August 2008
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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Indy Speedway News Index
2009 IndyCar Calendar Announced
Aug 1- The 2009 IndyCar Series season will open and close in Florida, while two former Champ Car events will make their debut under Indy Racing
League sanctioning.  In all, 10 ovals, three permanent road courses and five temporary street circuits will comprise the season, which will kick off at
St. Petersburg and wrap up at Homestead. Toronto, which didn’t get a race in 2008 following the demise of Champ Car, will replace Nashville next
year, while Long Beach, which was a Champ Car event that counted IRL points this season, will become a "normal" race.   Click for
2009 IRL Schedule
Franchitti Back On Track
Aug 9 - Dario Franchitti, who's Ganassi Cup Car team folded earlier this summer,
is committed to seven Nationwide races with the Ganassi team and he plans on
honoring the commitment. "I figured I might just as well be in the car and keep
learning how to drive these cars."

After vacationing in his native Scotland for three weeks, Franchitti is back behind
the wheel.  

In this weekend's Nationwide Series Zippo 200 on the road course at Watkins Glen
International, Franchitti qualified on pole and finished in 5th place.
Kanaan Stays With AGR
Aug 9 -Tony Kanaan signed a 5-year contract extension with Andretti-Green
Racing, after speculation that he could move to Ganassi to replace Dan Wheldon.
He won't be heading to NASCAR now either.  Kanaan says he will be retiring with
AGR.

Kanaan was one of the original drivers for the team which was founded in 2002
and originally competed as Barry Green's Team Green in CART.

He gave the team its first pole, at Homestead Miami Speedway in the team's first
year of operation. Kanaan owns thirteen IndyCar Series wins, although a
much-sought victory at the Indy 500 has eluded him.
AGR Owners Kim Green, Kevin Savoree and Michael Andretti with Tony Kanaan
2009 IndyCar Television Package
Aug 9 - IRL's IndyCar series will continue its 45-year relationship with ABC, who will be covering the
Indy 500 and four other IndyCar races in 2009.  However, instead of being on ESPN and ESPN2,
the remainder of the IndyCar races will be shown on VS., a subsidary of Comcast Cable.  They say
that Versus will also be available on satellite and comtel systems.
100th Driver To Win Formula One Race

Aug 8 - Heikki Kovalainen, driving for McLaren-Mercedes,
won his first F1 race.  
Timo Glock, driving for Toyota, made
his first podium apparance, finsihing in 2nd.

Hungary often proves to be a surprise.  

Bernie Ecclestone signed an 8-year extension for the track
to host future F1 Grand Prix.

McLaren-Merecedes driver Lewis Hamilton is currently in the
points lead.
Peak Antifreeze Indy Grand Prix
Aug 15 - IndyCar heads to Infineon Raceway a week from now.  The
course has been changed. Drivers will now exit Turn 6 and go directly
up the track’s drag strip as opposed to veering left before the right-
hander at Turn 7.  This will proably create a new passing zone.  14
IndyCar drivers completed a two-day test session yesterday.

The track is going to try and break a world record during the weekend
with a dance contest.   The world's largest Twist dance took place in
Yorkshire, England, in 2004, when 1,691 high school students and
staff danced to the classic hit.  Infineon will be inviting race fans out
onto the track to do the Twist for five minutes.
Ryan Newman Joins Stewart-Haas Racing
Aug 15 - Ryan Newman said Roger Penske hasn't talked to him
about renewing his contract and he has decided to hook up with
Tony
Stewart's
team.  He looks forward to having fun on the team.

Newman had a sensational start to his Sprint Cup career with Penske
Racing. He earned his first pole in just his third career race in 2001. He
finished sixth in the standings and won the rookie of the year trophy
the following season and followed up with sixth, seventh and sixth
place finishes in the championship standings the next three seasons.
He dropped to a career-low 18th place finish in the standings in 2006
and finished 13th last year.
Chubby Checker - The Twist
(1960)
NASCAR Cheaters
Aug 20 - Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing have been accused by
NASCAR of trying to fool them about how much power their Toyota
engines have.

The team has been docked 150 owner points for each car.  The
drivers have been docked 150 driver points.  The crew chiefs have
been fined $50,000 each and five crew members have been indefinite
suspensions.  

NASCAR has also ordered all Toyota teams to cut 15 H.P. from each
engine.  Maybe if the IRL had contained Honda's technology, then GM
and Nissan would still be making engines for IndyCar.  But then what is
the point of having different engine manufactures, if you prevent them
from being better than the competition?  The same goes for the car
manufacturers - all the bodies are the same!  The point is simply
marketing and advertising.  Tony Stewart wants to run Chevys - why?  
Simply for image.  Too bad for GM that American consumers are not
following his lead.
Penske Racing IndyCar Team Bounce Back From Adversity
Aug 24 - On the way to a road course in California, Penske's hauler, carrying
their main race cars and equipment, had a wheel bearing burn-out which
started a fire.  They were in Wyoming, out of cellphone range and help was
not immediately available.  By the time a firetruck showed up, everything was
ruined.

Penske Racing quickly dispatched their oval track cars and more equipment
to Sonoma.  With help from fellow race teams, Penske got the cars ready and
was able to hit Friday's practice.  

Remarkably, their two drivers qualified for the front row!

Helio Castroneves, two-time Indy 500 champion, had not won a race this
year, although he has finished in 2nd place seven times, including the last
three races in a row.  

Today he won the IndyCar race at Infineon and his team-mate,
Ryan
Briscoe
, finished in 2nd.   Amazing! Castroneves moved within 43 points of
Scott Dixon with two races remaining on the calendar. Going into the race,
Dixon held a commanding 78 point advantage. In an uncharacteristically poor
finish, Dixon came home 12th.
Helio Castroneves
American F1 Racer Phil Hill Died

Aug 28 -  Phil Hill, the first American Formula One champion, died Thursday
of complications from Parkinson’s disease at Community Hospital of the
Monterey Peninsula in California.. He was 81.

Hill went to Great Britain in 1949 to study maintenance at the Jaguar factory
as part of his job with a new dealership. When he got back, he brought with
him an XK12O and raced it in Santa Ana, California, where he finished
second. He won the initial road race of the United States at Pebble Beach, in
1950. He continued to win in his own cars and those owned by others.

Hill kept driving - in enduros, the Mexican Road Race and countless other
events - and by 1955, he had "retired" twice. But in that year, he won at the
Nassau Speed Week and that led to a factory ride in sports car racing the
following year.

For two years, Hill continued to win races. With
Oliver Gendebien, he won at
LeMans. He waited for an offer to drive in Formula One from Enzo Ferrari. On
September 7, 1958, he got it and drove in his first Formula One race in the
Italian Grand Prix.

Hill won the 1961 Formula One championship. He was the first to American to
win the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans and he went on to win it two more times
(this was before the Mulsanne chicane and with only two drivers sharing the
car, not the three of today).  He also was the first American to win the 12
hours of Sebring three times, the Argentine 1000 Km three times, the Grand
Prix of Italy twice and the Belgian Grand Prix.

He has the distinction of having won the first and last races of his driving
career, the final victory being the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch in England in
1967. In a time of little or no safety equipment and when driver deaths in
competition where commonplace, Hill remarkably was never seriously injured
in a racing car winner,

Hill was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Born in Miami on April 20, 1927, he grew up in Santa Monica and attended
the University of Southern California.  He lived with his wife in the same house
he grew up in.

He’s survived by wife Alma, son Derek, daughter Vanessa Rogers,
stepdaughter Jennifer Delaney and four grandchildren.