Scott Dixon wins the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

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.

Lewis Hamilton Supreme in Hot Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton drove to a dominant victory in Sunday’s 2015 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, but Mcrcedes teammate Nico Rosberg ultimately fell prey to Kimi Raikkonen after a brake issue and a race-long battle with Ferrari.

A clever switch of strategy put Raikkonen on the faster soft tires for his final stint, during which he was able to haul in the medium-tired Rosberg, before passing the German, who like Hamilton had brake issues, on the penultimate lap.

Raikkonen’s teammate, Sebastian Vettel, had been in contention for second until a mid-race error forced to him to make an unscheduled pit stop for a new nose and he ultimately came home fifth, just losing out to Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.

Both Red Bulls scored points, with Daniel Ricciardo sixth and Daniil Kvyat ninth, though the former’s car expired as he crossed the finish line. Between them were Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and Force India’s Sergio Perez.

Williams’ Felipe Massa took 10th, having charged through the field after a problem on the grid forced him to start from the pit lane.

McLaren-Honda’s Fernando Alonso scored his best result of the season in 11th, narrowly missing the team’s first points.

Highline Magazine

Born from a desire to have an outlet for 30 years’ worth of local, interstate and International speedway photographs, collaborators Brett Swanson and Andy Ticehurst created the free digital speedway magazine “Highline Magazine”.

“I’ve been photographing race cars and speedway for over 30 years and one day I said to Andy, ‘mate I’ve got 10’s of thousands of photos that have mostly never been published’. Why don’t we do something along the lines of a free pictorial online magazine,” Explained Swanson, who edits the magazine and has an extensive history of both print magazine and online editorship and contribution.

Ticehurst, amongst other things, has a graphic arts background and a long history in the sport at various levels also. “Due to a lack of support from the Australian Late Model segment, we’d stopped producing our Speed Illustrated Late Model magazine so the time was right to do something else,” continued Ticehurst. “With my background in the information technology industry and the knowledge and experience of how hard and expensive it is to produce a print magazine, I knew that this was the only format to use.”

The pair had previously collaborated on print magazine Racer Australia and digital/online magazines Speed Illustrated and Speed Illustrated Late Model Style to name a few as well as hosting the internet radio program RaceRadio.com.au which ran for over four years And so Highline Magazine was born.

Issue 1 was a preview of the 2014 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic and other stories/profiles and was followed up in issue 2 by a pictorial review of the event. With no set time frame for publication, magazines are published on an irregular basis depending on the time of the season and the events that are on and whether the duo can find the time to co-ordinate the articles, reports and photos. Make no mistake though, this is a professionally written and laid out magazine

Issue 6, the latest issue, covers the V8 Dirt Modified Australian Championship, The Australian Speedcar Title, the 2015 Classic, short Circuit racing, news and views and Tony Stewarts extraordinary efforts to save the All Star Circuit of Champions and along with it the 410 Sprintcar scene in Ohio, USA.

All issues of Highline Magazine can be found on www.issuu.com/piratemedia or on our facebook page. Why not have a look, after all it’s totally free.

Story ideas, media releases, driver profiles or any other contributions are welcome and can be forwarded to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can like us on facebook or follow us on Issuu.com to get automatic notification of future issues.

Marquez to start on pole in Argentina

World champion Marc Marquez will start the Grand Prix of Argentina from pole position following a stunning display in qualifying.

The Honda rider once again showed his class at the Termas Rio Hondo circuit by posting a session best time of 1:37.802s, which proved to be more than 0.5s quicker than his nearest rival.

Such was Marquez’s dominance, the 22-year-old had time to switch bikes during the session before going on to increase his pole position margin.

The battle for second proved to be hard fought with Suzuki’s Aleix Espargaro emerging on top just three events into the Japanese manufacturer’s return to grand prix motorcycle racing.

Second on the grid confirmed Espargaro and Suzuki’s pace after the Spaniard had topped the times in both practice sessions on Friday.

Ducati’s Andrea Iannone secured the final place on the front row of the grid as he pipped LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow by the slimmest of margins.

It proved to be a difficult session for Yamaha with two-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo fifth, while team-mate Valentino Rossi could only manage eighth, behind the Ducati’s of Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.

Meanwhile, Suzuki’s sister bike of Maverick Vinales and Tech 3 Yamaha rounded out the top 10.

Dani Pedrosa’s replacement Hiroshi Aoyama was a lowly 15th on the factory Honda.

Australia’s Jack Miller will start from 21st on the grid aboard the Open class LCR Honda.

Kenseth wins rain affected Food City 500

Matt Kenseth has come through to score his first win of the season in a rain-marred Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The pole-sitter survived rain delays, a string of cautions and a green-white-chequered finish in a race that lasted over nine hours.

Kenseth led just 47 laps of 500, but importantly missed a string of late race crashes to score his first win since September 2013.

Even as the field came to the scheduled 500 laps the caution was out. Officials threw the red flag in an effort to finish under green. Once the track was dry, Kenseth won the shootout in a race that started 90 minutes late and endured a four-hour delay after the first 22 laps.

Despite being involved in a number of incidents, Jimmie Johnson finished second, with Jeff Gordon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Newman completing the top five.

Bristol took its toll on many drivers, most of whom got involved in other people’s accidents, including championship leader Kevin Harvick who slammed into David Ragan after he was caught-up in one of Johnson’s incidents.

Another to fall foul of another driver’s crash was Joey Logano, who collided with Penske team-mate Brad Keselowski who tagged the wall just 22 laps into the race.

In a race that had so many turns and twists, it also featured a mid-race driver substitution when Denny Hamlin suffered neck spasms during the first stint. During the first rain stoppage the team decided to put 18-year-old rookie Erik Jones into the car. He completed the race in 26th position and the points earned will go to Hamlin.

RESULTS: Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer 

 

POS. CAR # DRIVER MAN STARTING POS. LAPS LAPS LED FINAL STATUS POINTS BONUS
1 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 1 511 47 Running 47 4
2 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 28 511 0 Running 42 0
3 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 23 511 0 Running 41 0
4 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 25 511 0 Running 40 0
5 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 18 511 0 Running 39 0
6 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 21 511 0 Running 38 0
7 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 14 511 90 Running 38 1
8 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 15 511 0 Running 36 0
9 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 26 511 0 Running 35 0
10 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 12 511 0 Running 34 0
11 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 9 511 0 Running 33 0
12 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 37 511 0 Running 32 0
13 43 Aric Almirola Ford 30 511 0 Running 31 0
14 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 10 510 0 Running 30 0
15 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 7 510 98 Running 30 1
16 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 13 509 0 Running 28 0
17 55 Brett Moffitt Toyota 24 509 0 Running 27 0
18 38 David Gilliland Ford 32 508 0 Running 26 0
19 9 Sam Hornish Jr Ford 39 508 0 Running 25 0
20 7 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 40 508 0 Running 24 0
21 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota 22 508 0 Running 23 0
22 95 Michael McDowell Ford 19 507 0 Running 22 0
23 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet 36 507 0 Running 21 0
24 19 Carl Edwards Toyota 3 507 86 Running 21 1
25 34 Chris Buescher Ford 38 505 0 Running 0 0
26 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 5 505 0 Running 18 0
27 35 Cole Whitt Ford 42 504 0 Running 17 0
28 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 31 504 0 Running 16 0
29 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 16 504 0 Running 15 0
30 16 Greg Biffle Ford 33 504 6 Running 15 1
31 32 Mike Bliss Ford 41 502 0 Running 0 0
32 23 J.J. Yeley Toyota 29 496 0 Running 0 0
33 33 Alex Kennedy Chevrolet 43 490 0 Running 11 0
34 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 20 489 0 Accident 10 0
35 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 2 489 0 Running 9 0
36 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 27 487 0 Accident 8 0
37 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 8 482 0 Accident 7 0
38 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 4 468 184 Running 8 2
39 98 Josh Wise Ford 35 466 0 Accident 5 0
40 22 Joey Logano Ford 6 452 0 Running 4 0
41 18 David Ragan Toyota 11 435 0 Running 3 0
42 26 Jeb Burton Toyota 34 416 0 Accident 2 0
43 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 17 288 0 Accident 0 0

 

 

 

STANDINGS

 

POS DRIVER POINTS BEHIND STARTS WINS TOP 5 TOP 10 DNF
1 Kevin Harvick 314 Leader 8 2 6 7 0
2 Joey Logano 284 -30 8 1 4 7 0
3 Martin Truex Jr 281 -33 8 0 1 7 0
4 Jimmie Johnson 258 -56 8 2 4 5 0
5 Brad Keselowski 255 -59 8 1 3 6 1
6 Dale Earnhardt Jr 241 -73 8 0 4 5 1
7 Kasey Kahne 237 -77 8 0 1 3 1
8 Matt Kenseth 236 -78 8 1 3 4 0
9 Jeff Gordon 227 -87 8 0 1 5 1
10 Aric Almirola 226 -88 8 0 0 0 0
11 Denny Hamlin 223 -91 8 1 3 3 0
12 Jamie McMurray 223 -91 8 0 1 3 1
13 Danica Patrick 211 -103 8 0 0 2 0
14 Paul Menard 210 -104 8 0 1 1 1
15 Carl Edwards 203 -111 8 0 0 1 0
16 Ryan Newman 201 -113 8 0 4 5 0
17 Clint Bowyer 200 -114 8 0 0 1 0
18 David Ragan 197 -117 8 0 1 1 0
19 Casey Mears 186 -128 8 0 0 1 1
20 Greg Biffle 180 -134 8 0 0 1 0
21 Austin Dillon 177 -137 8 0 0 1 1
22 Kurt Busch 174 -140 5 0 2 2 0
23 Kyle Larson 173 -141 7 0 0 3 1
24 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 172 -142 8 0 1 1 1
25 AJ Allmendinger 171 -143 8 0 0 2 2
26 David Gilliland 162 -152 8 0 0 0 0
27 Trevor Bayne 154 -160 8 0 0 0 0
28 Tony Stewart 145 -169 8 0 0 1 2
29 Justin Allgaier 145 -169 8 0 0 1 2
30 Brett Moffitt 136 -178 7 0 0 1 0
31 Sam Hornish Jr 135 -179 8 0 0 0 0
32 Cole Whitt 128 -186 8 0 0 0 1
33 Alex Bowman 91 -223 7 0 0 0 1
34 Michael Annett 90 -224 8 0 0 0 1
35 Michael McDowell 79 -235 5 0 0 0 0
36 Josh Wise 63 -251 7 0 0 0 1
37 Matt DiBenedetto 57 -257 5 0 0 0 0
38 Jeb Burton 45 -269 6 0 0 0 1
39 Alex Kennedy 35 -279 4 0 0 0 0
40 Brian Vickers 32 -282 2 0 0 0 0
41 Bobby Labonte 20 -294 1 0 0 0 0
42 Michael Waltrip 18 -296 1 0 0 0 0
43 Reed Sorenson 12 -302 1 0 0 0 0
44 Mike Wallace 8 -306 1 0 0 0 0
45 Ron Hornaday Jr 2 -312 1 0 0 0 1
46 Brian Scott 0 -314 2 0 0 0 0
47 Regan Smith 0 -314 4 0 0 0 0
48 Matt Crafton 0 -314 1 0 0 0 0
49 Ryan Blaney 0 -314 3 0 0 0 2
50 Johnny Sauter 0 -314 1 0 0 0 0
51 Chris Buescher 0 -314 4 0 0 0 0
52 Landon Cassill 0 -314 8 0 0 0 3
53 J.J. Yeley 0 -314 8 0 0 0 1
54 Brendan Gaughan 0 -314 4 0 0 0 0
55 Ty Dillon 0 -314 1 0 0 0 0
56 Mike Bliss 0 -314 6 0 0 0 0
57 Joe Nemechek 0 -314 1 0 0 0 0
58 Chase Elliott 0 -314 1 0 0 0 0
59 Travis Kvapil 0 -314 0 0 0 0 0
60 Tanner Berryhill 0 -314 0 0 0 0 0
61 Justin Marks 0 -314 0 0 0 0 0

Erebus enlists Campbell Little

Highly respected engineer Campbell Little has joined Erebus Motorsport as an exclusive consultant to the V8 Supercars program for the remainder of this year's Championship as the team looks to further enhance its overall performance.

In a boost for the team ahead of the third round of the Championship in Perth in early May, Little will be charged with providing support and oversight to the teams sporting and technical operations and will work closely with existing Team Manager Ben Croke, Technical Director Wes McDougall and General Manager - Motorsport Barry Ryan.

Little brings a wealth of experience to the team having celebrated Championship and Bathurst success with various V8 Supercars teams as well internationally in other motorsport categories.

Little will join Erebus Motorsport on a consultancy basis as he also manages other commitments within the sport on international and domestic levels.

"I'm really excited to be working with Erebus and the prospect of helping the team’s continued growth and improvement,'' said Little.

"It's a team that boasts some great people, resources and lots of potential.

"All the right ingredients are here, it’s all about making sure we get the best out of everything and everyone to ensure the team is capable of competing consistently at the highest level.’’

In addition to the employment of Little, Melbourne-based Ryan will take on an enhanced operations role with the V8 Supercars side of the business in addition to his chief focus with the Erebus GT, V8 Ute and Academy operations.

Erebus Motorsport CEO Ryan Maddison welcomed Little to the fold and said his years of expertise would perfectly complement the team’s evolution and existing senior managers in Croke, McDougall and Ryan.

“As a team we have undergone some key personnel changes since our first year in V8 Supercars so the introduction of Campbell will further complement the more than capable structure we already have in place,” said Maddison.

“Barry too has had many years of experience in all different categories so his enhanced involvement with the V8 operation can only have a positive impact on the team.

“We have a very passionate team owner in Betty and key personnel that want to make sure that we are operating as a team in the most optimal way.

“With the gains we have made already this year following an extensive period of development, we are excited about what the remainder of the year will bring.’’

Erebus Motorsport has had a tough start to the 2015 season, however a top 10 finish at the Clipsal 500 was positive for rookie Ash Walsh, as were two top four qualifyings and a top 10 race finish for Will Davison at the last event in Tasmania.