and this opportunity worked out perfectly. With KHI, you have a turnkey, successful program at the ready. Eddie Sharp Racing's No. 6 truck is currently 19th in NCWTS owner point standings, only 57 points out of the top 12. The team was created in 2006 as Eddie Sharp envisioned his long-term goals as a team owner. The goal was to contend, not simply compete. That desire drove Sharp to obtain a five-star facility, which is what allowed the team to quickly transition from contender to champion. CBS Sports
Ex-Indy driver Herm Johnson critically hurt in crash Former Indy race car driver Herm Johnson of Eau Claire is in critical condition at a Minnesota hospital following a two-vehicle collision Saturday night north of Baxter, Minn.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Johnson, 58, was driving south on Minnesota 371 when his vehicle turned left into the path of a vehicle driven by Sharalynn Christenson, 21, of St. Paul.
Johnson was taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn.
Toyota wants to keep Red BullUPDATE #2 Red Bull Racing, which the Austrian-based energy-drink company has put up for sale, has filed a notice of possible layoffs of 152 employees under the North Carolina Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Red Bull Racing notified the state Tuesday that 152 employees could lose their jobs from a permanent closure of the team. The effective date listed is Dec. 17, 2011.
The notification with the state does not mean the team will or will not be sold but covers Red Bull if it does not sell the team and shuts it down or sells the team to a buyer that lays off workers.
North Carolina law requires the 60-day notice to the state and employees if at least 50 employees will be laid off because of the closure or shutdown of a business unit or if a company has layoffs of at least 50 people that impact 33 percent of a workforce at a single site.
Castroneves to Appear on "Nancy Grace Show" Tonight Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves will be a featured guest on tonight’s episode of the “Nancy Grace Show” on CNN’s HLN network (8 p.m. ET).
Castroneves, the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion and driver of the No. 3 Team Penske car in the IZOD IndyCar Series, will be part of a panel of former and current “Dancing with the Stars (DWTS)” contestants profiled on tonight’s episode. Castroneves won the coveted “Mirror Ball” trophy as champion of the fifth season of DWTS in 2007.
Grace, the acclaimed talk show host, is currently competing on the new season of DWTS and she dedicated tonight’s show to the popular ABC-TV series, talking with past champions of the show as well as current participants.
“It was a great opportunity to be a guest on the ‘Nancy Grace Show,’” said Castroneves. “I have watched her show many times in the past and I was honored that they asked me to come on and talk about my experience on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ I think Nancy has done a great job so far on the dance floor and hopefully she can keep it going.”
Belardi adds Wilson, third entry for final two races Short-track racer Jacob Wilson will join Belardi Auto Racing for the final two events of the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights season following successful completion of his rookie test at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 22.
"I feel that my rookie test went extremely well," The 21-year-old Wilson said. "Being relatively quick on track by ourselves and not having any problems when we were working with traffic really gave me a confidence boost. Passing the rookie test was crucial for me to join Belardi Auto Racing in the final two races of the year. It'll be a great opportunity to learn the ropes of Indy Lights and hopefully come away with some impressive results."
Heidfeld doubts Vettel to secure title in Singapore (GMM) Nick Heidfeld on Friday said he is not so sure his countryman will be crowned champion at the end of the Singapore grand prix weekend.
German Sebastian Vettel only needs 13 extra points to win his second consecutive title with five races to go in 2011.
But in Singapore practice, the 24-year-old - although quickest - was trailed by just a couple of tenths by two-time Singapore winner Fernando Alonso.
Ferrari's Alonso, albeit 112 points behind, is Vettel's nearest championship challenger, even though he answered "yes" on Thursday when asked if he has written off his chances of chasing down the leading Red Bull before Brazil's finale.
Honda signs to sponsor IndyCar finale at Las Vegas INDYCAR announced today that Honda will be the presenting sponsor of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights season-ending event Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights champions will be crowned at the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda.
"We couldn't think of a better way to cap off our season than to have Honda join as presenting sponsor of the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships ," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights. "Honda has been a valued partner over the years. Whether it's producing a flawless race product or creating unique promotions, they help define the speed and excitement that is the IZOD IndyCar Series.
MIS repave project to include internal road course Repaving the Michigan International Speedway oval is the biggest part of the $7 million project, but it’s not the only racing course scheduled to be repaved for 2012.
The speedway’s internal road course is also on the docket for its first repave in track history.
MIS recognizes the importance of having a newly paved internal road course, however not for professional racing activities, but for its continued effort to be a test-bed for automotive manufacturers and other various R&D opportunities. The road course could also potentially be used for karting and car club activities.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced today that American driver, Townsend Bell, will drive at the IZOD IndyCar Series events in Kentucky and Las Vegas. Bell will replace the injured Justin Wilson for the final two races of the season and will pilot the team's No. 22 Valspar entry for Kentucky and the No. 22 Dad's Root Beer machine in Las Vegas.
"We are excited about having Townsend back with us and being able to put him in our car at Kentucky and Las Vegas. We've both grown significantly since we worked together in 2008 and we feel Townsend will represent DRR and our partners very well to close out the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season. We will be testing him at Kentucky on Friday and we are excited to get him acclimated to the car again," commented Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Co-Owner, Dennis Reinbold.
Scheckter to drive for Sarah Fisher at Las Vegas Tomas Scheckter hasn't been confirmed but is expected to be in a second car of Sarah Fisher Racing alongside Ed Carpenter for the IndyCar season finale in Las Vegas. The non-regular entries announced so far are:
Paul Tracy at Dragon Racing Dan Wheldon at Bryan Herta Autosport Buddy Rice at Panther Racing Davey Hamilton at Dreyer & Reinbold, Pippa Mann and Jay Howard at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Wade Cunningham at AFS Racing/Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
Singapore GP: Hamilton tops Practice 1 Practice got off to a delayed start as marshals needed time to clean up fluid spilled at Turn 14 while there were also concerns regarding some of the temporary curbs, which had lifted during the earlier practices for the support races. The curbing at Turn 3 and 14 was removed with drivers being informed they can cross the while line on the exits of both turns.
Once underway, 30 minutes later than scheduled and cut down to just 60 minutes, in hot and humid conditions. Lewis Hamilton was quickest for McLaren.
In what was largely a track cleaning exercise, with Hamilton topping World Champion Sebastian Vettel. His Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was third.
Fernando Alonso was 4th for Ferrari ahead of the 2nd McLaren of Jenson Button.
New Hampshire to be wet? After having the Chicago Cup race was delayed a day for rain, the weather forecast for the start of the weekend at New Hampshire looks like rain could be a problem again. There is a 60% overall chance of rain on Friday with a 60% chance at 3:00pm/et, when Sprint Cup qualifying is scheduled to start. Saturday also calls for a 60% chance of rain as well, but Sunday's forecast is much better with just a 10% chance. New Hampshire Motor Speedway does not have lights so there will be a more limited window to get ontrack events in.
New IndyCar test set for IMS IndyCar will test its 2012 car Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The bleachers in front of the Hall of Fame Museum will be open for spectators.
OAK Racing to launch customer LMP2 program at Petit Le Mans
Following the fine showing of the team’s three prototypes at the recent 6 Hours of Silverstone, where the #24 LMP1 car finished third behind Peugeot and Audi, OAK Racing is delighted to announce that the forthcoming ILMC round at Road Atlanta in America will see the launch of its customer LMP2 program.
OAK Racing: an LMP2 constructor moving forward
OAK Racing will be the best represented constructor at this year’s classic 1000-mile/10-hour race with no less than four OAK-Pescarolo chassis entered. Two LMP1s (#15 and #24) and a single LMP2 (#35) will carry the colors of OAK Racing, while a fourth LMP2-spec OAK-Pescarolo (#49) has been entered by the United Autosports team. It marks the first time in the company’s history that an OAK-Pescarolo chassis has been run without the assistance of OAK Racing.
Group Lotus brand ambassador Jean Alesi will make his return to competitive racing flying the flag for Group Lotus at the world’s biggest motorsport race – the 96th Indy 500. See related rumor.
Despite his considerable experience, Jean has never before taken on competitive oval racing. Following a 12 year stint in F1 from 1989 to 2001, Alesi moved onto DTM racing and then last year made his most recent competitive race appearance in the Le Mans Series. In January 2011 he joined Group Lotus as a brand ambassador and development consultant on the F1 customer race car, the T125. Although never straying far from the race track, the Indy 500 and oval racing represent completely new challenges for Jean.
Former IndyCar driver Matos to race Risi Ferrari There may be just one race to go before the end of the 2011 American Le Mans Series season, but the finale is none other than the 1,000 Mile Petit Le Mans race – one of the biggest events on the calendar. The already healthy field of competitors is, furthermore, combined with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s (ACO) Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, offering entrants, fans and spectators the very best sights and sounds of international sports car and GT racing.
Amongst the 58 entries, of which only 53 will be permitted to race, Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 458 Italia is expected to be at the forefront of the GTE-Pro class. Season regulars Jaime Melo and Toni Vilander, who secured the F458’s first North American GT victory at Road America in August, will be joined in the No. 062 for Petit Le Mans by the experienced open-wheel and sports car star, Miami-based Brazilian, Raphael Matos.
A class-winning, fourth overall finish for the new Honda Performance Development ARX-01g and Level 5 Motorsports last weekend at Laguna Seca Raceway delivered the 2011 American Le Mans Series LMP2 drivers' championships for team owner Scott Tucker and co-driver Christophe Bouchut, and announced HPD's arrival into the new cost-capped era of LMP2 competition with a value-oriented engine/chassis package capable of immediate, race-winning performance.
An evolution of the pace-setting HPD ARX-01d run by the Strakka and RML LMP2 teams in 2011, the HPD ARX-01g is designed specifically to meet the ACO's new cost-capped LMP2 regulations for private entrants. Power for the Level 5 entry comes from the HR28TT, a 2.8-litre twin-turbo V6 created for this year by HPD in partnership with Honda R&D Americas The ARX-01g is designed as a customer car and the Wisconsin-based Level 5 organization is the privately owned team responsible for the car's impressive debut win in California, its highest overall finish of the season. The HPD prototype hadn't turned a wheel until Wednesday, September 14, and had less than three hours of combined running time before the race start.
Bottas makes his mark as Jaafar tops British F3 test
The newest recruit to the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 grid, flying Finn Valtteri Bottas, wasted no time in getting down to business today in official testing on the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit.
The 21-year-old, recently crowned GP3 champion, handled with aplomb his elevation to the ranks of Europe’s most competitive single-seater series, hurling his Mercedes-powered Double R Racing machine to the top of the timesheets in the day’s opening session, six-hundredths ahead of the Carlin-run Dallara-Volkswagen of Kevin Magnussen.
Bottas ended the session with an off into one of Donington’s gravel traps but bounced back in session two to go quicker still; not quick enough, however, to end the day on top of the pile: that honor fell to Carlin’s Jazeman Jaafar.
Indianapolis 500-winning chief mechanic, respected official Bridges dies at 60 Mark Bridges, winning co-chief mechanic with George Bignotti and driver Tom Sneva in the 1983 Indianapolis 500, died Monday, Sept. 19. He was 60.
Bridges was a lifelong Indianapolis resident who was raised within a half-dozen blocks of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was a graduate of Arsenal Technical High School, the famed "Tech," which produced Wilbur Shaw, Howdy Wilcox II, Jimmy Jackson and Jerry Hoyt, among others, and a standout pupil at Lincoln Technical College. Bridges already was working on "Speedway" cars while still in his teens.
Considered by some to have been a protégé of Paul Brooks, Bridges worked on the Federal Engineering crew with driver Jim Malloy in 1970, looking older than his 19 years.
Star Mazda frontrunners earn Indy Lights test days Three of the top four finishers in the 2011 Star Mazda Championship got their first taste of Firestone Indy Lights car this week during private tests with Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Davey Hamilton Racing.
Young American driver Connor De Phillippi and Nick Andries, who finished second and third, respectively, in the point standings for Team Pelfrey, took their first laps at Putnam Park on Sept. 20 in a car prepared by Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
J.V. Horto, who finished fourth in Star Mazda for Juncos Racing, joined them for a test on Sept. 23 at Kentucky Speedway in a car prepared by Davey Hamilton Racing.
Also testing at Kentucky in preparation for the final two events of 2011 were Victor Carbone (Sam Schmidt Motorsports), Jorge Goncalvez and Jacob Wilson (Belardi Auto Racing), Oliver Webb (Jensen MotorSport), Brandon Wagner (Davey Hamilton Racing) and Rusty Mitchell (Team E).
Light rain possible for Singapore GP Light rain is a possibility for all three days of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, with practice due to start before sunset on Friday before the fourth Formula 1 night race begins at 8pm local time on Sunday.
A tough working weekend is in prospect for all involved, with ambient temperatures only expected to vary between 26 and 31°C (79-88°F) over the course of a day. Saturday is forecast to be the hottest, although Sunday should be the clearer night in terms of cloud cover.
Although rain has always been a fear at the floodlit event, showers are yet to affect proceedings at the race which debuted on the F1 calendar in 2008.
7-Eleven and Red Bull together again For the third consecutive year, Red Bull Racing has linked up with international retail chain 7-Eleven for this weekend’s night race on the streets of Marina Bay.
The result of the parties’ most recent collaboration is that company logos will appear on the nose cones and bargeboards of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber’s cars for what could be a championship-deciding weekend for the Milton Keynes-based team.
“We’re very pleased to welcome back 7-Eleven for the third year running,” says Team Principal Christian Horner. “Our on-track success directly leads to increased consumer demand and on-premise partnerships such as this are important to promote and develop this important link. We would love to win the Singapore Grand Prix and hopefully this will be our year.”
Red Bull’s best Singapore result is Vettel’s second place of 2010, chasing Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari to be just a quarter of a second behind at the checkered flag.
NASCAR increasing restrictor plate size at TalladegaUPDATE The larger restrictor plate could push speeds over 200 mph, but the combination of the pop-off valve change likely means the cars won't be able to stay locked together for as many laps. #00-David Reutimann crew chief Rodney Childers thinks drivers might be limited to a lap of pushing before needing to swap. "Changing the plates will be better," Childers said. "It should make it more racy, where you can pull out and pass. If they are wanting to make it where people can't draft as long, it's going to do that. Probably only a half of a lap or a lap is all you're going to get out of it." Chad Johnston, crew chief for #56-Martin Truex Jr., predicted that drivers will have to swap positions more. That could make it dicey, he said, because drivers will have to swap while also avoiding the two-car packs closing in behind them. The chances of something going wrong on a swap are going to go up obviously, but hopefully it will eliminate or lessen the two-by-two racing," he said. Associated Press/ESPN
09/21/11 NASCAR will implement two rule changes for next month's running of the Good Sam Club 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. The size of the restrictor plate that teams will use to prepare and practice for the race will increase by 1/64 inch and is now going to be 57/64 inch diameter. This will provide the teams with an additional 7-10 horsepower. Additionally, the pressure relief valve on the cars' cooling system will be recalibrated to reduce the pressure by approximately eight pounds per square inch from last April's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega.
"After the last few superspeedway races, we've heard many drivers express their desire to open up the size of the restrictor plate some and we thought the time was right to do that," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president, competition. "We anticipate these revisions in the rules package for Talladega will help continue to provide competitive and exciting racing for the fans." NASCAR
He has started more races than anyone else in Formula One, but it is more than just years on the clock that Rubens Barrichello offers the sport, he told Reuters as he looks towards his 20th year in motor racing. Still to agree terms with his Williams F1 team for next season, the 39-year-old Brazilian will be at the wheel for a record 321st grand prix in Singapore this weekend.
Yet despite having racked up almost two decades in an F1 cockpit, Barrichello insists he is in the shape of his life and has more than ever to bring to the table.
“I am physically better than I was when I was 18… I really am, it is true,” he smiled.
Waltrip Racing hires former RCR competition director Former Richard Childress Racing competition director Scott Miller has been named Executive Vice President of Competition for Michael Waltrip Racing.
A former crew chief for Ricky Craven, Dave Blaney and Jeff Burton, Miller has six career wins as a crew chief. As RCR competition director, he oversaw the turnaround from a 2009 season when no RCR driver made the Chase For The Sprint Cup to having all three drivers in the Chase in 2010.
Miller replaces Steve Hallam, who left MWR to join a team that races V-8 Supercars in Australia.
Bridgestone Americas Announces $1.2 Billion Investment In South Carolina During an event Wednesday attended by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Bridgestone Americas, Inc., a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, announced the construction of a new 1.5 million-square-foot off-road radial tire (ORR) manufacturing facility on a greenfield site in Aiken County, S.C. Bridgestone Americas also announced an additional 474,000-square-foot expansion of the existing passenger (PSR) and light truck (LTR) tire plant in Aiken County, S.C. The company previously announced a 266,000-square-foot expansion of this plant in July of this year. When fully completed, these three projects will total a $1.2 billion investment and will increase Bridgestone Americas' workforce in Aiken County by more than 850 jobs (direct and contractor positions).
As the 2011 racing season winds down, Mazda secured two manufacturers championships and just missed scoring a third by three-tenths of a second. This past weekend, Mazda teams delivered a pair of trophies –manufacturers championships in the American Le Mans Series LMP1, and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner (ST) class.
John Doonan, Director of Motorsports for Mazda North American Operations summed it up; “As any racer will tell you, championships actually take years to accomplish as you need to develop both the people and the products. We can’t thank our partners enough. The collective efforts from Dempsey Racing, Dyson Racing, Freedom Autosport, i-Moto Racing, Racers Edge, SpeedSource, and Team Sahlen has resulted in race wins in three series, a clean sweep of the ALMS titles for drivers, teams, and our Mazda MZR-R engine, and a Continental Tire manufacturers championship. This success was achieved through the same qualities as our street cars - great performance combined with quality, durability, and reliability.”
Pacific F2000 Series Heads to Wine Country for Rounds 9 and 10
The Pacific F2000 Series start at the recent Buttonwillow race
The Pacific F2000 Series Presented by Corsa Car Care is heading north to wine country for rounds 9 and 10 to be run at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. The series is joining the National Auto Sport Association as they take on the challenging 2.520 mile circuit. The weather forecast is for temperatures in the high seventies to low eighties and partly cloudy skies as the series is again joined by Pacific FF Super Series in its inaugural season at this historic venue.
Conner Ford leads the standings over Kyle Kuntze, Ira Fierberg, Bob Negron and David Cheng. Fierberg driving for Dave Freitas Racing is leading the Expert Class (drivers 35-50) and Negron is leading the Master Class (driver 51+). Each of these drivers is capable of standing on the top step of the podium and in fact only Kuntze has yet to take the winner’s laurels.
MGM Resorts International Sets Odds on Vegas finale The opening odds on the first ever IZOD INDYCAR World Championships race were posted this week at all 12 of MGM Resorts International's Race & Sports Books for the IZOD IndyCar Series' season-ending race scheduled to take place Sunday, Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Dario Franchitti is the early favorite at 9:5 while Will Power and Scott Dixon are a close second and third at 3:1 and 8:1, respectively.
'Silver Surfers' get their 'racing fix' online now A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I am over 60 years old and have been following racing since the late 1950s. I love having a computer and getting my racing fix everyday on AR1.com. As we Silver Surfers know, sometimes we have trouble with our computers. I had a problem yesterday, so I called Eric, the 11 year old next door, whose bedroom looks like Mission Control, and asked him to come over.
Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong ? He replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.'
I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless enquired,
'An, ID ten T error ? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.'
Eric grinned.... 'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before ?
'No,' I replied.
'Write it down,' said the 11 year old, 'and I think you'll figure it out.' So I wrote down:
I used to like Eric, the little bastard. Dan Fisher, Detroit, MI.
New IndyCar runs 400-plus trouble free miles at Iowa Dan Wheldon and the Bryan Herta Autosport test team put Dallara's new 2012 IndyCar through the paces in a two-day test at Iowa Speedway.
IndyCar vice president of technology Will Phillips, who with Tony Cotman is overseeing the new car through its design process, said the team put in more than 400 trouble-free miles around the 0.875-mile oval.
“I'm very pleased with how it went,” Phillips said. “We put in good mileage with no issues at all. Other than one sensor failure, I think that was the only problem we really had.
“It did over 400 miles. Considering the conditions didn't get over 66 degrees and the wind was between 15 and 20 mph all day long, it was pretty hard work but a really good job done.”
The car went through a mixture of short runs and long runs from full tanks. Phillips estimated the car should be “comfortably quicker” than the current car for Iowa's 2012 IndyCar race. More at Racer.com
"It's a perfect partnership." -- BRETT O'BRIEN. We're not sure what he meant by that. Mountain Dew sales are far outpaced by other leading soft drink brands, similar to how Dale Jr. is outpaced by the many better drivers in NASCAR. Is that what he meant?
NASCAR fans got a sneak peek Thursday at Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s new-look paint scheme for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season.
A partner on Earnhardt's cars since he joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, PepsiCo will feature its Diet Mountain Dew brand on the No. 88 Chevrolets in 2012. AMP Energy will remain as a major associate sponsor, retaining a significant presence with the team next season.
The new No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet will debut at the 2012 Daytona 500.
"The time is right to put the power of Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind Diet Mountain Dew as our lead brand on the 88 car," said Brett O'Brien, vice president of marketing for Mountain Dew and AMP Energy. "Diet Dew is one of the fastest-growing carbonated soft drinks in the United States, and Dale Jr. is the embodiment of the person we're trying to target with Diet Mountain Dew -- it's a perfect partnership. Additionally, AMP Energy will continue to be a significant part of our sponsorship activity with several AMP Energy paint-outs in 2012."
Andretti Autosport's Larrison injured in testing crash Sprint car racer Mike Larrison sustained back and foot injuries in a Firestone Indy Lights testing crash earlier this month, according to INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Michael Olinger.
According to Dr. Oliner, Larrison, who was involved in an accident during a Firestone Indy Lights test Sept. 9 at Kentucky Speedway, sustained a L2 lumbar spine fracture that does not require surgery or a brace. He also has a fracture of the left heel that will require surgery.
Larrison, was testing with Andretti Autosport in anticipation of making his series debut later this year at Las Vegas.
[Editor's Note: We want to know who had the idea that front engine dirt track drivers can make it in rear engine cars? Those days were over in the 60s. Today if you do not come up driving road courses with the engine behind you, your chances of excelling in open wheel racing at the top levels is slim to none. Poor Randy Bernard, who has little experience in racing, was led to believe that there is some correlation between the two forms of racing. There is none. Front engine dirt track drivers would do better driving front engine taxi cabs in NASCAR - the center of gravity and polar moment of inertia of front engine cars are similar and you only have to turn left. The following video explains the concept of American taxi cab (oops NASCAR) drivers and what the IRL was originally supposed to be all about.]
Championship battle not only race to be decided in last two races The IZOD IndyCar Series championship chase between front-runner Will Power and Dario Franchitti isn't the only points battle to keep an eye on in the final two races of the season.
Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, takes an 11-point advantage over Franchitti into the Oct. 2 Kentucky Indy 300 at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway, where neither has won. Franchitti has one top five (advancing six positions to finish fifth last year) in six trips to the oval; Power's best finish is eighth in 2010 in three races.
JR Hildebrand's seventh-place finish in the Indy Japan on Sept. 18 -- after starting 19th in the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car -- equaled his season high on a road/street course and helped increase his lead over James Hinchcliffe to 14 points in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year duel.
ALMS: 58 Entries For Petit Le Mans IMSA has released an updated entry list for the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda, featuring 58 cars. However, only 53 will take the green flag in the 1,000-mile/10-hour marathon on Oct. 1.
LMP1 1 - ILMC - Audi Sport Team Joest - Audi R18 TDI - Bernhard-Fassler-TBA 2 - ILMC - Audi Sport Team Joest - Audi R18 TDI - McNish-Kristensen-TBA 6 - ALMS - Muscle Milk AMR - Lola-Aston Martin - Luhr-Graf 7 - ILMC- Team Peugeot Total - Peugeot 908 - Davidson-Bourdais-Pagenaud 8 - ILMC- Team Peugeot Total - Peugeot 908 - Sarrazin-Montagny-Wurz 10 - ILMC- Team ORECA Matmut - Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP - Lapierre-Minassian-Gene 12 - ILMC - Rebellion Racing - Lola B10/60 Toyota - Prost-Jani-Bellichi 15 - ILMC - OAK Racing - Oak-Pescarolo Judd - Lahaye-Moreau-Ragues 16 - ALMS - Dyson Racing - Lola B09/86 Mazda - Dyson-Smith-Cochran 20 - ALMS - Oryx Dyson Racing - Lola B09/86 Mazda - Al Masaood-Kane-Leitzinger 24 - ILMC - OAK Racing - Oak-Pescarolo Judd - Nicolet-Yvon-TBA 007 - ILMC - Aston Martin Racing - Lola-Aston Martin - Fernandez-Mucke-Primat 912 - ALMS - AutoCon Motorsports - Lola B06/10 AER - Burgess-McMurry-Willman
Barnhart: Dario penalized for move IndyCar chief steward Brian Barnhart said today that Dario Franchitti was penalized in last weekend's Izod IndyCar Series race in Japan consistent with others guilty of avoidable contact in races this season.
With the race under caution for the four-car incident, Franchitti was moved to the back of the field.
Barnhart explained the ruling in an email to The Star:
"Our rules for penalties for avoidable contact are, if the contact results in a full-course caution, the offending car is moved to the back of the line. If the course stays green, the offending car is given a drive-through (pit road) penalty.
"We have probably had close to a dozen avoidable contact rulings this year and most of them resulted in the car being moved to the rear of the line, rather than green flag drive-through penalties. If the driver has failed to move by the time we restart, then they are given a drive-through penalty, as the case with (Ryan) Briscoe at Baltimore.
Castroneves: IndyCar's chief steward has 'lost it' SAO PAULO (AP) Helio Castroneves is not done lashing out at IndyCar chief steward Brian Barnhart, saying the official has "lost it" and is a "serious problem" to the series.
Furious with Barnhart's decision to punish him after Sunday's race in Japan, Castroneves has decided to go all out against the official and is not mincing words to express his disappointment.
The rant started with several strong-worded posts on his Twitter page after the race in Motegi, then became even stronger in a column published by a Brazilian newspaper on Tuesday.
"IndyCar has a serious problem and it's called Brian Barnhart," was the title of Castroneves' column in the Metro newspaper.
"I acknowledge that (Barnhart) has done a lot for the series, but he has definitely lost it," the three-time Indy 500 winner said. "It's impossible to accept the decisions of a race director who is inconsistent, who issues different punishment to identical situations and who is condescending with some and harsh with others."
Castroneves penalized after Motegi race, calls Barnhart a 'Wussy'UPDATE #4
Another reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I am writing to follow up on a comment by one of your readers on the Brian Barnhart officiating issue this past weekend.
One point that seems to have been overlooked, or at least not fully explained, is that by not having Dario do a stop and go penalty for his avoidable contact with Briscoe, in conjunction with the position penalty that was assessed to Helio, Barnhart's actions have resulted in an absolute manipulation of the points lead that Will Power has so tirelessly worked to achieve. He has manipulated the point differential between Will Power and Dario Franchitti in a way that penalizes Will and rewards Dario. I am so sick of hearing Barnhart give a differing reason for the exact same offenses and depriving the drivers AND fans of a level playing field and results that are based on the drivers best effort being rewarded with the maximum points and a drivers mistakes being FAIRLY penalized. If a driver knows he executed a move that results in avoidable contact, and the move is penalized equally with a drive-thru penalty under green every single time, then you can bet that they will not complain, but when the rules are interpreted differently for the same offense, as they are being done by Barnhart and his staff, (but ultimately approved by him), then as a fan, he is robbing us of a fairly run sporting event that people pay hard earned money to watch in person, and that television fans unable to attend the event are deprived of seeing.
Biased DOY committee picks NASCAR driver again [Editor's Note: The NASCAR biased committee who decides Driver of Year Awards did their usual brown nosing to make sure they keep their NASCAR media hard card and get fed well at the races, by picking another NASCAR driver for 3rd quarter balloting. Just because NASCAR is more popular their drivers win awards for Driver of Year almost every year, totally disregarding the fact that a NASCAR driver will never win an IndyCar or F1 race because quite simply, we don't think they have the skill. IndyCar drivers have won many a NASCAR race however - AJ Foyt, Tony Stewart, Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti, etc. to name a few. So why is it that NASCAR drivers win Driver of the Year almost every year? Is the vote based on skill, or based on the desire to brown nose NASCAR?]
Brad Keselowski's winning ways, overcoming a broken ankle and other injuries, helped him win the voting as the third quarter Driver of the Year 2011. In the last seven NASCAR Sprint Cup races, in the quarter ending at Richmond International Raceway, he recorded two wins, four top-fives and seven top-12 finishes. And those two wins were earned within days of recovering from a broken ankle at a test session. Adding those victories to a previous one and an 11th place overall finish in NASCAR's regular season Keselowski earned a wild card spot for his first Chase for the Sprint Cup. In the voting Keselowski took ten first-place ballots and totaled 117 points according to the Driver of the year points system. Will Power, a Penske Racing teammate in the IndyCar series, had five first place votes and garnered 108 points. This was the first time that the same team owner (Roger Penske) had two drivers from different series finishing one-two. Kyle Busch the first quarter 2011 Driver of the Year took two first place votes and was third with a total of 67 points. Greg Anderson, the 2003 Driver of the Year from the NHRA, and Kevin Harvick, from NASCAR, also received first-place votes. A total of 18 drivers scored points in the third quarter voting. Driver of the Year Foundation
Mark Webber Onboard Lap At Marina Bay (Singapore) Formula 1 governing body the FIA has revealed the DRS detection and activation lines ahead of this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, with one zone in place for drivers to use their respective devices during the 61-lap race.
The detection line has been placed exactly 230 meters before the apex of Turn 5, with the activation zone running from the exit of the corner, through the high speed Turn 6 and along Raffles Boulevard straight until the end of the first sector.
As per usual, drivers will be able to engage the button or paddle for DRS as they wish to throughout practice and qualifying, but will be limited to the allocated zone on Sunday.
NASCAR Chicago TV Ratings ESPN's live telecast of the rain-delayed Geico 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Monday, Sept. 19, earned a 1.8 household coverage rating, averaging 2,179,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The race was rained out on Sunday, Sept. 18, and rescheduled for the following day. ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 17, earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, averaging 1,453,000 viewers. Both races were at new places on the schedule this year. In past years, Chicagoland Speedway's combined NASCAR Sprint Cup-NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend had been held in July. ESPN
McLaren committed to Mercedes powerUPDATE (GMM) McLaren is confident for the future despite suggestions the team is stranded without a 'works'-style engine deal.
Red Bull has teamed up as Renault's factory outfit, Ferrari builds its own engines and Mercedes GP is naturally the main focus of McLaren's engine supplier.
Has the Woking based team therefore spoken to new 2014 supplier Pure, or Cosworth?
"That's a good question, but the assumption that we're not working as closely with Mercedes (anymore) would be incorrect," McLaren's managing director Jonathan Neale said during a Vodafone teleconference on Wednesday.
"We are working with them very closely ahead of 2014," he added, referring to the changeover from the current V8s to the new turbo V6s of the future.
"I don't feel in any way that we are being disadvantaged or being held at arm's length."
Neale insisted that the fear McLaren is not a focus for Mercedes is "not a concern or an issue for us at all".
Howard to drive for Rahal Lanigan team in season finale Never one to miss out on a good party, Jay Howard will trade a leisurely autumn weekend in Indianapolis for the excitement and bright lights of Las Vegas, joining Rahal Letterman Lanigan to drive in the IZOD Indy Car World Championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedway October 16th.
Howard will join the Ohio-based team for the third time this season, this time as the driver of the newly-numbered #15 Service Central Dallara/Honda/Firestone, after having had promising outings with RLL at this year’s Indianapolis 500 as well as the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway.
The 30-year-old from Basildon, England made up 13 spots in the first of the Texas 275-milers back in June and was having a strong run in his first Indy 500 in May before a problem with a wheel ended his charge. The former Firestone Indy Lights and U.S. Formula Ford Zetec champion will be making his 13th career Indy Car series start, and his first on the high-speed 1.5-mile LVMS oval.
Replay XD Announces Sponsorship of Racer Zach Veach
Young Andretti Autosport driver, named an athlete to watch by ESPN The Magazine, becomes a Replay Driver as he ascends the motorsport ranks and competes in Star Mazda open-wheel series.
Replay XD has announced it will sponsor Andretti Autosport driver Zach Veach, a 16-year-old racing phenom from Ohio, in his quest to conquer the "Mazda Road to Indy" ladder and move up the ranks of professional open-wheel racing. The new relationship will provide Veach with product and technical support so he can record races and practice sessions with an array of RePlay XD1080 POV cameras, a perfect fit considering the XD1080s tiny size and light weight.
"It's awesome to have a company like Replay XD on-board with me in the race car," said Veach, who begins practice on Friday, Sept. 16 at 8:00 a.m. Pacific time for his final start of the 2011 season. "This company is so forward thinking and it's cool to be right there apart of it with them. I'm excited to introduce them to INDYCAR racing!"
After years of speculation, Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that there will be a Black Series version of its SLS AMG supercar Ever since the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG came out, we have all been wondering if the firm would do a Black Series version of the car. Well, now it’s official, an SLS Black is on its way.
The director of vehicle development at Mercedes, Tobais Moers, said, “We absolutely have to do a Black Series.” He didn’t reveal any other information but you can bet it will lose some weight, as well as gain some extra ponies under its bonnet.
Council OKs request to bring Grand Prix back to Belle IsleUPDATE
Justin Wilson won the last IndyCar race at Belle Isle in 2008
The possibility of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix returning in 2012 gained momentum Tuesday when City Council unanimously approved a request from race organizers for it to be held on the island June 1-3.
Council president Charles Pugh said he was excited that Mayor Dave Bing apparently had signed off on the request, which could see the IndyCar Series back next summer.
"It is imperative the race be in Detroit, and we felt badly when it was canceled a couple years ago," Pugh said. "We need a positive bump on the city, and one thing Detroit does well is cars. This is exciting, and I'm thrilled City Council is playing a role in restoring the Grand Prix. It feels good."
While the return of the Grand Prix is not a done deal, Bud Denker, event chairman of the race, is optimistic about its chances of revival.
Fans use nascar.com from work for rain delayed Chicagoland race NASCAR.COM delivered strong traffic for the debut of the 2011 Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship with an 88% increase in page views and a 75% increase in unique users for the Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, on Monday, Sept. 19. Well of course they did, everyone was at work on Monday and they wanted to keep tabs on the race.
As a result of the third rainout of the season on Sun. Sept.18, the official online destination of NASCAR recorded 8.1 million page views and 1.3 million unique users on Mon. Sept. 19. The increase in unique users makes it the second best day of the 2011 season. Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway ranks first this season as the highest-recorded day in unique users.
Motorsports This Week on ESPN Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Continues at New Hampshire
The second race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., on Sunday, Sept. 25, and ESPN will a live telecast of the 300-lap race on the 1.058-mile track. The NASCAR Countdown presented by NAPA pre-race show airs at 1 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 2:15 p.m. ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup practice on Friday, Sept. 23, at 11:30 a.m. as well as qualifying on Friday at 3 p.m. All three telecasts from NHMS will also be available on computers, smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com.
Analysts Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree will join lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth to call the action. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
I love street circuits and I really enjoy this place – it’s almost two tracks in one: there are quite a few fast corners, which require good set-up and a bit of commitment, but there are also lots of tighter 90-degree bends, which are slower and more technical. You’ve got to keep it precise through these and just be patient, waiting for the tires to bite before getting on the throttle. If you’re impatient, then you end up losing time because you over-stress the tires and you over-drive the car.
Still, I’ll really be pushing for a good result next weekend. I think we had a car capable of winning in both Belgium and Italy, so I really want to make sure we arrive in Singapore with a good set-up, and that we’re able to run with it through practice and qualifying. If it all goes to plan, we should be in good shape on Sunday.
Pirelli bring Soft and Supersoft tires for Singapore GP
Pirelli F1 tires
The final street circuit race of the season takes place in Singapore: the only country to host a grand prix that takes place entirely at night, under the glare of 1500 light projectors.
Inaugurated in 2008, the race takes place through the Marina Bay area of Singapore, on asphalt that normally serves as busy city streets. As a result, the bumpy surface is inconsistent and offers low grip, incorporating the usual street furniture such as painted white lines and manhole covers as extra hazards for the tires.
Scott Miller leaving RCRUPDATE Richard Childress Racing has promoted Kent Day to interim director of competition from his previous position as technical director with the 12-time NASCAR championship winning organization.
Former RCR director of competition Scott Miller has taken a position with another motorsports organization.
"Kent brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new position as interim director of competition at Richard Childress Racing," said Mike Dillon, RCR's vice president of competition. "As technical director, he played an integral role in the overhaul and turnaround of RCR's competition department beginning in mid-2008. He already understands our competition philosophy and will now play an even more important role in RCR's on-track success.
Level 5 Adds Marino Franchitti for Petit Le Mans Adding to the momentum following a successful debut of its new HPD last weekend, Level 5 Motorsports has tabbed prototype veteran Marino Franchitti as the team’s fifth and final driver for its upcoming two-car attack at the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda.
Franchitti will join three-time national driving champion Scott Tucker and 2009 American Le Mans Series LMP2 champion Luis Diaz in Level 5’s No. 055 Microsoft Office 2010-sponsored HPD ARX-01g in the 1,000-mile/10-hour marathon at Road Atlanta, which serves as the season-ending round for the American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patron.
OMP Racing names Chris Neuer OMP Racing, Inc., the US subsidiary of OMP Racing srl, is proud to announce that Chris Neuer will be joining our company as of Monday September 19, 2011 in the position of “Motorsport Director” and of “OMP Sport Brand Manager”.
“Chris brings with him over twelve years of experience in the industry and his knowledge will further help our process of expansion and refinement in the US market.” Said Gabriele Pedone, OMP Racing Inc. President. “Chris will be critical to our success not only in the professional motorsport arena, but will also be fundamental for the development of our newly launched OMP Sport line; an exciting new challenge for both of us.”
2 men dead after tire blows in Nevada road race Two men are dead after a tire blew on their Chevy Camaro during the Silver State Classic Challenge, a high-speed race in rural Nevada.
Nye County Sheriff's officials say 53-year-old driver Richard DeKneef of California and his 41-year-old navigator, Merle Hill of Ely, Nev., were killed in the fiery crash Sunday at the 24th annual event.
Authorities say the 1994 Camaro was traveling at about 200 mph when the tire blew. The vehicle rolled several times and caught fire. Both men died at the scene.
SAIC and GM sign deal to develop electric cars SAIC Motor Corp., Ltd. (SAIC) Chairman Hu Maoyuan and General Motors Co. (GM) Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson signed an agreement today in Shanghai for the co-development of a new electric vehicle architecture in China.
The Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) – SAIC and GM’s engineering and design joint venture in Shanghai – will serve as the development center for the architecture. Joint teams from the parent companies will also cooperate on the development of key components and vehicle structures.
Harvick gets some of Bowyer's crew members Kevin Harvick was circumspect after Monday's GEICO 400, but those were Clint Bowyer's pit crew members he was standing beside during prerace ceremonies at Chicagoland Speedway. In fact, for the second time in as many seasons, Harvick has gotten pit crew help for the Chase from his Richard Childress Racing teammate. In an effort to bolster RCR's only Chase entry, front tire changer Jason Pulver, front tire carrier Austin Craven, rear tire changer Dustin Necaise, rear tire carrier Matt Kreuter and jack man Andrew Childers moved from Bowyer's #33 Chevy to Harvick's #29. Last year, most of Bowyer's crew went to Harvick's car before the sixth Chase race at Martinsville. By that time, Harvick was contending for the title and Bowyer was out of the running. Sporting News
Lola-Toyota wins the Le Mans Series Manufacturers Championship
With a back to back win at the 6 Hours of Silverstone on 11th September, following their victory at Imola in July, REBELLION Racing have scored enough points to secure victory in the Le Mans Series Manufacturers’ Championship for Lola-Toyota with one race still to go.
REBELLION Racing's Lola-Toyota cars feature chassis technology from Lola and a 3.4litre petrol engine supplied by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), the Toyota RV8KLM.
This first Manufacturer win for Lola-Toyota has been achieved less than 12 months since the team’s Lola-Toyota test car completed its first evaluation tests in Spain and Portugal.
The team’s Lola-Toyota LMP1 cars have secured two wins, at Imola and Silverstone, and five podium finishes in just eight Le Mans Series starts this season.
'No comment' amid Raikkonen/Sutil/Kubica rumblings (GMM) An authoritative German magazine has questioned Renault's rush to finalize its 2012 driver lineup.
Boss Eric Boullier said recently he wants to decide the next race lineup by mid October, despite injured regular Robert Kubica - who does not have a contract - only planning to get back at the wheel of a touring car next month.
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