April 2009
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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Indy Speedway News Index
Lewis Hamilton Lied
Apr 3 - McLaren and Lewis Hamilton, 24, were found by the FIA, motorsport's world governing body, to have given stewards "deliberately
misleading" evidence in a post-race hearing on Sunday.

That evidence led to race stewards handing Toyota's
Jarno Trulli a 25-second penalty for passing Hamilton behind the safety car, demoting
the Italian from third to 12th.  
Lewis has sure done an about face from race day when he
bragged about how well he drove.

Lewis claims
Dave Ryan, McLaren's sporting director, had
instructed him to "withhold information".

Hamilton had told stewards he had not been told to allow Trulli to
pass him when the opposite was true, a fact borne out by team
radio transmissions.

"I could not tell you how sorry I am for the embarrassment,"
Hamilton, the youngest driver to become world champion, told a
news conference after his opening practice sessions in Sepang
on Friday.

"I sincerely apologize to the race stewards for wasting their time
and making them look silly.

"When I went into the meeting, I had no intention (to lie). I just
wanted to tell my story and see what happened. I was misled and
that's just how it went.

"I want to say sorry to all my fans. I am not a liar or a dishonest
person, I am a team player. If the team ask me to do something, I
generally do it.

“But I felt awkward and uncomfortable."
After discovering that Hamilton and Ryan had provided inaccurate
information about the incident, the FIA subsequently excluded
Hamilton from the race classification and reinstated Trulli to third.

The fallout for McLaren has been significant, with senior official
Ryan, who accompanied Hamilton to both hearings with race
stewards on Sunday in Melbourne, sent home from practice in
Malaysia on Friday.

McLaren team boss
Martin Whitmarsh said Ryan had not been
"entirely full and truthful with the answers he gave" to the
stewards and had left the team with "no alternative but to suspend
him".  Ryan joined McLaren in 1974 and held posts including chief
mechanic and factory manager before becoming sporting director.

The FIA has hinted Hamilton could now be in the clear over the
incident but warned that McLaren may face further sanction.
"We recognize Lewis's efforts to set the record straight," said an
FIA spokesman. "It would appear he was put in an impossible
position.

"We are now awaiting reports from the FIA observer and stewards
before consideration can be given to further investigation of the
team's conduct.  We cannot rule out the matter being referred to
the World Motor Sport Council."

Trulli, whose team only a day before chose not to appeal his time
penalty on grounds that FIA decisions are rarely revisited, reacted
happily.
Malaysian Grand Prix Halted By Rain
Apr 6 - Heavy downpours caused the F1 cars to go sliding in
every direction even with their rain tires on.  The race was halted
and after an hour the call was made that it would not be restarted.
The race had not reached the midway point yet.  F1 rules dictate
that the top 8 drivers only recieve half as many points as normal.  
Nico Rosberg grabbed the lead and lead for the first 11 laps.  
However since he was in 8th place when the race ended, he only
got one half of a point.

Jenson Button once again finished in first position.  The last
time a new team won the first two races was in 1950 when Alfa
Romeo did it in the inaugural season!
Hot Wheels Licenses IndyCar
April 3 - Mattel, Inc. announced an exclusive four-year licensing
partnership that will bring racing fans authentic Hot Wheels
product featuring IndyCar Series drivers and teams, the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Indianapolis 500. Product
will be available at major retailers nationwide starting this month.
Richard Petty Fielding Car for Indy 500
Apr 6 -NASCAR legend Richard Petty will field an entry for the
Indianapolis 500 for the first time, with
John Andretti driving.

Richard Petty Motorsports currently campaigns four Dodge cars in
the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Petty will combine efforts with the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing  to
field the blue and red No. 43.

Petty, 71, joins past Indy 500-winning team owners Roger Penske
and Chip Ganassi with entries in the both Memorial Day racing
classics at Indianapolis and Charlotte on the same day.
My favorite toys as a child were my Hot Wheels Redlines
Join Luyendyk for Breakfast at the Brickyard
Apr 9 - The 500 Festival "Breakfast at the Brickyard" takes
place this year on Saturday, May 16th at the pavilion behind the
pagoda tower.

For $60, you can join all the mayors from Indiana for breakfast,
along with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner
Arie Luyendyk and
son
Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Dave Ryan Fired From McLaren
Apr 7 - Sporting Director Dave Ryan has been fired by McLaren
after the problem with lying to race officials at last weekend's
grand prix in Malaysia.  He worked there 35 years.

The F1 McLaren team has also been called to attend a special
meeting of the FIA at the end of the month to discuss thier latest
attempt at cheating.
This toy is from the
late 1960's.

Both Luyendyk  Sr. and Jr will take part in a Q&A session hosted
by veteran motorsports announcer
Mike King.  Guests will enjoy
a hearty Hoosier breakfast, the opportunity to see the 2009 500
Festival Queen crowned, take a lap around the famed oval in their
vehicle, tour the garages and experience the third day of
qualifying for the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500

To purchase tickets, call the 500 Festival at (317)
614-6400 or toll free at 1-800-638-4296 or go to
500Festival.com
Castroneves Found Innocent
Apr 17 - Helio Castroneves was brought up on tax evasion
charges late last year.  He was forced to miss the first Indycar
race of the season due to court.  He was facing up to six years in
prison.  Luckily for Castroneves, the jury found him innocent
today!  

Will Power drove his Penske racer at St Pete and finished in 6th
place.  
Surprises Continue With 3rd F1 Race
Apr 19 - Red Bull qualified 1st and 3rd on the grid for the Chinese
Grand Prix.  Renault driver
Fernando Alonso squeezed in
between them.  The Brawn team followed up with Toyota right
behind them in 6th & 7th.  Alas, Ferrari and McLaren are still
struggling.

In another rainy race with a lot of spins,  
Sebastien Vettel
started from pole and battled for the win. This was his 2nd win.  
Mark Webber, his team-mate, finished 2nd.  Jenson Button
made it to the podium for the 3rd straight time.
The Shanghai F1 Circuit
Goodyear Tire Testing At Speedway
Apr 21 - After last year's fiasco at the Allstate 400 where the stock
cars had to pit every dozen laps for new tires, Goodyear is trying
to make sure that doesn't happen again.  They tested three times
last Fall and our back at it this week with four Sprint Cup teams.  
Rain has been causing them a few problems.
Stuntman takes act to IndyCar Series
Apr 25 - Even if you're not a racing fan, you've likely seen Stanton Barrett's
work.  The 36-year-old IndyCar Series driver, who will compete in Sunday's
Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway, is also well known in
Hollywood as a veteran stuntman.

The son of a stuntman, Barrett has appeared in some 200 movies and television
series. His movie credits include the "Spiderman" and "Jurassic Park" movies,
"Mr. and Mrs. Jones," "2 Fast, 2 Furious," "Jumanji" and the "Dukes of Hazzard".
He also has worked in television series such as "ER" and "Alias."

He continues to do stunt work even as he juggles a racing career that includes
competition in both the IndyCar Series and NASCAR's Nationwide Series this
season.

"I still get to do them and am still happy to do them when I get it and it fits in,"
said Barrett during a stop in Topeka this week. "I can't quite do all the big stuff
and risk getting hurt. I've driven with broken legs and broken feet and hands
and collarbones and all kinds of things in my stock car, but the Indy cars are
definitely more demanding and wear on you a little more."

Barrett, who has made 22 starts in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, also is starting
to work more behind the camera.

"I've been working on directing commercials and producing commercials I started
a production company with (NASCAR owner)
Ray Evernham and have five
directors in it who are really good," Barrett said. "We kind of specialize in action
commercials — cars, motorcycles, street cars, race cars — things that we have
a lot of experience and expertise at.