October 2007
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
Latest news is at the bottom
Oct 4 - It is official.  The reigning Indy 500 and IRL
Champion is moving to NASCAR.  
Dario Franchitti will go
out of Indycar on top, which is nice.  The Indycar
community will miss him.
Indy Speedway News Index
Franchitti signed a multi-year deal to drive in the NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2008 teaming with
Juan
Pablo Montoya
and Reed Sorenson. Franchitti will drive
the No. 40 Dodge Avenger.

The Scot's first outing in a stock car will come at Talladega
Speedway, in Alabama this Friday as he attempts to qualify
for an ARCA race.

Thirty-four year old Franchitti will be classified a 'rookie'
and will have an opportunity to capture the NASCAR  
Rookie of the Year title.
Oct 4 - F1 driver Ralf Schumacher has driven for the
Toyota F1 team for two years.  He announced this week
that he will not return to that team next season.
Oct 4 - The IRL announced a higher pay out structure for next year's Indycar teams.  Each team will be assured
of earning a minimum of $1.2 million next season.  In addition, the driver's finishing a race in the top five, will be
awarded a bonus, from $35,000 for a wiin down to $10,000 for 5th.  

The pay out for the Indy 500 will also be increased by several million dollars, to approximately $13,400,000.

"This is clearly an investment into the future of the IndyCar Series by Tony George and his family," Dreyer &
Reinbold Racing co-owner
Dennis Reinbold said. "I look at this as a very generous way for them to reinvest
the proceeds of their growth back into the IndyCar Series by helping each of their teams. They are very
committed to the continued growth and development of the IndyCar Series, and this is just another step in that
process."
Oct 7 - Lewis Hamilton spun out in a rainy Chinese Grand Prix, so the drivers championship is still up in the
air with one Formula One race to go.  His teammate and defending champion,
Fernando Alonso is 4 points
behind Hamilton.  
Kimi Raikkonen, who won the race, is also within striking distance, being 7 points behind.  
This was Ferrari's 200th win!
Oct 13 - Jeff Gordon won at Lowes Motor Speedway tonight extending his lead in the NASCAR Cup
championship.  The win broke Gordon's bad luck streak at Charlotte, after having five consecutive DNFs at "the
Beast of the Southeast". It was his second straight victory in the Chase races and 81st of his Cup career.
Oct 7 - F1 ace and Indy 500 champion Jacques Villeneuve competed in his first NASCAR race today at
Talledega.  He qualified 5th, but opted to move to the back of the grid for the start.  He would finish 21st in the
No. 27 Unicef Camry.

Villeneuve's comments on the race:
"Early in the race was tough for some reason. I was really tight. I almost ran into a couple of people on the
inside line because of that. I didn't want that to happen, so I moved up to the high line. That's why I got into the
wall. On one of the big wrecks, I slammed on the brakes and went down to the apron, but got sandwiched
between a couple of cars. I lost the shifter ball and the radio plug came loose, and I lost third gear on the last
restart. So we had a lot of things going on. It was a great day to learn. I'm quite happy with the result."

"I'm glad that I didn't create any problems with the drivers. The finger was being pointed before the race, and
that was understandable. The goal today was to stay out of trouble and not make enemies so next time I come
back everything will be a little bit easier. Also, I worked great with the crew and the spotter. Overall, it was a
great experience."

"We decided to do it this morning [move to the back of the grid.] It was the logical thing to do. Our car was set
up for qualifying and we didn't know how it was going to handle. Starting from the front or the back doesn't
really change anything. I had more to learn from the back, anyway. Also, it was to show respect to all the guys
fighting for the 'Chase.' I was thankful for them allowing me to race here, which is really special to me. It was just
a way of saying 'thank you.'"
Oct 21 - After leading the points all year, rookie Lewis Hamilton's
misfortune in the last two races proved fatal to his championship hopes.

Coming into China, Hamilton held a 12 point lead over 2nd place
teammate
Fernando Alonso and a 17 point lead over Kimi
Raikkonen
.  

By the time Lewis got to the final race in Brazil, his lead was whittled
down to 4 points over Alonso and 7 points over Raikkonen.

Hamilton went off course again and then suffered gear problems.

Kimi brought home the win again, clinching the championship by 1
point!  Ferrari also captured the Constructor's Championship.  

The McLaren teammates tied for 2nd place.
KImi Raikkonen - 2007 F1 Driver's Champion