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IndyCar Kentucky Day 1 notebook
The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in the Kentucky Indy 300, a 200-lap race on 1.5-mile oval at 2:45 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday. The race broadcast will air live on VERSUS. The Firestone Indy Lights will compete in the Kentucky 100, a 67-lap race, at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday. The race will air live on VERSUS.


Drivers will have 20 uses for 12 seconds each of the Honda overtake assist for the Kentucky Indy 300.

The system employed by Honda Performance Development is an ECU software alteration. It is activated by the driver via a button on the steering wheel and provides an extra 200 RPM (about 10 horsepower) to the Honda Indy V-8 engine. Parameters are updated before each race weekend to meet the circuit layout.

One overtake use was enabled for the second practice session Oct. 1.

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Wilson wins Kentucky Indy Lights pole
Andretti Autosport driver Stefan Wilson earned his first Sunoco Pole Award and set a two-lap qualifying record of 191.659 mph (55.5988 seconds) for the Kentucky 100 on Oct. 2.

Brandon Wagner, driving the No. 22 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car for Team Moore Racing, posted a season-best starting position of second (190.641 mph). It was his best qualifying effort since winning the pole at Chicagoland Speedway in 2009.

Indy Lights Entry update:

Brandon Wagner is now driver of the #22 TMR-Davey Hamilton Racing car. #32 Davey Hamilton Racing entry has been withdrawn from the Kentucky 100


Josef Newgarden is wearing a special helmet this weekend in honor of Chris Griffis, the team manager of Sam Schmidt Motorsports, who died unexpectedly on Sept. 12.  Newgarden's plain black helmet only carries three small white memorial decals for Griffis. Several cars are carrying decals in memory of Griffis, who helped Sam Schmidt Motorsports win four driver's titles and won another title at Panther Racing.

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Edwards wins Dover Nationwide race
Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards pulled away from Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer after a restart on Lap 168 of 200 to win Saturday’s OneMain Financial 200 Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway.

The victory was Edwards’ seventh of the year and the 36th of his career. Keselowski held off Bowyer in the closing laps to claim the runner-up position, with Bowyer running third.

Kasey Kahne finished fourth, one spot ahead of series leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who extended his margin to 22 points over polesitter Elliott Sadler, who ran 14th. There are five races left in the season.

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Petit LeMans: 6 of 10 Hours standings
OP No CL Driver Car Laps Behind Gap CP Fastest Driver
1 8 P1 Franck Montagny Peugeot 908 255 --- --- 1 Stephane Sarrazin
2 1 P1 Romain Dumas Audi R18 255 -19.340 -19.340 2 Marcel Fassler
3 10 P1 Nicolas Lapierre Peugeot 908 HDi-FAP 253 -2 laps -2 laps 3 Marc Gene
4 007 P1 Adrian Fernandez AMR/Lola Coupe B09 60 Aston 251 -4 laps -2 laps 4 Stefan Mucke
5 15 P1 Guillaume Moreau Oak Pescarolo Judd 250 -5 laps -1 lap 5 Guillaume Moreau
6 24 P1 Alexandre Premat Oak Pescarolo Judd 249 -6 laps -1 lap 6 Olivier Pla
7 12 P1 Nicolas Prost Lola B10/60 Coupe 245 -10 laps -4 laps 7 Neel Jani
8 33 P2 Joao Barbosa HPD ARX-01g 243 -12 laps -2 laps 1 Christophe Bouchut
9 16 P1 Guy Smith Lola B09 86/Mazda 239 -16 laps -4 laps 8 Guy Smith
10 012 P1 Chris McMurry Lola B06/10 237 -18 laps -2 laps 9 Tony Burgess
11 52 PC Henri Richard Oreca FLM09 237 -18 laps -15.781 1 Ryan Lewis
12 89 PC Tomy Drissi Oreca FLM09 237 -18 laps -1.093 2 Kyle Marcelli
13 05 PC Jon Bennett Oreca FLM09 237 -18 laps -11.536 3 Ryan Dalziel
14 51 GT Gianmaria Bruni Ferrari F458 236 -19 laps -1 lap 1 Gianmaria Bruni
15 56 GT Joey Hand BMW M3 GT 236 -19 laps -14.608 2 Joey Hand
16 4 GT Jan Magnussen Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 236 -19 laps -7.272 3 Oliver Gavin
17 55 GT Bill Auberlen BMW M3 GT 236 -19 laps -2.376 4 Bill Auberlen
18 045 GT Patrick Long Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 236 -19 laps -7.032 5 Joerg Bergmeister
19 01 GT Johannes van Overb Ferrari F458 Italia 235 -20 laps -1 lap 6 Johannes van Overb
20 22 P2 Stefan Johansson Oak Pescarolo Judd 235 -20 laps -92.129 2 Stefan Johansson
21 17 GT Martin Ragginger Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 235 -20 laps -3.329 7 Bryan Sellers
22 58 GT Firman/Jakubowski/ Ferrari F458 232 -23 laps -3 laps 8 Ralph Firman
23 044 GT Seth Neiman Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 231 -24 laps -1 lap 9 Marco Holzer
24 48 GT Sascha Maassen Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 229 -26 laps -2 laps 10 Sascha Maassen
25 57 GTE Niclas Jonsson Ferrari F430 229 -26 laps -62.457 1 Niclas Jonsson
26 02 GT Guy Cosmo Ferrari F458 Italia 228 -27 laps -1 lap 11 Guy Cosmo
27 50 GTE Gabriele Gardel Corvette C6-ZR1 227 -28 laps -1 lap 2 Gabriele Gardel
28 40 GT Melanie Snow Doran Ford GT/Elan 225 -30 laps -2 laps 12 David Murry
29 66 GTC Spencer Pumpelly Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 222 -33 laps -3 laps 1 Spencer Pumpelly
30 54 GTC Jeroen Bleekemolen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 222 -33 laps -9.401 2 Jeroen Bleekemolen
31 23 GTC Bill Sweedler Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 222 -33 laps -17.449 3 Leh Keen
32 61 GTE Robert Kauffman Ferrari F430 221 -34 laps -1 lap 3 Rui Aguas
33 26 P2 Jean-Karl Vernay Oreca 03 Nissan 221 -34 laps -20.697 3 Franck Mailleux
34 59 GT Frederic Makowieck Ferrari F458 219 -36 laps -2 laps 13 Frederic Makowieck
35 35 P2 Frederic Da Rocha Oak Pescarolo Judd 214 -41 laps -5 laps 4 Jacques Nicolet
36 06 PC Rudy Junco Oreca FLM09 213 -42 laps -1 lap 4 Gunnar Jeannette
37 60 GTE Fabien Giroix Aston Martin Vantage 212 -43 laps -1 lap 4 Fabien Giroix
38 2 P1 Dindo Capello Audi R18 212 -43 laps -4.331 10 Dindo Capello
39 18 PC Jarrett Boon Oreca FLM09 199 -56 laps -13 laps 5 Anthony Nicolosi
40 063 PC Jordan Grogor Oreca FLM09 196 -59 laps -3 laps 6 Eric Lux
41 64 GT Oskar Slingerland Lotus Evora 185 -70 laps -11 laps 14 Martin Rich
42 62 GTE Roger Wills Ferrari F430 183 -72 laps -2 laps 5 Tim Mullen
43 055 P2 Scott Tucker HPD ARX-01g 178 -77 laps -5 laps 5 Marino Franchitti
44 63 GTE Christian Ried Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 163 -92 laps -15 laps 6 Richard Lietz
45 65 GT David Hansson Lotus Evora 161 -94 laps -2 laps 15 Johnny Mowlem
46 68 GTC Jim Norman Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 135 -120 laps -26 laps 4 Dion von Moltke
47 99 GT Ken Wilden Jaguar XKR 97 -158 laps -38 laps 16 Ken Wilden
48 7 P1 Sebastien Bourdais Peugeot 908 78 -177 laps -19 laps 11 Sebastien Bourdais
49 3 GT Olivier Beretta Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 76 -179 laps -2 laps 17 Tommy Milner
50 6 P1 Klaus Graf AMR/ Lola Coupe B08 62 63 -192 laps -13 laps 12 Klaus Graf
51 20 P1 Butch Leitzinger Lola B09/86 Mazda 29 -226 laps -34 laps 13 Butch Leitzinger
52 98 GT Rocky Moran Jaguar XKR 27 -228 laps -2 laps 18 Rocky Moran
53 062 GT Melo/Matos/Vilande Ferrari F458 Italia 0 -255 laps -27 laps 19 -


Petit LeMans: 4-Hour Update
A Peugeot retires and LMPC championship shifts gears. The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n is now four hours into the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda.

Hour three began with the No. 1 Audi R18 driven by Timo Bernard losing the lead to the No. 10 Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP of Marc Gene. Audi Sport Team Joest brought the No. 1 in for a pit stop and driver change, but the stop lasted longer than usual allowing Gene to move ahead of the factory Audi. Team ORECA Matmut took the overall lead briefly before Stéphane Sarrazin made a pass in turn six at Road Atlanta to take the spot for the factory squad. He is followed by the No.1 Audi, now in the hands of Marcel Fässler.

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Dixon tops 2nd IndyCar practice in Kentucky
Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon turned a lap of 219.633 mph to again top IndyCar practice on the 1.5-mile oval.  This time Ryan Hunter-Reay was 2nd for the Andretti team and Ed Carpenter was third.

Dario Franchitti and Marco Andretti rounded out the top-5 and the entire field was within 0.5s which is what you get with a spec series and 100% throttle racing.

Up next is qualifying at 6 PM.



Car Driver Speed Diff. Gap
1 9 Scott Dixon 219.633 0.0000 0.0000
2 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 219.509 0.0136 0.0136
3 67 Ed Carpenter 219.322 0.0343 0.0207
4 10 Dario Franchitti 219.238 0.0437 0.0094
5 26 Marco Andretti 219.188 0.0492 0.0055
6 06 James Hinchcliffe 219.016 0.0683 0.0191
7 12 Will Power 218.987 0.0715 0.0032
8 38 Graham Rahal 218.743 0.0986 0.0271
9 5 Takuma Sato 218.554 0.1197 0.0211
10 7 Danica Patrick 218.348 0.1427 0.0230
11 3 Helio Castroneves 218.267 0.1518 0.0091
12 2 Oriol Servia 218.235 0.1554 0.0036
13 6 Ryan Briscoe 218.168 0.1629 0.0075
14 83 Charlie Kimball 218.103 0.1701 0.0072
15 4 JR Hildebrand 218.009 0.1807 0.0106
16 14 Vitor Meira 217.768 0.2077 0.0270
17 24 Ana Beatriz 217.739 0.2110 0.0033
18 27 Mike Conway 217.642 0.2219 0.0109
19 59 EJ Viso 217.425 0.2463 0.0244
20 22 Townsend Bell 217.382 0.2511 0.0048
21 17 Wade Cunningham 217.374 0.2521 0.0010
22 44 Buddy Rice 217.361 0.2535 0.0014
23 78 Simona de Silvestro 217.148 0.2776 0.0241
24 82 Tony Kanaan 217.101 0.2829 0.0053
25 77 Dan Wheldon 216.982 0.2963 0.0134
26 19 Alex Lloyd 216.712 0.3269 0.0306
27 30 Pippa Mann 216.286 0.3753 0.0484
28 34 Dillon Battistini 216.229 0.3818 0.0065
29 18 James Jakes 215.071 0.5145 0.1327


Bad Luck Strikes Again for Risi Competizione
The No. 062 Ferrari 458 Italia of Houston-based Risi Competizione team, GT winners of Petit Le Mans in 2008 and 2009, was officially withdrawn at 11:10 am this morning, 20 minutes before the start of the 1,000 mile/ten hour race.

Jaime Melo left the pits for a reconnaissance lap on his way to the grid prior to the start but, on cold tires, lost control of the car and made contact with the barriers at Turn 9 – just after the long back straight.  The car was returned to the pits but, after initial assessment by the team, the damage sustained was considered too severe to repair in the time available.

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Mugello, Race 1: flag to flag win for Tambay
Tambay grabs lead at the start
Adrien Tambay won't forget the Mugello weekend easily: the Italian track is proving to be magic for the Frenchman, who first took pole in the morning Qualifying session and then confirmed his performance today with a flag to flag win. Despite this the race was an exciting one right from the start, that actually had to be repeated: that was because at the first try Samuele Buttarelli moved when the red lights were still on, and then stopped just after the line, causing a bit of confusion in the pack.

The Italian driver, who blamed a clutch issue for what happened, had to serve a drive through for that, while the following mess affected Adam Carroll, who stalled his car and had to take the second start from the back of the grid as a consequence. So the pack lined up again on the grid and at the second start there were no issues, with Tambay very quick off the line and keeping the lead. Behind him, Luca Filippi and Fabio Onidi boasted two great starts: the SuperNova driver took P2 after starting from fourth, while Onidi exited the first corner in P3 from third row on the grid.

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Dixon tops opening IndyCar practice in Kentucky
Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon turned a lap of 220.486 mph to top the opening IndyCar practice on the 1.5-mile oval.  Vitor Meira was 2nd for AJ Foyt Racing and Wade Cunningham was third.

There is another practice session before qualifying at 6 PM.


Rank Car Driver Speed Diff. Gap TL
1 9 Scott Dixon 220.486 0.0000 0.0000 68
2 14 Vitor Meira 219.203 0.1414 0.1414 58
3 17 Wade Cunningham 218.903 0.1747 0.0333 57
4 10 Dario Franchitti 218.628 0.2054 0.0307 47
5 5 Takuma Sato 218.428 0.2277 0.0223 68
6 12 Will Power 218.391 0.2318 0.0041 53
7 38 Graham Rahal 218.387 0.2323 0.0005 75
8 83 Charlie Kimball 218.258 0.2467 0.0144 61
9 4 JR Hildebrand 218.055 0.2694 0.0227 63
10 67 Ed Carpenter 217.983 0.2775 0.0081 48
11 6 Ryan Briscoe 217.773 0.3010 0.0235 54
12 82 Tony Kanaan 217.524 0.3290 0.0280 52
13 26 Marco Andretti 217.250 0.3599 0.0309 43
14 77 Dan Wheldon 217.152 0.3710 0.0111 48
15 24 Ana Beatriz 217.151 0.3711 0.0001 75
16 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 217.022 0.3857 0.0146 51
17 3 Helio Castroneves 217.019 0.3861 0.0004 64
18 06 James Hinchcliffe 216.981 0.3904 0.0043 69
20 22 Townsend Bell 216.715 0.4205 0.0155 59
21 44 Buddy Rice 216.663 0.4264 0.0059 57
22 19 Alex Lloyd 216.635 0.4296 0.0032 66
23 59 EJ Viso 216.459 0.4496 0.0200 49
24 27 Mike Conway 216.307 0.4669 0.0173 52
25 7 Danica Patrick 215.506 0.5584 0.0915 46
26 34 Dillon Battistini 214.868 0.6318 0.0734 38
27 30 Pippa Mann 214.467 0.6782 0.0464 48
28 18 James Jakes 214.154 0.7145 0.0363 40
29 78 Simona de Silvestro 213.405 0.8018 0.0873 21


Mattias Ekstrom claims pole position at Valencia
Left to right: David Coulthard (4th), Filipe Albuquerque (2nd), Renger van der Zande (3rd) and poleman Mattias Ekstrom
For the second time this year, Mattias Ekström (Audi) will be starting from pole position. In qualifying for the ninth DTM season round, the Swede set the fastest time in the fourth qualifying heat: 1:30.608 minutes. On Sunday, Ekström will be starting from the best possible grid position for the 18th time in his DTM career.

Three drivers had a premiere in qualifying at Valencia: Filipe Albuquerque (Audi), Renger van der Zande (Mercedes-Benz) and David Coulthard (Mercedes-Benz) all made it into Q4 for the first time and qualified in second to fourth place. DTM points’ leader Martin Tomczyk (Audi) ended up eleventh in qualifying, opponent Spengler didn’t do any better than 13th place.

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Lotus name row poised for winter resolution
The Lotus name row could be set for a resolution this winter, with the current Team Lotus confirming that they were now open to a change of title to avoid a clash with Renault-backer Group Lotus.

The dispute has its origins in the collapse of the original Lotus Formula 1 team in 1994, which saw the sportscar company Lotus Cars bought by Proton, while David Hunt acquired the rights to the Team Lotus title used by the F1 squad with a view to reviving it.

When Tony Fernandes set up his new F1 team for 2010, he initially used Lotus Racing under license from Proton, before acquiring the Team Lotus name from Hunt.

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Jury orders SMI to pay ISC $950,000 for breaking N.H. deal with MRN
A jury in New Hampshire has ordered Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s New Hampshire Motor Speedway to pay International Speedway Corp.’s Motor Racing Network approximately $950,000 after a weeklong trial to determine whether MRN deserved a contract termination fee from the race track, according to an ISC statement.

When SMI bought the New Hampshire track in January 2008, it wanted its Sprint Cup and Nationwide races on its own radio network, Performance Racing Network. But NHIS had a contract with MRN that ISC said required a three-year notice of termination.

MRN ended up broadcasting the June 2008 Nationwide and Cup races from the newly named New Hampshire Motor Speedway and then PRN got the Cup race in September 2008 and all Nationwide and Cup events beginning in 2009.

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Mugello, Qualifying: Tambay takes pole
Adrian Campos congratulates a happy Tambay
Auto GP got its seventh different poleman in seven events: in Mugello it was Adrien Tambay who gained the right to start from pole position thanks to a staggering 1'33"469 posted with his second set of new tires. The Frenchman gave a great joy to Adrian Campos, the Campos Racing team owner, who can also celebrate a good third place earned by Adam Carroll.

In between the two, Samuele Buttarelli got the second spot, confirming with a 1'33"634 the same great pace he had shown in the practice session and so securing a front row start. Luca Filippi, meanwhile, will start from 2nd row in fourth place: the SuperNova driver managed to qualify ahead of his main rivals for the title, so hitting the first target of his weekend. Fabio Onidi was 5th and not really happy of his car set-up, while Kevin Ceccon and Sergei Afanasiev will start from P6 and P7 respectively, an hint of what could be a really fierce fight already in Race 1.

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Probst Joins EGR as Head of Engineering
John Probst
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced John Probst has accepted the role of technical director to oversee all engineering for the organization's NASCAR operation. In his new role, Probst will work closely with the team's competition director Steve Hmiel. "As a race team owner, you owe it to your team, partners and the fans to bring in good people whenever you have the opportunity," said Team Owner Chip Ganassi.

"So when John became available we jumped at the opportunity to bring him on board. We think he will be a great addition to this team."

Probst previously spent five years with Team Red Bull, also as technical director, of their two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operation. Prior to his time at Red Bull, he spent over a decade at Ford Motor Company predominately in their motor sports division. His final role at Ford was as a vehicle dynamics supervisor for Ford Racing Technology, overseeing all of Ford's chassis development, setup engineering, software and simulations. He also held posts at Ford Electronics Racing, Jackie Stewart's Formula One program, as program manager of Ford Racing Technology's Champ Car operation and as an engineer on the Jaguar F1 team. The native of Pennsylvania earned a physics and mechanical engineering degree from Penn State University. Probst, his wife Karen and their sons Logan and Connor reside in Sherrills Ford, N.C. EGR


HRT's Ricciardo admits set to miss India
Daniel Ricciardo
(GMM)  Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he will probably sit out the inaugural Indian grand prix later this month.

We reported last week that, even though Tonio Liuzzi's manager had insisted the Italian has a firm contract for every race in 2011, HRT had yet to officially confirm who will make way for Indian Narain Karthikeyan.

"Nothing is confirmed yet about who will Narain replace in India," a spokeswoman for the Spanish team told us.

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Mihai Marinescu secures maiden pole
Mihai Marinescu secured his maiden pole position of the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship during today's (Saturday) first qualifying session at Monza.

The Romanian, who regards the track as his second home, topped the timesheets with a 1:40.071s, just ahead of Brit Alex Brundle in second. Ramon Pineiro, who has enjoyed three successive, will line up third on the gird for the 21-lap race.

Italian Mirko Bortolotti qualified fourth during the closely fought session with Swiss driver Christopher Zanella in fifth.

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Stoner stuns with tenth pole for 2011
Casey Stoner
Casey Stoner set a new record for the MotoGP era with his tenth pole of the season ahead of the Gran Prix of Japan. Joining the Australian on the front row will be Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso. The top spot on the MotoGP grid will be occupied for the tenth time this season by Casey Stoner for tomorrow’s race at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.

The Repsol Honda rider set a time of 1’45.267, two tenths quicker than pole position challenger Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing), who returns to the front row for the 11th time this season. The Spaniard won the MotoGP race here in 2009, though last year just missed out on a podium finish with a fourth place.

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Team USA

RRDC Reaffirms its Support for the Team USA Scholarship
The Road Racing Drivers Club, whose membership comprises many of the top names in the world of auto racing, today confirmed its enhanced support of the Team USA Scholarship which since 1990 has been assisting talented young American race car drivers in the early stages of their careers. Past winners include Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Buddy Rice, A.J. Allmendinger, Joey Hand, Bryan Sellers and J.R. Hildebrand.

“We at the Road Racing Drivers Club are extremely proud to be continuing our involvement in the highly successful Team USA Scholarship in 2011,” said Bobby Rahal, president of the RRDC. “We have watched this program grow in stature since the RRDC first came on board in 1997. It is no doubt one of the best programs to assist young American race-car drivers early on in their careers and we are privileged to be able to extend our support.”

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DeltaWing LeMans assault will ride on Michelins UPDATE

09/30/11 The unique DeltaWing Le Mans sportscar that will make its debut at next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will tackle the world’s greatest endurance race on Michelin tires.

The Highcroft Racing-run entry was announced by the Automobile Club d’Ouest in June as the successful applicant to occupy “Garage 56” for 2012 – the additional entry reserved for new and unique automotive technologies.

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Johnson says all is good with Chad
Jimmie Johnson, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed working with his crew chief Chad Knaus. The transcript in part:
Johnson: "No, nothing off of this. After 10 years of working together, there are plenty of things that we know about each other and a lot of discussions that have taken place. There hasn't been anything more than normal. I mean, when you work with someone as long as we have, for over 10 years now, there are hot spots and buttons that can be pushed that send someone over the edge. We know what took place last weekend and he knows at times I can be frustrated with his cheerleading. That is what I said on the radio. So, it's nothing new to us. I know a lot of people are reacting to it and think that it is something abnormal. There's a lot of other instances throughout the last 10 years where stuff like this has gone on and during our review of races and review of things and how to be a better group-a better team; we talk about this stuff all the time. So, yes it wasn't our finest moment on Sunday, but, it is what we deal with. It's been part of what we've been dealing with for 10 years."

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NASCAR weekend stories
Monster Mile A Monster Hurdle For Points Leader Stewart

Tony Stewart has already accomplished the unthinkable in going 2-for-2 to open the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, winning at both Chicagoland Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
In capturing his first two victories of 2011 in such a fashion, Stewart became only the second driver to start the Chase with two consecutive wins. The first was in 2008 by Greg Biffle, who went on to finish third in that season’s championship points.
Now, can he do the seemingly impossible? For one, he’d be the first to open the Chase with three consecutive wins. Two, it’d be the first time in his career he has ever won three straight. Three, you have to go all the way back to the 2007 Chase for the last time anyone won three straight in the Chase (Jimmie Johnson won four consecutive Chase races that season). And four, he’d have to win at Dover, something that hasn’t happened for Stewart in more than a decade.

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Ruman Becomes First Woman to Win in 45-Year History of Trans-Am
After knocking on the door several times over the past few years, Amy Ruman, of Kent, Ohio, finally broke through for her first SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series victory in the 2011 season finale at Road Atlanta and became the first woman winner in the 45-year history of the series. Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, N.C., won the Trans-Am 2 (TA2) race and Scott Tucker, of Overland Park, Kan., won the Global GT (GGT) class.
The key to the race for Ruman was the restart following the fourth of five full-course caution periods in the 40-lap race. Running second in her No. 23 McNichols/Goodyear/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette behind leader Mike Lewis, of Poway, Calif., Ruman got a good jump to take the lead heading into Turn 1.
A few moments later, Glen Jung, of Osteen, Fla., and John Baucom, of Charlotte, N.C., got together and brought out the day's final full-course caution. The remaining three laps in the race were run under yellow, giving the victory to Ruman.

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URC Releases New Program
The Unlimited Racing Championship was introduced at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca two weeks ago by Scott Atherton, President and CEO of American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.  Since the launch, the reaction to the URC CanAm ‘Heritage Series’ has exceeded projections.  Due to the amount of rental inquiries, the URC will offer the cars to teams for independent preparation for the owner and rental drivers.

URC will provide rental inquiries with a list of teams that offer cars for rent on a season, as well as a ‘one off’ basis.

Due to the low cost of operation of the durable Big Block Chevy engines and driveline, the Unlimited Racing Championship believes that the ability to attract new drivers from various forms of racing will be unprecedented.

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Battistini gets break with Conquest Racing
Dillon Battistini approaches his IZOD IndyCar Series debut in the Kentucky Indy 300 much the same as he would any other race: Get a feel for the car quickly, provide succinct and proper feedback, and race as hard as he can.

Also, there's input from Conquest Racing team owner Eric Bachelart: "Don't try to impress in one shot." That's both advice and a directive.

"It's sound advice, but at the same time I don't know how many opportunities I'll get to impress in an IndyCar because I'm not the sort of driver that can run off and get my family to pay to do another race if this goes badly," said Battistini, 33, of England, who will drive the No. 34 car in the 200-lap race Oct. 2. "So I really want to do well. I'm not going to pussyfoot it, but at the same time I respect Eric's advice. I have to bring the car home and put in a solid performance."

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Concerts benefit Griffis Family Fund
Country music artist Michelle Murray will perform Sept. 30 (8 p.m.) at the Belterra Hotel & Casino's Center Stage Showroom in Florence, Ind., and Oct. 1 (7:30 p.m.) at Elk Creek Vineyard in Owenton, Ky.

The concerts are free of charge, with all proceeds collected donated to the Griffis Family Fund.

Chris Griffis, longtime team manager of Sam Schmidt Motorsports' Firestone Indy Lights program, died Sept. 12. He is survived by his wife, Mari, and two daughters. The team has established the Griffis Family Fund to assist the family with financial needs. Checks can be made out to Griffis Family Fund and sent to Sam Schmidt Motorsports, 6803 Coffman Road, Indianapolis, IN, 46268.


Fans Invited To Attend INDYCAR Banquet In Las Vegas
Fans can join the INDYCAR community as it celebrates the completion of the 2011 season at its Championships Celebration Monday, Oct. 17 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas at 7 p.m.

For the first time, fans have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this exclusive event honoring the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights champions, as well as other award winners including the Sunoco Rookie of the Year. The top 22 drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings are expected to attend the event featuring musical act Nuttin' But Stringz and the 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus.

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Kobayashi does not know home track too well
(PVM) Although it is the venue of his home Japanese Grand Prix, Kamui Kobayashi has revealed that he does not know the Suzuka race track very well.

Speaking ahead of the 15th round of the 2011 Formula 1 world championship, Kobayashi admitted, “For me this year will only be the third time I have ever raced at the Suzuka circuit. Last year was my first time in a Formula One car, and before that I just did one Formula Toyota race in 2003 when I was 17-years old.”

“Because of this I don’t know it that well, and certainly most of the other drivers know it better than I do. Nevertheless Suzuka is one of my favorite circuits, and I also think one of the best tracks as well. Racing there is exciting and cool,” mused the popular Sauber driver.

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Menard tops opening Cup practice at Dover
Paul Menard, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards ended the first Sprint Cup practice atop the scoreboard as preparations began for Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Menard (Richard Childress Racing) had the day’s fastest lap at 156.027 mph on the 1-mile concrete oval.

Kenseth and Edwards are among those in this year’s Chase For The Sprint Cup field. Others and their position in the first practice were:

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Bennett named CEO of Grand-Am
To further strengthen its executive leadership team and create stronger links to key NASCAR assets, GRAND-AM Road Racing announced today that longtime NASCAR executive Ed Bennett has been named chief executive officer of the sports car sanctioning body.

Bennett will continue as an officer of NASCAR, serving as a vice president and chief administrative officer. In his new role with GRAND-AM, he will report directly to NASCAR President Mike Helton.

Tom Bledsoe will continue as president of GRAND-AM with primary responsibility for day-to-day operations of the organization and providing leadership to the industry from a competition and membership perspective.

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New group takes over Trans-Am Series
A new group is taking over the Trans-Am racing series, with the aim of recreating the series whose glory days date to 1966.

The Trans-Am Race Co. is a new venture put together by a group of entrants currently represented in the series. They have taken over the marketing rights from the Sports Car Club of America, which explained that it doesn't have the resources to grow the Trans-Am brand.

Former Trans-Am boss John Claggett, who returns to the helm as president, said, "This is not a short-term project. One thing we can say is about Trans-Am is that it is an American icon. There are not many series in the U.S. with nearly 50 years of history. It is better to rebuild that then start something from new. The blocks are already there to rebuild it, and it is one of the most affordable classes on the U.S. racing landscape."

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Video: Drafting with IndyCars explained


Video: Boyer says Michael Waltrip Is The Worst Driver In NASCAR
You heard him say it. Sure he was angry and it’s not true – Waltrip did win two Daytona 500s after all – but it definitely adds an uncomfortable element to the Clint Bowyer to Michael Waltrip Racing rumors. Strange bedfellows?

We often say around here not to burn bridges – the community is too small and you never know when you might need someone’s help. While that’s especially true for crew members and other team employees, it also applies to drivers.

Beyond the obvious awkwardness, Bowyer generally finds himself in a very difficult spot.

In a year where a driver like Greg Biffle acknowledged he took a cut in pay with his new contract, Bowyer, according to some reports, was asking for as much as $7 million a year and helicopter rides to the track. While that may not quite be the case, we keep hearing the number is high. It’s no wonder he hasn’t locked anything down.

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IndyCar supporting charity events in Las Vegas
IZOD IndyCar Series championship contenders Will Power, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon look to score a huge win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships Presented by Honda. However, prior to taking the track, they'll attempt to "clean up" against some of Las Vegas' best blackjack players to raise funds for a pair of charitable organizations.

The INDYCAR Charity Blackjack Tournament at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, presented by AirMed, Friday, Oct. 14, will allow blackjack players of all levels the opportunity to compete and mingle with the fastest, most versatile race car drivers in the world. INDYCAR's best blackjack player will win a Ritmo Mundo timepiece valued at approximately $5,000 although the big winners of the night will be CARA Charities and Opportunity Village.

"This tournament is a chance for INDYCAR to give back while capturing the excitement that comes with being a winner in Las Vegas," said Randy Bernard, CEO of INDYCAR. "People go to Las Vegas in hopes of winning big and the winner of the tournament will be the first big winner of the IZOD INDYCAR World Championships weekend."

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Bortolotti ahead in first Monza practice
Mirko Bortolotti headed the timesheets during today's (Friday) opening practice session for rounds 13 and 14 of the FIA Formula Two Championship at Monza.

The 21-year-old title leader looked quick throughout the 45-minute session posting a best time of 1:40.814s - 0.231s ahead of his nearest rival Mihai Marinescu. Swiss driver Christopher Zanella finished third with Miki Monras fourth and Brit Alex Brundle rounding out the top five.

Drivers were greeted with dry, sunny conditions for the start of the first of the day's two practice sessions, with the 500bhp F2 cars carrying new low-downforce packages for the high-speed straights of the 5.793km Italian circuit.

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Repsol Honda 1, 2, 3 in day one of practice in Motegi
After the first free practice sessions of the Japanese Grand Prix, Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso lead the way occupying the top three spots in a dominant performance in front of an enthusiastic home crowd at the Japanese manufacturers home GP.

As well as setting the fastest lap times of the day, the three Repsol Honda riders also recorded the top speeds with Dani at 293,5 km/h, Casey 291,7 km/h and Andrea 290,2 km/h. Lap times improved from last year due to the new surface which was laid after damage was caused to the Motegi track during the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.

Dani returned back to the track where he was unable to race last year due to his injury sustained on Friday morning, to set the fastest time of the day with a 1'46.790, almost four tenths faster than the circuit record (Stoner, 1'47.091, 2008). Casey, the winner in 2010, finished very close behind, just 0.054 off Dani, while Andrea, who took the pole position last year, is third just 0.162 off the top time. Fourth position of the day belonged to San Carlo Honda rider Marco Simoncelli, who was just two tenths off Andrea.

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GP3/13 car development underway
The GP3 Series has set up camp at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona this week in order to start working on the design and solutions of the second generation car which will be introduced in 2013. At the wheel of the development car was 2011 Champion Valtteri Bottas freshly back from his first GP2 test in Jerez. The Finnish ace helped GP3 in developing the car as did previous Champion Esteban Gutierrez last year.

2011 GP3 SeriesTM Champion Valtteri Bottas: “I am very happy to work on the development aspects of a car. It is a new approach for me. During this session, my opinion really mattered as GP3 is a car entirely based on the driver’s training. The aim is to design the best possible car that will enable a young driver to showcase his skills and prove that he is the best.

“We have worked on tyre development with Pirelli as well and already found some solutions that make the car all the more difficult and fun to drive. I think GP3 is headed towards some great and interesting improvements.”


IndyCar gets set to race with no Danica
Danica Patrick - NASCAR driver
For seven years, Danica Patrick has reigned as the most popular driver in the IndyCar Series and one of the most marketable drivers in all of motorsports.

She's appeared in Super Bowl ads for sponsor Go Daddy. She's posed for photo spreads in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue and FHM magazine. Time magazine named Patrick to its list of the world's 100 most influential people, and People deemed her among the world's most beautiful.

Patrick will be taking her driving abilities and star power to NASCAR full-time in 2012, meaning the Kentucky Indy 300 on Sunday will be Patrick's last IndyCar race at Kentucky Speedway.

"Most people probably think of it as a negative for IndyCar," IndyCar chief executive officer Randy Bernard said this week. "I don't look at it as much as a negative for IndyCar as a positive for NASCAR.

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Latest F1 news in brief - Friday
  • Vettel, his time wasn't up yet
    High-altitude scare for Vettel after Singapore
  • No Olympic medals for F1 drivers - Rogge
  • Kubica to know 2012 readiness in 'early November'
  • Valencia opens door to Barcelona alternation
  • Brazil legend claims Ferrari slows number 2 drivers
  • Drivers ask for Hamilton discussion at Suzuka
  • Mercedes signs Costa and Willis
  • Ecclestone admits he cheated as team boss
  • Webber blames Pirelli tires for his bad starts

High-altitude scare for Vettel after Singapore
(GMM)  World champion Sebastian Vettel had a high-altitude scare when returning to his home in Switzerland from Singapore earlier this week.

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