July 2008
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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Indy Speedway News Index
Franchitti out of a ride

July 2 - Ganassi Racing shut down Dario Franchitti's NASCAR team due to lack of sponsorship.  As many as 70 employees could be layed off.
Ganassi's other two NASCAR teams for drivers, Juan Montoya and Reed Sorenson, are not affected.

Franchitti won the Indy 500 on his way to winning the 2007 IndyCar Championship.  HIs defection to another series for more money was a bad
move.  Between failing to qualify and suffering a broken ankle in an April crash
at Talladega, Ala., he has missed seven of 17 races and is 41st in the
standings.  

Last year, I figured the influx of open-wheel stars would shine in NASCAR but I
was wrong.  
Sam Hornish, Jr. (33rd) , A.J. Almendinger (40th) and Patrick
Carpentier
(38th) are all at the bottom of the standings.  Juan Montoya, who
is a wonder in an open-wheeler, is currently in the 20th spot in the standings.
FIA to scrutinize F1, bring back F2

July 4 - The FIA will review Formula One governance per a decision taken by the
motorsport governing body's World Motor Sport Council and will reintroduce a Formula
Two championship starting next year.

Meeting Tuesday in Paris, the council determined to consult with F1 teams to examine
ways to improve the efficiency of the sport. The FIA also will review technical
regulations and entry fee assessment.

The council decided the team entry fee for F1 next year will be 309,000 euros
($478,950), an increase of 3 percent to reflect inflation. Premeeting talk had indicated a
rise of as much as 150 percent could hit entry fees to cover a raft of desired technical,
safety and administrative improvements. Teams have the month of July in which to sign
up for the 2009 season. That season will include 19 races, the most since 2005. A
provisional schedule adds a race in Abu Dhabi. The season is scheduled to begin at
the end of March and run till mid-November.

A renewed F2 effort is intended to be a feeder series on the cheap for would-be F1
runners. The FIA envisions a spending cap of $310,000 per car each season. No
further word was issued on the staging of F2 races. Another feeder series, GP2, is
currently staged during F1 weekends at many venues. The GP2 series is run by F1
commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone.

The FIA's moves regarding F1 might be seen as a challenge to Ecclestone, whose
governing agreement for the sport, the highly secret Concorde Agreement, has
expired. FIA president Max Mosley, fresh off a membership vote of confidence after a
sex scandal, seemingly is not eager to sign a new Concorde pact.
Silverstone loses British GP to Donington

July 4 - Even though the Silverstone track in Britian is getting upgraded,
Bernie Ecclestone has signed a 10-year deal to move the F1 British
Grand Prix to Donington Park beginning in 2010.
No Wins Since 2004, But Rahal Letterman Racing Won Today

July 6 - Crashes took out some of the favorites today as the IRL raced at the Glen.  
Scott Dixon had won this race the last four years, but made a mistake today during a
caution lap, spinning and taking out
Ryan Briscoe. Danica Patrick had an incident
leaving the pits, smacking into Ganassi's pit wall and nearly hitting their pit crew.  She
got a drive-through penalty.

Ryan Hunter-Reay passed Darren Manning on a restart and won the race.  This was
his 3rd open-wheel win and his first IndyCar win.  Manning finished second, his best
finish ever.  
Tony Kanaan moved up in the points.
Tony Stewart To Leave JGR

July 9 - Joe Gibbs Racing is letting Tony Stewart out of his contract a year early so
that he can go buy his own race team for 2009.  Stewart hasn't won a race since
August of 2007.  He has spent his entire 10-year Cup career with JGR, winning 32
races as well as the 1999 Rookie of the Year and 2002 and 2005 championships.

Stewart will buy 50 percent interest in Haas-CNC Racing and will rename the team
Stewart Haas Racing.  The team has never won a race and Gene Haas is currently
serving a 2-year jail term for tax evasion.  His Home Depot sponsor has not yet said if it
will follow him or stay at JGR.  Stewart will likely be glad to leave Toyota and get back to
Chevys.  Reportedly, he will be paid a driver's salary that will be the highest in the sport.

Stewart said in reference to JGR, "I've modeled my USAC and World of Outlaws teams
the same way they built their NASCAR team, and I made it a point to find good people
to run those programs. If I've learned anything from my time at Joe Gibbs Racing, it's
that
Joe Gibbs' saying of, 'You win with people,' is incredibly true. They always
surrounded me with not just good people, but great people, and the results speak for
themselves."

There is no word on Haas CNC's current stable -- including Scott Riggs in the No. 66
and the No. 70, which has had several drivers this season.

JGR is expected to replace Stewart with 18-year-old phenom Joey Logano.
Gene Haas
Ryan Hunter-Reay
July 12 - Ana Beatriz became the first female to win in the IRL's Indy Lights series
by winning at Nashville.  She is 23 and drives for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

The rain shorted the Nashville IndyCar race, handing the victory to
Scott Dixon.
July 13 - With today's win in German, Casey Stoner has won the last three MotoGP
races in a row!  The Aussie drives for the Ducati Marlboro Team.
Ana Beatriz
July 25 - Tony Stewart's new race team announced their major sponsors for next
year.  
Office Depot and Old Spice will serve as co-primary sponsors of Stewart's No. 14
Impala SS next season with Stewart campaigning two different liveries. The team did not
announce specific races for each car but Stewart said he would run the Office Depot in
60 percent of the races and the Old Spice car in the other 40.

Old Spice has been involved with NASCAR since 2000 and Office Depot will mark their
5th year in 2009. Office Depot also announced today that it has renewed its
partnership with NASCAR and will continue its relationship with the sport as the "Official
Office Products Partner."
July 27 - Jimmie Johnson won the Brickyard 400 from pole.  Mandatory caution
periods to replace rapidly wearing tires slowed the race considerably.

Brickyard Race Report                Dan's Race Photos
Rexall Edmonton Indy Race - Paul Tracy Is Back!

July 26 - Paul Tracy started 15th in his initial race in the No. 22 Subway/Vision Racing
car and edged Oriol Servia at the line for the surprising (for many) result. Not bad for a
39-year-old who acknowledged he hadn't done much since last racing in April but watch
the televised IndyCar Series race from the comfort of his couch in Las Vegas. Not bad
for a driver who didn't have two-way radio communication with his pit stand throughout
the 91-lap race.

"I'm just super-excited for the team," said Tracy, whose car was prepared and
maintained by a Walker Racing crew. "They prepared this car in about a week and a
half and I gave it a first-class effort for the sponsor. With a little more practice and me
not sitting on the couch for the last six months, maybe we could do better."

That's entirely plausible, and the logical question is whether he'll get the opportunity.
Vision Racing co-owner Tony George had said though this was considered a one-off,
potential future races would be considered if sponsorship materialized.

"It's been a long time coming, getting back in a car," Tracy continued. "I never dreamed
in my career that the last final phase of my career would go like this. Obviously, I was
under contract to Gerry Forsythe. When they decided not to go racing (after the
February North American open-wheel unification under the IndyCar Series banner),
that kind of left me hung out.

"Derrick Walker and I had been talking all the way through the summer from Long
Beach about trying to put something together and finding sponsorship, working on
things. It kept going down dead-end roads. I was on vacation with my wife and kids in
San Diego. We were hanging out at the beach. Derrick said, 'I think we got something
for Edmonton, are you available?' ''

Of course he was. A trip to Indianapolis for a seat fitting and crew meet and greet, and
a few days later he was in the seat on the physically and technically demanding 1.973-
mile, 14-turn Edmonton City Centre Airport track.

"It's no secret that my whole career the most important part of the season for me is
always to run in the Canadian races," Tracy said. "And right from the beginning of my
career, winning the Toronto race in '93, to run well at home was always the focal point
of my year.

"I think it would have been very, very difficult emotionally to not be a part of an IndyCar
race and have to miss out on it. But I got this opportunity and we cashed in on it. So,
from that standpoint, I hope the door was cracked open for us. I hope it's wide open for
me and Derrick to be able to move forward and doing something long term."

Foyt leads first laps of season

A.J. Foyt IV in the No. 2 Lilly Diabetes/Vision Racing car picked up the point when race
leader Tony Kanaan's No. 11 Team 7-Eleven Frank's Energy Drink car spun 360
degrees in Turn 9 on Lap 55.

Foyt led his first laps of the season, first on a road/street course and the third race of
his career. He was overtaken on Lap 60 by Kanaan and Scott Dixon in Turn 11 after
the lapped car of Mario Moraes caught out Foyt with a pass entering the turn.

Foyt IV will remain in northern Canada for some fishing this week with Vision Racing co-
owner Tony George and others.

"We're going about an hour and a half from here on the North Saskatchewan River to
go fishing for walleye and pike," he said. "We've got a boat and a fishing guide, so
hopefully we'll have a good time and catch a lot of fish. It's a good way to enjoy the day
here in Canada since we only get to come here once a year, and then we'll head home
and enjoy our weekend off."

Roth Racing car carries race sponsor

Edmonton-based Quickcard, which specializes in supplemental health benefits and
software development for benefits administration, sponsored the No. 25 entry driven by
Marty Roth for the race. … KISS bassist Gene Simmons was the grand marshal and
gave the command: "Lady and gentlemen, start your engines. Oh, yeah." … Dallas
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a fellow "Dancing with the Stars" competitor last fall with
Helio Castroneves, watched the race from Castroneves' pit. ... Scott Dixon, who led 30
laps, is two shy of 2,000 for his IndyCar Series career.
July 29 - Ride your motorcycle on the Indy Speedway Road Course during the Red Bull
Grand Prix weekend and support charity.   Hurry!  Limited to 250 riders.
For information go to
this website.