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According to the new president of NASCAR, Steve Phelps, he wants to hear from fans on the type of races they want to see so they can be incorporated into the 2020 schedule.
Phelps recently sat down for a wide-ranging interview with the Charlotte Observer, where he weighed in on topics like team ownership, declining attendance figures and upcoming changes in series sponsorship. However, his most interesting comments came right after the first question, when he was asked about both the priority and practicality of having new venues host Cup Series races.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement. We have updated out 2019 F1 Silly Season page accordingly.
09/25/18 Latest Silly Season speculation puts Antonio Giovinazzi as the front-runner for a full-time race seat with Sauber next year, with the Ferrari backed driver scheduled for FP1 duty with the Swiss team on day one of the Russian Grand Prix this Friday.
Kimi Raikkonen has had a first Formula 1 seat fitting at Sauber as the Italian team continues to design their 2019 car. F1 cars are typically designed to fit the team's two drivers plus reserve drivers.
Sauber and Ferrari's close technical collaboration also meant there was little concern about potential team secrets passing to the customer outfit.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Roush Fenway Racing announced today that veteran NASCAR driver Ryan Newman will take the reins of its iconic No. 6 Ford Mustang, competing full-time for Jack Roush in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2019. During his celebrated career, Newman has accumulated 18 victories, 51 poles, 112 top-fives and 246 top-10 finishes competing at NASCAR’s highest level.
“I am excited about getting behind the wheel of the No. 6 car and working with Jack Roush and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing,” said Newman, who holds an engineering degree from Purdue University.
Hankook could replace Pirelli in F1 for 2020 (Update)
Hankook passenger tires
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. The FIA has approved applications from two manufacturers bidding to become the official Formula 1 tire supplier from 2020, and word on the street is that it is indeed Hankook.
F1’s commercial rights holder, Liberty Media, will now conduct negotiations with each and notify the FIA of its final selection for official confirmation.
Next month’s Mexican Grand Prix could be another sellout as the race promoter says ticket sales are going well.
Last year’s race attracted an official race weekend crowd of 337,043. Rodrigo Sanchez, the director of marketing and public relations for the race, told RaceFans in an exclusive interview they expect to see similar attendance this year.
“I think we’ll be actually quite similar, between 135-136,000 for the Sunday,” he said. “For the weekend around 340,000. That’s capacity.
UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Former Formula One driver Sebastien Buemi will remain in the all-electric Formula E series with Nissan in the 2018-19 season, the Japanese manufacturer said on Thursday.
Patricio O'Ward, Colton Herta to drive for Harding Racing (3rd Update)
George Steinbrenner IV
UPDATE This rumor is now upgraded to 'fact'. Today it was announced that George Michael Steinbrenner IV had purchased a stake in the team, renaming it to Harding Steinbrenner Racing. At 22-years old, Steinbrenner is the youngest team owner in American open-wheel racing history.
The team's 2019 drivers will be American Colton Herta and Patricio O'Ward and Andretti Autosport will provide technical support.
Alonso is still contracted with Toyota in the WEC, and that eats at Honda's crawl. Driving for Toyota in NASCAR probably makes more sense
Suggestions that HPD, Honda’s North American motorsport arm, is jibbing at supply engines to an IndyCar entry linked to Fernando Alonso – and, by extension, McLaren – are no surprise given the public humiliation the Japanese motor company suffered during their truncated F1 partnership. Given the background, said suggestions are not only fathomable, but utterly logical.
It may be an understatement to say Honda’s F1 engines were initially sub-standard in terms of power and reliability. But, as we suspected then and know now, McLaren’s hardware was not up to scratch either. Indeed, in this era of overly complex power units, the one commodity Honda truly needed upon its return to F1 was tolerant co-operation, and that was blatantly conspicuous by its absence on the parts of both McLaren and its star driver.
One has to wonder what Zak Brown and McLaren feel now that with Renault, they will again have the least powerful engine on the grid, given they paid Honda so much money to break their deal. Honda must be laughing their arses off. This is likely to hasten Brown's rumored sacking.
Honda are reportedly ready to roll out a significant engine upgrade in Russia which would produce more power than Renault.
According to analysis from Auto Motor und Sport, based on the latest GPS data, the current Honda engine produces 715 horsepower which is 15 fewer than what the Renault power unit can generate.
The Japanese engine manufacturer had pinpointed the United States Grand Prix in October to unveil their new Spec-3 engine – but Dutch outlet Ziggo Sport believe they could be in a position to introduce the new power unit two races earlier than planned.
Auto Motor und Sport reckon Honda’s upgraded engine would boost them to 750HP and take them 35HP ahead of Renault.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded t 'fact' today. Ryan Newman has confirmed via his personal Twitter account that he will not return to Richard Childress Racing following the conclusion of the current season.
“I want to take a moment to let everyone know that I will not return to Richard Childress Racing in 2019,” Newman said in his tweet. “I have very much enjoyed driving the No. 31 car and I want to personally thank Richard Childress and everyone at RCR for the support over the past five seasons.”
What Patricio O'Ward did on Friday with the Harding Chevy had a lot of people standing up and taking notice
Continuing from our Overheard #1 on Friday, the real possibility exists that McLaren has too many potential drivers for its IndyCar team. With two seats to fill, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nicholas Latifi are all real possibilities. As we rumored elsewhere on these pages, Latife's father Michael, would back his son in IndyCar and that could be a big part of the team's budget.
Zak Brown has come out and said he is trying to keep Vandoorne in the McLaren family racing in another series (think IndyCar). And then there is Fernando Alonso. So how do you fit three drivers into two seats? One possible scenario making the rounds is that Alonso does not drive the entire season. He just cherry picks the Indy 500, and perhaps one or two races prior to Indy, and Vandoorne and Latifi fill the remaining races, and the other running full-time.
Standing starts were never an issue with the superior Champ Cars. The fans absolutely loved them.
We hear that standing starts, favored by most fans, but abandoned by IndyCar with the current engine and clutch, can still be on the table with the new 2021 engine. The larger displacement of the new engine (2.4L vs. the current 2.2L) means it will be less prone to stalling because a larger displacement engine can generate more torque. Of course torque is not all there is to it - electronics and the clutch also come into play, as well as driver skill of course.
So we posed the question to Honda HPD boss Art St. Cyr as well as IndyCar Competition Director Jay Frye.
Team Penske Close To Deal With Financial Startup MoneyLion (Update)
Roger Penske put together another Business-To-Business deal
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. MoneyLion, America’s most powerful and rewarding financial membership, announces its partnership with one of the preeminent teams in one of America’s most thrilling sports: Team Penske in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Roaring into the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 15th, MoneyLion will serve as the primary sponsor of Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford Mustang, piloted by Austin Cindric, followed by three additional races through the remainder of the 2018 season.
Proposed solution to lethal catch-fences (6th Update)
Laminated Polycarbonate. In fact you can have multiple layers, each layer increasing the cost.
UPDATE A reader adds.....I think some reader confusion may be generated by your use of the brand name Plexiglas, aka, Lucite, Perspex, etc. All of those various market names are acrylic plastic, PMMA, poly methyl methacrylate.
What I think you are proposing may be laminated polycarbonate, a very different and much tougher panel than acrylic PMMA. A common brand name for single layer polycarbonate is Lexan. That is what is shown and properly titled in the photo accompanying your recent update on this subject. Laminated polycarbonate of increasing thicknesses can be very tough stuff indeed and is used as fighter jet canopies and bullet proof bank teller windows among many other uses. It is not “Plexiglas”, however. Dan Martin
President of Honda Performance Development Art St.Cyr has left the door open for the Japanese manufacturer to possibly get involved with the 'Road to Indy' development program.
Mazda announced in at the end of July they would no longer sponsor the 'Road to Indy' program having begun their partnership in 2011, leaving the series' without any notable sponsor or engine supplier.
The 'Road to Indy' has become an integral part of the single-seater ladder in the US as drivers look to make their way to the top rung in the IndyCar Series. Such notable graduates from the program include reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden, Zach Veach, Sage Karem, Ed Jones, Spencer Pigot and countless others.
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement.
09/05/18 Reports in Italian media say that Kimi Raikkonen has already been told that he will not be retained by Ferrari for another season.
That's despite his success winning pole position for the team at their home race in Monza last weekend. He went on to finish in second place in the Italian Grand Prix behind race winner Lewis Hamilton.
But according to Corriere dello Sport that's not been enough to save the Finn's place in Maranello.
Spencer Gallagher and his family-owned team might be looking to move up to Cup in 2019
Sources have told AutoRacing1.com that GMS Racing owner Maurice Gallagher, Jr. is making a bid to buy the assets of Furniture Row Racing - including the team's charter - and move his operation from the Xfinity Series to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for the 2019 season, with one source telling AR1 "it's a done deal."
Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser announced Tuesday he was shutting the doors of the defending championship team at the end of the season, while his championship-winning driver and crew chief are expected to move over to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019 - which has shared a technical alliance with FRR since 2016.
GMS Racing currently fields one car in the Xfinity Series with a pool of drivers, as well as four trucks in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Team President Mike Beam previously made a bid to acquire the assets of BK Racing in bankruptcy court last week, but was outbid by Front Row Motorsports.
It's unclear if the technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing would carry over to the new team if they were purchase Furniture Row Racing. Visser had cited the rising cost of maintaining the technical alliance as one of the factors in his decision to shutter the team.
Another NASCAR team in peril due to plummeting TV ratings
Minuscule TV Ratings on NBCSN - the gift that keeps on giving
According to AR1.com sources, Roush Fenway Racing will shut down the #6 Car for 2019.
Even with the existing Advocare sponsorship, they have sold less than half the available slots for next season.
When sponsors see those low TV ratings on cable TV channels like NBCSN they head for the exits in droves.
NASCAR and IndyCar are lucky the Trump economy is booming right now and sponsors are flush with cash to spend on advertising. But all good economies eventually suffer a slowdown and when that happens, combined with low TV ratings (small exposure for sponsors), the sponsor exit will hasten.
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