Pucky the Whale

Racing Of The United States Variety

1,008 posts in this topic


I like how much grassroots racing New Zealand has. Very cool. The NZ stock cars are a bit like the F1 stock cars in the U.K., yes?

Grand-Am DPs get a new look for 2012. Here are some renderings:

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Definitely an improvement, though how much will be reality is beyond me.

The text version of their plans: http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/grand-am-marshall-pruett-revised-rolex-series-set-for-2012/

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Yep, like the UK...though we have two succinct speedway factions (as it were)....we got the rednecks in the Stockcars, Superstocks and Ministocks, with Saloons and Productions Saloons (which are gutted Honda's and Toyotas and stuff with welded on steel bumpers) and demo-derby races, and then you have the high brow speedway guys with the Sprintcars (Outlaws), Midgets, TQ's and Motorbikes.

Oh and we have supermarket trolley racing too:

Legends.jpg

See....they're all racing to get to the park closest to the doors at the supermarket :P

(Historics race with these guys....or should I say, they race with us....biggest motorsport field in NZ...usually 60+ cars turn up for a race weekend, so they get split into two classes)

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:lol:

Are TQs three-quarter midgets? Just curious; that's what it means in the U.S. I've seen them a few times racing indoors (at a hockey rink).

In other news, it's a hat-trick for Jamie McMurray! Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, and now the Bank of America 500. What a season he's had. It's such a shame he missed the Chase. Regan Smith, driving for Furniture Row, scored P13, which is incredible for such a small team (based way out in Denver, too, so they don't have access to the talent and resources in North Carolina most teams utilize). Johnson now has 41 points on Hamlin; five championships in a row looks likely.

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Yes...TQ's are 3/4's.

You lot come over every year and try to beat us and the Aussies in a tri-nations test series....NZ usually kicks arse....except when Sleepy Trip used to race...then he kicked a##!

Edited by HandyNZL

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:wub:

Nice to see the Jimmy Clark car back on the track {Lotus #82) (it was parked up the very next day after he won and never touched again till its recent restoration by Classic Lotus), and interesting half wing on Andretti's #2 (bright orange one). Those were cars....hand made beauties....and more beautiful lines than the current crop, even with riveted panelwork.

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Villeneuve/Durango are now looking to NASCAR as the F1 budget never came together.

Someone might want to tell them that a Sprint Cup budget is often equivalent to an F1 budget, especially if they think a driver and team with no NASCAR experience can even qualify for any of the races.

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I found this interesting:

George Gillett owned Liverpool F.C., but John Henry purchased it, a move Gillett planned to take legal action against.

How does it relate? John Henry owns 50% of Roush Fenway Racing; George Gillett owns Richard Petty Motorsports. Roush Fenway Racing supplies cars and engines to Richard Petty Motorsports.

After the Liverpool incident, RFR decided to be a little less generous with RPM, who are now in major financial troubles. They've released star driver Kasey Kahne five races early, as well as a number of employees from his team who were going to leave with him at the end of the season (including crew chief Kenny Francis). The team may shut down entirely before season's end; they're also losing sponsor Budweiser at the end of the 2010, as well as the Menards funding that comes with Paul Menard, who moves to RCR for 2011 (the car, the 98, likely disappears). A third driver, Elliott Sadler, is leaving, and his team will likely dissolve as sponsors shift to the 9 to replaced Budweiser. Marcos Ambrose and current driver A.J. Allmendinger are signed to drive for RPM in 2011, if there is a 2011 for the team. They also expected to get a third car out for Trevor Bayne part-time, but Bayne, being a Roush driver, may now be loaned elsewhere after this dispute. So, if they run 2011, it's down from four cars to two, neither of which seem fully-funded yet.

What a mess. Odd how the Liverpool sale triggered it all.

EDIT: Looks like RFR repossessed all of RPM's equipment beyond their Martinsville cars (already in transit, obviously). They released the cars for next week (Talladega). Apparently they "owe money," which may be true, as they have loads of back-salary to pay Kahne, but there seems to be an element of RPM getting a little message for biting the hand that feeds them.

Edited by Eric

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Worth a mention:

Seven years ago today, Tony Renna passed away in a testing accident at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Renna started seven races in the IndyCar series for the smaller Kelley Racing team. In that time, he scored five top tens, including a fourth at Michigan (2002) and a seventh in his lone Indianapolis 500 (2003), driving for charitable organization "Cure Autism NOW." A gifted oval racer in what was then an all-oval series, Renna caught the attention of Chip Ganassi in his brief career, and signed to drive for the 2003 champions for 2004 and beyond. The year was to mark his first full-time season in IndyCar, and to do so with a top team was quite the testament to Renna's potential.

His Ganassi debut came October 22, 2003, following the conclusion of the 2003 IndyCar Series season. He and teammate Scott Dixon were to test tires at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Renna lost control of his car in turn three and died instantly in a vicious impact. He was 26 years old at the time.

trenna500.jpg

Tony_Renna_HometownNewsPhoto.jpg

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I doubt many people have the interest and the time to watch a nearly 60-minute ESPN 30 for 30 episode on Tim Richmond, but I'd recommend it. Not being alive in the 80s, it was especially interesting for me, as I've heard much about Richmond and seen some of his races on ESPN Classic, but beyond that, I was clueless. I remember reading a story where Richmond was running late to the driver's meeting and a kid stopped him for an autograph. He didn't have the time, so he picked the kid up and carried him to the driver intros to give him an autograph there (if you miss intros, you have to start dead last). He asked the kid who his favorite driver was, to which he responded "Dale Earnhardt." Richmond replied that Earnhardt was his favorite, too.

That's not what's intriguing about Richmond, though. He was an IndyCar-type in a time when NASCAR was heavily based in the deep South, heavily Christian, and good ol' boys-centric. He was extremely aggressive and extremely quick on the track, and off-the-track, well, he certainly had fun. He starred in a movie and, years later, Days of Thunder would be made based on him and his crew chief, Harry Hyde. Richmond's love beyond racing? Women.

I won't spoil the documentary for you (if you want Tim's full story before watching, or because you aren't going to watch, there's always in the Internet to tell one side of it), but it's not a happy ending, and NASCAR did not handle everything well. It's extremely well-done and worth the watch if you have the interest. Part one is below; six parts in total.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek0jdHEi4bQ

Enjoy if you so choose. :)

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J.R. Hildebrand's testing with Panther Racing. Perfect fit for the team and the sponsor. Hopefully he'll have Ed on his wing at the ovals. That would be one easy-to-like pairing.

Kanaan's officially out at Andretti. RHR re-upped two years; no sponsor yet.

People continue to ejaculate "news" that Rahal's going to that magical third Ganassi car that Chip himself promised would never happen. Meh.

Richard Petty Motorsports are going to collapse. George Gillett's trying to sell, but now's not the time to be buying NASCAR teams if you want to treat your money with respect and affection. Something about Richard buying the 43 and fielding Toyotas out of Michael Waltrip's shop. Marcos Ambrose back to V8s if he can't get a Ford in NASCAR, and A.J. Allmendinger and Best Buy and Stanley Tools to...do something. Messy.

Talladega this weekend. The key to the Chase. Nothing doesn't happen at Talladega. Not wrecking pretty much ensures a fifth title for Johnson, so we'll see if he can continue his playoff greatness. I doubt a Chaser wins, though, considering McMurray and Montoya aren't in the Chase. You best have an ECR engine to compete this weekend...

Or you could try to cheat. Whitney Motorsport, one of those small start-and-park teams, did. They hollowed the a-arms and filled them with ball bearings to make them significantly heavier. Old trick that's been done forever. But usually it's done well. Whitney's job was pretty shoddy; some ball bearings fell out during tech inspection and they got caught. Parts confiscated and such. Expect a big points and monetary fine to come.

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11 years.

----------------------

On a lighter note, I watched Talladega in Spanish today. A lesson in how to commentate a race:

(That was the April Dega race, not today's, for the record. Bowyer won over Harvick and Montoya).

My Spanish isn't particularly great (I met my three-year foreign language requirement last year so it's been a few months since I've spoken, read, or heard much Spanish), but I much prefer that to the English feed ESPN vomits out for us.

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864582008_zCLyn-S.jpg

indycar_dixon_win_midohio.jpg

Both on the same track on the same day! Grassroots open-wheel meets the big-time at the 1.058-mile oval in Loudon August 2011. 90 minutes from my house. I think I need to go. What an awesome pairing and great way to bring a New England tradition to the New England's newest race. Respecting the roots is the way to go if you want to bring in fans, develop popular talents, and remind everyone that just because the budgets have an extra zero or two doesn't mean these drivers and team members are any different from the ones we can meet with a $5 garage pass at the local bullring. NASCAR, take notice.

Speaking of good stuff, as you may or may not know:

USAC overall champion (midgets, sprints, and big midgets) gets a fully-funded Indy Lights ride for the ovals. That's the right way to get USAC and Indy back together; splitting into a separate series wasn't.

Chevrolet confirmed for engines and aerokit in 2012.

Lotus confirmed for engines (yes, engines) and aerokit in 2012.

Alfa Romeo likely for 2013.

Dallara will supply an aerokit and Honda an engine as well. Good news, all of it!

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Good to see the engine suppliers coming to the party in IRL...Honda should still have the upper hand however.

Aero kits will be an interesting thing...I think they'll be pretty clean (no winglets etc), and simple. Sigh...such a long time to wait...good job our season has just kicked off in the colonies :D

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Well, Ilmor are building the Chevrolet engines, which will power Penske. I don't think they're at a huge disadvantage, even if they have a little less time than Honda. Lotus is being built by Cosworth, so they might turn out alright, too, though their "main team" will be KV, which is a questionable choice. Red Target Loti would have made me happy, and Dario, too.

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Never underestimate Ilmor. Fantastic engineering firm.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Ilmor already building the "Honda" engine?

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Ilmor build and lease the current Honda engine, but the next generation will be a works effort I believe.

Though they could build two different engines if they really wanted to. Cosworth's building the Lotus for 2012, and may build a different one for Alfa, albeit for 2013.

I do hope someone builds an I4. I'll take three 2.4L V6s, which we have now, but with the rules so open, I'd hate to see someone not try to take advantage. If anyone, it would be Mazda beefing up their AER-built (formerly Judd; wonder if they'll partner with anyone) ALMS I4 and making it run on E85 Ethanol (currently it uses isobutanol).

Which is another thing to note; E98 is dead and E85 is on for 2012. I wish they'd do something different or, better yet, let manufactures decide, but whatever. They have big-time sponsorships from Sunoco and Apex-Brasil, so I understand the reasoning for using that stuff (whether it will be corn like Sunoco or sugarcane like Apex is beyond me; and Chevrolet use the more logical cellulosic Ethanol in their Corvettes, so now we have a big fight).

Of note, Simona de Silvestro attended the Chevrolet announcement. I wonder if that means anything...

With Chevrolet's return comes Robby Gordon, NASCAR, off-road, CART, and sports car ace. He's certainly entertaining (see below) and nearly a champion of the 500, though getting on in years. He'll run in 2011 and 2012 Indy-only; obviously with Honda next season and Chevrolet in the future.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrSW8S7Gj2Q&feature=related

And then there's a rumor Tony Stewart might be a car owner in 2012 with Chevrolet. I wonder if he'd hire F1 rejects or sprint car drivers...:P

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...or the F1 rejects that went to NASCAR and are now NASCAR rejects?

Team Reject then?

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...or the F1 rejects that went to NASCAR and are now NASCAR rejects?

Team Reject then?

If the rumors about Scott Speed and Red Bull to IndyCar are true...

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Poor guy. He actually believes he can drive. It's quite sad really. At least his mother should tell him the truth.

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Penske has Shell V-Power, Meijer, IZOD, and AAA lined up to join Verizon Wireless as major sponsors of their IndyCar squad. A lot of moaning about "waaaah rich getting richer," but when the rich get richer, the poor get richer, too, albeit slower. It's good for the sport to have heavily sponsored cars winning races. Other companies will see that visibility, and other companies will be more apt to get involved if their competitors or brands they trust/have relations with do. Why that's beyond everyone in Indy is beyond me.

More good news: Hinchcliffe and Servià tested with Newman/Haas. Not dead yet, I see. Hinchcliffe is a great personality, and is apparently close to signing a sponsorship deal with a major Canadian corporation. It's about time to get Canada back in the game. Having a fat, old, whiny Paul Tracy failing to qualify isn't going to sell the sport there. When Morad and Wickens don't get to F1, I hope they come here. Servià was probably just there to help Hinchcliffe adjust, but if he could get the seat, I'd be elated. He's so much better than he gets credit for. Does he win? No. But he'll finish fifth every damn race, and a team like Newman/Haas that's facing some uncertainty could use that at the very least.

Good days ahead for the Indy...

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November issue of Motorsport magazine has a bit of a negative write up on Indy. Makes sense too, sadly. Though I feel it was written before the new engine manufacturers were announced.

I hope it sticks around...personally I prefer it to GP2. GP2 still feels like a bunch of Sunday amateurs racing to me.

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I hope it sticks around...personally I prefer it to GP2. GP2 still feels like a bunch of Sunday amateurs racing to me.

That's because the guys who race in that are very young and extremely inexperienced. They do their learning in the public eye.

Anyway, as much as I've knocked Indycar in the past it is pleasing to hear lots of great news after the championship has gone through some tough times. Hopefully it'll once again become a big force in the world of racing.

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