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Indications are Roger Penske and Helio Castroneves will soon be testing Chevy aero-kits.
AutoRacing1 is hearing that Team Penske (Chevrolet) and Andretti Autosport (Honda) will be the first Verizon IndyCar teams to test their manufacturer aero-kits. The kits, of course, are set to be introduced for the start of the domestic season in 2015.
Where? We have not heard exactly. As for when, we expect it to be sometime in October.
Rosberg's Mercedes punishment was to gift Monza win to Hamilton (Update)UPDATE
Jackie Stewart also thinks Rosberg gifted Hamilton the win
Former F1 champion Jackie Stewart cast doubt on the authenticity of Lewis Hamilton's magnificent Italian Grand Prix victory last night by hinting title rival Nico Rosberg deliberately made the mistake which gifted him the race.
Hamilton took full advantage of Rosberg's error in missing the first chicane for the second time in the race to close the German's lead at the top of the Formula One championship to 22 points with six races remaining.
In the process he passed Stewart's mark of 27 grand prix victories to move to second in the list of British drivers behind Nigel Mansell.
However Stewart, himself a past winner at Monza, thought Rosberg may have been acting on Mercedes team orders.
McLaren change stirs up Hamilton, Alonso rumors (Update)UPDATE Ron Dennis gave the strongest hint yet he hasn't ruled out re-uniting Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton at McLaren next season, writes Byron Young at Monza.
In Monza on Saturday Britain’s most successful team boss publicly apologized to the Frome Flyer for saying he “needed to try harder”.
And he revealed that, like much of the grid, he hadn't ruled out the possibility of one of the Mercedes drivers quitting the team as their toxic rivalry takes its toll.
"Availability in F1 isn’t as black and white as you would think," he said. "But this is all PR to keep F1 in the news, it's not going to happen," writes AR1.com's Mark Cipolloni. "Hamilton is signed sealed and delivered for next year and will not move from the team with the fastest cars."
Is F1 about to implode? (GMM) F1's 2015 'silly season' is no longer just about the drivers because as AR1.com's Mark Cipolloni reported, the 2015 Silly Season is over for the top teams with all drivers returning.
Now, it is major rumblings about the teams themselves that are making waves as the sport packs up after Lewis Hamilton's win at Monza.
Former Williams chairman Adam Parr issued an alarming 'tweet' after the Italian grand prix declaring: "This is the last year of F1 as we know it.
"In 2015 eight teams will contest the championship, with several teams entering three cars."
The 'tweet' immediately sent worried eyes around the paddock, as protagonists wondered who the departing three teams could be.
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I could not help but notice how rusted the safety fence is at Indy in this photo. Is the Human George family running the track into the ground like they are the IndyCar series?
If so I hope they sell it all to the France family. Peter Smith, St. Louis
New rumors say Montezemolo stepping down (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 (GMM) Luca di Montezemolo was coy on Saturday as he played down swirling speculation about his future.
The long-time Ferrari president arrived at Monza for his traditional qualifying visit amid intense rumors that it will be his last.
Some reports suggest the charismatic Montezemolo, 67, is at loggerheads with fellow officials over policy, while others think he is poised to quit Ferrari to become the new chief of the Italian airline Alitalia.
Lewis Hamilton to be offered reduced terms in new Mercedes deal Lewis Hamilton will face a substantially reduced pay offer from Mercedes when the two parties resume contract talks at the end of the season.
The news is likely to attract the attention of Ferrari and McLaren, potential rivals for the 29-year-old’s services, whose three-year £60m contract with the German manufacturers expires at the end of the 2015 campaign.
Mercedes ponders severing ties with Hamilton? (Update)UPDATE
Contrary to the rumors, Lewis Hamilton will not leave the superior Mercedes team.
Keeping in mind that AR1.com already stated the 2015 F1 Silly Season is over, that does not stop other journalists from keeping it alive and from the drivers and teams to keep it alive - it's all free PR for F1 and keeps the runaway championship from looking so bad.
(GMM) F1's 'silly season' is bursting into life at Monza -- and almost every team in pitlane is playing ball.
That goes even for the sport's dominant Mercedes, and one of the highest-paid and most marketable stars, Lewis Hamilton.
Boss Toto Wolff had already lifted the lid by warning that if the Briton and his teammate Nico Rosberg do not fix up their broken relationship, Mercedes might have to change its lineup for 2015.
He repeated the warning on Friday (which AR1.com says is just being said to keep F1 in the headlines).
No 2015 Silly Season for F1's top teams "There will be no F1 Silly Season for the top teams in 2015," declares AutoRacing1.com's Mark Cipolloni.
"According to our inside sources in the F1 paddock, all the top seats - Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, Force India, Lotus and Williams - will be the same as this year.
"The deals are done so you can ignore all those other silly rumors you might hear about F1 drivers jumping ship. 2016 maybe, but not 2015.
"There will be some changes at the back of the grid where teams take the biggest checks they can get from ride-buyers just to stay afloat," said Cipolloni. Our 2015 F1 Silly Season page (link above) has been updated to reflect this.
Dempsey to run full 2015 Indy Lights season with McCormack
Peter Dempsey takes the win in the 2013 Freedom 100
We're getting word here at IMS that 2013 Freedom 100 winner Peter Dempsey will contest the full 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires schedule driving the #34 McCormack Racing entry. Team owners and brothers Jack and Michael McCormack were also present at the Mid-Ohio test and hope to have a second full-time entry.
Stanley Tools to move to the #19 in 2015? Stanley Tools is rumored to cut back on its' sponsorship and move to Joe Gibbs Racing to support Carl Edwards. Stanley, which was originally with Roush Fenway Racing and a long supporter of Matt Kenseth and the #17 Ford with the DeWalt brand (2000-2009), has been with Richard Petty Motorsports since 2009 and enjoyed a four-year relationship with Marcos Ambrose but expects to get more bang for the buck as a part-time primary on the #19 Toyota next year. Motorsport.com
Conquest Racing was a regular in Indy car racing for many years through 2011. Above, Bertrand Baguette driving for the team at Iowa in 2010.
AutoRacing1 spoke with Conquest Racing owner Eric Bachelart during today's Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Bachelart, of course, has fielded teams for many years in different divisions of American Open Wheel Racing such as the IRL, Champ Car, Atlantics and Indy Lights. However, the team has not competed in IndyCar since 2011.
For 2015, Bachelart says that one-car Indy 500 entry is a possibility, in addition to an Indy Lights team. No driver was mentioned.
Vettel eyeing move to McLaren-Honda (Update)UPDATE Sebastian Vettel says he is not thinking about leaving Red Bull, despite rumors of an offer from McLaren.
McLaren is pushing to secure the best possible driver partnership ahead of its Honda reunion next season, with reigning World Champion Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso believed to have been contacted by the team.
But Vettel, who has a contract with Red Bull through 2016, has stated that he is in no rush to decide his future.
"There has been a lot of talk," said Vettel. "In Spa I heard I had signed for $150 million for three years. I was asking where the pen was but nobody came back to me!
Former IndyCar Series driver James Jakes spent three seasons racing in America's top open-wheel series and is working on a full-time return next year. The Briton spent two years with Dale Coyne Racing before switching to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2013, and intended to continue before budget issues sidelined his plans.]
The 27-year-old has spent the year working on finding new sponsors and if all goes according to plan, he'll be back on the IndyCar grid in 2015. "It's frustrating not to have a ride this year after the potential we showed last year, so I've been working on putting deals together to make something happen," Jakes told RACER. "I'm just waiting on a few final details and responses and I can't wait to get back to IndyCar."
"When you're looking at results, they weren't always there, but I wanted to be at Fontana so bad last weekend; I was one of the fastest Honda guys there last year, and it's been tough not being able to capitalize on what we built last year into this year," Jakes added. "So I put all my energy into getting something going for next year. I'm waiting on the final calendar, which will help, and I'm excited about the international races to start the season, too." Jakes recently dealt with a case of appendicitis, and has been recovering from its effects while continuing his budget hunt.
Xfinity Nearing $100M Deal For Title Sponsorship Of NASCAR's Nationwide Series (3rd Update)UPDATE #3 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with yesterday's announcement.
08/28/14 Comcast and NASCAR plan to announce a 10-year sponsorship agreement next week that will turn the sport’s secondary circuit into the Xfinity Series report Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Daily.
The deal, which is valued at close to $200M, is expected to be announced on Wednesday in Charlotte, according to sources. Comcast and NASCAR both declined to comment. The announcement follows several months of negotiations and represents a major achievement for NASCAR.
The sanctioning body began looking for a title sponsor late last year after current sponsor Nationwide Insurance decided to discontinue its sponsorship. Comcast emerged as a viable replacement after the company’s sports TV group, NBC, signed a 10-year, $4.4B rights deal with NASCAR. As part of the deal, Comcast agreed to spend $10M marketing and promoting the sport.
Ferrari exit could open for Alonso on Monday (Update)UPDATE
Marco Mattiacci claims Alonso cannot get out of contract
This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Marco Mattiacci insists there is no clause in Fernando Alonso's contract which would allow the Spaniard to leave Ferrari if it does not finish third in the constructors' championship this season.
Despite it looking likely Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will remain Ferrari's driver line-up in 2015 for a while now, rumors have persisted that a performance clause could allow the former to leave Maranello at the end of the year. Alonso himself has admitted constant speculation about his future is stressful but Mattiacci does not believe there is any reason for that to continue.
"No, I have no comments and it's not true," Mattiacci told Sky Sports News when asked about the reported clause. "I don't like to comment. What I know is we have contracts with the drivers, they are assets, and I think definitely we need to work altogether to have better cars - so that's our direction."
Haas team to run Ferrari engines in F1 (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Ferrari on Wednesday announced it will supply a V6 'power unit' to F1's new American entrant Haas in 2016.
Nascar team co-owner Gene Haas' machine tool company Haas Automation is already a sponsor of the fabled Maranello based team.
Haas said, “There is no team in Formula 1 more accomplished than Scuderia Ferrari, and no team with more history. They’ve been a part of Formula 1 from the beginning, and now they’ll be a part of Haas F1 Team’s beginning"
"We're delighted to announce this important strategic partnership with Haas F1 Team and to welcome an American player as a new entrant in formula one," said team boss Marco Mattiacci in a media statement.
Ferrari's other customers in F1 are Sauber and Marussia, who according to Mattiacci at Spa-Francorchamps two weeks ago are behind in their 2014 payments.
Waltrip to Dance with the Stars Not to be outdone by IndyCar, NASCAR will have representation on the ABC hit show "Dancing with the Stars". The New York Daily News reports that Michael Waltrip will be in when the season 19 cast is announced. Waltrip is a two-time Daytona 500 champion and currently part owner of Michael Waltrip Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
His older brother Darrell Waltrip is a three-time NASCAR champion who now works as a NASCAR analyst for Fox Sports. The 51-year-old Owensboro Kentucky native still races occasionally as well as provides color TV commentary for NASCAR races and programming. Waltrip has made three NASCAR Sprint Cup starts this season, two at Daytona International Speedway and one at Talladega Superspeedway; his best finish was 19th at the Daytona race in July.
New air guns the secret to fast JGR pit stops (Update)UPDATE Mike Lepp and the rest of Joe Gibbs Racing are finding all the talk about their mysterious new air guns as "very humorous" over the last couple of days. And he says it's not even true.
As the JGR team of Denny Hamlin consistently beat the Stewart-Haas Racing team of Kevin Harvick off pit road Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Harvick crew chief Rodney Childers told Harvick that JGR had some new air guns they were using.
Lepp, the JGR athletic director who oversees the pit crews, swears that these are the guns that they have been using all year to loosen and tighten lugnuts during a pit stop. He said the team typically has some pit stops under 12 seconds and others over 12 seconds but Sunday whipped off all pit stops under 12 seconds.
(GMM) Dani Juncadella has leapt into contention to make his formula one debut in 2015.
The 23-year-old, Mercedes-linked Spaniard is already Force India's reserve driver, and at Monza this weekend he will practice for the first 30 minutes on Friday morning.
Now, the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial said it is possible Juncadella is in the running to replace Force India's Sergio Perez next year, after the Mexican said he was in talks with teams other than the Silverstone based one for 2015.
Not only that, Juncadella has a sponsor -- Astana, promoting the Kazakh capital, is already on the livery of Force India's 2014 car.
Recently, it was announced the Verizon IndyCar Series would hold the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park April 12, 2015. The event at the Alan Wilson designed facility, which opened in 2012, will be promoted by Andretti Sports Marketing and held on the 2.75-mile North Course. The course, however, is expected to undergo some changes.
AutoRacing1 has looked into the modifications, many of which we learned have been made at the request of IndyCar, specifically to improve overtaking opportunities for the Dallara DW12. We have also attached drawings of what we expect the redesign to look like. The modifications include:
Go to any IndyCar race and you're sure to see The UFD Girls chasing AR1 staff members through the paddock. Here, they pose for a picture with James Hinchcliffe at St. Petersburg.
United Fiber & Data, the primary sponsor of the #27 Andretti Autosport Honda driven by James Hinchcliffe will apparently be returning to IndyCar next season, presumably with Andretti. Recently, on the UFD Twitter feed was the following:
"United Fiber & Data will indeed be back for many more years in @IndyCar it's an amazing series with the best drivers and product for racing!"
And for those of you wondering, it seems the UFD Girls, who appeared at all 15 IndyCar events in 2014, will also be back.
"The UFD girls are hired directly by UFD. They will also be back next season. Better than ever."
Another reader writes, Dear AR1.com, We have been lead to believe that it is the "Verizon Indy Car Series" and all the Indy Car equipment is labeled so, then why is it that all the trucks are still carrying the Indy Racing League name on them? Is it because it really is the IRL hidden behind a new name with many of the same players calling the shots? No wonder the series is failing. Paul Mahon, Comber, ON
09/01/14 Another reader writes, Seeing what time they put the last race of the year on TV, tells us how clueless the IRL is (It is still run like the IRL but under the IndyCar name). Half the country was in bed already.
Tony George may have finally killed the goose that laid the golden egg.
I was a loyal fan, but I am about done with all the egos, politics and sheer stupidity from the 16th and Georgetown clowns. Tim DeCesaro
09/01/14 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I have been quiet for awhile but after watching the IndyCar season finale at Fontana I figured it was time to speak up again. Why does IndyCar hold, as you put it, their 'grand finale' at the enemies race track? My theory is that the France family is more than happy to pay the IndyCar sanction fee and lose their shirt on the event (they had to lose their shirt with only 6,000 fans in attendance) for the opportunity to make IndyCar look like a complete loser with almost empty grandstands.
Nico Rosberg was reportedly handed a "six-figure fine" by Mercedes for his role in the collision with Lewis Hamilton at Spa.
The Brackley-based squad have had their hands full the past week after Rosberg made contact with his team-mate's left-rear tire while trying to overtake him for P1 on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Mercedes team bosses Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe met with the two drivers at a high-level meeting on Friday to clear the air.
A statement afterwards read: "Nico acknowledged his responsibility for the contact that occurred on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix and apologized for this error of judgment.
Baltimore IndyCar race dead forever In Baltimore, Joanna Sullivan noted this will be the "first Labor Day in four years" that IndyCar has not held a street race in the city, but it seems the majority of residents "just don't care" about the loss of the event. There has been "lots of good riddance-type comments on social media," and it appears that "no one connected with the race in the past, including several local businesspeople who really talked it up back in the day, wants to discuss it." Visit Baltimore COO Tom Noonan said, "I think everybody has moved on from it." BIZJOURNALS.com
New Orleans race gets April12th date (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will take place April 10 - 12, 2015, at NOLA Motorsports Park in Jefferson Parish, LA. A three-day racing festival showcasing the culture, music and food of Louisiana, the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is part of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series.
"The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is the next big tourism win for the State of Louisiana," Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. "Race fans are passionate about their rapidly-growing sport. Once they experience our authentic culture, food and music during this professional IndyCar event, we're sure they will fall in love with Louisiana."
Frijns management denies GP2 speculation The management team behind Robin Frijns has denied that the Dutchman is pondering a GP2 return.
According to media reports, Caterham reserve Frijns spoke to senior figures at Russian Time – winner of last season's Teams' title – during the Spa-Francorchamps round with a view to a potential race seat in 2015.
NASCAR changes schedule to kill off Milwaukee IndyCar race A hectic August schedule of racing, sports and entertainment in Southeastern Wisconsin just got more crowded.
Road America's date on what is now the Nationwide Series will move from June to Aug. 29 next year, NASCAR announced Tuesday.
That puts the stock-car and sports car events at the Elkhart Lake track and an anticipated Verizon IndyCar Series date at the Milwaukee Mile in a three-week span. [Editor's Note: Which should be just enough to put the final nail in the Milwaukee IndyCar race coffin]
The month also includes the Wisconsin State Fair and the PGA Championship, with all five taking place within 70-mile radius, plus the start of football for the NFL, colleges and high schools, all of which vie for attention even when games don't directly conflict.
"There's always so much to consider," said George Bruggenthies, president and general manager of Road America. "But I'm not worried about the Mile. And I'm not worried about Chicagoland."
Rumors on Nissan LMP1 Program While Audi, Porsche and Toyota resumes action next month at Circuit of The Americas for the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, Nissan is working to finalize the pieces of its factory LMP1 program, including the driver lineup.
The Japanese manufacturer has remained quiet on the progress of its GT-R LM NISMO since the 24 Hours of Le Mans, although having previously stated that it has opted for an out-of-the-box approach on the design of the prototype.
Rumors have run rampant from the car being front-engined or even a six-wheel design, although neither have been confirmed. A six-wheel car, for instance, is not legal in the 2014 LMP1 regulations.
Is Rosberg - Hamilton fight fixed to help ratings? With Rosberg and Hamilton making the 2014 F1 season a borefest in their superior Mercedes, F1 was very worried it would destroy their all-important TV ratings. Have they been asked to create an artificial rivalry to improve fan interest and TV ratings? So far there have been no blatant physical car-to-car-contact. Just Rosberg slicing Hamilton's tire and if he did not say "he let it happen" then it would have been classified a racing accident. Was Hamilton asked to say what he said to the media to pump up TV ratings? In this video Rosberg denies Hamilton's account of things. Will Hamilton now bump Rosberg at Monza in retaliation? Count on it. Is it all fixed? Perhaps.
(GMM) Giedo van der Garde looks set to step up to a Sauber race seat for 2015.
The Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad, and the specialist Dutch source Formule 1, are citing 'sources' close to the Swiss team and van der Garde that report that negotiations between the Sauber reserve driver and team management have been successful.
"Sources report that van der Garde is assured of a race seat," the newspaper claims.
"Insiders say there is even a small chance that the 29-year-old will get his promotion this year."
Reportedly, that is because Adrian Sutil is behind with his sponsor payments to Sauber, the struggling but pointless-in-2014 team that is "also dissatisfied" with the German driver.
Lewis Hamilton a Brit on a German team. He needs to move back to McLaren
The fallout from the explosive Belgian GP has plunged Mercedes into a state of 'war', and could persuade Lewis Hamilton to leave the team, according to Fleet Street.
Although Daniel Ricciardo won the race, the focus of attention on Sunday night was firmly trained on Mercedes following Lewis Hamilton's bombshell revelation that Nico Rosberg admitted he had failed to avoid the crash 'on purpose'.
In the words of The Times' Rick Broadbent, the explosive claims leave Mercedes 'in a state of disarray' and F1 in possession of arguably the most acrimonious teammate pairing since Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.
Kyle Busch knows he can't win a Sprint Cup title without a Chevy Kyle Busch came into the weekend with hopes of adding to his 16 career Bristol win total and perhaps sweeping the three-race weekend. But he left Saturday night with serious questions about the cohesiveness of the #18 Sprint Cup team. Busch was involved in an early accident and also endured a pit road speeding penalty to erase any hopes of winning the main event. But things went from bad to worse for Busch, who angrily left his car on pit road when he exited the race with a handful of laps remaining despite crew chief Dave Rogers instructing him to do otherwise.
"Park it behind the truck and take your whiny little ass to the bus," Rogers said over the team radio. Busch's frustration is understandable given the circumstances that came his way, but the behavior should raise more than a few concerns about the team's ability to compete for a title. Simply said, Busch and Rogers need to find a way to harness the emotional outbursts before they can be seriously considered championship material. More from Motor Racing Network
Red Bull taking over Renault's F1 electric development (GMM) Red Bull is getting deeply involved with the improvement of engine partner Renault's F1 project.
Deeply frustrated with the French marque's start to the new V6 turbo era, Red Bull forced a restructuring at Renault, involving the return of boss Cyril Abiteboul.
But that is not all. Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that Red Bull is now at the forefront of Renault's push to vastly improve its 'power unit' and bridge the rumored 60 horse power gap to Mercedes.
Fontana wants out of Labor Day? (Update)UPDATE The final race of the year should be a 400-miler on the oval at Indy to end the season. How many times does AR1.com have to say this before it sinks in to the IndyCar leadership? IndyCars race really well at Indy (recall sensational battle Hunter-Reay vs. Castroneves in the 500) and the grand finale of the season should be at the Mecca of IndyCar - the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Nothing against Fontana, it is a fine facility, but an attendance of 20,000 or so for your grand finale is just embarrassing and makes the series look like a complete loser. We predict a 400-miler on Labor Day weekend at Indy will draw a minimum of 100,000 people. That is what the series needs for its grand finale. And we know ABC would love to televise it. If it was under the lights, even better. Mark C. reporting for AR1.com
A Labor Day Weekend race in Boston? Could that combined with empty grandstands spell doom for Fontana?
This Boston Herald article suggests that a Verizon IndyCar Series street race in Boston could be in the works. Interesting that it suggests the race could be Labor Day Weekend 2016. One has to wonder if that suggests Auto Club Speedway is not interested in hosting the finale Labor Day Weekend anymore?
Anyway, we'll see what comes of this. The article does not offer too many specifics. See below...
Grand Prix race cars could be roaring down the streets of Boston — Monaco-style — if Mayor Martin J. Walsh can convince organizers the city can transform the Seaport District into a speedway.
The mayor, who has assembled a Boston Grand Prix committee, is in contact with the CEO of Verizon IndyCar Series in a bid to land a high-octane street race, according to a letter from Walsh obtained by the Herald.
The track surface at Auto Club Speedway (Update 1)UPDATE
What role will the track surface play in the IndyCar Series finale.
Brian C. here.
Last week, AutoRacing1 responded to a letter from a reader regarding the track surface at Auto Club Speedway. We addressed specifically, the dust of the bits of the track that came apart and got into the radiators of the Indy cars during the 2013 MAVTV 500. We also looked at the issue of “grinding” that has started as numerous race tracks in the means to speed up the process of the track gaining grip for better racing. We always exposed the potential fallacy in such thinking in that the grinding erodes the surface, and potentially costs tracks money in the long run.
The other issue that arose last year during the IndyCar race at ACS was erosion of the seams. Over the past week, the team here at AutoRacing1 has gathered some info on the issues of the seams, and today we will pass along what we have found.
Changes to 2015 NASCAR sprint Cup schedule (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 Two sources well connected with NASCAR confirmed the news Tuesday to the Morning News but did not want to be identified. Darlington Raceway president Chip Wile said Tuesday the track "doesn't respond to rumors." Morning News
08/20/14 According to a source who works inside the sport, the date of the 2015 NASCAR spring Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be moved to Sunday, April 19. Due to the unpredictable weather in the Bristol area and lackluster attendance, BMS officials have long lobbied NASCAR for a change away from current date of March 16. Lynsey Wilson, communications manager of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway, did not confirm any schedule alteration when reached late Monday. "Conversations are ongoing and once details are finalized, we will release our 2015 plans," said Wilson, who declined further comment. NASCAR officials are expected to officially announce the full 2015 Sprint Cup schedule soon. That announcement could come this weekend during the IRWIN Tools Night Race at BMS. The source also said the Southern 500 Darlington race date will shift back to its traditional Labor Day weekend while the Atlanta race will move to the second week of the season on March 1. During an Aug. 5 interview, BMS general manager Jerry Caldwell expressed his desire for a switch in the spring race date. There was no statement from Helton on Monday night and Caldwell did not comment. Bristol Herald Courier
08/20/14 Jim Noble of ESPN/SiriusXM/PRN tweeted Monday evening, "The Southern 500 at Darlington (SC) Raceway will return to its traditional Labor Day weekend date [Sunday, Sept 6th] when NASCAR announces the 2015 Sprint Cup schedule, perhaps as early as this weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway - which has raced on Labor Day weekend since 2009 - will have its lone Sprint Cup race weekend moved earlier in the season to week #2 - Sunday, March 1, 2015. One other notable change will be the Bristol (TN) spring weekend -- often plagued by weather issues in March, Bristol successfully lobbied for a later date, and will now hold its spring Cup race on Sunday, April 19, 2015."
NJ F1 race won't happen in Weehawken Recall our recent rumors that a Jersey City developer has plans to include a F1 track on the site. As for the original Weekawken site, you can pretty much forget about it.
We find ourselves well past the June 2014 date by which Leo Hindery and Bernie Ecclestone assured Formula 1 fans and sponsors they would be enjoying the thrills of F1 with a New York skyline backdrop in Weehawken, NJ.
JGR To Introduce Carl Edwards Along With New Sponsor Arris Joe Gibbs Racing today will formally introduce Carl Edwards as the team's newest driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, starting with the '15 season. JGR also will unveil a new sponsor, communications technology company Arris, which will be the primary sponsor of Edwards' No. 19 Toyota for "roughly half the season." Arris' involvement in the sport "will go far beyond just sponsorship of Edwards." THATSRACIN.com
Verstappen to drive for Toro Rosso in 2015 (6th Update)UPDATE #6 You read it here first. This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement that Verstappen will be a regular full-time F1 driver for Toro Rosso in 2015 at the ripe age of 17. Recall also this AR1.com article on May 5th
(GMM) Max Verstappen's father has played down reports his son will make his formula one debut as a seventeen-year-old next March.
De Telegraaf newspaper claims the young Dutchman, newly signed up with Red Bull's famous driver development program, will replace Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso in 2015.
Having stepped up from karts to F3 this year, Red Bull gave the young Verstappen a taste of more horse power this week with a private test in a Formula Renault 3.5 car at the Red Bull Ring.
IndyCar commits to New Orleans race in 2015 (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 Michael Andretti is optimistic the New Orleans race will happen in 2015. "We're working on New Orleans. We're announcing it hopefully somewhere soon," Andretti said Sunday in Milwaukee. "We're very excited about this event. It's going to be way bigger than people think. It will be for 2015." Asked on a date, Andretti replied, "I think they have a spot, I’m not gonna say where, but we'll be happy with what's being discussed."
05/05/14 See related announcement that was made today. We are upgrading this rumor to 'fact' because it appears the race is going to happen.
IndyCar will race on the 2.75-mile layout shown below
IndyCar will stage one of its open-wheel races in the New Orleans area in 2015, people familiar with the decision said Sunday. The race will come to the 2.75-mile road course at the private NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, about 14 miles southwest of downtown New Orleans, the people said.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because officials with IndyCar and the track have not yet authorized the release of any information about the event, which they plan to announce on Monday at the track.
The $60 million facility was designed by Alan Wilson, who also designed Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama and Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah.
NOLA Motorsports Park opened in 2011 and hosted AMA motorcycle racing in 2012. Developmental levels of open-wheel racing have run at the road course as recently as February, when it host the Cooper Tires WinterFest, featuring the Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 series.
While work on the facilities is expected in advance of the event, the track itself is basically ready to handle an IndyCar race, said Jeff Lail, the race series coordinator for Skip Barber Racing School, which has hosted events at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Andretti needs ride-buyers to pay for new Indy Lights car
Expect small Indy Lights fields in 2015 as well. Not many can afford the new car it would appear
Michael Andretti could not commit to running an Indy Lights team with the new Indy Lights chassis in 2015; Andretti said he’ll only run one if he can find paying drivers.
"The only way I can do it is if I can find kids who can afford paying for the new car," Andretti said Sunday in Milwaukee. "I won’t be able to go out and buy the new chassis. It's not dead, it's still possible, but at this time we don’t have anything."
2015 IndyCar and F1 Silly Season (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 The 2015 IndyCar and F1 Silly Season pages are updated are now linked above and will remain there until the 2015 seasons begin for your easy access.
08/15/14 We have updated our 2015 IndyCar Silly Season page here.
07/30/14 Our traditional IndyCar Silly Season page for 2015 has been started and can be found here.
Andretti Autosport eyes TUDOR series (Update)UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Andretti Autosport had been rumored to run a new HPD ARX-04b coupe in the Tudor series, but it is dead for 2015. "It doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen. Something fell through and it's disappointing," Michael Andretti said Sunday in Milwaukee at the IndyCar race. Given how his team has stumbled since the Indy 500, perhaps this is for the best as the team, already involved in many series, may be spread too thin.
06/04/14 The deal is still coming together, but all signs point to Michael Andretti's burgeoning motorsports empire returning to sports car racing in 2015.
RACER rumors that Andretti Autosport is preparing for a two-car Prototype entry in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship next season using Honda's new HPD ARX-04b LMP2 coupe, and provided the funding is completed for the project.
"I can't comment on any specifics, but we've been exploring returning to sports car racing for some time," John Lopes told RACER, Andretti's senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "There's a couple of options we're evaluating; it's not a fait accompli at this point and we want to make sure if it comes together, we can win and be competitive from the outset. Culturally, it's a good fit for our company. We want to make sure the program is properly funded. We're still baking the cake, but it's not done."
Hunter-Reay to re-sign with Andretti Autosport (Update 1)UPDATE This rumor is updated to fact with the announcement earlier today that Hunter-Reay has signed a multi-year deal to stay with Andretti Autosport. DHL will continue as primary sponsor on the #28 Honda.
Ryan Hunter-Rear here kissing the Astor Cup. In May, RHR added the Borg Warner Trophy to his very impressive trophy case.
However, in this interview, RHR sounded very much like a driver who was going to re-sign with Andretti soon.
"While we don't have a contract yet," said Hunter-Reay "I think it's all heading in the right direction. So, thankfully it's not a stressful situation; therefore, I can concentrate on what really matters, and that's winning the championship this year."
Also, when talking about the fact he will be driving for Dodge at Petite Le Mans in October, Hunter-Reay said there were some other off-season plans in the works, which he could be announcing soon.
Call us crazy, but that has Andretti Autosport and a sports cars effort written all over it.
Anyway, it sounds to us like the dynamite RHR/Andretti will be together for a sixth season in 2015. At this point it’s probably just a matter of finalizing a few details.
Looks like next year's Milwaukee IndyFest will be August 22-23.
This Journal Sentinel article suggests that next year's ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at The Milwaukee Mile will be held August 23, 2015.
Apparently, a central consideration is next year's Wisconsin State Fair which runs from August 6-16, a later date than this year. The later date for next year is because Labor Day in 2015 will be essentially a week later than this year. Like this year Milwaukee IndyFest in 2015 will try to run one week after the conclusion of the Wisconsin State Fair.
McLaren eye Jenson Button, Valtteri Bottas swap McLaren could be ready to swap Jenson Button for promising Williams driver Valtteri Bottas for the 2015 season, according to reports.
Richland F1 claims that the Woking-based constructor may look to shake up their lineup for next year as they reunite with Japanese engine manufacturer Honda, with whom they won multiple world titles in the 1980s and 1990s.
Names such as Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have been linked with a move to the British team, but it is thought that a lack of budget may rule out a move for those.
Andretti Autosport was on its game last year at Milwaukee. The team missed the setup during today's qualifying session.
We’re not entirely sure what happened. However, after some strong practice efforts earlier in the day, highlighted by James Hinchcliffe running P1 in each of the sessions, Andretti Autosport qualified 9th (Marco Andretti), 13th (James Hinchcliffe, 18th (Ryan Hunter-Reay), and 20th (Carlos Munoz).
The effort was a far cry from 2013, when Andretti cars took 4 of the top-5 qualifying spots with Marco Andretti on pole. Hunter-Reay would win the race with E.J Viso coming home fourth and Hinchcliffe fifth. So, what happened today during qualifying for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250?
Many from within the team said the team plain missed the setup. The cooler temperatures for the late afternoon qualifying session created a far different track than earlier in the day. The result is Andretti Autosport has a lot of work ahead of them if the team wants a third straight win tomorrow in the event promoted by owner Michael Andretti.
SFHR to merge with ECR? (3rd Update)UPDATE #3 See official announcement.
08/16/14 This IndyCar practice report says the merger between Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing originally rumored on AR1 in October of 2013 will be made official tomorrow. We are updating rumor to fact.
Wink Hartman, who owns Hartman Oil, told The Indy Star that the single-car team he owns with Sarah Fisher can't survive without help.
"We have to (seek help)," Hartman said. "Personally, I think one-car teams are a dinosaur. Sponsorship, development, it's (difficult to compete)."
Ed Carpenter's team also is a one-car team with expansion aspirations.
Carpenter is partnered with Chevrolet, SFHR with Honda. It's likely the partnership would be with Chevrolet.
It's unclear what role Fisher would have in the merger.
Overheard in MilwaukeeUPDATE Quick note here: We just talked to Sage Karam, who told us that the possibility of him running the Verizon IndyCar Series finale at Fontana in two weeks "does not look good," and it is really "too late" at this point to put anything together.
Lucille Dust reporting from Milwaukee
With multiple teams interested in his services, Simon Pagenaud has good reason to smile. As for who? The fast Frenchman isn't saying.
It's a lovely, sunny day here at The Milwaukee Mile with temperatures in the 70s. There is a chance for rain later today we hear, but so far, so good.
The second Verizon IndyCar Series practice session for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 is scheduled to being at 1:30 p.m. local time, with qualifying scheduled for 5 p.m. For the qualifying order, see item on AR1 Hot News.
We bumped into Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports driver Simon Pagenaud this morning. The friendly Frenchman is of course, the prized free agent for Silly Season 2015, and is known to have spoken with Andretti Autosport about a ride for 2015. He told us that he has had quite a few offers but didn't specify as to who.
Anyway, talking to Pagenaud he stated a few times that he is currently focused on the season championship. The third year driver sits in fourth place 64 points behind leader Will Power. And with respect to his 2015 plans, AR1 got the sense that any clarification probably will not come until after Fontana.
Aston Martin to be banned from USA sales? Aston Martin stores in the U.S. will be unprofitable and could close if the sports-car maker is unable to get an exemption from crash standards that take effect next month, a top dealer said.
The average Aston Martin store will lose money if the carmaker can’t sell the DB9 and Vantage, two models that don’t comply with the new side-impact crash rule, said James Walker, chairman of the automaker’s U.S. dealer advisory panel.
Without convertible models, which won’t meet the standard by September 2015, all the brand’s dealers would be 'in the red,' Walker wrote in a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration petition.
Tony Stewart Retirement An internet story claiming that Tony Stewart plans to announce his retirement from racing has turned out to be a hoax.
The story, which has been circulating around social media since it was first posted yesterday, originated from a website called "Empire News", which clearly lists on their disclaimer page that they are a "satirical and entertainment website."
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