NASCAR Execs Bullish On New Chase Format More than 200 people attended the "Motorsports 2.0" conference today in Charlotte. In a panel on the state of NASCAR, the new format for the Chase for the Sprint Cup received strong support from NASCAR insiders, with Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark calling reaction among drivers, business partners and fans "overwhelmingly positive" despite the fact that TV ratings are falling and fans apparently could care less. We wonder what data he is looking at?
"It makes it a lot more nerve-racking, but it's a phenomenal change," he said. He added that the full impact of the change will not be entirely evident early on, saying, "You really won't see the full impact until it continues to build." Build? Does he expect TV ratings to start going up?
Nascar announces 11 senior-exec promotions NACAR today completed a series of promotions for many of their senior-level execs. NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France in a statement said the new titles "reflect both past accomplishments and the added responsibilities that they will carry moving forward" SportsBusinessDaily.com
Ecclestone unveils Azerbaijan Grand Prix track layout (Update)UPDATE Added track diagram:
Baku European Grand Prix street circuit
Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone and Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sport, today unveiled the layout of the exciting new Hermann Tilke designed Baku European Grand Prix street circuit at a special press event in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The Baku European Grand Prix will take place in 2016 and today's event saw Mr. Ecclestone and Minister Rahimov presenting the layout of the street circuit that will see Formula One cars racing through the streets of Baku on F1's newest track.
The three-time Verizon IndyCar Series race winner has signed a multi-year contract with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to drive the team's No. 77 entry, beginning with the 2015 race season.
"Despite being around in Indy Lights for years, SPM is a relatively young team in the IndyCar paddock," Hinchcliffe said. "To see what they have accomplished in the last few seasons has been incredible. Winning races, being competitive at all tracks and finishing in the top five in the championship against more experienced teams at this level is impressive. Because they are young, there is still room for them to grow and improve, and that's an exciting thought for me."
Family gives name of Bianchi head injury (Update)UPDATE Further research on this injury indicates Bianchi could be a vegetable the rest of his life, which is very sad if that turns out to be the case. Would a canopy have prevented this injury? No way to know for certain without knowing how strong the canopy would have been designed, but rest assured it likely would have been much less severe. The 2nd test in the video below (around the 1m15s mark) shows just how well a jet fighter canopy on an F1 car would perform if a wheel and tire assembly hits it at 225 mph. Bianchi was going much slower than that when he crashed and that canopy is so strong it's likely to have deflected the impact right over Bianchi's head and he would have walked away. Shame on the sport of open wheel racing for not implementing canopies over the cockpits.
After a number of tire-related issues at Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, the AP's Jenna Fryer writes Goodyear's tire development, "at times, is simply not acceptable."
After drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski both had tire issues during the Hollywood Casino 400, Goodyear Dir of Race Tire Sales Greg Stucker "didn't have a definitive answer ... but sure seemed to be pointing the finger at the race teams."
One would be "hard pressed to remember the last time a Firestone tire failed in an IndyCar race, and the drivers and teams consistently applaud the tire maker for building strong compounds that everyone firmly believes to be safe."
NASCAR Kansas TV Ratings (Update)UPDATE ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 5, earned a final 2.3 U.S. household rating, averaging 3,601,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media.
The rating and viewership were down from last year's race, which earned a 2.6 rating and averaged 4,162,000 viewers.
Greensboro, N.C., was the highest-rated of the nation's 56 metered markets with a 6.4 rating, followed by Greenville, S.C., at 5.9 and Dayton, Ohio, at 4.9. Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Tampa-St. Petersburg tied for fourth at 4.8.
A Statement from the family of Jules Bianchi The following statement is provided by the family of Jules Bianchi, in conjunction with the Mie General Medical Center, and is distributed on their behalf by the Marussia F1 Team.
"This is a very difficult time for our family, but the messages of support and affection for Jules from all over the world have been a source of great comfort to us. We would like to express our sincere appreciation.
Jules remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the Mie General Medical Center in Yokkaichi. He has suffered a diffuse axonal injury and is in a critical but stable condition. The medical professionals at the hospital are providing the very best treatment and care and we are grateful for everything they have done for Jules since his accident.
End of SRT Motorsports Chrysler Group LLC announced today that it is discontinuing the factory-backed SRT Motorsports racing program in IMSA with the conclusion of the 2014 season. This is solely based on an internal business decision to redirect focus to the Dodge brand's high-performance vehicle lineup. The discontinuation affects the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R GTLM-class teams.
Wurz tells drivers to keep quiet after Bianchi crash (GMM) Gerard Saillant, the well-known trauma surgeon with close links to Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher, has arrived in Japan to get involved with Jules Bianchi's fight for life.
Professor Saillant, also involved in Schumacher's initial treatment after the F1 legend's near-fatal skiing fall and a close family friend, reportedly arrived from Paris on Tuesday.
Marussia driver Bianchi is managed by FIA president Todt's son Nicolas, who is also now in Japan.
25-year-old Bianchi's father Philippe told reporters outside the Mie hospital on Tuesday: "When we have discussed the situation with Saillant, we will talk to you."
ROC welcomes 2014 World Rallycross Champion Solberg Newly-crowned FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg is the latest driver to sign up for the 2014 Race Of Champions, to be held at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados on December 13-14.
Solberg has taken four wins already in this year's inaugural championship – and third place at Italy's Franciacorta track last week was enough for him to seal the title with two rounds remaining. The Norwegian also won the 2003 World Rally Championship so he has now secured his place in the driving elite by reaching the top of the world in two different fields of motor sport.
F1 Reveals 2013 Profit Of $530M On Revenue Of $1.7B
F1 is very profitable because of this man - Bernie Ecclestone
F1 has revealed that its profits "accelerated past" the $500M mark on revenue of $1.7B last year "driven by new sponsorship deals with luxury watchmaker Rolex and the Emirates airline," according to Christian Sylt for the London Telegraph. The results, including profit of $530.7M, were disclosed in the "accounts of F1's key operating companies" for the year-ending Dec. 31.
For the "first time they show how much revenue and profit come from F1’s lucrative corporate hospitality and trackside advertising divisions." The two were founded in '83 by F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, and "Paddy McNally, a former boyfriend of the Duchess of York."
As both operations were "based offshore, they didn’t need to file public accounts, so their finances remained a mystery until now."
Marvin Riley Joins INDYCAR as Director of Engine Development INDYCAR announced today that Marvin Riley has joined the sanctioning body's technical group as Director of Engine Development. Riley will work in developing the rules and performance standards for Verizon IndyCar Series engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda.
"I'm happy to have someone of Marvin's experience join the team," Phillips said. "As well as helping to define the future INDYCAR powertrain regulations, Marvin will oversee the engine manufacturers' performance and competition to ensure they are competing within the current rules."
Riley, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A., from UCLA, has worked the last 10 years as a member of Honda Performance Development. He has most recently served as assistant manager of HPD's engine development department where he was responsible for the execution of all major engine performance specifications and test plans.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Oct. 6, 2014) – Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, will conduct a public autograph session in Charlotte, Saturday, Oct 11 from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET.
The special event will take place at Furniture Row's Oak Express store, located at 8215 Ikea Blvd (see directions below).
Fans attending the autograph session will be treated to free hot dogs and sodas and a show car replica of Truex's No. 78 Chevrolet SS will be on site.
Truex, who is coming off a fourth-place finish at Kansas Speedway, will be seeking his third straight top-10 in Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Furniture Row consists of specialty stores Denver Mattress, Oak Express, Sofa Mart and Bedroom Expressions.
Bianchi 'critical but stable' (GMM) Jules Bianchi is in a "critical but stable" condition at the Mie hospital, located some 15 kilometers from Suzuka where on Sunday he crashed into a recovery vehicle.
Earlier on Monday, a day after the Marussia driver's accident and following emergency brain surgery, 25-year-old Bianchi's parents arrived at the hospital.
There has been speculation about his condition, including widespread reports he is on life support, but Marussia announced that "the wishes of the Bianchi family" would take priority in the "communication of information concerning Jules' medical condition".
NASCAR Race In K.C. Draws healthy 65,000 Fans An estimated 65,000 fans attended Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Royals manager Ned Yost "filmed a prerace video" that was played at the track and included the ceremonial call to "start your engines"
The crowd was “good to see for the health of the sport and also considering the Kansas City market has been overwhelmed this week” with the Royals’ first playoff appearance since '85. CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
Ex-F1 racer de Cesaris killed in motorbike accident
Andrea de Cesaris
Ex-Formula 1 racer Andrea de Cesaris has been killed in a motorcycle accident in Italy at the age of 54, according to reports.
According to Italy’s la Repubblica, de Cesaris, who made his debut in F1 in 1980 and raced in the sport until his retirement in 1994, is understood to have crashed his motorbike while driving in the Bufalotta region, outside Rome.
The Italian, born in 1959, gained a reputation for his erratic driving in the early years of his Formula 1 career before becoming one of the most mature drivers on the grid in his later years.
In a F1 career that covered 14 years, de Cesaris, who ultimately never won in the sport, drove for 10 different teams, most memorably Alfa Romeo, with whom he claimed his sole pole in the sport at Long Beach in 1982.
Bianchi 'out of surgery, breathing independently' Jules Bianchi is said to be out of surgery and breathing on his own after suffering a "severe head injury" in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier today.
The Marussia driver collided with a recovery vehicle on the Suzuka course, forcing the rain-affected race.
Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, announced that the 25-year-old had undergone a CT Scan to determine the extent of the injury ahead of surgery.
According to BBC Sport, Bianchi is now breathing independently and will be moved to an intensive care unit where is condition will be monitored closely.
Jules Bianchi crash photos (Update)UPDATE Two more photos. You can see from the damage that the top of the car in front of driver must have gone under the tractor and the roll hoop was sheared off. Therefore, one can assume his helmet must have impacted the tractor as well. Where are fighter jet canopies on open wheel cars when you need them? Remember, they are called open wheel cars, not open cockpit cars so this nonsense that F1 and IndyCars should not have canopies is just that - nonsense. Some would go so far as to call it negligence.
Nashville Superspeedway sale delayed The sale of the Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon (TN) was delayed at the request of the buyer, NeXovation, and Dover Motorsports has issued an Oct. 25 deadline to close the deal.
The Nashville Business Journal reported the development last week, and it was confirmed Monday by NeXovation public relations director Chris Goodrich. It is unclear what happens if the deadline is not met, but it is assumed the sale will be voided and Dover will retain ownership of the troubled Gladeville facility that has sat idle for three years.
The Business Journal reported, "The would-be buyer of the Nashville Superspeedway has been given more time to complete the deal." Citing a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the report said the $45.8 million deal between track owner Dover Motorsports Inc. and Nashville-based NeXovation was announced in May. Under the deal, NeXovation is to pay Dover Motorsports $27 million in cash and assume $18.8 million in outstanding bond obligations owned to Wilson County. According to the Business Journal, NeXovation could choose to back out of the deal before the Dover deadline. More at Lebanon Democrat
Action Express Racing Wins 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
The Action Express Corvette DP
Braselton, Ga. (4 October 2014) – Action Express Racing kicked off the final race of the inaugural TUDOR Championship with another big accomplishment as the team’s No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype won the 2014 Team Championship on Saturday when it took the green flag for the 17th running of the Petit Le Mans.
Marking just its fifth year of competition for the team that won its first-ever race (2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona), the title marks a long sought-after achievement for the team. The 2014 season saw Action Express Racing demonstrate incredible preparation and execution from the crew as well as its principal drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi. The hard work yielded three race victories and an impressive seven podium results in the first 10 events.
Vettel announces he is leaving Red Bull, Kvyat moves up (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 And let's not forget our report back in August that Vettel bought his father a Ferrari. We think he knew for a long time (since last year actually) that he was going to Ferrari, either to replace Alonso (if he leaves) or Raikkonen (who is over the hill).
10/03/14Recall the rumors of Vettel moving to Ferrari started early last year. Is it possible that was the plan all along and Red Bull was informed of that? Since Red Bull would not want Vettel taking yet another world title to Ferrari, this could explain Vettel's constant reliability problems this year while his teammate's car has run essentially problem free. It also could be why they have made Ricciardo look better than Vettel since he would be destined to be their new 'star'. Hmm.....
Vettel announces he is leaving Red Bull, likely for Ferrari to replace Fernando Alonso
Red Bull Press Release: Sebastian Vettel has advised us that he will be leaving Infiniti Red Bull Racing at the end of the 2014 season.
We want to warmly thank Sebastian for the incredible role he has played at Infiniti Red Bull Racing for the last six years.
Since joining the team in 2009, Sebastian, together with Infiniti Red Bull Racing, has scored 38 wins, 44 poles and eight World Championships, including four Drivers' titles and four Constructors'. If you include Sebastian's success at Red Bull's second team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, the Red Bull total increases to 39 wins and 45 poles.
As we wish Sebastian well in the next stage of his career, we also look to the future with excitement, as the vacancy makes way for the next generation of Red Bull racers.
BRIAN VICKERS, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing Starting Position: 2nd
Did you expect your qualifying lap to be that fast?
"It's fast -- wow. A 27.50 (second lap) around here, that was a fun lap. All the guys on this team did an awesome job with the car. That was probably the best setup race car on the race track. You're not going to get through the corners any faster than that. I was really proud of the guys. Hopefully, we can take that and take it into the race."
Typhoon delay could affect Russia GP (GMM) F1 authorities have ruled out running the Japanese grand prix on Saturday, it has emerged from Suzuka.
Bernie Ecclestone's contracts with broadcasters promise a Sunday race, and Honda-owned Suzuka is also concerned it would have to refund tickets bought for Sunday.
However, some now fear the much talked about Phanfone will become a 'Super-Typhoon' that will wreak havoc at the tail end of this weekend's F1 event.
Sources believe torrential rain on Sunday is now close to guaranteed, moving F1 meteorologist Clemens Teutsch to surmise that moving the race start from the scheduled 3pm is a possibility to "at least buy a little more time".
Iowa to Tesla: Stop test-driving your cars in our state If you want to check out one of Tesla's TSLA 4.65% newfangled electric rides before buying one, you can add Iowa to the list of states to steer clear of.
That's because Iowa's transportation department is telling Tesla Motors to stop offering test drives in the state because doing so is illegal, reports the Des Moines Register. Iowa's DOT apparently said the test drives–conducted by Tesla in West Des Moines earlier this month–were illegal because Tesla isn't a licensed auto dealer in Iowa, and that state law bans auto manufacturers from selling vehicles directly to consumers.
Trouble is, Tesla doesn't sell through traditional franchise outlets, and the company has no franchises dealer relationships anywhere in the U.S. If you want to buy one of billionaire Elon Musk's ballyhooed electric super-cars, you have to transact directly with the company. Unless you're filthy rich and/or casually profligate, that's going to be a tall order for most buyers, considering the base price on a Tesla Model S starts in the $70,000 range and surges by tens of thousands from there.
Iowa Speedway President happy with 2014, hopes for more The last 10 months have been a whirlwind for Iowa Speedway President Jimmy Small and his staff.
After NASCAR purchased the track late last year, it set goals for Small and the speedway to meet. And they had — pardon the pun — an accelerated timeline in which to accomplish them.
Four months to fill out a staff and prepare for the first race weekend, a Nationwide (soon to be Xfinity Series)/K&N Pro Series double. Then about a month and half for the IndyCar/Camping World Trucks. And then just a couple weeks before the season finale and return of Nationwide and K&N.
Not a lot of time, especially when learning how to be a track president and trying to reverse the course the track had been headed down.
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