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Overheard at Infineon - Saturday The Andretti's are happy to have Go-Daddy stay with the team despite the departure of Danica Patrick. "Sponsors have to account for every dollar they spend these days and for them to choose to stay with us is very much appreciated," said Michael Andretti. "I love that they are cutting edge, pushing the limit, and I can identify with that because that is how I lived my life in racing," said Mario Andretti. I hear that Go Daddy is considering using the Andrettis in their ads and may even use them in one of their Super Bowl ads......I hear that Andretti is close to announcing their engine partner for next year, and could be announced next weekend in Baltimore, but that is a decision for the manufacturer. Rumors say they will team with Chevy, but nothing is confirmed.
Speaking of teaming with engine manufacturers, HVM boss Keith Wiggins tells us they hope to make their announcement this week as well. Team owners have to commit to a minimum number of cars for next year, but if they want to increase that number later the engine partner could refuse if they are already fully committed with other teams. Wiggins also tells us that Simona's Visa issues should be resolved in time for the Baltimore race. She has to consult with the Swiss Consulate office, but that is not open until Monday. We asked Wiggins if he would re-hire Mike Cannon for a 3rd time now that he is no longer with KV Racing. Wiggins would not give a definite answer but he did say "it's a matter of principle since he left us twice."
In addition to this race, look for Pantano to be in the Dreyer & Reinbold car next week in Baltimore and we hear that he is trying to do a deal that will see him race on the oval in Las Vegas for the season finale. He is trying to put together a full-time IndyCar deal for next year.
Will Phillips told me that the team owners will have a parts price list for the new Dallara by the end of the month so they can do their budgets for 2012. "I am meeting with Dallara this week to finalize the prices," said Phillips.
Baltimore is going to be even bigger than we anticipated. Over 700 media members have applied for credentials so the race is going to get a lot of media coverage. Speaking of popularity, the Andrettis hosted a fan Q&A session Saturday morning at Infineon and they received questions from fans in 104 countries through the Ortsbo website. Ortsbo specializes in translating website content into 54 different languages.
Spotted Wayne Taylor walking the paddock with one of his Grand-Am drivers, Max Angelelli. Word is that Taylor is trying to line up an IndyCar drive for his son Ricky Taylor.
I suggest you read our feature article on Randy Bernard on our Home page for some other interesting tidbits on IndyCar happenings/rumors. Mark C. Reporting from Sonoma.
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