February 2009
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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Indy Speedway News Index
New Driver Enters IndyCAr
Feb 2 - Dreyer & Reinbold has signed Mike Conway to their 2009 IRL team.  Conway is a 25 y/o Englishman who competed in GP2 and served
as Honda's F1 test driver in 2007 & 2008.  In 2006, he won the British Formula 3 championship.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to race in the U.S. with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the IndyCar Series," Conway said. "I'll be visiting a
lot of new tracks for the first time, especially oval tracks, but I'm very much looking forward to the challenge."
IndyCar Testing
Feb 2 - IRL officials have announced that teams will be permitted six private
test days in 2009, under certain stipulations. Each full-season team enrolled
in the TEAM (Team Enhancement and Allocation Matrix) program will be
allowed 800 miles or six days of testing, and 18 sets of tires. Teams with two
entries may test for 1,200 miles along with 26 sets of tires. Any entrants with
additional teams will gain 200 miles and four sets of tires per car.

Additionally, IndyCar teams that use the services of an Indy Lights driver
during a test can receive 100 bonus miles. Rookies in the series will be
allocated 400 additional miles and eight more sets of tires equaling three
extra days of testing.
Power To Penske
Feb 2 - Helio Castroneves, who was indicted on federal tax
evasion charges in October, is set to go on trial on March 2, some
five weeks before the season-opening round on the streets of St.
Petersburg on April 5th.

This has prompted Penske Racing to secure a replacement driver in
case things do not go Helio's way.  

Penske has selected
Will Power as a backup driver.  The 27 y/o  
drove for KV Racing last year, finishing in 12th place.
Moraes To KV Racing
Feb 2 - Mario Moraes, 20, drove for Dale Coyne Racing last year,
finishing 21st in the final IRL point standings.

Moraes is joining KV Racing for 2009, racing beside
Oriol Servia
whom finished in 9th place last season
.
Andretti Rift?
Feb 2 - For some unexplained reason, Michael Andretti is
switching places with
Kyle Moyer, who was Danica Patrick's
strategist last year.  Moyer will move to
Marco Andretti's pit box for
this season.
More Manufacturers Drop Out of Motorsports
Feb 2 - Kawasaki blames the word financial problems on their
decision to quit MotoGP.  Their team finished in last place last year.

American
John Hopkins, who has been with the team since 2008,
and newly signed Italian rider,
Marco Melandri, are now left without
a ride for the 2009 season. It was reported that Kawasaki spent over
$40 million US dollars annually to campaign in the top-level bike
series.
Also, Subaru and Suzuki are dropping out of the World Rally
Championship.  Suzuki had entered WRC just last year.  Subaru had
raced there for 20 years, winning six titles.  Ford and Citroen remain
the sole manufacturers in WRC.  WRC has also lost several events
in 2009 to the rival Intercontinental Rally Challenge series.
Harvick Won Shootout
Feb 8 - On the last lap of the Budweiser Shootout, Kevin Harvick
capitalized on the misfortunes of others to win the wild and wooly
75-lap event at the Daytona International Speedway.

The race had to be extended by three laps due to a wreck on the
74th lap. Thirteen of the 28 starters took the checkered flag.
Daytona 500 Rain Shortened
Feb 15 - Matt Kenseth raced to victory in the rain-shortened
Daytona 500 for Childress Racing. Taking the lead for the first time
on the 146th lap, the Wisconsin native motored to first place one lap
before rain slowed the 51st anniversary event.

After five slow laps due to the weather, the cars were stopped, and
the race was called a short while later.

The victory was his first in the Daytona 500 victory, and his first
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win since the 2007 season finale at the
Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The winner drove the DeWalt Ford owned by Roush Fenway
Racing, which won the Daytona 500 for the first time.

Ford has now won the Daytona 500 10 times and has totaled 593
all-time Sprint Cup wins. And the manufacturer scored its first
Daytona victory since Dale Jarrett did it in 2000.
Gatorade Duels At Daytona
Feb 12 - Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch were the victors in the 150
miler Gatorade Duels at the Daytona International Speedway.

For Gordon, the win was his 12th overall at the famed track and
Busch raced to victory for the second time.
Kenseth started 39th but moved rapidly through the field and ran
among the lead group for 130 of the 152 laps. The winner wrecked
his primary car in the Gatorade Duel, which forced his team to switch
cars and start in the rear of the field.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. tangled with Brian Vickers on lap 125 which
caused a large wreck involving eleven cars.

Kyle Busch's stellar run was wiped out in the Vickers-Earnhardt
melee. The young driver had led 88 of the initial 125 laps, and he
seemed to have a strong shot at the victory
American F1 Team Will Hire Americans
Feb 27 - I have been hearing rumors about a new Formula One
team.  Some details leaked out today.

Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor, the principals behind the team
they call USF1, officially announced their intent Tuesday to run the
2010 schedule. The motorsports veterans said they'll base the team
in Charlotte, home for most NASCAR teams, and scour the market
for young American drivers.

"Who they are ... your guess is as good as mine," said Windsor, a
former team manager for Ferrari and Williams and current F1 pit
reporter for Speed TV. "But two American drivers, that's what we
intend to do."

F1 does not even race in North America and all the teams are based
in England except for Ferrari in Italy.  When Michael Andretti
bombed out of F1, many people blamed it on the fact that he lived in
the US at the time and did not get absorbed into the F1 community.  
How then, will an entire team do?

Peter Windsor said, "If you take away the Spanish Grand Prix and
the Monaco Grand Prix, with the logistics we have, we'll have our
cars back in Charlotte sooner than most of the British-based teams
will have their trucks back to their factories in England."
They are looking at a building in Charlotte to house the operation,
and plan to hire roughly 100 team members and operate with an
annual budget of about $64 million. They also plan to have a
"logistical base" in Europe to house transporters and equipment.

Peter Windsor said, "Let's hope President Obama says we've got to
have a US Grand Prix and the federal government will get behind it."
in reference to how other nations put on a grand prix with federal
help, like a mini olympics.

Windsor says Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA have been kept in the
loop as their plans for the team have proceeded.  Windsor says,
"how a Formula One team should be going into the next generation
facing a recession and the rule changes. How we are approaching it
-- the lean, mean skunkworks approach -- is exactly the sort of thing
the FIA are looking for"

"We've got a very realistic approach to the commercial side for Max
Mosley and particularly Nick Craw whose now Vice President of the
FIA based in Denver, Colo.