• Through two races of the Verizon IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon was off to his worst start since 2009.

    It certainly was too early to be overly concerned, he said, following 15th- and 11th-place finishes. Maybe, but his results in eight previous starts in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach -- one top-five finish -- wouldn't necessarily pump up the three-time series champion's confidence entering the 80-lap race.

    Qualifying third -- his best on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn seaside street circuit -- was a positive and overtaking Juan Pablo Montoya on Lap 2 showed that the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet had the pace. When Dixon beat Verizon P1 Award winner Helio Castroneves off pit lane on the first service stop on Lap 29 of 80 to take the lead, he wasn't to be denied in the race that had only one caution for four laps.

    Dixon's first victory at Long Beach was his 36th overall, breaking a tie with Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time Indy car list. Al Unser is fourth with 39 victories. It was the 98th Indy car victory for team owner Chip Ganassi.

    Castroneves was held in his pit box by chief mechanic Travis Law to avoid contact with the incoming No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet driven by Tony Kanaan. The extra second was critical. And though the crew of the No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California entry had a blazing second and final stop on Lap 55, Dixon was six-tenths of a second ahead of Castroneves on his out lap entering Turn 1.

    Kanaan broke up a Team Penske podium sweep in the season opener at St. Petersburg, Fla., and Dixon did the same at Long Beach.

    "This is huge. I love the event, but as far as coming here and doing well it hadn't been on that list. That pit stop exchange definitely helped us get to the lead but the car was fast and all we had to do was maintain that lead," Dixon said.

    Scott Dixon and Helio CastronevesCastroneves, who finished 2.2221 seconds back, forged his second consecutive runner-up finish and 37th of his career to tie Bobby Rahal for second on the all-time list (Mario Andretti with 56 is first).

    "My AAA car was awesome and we were pretty good all the way," Castroneves said. “The guys did a great job in the pits and especially the (close call) between me and Ganassi. It was just perfect. It was better to be safe than sorry, but it was a great job overall for Team Penske. At the end of the day, second place is not bad.”

    Castroneves closed from 10 points back of Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya to three points of the front-runner. Montoya, who won at St. Petersburg, placed third in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

    Simon Pagenaud finished fourth and Kanaan also earned his second top-five finish of the young season. Sebastien Bourdais placed sixth and Josef Newgarden was seventh. Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and Sebastian Saavedra completed the top 10.

    Dixon also tied Bobby Unser, Emerson Fittipaldi and Castroneves atop the all-time list with an Indy car victory in 11 consecutive seasons, and he has 13 seasons with at least one victory. A.J. Foyt with 18 is the leader and Mario Andretti with 16 is second.

    "Long Beach is never an easy place to win and Scott Dixon did a great job today and so did his pit crew to get him out front," said Unser, who four days earlier was honored in Long Beach by the Road Racing Drivers Club. "Racing is a team effort and both Scott and his crew earned the win, my congratulations to them.  Scott is a smart, smooth driver and once again proved it. Scott Dixon has a big, big abundance of talent and he has proven it over the years.

    "He wins driving on any type of course he races his Indy car on. Scott wins on ovals, big and small; street courses and road courses.  I remember last year he came from dead last to win at Mid-Ohio. Scott Dixon has talent and skill and will win races for years and years to come."

    Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power had a tough weekend in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. He qualified 18th and on Lap 7 stalled on the pit lane entrance under caution.

    "I feel bad for the Verizon Chevy team," said Power, who finished 20th. :They worked so hard and me finishing P20 was a result of a bad day in qualifying. I didn't get it done and it was snow ball effect from there. Today I made mistakes and I stalled the car on pit road during the first pit stop. Was hoping for a top-10 finish but it didn't happen. It makes me more motivated to make up for it the next couple races."

    The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 26 on the Barber Motorsports Park road course in Birmingham, Ala., will be the third race in as many weeks.

    Conor Daly, who was called by team owner Dale Coyne an hour before the morning practice April 18 to fill in for the injured Rocky Moran Jr., qualified 21st in his second Verizon IndyCar Series start and brought the No. 18 Honda home with nary a scratch in 17th place.

  • TASMANIA Police is search­ing for a Targa “terrorist” who poured oil on a stage in an act of sabotage condemned by officials and drivers.

    Four-time Targa cham­pion Jason White slammed the “act of stupidity” as police launched an investigation into the incident at Mole Creek, about 2.6km into the opening stage of day four.

    “It’s ridiculous. It’s not just sabotaging the event it’s making things extremely unsafe for everyone,” White said.

    “It was not the fact we couldn’t run the stage, but that someone could do something so stupid.

    “It hasn’t bothered us at all, but it’s going to be a danger to the general public for God knows how long.”

    He said the oil would stain the corner on Caveside Rd, ­especially in the wet.

    “Whenever it rains it’s going to leach out and be a nasty one, and it’s part of the tourist highway through that part of the world,” he said.

    “They are going to have to put up a caution sign or something because I’d hate to see a tourist come round there and slip on it and have a crash.”

    Targa’s sweep team has been told to be extra vigilant today as the event heads to Hobart from Strahan over another six stages, although the senseless sabotage is expected to be a one-off.

    Police praised the sweep crew — the last car through each of the 39 stages before they are declared “live” for the competition — for making the discovery.

    Inspector Scott Flude was dumbfounded by the oil ­dumping.

    “Had this discovery not been made prior to the race commencing, the conse­quences could have been very serious,” Insp Flude said.

    “Further, this could have ­affected anyone using the road.”

    Targa officials were more concerned for the safety of the public than having to downgrade one of its stages.

    “It’s not just for what is does to Targa but, far more importantly, it can endanger the lives of the general public,” said Targa Tasmania media manager Ian Chesterman.

  • The now 55-car Le Mans grid has seen seven cars, including four LMP1s moved to the rear today.

    The 2015 Le Mans grid has been shuffled following a steward's decision on Friday. The Nissan LMP1 trio, the No. 4 ByKolles CLM P1/01 AER, and No. 45 Ibanez Racing Oreca 03R Nissan have all been moved to the rear of the LMP2 field.
    LMP1/LMP2 penalties

    All four aforementioned LMP1 cars listed were more than 110% off the pace of the polesitting time at 3:16.887. The time they needed to reach was 3:36.575 and the closest Nissan was still four tenths off that.

    The ByKolles entry had qualified 11th, but will now start 29th. Nissan's new LMP1 fleet timed in 12th, 13th and 15th but will now be sent back to 30th, 31st and 32nd.

    The Ibanez LMP2 ORECA (penalized for same reason) has been placed in 33rd.
    GTE penalties

    Going to the back of the GTE field will be the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia and No. 68 Team AAI Porsche 911 RSR, which was damaged by a fire on Thursday. The Ferrari failed to get within 120% of the LMP1 pole-sitting Porsche. They will start 54th and the AAI Porsche 55th.

    The No. 63 Corvette has withdrawn from the race after a qualifying crash, leaving the field down one entry.

  • When Shane Stewart rolled into Knoxville on Sunday for the Capitani Classic, he walked away with a $5,000 payday and the goal of beating Donny Schatz. Fast Forward to Wednesday’s Qualifying Night, and the Bixby, Okla. shoe put his Jeff Gordon throwback / Kick-It No. 16 in Victory Lane just ahead of Donny; collecting a cool $12,000 payday in his 14th career Knoxville Raceway victory.

    “You don’t every let your guard down with him [Schatz]. I’ve been beat a lot this year by him and we’re going to have to be a little better to beat him on Saturday,” said Shane in Victory Lane. “Honestly, I told the guys when we drew No. 71 to just relax, it didn’t make a huge effect on Sunday with twice as many racecars, and I was actually shocked the track slowed down as much as it did but it is what it is. It put us on the front row and we were able to take advantage of it.”

    Earning the pole for the evening’s 25 lap feature event, Shane was quick to hit the cushion through the first two turns to hold the lead.

    Keeping ahead of Daryn Pittman as traffic came into play on Lap 8 by 1.908 seconds, Stewart nearly tagged the wall through the third and fourth turns trying to clear a group of slower cars.

    Losing very little speed, Shane put four slower cars between himself and the race for second involving Daryn Pittman, Wayne Johnson, and Donny Schatz with the trio going three deep on Lap 11 with Johnson taking the runner-up spot.

    The first caution of the night on Lap 15 for Ian Madsen, who retired to the Pits with damage to the rear suspension, Stewart lined up with Johnson, Schatz, Pittman, and Gravel in tow. Staying high on the restart, Wayne Johnson dove low, but would not have enough steam to complete the pass, allowing Donny Schatz the opportunity to take over second.

    Giving chase into traffic in the closing laps, Shane banked off the cushion in turn one on the final circuit, but would not be denied, crossing the checkered flag 0.614 seconds ahead of the Bad Boy Buggies No. 15.

    “This whole team’s phenomenal. Bad Boy Buggies and Chevrolet Performance, without those guys, we wouldn’t be doing this and Tony Stewart himself being here this year, we’re glad to have him here with us. We wanted to get him a win tonight, but we’ll try our damndest on Saturday night,” commented Schatz.

    Taking advantage of the mid-race restart, David Gravel was able to shoot to the final podium step with a big run down the back straightaway on Lap 16, “It’s been a crazy year testing how much I love this sport and I love it a lot. We’ve been working really hard, just struggling on the balance of the racecar and two days ago, we got a good balance, got a good Al Parker engine now, and were able to qualify well. I’m looking forward to the feature. If we keeping doing this, we’ll be up here more often.”

    Paul McMahan moved up one spot to finish fourth with Justin Henderson from tenth completing the top-five.

    Wayne Johnson slipped back to sixth with Daryn Pittman also slipping from second to finish seventh. Advancing from the B-Feature, California’s Rico Abreu charged from 23rd to eighth with Greg Hodnett and Sheldon Haudenschild completing the top-ten.

    With 55 drivers timing in, drivers were divided into five Heat Races with Jamie Veal, Willie Croft, Tyler Courtney, Tony Shilling, and Dakota Hendrickson earning wins.

    C-Feature action went to Jac Haudenschild with Tasker Phillips topping the B-Feature.

    A look at points after the first night of action, and Donny Schatz with quick time, third in his Heat, and runner-up in the feature leads the charge with 492 points. David Gravel is second with 485, followed by Paul McMahan (471), Sheldon Haudenschild (465), and Shane Stewart (460).

    Join us tomorrow night, Thursday, August 13 for night #2 of the 55th FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores! For more information on Knoxville Raceway, visit!

    410 Results

    Time Trials (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 15, Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND (14), 14.953; 2. 7, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (10), 15.099; 3. 31C, Justyn Cox, Clarksburg, CA (1), 15.216; 4. 89, Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA (16), 15.255; 5. 93H, Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (2), 15.263; 6. 7TAZ, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (17), 15.279; 7. 95, Matt Covington, Glenpool, OK (4), 15.316; 8. 51, Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN (46), 15.317; 9. 19, Bob Weuve, Newton, IA (5), 15.352; 10. 24R, Rico Abreu, St. Helena, CA (41), 15.359; 11. 18, Ian Madsen, St. Marys, NSW, Aust (35), 15.378; 12. O, Bud Kaeding, Campbell, CA (8), 15.390; 13. 7S, Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN (25), 15.393; 14. 12X, Wayne Johnson, Knoxville, IA (13), 15.410; 15. 9, Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK (54), 15.413; 16. 17W, Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, IN (40), 15.423; 17. 69, Mike Moore, Des Moines, IA (3), 15.439; 18. 16, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK (51), 15.442; 19. 83, Aaron Reutzel, Clute, TX (39), 15.454; 20. 12, Lynton Jeffrey, Prairie City, IA (27), 15.455; 21. 19P, Paige Polyak, Tiffin, OH (44), 15.502; 22. 27, Greg Hodnett, Spring Grove, PA (31), 15.531; 23. 1D, Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD (37), 15.542; 24. 56, Davey Heskin, St. Michael, MN (26), 15.586; 25. 4R, Jon Agan, Knoxville, IA (9), 15.600; 26. 49J, Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington, IA (43), 15.612; 27. 17, Josh Baughman, Odessa, TX (45), 15.636; 28. 7D, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (21), 15.657; 29. 17A, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (22), 15.657; 30. 1A, Jacob Allen, Hanover, PA (29), 15.673; 31. 35AU, Jamie Veal, Warrnambool, VIC, Aust. (53), 15.677; 32. 29C, Willie Croft, Roseville, CA (24), 15.692; 33. 71X, Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN (49), 15.697; 34. 22, Tony Shilling, Knoxville, IA (18), 15.698; 35. 81X, Lee Jacobs, Dalton, OH (19), 15.715; 36. 84, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Aust. (6), 15.718; 37. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN (34), 15.731; 38. 5V, Colby Copeland, Roseville, CA (7), 15.739; 39. 21AU, Jordyn Brazier, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (15), 15.742; 40. 4, Dakota Hendrickson, Omaha, NE (47), 15.758; 41. 13X, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH (36), 15.767; 42. 75, Glen Saville, Razorback, NSW, Aust (20), 15.795; 43. 99, Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, OK (50), 15.800; 44. 20, AJ Moeller, Rockwell City, IA (23), 15.820; 45. 2KS, Craig Dollansky, Elk River, MN (52), 15.835; 46. 55W, Logan Wagner, Harrisonville, PA (12), 15.849; 47. 81, Austin Johnson, Pleasant Hill, IA (32), 15.857; 48. 2L, Logan Forler, Boise, ID (28), 15.899; 49. 23, Jimmy Light, West Springfield, PA (11), 16.000; 50. 7X, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (33), 16.000; 51. 4S, Danny Smith, Chillicothe, OH (38), 16.093; 52. O5, Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO (55), 16.424; 53. 96, Bronson Maeschen, Pleasantville, IA (48), 16.999; 54. 96AU, Bruce White, Merrylands West, NSW, Aust. (30), 17.363; 55. 17M, Todd Mickelson, Minot, ND (42), 18.095.

    Heat one (started), 10 Laps, 2:38.1: 1. Jamie Veal (2); 2. Ian Madsen (6); 3. Donny Schatz (8); 4. Scott Bogucki (1) / 5. Josh Schneiderman (3); 6. Bryan Clauson (5); 7. Paige Polyak (4); 8. Tasker Phillips (7) / 9. Jac Haudenschild (9); 10. Logan Wagner (10)

    Heat two (started), 10 Laps, 2:41.2: 1. Willie Croft (2); 2. Greg Hodnett (4); 3. Kraig Kinser (1); 4. David Gravel (8) / 5. Josh Baughman (3); 6. Bud Kaeding (6); 7. Matt Covington (7); 8. Mike Moore (5) / 9. Austin Johnson (10); 10. Glen Saville (9)

    Heat three (started), 10 Laps, 2:40.2: 1. Tyler Courtney (2); 2. Justin Henderson (4); 3. Shane Stewart (5); 4. Paul McMahan (7) / 5. Dustin Selvage (3); 6. Jason Sides (6); 7. Colby Copeland (1); 8. Logan Forler (10) / 9. Justyn Cox (8); 10. Brady Bacon (9)

    Heat four (started), 10 Laps, 2:39.9: 1. Tony Shilling (2); 2. Davey Heskin (4); 3. Jordyn Brazier (1); 4. Wayne Johnson (6) / 5. Aaron Reutzel (5); 6. Austin McCarl (3); 7. Cody Darrah (8); 8. Bob Weuve (7) / 9. Jimmy Light (10); 10. AJ Moeller (9)

    Heat five (started), 10 Laps, 2:42.3: 1. Dakota Hendrickson (1); 2. Daryn Pittman (6); 3. Lee Jacobs (2); 4. Sheldon Haudenschild (8) / 5. Rico Abreu (7); 6. Lynton Jeffrey (5); 7. Jon Agan (4); 8. Jacob Allen (3) / 9. Craig Dollansky (9); 10. Kaley Gharst (10)

    C main (started), 10 Laps, 2:45.5: 1. Jac Haudenschild (2); 2. Justyn Cox (1); 3. Logan Wagner (5); 4. Craig Dollansky (6) / 5. Brady Bacon (4); 6. Jimmy Light (7); 7. Austin Johnson (8); 8. Danny Smith (9); 9. Glen Saville (3); 10. Bruce White (12); 11. Todd Mickelson (11); 12. Kaley Gharst (10); DNS - AJ Moeller, Brad Loyet, Bronson Maeschen

    B main (started), 12 Laps, 3:22.2: 1. Tasker Phillips (2); 2. Cody Darrah (1); 3. Rico Abreu (5); 4. Bryan Clauson (8) / 5. Jason Sides (7); 6. Matt Covington (3); 7. Lynton Jeffrey (11); 8. Austin McCarl (17); 9. Jac Haudenschild (21); 10. Aaron Reutzel (10); 11. Bud Kaeding (6); 12. Paige Polyak (12); 13. Bob Weuve (4); 14. Josh Schneiderman (14); 15. Mike Moore (9); 16. Josh Baughman (15); 17. Logan Wagner (23); 18. Craig Dollansky (24); 19. Dustin Selvage (16); 20. Justyn Cox (22); 21. Jacob Allen (18); 22. Logan Forler (20); 23. Jon Agan (13); 24. Colby Copeland (19)

    A main (started), 25 Laps, NT: 1. Shane Stewart (1); 2. Donny Schatz (8); 3. David Gravel (7); 4. Paul McMahan (5); 5. Justin Henderson (10); 6. Wayne Johnson (3); 7. Daryn Pittman (2); 8. Rico Abreu (23); 9. Greg Hodnett (9); 10. Sheldon Haudenschild (6); 11. Bryan Clauson (24); 12. Davey Heskin (11); 13. Tasker Phillips (21); 14. Cody Darrah (22); 15. Kraig Kinser (18); 16. Tony Shilling (15); 17. Jamie Veal (12); 18. Tyler Courtney (14); 19. Lee Jacobs (16); 20. Dakota Hendrickson (20); 21. Willie Croft (13); 22. Jordyn Brazier (19); 23. Scott Bogucki (17); 24. Ian Madsen (4). Lap Leader: Stewart 1-25. Hard-charger: Abreu.

    Points Accumulated Wednesday…

    1 15 Donny Schatz 492
    2 7 David Gravel 485
    3 51 Paul McMahan 471
    4 93H Sheldon Haudenschild 465
    5 16 Shane Stewart 460
    6 9 Daryn Pittman 457
    7 24R Rico Abreu 456
    8 12X Wayne Johnson 455
    9 89 Cody Darrah 450
    10 1D Justin Henderson    445
    11 7TAZ Tasker Phillips    445
    12 27 Greg Hodnett 439
    13 17W Bryan Clauson 435
    14 18 Ian Madsen    431
    15 56 Davey Heskin    429
    16 95 Matt Covington 410
    17 35AU Jamie Veal 408
    18 22 Tony Shilling    404
    19 7S Jason Sides 403
    20 71X Tyler Courtney 402
    21 29C Willie Croft 398
    22 11K Kraig Kinser 394
    23 O Bud Kaeding 393
    24 81X Lee Jacobs 390
    25 19 Bob Weuve    389
    26 12 Lynton Jeffrey    385
    27 4 Dakota Hendrickson    384
    28 83 Aaron Reutzel 384
    29 31C Justyn Cox 384
    30 84 Scott Bogucki 377
    31 21AU Jordyn Brazier 376
    32 19P Paige Polyak 370
    33 69 Mike Moore 369
    34 17A Austin McCarl    365
    35 49J Josh Schneiderman    362
    36 17 Josh Baughman 356
    37 7D Dustin Selvage    348
    38 4R Jon Agan    340
    39 1A Jacob Allen 331
    40 13X Jac Haudenschild 330
    41 5V Colby Copeland 312
    42 2KS Craig Dollansky 304
    43 55W Logan Wagner 301
    44 2L Logan Forler    293
    45 99 Brady Bacon 281
    46 75 Glen Saville 275
    47 81 Austin Johnson 272
    48 23 Jimmy Light 270
    49 20 AJ Moeller    263
    50 7X Kaley Gharst 253
    51 4S Danny Smith 236
    52 O5 Brad Loyet 219
    53 96AU Bruce White 217
    54 96 Bronson Maeschen    212
    55 17M Todd Mickelson 210

  • After a three-week gap, this weekend sees the teams and drivers rev back into action with the first European race of the season in Barcelona. As is customary at this time of year, all of the major players will be bringing serious updates to their cars, so it will be fascinating to see whether there are any changes to the pecking order at a track reckoned to be the best reflection of true form.

    Reigning champions Mercedes, of course, have won three of the opening four races, but Ferrari’s victory in Malaysia demonstrated that the Italian team have seriously closed the performance gap, and ever since they have kept the Silver Arrows honest.

    The indications from the opening rounds were that Mercedes still have a power and downforce advantage, but Ferrari have superior tyre wear. Will those remain each team’s outstanding characteristics in Barcelona, or will their respective updates change anything significant?

    Ferrari’s brilliant strategy in choosing a soft-medium-soft tyre schedule nearly enabled Kimi Raikkonen to score an upset win in Bahrain last time out, as team mate Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg opted for soft-soft-medium, and team boss Maurizio Arrivabene plans to maintain that aggressive ploy while Ferrari continue to work on closing the gap.

    "In Bahrain we put together an aggressive strategy and this is exactly what we discussed," he says. And he warns: “We now have some solutions for Barcelona. We are doing all of our development step-by-step but I think here we are going to finally take a good package."

    Mercedes, however, are determined to weigh up all of their options, rather than just rushing developments through to try and stem the Ferrari tide. Non-executive chairman Niki Lauda says that they won’t be bringing revised engines to this power circuit. "What may appear as a disadvantage now will become an opportunity when it really counts, in the second half of the season," he says. "The right thing to do is to not change work programmes on a whim. In any case, we'll have big changes to the car at Barcelona."

    Lauda also says that he isn’t surprised that Ferrari have recovered so quickly after last year’s disappointments. “Their resurgence is deeply rooted in last season, in the good job done by (technical director) James Allison, in the restructuring of the team."

    Both Lauda and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believe that their drivers are at their peak, and that Bahrain signalled Rosberg’s return to form. He is currently 27 points adrift of championship leader Hamilton, but Wolff is adamant that the German will be back on the pace this weekend.

    "Nico wouldn't be in Formula One as a multiple race winner and a challenger for the championship if he allowed himself to be destabilised after a few races,” Wolff says. "I fully expect him to come bouncing back. I don't know when it will happen, but he's always going to be there, no doubt."

    Elsewhere, Red Bull and Toro Rosso are hoping for good news from Renault. The French power unit manufacturer’s director of operations Remi Taffin says that they have high hopes after making changes based on lessons learned from the first four races: “Barcelona is much more of a traditional circuit than the first four tracks we have visited so far this year. The layout flows a lot more, with high and medium speed corners rather than tight, slow hairpins and long straights.

    “The three-week gap has given us an opportunity to look at all the information from the start of the season. We have been flat out to counter the issues encountered early on and we will have a modified spec of engine for this race that should give improved reliability and driveability.”

    That should be a relief to Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz after their recent powertrain tribulations.

    Williams are bringing not just updates but better knowledge of how to get the best out of their Pirelli tyres, which already helped to reduce the deficit to Mercedes and Ferrari in Bahrain. The Grove-based team will run test and development driver Susie Wolff in FP1 - her first appearance of the season.

    Lotus have also heavily revamped their promising E23 Hybrid, which among other things will feature a Williams-like nose this weekend. And reflecting his performances in China and Bahrain, tester Jolyon Palmer will get another outing on Friday morning.

    McLaren will be bringing more development to their MP4-30, but perhaps the most noticeable difference to the Honda-powered car will be in the livery department. The team have dropped the chrome colour scheme that has adorned their cars since 2006 and replaced it with a more “predatory” stealth-grey look. Local favourite Fernando Alonso will be hoping the new look brings him extra luck at a track he won on in 2006 and 2013.

    The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, at which the teams tested in February, places very high demands on tyres, especially the left front, because of its wide range of high-speed corners and rough asphalt. Thus tyre suppliers Pirelli are bringing their orange-marked hard and white-marked medium tyres this weekend.

    “Spain is obviously one of the more familiar venues that we go to, as there has already been plenty of data gathered during testing,” says the Italian company’s motorsport director Paul Hembery.

    “One of the things we have noticed so far is that this year Barcelona will once again be a front-limited circuit, from a tyre perspective. Last year, the increase in traction and torque from the cars meant that for the first time the race became a rear-limited event, with the useful life of the rear tyres dictating the pit stop strategy.

    “Thanks to the improvements we made to the rear tyre construction for this year, we’re back to Barcelona being a front-limited circuit again. However, we do not expect this to mean that there will necessarily be more pit stops this year: last year the majority of competitors used a two-stop strategy and that will probably be the case again.

    “The start of the European season traditionally means that many teams bring important upgrades, and it will be very interesting to see how these interact with our 2015 tyres.”

    The 4.655-kilometre Barcelona track, a staple on the calendar since 1991, is largely unchanged since last year, though changes have been made to the kerbs at Turn 9 and Turn 15. A new CCTV camera has also been installed at Turn 3 - the site of Alonso’s unusual pre-season testing crash.

    As in 2014, two DRS zones will be in operation over the weekend. The first has a detection point just after Turn 8 and an activation point after Turn 9, while the second has a detection point just ahead of Turn 16 with the activation point 157m along the pit straight.

    The weather is expected to be dry, sunny and warm all weekend, with a high of 26 degrees Celsius on race day. Sunday’s Grand Prix will start at 1400 hours local time (1200 GMT) and will run over 66 laps or 307.104 kilometres (190.825 miles).

  • Here's the lineup for Friday night's Speed Sport World Challenge...

    1. 11N, Randy Hannagan, Pittsboro, IN
    2. 12, Lynton Jeffrey, Sydney, NSW, Aust.
    3. 11K, Kraig Kinser, Bloomington, IN
    4. 7s, Jason Sides, Bartlett, TN
    5. 35AU, Jamie Veal, Warrnambool, VIC, Aust.
    6. 55, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust.
    7. 18, Ian Madsen, St. Mary's, NSW, Aust.
    8. 3G, James McFadden, Brisbane, QLD, Aust.
    9. 9, Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK
    10. 1z, Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg, PA
    11. 93H, Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH
    12. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA
    13. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA
    14. 29, Kerry Madsen, St. Mary's, NSW, Aust.
    15. 84, Scott Bogucki, McLaren Vale, SA, Aust.
    16. 21AU, Jordyn Brazier, Sydney, NSW, Aust.
    17. 3, Tim Kaeding, San Jose, CA
    18. 01, Christopher Bell, Norman, OK
    19. 13x, Jac Haudenschild, Wooster, OH
    20. 75, Glen Saville, Razorback, NSW, Aust.
    21. 96AU, Bruce White, Merrylands, NSW, Aust.

  • We received a press release from Ray Solomon regarding some major issues that have been reported to appropriate authorities regarding the conduct and administration of Speedways self-appointed body.

    Below is the release in full and YES it is explosive and clearly shows some very poor form from NASR/ Speedway Australia.

    I also urge anyone wanting more information to contact Ray direct via the email address and the end of his release.

    NASR - where did all the money go?

    So where did all the money go? Speedway Participant’s who collectively paid millions and millions of dollars to NASR for Licence/memberships, may well ask.

    NASR regularly claims in excess of 10,000 members. Based on current price of licences, NASR would receive up to $3,000,000 each year. This amount would be even higher when you include income from One Day Licences/memberships sold at the pit gate.

    NASR constantly makes reference to membership of NASR Inc in media releases, comments from Annual General Meetings, annual licence application forms, and one day pit memberships (remember these).

    There are many written examples of this misinformation including;

    1) The General Manager of NASR, stating that you become a NASR member when you purchase a NASR Licence.

    2) The General Manager of Premier Speedway (NASR Shareholder) stating that “I have become a one day member of NASR Inc when I purchased a One Day Pit Membership/Licence”.

    NASR management has also made the following statement to ACCC (reported in the ACCC minutes); "there have been many misinterpretations surrounding the licence and membership of NASR. Mr McAvaney confirmed that a driver becomes a member of NASR once they obtain a NASR Licence"

    The NASR Inc Rules of Association is very specific about how a person can become a member of NASR Inc.

    Sadly, people who purchased a NASR Licence, (annual or one day) have never been individual members of NASR Inc.

    Speedway participants should now consider whether all these statements have been a deliberate misrepresentation to enable NASR to secure your hard earned dollars to the benefit of the NASR organisation and not the sport.

    Since inception 17 years ago, speedway participants have paid many millions of dollars to the NASR organisation. The income generated over the years has never been reported and no accounts been issued to NASR Licence holders.

    This whole matter needs to be exposed for what it is!

    A “Brief of Evidence” has been provided to; The Australian Taxation Office, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), South Australian Deputy Premier and Attorney General and other Federal Government Departments. The “Brief of Evidence” focused on;

    1.False and misleading statements/documentation,

    2.Inherent conflicts with organizational structures involving Pty Ltd Companies and Inc Associations,

    3.Responsibilities of a Company Director,

    4.Compliance with the Rules of Association and the requirements of the South Australian Office of Consumer & Business Affairs,

    5.Multiple issuing of Tax Invoices by different organisations for the same transaction,

    6.Possible breaches of accounting practices, loans and GST issues.

    Your personal information Of further concern is that your private and confidential medical history may have been provided to a private company, based on a falsehood, i.e. membership to NASR Inc.

    If the NASR Board of Management wishes to clarify these matters, now is the time to do it!

    We call upon NASR to immediately;

    Make a public statement clarifying if anyone who purchased a NASR licence (Drivers, Crew, Annual and One Day licence holders) has ever been an individual members of NASR Inc. Failure to do so will demonstrate that NASR are simply still trying to cover this matter up!

    Provide a statement on how they are going to financially compensate those licence holders (Annual and One day Licence holders) who paid money in the belief they were becoming members of NASR Inc.

    Advise all Speedway Licence holders how they are going to resolve the issue that personal information obtained and held by NASR, may have been obtained on a false premise (their individual membership to NASR Inc).

    The “Brief of Evidence” gives rise to the following matters;

    Possible basis for a class action against NASR.

    Do NASR licence/member holders have a Constructive Trust over the assets of NASR (Property and Intellectual Property).

    If any person or persons are found to have acted illegally, they should be dealt with under the full force of the law.

    There is only one way to fix all this and that is for all competitor groups to develop and implement their own National Organisation.

    To avoid the problems of the past, any new organisation should be; Honorary, Elected, Accountable,

    Representative and Transparent (H.E.A.R.T.). The organization should be at the HEART of our sport.

    Given the potential demise of the NASR Inc, if another National Speedway Associations suddenly appears in the market that does not meet the above criteria, competitors/competitor groups should be very wary.

    Before giving any money to any other Australian Speedway Association, you are encouraged is to find out if they meet the above criteria, remembering that;

    True membership to any future organisation is vitally important so members can elect their preferred representatives, have a direct say about the organisations direction and future and most importantly, control how the organisation’s finances will be managed.

    In the past, licences and insurance were the main income streams. These should be directly controlled by the organisation for the benefit of the members!

    The licencing of competitors could and should be undertaken within the individual club or speedway class structures and the revenues remain within these organisations.

    Briefings by the Investigation Team are available upon request. To arrange a briefing, contact the author of this media release. The Information provided at these briefings will be based on the evidence (NASR’s own documents) that has been referred to the above Government Agencies.

    Enquires to

    Ray Solomon.

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Starting 24th in a backup car, Kurt Busch fought his way to the front of the field through intermittent rain showers and won Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway when a deluge halted the race after 138 of a scheduled 200 laps.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. was second when NASCAR red-flagged the event for the fourth time. Martin Truex Jr. was credited with third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.
    The victory was Busch’s second of the season. He won for the third time at Michigan and for the 27th time in his career.
    "It's an unbelievable feeling to know what we went through, paced ourselves, and found the lead toward the latter part of the race when the rain came in," Busch said in Victory Lane.
    "You know what’s more special about this? Winning in Chevrolet's backyard. That’s what's most important about winning in Michigan, so thanks to Chevrolet."
    That his team had put in extra hours to ready a backup car after Busch hit the wall in Friday’s opening practice was not lost on the winning driver.
    "Yeah, you have to get down and dirty," Busch said. "You have to really roll up your sleeves, get your elbows dirty, and put the work into it. And (crew chief) Tony Gibson makes these guys work a little extra hard.
    "I always say thanks. I'm always there early with them. And it's a great team chemistry feel."
    Busch grabbed the lead for the first time on Lap 133 when Kyle Larson's gas-mileage gamble came up short and the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet was forced to pit road for fuel just as a storm cell was advancing toward the speedway.
    Busch had pushed Larson to the lead after a restart on Lap 130, but Larson hadn’t gotten fuel since Lap 88, and crew chief Chris Heroy was gambling that the rain would arrive before Larson ran out of gas. As it turned out, the rain came three laps too late for Heroy's strategy to bear fruit.
    The heavy thunderstorm arrived on Lap 136, forcing NASCAR to throw a caution and then to red-flag the race for the fourth time two laps later, with Busch out.
    Busch also got an unintended assist from teammate Kevin Harvick, who led 63 laps in the race’s dominant car.
    Harvick held a lead of roughly four seconds when he brought his No. 4 Chevrolet to pit road on Lap 120, but the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion had to return to his pit stall two laps later because of a flat right front tire. Harvick lost two laps in the process and was 29th when NASCAR called the race shortly after 6 p.m.
    Earnhardt was on the inside beside Larson for the final restart, but the push from Busch propelled Larson to his short-lived lead, and Busch followed to the outside of Earnhardt's car.
    "When it came to the restarts, we didn't take off as well as the 41," Earnhardt said. "We saw the same thing at Charlotte, the 78 (Truex) and the 41 take off real good.
    "We were just kind of tight waiting on the front to work, don't have the good speed that they have the first three or four laps, and that was the difference today, and the 4 (Harvick) having the trouble he had. He had the field covered."
    If fortune favored Kurt Busch on Sunday, the same can't be said for brother Kyle Busch, whose car slipped on damp asphalt in Turn 3 and shot into the outside wall to bring out the third caution on Lap 52. In what may be the decisive blow to his prospects of making the Chase after missing the first 11 races because of injuries sustained at Daytona in February, Busch finished 43rd.

  • Kurt Busch put on a dominating performance to win the Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway.

    Busch, who was suspended by NASCAR for the first three races of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, led 291 laps and all but 15 of the final 306 circuits in the victory.

    "It's an incredible feeling," said Busch, who was reinstated March 11 and granted a waiver into the Chase.

    "It's a total team effort. And the way that everything came together, it just seemed like we were building, building and building towards a great finish like this.

    "I have this opportunity because of Gene Haas and everybody that's a part of our family at Stewart-Haas. It's an unbelievable feeling when you pull deep from within, you go through troubles and you know when you're accused of something and things go sideways. Your personal life doesn't need to affect your business life and I'm here in Victory Lane. It feels great to do it at Richmond."

    The win was Busch's first in nine races with crew chief Tony Gibson, his second win at Richmond and the 26th win of his Sprint Cup career.

    Busch's Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick took second place for the third time in five races. Jimmie Johnson notched a third-place finish while Jamie McMurray took fourth.

    Pole sitter Joey Logano, who finished fifth, led the first 50 laps of the race, until the scheduled competition caution waved allowing teams the opportunity to pit for fuel, tires and adjustments. The top 10 left pit road as they entered, but McMurray had to come down pit road a second time after being informed his team left lug nuts loose.
    Logano led the field back to green and maintained the race lead through Lap 94, when Busch challenged and inherited the lead on Lap 95. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver pulled to an eight-tenths of a second lead by Lap 100 and extended it until a Lap 127 caution when Joey Gase wrecked on the backstretch.
    Busch won the race off pit road and controlled the field through the halfway point with a 0.826 second advantage over Brad Keselowski in second. Through the long run, McMurray climbed through the field and momentarily challenged Busch for the top spot on Lap 259, but Busch reasserted himself a lap later.
    McMurray regained control of the lead a lap later and led until green flag pit stops began on Lap 263 with McMurray pitting on Lap 265. Meanwhile, Keselowski stayed out and shuffled into the lead. Nearing the end of green flag stops, Brett Moffitt made contact with the wall in Turn 4 bringing out the fifth caution of the day, leaving only three cars on the lead lap.
    Keselowski, Justin Allgaier and Busch all pitted under the yellow, with McMurray benefiting from the free pass, putting himself back on the lead lap. Fifteen cars behind them elected to take the wave around, putting 19 cars on the lead lap for the restart.
    Busch checked out on the restart, ahead of Allgaier and Keselowski. Meanwhile, McMurray had to make another climb back through the field and made his way to the bumper of Allgaier on Lap 315 for second. Once past the HScott Motorsports driver, McMurray trailed Busch by more than four seconds.
    With 50 laps to go, McMurray trimmed the lead down to less than three seconds, but the yellow flag waved a lap later, saving a number of the front-running teams from making their final planned stop under green.
    The race resumed with 42 laps remaining and unchanged at the front. Two quick cautions set up for a 26-lap shootout between Busch, McMurray, Johnson, Harvick and Logano.
    Escaping the field quickly, Busch checked out, with the battle on for the runner-up spot. Harvick -- aptly nicknamed the "The Closer" -- made the pass on McMurray on Lap 382 and set sights on his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate for the win.
    Harvick chipped away at his deficit, but the reigning champion was no match for Busch, putting a period on a stellar performance by claiming his 26th-career Sprint Cup Series victory and second at Richmond. The 36-year-old led a race-high 291 of the event's 400 laps.

    "Tony Gibson is an amazing crew chief and I'm glad I've got the chance to work with him," Busch said. "We got it done today."
    Behind Busch and Harvick, Johnson was third followed by McMurray, Logano, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. to round out the top 10.

    Chase Elliott, who was making just his second career Sprint Cup start, finished in 16th place.

  • Racing on the bullrings of his home state of California early in his career taught Brad Sweet how to negotiate some pretty intimidating cushions. A nearly foot and a half cushion that resembled more a ledge on Wednesday night at I-96 Speedway in Michigan didn't faze Sweet, nor did a battle with six-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz.

    Sweet used a slide job in turns one and two on lap 29 to take the lead from Schatz and withstood a number of late restarts to win the NAPA Auto Parts Rumble in Michigan which marked his third win of the season and first since April. Sweet, who was the final of three leaders on Wednesday night, became the sixth different winner in the last five races for the World of Outlaws at I-96 Speedway.

    "It was a tricky track tonight," said Sweet, who drives the Ollie's Bargain Outlet machine for Kasey Kahne Racing. "I got a terrible restart and I think I just got really mad and got my elbows up. I had a win it or wear it mentality. The (No.) 15 has been making it tough on everyone out here and we all have been fighting and clawing to try to figure it out. We still have a lot of work to do to beat Donny (Schatz), but tonight we were able to get the Ollie's Bargain Outlet car in victory lane and it feel really, really good."

    Sweet lined up fourth and was up to second following the first caution of the night on the seventh lap. After he took the lead on lap-29, he briefly lost it on a restart, but Schatz was called for a jump and Sweet retained the lead. The final six laps were slowed by three cautions and a red flag period. Sweet used strong restarts each time to hold the top spot en route to the win.

    "It was hard to tell which way to go sometimes on those restarts," noted Sweet. "I chose the bottom because it seemed like the bottom was winning of the restarts before. I wasn't sure about that tricky cushion. Donny got a run there on that one and they called back. We did everything we could tonight. We fought and we clawed."

    Schatz, who was seeking his sixth straight win, started on the outside of the front row next to his teammate Steve Kinser, who led the opening 15 circuits. Schatz would pace the field for 13 laps, while Sweet and Kerry Madsen stalked him. While his win streak was snapped, Schatz was able to extend his lead in the series standings as he chases his seventh series title aboard the Bad Boy Buggies J&J.

    Following a late restart, Schatz went over the banking off the back straightaways, falling back a few spots. He would use a late charge to get back by Paul McMahan and Kerry Madsen to finish second.

    "You only see a cushion like that once every 30 or 40 races," said Schatz. "My crew is awesome and they are working to make the car so we don't have to run the cushion like that. The goal is to find something to make the car a little better so we can get off the cushion. We had some laps where we were better moving around the race track. I think at one point we were back to fourth or fifth and got back up there."

    Madsen, who is seeking his first win of the season, charged from the sixth starting spot to move up to third by the sixth lap. The native of St. Marys, New South Wales, Australia, who now calls Knoxville Iowa home, ran as high as second during the 35-lap contest.

    "We were sputtering and ran out of fuel the last six laps, so we're glad to finish third," said Madsen. "We had a great race car and it was capable of winning and just didn't do the right things. Congratulations to Brad (Sweet) and Donny (Schatz), it is still awesome to be on the podium. I am very proud of my guys. Thanks to all of the Michigan fans. It was a great race track and very challenging and I enjoyed every minute of it."

    Paul McMahan was fourth with Shane Stewart fifth. Jason Sides, who opened the night by setting a new track record in time trials finished sixth, followed by Daryn Pittman, Logan Schuchart, David Gravel and Nate Dussel.

    The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to action on Friday, June 26 at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. For more information on the event and to learn how to purchase tickets, visit

    RACE NOTES: Brad Sweet scored his third World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of the season tonight at I-96 Speedway… Brad Sweet's win snapped a five-race win streak for Donny Schatz… Logan Schuchart was the KSE Racing Hard Charger, advancing 11 positions to finish in eighth… Jason Sides took home the night's quick time award and set a new track record after a lap of 13.746 seconds. It is the first quick time of the season for Sides.

    World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Statistical Report; I-96 Speedway; Lake Odessa, Mich.; June 24, 2015

    A-Main - (35 Laps) - 1. 49-Brad Sweet [4] [$10,000]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [2] [$5,500]; 3. 29-Kerry Madsen [6] [$3,200]; 4. 51-Paul McMahan [10] [$2,800]; 5. 2-Shane Stewart [15] [$2,500]; 6. 7S-Jason Sides [7] [$2,300]; 7. 9-Daryn Pittman [16] [$2,200]; 8. 1S-Logan Schuchart [19] [$2,100]; 9. 7-David Gravel [11] [$2,050]; 10. 40DD-Nate Dussel [20] [$2,000]; 11. 11N-Randy Hannagan [12] [$1,500]; 12. 41-Sammy Swindell [3] [$1,200]; 13. 1A-Jacob Allen [23] [$1,100]; 14. 11K-Kraig Kinser [9] [$1,050]; 15. 2M-Dustin Daggett [14] [$1,000]; 16. 38-Jared Horstmen [21] [$900]; 17. 11R-Chase Ridenour [24] [$800]; 18. 67-Christopher Bell [5] [$800]; 19. 11-Steve Kinser [1] [$800]; 20. 2B-Bill Balog [18] [$800]; 21. 16-Ryan Ruhl [17] [$800]; 22. 71M-Joey Saldana [8] [$800]; 23. 1ST-Gary Taylor [13] [$800]; 24. 19-Brett Mann [22] [$800]. Lap Leaders: Steve Kinser 1-15, Donny Schatz 16-28, Brad Sweet 29-35. KSE Hard Charger Award: 1S-Logan Schuchart [+11]

    Qualifying - 1. 7S-Jason Sides, 13.746; 2. 67-Christopher Bell, 13.934; 3. 15-Donny Schatz, 13.965; 4. 49-Brad Sweet, 13.991; 5. 41-Sammy Swindell, 14.025; 6. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 14.026; 7. 11-Steve Kinser, 14.032; 8. 51-Paul McMahan, 14.094; 9. 7-David Gravel, 14.217; 10. 11N-Randy Hannagan, 14.218; 11. 71M-Joey Saldana, 14.254; 12. 29-Kerry Madsen, 14.297; 13. 1ST-Gary Taylor, 14.327; 14. 2M-Dustin Daggett, 14.343; 15. 2-Shane Stewart, 14.370; 16. 9-Daryn Pittman, 14.378; 17. 16-Ryan Ruhl, 14.429; 18. 2B-Bill Balog, 14.487; 19. 8M-TJ Michael, 14.525; 20. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 14.572; 21. 40DD-Nate Dussel, 14.698; 22. 38-Jared Horstmen, 14.710; 23. 11R-Chase Ridenour, 14.746; 24. 1A-Jacob Allen, 14.910; 25. 71MX-Paul May, 14.972; 26. 5QB-Quentin Blonde, 15.093; 27. 19-Brett Mann, 15.161; 28. 10S-Jason Steinebach, 15.768

    Heat 1 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 11-Steve Kinser [2]; 2. 11N-Randy Hannagan [1]; 3. 49-Brad Sweet [3]; 4. 7S-Jason Sides [4]; 5. 9-Daryn Pittman [6]; 6. 38-Jared Horstmen [8]; 7. 1ST-Gary Taylor [5]; 8. 8M-TJ Michael [7]; 9. 10S-Jason Steinebach [10]; 10. 71MX-Paul May [9]

    Heat 2 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 71M-Joey Saldana [1]; 2. 51-Paul McMahan [2]; 3. 67-Christopher Bell [4]; 4. 41-Sammy Swindell [3]; 5. 16-Ryan Ruhl [6]; 6. 2M-Dustin Daggett [5]; 7. 1S-Logan Schuchart [7]; 8. 11R-Chase Ridenour [8]; 9. 5QB-Quentin Blonde [9]

    Heat 3 - (8 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 29-Kerry Madsen [1]; 2. 7-David Gravel [2]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz [4]; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser [3]; 5. 2-Shane Stewart [5]; 6. 40DD-Nate Dussel [7]; 7. 1A-Jacob Allen [8]; 8. 2B-Bill Balog [6]; 9. 19-Brett Mann [9]

    Dash - (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 8 starting positions of A-feature) - 1. 11-Steve Kinser [1]; 2. 15-Donny Schatz [4]; 3. 41-Sammy Swindell [2]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet [3]; 5. 67-Christopher Bell [5]; 6. 29-Kerry Madsen [8]; 7. 7S-Jason Sides [6]; 8. 71M-Joey Saldana [7]

    Last Chance Showdown - (12 Laps - Top 6 finishers transfer to the A-feature) - 1. 1ST-Gary Taylor [1] [-]; 2. 1S-Logan Schuchart [4] [-]; 3. 2B-Bill Balog [2] [-]; 4. 19-Brett Mann [9] [-]; 5. 1A-Jacob Allen [6] [-]; 6. 11R-Chase Ridenour [5] [-]; 7. 71MX-Paul May [7] [$300]; 8. 8M-TJ Michael [3] [$250]; 9. 5QB-Quentin Blonde [8] [$225]; 10. 10S-Jason Steinebach [10] [$200]

  • Tata Communications, a leading provider of A New World of Communications™ and the Official Connectivity Provider to Formula 1®, today announces that it has been chosen by Formula One Management (FOM) to provide broadcast services for the GP2, GP3 and Porsche Supercup racing series. Tata Communications will provide a fully diverse end-to-end fibre and satellite solution to broadcasters from across the globe at the 12 race locations in 2015.

    With this agreement broadcasters will have access to a provider with knowledge and experience in motor racing and the infrastructure capability to provide specific media management and movement services that go above and beyond the core technology.

    Bernie Ecclestone, Chief Executive Officer of the Formula One group commented: “We are always looking to help provide our partners and clients with the highest standards of support and service and our decision to appoint Tata Communications as the provider of these broadcast services is designed to deliver this.”

    The agreement will also enable broadcasters covering GP2, GP3 and Porsche Supercup races to take advantage of Tata Communications’ Race Network Operations Centre (NOC), located in the Formula 1 Technical Centre, Formula One Management’s 150 ton, 750 square metre nerve centre present at every F1 Event.

    Servicing the requirements of GP2, GP3 and the Porsche Supercup is a key milestone in Tata Communications’ journey as a Technology Supplier to Formula 1, and as an enabler of innovation in sport. Tata Communications already provides MPLS, Internet access and managed hosting and security, as well as Content Delivery Network (CDN) and co-location services for FOM. This robust global platform also delivers data and live broadcast quality video to FOM and since 2012 Tata Communications has successfully supported 57 races with over 400 hours of live service management. The same platform also delivers a range of connectivity services to the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team and Chello DMC, which distributes to Dutch sports channel Sport1.

    Tata Communications installs and tests its network infrastructure in two days at the 19 race locations, then dismantles it in just three hours after the races.

    Vinod Kumar, MD and CEO, Tata Communications, says: “Tata Communications’ work with Formula One Management is a testament to the diversity and versatility of our services. Each Formula 1 race demands a range of connected services similar to that of a small city. By consolidating fixed line connectivity needs with Tata Communications, Formula One Management will be able to take the greatest possible advantage of that infrastructure and tap into the versatility, on and off-site support and existing knowledge and experience of our platform and our team. We are a unique player in the ecosystem and well-placed to help deliver high quality live feeds to customers all over the world.”

  • Terry McCarl, the winningest driver in Huset’s Speedway history and eight-time 410-sprint car champion, was injured Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway during the National Sprint League race at the famed track south of Des Moines.

    McCarl started third in the feature event and had just completed the first lap of the 25-lap race. According to several sources, McCarl’s left front steering arm broke coming down the front stretch, rendering the car uncontrollable.

    The car never flipped, and McCarl was able to get the car stopped, but in a precarious position, just at the end of the straightaway and entering the first turn. McCarl’s familiar No. 24 came to a stop sideways in the turn, with the left side of the car exposed to oncoming traffic.

    Brad Loyet, who was running 18th at the time, hit McCarl directly between the cockpit and the left rear tire, the most unprotected part of a sprint car. McCarl’s car suffered major damage, and the seat bar that runs beneath the driver’s seat was bent from the impact.

    McCarl suffered a fractured vertebrae, and his return to racing is unknown. He was able to get out of the car and walk to a nearby ambulance.

    The prognosis for suffering such an injury ranges from being sidelined from three weeks to a year. The next few days will tell a lot for McCarl’s future after the swelling from the injury has subsided.

    “I’ve never broken a vertebrae, but I’ve had many scares,” said Jimmy Kite, five-time Indianapolis 500 starter and former USAC sprint car driver. “The hardest part of the conversation with your doctor is ‘What if it happens again.’ As a driver, you always want to get back in the car. But in this situation with the severity of the crash and where he was hit, he’s going to want to obviously do the proper treatment.”

    McCarl is sixth in the championship points in the NSL with two top-10 finishes in the first three races of the year. Earlier in the year, he won a World of Outlaws race in Las Vegas, the 10th of his career.

    “We’re as quick as we’ve ever been right now,” McCarl said Friday, the day before the accident. “I don’t have any plans of quitting anytime soon.”

  • For the 56th time in the history of the Knoxville Raceway, Iowa’s Terry McCarl parked the No. 24 in Victory Lane, topping the podium in Thursday’s Lucas Oil Qualifying Night in the 55th running of the FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Store.

    “Man, I’ve got to thank Doug (Rankin) and Austin (McCarl), and everyone on my crew. We were horrible in the Heat and lucky to finish where we did and we just made wholesale changes on the car and wow!” said a nearly breathless Terry McCarl. “What a racecar. This A.R.T. was rolling great out there, and Tommy Rider gives us awesome engines. We did the best we could qualifying, and missed it by one. What a racecar, I could put it anywhere I wanted.”

    Gridding the field ninth, McCarl began working his way through the field as Danny Lasoski took off into the race lead, advancing into the top five on the sixth round as the race from second back was chaos with drivers three wide at both ends of the track following a caution on Lap 4. Keeping low, tight racing off turn four allowed McCarl to jump from seventh to third in a shot.

    After a caution on Lap 8 for Dale Blaney, McCarl gave chase as Danny Lasoski was challenged briefly by Jason Johnson who tried to slide the No. 2 in turns three and four, but to no avail.

    Building momentum, Terry began to close on the Priority Aviation No. 41. On the back bumper of Johnson on Lap 11, McCarl made a move the following lap without success. Losing little momentum, Lap 13 saw the pass for the runner-up spot.

    The red was shown on Lap 14 for Brooke Tatnell, who was able walk away, and the ensuing restart was called back as Clint Garner tagged the cone.

    Single file to the green, McCarl tracked high on Lasoski into the first turns, pulling to the hub in turn three. With a full head of steam, Terry let the right rear speak for itself across the racing surface, taking the lead on Lap 15.

    Asked about the pass for the lead, Terry replied, “Well, I just knew what he was doing on those restarts, and what he did to Jason. He was eating that top up, and I hadn’t been to the top. We had a start, gave me a chance to practice it, and on the other restart I perfected it a little better, and I think he missed it a little bit.”

    Held up briefly on Lap 21 in slower traffic, it would not be enough to deny McCarl victory, netting enough points to start eighth on Saturday night.

    Danny Lasoski held on for the runner-up spot, earning the Dover, Mo. shoe the sixth spot in Saturday’s A-Feature. Amid an infamous Terry McCarl kiss, Danny said, “We got good points, just got beat by a good driver, and a good car, that’s all you can say. He had a good pace, and a lot of times, it’s better to be running second. He did what he had to do, and he just got beat.”

    Earning his third podium with the World of Outlaws in 2015, Jason Johnson earned the bronze step in the Mesilla Valley Transportation No. 41.

    “I tell you what, these Priority Aviation guys have been working their tails off this week. I just can’t say enough about this race team. Phillip and Cole have done a great job. We have a great group of supporters here, and to be on the podium on a prelim night; we’re pretty pleased,” said Johnson who will start ninth in Saturday’s feature event.

    Kerry Madsen came up to fourth after starting seventh with Brian Brown coming out of the B-Feature to claw from 23rd to fifth in the Casey’s General Store / FVP No. 21.

    Joey Saldana was sixth with James McFadden settling for seventh after starting 13th and bouncing around the top-ten most of the race. Lucas Wolfe crossed eighth, Stevie Smith ninth, and Brad Sweet tenth.

    With 57 drivers drawing in, the weekend total comes to 112 drivers making the trip to the 55th annual FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores. Five Heats went to R.J. Johnson, Kerry Madsen, Dusty Zomer, Danny Lasoski, and Sammy Swindell. Kevin Swindell was involved in a violent crash in the first heat and was taken to the hospital for observation.

    C-Feature action was topped by Bill Balog with Clint Garner getting the B-Feature win over Greg Wilson by 0.024 seconds. A thrilling race to the end, the top five were separated by only 0.912 seconds.

    With the points tallied from Wednesday and Thursday, Donny Schatz will lead the field to the green on Saturday night with a ninth Nationals Championship on his mind. This marks the 18th time Donny has made the cut for Saturday’s feature event. Kerry Madsen will start his ninth championship feature from the outside of the front row.

    Join us tomorrow night, Friday, August 14 for night #3 of the 55th FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores! For more information on Knoxville Raceway, visit!

    410 Results

    Time Trials (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (12), 15.086; 2. 29, Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust. (11), 15.175; 3. 1B, Dale Blaney, Hartford, OH (5), 15.201; 4. 71M, Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN (8), 15.358; 5. 1, Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN (24), 15.409; 6. W20, Greg Wilson, Benton Ridge, OH (16), 15.415; 7. 40, Clint Garner, Sioux Falls, SD (14), 15.443; 8. 19M, Brent Marks, Myerstown, PA (19), 15.452; 9. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO (29), 15.485; 10. 1Z, Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg, PA (25), 15.513; 11. 1ST, Gary Taylor, Snohomish, WA (17), 15.540; 12. 9K, Kevin Thomas Jr., Cullman, AL (3), 15.577; 13. 41, Jason Johnson, Eunice, LA (34), 15.618; 14. 2, Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO (38), 15.627; 15. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (36), 15.645; 16. 55, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust. (7), 15.648; 17. 19S, Stevie Smith, Broken Arrow, OK (37), 15.664; 18. 28, Jonathan Cornell, Sedalia, MO (9), 15.665; 19. 45, Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA (31), 15.676; 20. 9P, Parker Price-Miller, Kokomo, IN (21), 15.685; 21. 10, Matt Moro, Polk City, IA (13), 15.688; 22. 29W, Danny Dietrich, Gettysburg, PA (30), 15.693; 23. 67H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (10), 15.752; 24. 3G, James McFadden, Ormeau, QLD, Aust. (20), 15.752; 25. 17B, Bill Balog, Brookfield, WI (44), 15.752; 26. 2LX, Ed Lynch Jr., Apollo, PA (15), 15.785; 27. 3A, Billy Alley, Bennet, NE (50), 15.811; 28. 23M, Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC (2), 15.820; 29. 3, Tim Kaeding, San Jose, CA (26), 15.836; 30. 93, Glenndon Forsythe, York, PA (18), 15.839; 31. 25, Dylan Peterson, Hartford, SD (4), 15.861; 32. 10H, Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH (52), 15.873; 33. 82, Dusty Zomer, Sioux Falls, SD (51), 15.882; 34. 70, Dean Jacobs, Wooster, OH (42), 15.896; 35. 7R, Roger Crockett, Medford, OR (27), 15.921; 36. 71A, RJ Johnson, Tampa, FL (32), 15.934; 37. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (57), 15.964; 38. 11N, Randy Hannagan, Pittsboro, IN (35), 16.000; 39. 1X, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (23), 16.008; 40. 11, Steve Kinser, Bloomington, IN (46), ‘16.009; 41. 71, Kevin Swindell, Bartlett, TN (49), 16.044; 42. O1, Christopher Bell, Norman, OK (28), 16.048; 43. 35, Skylar Prochaska, Lakefield, MN (33), 16.104; 44. 13, Mark Dobmeier, Grand Forks, ND (54), 16.128; 45. 17J, Joey Moughan, Springfield, IL (47), 16.149; 46. 88N, DJ Netto, Hanford, CA (43), 16.165; 47. 20N, Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, MO (39), 16.178; 48. 1S, Logan Schuchart, Hanover, PA (53), 16.193; 49. 31B, Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA (45), 16.224; 50. 44W, Austen Wheatley, Lake Stevens, WA (55), 16.308; 51. 47, Jeff Swindell, Bartlett, TN (6), 16.331; 52. 15M, Bobby Mincer, Burlington, IA (40), 16.417; 53. 55XM, Brandon Wimmer, Fairmount, IN (22), 16.506; 54. 56B, Ryan Bernal, Hollister, CA (41), 16.511; 55. 2K, Kevin Ingle, Huron, SD (1), 16.581; 56. 1P, Curtis Evans, Norborne, MO (48), 16.909; 57. 23B, Seth Bergman, Snohomish, WA (56), NT.

    Heat one (started), 10 Laps, 2:43.7: 1. RJ Johnson (1); 2. Ed Lynch Jr. (3); 3. Brad Sweet (8); 4. Brooke Tatnell (5) / 5. Gary Taylor (6); 6. Dylan Peterson (2); 7. DJ Netto (10); 8. Greg Wilson (7) / 9. Matt Moro (4); 10. Kevin Swindell (9)

    Heat two (started), 10 Laps, NT: 1. Kerry Madsen (8); 2. Billy Alley (3); 3. Danny Dietrich (4); 4. Stevie Smith (5) / 5. Clint Garner (7); 6. Chris Martin (1); 7. Christopher Bell (9); 8. Hunter Schuerenberg (10) / 9. Kevin Thomas Jr. (6); 10. Chad Kemenah (2)

    Heat three (started), 10 Laps, 2:41.1: 1. Dusty Zomer (2); 2. Jason Johnson (4); 3. Dale Blaney (6); 4. Randy Hannagan (1) / 5. Logan Schuchart (8); 6. Brent Marks (7); 7. Jonathan Cornell (5); 8. Skylar Prochaska (9) / 9. Lance Moss (3); DNS - Sam Hafertepe Jr.

    Heat four (started), 10 Laps, 2:41.7: 1. Danny Lasoski (6); 2. James McFadden (4); 3. Joey Saldana (8); 4. Dean Jacobs (2) / 5. Tim Kaeding (3); 6. Tim Shaffer (5); 7. Brian Brown (7); 8. Mark Dobmeier (9) / 9. Don Droud Jr. (1); 10. Shane Golobic (10)

    Heat five (started), 10 Laps, NT: 1. Sammy Swindell (6); 2. Terry McCarl (4); 3. Steve Kinser (1); 4. Lucas Wolfe (7) / 5. Roger Crockett (2); 6. Parker Price-Miller (5); 7. Austen Wheatley (8); 8. Joey Moughan (9) / 9. Glenndon Forsythe (3); DNS - Bill Balog

    C main (started), 10 Laps, NT: 1. Bill Balog (2); 2. Jeff Swindell (7); 3. Ryan Bernal (9); 4. Bobby Mincer (8); 5. Shane Golobic (6); 6. Curtis Evans (10); 7. Lance Moss (3); 8. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1); 9. Don Droud Jr. (5); 10. Glenndon Forsythe (4); DNS – Matt Moro, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Chad Kemenah, Kevin Swindell, Brandon Wimmer, Kevin Ingle, Seth Bergman

    B main (started), 12 Laps, 3:28.8: 1. Clint Garner (2); 2. Greg Wilson (1); 3. Brian Brown (4); 4. Tim Shaffer (7); 5. Brent Marks (3); 6. Roger Crockett (11); 7. Mark Dobmeier (15); 8. Christopher Bell (13); 9. Jonathan Cornell (6); 10. Logan Schuchart (19); 11. Parker Price-Miller (8); 12. Bill Balog (21); 13. Dylan Peterson (10); 14. Jeff Swindell (22); 15. DJ Netto (17); 16. Ryan Bernal (23); 17. Chris Martin (12); 18. Bobby Mincer (24); 19. Austen Wheatley (20); 20. Gary Taylor (5); 21. Hunter Schuerenberg (18); 22. Skylar Prochaska (14); 23. Tim Kaeding (9); 24. Joey Moughan (16)

    A main (started), 25 Laps, NT: 1. Terry McCarl (9); 2. Danny Lasoski (1); 3. Jason Johnson (2); 4. Kerry Madsen (7); 5. Brian Brown (23); 6. Joey Saldana (5); 7. James McFadden (13); 8. Lucas Wolfe (3); 9. Stevie Smith (11); 10. Brad Sweet (8); 11. Dusty Zomer (16); 12. Danny Dietrich (12); 13. Dean Jacobs (17); 14. Steve Kinser (20); 15. Dale Blaney (6); 16. Greg Wilson (22); 17. Clint Garner (21); 18. Billy Alley (15); 19. Randy Hannagan (19); 20. Ed Lynch Jr. (14); 21. RJ Johnson (18); 22. Brooke Tatnell (10); 23. Sammy Swindell (4); 24. Tim Shaffer (24). Lap Leaders: Lasoski 1-14, T. McCarl 15-25. Hard-charger: Brown.

    A Main Lineup for Saturday (first 8 rows)

    1. 15, Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND
    2. 29, Kerry Madsen, St. Mary’s, NSW, Aust.
    3. 7, David Gravel, Watertown, CT
    4. 71m, Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN
    5. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA
    6. 2, Danny Lasoski, Dover, MO
    7. 51, Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN
    8. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA
    9. 41, Jason Johnson, Eunice, LA
    10. 93H, Sheldon Haudenschild, Wooster, OH
    11. 1B, Dale Blaney, Hartford, OH
    12. 16, Shane Stewart, Bixby, OK
    13. 1z, Lucas Wolfe, Mechanicsburg, PA
    14. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO
    15. 9, Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK
    16. 24R, Rico Abreu, St. Helena, CA

    B Main Lineup for Saturday (first five rows)

    1. 12x, Wayne Johnson, Knoxville, IA
    2. 89, Cody Darrah, Red Lion, PA
    3. 1, Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN
    4. 1D, Justin Henderson, Sioux Falls, SD
    5. 7TAZ, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA
    6. 40, Clint Garner, Sioux Falls, SD
    7. 19s, Stevie Smith, Broken Arrow, OK
    8. 3G, James McFadden, Brisbane, QLD, Aust.
    9. 27, Greg Hodnett, Spring Grove, PA
    10. W20, Greg Wilson, Benton Ridge, OH

    Combined Points for Wednesday and Thursday

    1 15 Donny Schatz 492
    2 29 Kerry Madsen 492
    3 7 David Gravel 485
    4 71M Joey Saldana 478
    5 49 Brad Sweet 476
    6 2 Danny Lasoski 472
    7 51 Paul McMahan 471
    8 24 Terry McCarl 469
    9 41 Jason Johnson 469
    10 93H Sheldon Haudenschild 465
    11 1B Dale Blaney 462
    12 16 Shane Stewart 460
    13 1Z Lucas Wolfe 459
    14 21 Brian Brown 458
    15 9 Daryn Pittman 457
    16 24R Rico Abreu 456
    17 12X Wayne Johnson 455
    18 89 Cody Darrah 450
    19 1 Sammy Swindell 448
    20 1D Justin Henderson 445
    21 7TAZ Tasker Phillips 445
    22 40 Clint Garner 444
    23 19S Stevie Smith 443
    24 3G James McFadden 439
    25 27 Greg Hodnett 439
    26 W20 Greg Wilson 439
    27 17W Bryan Clauson 435
    28 18 Ian Madsen 431
    29 29W Danny Dietrich 430
    30 56 Davey Heskin 429
    31 55 Brooke Tatnell 419
    32 82 Dusty Zomer 416
    33 19M Brent Marks 413
    34 3A Billy Alley 411
    35 95 Matt Covington 410
    36 2LX Ed Lynch Jr. 409
    37 35AU Jamie Veal 408
    38 22 Tony Shilling 404
    39 45 Tim Shaffer 403
    40 7S Jason Sides 403
    41 71X Tyler Courtney 402
    42 70 Dean Jacobs 401
    43 29C Willie Croft 398
    44 11K Kraig Kinser 394
    45 O Bud Kaeding 393
    46 11 Steve Kinser 390
    47 81X Lee Jacobs 390
    48 71A RJ Johnson 390
    49 19 Bob Weuve 389
    50 12 Lynton Jeffrey 385
    51 4 Dakota Hendrickson 384
    52 83 Aaron Reutzel 384
    53 31C Justyn Cox 384
    54 28 Jonathan Cornell 382
    55 11N Randy Hannagan 381
    56 1ST Gary Taylor 380
    57 84 Scott Bogucki 377
    58 9P Parker Price-Miller 377
    59 21AU Jordyn Brazier 376
    60 19P Paige Polyak 370
    61 69 Mike Moore 369
    62 17A Austin McCarl 365
    63 49J Josh Schneiderman 362
    64 7R Roger Crockett 360
    65 17 Josh Baughman 356
    66 17B Bill Balog 353
    67 25 Dylan Peterson 351
    68 7D Dustin Selvage 348
    69 4R Jon Agan 340
    70 9K Kevin Thomas Jr. 340
    71 3 Tim Kaeding 338
    72 O1 Christopher Bell 336
    73 13 Mark Dobmeier 331
    74 44 Chris Martin 331
    75 1A Jacob Allen 331
    76 13X Jac Haudenschild 330
    77 1S Logan Schuchart 326
    78 10 Matt Moro 316
    79 88N DJ Netto 314
    80 5V Colby Copeland 312
    81 23M Lance Moss 310
    82 67H Sam Hafertepe Jr. 307
    83 2KS Craig Dollansky 304
    84 35 Skylar Prochaska 303
    85 55W Logan Wagner 301
    86 93 Glenndon Forsythe 300
    87 44W Austen Wheatley 298
    88 20N Hunter Schuerenberg 297
    89 17J Joey Moughan 295
    90 2L Logan Forler 293
    91 10H Chad Kemenah 287
    92 1X Don Droud Jr. 284
    93 99 Brady Bacon 281
    94 75 Glen Saville 275
    95 47 Jeff Swindell 274
    96 81 Austin Johnson 272
    97 23 Jimmy Light 270
    98 31B Shane Golobic 269
    99 71 Kevin Swindell 267
    100 20 AJ Moeller 263
    101 15M Bobby Mincer 261
    102 56B Ryan Bernal 255
    103 7X Kaley Gharst 253
    104 4S Danny Smith 236
    105 O5 Brad Loyet 219
    106 96AU Bruce White 217
    107 1P Curtis Evans 215
    108 96 Bronson Maeschen 212
    109 55XM Brandon Wimmer 212
    110 17M Todd Mickelson 210
    111 2K Kevin Ingle 200
    112 23B Seth Bergman 188

  • Tony Stewart, a passionate racer whose skill and tenacity led him to three Sprint Cup titles, will end an 18-year career of Sprint Cup racing following the 2016 season.

    In announcing his retirement on Wednesday, Stewart said he made the decision not because he is mired in the worst slump of his career. That he broke his leg in 2013 and suffered the emotional toll of his involvement in the death of Kevin Ward Jr., both in sprint car events, were not factors, he said.

    For Stewart, nicknamed "Smoke," it was just time.

    "Deep down, you know when it's time to do something different and make a change like this," Stewart said during a news conference at the Stewart-Haas Racing shop. "It's kind of a bittersweet day.... It's not performance-based, it's just time to do what we're doing."

    Clint Bowyer will replace Stewart as the driver of the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 car in 2017. Stewart will continue to be heavily involved in NASCAR as a car owner and plans to continue to race in other series in a variety of vehicles.

    The 44-year-old Stewart (he'll be 45 when he retires) ranks 13th all-time with 48 career Sprint Cup victories, but has won only once in his last 101 races and currently is on a 69-race winless streak, the longest of his career. He had won in each of his first 15 seasons of Cup competition but has not won since Dover in 2013, a season when he missed the last 15 races with a broken leg.

    He failed to win in 2014, a year when he missed three races after the sprint car he was racing struck and killed the 20-year-old Ward, who had approached Stewart's car on foot after a crash. Stewart has not raced a sprint car since the Aug. 9, 2014, tragedy.

    Stewart was adamant that neither the physical effects of the injury nor the emotional impact of the tragedy played a role in his decision.

    "Zero percent -- not 1 percent of it has anything to do with it," Stewart said. "This is strictly what I want to do. My leg feels fine. There is nothing wrong with my leg. The tragedy, nothing is going to change that. It happened, but it's not going to direct the rest of my life.

    "I'm still going to race when I want to go race."

    While the 1999 IndyCar champion ruled out a return to the Indianapolis 500, he didn't rule out a return to sprint cars, something he has discounted in the past. "Maybe, probably," he said about a return to his first love.

    Stewart not only owns sprint cars, he owns a dirt track -- Eldora Speedway -- that has major sprint car and stock car events. He also owns a sprint car series.

    Those racing ventures already fill up some of Stewart's time, and he can devote more time to racing projects -- and more purely fun events -- after his retirement. He said after many races this year, he had considered retiring after this season but that he saw how much Jeff Gordon's fans enjoyed and embraced coming to races for Gordon's last season and wanted his fans to experience that.

    "It was a choice that was 100 percent mine," said Stewart, whose racing sponsorships run through next year. "There wasn't any pressure from anybody.... There have been more challenges in the last couple of years that have distracted from [my fun racing] a little bit, but it's still fun. If it wasn't fun, I would just walk away from it."

    There might have been some pressure from Bowyer, whose Michael Waltrip Racing team announced in August that it would close after this season. In the first year of a three-year deal, Bowyer all of a sudden found himself without a ride.

    Bowyer, who has eight career wins and was runner-up for the Cup title in 2012, wouldn't talk Wednesday about his 2016 plans. He has a news conference scheduled for Friday, and sources said he'll announce that he will spend 2016 driving for HScott Motorsports.

    "I don't think I got fired; it just went away," Bowyer said with a laugh about how he ended up at SHR. "And somehow you landed in a way better situation. Do you ever hear that term when you fall in a pile of cow manure and come out smelling like roses? That's exactly what this is for me."

    The outgoing and happy-go-lucky Bowyer joins a stable of characters at SHR, which fields cars for Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick.

    "I've known about this for a while and really struggled to put my arms around what I think about it," Harvick, who won a Cup championship for SHR last season, posted on Instagram. "I've seen Tony as my driver, my boss and my friend, but in the end I want to see him smile and be happy in his life."

    The winner of the Indy Racing League title in 1997, Indiana native Stewart began a transition to NASCAR in 1998 as he competed part time in what is now the Xfinity Series. He moved to full-time competition with Joe Gibbs Racing in 1999.

    Stewart won two of his three titles driving for Gibbs, the first in 2002 and another in 2005, the second year of the Chase for the Sprint Cup era. He was given 50 percent ownership in Haas CNC Racing following the 2008 season, and the organization was renamed Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart won four races in his first season as a driver/owner and a title in his third season as a driver/owner. The championship was especially dramatic, as he followed a relatively mediocre regular season with five wins in the 2011 Chase, capped with a victory in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to tie second-place Carl Edwards for the title and winning the championship thanks to having more wins.

    Stewart called that 2011 championship "hands down" his greatest accomplishment. But two major NASCAR wins have eluded Stewart -- the Daytona 500 and the Southern 500 at Darlington.

    "I'm still going to be competitive as a track owner, as a series owner and as a dirt track owner, as well," Stewart said. "That fire is still there, and that's what makes this transition much easier for me is I'm not sitting here trying to figure out what I'm going to do and I'm not trying to find something to be competitive with.

    "It's already there; we've already been doing it. It's just a change in direction on the Cup side."

  • DISASTER HAS struck at the Winternationals, with Phil Lamattina suffering a nasty airborne crash during the second round of Top Fuel qualifying.

    Lamattina’s Top Fuel dragster snapped in half just beyond half-track, at an estimated 450km/h, sending the car into the air, with the rear of the car landing first, after the finish line.

    Safety crews were quickly on the scene, and Lamattina was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.

    There are reports that Lamattina is conscious and alert, was talking to medical staff, and is to undergo checks for back pain.

    The run started under troubled circumstances, with the starting lights inexplicably failing, holding both racers on the starting line for approximately 30-seconds.While Wayne Newby aborted the start, Lamattina followed through with the pass regardless.

    The second Lamattina Top Fuel Racing car, driven by younger brother John Lamattina has withdrawn from the round.

    The wreckage has been impounded by ANDRA. An investigation will be conducted in conjunction with the NHRA to discover the cause of the crash.

    The incident was a mirror image of his previous accident at Willowbank Raceway in 2007, at the same event – which he walked away from unscathed.

    The crash has put an end to Lamattina’s chance to go win back-to-back Top Fuel championships, with Damien Harris inheriting the 2015 title.

    Watch it here:

  • Just a few moments ago 2 cars heading in different directions made huge contact on track.

    A drift car going in one direction and a course car going the other direction through a blind corner equals disaster!!!

    Very lucky it wasn't a full head on!  Both cars suffered major damage.

    I'm sure CAMS and event organisers will have a full investigation as to how a course car was let out on a hot track.

    Images by Brian Van De Wakker

  • TEKNO Autosports’ Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb have traded in their Darrell Lea STIX Holden Commodore V8 Supercar for a Lucas Oil Sprintcar ahead of this weekend's Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint.
    Van Gisbergen and Webb got behind the wheel of Queensland champion Andrew Scheuerle’s brand new 900 horsepower #Q1 Ausdeck/Ian Boettcher Race Parts/Lucas Oil Sprintcar at Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway in Brisbane, fulfilling dreams of driving of Speedway’s most powerful cars.
    Both drivers agreed that the Sprintcar is a unique beast, with a greater power to weight ratio than a Formula 1 car, but took no time getting up to speed.
    “I grew up racing Speedway from when I was 10 till 15, and I've had a couple of drives of Sprintcars before but never anything this shiny or quick,” Van Gisbergen said.
    “I was a bit intimidated initially because it’s tight in the cockpit, the walls are close and Sprintcars have so much power, but I got more and more comfortable and the speed came with it.
    “When you sit in it, it doesn’t feel comfortable because you’re so upright and driving it like a bus, but when you get going the rush takes over. The power these cars have is just awesome.”
    While his team-mate had some prior experience, it was the first time Webb has strapped himself into one of the short-wheelbased winged monsters and he was amazed by its distinctive characteristics.
    Jonathon Webb was all smiles after his first taste of Sprintcars“They are so different to anything I’ve ever driven. Sprintcars are wild and out there, but a lot of fun. I definitely want to do it again.” Webb said.
    “It’s a bit overwhelming at first because everything is just so unnatural. I thought it was going to kill me because if you’re not careful it wants to tip you into the wall.
    “After I eased into, and stopped wobbling around the bottom it wasn’t as daunting as I first thought. The Lucas Oil boys gave us a brand new car, so I had to make sure I brought it back in one piece!”
    Scheuerle said the Holden V8 drivers could easily compete in dirt track racing’s premier category.
    “It was a great opportunity to show them what Speedway is all about. They both did a good job once they settled the nerves and got up to speed. Give them a few more laps and you’d throw them in a car for race night,” Scheurele said.
    “Shane is good in anything he sits in, but Jono surprised me at how quick he was despite never having driven a Sprintcar before.
    “I got a taste of V8 Supercars a couple of weeks ago when Shane took me around Queensland Raceway, so it was great to show them other categories Lucas Oil is involved in.”
    Van Gisbergen and Webb will get back into the Darrell Lea STIX Commodore at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend for Round 8 of the V8 Supercars Championship, where the flying Kiwi won twice last year.

  • Volkswagen is close to agree on a deal to buy Red Bull Racing's Formula One team. This is the claim of Eddie Jordan, current chief analyst for BBC F1 and former team principal of Jordan F1.

    It is likely this deal was discussed alot earlier this year within the Volkwagen group, and it is also believed that the only thing holding back the deal was a veto against the plan from former chairman Ferdinand Piech, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche.

    According to Jordan, this deal could see Volkswagen buy the austrian team, which is set for a split with it's long time partner and engine supplier Renault, and could lead to Volkswagen enter as a full manufacturer team with it's own engine. Jordan also states Volkswagen would not enter the grid until at least 2018, meanwhile possibly designing an engine fit for the current regulations. In the meantime, Red Bull will likely use Ferrari engines starting from next year.

    It is, however, still unclear what of their many brands the Volkswagen group would intend to use, even if Audi appears to be the current favourite. Other likely brands are Porsche and Lamborghini, as both has been in F1 at one point, with Porsche's TAG engine's powering McLaren to several wins in the 80's. Other brands include Skoda, Seat, and luxury brands Bentley and Bugatti.

  • I recently gave NASR Pty Ltd Trading As “Speedway Australia” the right of reply on a press release that Ray Solomon sent us regarding a range of issue’s pertaining to the management and operation of their company.

    I spoke to Robin Pearce and indicated that in fairness I would give Speedway Australia the right to explain and clarify any or all of the statements made by Mr Solomon.  I also told Mr Pearce that the same scrutiny and research would be applied to their statement as to Mr Solomon’s for accuracy.

    Speedway Australia made a statement but did not answer any questions!  They made a statement but did not send it to The Motorsport Channel!   They made a statement and inherently closed ranks and dodged all the questions.

    It’s been three weeks and still no direct reply so I’ve now withdrawn the opportunity for Speedway Australia to respond directly.

    I think we can all see what is really going on and the lack of communication further cements what many if not most already believe.