Recently crowned seven-time NASCAR premier series champion Jimmie Johnson will join a star-studded elite field as NASCAR kicks off its 2017 season with The Clash at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The annual season-opening event will be broadcast live on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 8:00pm/et. The 75-lap race again will be split into two segments with a competition caution at lap 25 separating the segments.
"What better way to kick off the 2017 season than the sport's brightest stars under the lights at Daytona International Speedway" said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer.
Newman Wachs Racing signs Dakota Dickerson for two-year deal
Mundelein, IL – Team Manager, Brian Halahan was all smiles today when Newman Wachs Racing announced they signed 19-year old racer Dakota Dickerson to a two-year deal.
"This is a good day for the team," said Halahan. "Having Dakota be part of our program is huge. When I started looking at drivers, I had to make sure we found someone who could be fast on track and yet represent the team, in a professional manner."
Dakota Dickerson's talent as a racecar driver and his impressive off-track demeanor were exactly what Newman Wachs Racing were looking for. "After seeing what he did for Mazda, commented Halahan, I knew I had to chase him. My discussions with Dakota started immediately after I announced the team, back in August. Once we tested him, I saw how he gelled with the team, and I knew, right there and then, that it would work."
ISC has approved a $178 million dollar redevelopment plan for Phoenix International Raceway, including new and upgraded seating areas, new concourses, improved hospitality options and a more accessible infield.
Work on the upgrades are scheduled to commence early next year, and be completed by the end of 2018. The track layout will remain unchanged.
REBELLION Racing will compete in the 2017 Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. The Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup is a unique four-race competition encompassing the marquee endurance races on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule. This distinguished endurance competition features 52 hours of racing at North America’s most prestigious endurance racing events, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 6 Hours of The Glen and Petit Le Mans.
The Swiss team will enter a single Oreca 07 LMP2 in their return to American racing. The team competed in five races in the U.S. during the 2012 and the 2013 seasons of the American Le Mans Series, REBELLION Racing won Petit Le Mans twice and secured three podiums at the Twelve hours of Sebring, Long Beach and Laguna Seca.
Roush Lands Liberty National Life Insurance As Primary Sponsor
Roush Fenway Racing has announced a partnership with Liberty National Life Insurance Company, that will see the leading health and life insurance company serve as a primary team partner on Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne's No. 6 Ford Fusion. Liberty National will also serve as a major associate partner for multiple races during the 2017 season. The No. 6 Liberty National Ford Fusion will make its debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March.
"We are excited to have Liberty National on board next season,” said Bayne. "They are an extremely well respected brand that has been providing valuable services since 1900. It's the kind of brand that we are proud to have an association with and I can't wait to see the No. 6 Liberty National Ford on track. Our goal is to put our car up front and compete for race wins."
Fukuzumi fastest on day 1 of GP3 test in Yas Marina
Honda protege Nirei Fukuzumi posted the quickest time in both the morning and afternoon session on day one of post-season testing at the Yas Marina Circuit. The ART Grand Prix driver’s best time was set in the afternoon with a 1:55.479. Jack Aitken (testing for French squad ART GP) was second quickest in both sessions.
Following the conclusion of the 2016 GP3 Series season, the teams embarked on a three day post-season test in Abu Dhabi. Fukuzumi was first into the 1m56’s ahead of Aitken. Jenzer Motorsport’s Alessio Lorandi then headed the timings, with Aitken lapping a mere 0.001s slower than the Italian.
Raffaele Marciello tops Day 1 GP2 session in Abu Dhabi Raffaele Marciello set the best laptime in today’s post-season test session at the Yas Marina Circuit. The Italian lapped the track in a 1:49.937 at the wheel of a Trident car during the afternoon session ahead of Nobuharu Matsushita (ART Grand Prix) and Oliver Rowland (DAMS).
The first day of post-season testing opened in hot temperatures just before noon with the twenty-two drivers on Pirelli Medium tires. Newly crowned GP3 champion Charles Leclerc was the first driver who fed onto the track in his PREMA Racing car, soon followed by the rest of the pack. After a few minutes into the session, all cars had completed at least one installation lap.
Cadillac Confirms Debut in 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – "Cadillac is proud to return to the pinnacle of prototype racing in North America after a 14-year absence."
Those were the words used by Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen to confirm that three Cadillac Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race cars will compete in the full 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype (P) class, beginning with the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, 2017. The new car will be known as the Cadillac DPi-V.R and is the first prototype race car from the New York-headquartered manufacturer since 2002.
Gary Paffett: "New rules mean that racing will become even more exciting"
Three questions for Gary Paffett
Gary, the next round of testing for 2017 is taking place in Jerez this week. How do you think the cars are coming along as regards to their development? Gary Paffett: We are, of course, still at a relatively early stage of development. We're driving a sort of hybrid vehicle with some new parts, but the aerodynamics package is still mainly from 2016. It's a mixture of things from 2016 and 2017, but I'm happy so far. The tires feel good and will ensure plenty of exciting racing. The car feels really great overall.
Ex-Boston IndyCar race CEO says aides 'pushed' race ticket sales
John Casey claims government officials wanted the ticket sales to proceed early
The former CEO of the Grand Prix of Boston claims in new court documents that top aides to Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Gov. Charlie Baker "pushed" him to start selling tickets to the planned IndyCar race even though promoters hadn't secured a key permit.
John Casey, the former CEO now being targeted in numerous lawsuits, alleges that the Walsh and Baker administrations, as well as race sponsors, fully approved of the sales plan that ended up stiffing thousands of fans who bought tickets to the since-canceled race.
In the complaint filed this week in Suffolk Superior Court, Casey claims Walsh and Baker aides wanted him to sell tickets "so that the race could sell out" before the planned Labor Day event and "allow for the implementation of an effective transportation and parking" plan.
There was 10,523 laps run this year in the NASCAR Premier (Cup) Series. #5-Kasey Kahne led every driver by completing 10,355 laps in 36 points races - and he didn't lead a single one of them!
Not one lap led all year long. Next up was #41-Kurt Busch who ran 10,348 laps and set a NASCAR record by completing every single lap in the first 22 races of the season.
Busch completed more laps than any other Chase driver this season. #2-Brad Keselowski had the third most laps run at 10,337 followed by #10-Danica Patrick at 10,326 (but no top-ten finishes) and #19-Carl Edwards at 10,303.
The 2016 Champion, #48-Jimmie Johnson, was not in the top-ten of laps run. FoxSports
GEICO To Sponsor Restart Zone at Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell announced that GEICO, the second-largest private auto-insurance company in the U.S. will sponsor the track's restart zone, starting in 2017. The multi-year partnership includes several tracks owned by Martinsville Speedway's parent company, International Speedway Corporation.
The GEICO Restart Zone is the defined area between turn four and the start/finish line where the lead car can start to accelerate when taking the green flag. "I'm very excited that GEICO views NASCAR as a great platform to showcase their brand," Campbell said.
Electric car company to build $700M plant in Casa Grande, hire 2,000 PHOENIX — A California startup will build a $700 million plant in Casa Grande to manufacture luxury electric vehicles.
The plan by Lucid Motors, being announced this afternoon, will involve hiring 2,000 workers for what would be the state's only car manufacturing operation. The first hires will take place next year, with training for the jobs through the community and technical colleges in Pinal and Maricopa counties.
Plans are to have vehicles ready for sale by 2018.
Roush Fenway Racing has announced its 2017 plans for the NASCAR Cup Series that will see the organization field a two-car Cup operation next season, with drivers Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. piloting the No. 6 and No. 17 Ford Fusions, respectively, in NASCAR’s highest series. In addition, Kevin Kidd and Tommy Wheeler will lead Roush Fenway’s overall competition efforts going forward. Kidd will assume the role of Competition Director, and Wheeler will serve as the team’s Operations Director.
The team will lease its No. 16 NASCAR Charter and driver Chris Buescher to JTG Racing in 2017.
Askew, Kirkwood Set for Mazda Road to Indy $200k Scholarship Shootout
Oliver Askew and Kyle Kirkwood
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. – The opportunities are flowing thick and fast for 2016 Team USA Scholarship winners Oliver Askew and Kyle Kirkwood. Following their impressive performances in England recently at the Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy, the two teenagers from Jupiter, Fla., now have set their sights on the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200k Scholarship Shootout which will take place next week at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
JTG Daugherty Expands, Adds Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing will expand to two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams next year, fielding a second car for driver
The team is leasing the No. 16 NASCAR Charter from Roush Fenway Racing for next year and Buescher, who raced this year for Front Row Motorsports while under contract to Roush Fenway, is being loaned to the team.
Roush Fenway Racing confirmed they were leasing the No. 16 Charter to JTG Daugherty Racing in a press release Tuesday. JTG Daugherty Racing confirmed their plans via a statement on social media a short time later.
Dallas, TX – GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team owner Bob Stallings announced a new platform for the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance "Red Dragon" in the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GT Championship. The 2x Sports Car Champions will join racing icons Porsche Motorsport North America, and compete in a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
"We are happy to have the opportunity to advance our racing program with Porsche for the 2017 PWC season," said Bob Stallings. "I have known the leadership of Porsche Motorsport for several years, having competed against them in the Rolex Series and more recently at PWC. We have had many discussions over the years about joining forces on the race track, but never could find the right opportunity to complete a relationship. Porsche has been a leader in Motorsports for many years throughout the world racing scene. I have held them in high regard and always thought we might decide to race together eventually, and the opportunity to get it done now was very compelling."
Field Set for Inaugural MRTI USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout
A total of 18 drivers will congregate next week at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., to contest the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout. The unprecedented event brings together talent from around the globe with the winner receiving a $200,000 prize from Mazda to assist in graduation to the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. USF2000 represents the first step on the acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires which offers scholarships for talented young drivers to progress all the way from the grassroots of the sport to the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.
Richard Childress Racing Adds New Operations Director Sammy Johns has joined Richard Childress Racing (RCR) as the new operations director for the Welcome, North Carolina, racing organization. Johns will report directly to Dr. Eric Warren, director of competition for RCR.
"I have known and worked closely with Sammy since 2001 in a variety of teams and roles," said Warren. "He is well rounded and understands the sport from multiple perspectives. He has the hands-on experience of a crew chief along with the understanding of what it takes to build a modern, technical racing organization capable of winning races in today's competitive environment."
Porsche to offer 1,500 unsold Cayenne 'Dirty' Diesels as used vehicles Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess recently stated that the automaker would never sell another diesel model in the United States, but that statement might not have been totally accurate.
Although VW likely has given up on developing new diesel models for the U.S., it still has some old models to deal with -- namely the Porsche Cayenne Diesel. You see, when VW announced it was halting diesel sales in the U.S. last year, Porsche dealers still had about 1,500 new Cayenne Diesels in stock.
Nico Jamin To Join Andretti Autosport 2017 Indy Lights Line Up
Andretti Autosport has announced that Frenchman Nico Jamin will join the team's Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires roster for the 2017 season. The Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires standout will pilot the No. 27 Mazda for the schedule's 16 races alongside Canadian Indy Lights sophomore Dalton Kellett. "We are really pleased to welcome Nico to our Indy Lights team," said team owner Michael Andretti. "His progress in the MRTI system has been promising so far and he was impressive in recent testing. We're looking forward to a competitive season for Nico and the No. 27 team."
Pirelli completes 2017 tire testing program in Abu Dhabi
Lewis Hamilton running the wider tires
The final day of 2017 tire testing (from a cumulative total of 24 days) brought together all three ‘mule’ cars from Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari on the Yas Marina circuit. These are modified 2015 cars, designed to simulate next year’s new regulations that will increase speeds by five seconds per lap compared to last year.
In order to create tires best suited to these increased loads, Pirelli has been testing a number of different compounds and structures, with the development work continuing today at Yas Marina from 0900-1800 in dry and warm conditions.
Stenhouse, Jr forms World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car team
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Sprint car veteran and 99-time World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series winner Joey Saldana has found a new home for the 2017 racing season.
Saldana will drive the Elk Grove Ford/Roth Investments #17 for the newly-formed Stenhouse Jr.-Wood Racing team. Owned by NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Matt Wood, Stenhouse Jr.-Wood Racing will compete full time on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series tour in 2017.
Saldana, who finished fifth in the World of Outlaws point standings in 2016, will be looking to improve that finish and earn his milestone 100th series victory.
Grammy-nominated actor, comedian and radio personality Jay Mohr will join NASCAR fans across the nation in honoring the newly crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson, as the host of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 2. In addition to Sting's previously announced headline performance, the show will feature award-winning musical artists American Authors, Skylar Grey and Olivia Holt.
Jay Mohr, who will host the event for an unprecedented sixth time, is the host of "Jay Mohr Sports" on FOX Sports Radio, a daily sports talk and entertainment show, syndicated in more than 150 markets, highlighted by Mohr's trademark comedic style.
Argentinean Nicolas Dapero Moves Up to Indy Lights Series with Juncos Racing
Juncos Racing is pleased to announce young Argentinean Nicolas Dapero will return to Juncos Racing and move up to the final step of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder for the 2017 Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Dapero is the first driver to commit the championship winning team’s Indy Lights line-up.
Nicolas Dapero (Buenos Aires, Argentina) joins the Indy Lights series after a successful rookie season in the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with Juncos Racing. Dapero recorded one win, multiple podium finishes, and earned the fastest lap in the final race of the 2016 season.
IMS Opens Indy 500 Ticket Sales After "Tremendous" Renewal Period
Before Tony George split the sport and nearly destroyed it, renewals would sell out the entire speedway as soon as ticket renewals went on sale. And that was when the Speedway had far more seats. Compare that to today.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway today put '17 Indy 500 tickets on sale to the general public after what track President Doug Boles is calling a “tremendous” renewal period. In the renewal window heading into this year's 100th running, which ultimately drew 350,000 people, IMS saw a surge compared to '15 renewals because of the special nature of this year's race. Industry observers have been watching to see how many people IMS could retain for '17, and IMS' 500-hour renewal period, which started midnight after the race, was the first indicator of those retention efforts. Boles told THE DAILY that for '17, IMS retained more than 50% of the uptick for renewals it saw in '16, which equated to a low-five-figure amount of tickets. IMS originally projected a 33% retention rate.
Boles noted the goal for IMS is to retain a similar amount of day-over-day sales heading into the 101st running, which is six months from today. Boles: "We're going on sale (to the general public) for the 2017 race in a better position than we've been in in almost a decade for the Indy 500. … If that holds true, we'll have a significant bump over '15. Selling out for '17 isn't outside the possibility, but we're just going to have a significant increase over '15; I think we'll be down a little from '16. But still, the momentum and direction of the event is going the right way." Adam Stern/SportsbusinessDaily.com
101st Indianapolis 500 and 2017 Month of May tickets on sale now
Start of the 2016 Indy 500
Tickets for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are on sale today, along with the entire 2017 Month of May schedule. Fans who have not already pre-ordered tickets can visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket office or IMS.com to purchase their seats for an action-packed schedule that also includes the IndyCar Grand Prix, Indy 500 practice and qualification days, concerts and so much more.
"Many fans jumped at the chance to renew their tickets after this year's historic race, with reserved seat purchases already trending notably higher than several previous years," said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles. "The 101st Running is going to be a spectacle worthy of the world's largest single-day sporting event and we can't wait to see an enthusiastic crowd celebrate more history and thrills at IMS. Our renewal demand was high, so if you haven't purchased your ticket yet, now is the right time to get the view you want."
Why run this race at all? The GP track is not exciting and attendance is poor. The IndyCar season finale should be a 400-miler under the lights on Labor Day weekend on the 2.5-mile oval track. Would eventually draw 200,000 and be a huge success, therefore, the Hulman George family would never do it.
One of the nuggets within the Indianapolis Motor Speedway morning release about 2017 ticket sales is that the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will in 2017 no longer be the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Instead, with Angie’s List two-year contract having expired, the race will be rebranded as the IndyCar Grand Prix with the potential a new title sponsor could emerge if one feels compelled to step up financially. A track spokesperson confirmed the news to NBC Sports, and said this could better position this race locally within the market.
The news isn’t entirely surprising given the Indianapolis-based tech company’s recent financials. Per the Indianapolis Star, the company has missed earning expectations, is losing business and has laid off at least 150 people within the last several months. Tony DiZinno/NBC Sports
Daimler announces $11 billion investment in electric vehicles
The death knell bells are ringing for the internal combustion engine
Daimler has been fleshing out its electric vehicle strategy over the last year and a big part of it came to life in Paris earlier this year with the unveiling of Mercedes’s new ‘EQ’ brand and the first vehicle under that electric brand: ‘Generation EQ’.
The German automaker admitted that it fell behind in the electric vehicle segment, but it hopes to come out on top by 2025 with 25% of its production being electric. Now an executive confirmed that the company is planning a $11 billion investment for the first series of vehicles to come out.
Michelin's Nicolas Goubert reviews the 2016 season
Michelin returned to the MotoGP grid this season following a seven-year absence, with the French manufacturer bringing numerous evolutions to its tires in the course of the campaign.
With no fewer than nine different race-winners, plus the full spectrum of climatic conditions and a handful of new lap records thrown into the mix, Michelin was faced with a wide variety of situations over the course of the calendar's 18 Grands Prix. The journey undertaken by Michelin Motorsport's team of men and women from the very first official tests in November last year up to the present day has been a long and at times challenging one. Nicolas Goubert -- the man in charge of Michelin's MotoGP program -- offers his verdict on the brand's first season back in the premier class.
Pull rejoins Carlin for 2017 BRDC British Formula 3 campaign
James Pull will return to Carlin for the 2017 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship, having made his debut in the UK's premier single-seater category in the final round of the 2016 season at Donington Park and competed in the recent Autumn Trophy at Snetterton.
The 17-year-old, who was born in Singapore but lives in England and competes under the British flag, was a title challenger in this year's F4 British Championship with the Surrey-based outfit, scoring two victories in addition to making six other trips to the podium as he finished fourth overall. Pull also took part in the British F3 season finale, taking a best result of eighth at the ‘Donington Decider' before rejoining Carlin for the Duo BRDC British F3 Autumn Trophy, where he finished eighth overall with a best result of fifth.
GP2 Series: Pierre Gasly, 2016 GP2 champion - how does that sound?
Pierre Gasly: It's amazing! I have no words to describe how I feel now: it's been such a long season, a really hard fight with many drivers, and we kept fighting to the end, and to get it at the last round is just unbelievable! The team was fantastic all season - I can't thank them enough for all of the hard work they did - it's like a big family, and I am so happy with what we have achieved. I want to say congratulations to Antonio [Giovinazzi] as well: I know he's really disappointed, but I told him that I wish him a big future because he really deserves it, he's such a talented guy and a great friend, above everything. And thanks to PREMA, my family, my friends and all supporting me, because without them nothing would have been the same.
From left, Johnny Cecotto (Rapax), Alex Lynn (DAMS), Sergey Sirotkin (ART Grand Prix)
Alex Lynn dominated this afternoon’s Sprint Race in Abu Dhabi, claiming the final win of the 2016 season with an experienced, rapid run from lights to flag ahead of Johnny Cecotto and Sergey Sirotkin, while further back Antonio Giovinazzi could manage no better that P6, handing the title to teammate Pierre Gasly.
If most eyes were on the championship showdown between the PREMA Racing pair, the Williams tester started as though the race was set for him alone, easily holding the lead into turn one before flying away, while Norman Nato got away fast but lost out on the inside to Sirotkin and Cecotto, with Nobuharu Matsushita having a good getaway but getting stuck on the outside, while Giovinazzi and Gasly held station from their P6 and P8 grid slots, split by Artem Markelov.
Video: What makes an F1 twilight race so challenging? Nico Rosberg previews the last race of the 2016 F1 season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit, together with Chief Race Engineer Andrew Shovlin. Comment
What a turnaround for Jake Hughes: After a disastrous start to the weekend, the DAMS rookie started yesterday’s Race 1 from the pitlane and fought back to earn himself a front row start for the final race of the season. The Briton was opportunistic on the inside of Turn 1 and remained unchallenged until the checkered flag. Arden International’s and Renault Academy’s Jack Aitken was second with ART Grand Prix and Honda’s Nirei Fukuzumi completing the podium.
Campos Racing’s Konstantin Tereschenko started from reverse pole and made a good getaway but Fukuzumi from P4 made an even better one to jump into the lead. The Japanese driver ran slightly wide into T1 with Tereschenko and Alex Palou on the outside of him. While the trio were busy battling, Hughes dived down the inside to take the lead. Tereschenko dropped to P7, while Aitken jumped up into P2.
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