Danica on Pole for Daytona 500 Feb 17 - Danica Patrick is the first female driver to capture the pole position in a NASCAR Cup race.
Her qualifying speed on a cool windy day was 196.434 mph and she is joined in the front row for the Daytona 500 by Jeff Gordon, who clocked a lap speed of 196.292 mph
She has been running in the Nationwide series since she left IndyCar. In fact, she won the pole at Daytona last year in that series. This year will be her first full-time participation in the upper level Sprint Cup series. She drives for Tony Stewart's team.
The last time a rookie won a NASCAR Cup pole was Jimmie Johnson in 2002.
Feb 15 - IndyCar driver Katherine Legge has been replaced at Dragon Racing by Colombian Sebastian Saavedra to partner Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 6 TrueCar.
Disgraced NASCAR driver A.J. Almendinger did some IndyCar testing at Sebring for Penske Racing. A.J. was a CART driver before he entered NASCAR in 2007. He was fired by Penske in 2012 after he was found to be doping on Adderall. It appears Ryan Briscoe has been let go by Penske.
Andretti Autosport has signed Venezuela driver E.J. Viso to pilot a fourth entry in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series, joining drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti.
Takuma Sato has left the Rahal team to replace Mike Conway at AJ Foyt Racing. Conway will race at Long Beach for Rahal Letterman Lanigan.
2012 Firestone Indy Lights champion Tristan Vautier will step up to IndyCar this year, joining fellow Frenchman Simon Pagenaud at Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports.
Brit James Jakes will be driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing this year. Graham Rahal has also (finally) joined his father's team, leaving Team Penske behind.
The French Connection - Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier
Josef Newgarden and the Sarah Fisher Racing team filmed their own Harlem Shake video! AWESOME!!!
Doubleheaders and Standing Starts for IndyCar
Feb 22 - IndyCar will feature more doubleheader race weekends this year, debuting at Belle Isle, Toronto and Houston.
Qualifications for the first race of the doubleheader weekend will take place on Friday and follow the three rounds of eliminations, culminating in the Firestone Fast Six. The first segment, however, has been reduced from 15 minutes to 10 minutes to match subsequent segments.
Firestone tire usage during the three segments of road/street qualifying will be determined by the entrant instead of a mandatory allocation. One set of tires was allowed during each of the three segments in 2012. The change further opens up strategy, allowing the teams the choice of saving a new set of tires for the race or to use during qualifying.
Qualifications for the second race will be held on Saturday morning and consist of a 30-minute session for all cars, with the starting order set by lap time.
Standing starts will be implemented for Race 1 at both Toronto in July and Houston in October. Race 2 at the venues will have a traditional North American rolling start following a few pace laps.
For races featuring standing starts, cars will be staged on the street courses with the start controlled by a trackside lighting system.
Both races at each of the three doubleheader venues will be full distance with equal points.Pit location for both races of a doubleheader weekend will be determined by the entrant's qualifications result at the previous race event. Qualifications for Race 2 will determine pit location for the next event.
3 Heat Races for Iowa IndyCar Race
Feb 22 - Three 50-lap heat races, including transfers to Race 3 for the top-two finishers in the first two qualifying races, will determine the starting grid for the seventh Iowa Corn Indy 250 on Sunday, June 23, at Iowa Speedway.
The format for heat race qualifications on Saturday, June 22, also will reward 12 starters with points - from nine points for the pole winner and descending by one point each position to one point for 11th and 12th. Other IZOD IndyCar Series events, outside of the Indianapolis 500, pay one point to the pole winner.
Three heat races of 30 laps each replaced single-car qualifications for the Iowa event in 2012. Race 3 consisted of drivers ranked one through eight by combined practice times and race results determined the first four rows.
Positions in the three heat races will be determined by single-car, single-lap qualifications on the .875-mile, variably-banked oval. A blind draw will determine the qualifying order.
Qualifying Heat Race 1 -- Will consist of the even-numbered positions, starting with position 8 from single-car qualifying. The results of Race 1 shall determine the even- numbered positions in the starting field, starting with position 12. The top two finishers will transfer to Race 3 and start in positions 8 and 10.
Qualifying Heat Race 2 -- Will consist of the odd-numbered positions, starting with position 7 from single-car qualifying. The results of Race 2 shall determine the odd- numbered positions in the starting field, starting with position 11. The top two finishers will transfer to Race 3 and start in positions 7 and 9.
Qualifying Heat Race 3 -- Will consist of positions 1 through 6 from single-car qualifying plus the first- and second-place finishers from Races 1 and 2 to determine the pole winner and the first five rows of the starting grid.
IndyCar Race Distances Changed
Four events -- St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Milwaukee and Mid-Ohio - will feature new race distances this season to discourage fuel-mileage racing. The new distances better match traditional fuel windows at each circuit.
The races with new distances:
St. Petersburg: Increase of 10 laps to 110 (198 miles total)
Long Beach: Decrease of five laps to 80 (157.4 miles)
Milwaukee: Increase of 25 laps to 250 (250 miles)
Mid-Ohio: Increase of five laps to 90 (203 miles)
"Changing the distances at these races will hopefully eliminate the strategy of saving fuel from the drop of the green flag," said Beaux Barfield, IZOD IndyCar Series race director. "That will enable our teams and drivers to race hard for the full distance and improve the event's entertainment value for the fans."
Fans Injured at Daytona NASCAR Race
Feb 23 - On the last lap of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Daytona Motor Speedway,a 12-car crash started just short of the finish line when Brad Keselowski and leader Regan Smith got into it.
Kyle Larson's car flew up into the fence and broke apart including a fiery engine. Some of the debris flew into the stands, including an entire wheel.
28 fans were injured including 2 that were critical.
Tony Stewart somehow emerged unscathed and finished by winning the race. Due to the tragedy, he skipped the victory celebration.
Be sure and watch the entertaining Josef Newgarden Incognito videos too after this video is finished.