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Pucky the Whale

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Rolex 24 entry list is out.

DP driver highlights (in order of the number vehicle they are in) include:
[list][*]#01 Joey Hand (American Le Mans)[*]#01 Graham Rahal (INDYCAR)[*]#02 Scott Dixon (INDYCAR)[*]#02 Dario Franchitti (INDYCAR)[*]#02 Jamie McMurray (NASCAR)[*]#02 Juan Pablo Montoya (NASCAR)[*]#6 A.J. Allmendinger (NASCAR)[*]#6 Michael McDowell (NASCAR)[*]#6 Justin Wilson (INDYCAR)[*]#8 Colin Braun (NASCAR)[*]#9 Christian Fittipaldi (he's done everything)[*]#9 Max Papis (NASCAR)[*]#10 Ryan Briscoe (INDYCAR)[*]#23 Mark Blundell (F1)[*]#23 Martin Brundel (F1)[*]#45 Jörg Bergmeister (American Le Mans)[*]#45 Patrick Long (American Le Mans)[*]#45 Seth Neiman (American Le Mans)[*]#45 Johannes van Overbeek (American Le Mans)[*]#55 Luis Diaz (American Le Mans)[*]#76 Nicolas Minassian (Le Mans)[*]#90 Sascha Maassen (Porsche)[*]#95 Ryan Hunter-Reay (INDYCAR)[*]#95 Raphael Matos (INDYCAR)[*]#95 Richard Westbrook (American Le Mans)[*]#99 Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR)[/list]GT driver highlights include:
[list][*]#00 Emmanuel Collard (Le Mans)[*]#00 Davy Jones (he's done everything)[*]#07 Oliver Gavin (American Le Mans)[*]#4 Kenny Wallace (NASCAR)[*]#17 Nick Tandy (F3)[*]#22 Darryl O'Young (WTCC)[*]#36 Justin Marks (NASCAR)[*]#40 Patrick Dempsey (Gray's Anatomy)[*]#44 Richard Lietz (Le Mans)[*]#47 Jeffrey Earnhardt (NASCAR)[*]#48 Bryan Sellers (American Le Mans)[*]#54 Jeroen Bleekemolen (American Le Mans)[*]#54 Tim Pappas (American Le Mans)[*]#54 Patrick Pilet (Le Mans)[*]#57 Jan Magnussen (American Le Mans)[*]#59 Marc Lieb (Le Mans)[*]#63 David Murry (American Le Mans)[*]#66 Dominik Farnbacher (American Le Mans)[*]#66 Tim George, Jr. (NASCAR)[*]#66 Lucas Luhr (Le Mans)[*]#67 Brendan Gaughan (NASCAR)[*]#88 Bill Lester (NASCAR)[*]#94 Boris Said (NASCAR)[/list][url=""]Full list here[/url]

It should be an awesome race given that entry list. I like Flying Lizard's chances in their first ever Daytona Prototype race, but those Ganassi lineups and cars are incredibly strong. Anything can happen in 24 hours, though.

Jacques Villeneuve is expected to have a full-time NASCAR Cup ride next year, likely the 26. He'd replace Patrick Carpentier, another French-Canadian open-wheeler, if the rumors are true.

Trevor Bayne is official at Wood Brothers Racing for 2011. Wood Brothers, for a fun fact, fielded the pit crew that serviced Jim Clark's Lotus at the Indy 500. Bill Elliott moves to the 09 with Phoenix Racing.

And for something straight out of [i]Talladega Nights[/i], a man by the name of Bobby Dale Earnhardt who likes taking Myspace photos of himself with his late 80s Camaro will be entering the ARCA race at Daytona. His past experience? Lawn-mower racing. Sounds like a typical "hey y'all, hold ma beer, I'ma show you sumthin reel gud, I'ma drive this here hot rod at 200 miles an hour at Daytona, ain't nobody gon' see nothin' better than this! Yeeehaw!" moment. No doubt his cousin/wife is thrilled by this news and will be wearing her best attire to the race (the same one she puts on for an afternoon out at [url=""]Walmart[/url]).

On a serious note, though, between Bobby Dale Earnhardt and Milka Duno, I really hope no one gets hurt. ARCA has no standards and the cars are just old Cup cars, so it's fast, and dangerous. How you can let clowns like that run at Daytona is beyond all comprehension.

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I like how you put Grays Anatomy for Patrick Dempsey...very satirical there can have a :thbup: for that one. When is the race? Should be on one of our sport channels a few days later...

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Race is next weekend. Maybe streaming on for all 24 hours. I'd have to check on that, though.

Oh, and BTW, good article on the Wood Bro's in last months MotorSport magazine.

MotorSport is a great magazine. One of the only ones not made irrelevant by the Internet, I think. I always feel smarter after reading it.

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Should be mandatory reading for anyone calling themselves a Formula 1 fan...indeed a fan of motorsport, period.

Its a good mix of the new with the old, and the Lunch With articles are always a great read.

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Should be mandatory reading for anyone calling themselves a Formula 1 fan...indeed a fan of motorsport, period.

Its a good mix of the new with the old, and the Lunch With articles are always a great read.

I've been an avid reader for over 50 years. My Dad got it on subscription. Excellent.

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Racing returns for the first two rounds of the 2011 motorsport season this weekend, with the Toyota All-Star Showdown and Rolex 24.

49 cars are entered for the All-Star Showdown including:

  • Darrell Wallace, Jr., one of the most promising young drivers in the nation right now, having won his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (think British Formula 3) race at age 16 in his first start and taking another on the way to P3 in the standings. Not to mention he's one of the only African-American competitors to win a NASCAR race.
  • Andrew Ranger, a man who used to keep teammate Lewis Hamilton honest in junior formula, attracting Flavio's attention before heading to Champ Car and now NASCAR.
  • Chad Boat, son of Billy Boat.
  • Travis Pastrana, making his stock car debut after success in motocross and rally.

Simona de Silvestro has Entergy funding for three seasons (really? You're going to bury your promising career at HVM for three years? She's caught the attention of all the big INDYCAR owners and even had offers for Renault and Sauber tests this winter and she's signed a long-term deal at one of the worst teams in the sport? Who is her manager? One year to prove herself a bit more would have been best...). The livery needs work:


You can't read the sidepods (Nuclear Clean Air Energy). You can't read the front wings (Entergy). You can barely read the number (78). Other than that it's wonderful. I guess Simona's manager does graphic design on the side...

But I am glad Simona has funding and a ride for 2011. She has the talent and she's one of the nicest people in the sport. It's impossible to root against her, Michael Cannon, and Keith Wiggins. Good people.

The big news? Tony Stewart's temper.

A few weeks ago, Stewart was a sore loser at a sprint car race in Australia, and decided to assault the track owner because he didn't like his p**s-poor results the track surface. Details have emerged, however, that Stewart's PR guys had hid for a while. Allegedly, Stewart hit Brett Morris with his helmet (if you're going to fight, at least be a man about it and don't use your helmet), and got a ride in a police car. He was held in a cell, told to reflect on the benefits of controlling his temper (and losing weight), questioned, and released. Turns out, though, Morris has a broken eye socket and will get surgery next week. There's a possibility he will press charges against Stewart (he should), and a bigger possibility he just wants his fifteen minutes of fame by creating a fake chance that he'll press charges. It's time Stewart got what's been coming to him for years. You don't hit someone in the face with your helmet. That's just stupid.

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NASCAR's new points system:

1. 43

2. 42

3. 41

4. 40

5. 39

6. 38

7. 37

8. 36

9. 35

10. 34


43. 1

1 point for leading a lap, 1 point for leading the most laps, and 3 points for winning the race. So, the winner is guaranteed 47 (43 + 3 for winning + 1 for leading the last lap), meaning a minimum gain of 3 points (42 + 1 for leading + 1 for leading most) and a maximum of 6 (48-42) for the race winner over second.

The Chase will include 12 drivers. The top 10 in points after 26, plus the two with the most number of wins not already qualified. No eliminations. Points reset at 2000. Not sure if they will add bonus points for number of race wins like they did in the past.

Drivers can only run for the title in one series out of the three national tours. If a Nationwide race finishes like:

1. Kyle Busch

2. Carl Edwards

3. Brad Keselowski

4. Kevin Harvick

5. Justin Allgaier

The top four receive 0 points. Allgaier still receives fifth place points. If a Cup driver leads the most laps, the two bonus points disappear forever and ever (rather than going to the Nationwide-only driver that led the most).

I like these changes.

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Earlier, I mentioned Bobby Dale Earnhardt. Oddly enough, he's actually Dale's first grandson (Kerry's son and Jeffrey's brother). You'd really think that, being in a family filled with racers, one of them would have the sense to put their hand on his shoulder and say "hey, maybe you should try running a late model before you hit Daytona." Instead, his family's saying that "he's got that fire" and that he "reminds them of Dale" because he started 12th and finished 3rd in a lawnmower race once. Yikes.

However, I do respect him just a bit because he cooks at KFC rather than living off his family's money. Still, Daytona's not for you, son...

On NASCAR's new points system: you must be top 20 in points to make the Chase. So we won't be seeing a guy enter three races, win them all, and then make the Chase. However, we could see a guy like Ambrose benefit from this; if he can break 20th in points in his new ride and win both road course races in the process, he may end up in the Chase.

Damn Shirl...I is confused when we gets to have our moonshine?

Dad gurnit, Craaaaaaaayyyyyg, y'all's ain't sposta tell 'em bout no moonshine! I can't barely outrun maself no police officer in that there pick-em-up truck.

Contender for FUGLY of the year

Well, at least Team Penske are putting out some good ones.



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Ah, Kenny Bräck. Reminds me of the CART era I actually did get to see...

But enough with the past. The new season has begun! Rolex 24 lineups for DP and GT set with Porsches on pole in both classes. The race begins tomorrow at 3 PM GMT -5. SPEED won't be streaming it online, but you can use the usual suspects to get a live stream, I assume. I'll try to link to a stream when I can.

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Rolex 24 has about two and a half hours to go from time of this post (12:56 PM GMT -5). You can watch it live here. Brundle/Blundell/Patterson/Brown have a shot it at; P3 on the lead lap. They've run a solid race all night. The Ganassi 02 (the all-star car featuring Montoya, McMurray, Dixon, and Franchitti, as well as race engineer Mike Hull) leads, four DPs on the lad lap. Enjoy.

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Notes from Daytona below:

The Rolex 24 Safety Cars of Daytona didn't quite live up to the name, as one of those caution periods lasted a whopping 2 hours and 49 minutes. No, that wasn't a record, either. They missed that mark by 3 minutes, set in 2004 due to torrential rains. They don't red flag timed races in Grand-Am, so weather can be a bit of an issue (fog today). I hope they opened the Budweiser Party Porch to anyone around during those 169 minutes of pure hell.

Everyone will make a big deal about Scott Pruett racking up another one, but really, this one's on Joey Hand of ALMS and BMW fame. He killed it. They did not drive a smart race and had some tough breaks, but Hand's stint made up for all of that. One must hand it to him. Hehehe.

Chip Ganassi is American motorsport and this win will only be the start of another great year from his team. I would have liked to have seen Montoya in the 02, though, for the final stint. Dixon was fine, no doubt, but Juan Pablo was on a tear, playing some ice hockey and checking the other cars out of his way at times. No surprise they needed a nose change, and I wonder if that's why they benched Juan when he typically would have been the closer. Shame the team of drivers I don't like had to beat the team of drivers I do like. ;)

Action Express have scored a podium in every single Rolex 24 they've run with their Porsche Cayenne 8-cylinder engine which once again bested the factory 6. This time it was the team of NASCAR rejects that got them there, with Christian Fittipaldi and Max Papis (lost out as drivers) as well as J.C. France (lost out at inheriting the CEO position) joining Terry Borcheller and João Barbosa. A good run for them, and what a feel-good story to have J.C. France, fresh off the city his family essentially owns dropping charges for serious traffic violations (street racing) and drug possession (cocaine and marijuana, if I recall correctly), return to glory. Two words for him and the city of Daytona: get bent. :rolleyes:

Keep Walking says the sidepods of Zak Brown's United Autosports Ford-Riley, and Brundle will be doing plenty of that with the BBC later this year. And he's certainly in good enough shape to do the grid walk and then hustle up to the booth; he gave it a good run to fourth, though Blundell and Patterson were a bit more impressive. Nice run by all of them, though. Glad they entered. Brundle even had some mix-ups with his teammates on track. Not afraid to go for it at times, but ultimately, they drove the smartest race. Not the fastest car by any means, but they kept it clean the entire time and out-witted everyone else. Had it not been for the number of cautions helping guys get their laps back, I think they may well have won.

Further down the lone Lola came sixth, with the help of Nic Minassian, who thoroughly enjoyed his time with the DPs, though mentioned they have no similarities whatsoever to LMPs. Never would have guessed. ;)

Flying Lizard's Porsche-Riley took a tumble after being ridiculously faster than everyone else, gaining half-a-second per lap. If only Patrick Long had beaten Scott Speed in the Red Bull Driver Search. It had to be the biggest "what if" for American F1 fans prior to "what if US F1 wasn't run by Ken Anderson."

The number 90 seemed great for drama. Throwing debris everywhere twice (once to set up a restart with one lap left) and spinning in front of the leaders. Jim France will mail the check later tonight.

Shifting to GTs, I'm not an engine noise person but there is nothing cooler than the Mazda RX-8 on-board going through the oval portion of the course.

From last to first with a lap to spare, TRG win another one, thanks to a solid lineup Andy Lally, Wolf Henzler, Spencer Pumpelly, NASCAR's Brendan Gaughan, and team owner Steven Bertheau.

Patrick Dempsey scored his first podium at Daytona in the #40 RX-8. Things keep looking up for him and his team, having already taken their first class win and now scoring a great finish in the big one.

Move of the race has to go to Robin Lidell for taking two cars in one corner for the GT class lead early in the race. Awesome.

Away from the racing, a shout-out is deserved for SPEED providing 14 hours of coverage and assembling an all-star commentary lineup. Leigh Diffey, Calvin Fish, Dorsey Schroeder, Bob Varsha, and David Hobbs are all great to listen to and really add something to the race.

To watch the race go here.

Overall, a solid start to the 2011 racing season.

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Two drivers tested for Dale Coyne recently at Sebring: Indy Lights driver Martin Plowman and four-time INDYCAR champion Sébastien Bourdais.

Apparently, Plowman will drive the 19 car full-time while Bourdais runs the road and street courses with Milka Duno in for the ovals. Talk about a contrast of driving abilities! For the record, Bourdais turned the fastest laps of 2011 at Sebring over the seven other drivers there.

And for something confirmed, Mike Conway will take over Tony Kanaan's seat at Andretti Autosport. Looks like Andy Soucek's funding fell through after his seat-fitting. That one came out of nowhere. Sponsors TBA later. This leaves the Dreyer & Reinbold #24 open, of course; I hope that's Wheldon's but I imagine it will be more of a rotation of drivers like Beatriz.

For final news, some washed up, overweight, moany Canadian is likely to land in the second Conquest car playing second fiddle to Baguette. Couldn't think of anyone else who deserves the worst ride on the grid more than Paul! :D

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NASCAR have postponed fuel injection until 2012, but they have found an ECU supplier. They gave NASCAR Steve Hallam and Juan Pablo Montoya, and now they're fully involved in the sport: McLaren. Yep, that one.

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Daytona's done, back to this thread we go.

Randy Bernard made an announcement today. The INDYCAR final will be in Las Vegas on the 1.5-mile oval. IZOD's giving away 80k free tickets to 80k people who buy tickets to any other IZOD INDYCAR event and selling 44k others. Cool deal.

But get this one. It gets better, because Randy Bernard's a go-big-or-go-home kind of guy and I love him for that. A true promoter's promoter, a cowboy who isn't afraid of Brian and Bernie. Pretty cool guy. He's putting up $5,000,000 to any non-Indy guy (NASCAR, F1 - though they're in Korea that day, sports cars, sprint cars, bikes, lawnmowers, me) who can step in and win the race. It's mostly aimed at NASCAR...a bit of a "so you think you have the 43 best drivers in America, eh? Prove it." taunt after years of Indy guys pooping the bed in stockers.

Best part of the idea? There will be infinite hype and the only guys that bite will be Big Hits of the 90s collecting Social Security checks, meaning Randy never has to write his check.

Cool idea, though.

In other news, DHL will sponsor Ryan Hunter-Reay for some of the season, and Sun Drop in the other races. What does DHL know about the European audience we don't? DHL have no North American operations. Sun Drop, on the other hand, have no operations outside of the Southeast, which is probably on par with Europe in INDYCAR viewership. Weird, but hey, it's funding, and the Sun Drop car will look cool.

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may be part-time in the 2...still a bit sloppy right now.

Some guys interested in the $5,000,000:

John Andretti

Patrick Carpentier

Robby Gordon

Brad Keselowski

Parker Kligerman

Scott Speed

Al Unser, Jr.

Jimmy Vasser

Some guys thinking about it:

Michael Andretti

Jeff Gordon

Eligibility rules still need to be released, but for now, I was right about big hits of the 90s. And then there's Scott Speed...big hits into the tire barriers. Zing.

And some NASCAR:

Most valuable teams in NASCAR are...

1. Hendrick Motorsports ($350m) (2010 profit: $18.2m)

2. Roush Fenway Racing ($226m) (2010 profit: $8.6m)

3. Richard Childress Racing ($158m) (2010 profit: $5.9m)

4. Joe Gibbs Racing ($152m) (2010 profit: $8.7m)

5. Team Penske ($100m) (2010 profit: $4.5m)

6. Stewart-Haas Racing ($95m) (2010 profit: $5.9m)

7. Michael Waltrip Racing ($90m) (2010 profit: $5.8m)

8. Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing ($76m) (2010 profit: $5.2m)

9. Richard Petty Motorsports ($60m) (2010 profit: $5.4m)

10. Red Bull Racing ($58m) (2010 profit: $2.8m)

And the highest-earning drivers of 2010 were...

1. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ($29m)

2. Jeff Gordon ($25m)

3. Jimmie Johnson ($24m)

4. Tony Stewart ($18m)

5. Kevin Harvick ($15m)

6. Carl Edwards ($14m)

7. Kyle Busch ($13m)

8. Kasey Kahne ($11.5m)

9. Denny Hamlin ($11m)

10. Matt Kenseth ($11m)

Consider that Hendrick turns the highest profit despite employing the three highest-paid drivers in the sport.

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