November 2017 News
Danica Wants to Race in 500s

Nov 17 - After losing her sponsorship, then her
ride in Nascar for next year,
Danica Patrick
said she wanted to race if she could get on a
good team.  Apparently no team or sponsors
have pursued her in the last several weeks.

She now says she is retiring from racing, but
will race next year in the Daytona 500 and in
the Indianapolis 500.  However, she had no
details on what teams she will race for in these
iconic races.

I hope she can get on good teams.  

I'm sure she'll land somewhere.
RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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Nascar Cup Championship

Nov 20 - Martin Truex Jr. finally has his championship
after winning the last race of the season - at Homestead.

After taking the lead on Lap 216 of a scheduled 267,
Truex, whose career has seen major valleys, has hit the
highest peak.

He outpointed 2012 champion
Brad Keselowski, 2014
titlist
Kevin Harvick and 2015 victor Kyle Busch to
win his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
championship.

"I don't even know what to say," an emotional Truex
said upon emerging from his car. "We never gave up all
day — don't know how we won that thing. ... I can't
believe it. I've thought of this since I was a little kid.
Never give up on your dreams, no matter what
happens."

Truex, 37, was considered the favorite by many entering
the winner-take-all-finale, with seven victories this
season and a bevy of bonus points earned via stage wins
which gave him a large cushion through the first rounds
of the 10-race elimination.

He will be a popular champion.

Truex lost his full-time ride at Michael Waltrip Racing
and major sponsor NAPA after a cheating scandal — in
which he was not complicit — rocked NASCAR during
the final regular-season race at Richmond International
Raceway in 2013.

He landed at tiny one-car Furniture Row Racing, based
out of Denver, far from the hub of NASCAR’s big
names and big teams in Charlotte.

Four years later, he has taken owner Barney Visser —
who suffered a heart attack and could not attend the
finale — to the top of American stock car racing. The
team also celebrated without fabricator Jim Watson, who
died of a heart attack the night before Truex won at
Kansas Speedway in October.

Truex won two titles earlier in his career in NASCAR’s
Xfinity Series with long-time friend Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s
team.
Truex won Las Vegas March 12
Truex won Kansas May 13
Truex won Kentucky July 8
Truex won Chicagoland September 17
Truex won Watkins Glen Aug 6
Trues won Charlotte October 8
Truex won Kansas 2 October22
Truex won Homestead November 19
crew chief Cole Pearn & Truex -
2017 Nascar Monster Energy Cup Champions
Indy 500 Trophy Heads to Japan

Nov 28 - The iconic Borg-Warner Trophy is leaving the
United States for the first time in its 82-year-history,
traveling this week to Japan for a 15-day celebration of
Takuma Sato's victory in the 101st Indianapolis 500.  

Several events will be held around Japan honoring Sato.

Sato won the Indy 500 with a Honda-powered car, so he
will be visiting Honda headquarters and several Honda
factories along with the trophy.

"I think it is very special that the Borg-Warner Trophy is
traveling to Japan," Sato said. "The trophy represents
winning the greatest race in the world, and I am very
proud to have won the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and have
my image on the trophy."

The silver trophy is over 5' tall and weights 110 lbs.  It is
valued at $3.5 million.
IndyCar Vice-President Switches Job

June 29 - Harding Racing is a new IndyCar team that was
created at the beginning of 2017 by
Mike Harding, an
owner of the Indianapolis paving firm, Harding Group.  
The company has been a supplier of paving services to
IMS and hosts 4,000 guests - including all of its
employees - in its own suite at the 500 every year.  
Long time Indy team manager
Larry Curry is an
employee at Harding and helped the transition into a race
team, where he is now their Team Manager.  
Al Unser,
Jr.
was hired as Driver Coach.  Harding Racing also were
able to buy some of the cars and equipment earlier in the
year when KV Racing folded and was auctioned off.

Harding Racing hired
Gabby Chavez to drive in the Indy
500 (finishing 9th),  the Texas 600 (finishing 5th) and the
Pocono 500 (finishing on the lead lap in 15th) this year.  

Chavez was the 2014 Indy Lights champion.  He finished
15th in points in IndyCar in 2015 when he got the
opportunity to run the full season with Bryan Herta
Autosport.  The following year, Dale Coyne hired him to
race half the season.

Now Harding Racing has hired
Brian Barnhart as
president of the race team.  Currently Barnhart is the vice
president of competition for Indycar, of which he's
worked in various roles since 1997.  He served as IMS
track superintendent from 1994-1997.  Between 1982
and 1994, he was a crew member at Galles Racing, Team
Penske and Patrick Racing.

Barnhart conceded the decision to leave IndyCar wasn’t
easy, but the “once-in-a-lifetime offer” has his
competitive juices flowing.

"We’re all competitive people at heart and the allure of
being back trying to compete and win races is just really
exciting to me.”
Brian Barnhart
Finishing 5th at Pocono
24 y/o Gabby Chavez
Mike Harding
Larry Curry
Jim Nabors Dead at 87

Nov 30 - The singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana"
has been performed before the start of the Indy 500
race since 1946.

Jim Nabors, better known as Gomer Pyle, has been
loved by Indy 500 fans since he first began singing the
song.  With his rich baritone voice, no one could sing
it better than Nabors.

Nabors' journey to performing "Back Home Again in
Indiana" was an anecdote he enjoyed telling. He was the
guest of casino magnate
Bill Harrah at the 1972 Indy
500 when, on Race Morning, Nabors was approached
shortly before pre-race ceremonies to sing during the
festivities. He presumed he would be asked to perform
the national anthem.

Instead, race officials asked Nabors to sing "Back Home
Again in Indiana." He didn't know the lyrics, so he
scrawled them on the palm of his hand and wowed the
huge crowd with his performance.

Nabors returned to sing almost every year.

Nabors' final performance came in 2014 after he said he
was too old to travel from his home in Hawaii any longer.

500 opening ceremonies also lost another Hollywood icon
two years ago when
Florence Henderson died.  While
Nabors was from Alabama, Henderson was born in
Indiana.  She had been singing "God Bless America"
before the race each year since the 90s.
1998
1975
2004