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IZOD dumps IndyCar, were low TV ratings to blame? AR1.com has told its readers time and time again that the NBC Sports Network ratings are a noose around the neck of IndyCar. We have stated that teams cannot land good sponsorship because of those horrible ratings. GoDaddy is rumored to be dropping sponsorship of James Hinchcliffe, a winner, but keeping its sponsorship of a backmarker in NASCAR. Now this:
INDYCAR announced today that IZOD will conclude its sponsorship of the IndyCar Series after the current season.
"We are proud of our partnership with IZOD over the past six years and we're grateful to PVH Corp., owner of the IZOD brand, for its support, creativity and vision," said Mark Miles, chief executive officer of Hulman & Co., the parent company of INDYCAR. "But circumstances change and now we're seeking new partnerships with brands looking to align with the fastest, most versatile form of racing.
5-Hour Energy Won't Commit To MWR For '14, questions NASCAR's integrity (3rd Update)UPDATE #3 Clint Bowyer sponsor 5-Hour Energy announced Friday that it would return next season as a sponsor of Bowyer and Michael Waltrip Racing.
The company, which is a popular energy drink maker, is in its second year of a three-year deal through 2014 to sponsor Bowyer for 24 races each season. In 2012, the company expanded that commitment to nearly the full season and then kept it at the original 24-race plan in 2013. Its commitment for 2014 came into question following the recent integrity controversy embroiling MWR, sparking 5-Hour Energy officials to say they would wait until the end of the year before making a decision.
Why NASCAR teams cheat Here at AR1.com we follow a simple motto, when in doubt, follow the money. Some people wondered why Michael Waltrip Racing would try so hard to get into the Chase. Well, many of the sponsorship contracts in NASCAR Sprint Cup have performance bonuses for wins, poles, and to make the Chase. So, it is most likely that NAPA was going to have to pay a multi-million dollar bonus if the car made the chase… Hence the reason for trying to get him into the chase.
And probably why NAPA left the sport when this unfolded knowing they were almost scammed out of millions.
A young Sebastian Vettel three years after the secret IndyCar test
In our latest editorial, Brian Carroccio outlines why Sebastian Vettel is a superstar. But I bet you did not know that before F1 he tested a Champ Car and who knows, maybe Red Bull would have brought him to Champ Car (Now IndyCar) if the series was big like in the CART days.
In secret Derrick Walker tested Vettel for two days at the Homestead road course in 2003. Walker had tested Timo Glock in the Reynard in the off season, and he decided to stay in Europe and not come to IndyCar (He would later). However, his manager also was working with this other up and coming young driver from Germany, Vettel.
IndyCar reaching back into the well to replace failed races RACER.com's Robin Miller reported there are "no fewer than four new players in the mix for an IndyCar race" in '15. Road America at Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin and Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif., along with a pair of new venues in Circuit of The Americas in Austin and Providence, R.I. "are taking a hard look."
If drivers, teams and fans are "universal on one thing it's bringing back Elkhart Lake ... and its daunting, scenic, historic four-mile Road America course." It has been "six years since major open-wheel racing last appeared there ... but it sounds like" Road America President & GM George Bruggenthies is "serious about making it happen" in '15. He said, “I'm probably letting the cat out of the bag but we've also talked about having a two-day, mid-week test here next summer for IndyCar that's open to the public to keep the juices flowing.”
Phoenix raceway to make major announcement Tuesday PIR to make major announcement on Oct 1st: Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber will make a major announcement regarding the track's history and its future at a media event Tuesday, Oct.1 at The Ritz-Carlton. The event will begin with a reception followed by the announcement at 1:00pm/pt. Sperber will be joined by a number of dignitaries from local and state government as well as the motor sports industry. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and 1983 Indianapolis 500 winner Tom Sneva are among the special guests expected to participate.(PIR)
Auto Club Speedway might lose IndyCar season-finale to....Indy? (Update)UPDATE Sources tell AR1.com that Fontana will be the season finale for IndyCar in 2014. So the grand final will have maybe 35,000 in attendance instead of over 100,000 that would be at Indy under the lights on Labor Day weekend 2014. But who ever said IndyCar cared about being a huge success. Staying small has its benefits it appears.
IndyCars on the Indy oval are spectacular. Running a 2nd race on the oval, under the lights on Labor Day weekend would be the spectacular IndyCar season finale the series needs
Nothing is official, but there’s an indication change is in the air as far as the Auto Club Speedway’s IndyCar Series date is concerned.
In a story on the Racer.com website, veteran open-wheel reporter Robin Miller said the IndyCar Series is considering moving the MAV TV 500 from its season-finale status at Fontana to a date in June 2014. The initial MAV TV 500 was run last September and this year’s race is schedule for Oct. 19.
It’s among several changes the series is considering, according to Miller.
Logistical Reasons Could Push London Formula E Race To The End Of 2015 Schedule (Update)UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Formula E, the world's first series for open-wheel single-seater electric race cars, has delayed what would be its inaugural race in London until 2015 due to planning and logistical hurdles.
The series launches next year and the U.K. capital was due to host the opening round in September 2014. However, when the Formula E calendar is announced on Friday, Beijing will be revealed as the season-opener with London becoming the final race in 2015.
Formula E is ready and able to hold its first race in London but Alejandro Agag, chief executive of the series, says that progress “is very slow because there are so many layers. It is not the mayor who controls this, it is the borough. For logistical reasons it is better to start in a continent and stay in the same continent anyway, so we are putting together all of the races in Europe. London now looks like it is going to be the closing race in 2015.”
Quicken Loans to Join Ryan Newman and RCR in 2014 (Update)UPDATE A reader writes, dear AR1.com, I was trying to figure out why Ryan Newman was on pole this past weekend in Loudon driving the Quicken car after having a disastrous season, and I could not put my finger on it. Now it's clear they put him on pole to seal the Quicken Loans deal. Welcome to NASCAR where everything happens for a reason. Mordichai Rosen
Dear Mordichai, Prove your allegations. Just because this sort of stuff happens all the time, is not proof enough to make such allegations. Surely it must be coincidental. Mark C.
09/25/13 Detroit-based Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online home lender and country's third largest mortgage originator, today announced it will join Richard Childress Racing (RCR) for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and serve as the primary sponsor of Ryan Newman's No. 31 Chevrolet SS for 12 races and associate sponsor for all remaining races. The move continues a strong partnership between Quicken Loans and Newman, whom they first sponsored in 2012.
"Ryan has shown that he is not only an incredible race car driver, but also someone with great integrity and class," said Jay Farner, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Quicken Loans. "The way Ryan has handled some very tough situations this year, while also continuing to ignore the noise and perform at a high-level, made our decision to stick with him a no-brainer. He embodies what we stand for each and every day."
Vettel F1 era coming to an end: Ecclestone (Update)UPDATE Mindful of the effect Michael Schumacher's domination of F1 had on the sport, Bernie Ecclestone suggests that Sebastian Vettel's dominance is coming to an end.
At the height of the Schumacher era, as the German reeled off win after win, title after title, interest in the sport declined. Indeed, things got so bad sections of the media virtually dropped their coverage of the sport.
Today, as Vettel heads towards his fourth successive title, the F1 supremo is mindful that along with the media, the moneymen, sponsors and promoters, will lose interest if virtually every race is going to end with the same result.
NJ race will be added back onto 2014 F1 calendar (6th Update)UPDATE #6 The planned grand prix in New Jersey was on a new draft calendar shown to the teams during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, but remains unlikely to appear on the final schedule.
According to Adam Cooper the race was placed in between the Monaco and Canadian Grand Prix weekends which would create an unprecedented triple-header. But transporting the teams’ equipment from Monaco to New York in such a short space of time would not be realistic.
The next free weekend for the race would be June 14th to 15th, in between the Canadian and Austrian rounds. However this would clash with the Le Mans 24 Hours, and FIA president Jean Todt is believed to have a guarantee that F1 will not race on the same weekend as the World Endurance Championship’s blue riband event.
IndyCar desperate to backfill failed events While IndyCar's 2014 calendar is only getting a couple of tweaks, there could be some major changes for '15...
For the most part, IndyCar fans are a patient lot. They waited 13 years on unification and an eternity to finally see a new car. But right now they're somewhat agitated about the 2014 schedule because they've heard it won't include any new venues.
Save for the inaugural road course race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a possible swap of double-headers (St. Pete for Houston) and loss of Baltimore (and perhaps Sao Paolo), next season will be a condensed carbon copy (no a reduced schedule) of 2013. However, if Mark Miles could ask one thing of the IndyCar faithful today it would be to just give him a little time to reshape the landscape because 2015 figures to hold some interesting possibilities.
2014 IndyCar schedule (2nd Update)UPDATE #2For the 18th consecutive season, Texas Motor Speedway will play host to an Izod IndyCar Series/Camping World Truck Series doubleheader June 6-7. The IndyCar event has been renamed the Firestone 600 to reflect the addition of 50 kilometers to the race distance. The races in bold are confirmed.
08/15/13 Based on this Racer.com article by Robin Miller, here is our latest estimate of what the 2014 IndyCar schedule will look like. And it sounds like IndyCar has listened to some of AR1.com's recommendations - most importantly ending the season on Labor Day weekend. And Mark Miles gets it, "our focus is promoting IndyCar and open wheel racing in Indianapolis in May,” Miles replied. “I have no idea where this rumor about Jim France and sports cars in May at Indy came from but it is false and we are not considering it,” said Miles. Exactly what AR1.com stressed.
Racer: Honda to test twin turbo Racer Magazine reports that HPD will press its 2014 2.2-liter twin-turbo powerplant into service for the first time during Tuesday's official IndyCar series test at Fontana.
The majority of IndyCar Series teams will test on the 2.0-mile southern California oval in preparation for the season finale event on October 19th. Schmidt Hamilton Racing's Simon Pagenaud, who sits third in points with three rounds remaining in the championship, is expected to split his time between his primary No. 77 Hewlett Packard single-turbo Honda and a spare car fitted with the 2014 twin-turbo system.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Looks To Add Lights (Update)UPDATE
Ambrose spins at NHIS
Gappens said, "New Englanders don't like 90-95 degree heat and high humidity. And I’m seeing the (ticket) numbers reflect that in renewals for July." He added he is "in the process of trying to navigate through" Loudon's time restrictions for races. Gappens: "The town obviously doesn't want to re-open the lawsuit and have to defend itself. So we just have to navigate our way through … we have a couple of approaches that we are working on." NASCAR.com
09/23/13 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Exec VP & GM Jerry Gappens said that he "has been advocating for lights the past two years," but a five-year-old agreement between former track Owner Bob Bahre and the town of Loudon states that "racing must be through" by 7:30pm ET, according to Ray Duckler of the CONCORD MONITOR.
Road America could get IndyCar testing dates Wisconsin racing fans won't get the NASCAR Sprint Cup race they have craved and that had been rumored, at least not next year.
An IndyCar race at Road America looks highly unlikely, too. But at least there could be a consolation prize for IndyCar fans.
"We are hoping once they get their schedule set they might do a two-day test here that I could open to the public," said George Bruggenthies, president and general manager for the facility in Elkhart Lake.
Felipe Massa says his management are speaking to a number of teams about a seat for 2014, but does not expect a deal to be confirmed soon.
The Brazilian's eight-year stint at Ferrari will come to an end when he is replaced by Kimi Raikkonen next year and he has been heavily linked with the spot being vacated by the Finn at Lotus.
Massa's manager Nicolas Todt was seen having a meeting with the Enstone-based outfit's Team Principal Eric Boullier at Singapore, but the 32-year-old says it is just one of a number of options being considered.
Brawn buying into Williams? (2nd Update)UPDATE #2 Another wild rumor was also shot down in the Singapore paddock late on Friday, after it emerged at Monza recently that Mercedes boss Ross Brawn could buy Toto Wolff's 15 per cent stake in the Williams team.
"I'm definitely not buying shares in Williams!" Brawn exclaimed to the British broadcaster Sky.
"I'm planning to be here (Mercedes) next year so there's nothing else happening, I can guarantee it," he added.
(GMM) According to one rumor in Singapore, Bernie Ecclestone has cancelled an order for a new F1 motor home that would have made its debut in 2014.
"Is it because he can still use the old one," wondered the German-language Speed Week, "or because he knows he will no longer need one at all in 2014?"
Understandably, the news about the F1 chief executive's motor home is being tied up with speculation about his future, amid a looming German court battle that could even see the 82-year-old Ecclestone jailed.
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