Keselowski points like a girl at Kyle Busch after his wreck on Saturday
Getty Images for NASCAR
Defending Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski asked NASCAR to clarify its definition of "100%" effort at the drivers' meeting prior to Sunday's NASCAR Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Keselowski, who was sent in to the wall by Kyle Busch during Saturday's Nationwide series, wanted to know if intentional wrecking fell under the guidelines established after the controversy at the end of the race at Richmond last month.
The answer is whatever NASCAR decides. "It's still on us to decide whether it's aggressive, hard, NASCAR-type racing," NASCAR president Mike Helton told Keselowski, "and when that racing turns out to be something other than that. That's a subjective call, but NASCAR-style racing is expected to be close, aggressive and hard. "It is possible to cross that line, and if that happens, we will step into it. It's a subjective line for us to decide when it happens, what the difference is between NASCAR-style racing and something that's intentional." Kansas City Star
Kyle Busch wrecks at Kansas, calls track "worse track we race on"
Kyle Busch's wrecked car
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Kansas Speedway was Kyle Busch's biggest fear entering the Chase.
It turned into his worst nightmare. Busch, who entered the race third in the Chase standings, was involved in two wrecks Sunday at Kansas. The second one was potentially catastrophic, possibly ruining his championship hopes.
Busch spun after contact with Juan Pablo Montoya on Lap 187, but suffered no significant damage to his car and returned to the track.
Sky Scores High Ratings With Broadcast Of South Korean F1 Race German pay-TV channel Sky “recorded high ratings with its broadcast of the South Korean F1 Grand Prix on Sunday,” according to Alexander Krei of DWDL. A total of 410,000 viewers tuned in to watch the race. The number translated into a market share of 5.2%. In the target demographic 14-49, Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel’s win was watched by 210,000 viewers and had a 7.4% market share. This is just one small broadcast outlet for the race among hundreds worldwide. DWDL
When she mysteriously won pole in Daytona she was called a superstar
The word "mania" is defined as a state of "abnormal excitement, often of a transient or temporary nature." That could end up being an apt description of the NASCAR condition known as Danica-mania. The enthusiasm surrounding Danica Patrick's foray into Sprint Cup racing has been a bit abnormal—or certainly excessive—when you weigh it against her overall performance on the track. And it is that same performance, or lack thereof, that could make Danica-mania a temporary phenomenon.
Houston Problems Were So Very IndyCar It's fitting, really, that Dario Franchitti's frightening crash on the final lap of the Grand Prix of Houston is the one thing this season that has gotten IndyCar some mainstream attention.
Far be it for the beleaguered series to draw any interest for something other than a crash that injured 13 fans, an IndyCar official and left the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner hospitalized with a fractured spine and broken ankle.
The accident was replayed on television stations across the country and even made a morning show or two on Monday. It came with a hitch, though: At least one network mistakenly referred to IndyCar as NASCAR, and instead of recognizing Franchitti for his impressive racing resume, more than a few chose to identify him as the ex-husband of actress Ashley Judd.
IndyCar statement on Houston crash INDYCAR issued the following statement regarding the incident that occurred on the last lap of Sunday's Grand Prix of Houston:
Our thoughts remain with everyone affected by yesterday's accident. Thank you to the people of Houston for their support of the Grand Prix and their concern for Dario Franchitti, the fans and race personnel. INDYCAR is thoroughly reviewing the incident. Reducing the risks that are associated with racing is one of our highest priorities and receives our constant and on-going focus.
UPDATE5: Franchitti accident update Following the events of the last lap of the Grand Prix of Houston IZOD IndyCar Series race on Sunday, Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Dario Franchitti was admitted awake and alert to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston for a concussion, two spinal fractures and a fracture to his right ankle. Last night Dario had surgery to temporarily stabilize the ankle.
He will remain in Houston for a few days, at which time he will be transported to Indianapolis for further evaluation.
“Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes. They mean a lot to me. I would also like to send my best to all the fans involved in the accident and hope that everyone is alright.” – Dario Franchitti
Another NASCAR track to remove seats to save face Richmond International Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier said on Friday that RIR will remove the Henrico Tower and there will be additional seating along the backstretch. He estimated that the track's capacity will drop about 10,000 seats. "We're taking down parts of Henrico grandstands (along the backstretch)," he said.
"The lower part of the backstretch as you come toward turn three as well as some sections of the Old Dominion grandstands in Turn 3." Bickmeier said that the plan to remove some seating has been formulating for over a year. These sections have been on the low satisfactory end of post-race fan survey data. Henrico Tower, in particular, is an arduous journey for fans. Bickmeier said spectators need to climb 72 steps to the lower portion of the tower, where there are few, if any, amenities such as concessions and restrooms.
Racing dodged another bullet in Houston Auto racing dodged another bullet Sunday when a car very nearly went into the crowd during the IndyCar Series race at Houston, Tex.
Although one driver was badly hurt, more than a dozen spectators were also injured when hit by debris that flew into a grandstand, included a large portion of catch fencing.
As absolutely soon as possible, an investigation into what happened involving not only IndyCar officials and the Houston promoters but also people who promote racing at temporary tracks elsewhere must be conducted to find out what went wrong and what can be done to avoid it happening anywhere again.
And consultation with NASCAR, as well as the University of Nebraska researchers who developed the SAFER barrier might not hurt either.
UPDATE4: Franchitti accident update Four-time IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti fractured two vertebrae, broke his right ankle and sustained a concussion when his car went airborne into a catch fence during the final lap of the Grand Prix of Houston on Sunday, with flying debris injuring 13 spectators and a series official.
Franchitti was transported to a hospital where the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner would be held overnight, and a series official was treated for minor injuries.
Houston Fire Department spokesman Ruy Lozano said 11 of the 13 injured fans were treated on site at Reliant Park. Lozano said two were taken to the hospital for treatment.
MWR to lose another crew chief #56 crew chief Chad Johnston has asked for his release from Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of the 2013 season. Johnston remains committed to driver Martin Truex Jr. and the #56 team and intends to battle for wins in the next seven races. But with two children and another on the way, the 33-year-old engineer turned crew chief must consider his options. Everything is uncertain, Johnston told FOX Sports on Saturday at Kansas Speedway. Obviously, were kind of in limbo right now, so everyone is minding their Ps and Qs right now and getting something lined up for next year. At the end of the day, we have to support our families and its a livelihood for us. Its a well-known fact that we need to be looking. I just want to do it the right way. Though Johnston hasnt received any concrete offers, in a perfect world he would prefer to remain with Truex and his current crew.(FoxSports)
UPDATE3: Franchitti accident update - fans injured Medical update from Dr. Michael Olinger, INDYCAR director of medical services:
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Dario Franchitti was admitted awake and alert to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston for a concussion, spinal fracture that will require no surgery and a fracture to the right ankle. He will be kept overnight.
Franchitti was injured in a last-lap collision with Takuma Sato on Sunday in Race 2 of the Shell & Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.
UPDATE2: Franchitti accident update - fans injured According to Houston ABC TV affiliate KTRK, Dario Franchitti was transported to Memorial Hermann hospital, and is in fair condition. In addition, 3 spectators were also transported to Memorial Hermann hospital, while 10 more were treated at the scene. The IndyStar reports that Kim Tyger, an IndyCar timing and scoring official, suffered "minor injuries" and also went to hospital for treatment.
Franchitti accident update - fans injured (Update)UPDATE AR1.com is getting reports that up to 15 fans are being treated for injuries from debris that flew into the grandstands from the accident. Parts from the car and an entire section of fence flew into the grandstands.
10/06/13 Chip Ganassi reports that Dario Franchitti is awake and talking after a horrific 3-car accident on the final lap of the Shell Oil Grand Prix of Houston. He is reporting pain in the ankle area and pain in his back. He is off to the hospital for X-Rays.
Debris fencing was seen flying into the grandstand and we have no reports yet of whether any fans were injured.
NASCAR Rejects Fox, NBC Proposal To Begin New TV Deal Early NASCAR has rejected a formal proposal from its broadcast partners that would have seen Fox and NBC begin televising the sport a year early in '14. Talks between NASCAR, ESPN, Fox, NBC and Turner had been ongoing as of last week. But NASCAR VP/Broadcast & Production Steve Herbst yesterday said in a statement, "While we were humbled by the desire of NBC and Fox to start 12 months early, we now consider this matter closed and look forward to finishing our current agreement in 2014 with our great partners at Fox, Turner and ESPN" Sportsbusinessdaily.com
Danica Patrick wadded up on lap 1 in Kansas DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – Sidelined in accident on Lap1:
“I knew that going into the race based on practice and everything we’ve seen from practice in Cup to the Nationwide race, that losing grip was going to be not that hard to do. And so I said that before the race even; I said make sure that we’re on top of who is on my door and who is behind me. And I knew all that was going to be happening on the start. And I had enough momentum to go to the middle because I got a run on the car in front of me but I had to wait past the Start/Finish line. I lifted going into Turn 1 and all I can say is that you know, I didn’t try and do anything. I just found myself sideways in the middle of the corner and that was it.
Brabham Caps off Season with Win Number 13 at Houston Houston, Texas – Matthew Brabham’s sensational debut season in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires came to a close today with another dominant performance on the streets of Houston. Brabham made a clean sweep of the pair of Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Houston races on the temporary street circuit to set new milestones in the series, ending with records for most wins (13), most podiums (15) and most fastest laps (13) in a single season.
Brabham did not always make it easy on himself. Starting as far back as eighth at St. Petersburg – his worse starting position – he proved that he and his championship-winning Andretti Autosport team were up to any challenges.
Sunday morning update from Houston (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 Indy changed their mind and now the race will start based on drivers points, not entrants points. Castroneves will start on pole and Dixon on the outside.
10/06/13 Qualifying has been officially washed out but they will practice in the rain. IndyCar just announced that the starting grid for today's race will be based on 'entrant' points, not drivers points. As such, no bonus point for winning the pole will be awarded. The starting lineup will be:
Pic and Bianchi handed 10-place grid penalties for Japan Charles Pic and Jules Bianchi have been given 10-place grid penalties for next weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Bianchi only had one strike next to his name going in to the Korean Grand Prix weekend. However he was handed a reprimand on Saturday for holding up Paul di Resta during qualifying and was given another one after the 55 lap race for failing to slow for yellow flags.
Charles Pic was also handed his second reprimand of the weekend for the same offense, the first being for missing a weighbridge call during Friday practice. With it also being his third reprimand of the season, both drivers were handed 10-place grid penalties for Japan.
O’Ward Edges Kelley, Herta Extends Series Lead The third and final three-race weekend of the Pacific Formula F1600/F2000 Championship Series was held on Saturday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 1.940 mile outfield road course saw Patricio O’Ward claim his third consecutive win in F2000 since joining the series and Colton Herta win his series leading eighth race in F1600 as the series opened the season ending race weekend, racing with the Vintage Auto Racing Association during the Datsun-Porsche Shootout Event.
The mid-morning qualifying for round 13 was held under sunny skies, mild (low seventies) temperatures and a slight breeze as the drivers took to the track.
Brad Keselowski's wadded up Mustang after Kyle Busch stuffed him into the wall
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Brad Keselowski vowed to retaliate against rival Kyle Busch over a wreck with 13 laps remaining in the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. Whether that means on the Sprint Cup side, where Busch is competing for a Cup title, remains to be seen.
Busch took blame for the accident Saturday, which occurred as they battled for second on the frontstretch.
"That's as dirty as it gets -- when someone wrecks you down the straightaway, that's as dirty as it gets," Keselowski said. "I got wrecked by a dirty driver. There's no other way of putting it."
IndyCar's broken promises and dwindling base (Update)UPDATE Since news broke that next year’s schedule will shrink, and go by a new name IZOD IndyCar officials have been leaking news that 2015 will be super awesome, largely because they plan on throwing away 2014.
So far for 2014 IndyCar is down a title sponsor, at least one race, possibly two, and will start in late March and end on Labor Day and will likely shuffle two fall races to mid-summer. Beyond the amateur way the whole thing has been handled it’s starting to look like 2014 is more about survival than improvement.
Ideally you don’t want confirm that your title sponsor is leaving without another company signed and waiting to make an announcement, which apparently IndyCar doesn’t have. You don’t want to announce that you’re ending your season early and not have a couple more early races lined up to start your season earlier. So far the best IndyCar can offer is a new road race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and increasing the number of double headers.
Matt Kenseth may have won Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway, but Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski provided the most explosive fireworks in a wild race that featured 11 cautions in 200 laps.
Kenseth pulled away after a restart with five laps left and won going away, as Paul Menard edged Regan Smith for second on the final lap. Busch ran fourth after causing the final caution by sending Keselowski into the fence on Lap 188.
Karam extends Indy Lights point lead with light to flag win in Houston
A happy but hot Sage Karam
No one is talking about 18-year old Sage Karam and what might happen if he wins the Indy Lights title. Everyone was assuming that Andretti Autosport driver Carlos Munoz was going to win the title, but going into today's race in Houston Karam held a 2-point lead. But Karam led all the way while Munoz made contact and finished last.
As a result Karam now has 425 points and Gabby Chaves is now 2nd with 409 points. Munoz has dropped to fourth with 389 points with one race to go in Fontana meaning the champion could very well be Karam and the prize money that goes with it if he decides to move up to IndyCar.
Sato Wins Pole For Race 1 (Update with Full results)UPDATE Qualifying Saturday for the Shell & Pennzoil GP of Houston - Race 1 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 1.634-mile MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway at Reliant Park, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, time and speed in parentheses:
1. (14) Takuma Sato, 01:00.4535 (97.305) 2. (12) Will Power, 01:01.1524 (96.192) 3. (9) Scott Dixon, 01:00.6057 (97.060) 4. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, 01:01.4911 (95.663) 5. (77) Simon Pagenaud, 01:00.6184 (97.040) 6. (78) Simona De Silvestro, 01:01.5527 (95.567) 7. (27) James Hinchcliffe, 01:01.2123 (96.098) 8. (98) Luca Filippi, 01:01.6520 (95.413) 9. (5) EJ Viso, 01:01.3274 (95.918) 10. (10) Dario Franchitti, 01:01.7201 (95.308) 11. (16) James Jakes, 01:01.3678 (95.855) 12. (25) Marco Andretti, 01:01.7907 (95.199) 13. (18) Mike Conway, 01:01.5154 (95.625) 14. (19) Justin Wilson, 01:01.8065 (95.174) 15. (11) Tony Kanaan, 01:01.5409 (95.585) 16. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, 01:01.8305 (95.138) 17. (83) Charlie Kimball, 01:01.6329 (95.443) 18. (4) Oriol Servia, 01:01.9043 (95.024) 19. (15) Graham Rahal, 01:02.0140 (94.856) 20. (67) Josef Newgarden, 01:02.1588 (94.635) 21. (6) Sebastian Saavedra, 01:02.1175 (94.698) 22. (3) Helio Castroneves, 01:02.2823 (94.447) 23. (20) Ed Carpenter, 01:03.5193 (92.608) 24. (55) Tristan Vautier, No Time (No Speed)
Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR Saturday Warm-up. Order was restored at Virginia International Raceway this morning as the Muscle Milk machine driven by Graf and Luhr paced the field. The Smith/Mowlen Lola Mazda was almost a second behind, with the Delta car over 6 seconds slower than the leader. LMP2 was paced by the Patron HPD of Scott Sharp, who had an off during qualification and will start 9th on the overall grid in the midst of a bunch of PC entries.
Morning update from Houston (Update)UPDATE Added photo of last night's diamond grinding machine in action.
Last night's Diamond Grinding machine in action
The chicane is gone from Turn 1 and the track is now smooth after overnight diamond grinding. Average lap speed should increase now because Turn 1 is now a 150 mph bend instead of a silly 30 mph chicane. The weather is still hot and humid but Sunday promises to be much better weather as a cold front is supposed to move through this evening. Due to yesterday's delays, below is the revised schedule for Saturday - all times Central Time.
The State of NASCAR is a Sad One (Update)UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, NASCAR's integrity in question? I almost fell off my chair laughing. Is there a NASCAR grid that is not computer generated? In a series where cheaters always get to keep their race win. In a series where caution flags happen at the most opportune times. In a series where a new team or race sponsor almost always gets rewarded with pole position. In a series where wankers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick are the two biggest heroes. In a series where the rule book is made up as they go and penalties are handed out inconsistently. In a series where fines go back to the perpetrators as end of the year prize money. In a series where an open wheel driver or foreign driver will never win a championship even though they have more talent. Everything happens in NASCAR for a reason and they play their core fan base like a fiddle. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles
10/05/13 What has separated NASCAR for years from other major sports such as baseball, basketball and football is how clean it can be considered. Clean in the sense of how drivers live their lives both on and off the track.
Sure, there’s teams who break the rules and get caught cheating, every sport has those, but in the bigger picture NASCAR drivers are considered some of the sporting world’s best role models. Repeated DUI’s, numerous arrests for murder or officials who are convicted for race fixing don’t happen here. And performance enhancing drugs, records being taken away? Never.
Musk defends Tesla Model S safety after company review of fire Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., defended the safety of the company's flagship Model S sedan after a fire involving one of the cars raised questions about its lithium ion battery pack.
A Model S driven in Kent, Washington, near Seattle, on Oct. 1 struck metal debris on the road.
Musk said in a statement on the company's Web site that the object appears to be a "curved section" that fell off a semi-trailer.
The car's warning system alerted the driver to pull over and exit the vehicle, after which a fire broke out, Tesla said.
Sage Karam tops Indy Lights practice Sage Karam has recorded podium finishes in three of the four Firestone Indy Lights street course races. The series championship points leader served notice that he'll be strong in the penultimate race of the season.
Karam, driving the No. 8 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car, posted the fastest lap of the lone practice session on the 1.683-mile, 10-turn MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway at 1 minute, 09.3931 seconds on his last of 29 laps.
Karam enters the 50-lap Grand Prix of Houston with a two-point lead over Carlos Munoz. Gabby Chaves is four points back and Jack Hawksworth is 11 points arrears. All were within a second of Karam's fast lap with a few seconds remaining in the session.
A 45-minute qualifying session at 8:45 a.m. (ET) will be followed three hours later by the 50-lap race. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the race of the season at 4 p.m. (ET) Oct. 6, following the IZOD IndyCar Series race.
Art St. Cyr, President, Honda Performance Development, on Chip Ganassi Racing's decision to change engine manufacturers for the 2014 IndyCar Series:
"On behalf of everyone at Honda, I'd like to thank Chip Ganassi and the entire Ganassi Racing organization for their efforts in our very successful, eight-year partnership in the Indy Racing League and INDYCAR, which included four driver's championships, three Indianapolis 500 victories and more than 40 individual race wins since 2006.
Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR Qualification Pigs have flown in ALMS competition at VIR. In P1, Dyson Racing qualified for the pole, with Guy Smith in his Lola out-qualifying Klaus Graf in the Muscle Milk HPD. The Delta entry, running in P1, qualified some 8 seconds slower than the leader in their new coupe edition.
In P2, Ryan Briscoe scored the pole by half a second over Marino Franchitti. Scott Sharp ran his car off of the track in "The corner formerly known as Oak Tree" (the tree was blown down in a storm a few weeks ago) and will start well back in the field. In PC, Dan Cameron "took it easy" as he took the pole. Tom Kimber-Smith will join him on the front row of that division at the start of the race.
Q and A with Simon Pagenaud INDYCAR Transcript: Interview With Simon Pagenaud
Simon sits third in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings after winning at the Grand Prix of Baltimore last month. Doubleheader this weekend, three races to go, you’re strongly in the hunt for the championship. Is the championship your goal or are you just focusing on finishing the season strong?
SIMON PAGENAUD: I think the championship is the goal. We go racing to win races. We’re fortunate that we’re in a really good position. The team has been tremendous. The HP car has been really fast on street circuits lately. We scored two wins. I don’t think it’s time to give up. We’re going to try as hard as we can. It’s going to be difficult. We’re quite a ways down on Helio (Castroneves). But we’re going to try. If you don’t try, then there’s no reason to go racing. I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be a great weekend.
Power tops delayed first practice in Houston Team Penske's Will Power claimed the honors of topping the first timesheets of the doubleheader weekend in Texas, with a time of 1:06.8320s (88.018mph) in Friday's first practice for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. He topped Ganassi's Scott Dixon and Power's teammate Helio Castroneves.
Practice had originally been scheduled as a single 90-minute session on Friday morning, but the issue with the track surface at turn 1 on the 1.683-mile, 10-turn temporary street course caused a lengthy two and a half hour delay before cars got to head out at 1pm local time for the first of two separate 45-minute practice periods instead.
Jimmie Johnson comments on practice 1 spin and smoke I just spun out trying real hard on that first sticker run and we got things back under control and the balance in the car. It’s really fast. I’m happy about that.
“And then as I was coming in, I saw some smoke in the mirror and I could smell it and it looks like we have an issue with the radiator or something up front. There’s nothing wrong with the engine. It’s certainly a quick scare when you see that blue smoke and the smell that it has. I was pretty nervous.”
KV Racing comments on the loss of Tony Kanaan to Ganassi KV Racing Technology made the following statement regarding driver Tony Kanaan:
"Tony Kanaan is an outstanding driver, a great teammate and a good friend. Over the last three years he has demonstrated his professionalism and more importantly, this year brought KV Racing Technology - SH Racing its first Indianapolis 500 victory. The entire organization wishes him the best as he moves forward with his career. KV - SH Racing is and will continue to pursue negotiations with several top drivers and looks forward to competing for race wins and championships in the coming years."
Houston track surface delays IndyCar practice (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 IndyCar has installed a temporary chicane before Turn 1 to slow the cars so teams can get some practice time today. Overnight a more permanent fix to the bump will be made so the chicane can be removed. Qualifying for Saturday's race will be Saturday morning and Sunday race qualifying will be Sunday morning. Because the race promoter did not get the facility to setup the track until 96 hours ago, and because that part of the track was covered with Reliant Stadium surface equipment, no one saw the bumps sooner.
"The lateness of the build of this project, which has been unprecedented, is really one of the pitfalls when you wait until the last minute to do one of these things," said Brian Barnhart, IndyCar's president of operations. "It's one of the challenges you face, but we've got a great solution in place and it's not going to affect us in a negative fashion toward a lot of drama for the two qualifying sessions and the doubleheader."
Belle Isle to get more upgrades Under a lease agreement between the State of Michigan and the City of Detroit executed this week, Belle Isle will become a state park beginning Jan. 1, 2014, and receive upwards of $20 million in infrastructure improvements over the next three years.
The City of Detroit will retain ownership of the island, which hosts an INDYCAR event weekend, but the state holds a 30-year lease with two automatic 15-year renewals. Funds for support and improvements on the 985-acre island will come from grants, bonds and private donations.
Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR Practice 1 There are three ALMS P1 cars at Virginia International Raceway this weekend. The first practice was paced by the Smith/Mowlen Lola Mazda with a time of 1:37. The Muscle Milk machine of Klause Graf and Lucas Luhr were more than a second behind their pace, with the Delta car driven by former IndyCar driver Katherine Legge around 6 seconds slower than the leader. LMP2 was paced by former IndyCar star Ryan Briscoe, more than a second faster than the nearest competition. Fastest GT was Matteo Malucelli, and fastest GTC was Jeroen Bleekemolen.
Qualifying starts around 3:45, with the race tomorrow starting at 2:15. TV coverage will be on ESPN2 on Sunday, at 5:30 EST.
Raikkonen plays down practice crash Kimi Raikkonen has played down the heavy crash he suffered at the end of opening practice for the Korean Grand Prix on Friday, explaining that it was "nothing special".
The Lotus driver, who ultimately ended the day eighth fastest, lost control of his car through the Turn 17/18 kink before sliding across the track and hitting the barriers situated on the right-hand side, eerily similar to Vitaly Petrov's accident back in 2010.
"I just lost the rear of the car and that was it. It was nothing special," Raikkonen told reporters at the Korea International Circuit. "These things can happen, but luckily the team managed to fix the car for the second session, so we didn't lose much."
Honda says third engine supplier critical for IndyCar Honda Performance Development believes that a third IndyCar engine manufacturer is "critical" for both the long-term sustainability of the series, and for Honda's continued interest in participating.
But with minuscule TV ratings on NBC Sports Network the chances of a third manufacturer coming in are slim to none.
"A third manufacturer is absolutely critical," HPD's Roger Griffiths told Autosport. "The long-term sustainability of IndyCar needs more than just Honda and GM.
"When you've got seven or eight cars and you're subsidising them, that's one thing. But when you've got 12 or 13 or 14 and you're subsidising them, that's completely different, and it's hard for all of us to continue to maintain that level of subsidy.
"I would say that through the next two or three years, I don't believe there is any kind of issue.
"But when you start looking at what happens in 2017; is there going to be a new engine formula or are we going to continue to evolve the current one; what are we going to do about 2020 when that comes around... if you want to continue to have competition, it's very hard to keep that going if there is only two of you doing it.
"We don't need five people doing it; just a third competitive manufacturer would be great. A fourth would be wonderful. What it needs is quality."
Pirelli - still no tire deal with FIA (GMM) Pirelli boss Paul Hembery on Friday admitted there is still no deal with the FIA for the sport's supply of tires beyond 2013.
The governing body rubber-stamped the Italian marque's continuing presence on the grid at the latest World Motor Sport Council meeting, but the FIA said the deal would only cover a "transition period".
"Pirelli has five year agreements signed with Ecclestone and the teams and expects that these are respected," La Gazzetta dello Sport correspondent Andrea Cremonesi said last week.
Dan Wheldon's Legacy to be Honored at Go-Kart Event Drivers from various racing backgrounds will come together on Oct. 26 to compete in The Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge at New Castle Motorsports Park. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Alzheimer's Association, a cause Wheldon fought to raise awareness for after his mother was diagnosed with the illness in 2008.
"The Alzheimer's Association and its Greater Indiana Chapter are honored to be the recipients of proceeds raised through The Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge," said Heather Hershberger, Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter. "It's a fitting tribute as Dan was a great champion of our work and took great interest in the programs for individuals in the early-stages of the disease. While saddened that Alzheimer's has personally touched his family, we are inspired by this generous and moving tribute."
Chicane could be Houston's 'calamity corner' this weekend Starts and restarts for this weekend's Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader (Sat., 3p.m. ET and Sun., 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra) could wind up being particularly hairy and perhaps costly to some team owners as well.
That's because drivers will have to navigate a left-right chicane after coming off the dogleg frontstretch of the 1.7-mile MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway layout at Reliant Park. The chicane was part of the two Champ Car races held at this track in 2006 and 2007.
Sebastien Bourdais, who won both of those events and is coming off a podium run last month in Baltimore, believes that "it's pretty evident" the chicane could have an impact on the proceedings this Saturday and Sunday.
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