Sperber named to president of HOF The board of directors of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, by unanimous ballot, have named as its president Bryan R. Sperber, president of Phoenix International Raceway.
Sperber, a native of Daytona Beach, Fla., succeeds Dusty Brandel. Brandel chose to step down and will remain a member of the board.
“Dusty’s service, as the Hall of Fame has grown in both stature and recognition throughout the motorsports industry is greatly appreciated,” said Ken Clapp, chairman of the board of directors of the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
IndyCar Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay to Headline the 2013 Milwaukee IndyFest Could the 2013 running of the Milwaukee IndyFest play a key role in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship just as it did in 2012?
The Milwaukee IndyFest, promoted by Andretti Sports Marketing, a company led by IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti, is one of 19 races that comprise the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule. The Milwaukee IndyFest will take place Father's Day weekend, Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15 on the historic Milwaukee Mile oval at the Wisconsin State Fair Park. The Milwaukee Mile will celebrate its 110th anniversary of racing in 2013.
Ryan Hunter-Reay won the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series championship by winning four of the final eight races of the year, a hot streak that began with a dominating triumph at the Milwaukee IndyFest. His victory at the historic Wisconsin track was the first of three consecutive wins for the 31-year old Ft. Lauderdale resident, and provided the catalyst for the championship run. Hunter-Reay is the first American driver to win an IndyCar title since 2006.
BMW maintains sales lead over Audi and Mercedes In the battle for luxury car dominance, BMW has managed to hold on to its place at the top of the pile, for now. Global sales rose 14.3 percent last month, to 146,843 units, on strong sales in China and global sales of the 1 Series small car (pictured). That brings BMW's sales through nine months up 8.6 percent, to 1.11 million vehicles.
Meanwhile Audi global sales increased by 12.8 percent, continuing to close in on BMW with 1.10 million vehicles sold through three quarters. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz sales rose two percent to 964,926.
Hollywood offered its advice to new Variety owner Jay Penske on Tuesday, expressing hope that fresh leadership and new capital will return some of the celestial sparkle to what used to be the bible of the entertainment industry.
But not everybody was optimistic.
"I think it's a tremendous name, and I would hate to see it disappear," said Leo Wolinsky, former editor of Daily Variety. "They need to become more hard-hitting and be more aggressive online. The editorial leadership was resistant to change and was satisfied with what had become more of a bulletin board of industry press releases and happenings."
IndyCar drivers expect higher speeds on Belle Isle next year
Short version used last year
Long Version (flipped over) used by CART in early 2000s and now copied by IndyCar
Team Penske driver Will Power talked about genuine speed at Belle Isle on Tuesday, where it was announced that the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on May 31-June 2, 2013, will be raced over a longer, faster track.
"It's going to be 190 miles per hour, man -- maybe 185," he said.
Power and nine other Chevy-powered IndyCar drivers, including this year's series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, were at the island when organizers revealed the current 2.1-mile track would be extended at Turn 3 to make it a 2.35-mile course for next year's race.
With the extension, the track would revert to a similar configuration used by CART there in 2001, providing more passing opportunities and increasing speeds. Power, runner-up in the IndyCar championship this season, was excited with the prospect.
Kurt Busch won't face further penalties for ignoring official requests to stop his car after a Lap 98 wreck at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR officials said Tuesday. NASCAR parked Busch for the remainder of Sunday's Sprint Cup race because he drove away from the wreck with emergency workers still in the process of providing him and the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy assistance, and because there was emergency medical equipment on the track. Busch said he never heard NASCAR's repeated requests to stop because he'd taken off his helmet that contains radio communication equipment. "I got out of the car and surveyed the damage, saw that it could still roll so I jumped back in," Busch told reporters at Talladega.
"That is the competitor in me, which is the desire that I have and that is what gets misconstrued all the time." Busch was leading at the time of the wreck that was caused when his car ran out of gas. The 2004 Cup champion finished 39th in his final race for Phoenix Racing before moving over to the #78 at Furniture Row Racing to get a head start on the 2013 season.
NASCAR Talladega Truck TV Rating NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie Ty Dillon, grandson of legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, escaped his inaugural race at Talladega Superspeedway with a one-point lead over James Buescher, making it the closest points race in series history at this point in the season.
With just four races remaining, Dillon, who won the ARCA Racing Series championship as a rookie last season, and whose brother, Austin, won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title last year, is also keeping an eye on the rest of the top five -- Timothy Peters (26 points behind), Talladega winner Parker Kligerman (-34) and RCR teammate Joey Coulter (-50).
NASCAR Talladega TV Rating ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 7, attracted an average audience of 5,113,374 that saw Matt Kenseth drive to victory in the 500-mile race.
The telecast earned a 3.7 household coverage rating (3.2 U.S. rating), according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s race, which was run later in October, earned a 3.9 household coverage rating while the 2010 race rated 3.6.
Andretti Autosport Teams To Test At Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Andretti Autosport announced today that they will test a total of seven drivers in the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test on Oct. 10-11. The annual test is in its second year and will be held on the road course at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. Organized by sanctioning body INDYCAR, the two-day test features all three ladders of the Mazda Road to Indy program (USF2000, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights) and provides the young drivers with coaching opportunities from veteran IZOD IndyCar Series drivers. Americans Sage Karam and Zach Veach will be participating in the Firestone Indy Lights portion of the open test. Both drivers competed for Andretti Autosport during the 2012 Star Mazda season. Karam finished fourth in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship point standings, having accrued three wins and 11 top-10 finishes. His one-day test at IMS will mark his first outing in a Firestone Indy Lights car. Veach is coming off his first season in Star Mazda and will be testing the Firestone Indy lights car both days of the test. This is his third outing in the Firestone Indy Lights car.
Green Savoree Racing Promotions Announces Multi-Year Partnerships with World Challenge and USF2000 Green Savoree Racing Promotions announced a pair of agreements with Pirelli World Challenge and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
These partnerships ensure the owners of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and Honda Indy Toronto will have both exciting series run at each track through 2014. Pirelli World Challenge and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will support the IZOD IndyCar Series events at all three tracks next year, competing at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 22-24, the Honda Indy Toronto on July 12-14 and the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on August 2-4 in 2013.
Young talent hopes to impress at Chris Griffis Memorial test Jake Eidson has made a rapid rise of the racing ladder in the last few years - ascending from beginning karter to Skip Barber Racing Series champion in just five seasons.
On Oct. 10-11, the 17-year-old from Littleton, Colo., will take the biggest step of his young career when he tests a Cooper Tires USF2000 National Championship car at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of his reward for winning the Skip Barber Winter Series and clinching the Skip Barber Summer Series at Lime Rock on Oct. 6.
"Just being (at Indianapolis) will be a huge honor," Eidson said. "To drive a race car there, not many 17 years olds get to do that. I'm very thankful for the opportunity, but I'm more excited than anything else. I'm absolutely looking forward to it."
Schumacher waited too long to decide on 2013 and found himself with no takers
(GMM) Niki Lauda has confirmed that Michael Schumacher turned to Sauber and even Ferrari once he knew he would lose his Mercedes seat.
Austrian legend Lauda, who has joined Mercedes as non-executive chairman, insists seven time world champion Schumacher lost his seat only because his decision-making period about the future beyond 2012 was so prolonged.
He says Mercedes had to look around for alternatives, and closed a deal with Lewis Hamilton.
"We have seen how fast-moving and ruthless formula one is, with Mercedes responding extremely quickly once Hamilton was available," former F1 driver Alex Wurz told the Austrian broadcaster ORF.
Busch under review by NASCAR for ignoring stop order NASCAR is reviewing whether Kurt Busch will face further penalty for ignoring official requests to stop his car after a Lap 98 wreck Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
NASCAR parked Busch for the remainder of the Sprint Cup race because he drove away from the wreck with emergency workers still in the process of providing him and the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet assistance, and because there was emergency medical equipment on the track.
Busch said he never heard NASCAR's repeated requests to stop because he'd taken off his helmet that contains radio communication equipment. NASCAR is reviewing whether Kurt Busch will face further penalty for ignoring official requests to stop his car after a Lap 98 wreck Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Talladega Draws Smallest Crowd For NASCAR Sprint Cup Race In Track's HistoryUPDATE When attendance at Talladega "rivals that of an Auburn spring football game ... you have to worry about what else is keeping the masses away." The elements "were in place for a healthy day at the box office," as there was no Univ. of Alabama football conflict and the race "had plenty of media and marketing buzz." NASCAR "ambitiously and blindly overbuilt its stadiums in its boom years, trying to squeeze in everyone instead of putting tickets at a premium." When the "inevitable plateau arrived that has hit all pro sports, empty seats are glaring." Talladega's problem is that "it's so subjective on whether it's good racing or not." Huntsville News
10/09/12 Talladega Superspeedway officials estimated that a crowd of 88,000 attended yesterday's NASCAR's Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500, the "smallest crowd for a Sprint Cup race at Talladega since figures have been provided." The crowd "was 20,000 less than the previous low of 108,000 announced" for the Aaron's 499 in early May.
NASCAR drops Montreal stop for 2013UPDATE #3 NASCAR "left town as loudly as a car coasting out of gas, the race promoter surrendering his rights to an event when it became clear to him that he'd forever take a financial bath on it." NASCAR Senior VP/Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell said, "I can tell you it's a bit of a surprise to us. We certainly feel like we've had a great run in Montreal and anticipated being back next year, if not many years beyond that. That was our intention." Montreal Gazette
10/09/12 The NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA 200 at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve "is dead in the wake of failed negotiations" for a Sprint Cup race at the venue by race promoter Octane Group, who also dropped the Edmonton IndyCar race. NASCAR's announcement on Friday that it would not return "comes on the heels of one of Octane’s subsidiaries filing for bankruptcy protection late last month, leaving dozens of creditors across Canada on the hook for more than [C]$5 million."
Frisselle Brothers Join Action Express Action Express Racing have announced the additions of Burt and Brian Frisselle to the teams 2013 driver line-up.
The Frisselle’s will join existing AXR drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi as full time drivers and will give the team several options for successful combinations in the No. 5 and No. 9 Action Express Corvette DP’s.
“Our goal as always is to compete for wins and for Championships,” commented Action Express team principal Bob Johnson. “We feel strongly that the addition of Burt and Brian Frisselle will only enhance our chances for success.”
Video: 2012 Talladega Fall Chase Race Final Lap Crash The Big One strikes on the last lap of the Good Sam 500 at Talladega sending Tony Stewart (who caused the accident) flipping over the top of 25+ cars all wrecking in turn 4.
Motorsports This Week on ESPN and ABC NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series at Charlotte The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will race under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend with races on Friday and Saturday nights, Oct. 12-13. ABC will have a live telecast of Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, the fifth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, with NASCAR Countdown at 7 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag at 7:46 p.m. Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race airs on ESPN, with NASCAR Countdown at 7 p.m. and the green flag at 7:46 p.m. ESPN2 will have telecasts of practice and qualifying sessions for both series on Thursday and Friday (schedule below). All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com. The schedule:
Circuit of The Americas announces Transportation Plan Circuit of The Americas’ officials have released details outlining the venue’s transportation plan for the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX. Designed over two years’ time with input from transportation and public safety officials from Travis County, the City of Austin, the Texas Department of Transportation and consulting firms specializing in traffic and transportation planning around major events, the plan is meant to provide for the safe and efficient transportation of ticketed patrons, employees, vendors and media representatives to and from Circuit of The Americas during Grand Prix weekend.
“This comprehensive plan was designed and will be implemented by a team of experts that has managed transportation planning for some of the world’s largest sporting events, including the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the Super Bowl, NBA Finals and NBA All-Star Weekends and the Kentucky Derby to name a few,” Circuit President Steve Sexton said. “We will have guests arriving to the Circuit by car, charter bus, helicopter, taxi, limousine and shuttle bus. Our free shuttle bus service will transport up to 50 percent of ticketed guests to the Circuit each day of the Grand Prix and will help reduce the number of vehicles on the road and provide a turn-key transportation solution for guests without access to on-site parking. Additionally, we have a designated cyclist route to a nearby shuttle bus location.
Wind Tunnel Sunday 10/14/2012 4-time Sprint CUP Champion, Jeff Gordon, will join Dave Despain LIVE in the Wind Tunnel studio this Sunday to co-host the program for the 5th time. On the track, Jeff has been incredibly consistent the past two months, having scored six top 3 finishes in the past seven races.
Gordon is currently 6th in the Chase for the Sprint CUP as the series heads to the night race at Charlotte this Saturday.
IndyCar announces 2013 testing regs INDYCAR announced today that testing for IZOD IndyCar Series manufacturers and teams will be reduced from 2012 rules. Limits affect all manufacturer and team off-season, preseason and in-season private testing through the 2013 season finale at Auto Club Speedway.
"In the interest of continued cost containment and with the support of the majority of the partners involved, testing is being reined in after the initial development of the new car," said Will Phillips, vice president of technology, INDYCAR. "We're recovering from the cost of re-capitalizing the whole field and testing can be the most expensive part of a team's program."
OAK Racing returns to LM P1 and targets LM P2 success at Fuji
This weekend (October 14) the FIA World Endurance Championship visits Fuji Speedway in Japan for its seventh and penultimate round of the season. It will be a seminal moment for French squad OAK Racing who, as well as entering its #24 Morgan 2012 LM P2, welcomes back the OAK-HPD LM P1 prototype that has missed the last three events.
As well as now being powered by the proven Honda Performance Development engine, #15 returns with a new driver in the form of Japan’s favorite son, Takuma Sato.
David Donohue To Leave Action Express Racing David Donohue – the 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona champion and a four-time race winner in Daytona Prototype competition – will be leaving Action Express Racing.
Donohue finished the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season fourth in DP and was the second-highest Corvette Daytona Prototype driver. This season marked Donohue’s tenth consecutive season driving in the top level of the Rolex Series. In 2009, he won the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Darren Law, Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia. That victory came on the 40th anniversary of his father’s 24 hour win in 1969.
Korean F1 Grand Prix Organizers Look For Ways To Cut Losses Organizers of the Korean F1 Grand Prix "face the monumental task of plugging a gaping hole in its bottom line and turning its finances around," according to Jung Min-ho of the KOREA TIMES. Two of the race's main sponsors have "pulled out, with the deficit estimated to reach 30B won ($27M)." Last year, the race lost 60B won ($54M).
The contract to hold the F1 competition is until '16, but "it appears to be a toss-up whether it will make ends meet, let alone turn a profit."
The organizing committee did not have any positive answers, but one of its senior officials defended the grand prix by saying its "long-term effects are more important than its bottom line." Korean F1 Grand Prix Organizing Committee Secretary General Park Jong-moon said, "Having worked in the sports industry for more than 30 years, I learned that operating a big sports event at a loss is inevitable. Even the 1988 Seoul Olympics was a money-losing event. It is worthwhile, considering other effects that were far greater than profit." Korea Times
Persistent rain postpones NHRA finals in Reading, PA Persistent rain showers put a halt to eliminations at the 28th annual Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals today. The NHRA announced that eliminations will resume with the final pair of Top Fuel dragsters in the second round, Doug Kalitta versus Shawn Langdon, at 11 a.m. They will be followed by the second round of Funny Car. The start of racing action today was delayed from 11 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. because of rain and the first rounds of Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock were able to be completed. The rain returned before the first round of Pro Stock Motorcycle could be contested.
Mark Webber labels Romain Grosjean a ‘nutcase’ Mark Webber branded Romain Grosjean a “first-lap nutcase” after the Frenchman wrecked his chances of victory in today’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
Lotus driver Grosjean has been involved in numerous first-lap incidents this season and was banned for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza after taking out Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez at the first corner in Belgium.
He was once again at fault here as he hit the right-rear corner of Webber’s Red Bull as the field funneled through Turn 2.
Video: Petter Solberg's Crash at 2012 WRC Rallye de France While 9 time World Champion Sebastian Loeb was on his way through amazing scenery and old, rural villages in France to claim another win, Petter Solberg had other worries to overcome, thrashing part of a vineyard, collecting falling autumn leaves in his car and causing some spectacular electrical sparks by knocking down an electricity pole.
Sebastian Vettel underscored his talent by setting fastest lap just to prove he could
(GMM) Even on his dominant cruise to Suzuka victory, Sebastian Vettel managed to irk his Red Bull bosses.
Late in the Japanese grand prix, with the race in the bag, the German sped up for no other reason than to beat and better his fastest race lap -- a habit when he senses he can safeguard the 'triple' along with pole and victory.
"It makes us nervous," the team's Dr Helmut Marko admitted to German RTL television.
Team boss Christian Horner agrees, but adds: "He's going faster and faster but you realize he knows exactly what he's doing."
More bikes sold in Italy than cars for first time since WWII In a radical departure for the car-mad country, home to legendary marques such as Fiat, Ferrari and Lamborghini, 1,750,000 bikes were bought in 2011 compared to 1,748,000 motor vehicles.
As austerity cuts deepen and petrol prices hit a new high, the purchase of new cars has dropped to levels not seen since the 1970s.
Families are buying bikes, ditching their second cars and signing up to car pool schemes – a major shift for a nation which has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world, with around 60 cars for every 100 people.
Suzuka pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel has received an official reprimand from stewards for allegedly holding up Fernando Alonso in qualifying on Saturday. Shortly after the Red Bull driver claimed his fourth pole position of the season, it was revealed that the German was under investigation by FIA-appointed stewards including former Formula 1 driver Derek Warwick. Both Vettel and Alonso, plus a representative of each team, were summoned before the stewards and asked to explain their version of events.
AJ Allmendinger upped his effort to find a new job on Friday by making his first appearance at a NASCAR event since his suspension for failing a drug test.
The visit to Talladega Superspeedway is the first since Allmendinger's July 7 suspension. He was reinstated by NASCAR last month and is looking for a job for 2013 after being dropped by Penske Racing three months ago.
"I'm looking, but from reading the Internet, there doesn't seem to be a lot of jobs out there," Allmendinger said.
NASCAR planning multiple changes to qualifying in 2013 NASCAR is going back in time with a series of changes related to qualifying and testing. Series officials met with Sprint Cup drivers and crew chiefs Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway to detail next year's changes. They are:
--The top 35 rule, in existence since 2005, will be eliminated. This rule was in place to ensure teams in the top 35 in car owner points (and their sponsors) would be in the race in an era when 50 or more cars were attempting to qualify for races.
--The top 36 positions will be set by qualifying speed with the remaining spots set by provisionals, including a champion's provisional. Provisionals are based on car owner points rankings.
--A random draw will set the qualifying order. The past two seasons, the order was determined by speeds in the first practice session.
Harvick doesn't expect crew chief changes next year at RCR
From #29-Kevin Harvick's transcript Friday at Talladega: HAVE YOU GUYS ALREADY DISCUSSED WHAT YOU WANT TO DO FOR 2013 AS FAR AS CREW CHIEFS GO? WILL GIL (MARTIN) CONTINUE ON AS YOUR CREW CHIEF NEXT SEASON? "As far as I know that situation is all settled for next year. I hadn't heard any different. As far as I'm concerned the team is set and going forward. We have a lot bigger issues to work on than crew chiefs. You can throw crew chiefs at it all day long but we need to work on things in house."
CAN YOU GIVE US DETAILS ON WHAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON? "I don't have enough time."
Finch says start-and-park teams make too much Team owner James Finch hopes his #51-Phoenix Racing car remains on the track in 2013, but he'd like a little help from NASCAR to do it. Finch, who is losing driver Kurt Busch to Furniture Row Racing, wants to race for more money, and he isn't asking NASCAR and the tracks to spend more-just pay less to teams that start a race and park early. With typically five to seven Sprint Cup teams parking their cars early each week, Finch believes teams that finish in the top 35 should earn significantly more money than those that park early and finish in the back of pack.
NASCAR can buy IndyCar A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Brian Carroccio makes some good points in his article "Is NASCAR the only viable savior for IndyCar?" about how NASCAR buying IndyCar would be good for IndyCar and have some benefits for NASCAR. However, he fails to address the primary reason that it will never happen. NASCAR needs to be able to point the U.S. Congress in the direction of a competitor in order to avoid Anti-Trust violations. Especially now that NASCAR owns sports car racing. Much like ISC needs to be able to point to SMI (especially after buying out Penske tracks years ago), NASCAR needs to be able to point at IndyCar and say, "SEE, there is competition in the marketplace." Otherwise, NASCAR faces interference from Congress. The best thing for NASCAR is to have an IndyCar series to point to as a competitor, but to have that competitor be as weak as possible. Which is exactly what IndyCar is today. Tim Hubbel, Turlock, California
Dear Tim, While that may be true in normal business, not in sports. The NFL is a football monopoly. The NBA is a basketball monopoly. MLB is a baseball monopoly. So too can NASCAR be the auto racing monopoly in the USA. Mark C.
ISC reports drop in quarterly earnings, revenues Revenue and earnings for International Speedway Corp. dropped sharply in the third quarter, with company officials attributing it Thursday to changes in NASCAR's race schedule, less revenue from corporate sponsors and satellite radio, and, of course, the struggling economy.
Daytona Beach-based ISC reported a $1 million net loss on Thursday for the quarter that ended Aug. 31, down from a $9.7 million net profit for the same quarter a year ago. Revenues also fell sharply to $115.9 million, from $150.3 million for the same quarter a year ago — a 22.9 percent decline.
Brabham Shines in Test, Ready to Fly the U.S. Flag at Silverstone Matthew Brabham is ready to spread his racing wings and make his European debut this weekend in the final two rounds of the Formula Renault BARC Championship at Silverstone. The opportunity is part of his prize for winning one of the prestigious Team USA Scholarships. The 18-year-old who was born in Florida and raised in Australia has been in England for a week and already has shown promising form in a pair of test sessions for Corby, England-based Cliff Dempsey Racing.
Brabham enjoyed his first taste of the carbon fiber Tatuus chassis last week in wet conditions at Mallory Park, then switched his attention on Wednesday to Silverstone where he will face a strong 32-car field this weekend in support of the British Touring Car Championship headline event. Before he ventured onto the famed airfield circuit, which each year plays host to the British Formula One Grand Prix, the recently crowned Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda Champion received a few tips from his uncle, David Brabham, a former British F3 champion and winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Helio takes wheel in creating his own dance Helio Castroneves patted a small toy in his jacket pocket - a good luck charm of sorts from his daughter Mikaella - as he nervously waited to hear whether he would be eliminated after Week 2 of "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars."
Castroneves and his professional dance partner, Chelsie Hightower, joined Joey Fatone and his dance partner, Kym Johnson, in the "bottom two" on the results show Oct. 2. Castroneves, the winner of Season 5 of ballroom dance competition, and Hightower received a total score of 23 (of 30) from the three-judge panel for their Jive the night before, which put them in the middle of the 12-couple pack. But fan voting constitutes the other half of a couple's total.
New Talent to "Audition" in Mazda Road to Indy Open Test The dust has barely settled on a thrilling season of Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda competition, but most teams are already looking to get a head start on their 2013 campaigns. Twelve different USF2000 teams and a total of 28 drivers representing seven nations will converge on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week, on October 10/11, for the second annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test.
The two-day event hosted by INDYCAR is named in honor of the hugely accomplished mechanic-turned-team manager who spearheaded the Sam Schmidt Motorsports Indy Lights organization before passing away unexpectedly in September 2011. Over 50 drivers will take part in the outing which utilizes the F1/MotoGP road course and brings together the USF2000, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights ladder series.
Sebastian Vettel went quickest in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Ed Bull teammate Mark Webber. Ferrari's Felipe Massa, driving as if his job depended on it, was third quickest, with Michael Schumacher fourth in the Mercedes and Sergio Perez fifth in the Sauber ahead of teammate Kamui Kobayashi.
The McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton wound up only eighth and 13th and worse yet, championship leader Fernando Alonso was only 11th fastest.
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