November 2008
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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Indy Speedway News Index
Formula One Season Comes To An End
Nov 2 - The final race in San Paulo Brazil began with a switch to tires as a short rainfall came a minute before the race was to start.  Points leader
Lewis Hamilton, driving for McLaren, needed to finish in fifth place to clinch the championship.  Ferrari driver Felipe Massa needed to finish in first
or second and have a poor result from Hamilton to win the title.
Massa grabbed the lead and stayed in front while Hamilton lingered back
several spots.

As the race was nearing the end, Hamilton was back in 6th place and on the
slower rain tires while those in front of him had slicks.

But rain was predicted at any moment!

As Massa crossed the finish line, he was going to be the champion and the
Ferrari pits celebrated.

But as Lewis neared the finish line, Timo Glock dropped out, giving Lewis 5th
place and the 2008 Driver's Championship, making him the youngest
champion in history.

Ferrari still managed to take home the Manufacturer's Championship.  This
was David Coulthard's last F1 race.  He was knocked out in the first lap.
2008 Season Ends For NASCAR
Nov 17 - Jimmie Johnson came into Sunday's race with a 141 point lead
over
Carl Edwards, the only other driver in the Chase for the Championship
that had a possibility of catching him. Johnson needed a 36th place finish on
Sunday to clinch the title even with Edwards winning the race and leading the
most laps. He finished 15th and claimed his third straight championship.

Johnson came into the Chase in third place behind Edwards and
Kyle Busch,
who won a series-high eight races in the first 26-race segment. He finished
second at Loudon in the first race of the playoff and took the points lead when
he won at Kansas in Race 3. He also won at Martinsville and last week in
Phoenix.

Johnson joins
Cale Yarborough as the only driver to win three consecutive
titles and became the eighth driver in NASCAR history to win three or more
championships.
Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. each won seven
championships while
Jeff Gordon, the co-owner of Johnson's team, has four.

Johnson's numbers are already becoming legendary. In his seven seasons in
NASCAR's top division, the 33-year-old from El Cajon, CA has finished in the
top five in the championship standings every year. He won three races and
finished fifth as a rookie in 2002 before a pair of second place finishes in
2003 and 2004. He dipped back down to fifth in 2005 before winning his first
of three championships in 2006.

No other team has won more than the 40 races Johnson has won since 2002.

Carl Edwards not only finished 2nd in the Cup championship, he finished 2nd
in the Nationwide Series too.  He is the first driver to ever do that.
List of 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Winners

NASCAR Sprint Cup Point Standings
Australia Gone From IndyCar Schedule
Nov 22 - Surfer's Paradise was a popular race for Champ Car since 1991.  
After the unification with the IRL this year, a non-points race was held there
last month.  That race went off well and all parties involved were happy with it.  

However, the Gold Coast Indy organizers and the IRL were unable to find a
way to include the circuit on next year's Indy Car schedule.  

In stepped A1GP who signed a 5-year deal to be the premiere race at the
event.

A1GP, first known only as a Winter series to fill a gap for racing fans, has
sprung wings showcasing a open-wheel series based on nations around the
world. Drivers can change from race-to-race but the country they represent is
the actual team who garners the points. The 2008-09 season just began with
two events (four races) in the books.

Other Champ Car races that have been lost in the merger are Road America,
Toronto, Laguna Seca, Houston, Cleveland, Mont-Tremblant, Portland and
Mexico City.
F1 Losing China Or Coming Back to USA?
Nov 22 - China may not host a grand prix after 2010, according
to the AFP news agency. Poor attendance has plagued the
Chinese Grand Prix since the inaugural 2004 event. The
Shanghai Circuit, which cost $365 million to build, pays $33
million to host a grand prix. The current contract expires after
2010, and
Bernie Ecclestone is courting the organizers to
exercise the five-year option and keep the grand prix. "We will
talk to them about it, and meet up and see how we can help
them," Ecclestone told Financial Times.

While it seems that Asia is receiving preferential treatment,
Formula One's manufacturers are pushing for a return to the
United States in 2010, but probably not to Indianapolis.

In an autosport.com report, Honda Racing CEO
Nick Fry said,
"Ideally we would like a site on either coast, which is a key
market for non-American brands. And from our point of view,
the sooner the better."
BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen added, "The USA is
still the biggest market for BMW and we should be there. But we
should be there successfully, so we have to find the right
venue, the right setting and the right approach in order to make
a point over there." Fry added that sources report Ecclestone is
leaning toward Las Vegas as the likely USGP venue.

I'm sure the fat cat casino owners could afford F1's price, but
can the race attract enough gamblers to cover it?  I doubt it.  
Also, they do not have a road course.  They might end up
running a street race.  How many seats can you sell to one of
those?  Not that many. There is no way a street race in Vegas
is going to draw more attention than a real race at IMS.

I also disagree about the market for cars being better in Vegas
than in Indy.  The population is a direct correlation to auto sales
and Indy has twice the population of Vegas.  Also, Indiana has
3 times the population of Nevada while being half the size.  And
while Nevada has California nearby, the other large adjoining
States are sparsely populated and Indiana is surrounded by
States with large cities and populations.
Will Ecclestone Change the F1 Driver Point System?
Nov 22 - Bernie Ecclestone has proposed a new idea of awarding medals
-- following in the footsteps of the Olympics -- with the winner receiving the
gold, second a silver and third a bronze. No points would be awarded to the
drivers. The constructors would still receive points, based on the current
system.

Ecclestone thinks that will create more passing, something that is currently
lacking in F1.

"Everybody is happy with the idea, they are all very supportive," claimed
Ecclestone when questioned on if the teams were supportive of his
suggestion. "I'm absolutely 100 percent sure it's the right way to go, it'll get
them (the drivers) overtaking."

The championship would be awarded on who holds the most gold medals.
Had this plan been in placed this year,
Felipe Massa would be wearing the
2008 crown and not
Lewis Hamilton, as the Brazilian had six victories
versus Hamilton's five.