Foyt Family Wines Donates Proceeds To Wheldon Family
A couple of years ago, Larry Foyt premiered the Foyt Family Wines label while the IZOD IndyCar Series made its annual visit to Infineon Raceway Sears Point amid the wine-growing Sonoma and Napa valleys.
Using the skills of winemaker Tom Meadowcroft, Foyt Family Wines has produced a chardonnay, a Bordeaux-style meritage and, most recently, a reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
The intent of the No. 77 Cabernet Sauvignon just released was, originally, to celebrate the family patriarch, A.J. Foyt Jr, who won his fourth Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in 1977; Foyt was the first of [now] three drivers to accomplish that difficult feat.
Kurt Busch crew chief Steve Addington leaves Penske Racing Steve Addington, who helped guide Penske Racing driver Kurt Busch into NASCAR’s Chase For The Sprint Cup in 2010 and 2011, has parted ways with the team, according to Penske officials.
“Steve Addington is no longer with our organization. We appreciate the successes we experienced together and wish him the best in his future endeavors," the team said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Castroneves mans the phones as Detroit Grand Prix tickets go on sale
Race fan Dana Mitchell got a surprise when he visited the Renaissance Center today to purchase tickets for the 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
He got to meet Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Will Power, who were manning the phones at the Grand Prix office above the GM Wintergarden area as tickets went on sale for next year’s June 1-3 event.
In fact, Mitchell, 51, of Detroit, who hasn’t missed a Grand Prix in Detroit since the inaugural event -- the 1982 U.S. Formula One race on the downtown streets -- ordered his ticket directly from Castroneves, a two-time Belle Isle winner.
Big Or Small, PRI Trade Show Has Something For Everyone In recent years, it hasn’t been unusual to see every team in NASCAR’s Chase attend the PRI Trade Show looking for the latest and most creative technology available that might just give them the slightest edge to put them over the top. And as those teams bring budgets that can range up to – and sometimes even more than $100 million a year, it would be easy to get the notion that the PRI Trade Show is best suited to make the rich get richer…yet, surprisingly, the teams and buyers that benefit the most are often from the other end of the racing spectrum.
NASCAR Homestead finale TV RatingUPDATE The final race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup featured a down-to-the-wire battle for the championship and earned the largest viewership ever for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race telecast on ESPN.
With a peak audience of 10.5 million when the checkered flag fell on champion Tony Stewart at 8:08 p.m. ET, ESPN’s telecast of the Ford 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 20, averaged 6,799,000 viewers and earned a 4.6 household coverage rating (4.0 U.S. rating), according to the Nielsen Company. The viewership average broke ESPN’s previous record of 6,668,000 viewers for the 2008 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Final figures do not include a rain delay from 4:45-6 p.m.
Black Friday thru Cyber Monday Special Offers at Auto Club Speedway Auto Club Speedway is sharing its holiday spirit with you. Purchase a ticket to Auto Club Speedway’s NASCAR or INDYCAR races between Black Friday (Nov. 25) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) and we’ll put a little jingle back in your pocket with NO SERVICE FEES on ANY tickets purchased during that period.
The holiday cheer doesn’t stop there. For a limited time, Auto Club Speedway is offering special Holiday Ticket Packages:
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Returns to Edmonton Indy in 2012 François Dumontier, President and CEO of Octane Motorsports Events and promoter of the Edmonton Indy, is pleased to announce that the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will return to the 2012 event program, scheduled for July 20-22 at Edmonton's City Centre Airport racecourse. Octane also announces that the Star MAZDA Championship presented by Goodyear, one of the "Road to Indy" open-wheel ladder series, will also be part of the weekend schedule, giving its young drivers their first chance to demonstrate their talent in Alberta's Capital City.
"We are pleased to bring back a crowd favorite, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, on our 2012 Edmonton Indy program. I know the fans on site greatly appreciated the series' presence in the years preceding the 2011 hiatus," stated today François Dumontier. "The good news is that Canada's best stock car drivers will once again have the opportunity to enter an exciting race in Edmonton, and discover our new race course."
Top Fuel Champ Worsham Retires Mobil 1 is running a full-page ad in this morning's USA Today featuring Tony Stewart with the Sprint Cup trophy and the copy, "Champion driver. Champion motor oil. One amazing finish" (THE DAILY
With his 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel championship in hand, Al-Anabi driver Del Worsham decided late last week to retire and made the announcement Monday.
Having fulfilled his career-long goal of an NHRA championship Worsham decided to call it a driving career.
Worsham finished his 21-year driving career with 33 victories having won 25 in Funny Car and eight this season in the Al-Anabi Top Fuel dragster. His 2011 title was his first in NHRA but his second overall; he won the 1992 IHRA Funny Car championship as well.
Maryland Threatens To Seize Assets Of Baltimore Grand Prix Operator The state has threatened to seize assets of the company that runs the Baltimore Grand Prix to recover nearly $600,000 in unpaid taxes, the Maryland Comptroller's Office said Monday.
"We don't want to take anybody's business," said Caron Brace, a spokeswoman for Comptroller Peter Franchot. "We just want to get what we're owed."
Baltimore Racing Development Inc., the Grand Prix operator, is more than a month delinquent on $567,594.19 in admissions and amusement taxes, and $23,838.06 in sales and use taxes, Brace said. The comptroller's office filed a lien in Baltimore Circuit Court on any property that the company owns, she said.
Video: First Lady Michelle Obama Booed At NASCAR Race To some folks in the news business, it did not matter that Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards put on a great show. The tension of the final laps, the tight points race and the great sports TV pictures were pushed aside.
Many mainstream media members, online news sites and international publishers had struck gold long before the first lap was in the books.
It was supposed to be a quick stop for First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden in Homestead on Sunday. Just a visit with the families of military service members who had been invited to the track for the final race. Obama and Biden would then join in with some of the children at the gathering to give the starting command.
NASCAR Hall of Fame open on Thanksgiving The NASCAR Hall of Fame will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. It's one of several promotions planned by the motorsports museum in uptown Charlotte. In addition, the NASCAR hall if offering a combo-ticket package that provide admission to both the racing museum and the WBT Holiday on Ice rink at the hall of fame plaza. The rink opens Tuesday and will be in operation through Jan. 8. More info at nascarhall.comCharlotte Business Journal
Vijay’s Vision Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr. Vijay Mallya, toasts the team’s strong showing in Abu Dhabi and looks ahead to the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Dr. Mallya, you said after Abu Dhabi that sixth place is almost in the bag – have you started celebrating yet? Absolutely not! I still remember what happened last year when we missed out on sixth place by just one point. We certainly head to Brazil in a very strong position, but I’ve learned that you should never take anything for granted.
Rally aces Hanninen and Kopecky head to ROC 2011 Next month’s Race Of Champions will feature two of the most successful drivers from the Intercontinental Rally Challenge as Juho Hanninen and Jan Kopecky have signed up for the event at Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena on December 3-4.
Both Skoda works drivers, Hanninen and Kopecky have impressive records in recent years in the IRC. Hanninen won the championship last year before embarking on an ambitious schedule of rallies in 2011, combining his IRC campaign with a successful bid for glory in the Super 2000 class of the World Rally Championship.
Motorists Association Issues Challenge to Cities Using Red-Light Ticket Cameras The National Motorists Association (NMA) announced its $10,000 Ticket Camera Challenge, a program designed to prove that engineering solutions --- not automated enforcement by ticket cameras --- are the real way to prevent red-light violations and accidents at problematic intersections.
Public disdain for red-light ticket cameras was on display earlier this month as voters struck down camera programs in seven cities, including three each in Ohio and Washington State. In recent years, voters have rejected photo traffic enforcement at the ballot box in 22 of 23 cities, including Houston, Albuquerque, and Cincinnati.
Aston Martin Racing testing its new V12 Vantage GT3
Aston Martin Racing began testing its new V12 Vantage GT3 at Brands Hatch in Kent this week, covering almost 1000 kilometers in just two days. The majority of the mileage was conducted by factory driver Darren Turner.
After two days behind the wheel, Turner said: “The car ran like clockwork throughout and we’ve managed really good mileage already. The feeling of the V12 Vantage GT3 is a massive step forward from the DBRS9. Being based on the smaller Vantage it is more responsive and feels more nimble, giving the driver plenty of confidence to extract all the performance from the V12 engine while also being light on its tires. It isn’t too physical to drive and I didn’t even break into a sweat during the test!
IMS ticket sale on Black Friday The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is offering a special holiday package of Season Tickets for all three motorsports events in 2012 at the "Racing Capital of the World," with savings of $120 and free parking included for fans who buy early on Black Friday, Nov. 25.
Fans who purchase two Season Tickets for a total of $140 also will receive one free parking pass to each event if they purchase between 6 a.m.-noon (ET) on Black Friday at www.imstix.com or at the IMS Ticket Office. Season Tickets provide general admission for the 2012 Indianapolis 500, the Crown Royal Presents The "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard and the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
If purchased separately, two general admission tickets and parking for all three events would total $260.
Great holiday deals continue at www.imstix.com after noon Friday, with fans saving more the earlier they purchase tickets.
•Individual Season Tickets are available for $70 through 5 p.m. Cyber Monday, Nov. 28. Free parking is not included.
•Individual Season Tickets are available for $75 from Tuesday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 31.
The Season Pass will cost $85 beginning Jan. 1, still a $15 value over Race Day pricing.
2012 IMS tickets: Tickets for the three events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2012 - the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27, the Super Weekend at the Brickyard from July 26-29 and the Red Bull Indianapolis GP from Aug. 17-19 - are on sale now.
Tickets can be purchased now by visiting www.imstix.com, calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Ticket office and phone hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
NASCAR Bubba gets arrested In true NASCAR Bubba style, Brian Kevin Young was arrested on several charges Sunday night after police say the South Carolina man fired his gun “multiple times” while drinking and celebrating Tony Stewart’s championship-clinching victory in the Ford 400.
According to Charlotte NBC affiliate WCNC, Young was arrested for disorderly conduct, use of a firearm under influence and malicious injury to real property. A story on the station’s web site said that York County Sheriff’s officers responded to neighbors’ complaints of gunshots late Sunday evening.
Fords wither in Homestead as Chevy beats them again Not only did Tony Stewart's Chevy outrun the Ford of Carl Edwards, giving Chevy the NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers and Manufacturers championships again, to rub salt in the wounds, Roush Yates Engines saw three of its motors detonate during the Ford 400. Ford's wilt in Ford sponsored race with everyone watching, how embarrassing is that?
Marcos Ambrose lasted only 72 laps while David Ragan completed only 81 and Greg Biffle retired after 190.
Ragan had an experimental engine in his car, so his early exit wasn’t a surprise.
“We just pushed the envelope too much and were being a little aggressive on our car with not a whole lot to lose,” Ragan said. “We were trying to find a little horsepower and it didn’t work out.”
Biffle thought his problem might have been a part issue.
“We’ve had three of them break that I know of and that’s really unusual for our engines,” Biffle said.
NASCAR.com Sees Increases In Key Metrics During '11 Chase NASCAR.COM finished its coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with overall growth of 19% in page views (53,155,434 in 2011 vs. 44,682,903 in 2010) and 19% more daily uniques (898,488 in 2011 vs. 757,361 in 2010) during the 10-race Chase. NASCAR.COM’s RaceBuddy, the interactive live product with alternate camera angles, capped off an exciting Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with 4.6 million total streams, an average of 514,000 streams during the nine Chase races it was available. This was the first time that the RaceBuddy product was extended into the NASCAR postseason.
Slick Racin Gardner arrested Slick Racin Gardner (born February 25, 1972 in Buellton, California), is a former ARCA driver who raced in the 1996 Indianapolis 500 for Simon/Team Scandia. He retired from racing in the late 90's and is now a stunt driver for television and motion pictures.
Well he was. He was arrested October 17th in Broward County, Indiana on charges of theft.
Stewart Captures NASCAR Extends MOOG Winning Streak to 46 Years It took a tiebreaker to decide it, but Tony Stewart's thrilling come-from-behind victory in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway gave the 40-year-old driver his third NASCAR® Sprint Cup title and extended the MOOG steering and suspension brand's Cup Series championship streak to 46 years.
Stewart and the MOOG-equipped No. 14 Office Depot/Mobile 1 Chevrolet entered the race just three points behind leader Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford). Edwards led most of the race, while Stewart faced a number of challenges, including front-end damage sustained during the first 20 laps. Yet, each time it seemed Stewart was out of contention, he somehow fought his way back to the front. He took the lead for good with 34 laps remaining and fought off the No. 99 car's challenge for his fifth win in 10 Chase starts.
MSR Indy Program Moving Forward Just over one month ago at the Izod IndyCar Series season-finale, Michael Shank announced the formation of MSR Indy as the former racer set a course for a 2012 Izod IndyCar Series season campaign.
The race-winning team owner has joined forces with Columbus-area businessman Brian Bailey and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger as principal partners in the program, which will be based in the 20,000 square foot Michael Shank Racing shop outside of Columbus, Ohio. The program will run in parallel with Michael Shank Racing’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series effort.
Looking forward, the Izod IndyCar Series community has a significant date marked on the calendar as the initial run of 2012 Dallara IndyCar chassis is due to be delivered on December 15. MSR Indy is one of the teams set to take delivery of the new machine, which will proudly carry the DW12 nomenclature in honor of Indianapolis 500 Champion Dan Wheldon.
Pedro de la Rosa signs with HRT Formula 1 veteran Pedro de la Rosa will return to Formula 1 racing with HRT next season after signing a two-year deal with the squad.
The 40-year-old Spaniard is currently a reserve driver for McLaren, but said he was determined to return to racing.
"This is a very important step in my sporting career and one of the most meditated-on ones I've taken," said de la Rosa. "I'm at a very good stage in terms of maturity and am prepared to take on this challenge, which motivates me hugely.
"When deciding on joining this project, for me there were three decisive factors: my desire to return to active competition, the fact that HRT is a Spanish team and getting to know the people leading this project, Luis Perez-Sala being among them."
2012 Honda IndyCar Toronto race tickets on sale Wednesday The 2012 edition of the Honda Indy Toronto will mark a new milestone in auto racing with the introduction of a new IZOD IndyCar Series chassis and the return of engine manufacturer competition.
The event returns to the streets of Toronto July 6-8, 2012. Tickets will be available for sale on November 23, in time for the holiday season.
“Thanks to growing sponsorships, vendors and quality racing, the event continues to deliver a unique experience,” said Charlie Johnstone, Vice-President and General Manager, Honda Indy Toronto. “The addition of a new chassis and engine competition will heat things up even more.”
NASCAR cuts truck schedule from 25 to 22 races NASCAR will reduce the number of races in the Camping World Truck Series from 25 to 22 for 2012. The series will go to Rockingham Speedway for the first time and it added a second date at Iowa Speedway.
Nashville Superspeedway, which had two dates, has closed. The series also won’t return to Lucas Oil Raceway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway.
Daly, Buller and Blomqvist to test for Carlin’s GP3 team Carlin’s GP3 team will field two cars in this week’s official test in Valencia as the squad continue to prepare for the 2012 season. Conor Daly, William Buller and Tom Blomqvist will all participate in the two day test, with Buller and Blomqvist making their GP3 debuts.
After a season which proved the competitiveness of the GP3 Series, Carlin head into this week’s test in Valencia with a view to make further improvements to the team’s car. Having been near the top of the time sheets with Carlos Huertas in Barcelona a few weeks ago, Carlin now move onto the second post-season test with Daly, Buller and Blomqvist behind the wheel.
Vautier joins Schmidt for 2012 Indy Lights season Tristan Vautier will move up to Indy Lights for its 2012 season with the twice-defending champion team, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, in the team's No. 77 car.
Vautier stormed to the 2011 Star Mazda title with four victories and top-five finishes in each of the 11 races. He earned the promotion to Indy Lights as the next step on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, and like Conor Daly this past season will run with SSM.
“Things moved pretty quickly in the last weeks and Sam offered me the best opportunity,” Vautier said. “Regarding the quality of his team, I didn't hesitate too long!”
Muller wins WTCC title The final race of the 2011 WTCC season took place in Macau and it saw a brilliant battle between two Chevrolet teammates, Rob Huff and Yvan Muller, for the title. Huff did everything that he could to prevent Muller from taking the championship, but even after he won both of the races, it just wasn't enough. Muller came home in second place in the first race, behind his teammate and in race two he only needed to finish in fifth to retain his title. He managed to come home in third place, denying Huff the championship. Catch the race report Online for all the WTCC finale action!
A.J. Foyt happy to see Stewart win title in No. 14 Tony Stewart was always a fan of AJ Foyt growing up and today run's AJ's No. 14 in honor of his racing hero.
Following the thrilling race down to the wire between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship which A.J. Foyt watched from his home in Houston, Foyt had this to say about Stewart winning the race at Homestead Miami Speedway and with it the title - his first as a team owner and third as a driver.
"It was a great race. I was a little worried in the beginning because it seemed like something happened to Tony every time he got to the front. He had to win it to win the championship and I think Tony drove the best race of his life. It was great to see the 14 win again. I am real proud of him!" AJ Foyt Racing
NASCAR Championship Notes-n-Nuggets " Tony Stewart Won his third Cup Series championship in 464 starts. He won the 2002 and 2005 Cup championships. " Tony Stewart is the only driver to win a Cup championship in the pre-chase format (2002) and the Chase format (2005,2011). " Tony Stewart has been in the Chase's seven of eight seasons, all but 2006 when he missed the Chase by 16 points. " Tony Stewart is the ninth driver to win three or more championships in the 63 Cup Series seasons. " Tony Stewart is the first driver to enter the Chase winless in the regular season to win the championship.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Fast Facts Tony Stewart won his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. His other titles came in 2002 and 2005. Stewart is the ninth driver to win three or more championships. The other drivers with three: Darrell Waltrip, Lee Petty, Cale Yarborough and David Pearson are either NASCAR Hall of Fame members or nominees. Stewart tied second-place Carl Edwards in points, but won the tiebreaker: five wins to Edwards one. Stewart is the seventh champion to win the season finale in his title-winning season.
DTM Champion Martin Tomczyk seeks a new sporting challenge. The 29-year-old man from Rosenheim will no longer compete for Audi in the 2012 season.
"I won the Championship for Audi after eleven years together. The entire Audi Sport team and in particular Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich have always been behind me throughout the many years we spent together," explains Martin Tomczyk. "I’m delighted that I could repay the trust by winning the 2011 championship title together with team Phoenix. Despite this joint success, and after careful consideration, I have now decided to accept a new challenge. To conclude, I would once again like to thank everybody with whom I have worked together during my eleven years at Audi Sport and assure every single individual that these years were, in hindsight, something very special."
Ecclestone girl's jaw-dropping £18million home refurb
Now that Petra (Left) is married and bought the Spelling mansion in Los Angeles, the focus now turns to Tamara (R)
Question: Where do Bernie's Millions end up ?
Well, here's the answer ...
When Formula 1 billionaire Bernie Ecclestone bought his daughter Tamara a £45 million house, the renovation was never going to be low-key.
Now plans for the 27-year-old’s new home reveal how she is spending £18 million transforming the mansion into an opulent 55-room pleasure palace.
By the time work is completed next autumn, almost every inch of the property will be dedicated to indulgence, with Miss Ecclestone having her own underground nightclub, bowling alley, fully operational beauty salon and even a dog spa.
Other touches include a vast dressing room to store the heiress’s equally vast wardrobe and £500,000 handbag collection, and a vehicle lift for her supercars, so she needn’t do anything as demeaning as stepping into a garage.
Video: Massive GT Cup crash at Macau 2011 A big crash on lap 3 of the GT Cup at Macau, China. Thankfully all the drivers are okay. Note: Some of the drivers behind the accident seem to completely ignore the double waving yellow flags, resulting in unnecessary damage. Luckily nobody seems to be seriously hurt. This could have been different when drivers react so irresponsible, as we all witnessed in Argentina last week! It must be an incurable lock-up in their brains one would assume - so focused on driving they forget to watch the flagmen.
Catch fence almost kills F3 driver in Macau Kevin Magnussen, the son of former McLaren and Stewart Formula 1 racer Jan, survived a 165mph trip into the catchfencing near the end of Sunday's Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix. Magnussen was battling with William Buller when he claimed the Fortec driver moved over on him as he attempted to pass on the straight after Mandarin corner on lap 13.
Magnussen's car was catapulted into the air, and struck the catchfencing "20 feet in the air" according to his team boss Trevor Carlin, who was shown CCTV footage of the accident.
"I'm really happy to be here right now," said Magnussen. "I hit Buller, took off and hit the fence. When I went up in the air, I closed my eyes, so I don't really know what happened. I need to look at the video to understand."
NASCAR layoffs coming Most expect the end of the season to bring with it a rash of layoffs as many NASCAR teams attempt to cope with economic hardships.
Among the uncertainties:
Team Red Bull is shutting down, at least in its present form. The team is owned by its primary sponsor, which is pulling out at season’s end. An attempt to find some form of investment to keep the two-Toyota team active in some form has thus far been unsuccessful. One of the team’s drivers, Kasey Kahne, is moving to Hendrick Motorsports, and the other, Brian Vickers, is looking for work.
Bayne looking to help prop up the Rolex 24 at Daytona Trevor Bayne is trying to work with his manufacturer Ford to land one of the spots on a Grand-Am Road Racing Series Daytona Prototype team for the 50th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. "I'm working on Ford to try and run the Daytona 24 hour race," Bayne said. "If I do that I will be doing some testing. I have never driven one. I think the Daytona Prototype cars are just sick. They look like something that you can just manhandle and have a lot of fun with. I'm sure there's a lot more finesse to it than I'm making it sound. I think it's going to be a lot of fun to get out there and just be a part of the 24. That's something that all drivers kind of have a checklist of things they want to drive." Along with the running the Daytona 24 in a DP car, Bayne's wish list of cars to compete in includes a rally car in the X Games, a dirt late model and a modified at Concord Motorsports Park. Motor Racing Network
Daniel Juncadella wins spectacular Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix
Podium: From left to right: Nasr, Juncadella and Wittmann - A still emotional Macau winner Juncadella and a bittersweet handshake between Nasr (2nd) and Witmann (3rd)
Daniel Juncadella triumphed after a thrilling battle for victory in the “SJM” Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix on Sunday after making the most of a safety car restart to grab a lead that he never relinquished.
The Spaniard was running fourth early on in the race but, after jumping two places following a safety car restart on lap five, he grabbed the opportunity to overhaul early front runner Marco Wittmann after a slipstreaming battle following another safety car restart on lap 10.
From there, Juncadella extended his advantage – despite some wild moments in the city section of the track – over second placed Felipe Nasr until a third and final safety car period on the penultimate lap guaranteed him the victory as the race could not be restarted.
“I didn’t really expect to win but this feeling is amazing,” said the Prema driver. “I still can’t believe it. On the last lap when we were behind the safety car, I have never cried that much in my life.”
IndyCar trying to make 1.5-mile ovals work In the aftermath of Dan Wheldon’s death at Las Vegas last month, INDYCAR officials knew there were at least two pressing questions that needed immediate answers.
“Do we keep running on the 1.5-mile ovals and, if so, how do we go racing on them?” said Will Phillips, IndyCar’s VP of Technology. “And what are we trying to do? Obviously, safety is paramount and as Engineers we have to remember we are ultimately participating in a show.
“We know the drivers trust their engineers more than anyone else so we’ve asked them to help us come up with some solutions.”
Stenhouse clinches Nationwide title with 2nd place finish
Getty Images for NASCAR
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. became the Nationwide Series champion long before the checkered flag dropped Saturday at the championship finale. Stenhouse clinched the title after 30 laps in the Ford 300 when six cars officially dropped out of the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Stenhouse started the race with a comfortable 41-point lead over Elliott Sadler. They were the only drivers still eligible for the title. In order to clinch his first NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, Stenhouse needed to finish 37th or better. The driver of the No. 6 Blackwell Angus Ford did much better than that in the final finishing order with a second place finish in the 200-lap race.
NHRA Team Trailers Get Nabbed By CalTrans, Sent Home It’s nice to live in California for many reasons. There are a lot of things to do, the weather is nice, and Vegas is close. What is not nice about California for enthusiasts are the CARB and DOT laws surrounding a modified vehicle. Another instance where California sucks, are their vehicle length basic laws. According to California’s legal truck length, no semi-trailers total length can exceed 75 feet, including room for load. The physical dimensions of the truck are further reduced to 65 feet. Some race teams pulling full size trailers along with trucks containing campers are having problems with CalTrans.
Top Fuel pilot Steve Torrence and team CAPCO have reported that they were nabbed by CalTrans, their rig and trailer disconnected, with their trailer transported out of state. It is unclear how many teams have been effected by CalTrans at this time, but we do know there will be one less Top Fuel team in qualifying at Pomona this year.
Hulkenberg to drive in Brazil on Friday Nico Hulkenberg has confirmed that he will make an on-track appearance for Force India in Brazil next Friday, with the German driver set to replace Adrian Sutil during the first practice session of the weekend. Having been dropped by Williams at the end of 2010, Hulkenberg was picked up by the Silverstone-based squad as a reserve driver.
"Good news: I can drive on Friday in Brazil!" Hulkenberg explained via his personal Twitter account on Saturday afternoon. "For those of you asking: I will drive Adrian's Car."
The 2009 GP2 Champion memorably stormed to pole position at Interlagos last year, taking advantage of the changeable Q3 conditions to comfortably outpace his rivals.
France to drivers: Don't denigrate direction of sport or quality of racing
Brian France muzzles drivers with fines
Getty Images for NASCAR
NASCAR Chairman Brian France met with the media Friday at Homestead. Just two days before what could be as dramatic a finish to the season as the sport has had in recent years, the topic was not about the racing but another secret fine NASCAR has issued.
The Associated Press reported this week that NASCAR had secretly fined Brad Keselowski $25,000 for comments he made recently about NASCAR’s move to fuel injection next season.
In this story in USA Today, Keselowski called fuel injection “a disaster.’’
He also said: "My dislike list is very long," Keselowski said. "I'm not a big fan of it at all. Carburetor technology is 50 years old but is very simple. The benefit of a carburetor is that it's very, very easy to police. That's why NASCAR stuck with that. Now, because of all the green initiatives, etc., etc., the sport has taken a lot of flak from different groups that probably don't understand that. They've been pressured into switching it through the green initiatives. In reality it's no more efficient than what we have, and it costs a lot more."
Texas Road widening in limbo amid F1 uncertainty The uncertainty of Formula One racing in Austin has thrown into limbo plans to widen two-lane Elroy Road on the north side of the F1 property.
Richard Suttle, a lawyer with Circuit of the Americas, had been in discussion over the past few months with Travis County, which owns Elroy Road, and the two sides had verbally agreed to expand the road from two lanes to four.
The race organizers had said they would split the estimated $5 million cost down the middle.
Renault admits its 2011 car and exhaust a 'bold failure
Renault failed with radical design
Renault technical director James Allison has admitted that the unsuccessful forward exhaust concept has rendered the R31 a 'failed experiment'.
The system looked like it might have been a masterstroke when Renault produced strong times early in winter testing, but it never delivered the performance gains expected and ultimately limited the team's development ability this year.
"I regard it as a bold, but ultimately failed experiment," said Allison. "We were the only team to adopt a forward exhaust layout, and we did so with high hopes, buoyed by very strong wind tunnel numbers."
Wittmann controls Macau Formula 3 GP qualification race
German Marco Wittmann triumphed in the “SJM” Macau Grand Prix Qualification Race on Saturday with a dominant performance as he led every lap.
The Signature driver got away perfectly from pole position, after front row starter Antonio da Costa failed to get away because of a broken first gear.
Despite Wittmann briefly losing the lead to Carlin’s Felipe Nasr on the run to Lisboa, he was able to retake the front spot as they turned into the corner.
Wittmann then pushed hard to open up an advantage over the remainder of the opening lap, and he crossed the finish line 1.1 seconds clear of Nasr – before steadily extending his lead up to 1.5 seconds by lap four.
Jimmie Johnson won't help prop up the Rolex 24 race in 2012 NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson has revealed that he will skip next year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, a race that the five-time Sprint Cup Series champion participating in for the last seven years to help prop up the race hardly anybody bothered to attend.
“I have an open seat to drive that car, to participate and have fun with them. This year, I’ve informed them that I won’t come down and compete in the [Rolex] 24,” Johnson said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series finale.
“Although it’s a big year, and a very special year for Chevrolet with the Corvette, I just want to unplug and really spend some time at home. I’m going to regret it when I turn on the telecast to see all my friends out there racing.
“It’s probably going to be the year that the Stallings group goes on and wins the 24 hour and I’m going to kick myself for not being part of it. But with my daughter running around and how busy things have been and the workload and stress level, I just want to take the... winter off this year.”
GRAND-AM: Over $1 Million On Tap In 2012 Bonus ProgramUPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Where is this $1 million in bonus prize money (in addition to the regular prize money) coming from? It certainly can't be from ticket sales, hardly anyone attends Grand-Am races. It can't be from TV revenue. The ratings are so small on Speed TV what sponsor would pay for that? So I want to know, is the France family going to prop up the Grand-Am Series with voodoo economics until they kill off ALMS, much like the Hulman George family used voodoo economics to prop up the IRL until CART failed? Inquiring minds want to know. Mordichai Rosen, LA, California
11/18/11 The top Rolex Sports Car Series teams will be competing for more than one million dollars in additional bonus money in 2012 through a new season-long initiative announced today by GRAND-AM Road Racing.
The new program will be open to the top 10 teams that compete in every event in both the Daytona Prototype and GT classes. The year-end payout is expected to be well in excess of one million dollars, in addition to all other per-race prize money and contingency awards.
"This new program is a great way to offer a year-end bonus that will have a positive impact on a team's annual budget, and an additional method of recognizing the teams that compete with us consistently," said GRAND-AM President Tom Bledsoe. "A nice side benefit of this new plan will be a battle for teams and drivers to finish in the top 10."
The top-10 finishers in Daytona Prototype and GT will share equally in their post-season payout per class.
The 2012 season opens with the 50th anniversary running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29. Prior to the Rolex 24, the Rolex Series has two tests scheduled at Daytona International Speedway: Dec. 6-7 and the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 6-8.
Delayed: Cup Series practiceUPDATE #2 Rain forced NASCAR to postpone the two Sprint Cup practices Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR had scheduled 2 hours, 45 minutes of Cup practice Friday with qualifying for the season-ending Ford 400 scheduled for Saturday.
NASCAR will try to get in nearly all of its scheduled practice on Saturday – from 9:30-11 a.m. ET and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The remainder of the Saturday schedule – Nationwide Series qualifying at 1:05 p.m., Cup qualifying at 2:40 p.m. and the Nationwide race at 4:30 p.m. – remains the same.
"It’s not a big drama," said Tony Stewart, who is three points behind Carl Edwards for the lead in the Sprint Cup standings. "When we get on the track is when we get on the track. I’m confident we have a good [car]."
The National Weather Service forecast for Saturday is a 20 percent chance of rain with a high of 80 degrees.
11/18/11 As NASCAR tries to squeeze in one session of practice for the Cup Series, Truck Series qualifying was canceled and the lineup will be set by practice speeds for the final race of '11.
11/18/11 Rain hasn't cooperated with NASCAR's practice schedule at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, and the latest drivers to sit and wait on the weather will be from the Cup Series.
Petty on Secret Fines in NASCAR Following Associated Press reports Thursday that Brad Keselowski was secretly fined by NASCAR for critical remarks he made regarding electronic fuel injection, SPEED analyst Kyle Petty shared his views regarding the sanctioning body’s practice of punishing drivers for what it deems to be publicly disparaging remarks about the sport.
Below is Petty’s reaction:
Do you agree or disagree with the practice of NASCAR imposing secret fines on drivers?
Petty: “I definitely, strongly disagree with the practice of imposing secret fines on drivers or anyone in the sport. If you’re going to fine an athlete in any sport for something that a sanctioning body perceives as derogatory to the sport in any way, it’s because they obviously made a public comment. And if it’s so derogatory and it’s publicly made, then it should carry a public fine and be publicly reprimanded. I definitely disagree with the secrecy here.”
Extreme Speed Motorsports Expands To Rolex GT American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n challengers Extreme Speed Motorsports will supplement its 2012 ALMS GT schedule with the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series "North American Endurance Championship," which includes the prestigious, 50th Anniversary running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
The team's Ferrari F458 Italia will be piloted around the 3.56 mile historic road course at Daytona International Speedway by team regulars, with specific driver lineups to be announced at a later date. The Extreme Team will once again feature the black and green livery of Tequila Patr¢n for 2012.
Turner Motorsports hires Nelson Piquet Jr for 2012
Nelson Piquet Jr.
The 2011 racing season may be coming to a close, but Turner Motorsports already has an eye on the 2012 season. The organization is pleased to announce the addition of Nelson Piquet Jr to their 2012 driver line up. Piquet Jr, who will compete for the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) championship, is also slated to run a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) schedule for the team. Before taking the wheel in 2012, he will make his debut with the team in this weekend’s NNS season finale event at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the #30 Chevrolet Impala.
Coming to Turner Motorsports for his sophomore year of Camping World Truck Series competition, Piquet Jr brings with him a rich racing heritage. The son of three-time Formula One World Champion, Nelson Piquet, Piquet Jr began racing karts at 8-years-old in his native Brazil. Making his way through the open-wheel racing ranks in South America and Europe, he made his Formula One debut in 2008 before making the transition to NASCAR in 2010. Currently engaged in a fierce battle for the 2011 NCWTS Rookie of the Year honors, Piquet Jr has recorded four top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 24 starts this season.
Three More 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Dates Announced WC Vision today announced three more venues that will host 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Championship races – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and Infineon Raceway. One more event completing the 2012 season will be announced soon.
May 10-11 marks the return of the series to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and a big motorsports weekend along with the American Le Mans Series. August 3-5, Pirelli World Challenge teams will head to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and another big motorsports weekend along with the American Le Mans Series and Izod IndyCar Series.
For the 2012 season finale, the series travels back out west with IndyCar to Sonoma, Calif. returning to Infineon Raceway. The Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma runs August 24-26.
NASCAR.COM to Offer In-Car Camera Live Video Stream NASCAR.COM and ESPN Bringing the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship to Fans in More Ways Than Ever
NASCAR.COM and ESPN announced today that it will stream Tony Stewart’s live in-car camera on Facebook for NASCAR's season finale - the Ford 400 - on Sunday, November 20, which airs on ESPN at 3 p.m. ET from Homestead-Miami Speedway. This will mark the first time that a championship racing event will stream live on the social media platform. The in-car camera live stream on Facebook, via NASCAR.COM’s RaceBuddy, will complement ESPN’s coverage of the final race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Bliss Returns To TRG Motorsports For Homestead Mike Bliss will pilot the No. 71 School Media Ford Fusion in NASCAR's season finale this weekend at Homestead-Miami, FL. Bliss is no stranger to the No. 71 team. Also jumping on board for the last race of the season, Flex-Box will be an associate sponsor on the No. 71 machine.
Oregon native, Mike Bliss, holds the highest finish in TRG Motorsports history with his 9th place run at Daytona last July. Bliss has fifteen NASCAR victories to his name, all coming in the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He is known best for his 2002 championship in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
IndyCar fans not fond of new car The results of our last poll show that IndyCar fans overwhelmingly despise the look of the new Dallara designed IndyCar. The bodywork has to change as the customers appear to think it is a step backwards.
On our Home page is a new poll - Are you in favor of a 2nd IndyCar race every year on the Indy Speedway road course?
GRAND-AM Cooldown Lap - November Daytona Test Day 1 One day after its unveiling, the Corvette Daytona Prototype took its first laps at Daytona International Speedway to highlight the opening of a two-day GRAND-AM test for the Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Testing for both series concludes Thursday, with cars on track from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin piloted the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette, one of six Daytona Prototypes to participate in preparation for the 50th anniversary running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, which opens the 2012 Rolex Series season on Jan. 28-29.
The lone incident of the day saw Enzo Potolicchio spin and impact a barrier near the chicane in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley. He was unhurt while the car sustained splitter and nose damage. The car is expected to be repaired for Thursday's session.
GRAND-AM Cooldown Lap - November Daytona Test Day 2 Several GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams completed a two-day test at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday in preparation for the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona.
An early rain shower prevented most teams from participating in the first two hours of Thursday's test, but the sun came out by 11 a.m. ET and shone brightly for the remainder of the day, allowing teams to continue working toward the start of the 2012 season. This was the second GRAND-AM-sanctioned test since the 2011 season wrapped up at Mid-Ohio in September, with two more scheduled prior to the start of the 2012 campaign. Lap times were not published.
David Coulthard joins stellar line-up for ROC 2011UPDATE Dear AR1.com, How come IndyCar drivers never compete in the Race of Champions? It's for a good cause. Are they not good enough, or just prema donnas? Galye Milner
Dear Galye, Good question. It's for a good cause and it is good publicity for both the driver and the series. NASCAR made sure its drivers have participated in the past, but IndyCar probably never thought to pickup the phone and make it happen. Mark C.
11/18/11 David Coulthard has become the latest motor sport great to sign up for the Race Of Champions at Düsseldorf’s ESPRIT arena on December 3-4, 2011.
The Scotsman enjoyed a glittering Formula 1 career, taking 13 grand prix victories and regularly finishing in the world championship top three. He also took the Red Bull F1 team’s first ever podium at Monaco in 2006, helping set them off on their current run of success. He has since gone on to compete in Germany’s DTM championship, combining his tin-top campaign with his role as an F1 commentator for the BBC.
Baltimore Grand Prix turmoil spreads to Federal Hill Neighborhood Association The Baltimore Grand Prix's turmoil has spread to the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association, with residents demanding the resignation of several board members over their handling of race funds.
At issue is a struggle over $10,000 in community impact funds that financially beleaguered Baltimore Racing Development Inc. gave to the neighborhood association as compensation for inconveniences the race caused the neighborhood.
Ed Carpenter won the Kentucky IndyCar race this year for the Fisher team
Sarah Fisher, owner of the Izod IndyCar Series team Sarah Fisher racing, on Nov. 17 won the team principal of the year award at the Professional MotorSport World Expo Awards in Cologne, Germany.
Sarah Fisher Racing on Oct. 2 earned its first-ever IndyCar Series win, at Kentucky Speedway with driver Ed Carpenter. This year marked the team's fourth season of competition. In forming the team in February 2008, Fisher became the series' first female owner/driver. She's also the series' youngest team owner.
Fisher stopped driving following the 2010 season to concentrate on management duties full time. In September, she gave birth to daughter Zoey.
Tilke designed test track for Porsche to be built in Carson, CA
Porsche Experience Center
Porsche will open a massive "Experience Center" with an off-road course and a variety of simulated driving conditions on an existing golf course and former apartment complex in Carson, company officials announced Wednesday at the LA Auto Show.
Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles would be the automaker's fourth facility worldwide. The existing centers are in Great Britain, Germany and China. Another is planned for the company's U.S. headquarters complex in Atlanta.
Company officials expect to break ground on the center next summer. First, landowner Watson Land Co. will oversee environmental remediation of the soil, which sits on several former landfills.
Marco Wittmann secures Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix pole
Another damp, overcast day in Macau
Marco Wittmann has secured pole position for the “SJM” Macau Grand Prix qualification race after delivering the fastest time in a thrilling final qualifying session on Friday.
The German maintained the strong form he showed in the morning’s free practice session, as drivers experienced dry conditions for the first time this weekend, to move to the top of the standings early on.
However, after 11 minutes, Roberto Merhi showed what he was capable of as he moved to the front briefly, before Felipe Nasr then delivered the top time. Wittmann responded with 10 minutes of the session remaining to move back to the top of the timesheets, but he was knocked off the top again by Merhi.
Hellmund Willing To Drop Out Of Austin ProjectUPDATE
“The real reason that we’re having this press conference today, instead of announcing a huge sponsor, which I hope we can do in a couple of weeks, is the simple fact that we don’t have a contract with F1. And the reason we don’t have a contract with F1 is that as a project we have failed many times over to fulfill our financial obligations to F1. It’s literally that simple."
“I was encouraged today to see some news reports that the door is still open for us to be able to fix that, and I’ve also been encouraged in recent days to see that apparently all the funding’s in place. And so with that being said I’m really optimistic and hopeful that we’re going to get this done and we’re going to have a Grand Prix next year.”
“Right now we should be praising Mr. Ecclestone. We were in breach on multiple issues since as late as May. He sent numerous requests and letters that we were all aware of, of how to fix it, and we failed to do that.
Muscle Milk Abandons Rolex 24 Plans Muscle Milk Pickett Racing has called off plans for a possible Daytona Prototype effort in the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona. The California-based team, runners up in this year's American Le Mans Series LMP1 category, confirmed to SPEED.com late Wednesday that it has instead shifted its entire focus towards its ALMS program for 2012.
In September, Pickett revealed his ambitions of fielding a Chevrolet or Ford-powered Riley for the twice-around-the-clock classic, which was to be the team's first 24-hour race since its debut at Le Mans in 2008. It came at a time of uncertainty in the future of the prototype regulations in the ALMS, which have since been confirmed as remaining open to grandfathered LMP1 cars but also under more control from IMSA.
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