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  • AUGUST 2006

  • (8/31) - Cristiano da Matta's condition is improving according to Champ Car Medical Director Dr. Chris Pinderski. "Cristiano has made excellent progress in the past several days. Although he is still somewhat confused, he is now conversational in both English and Portuguese. Additionally, he has started to walk on his own for short periods of time with minimal assistance. We anticipate that Cristiano will be ready to make the transition to a rehabilitation setting next week."
  • (8/31) - It was rumored last year that Indycar might lose their best American driver, Sam Hornish, Jr., to NASCAR. However, Hornish probably felt he needed to try to win the Indy 500 first, and did not seem to pursue it. Well he won Indy this year and now he has been granted permission from Team Penske to run some stockcar races (ARCA and Busch) next year. This may portend his leaving the IRL in 2008.
  • (8/29) - Formula One will return to Spa next year, however the Nuerburgring and Imola have been dropped!

    Imola needs to rebuild and possibly could come back to the calendar.

    Hockenheim and the Nuerburgring will begin alternating as the German G.P.

  • (8/27) - After winning road course races in Indy Pro Series, Marco Andretti won his first IRL race on the road course at Sonoma California, clinching the IRL rookie of the year honor in the process. Of the 13 races ran so far this season, Andretti has four top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has recorded 313 points so far to runner-up Jeff Simmons' 193 points.

    At 19, Andretti is the youngest driver to win an Indycar race.

  • (8/27) - Apparently Paul Tracy's recent success in fighting small Frenchmen has encouraged him to consider a new sport - Professional Wrestling. I know, I know... Champcar isn't really a sport.

    The Montreal race was rained out by the way.

  • (8/27) - Speed Channel spent a little time before the Formula One race today interviewing some of the people who have worked with Jacques Villeneuve. Since it is looking like JV may not return to F1, people were being complimentary, at least from a European standpoint. As noted below, JV said some very uncomplimentary things about Michael Schumacher last week. So Speed approached Shumi with a question of what he thought of Villeneuve; obviously looking forward to some mudslinging. Schumacher kind of smiled and simply said, "I have short memories." thereby not giving the media any satisfaction in starting a verbal war.
  • (8/23) - Andy Green is a jet figher pilot squadron leader in Great Britian. In 1994 when he drove the Thrust SSC, he became the first and only man ever to drive at supersonic speeds when he averaged 763.035 mph on the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

    Andy Green Thrust SSC turbo diesel

    This week he has been at Utah's Salt Flats driving the JCB Dieselmax. This car has two turbo-diesel 4 cylinder 4.4 liter engines with a combined horsepower of 1500. He broke the world speed record for deisel cars by running an average of 324 mph, beating the previous record of 235.756 mph, set by Virgil Snyder on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1973.

    Cool Video of one of his speed runs (size 31 Mb)

  • (8/23) - The IRL is raising engine size back to 3.5 liters next year. IRL spokesman John Griffin said the modification will help increase the life of the engines by up to 300 miles, provide more torque for drivers on road and street circuits and accommodate the switch to ethanol fuel next year. Since the engines will last 3 races instead of 2, Honda will save money. THey will be lowering their lease price from $1.3 million to $990,000 for 2007.
  • (8/18) - Are you sick of hearing praise about Michael Schumacher? Then read the upcoming interview in F1 Racing with Jacques Villeneuve, whom once again is out of F1. Apparently JV accuses the 7-time World Champion of being a liar, a cheat, and a egomaniac. He also said he won't be remembered by the fans.

    Schumie has definately been caught in a few unsportsman-like positions, but I've never seen a great driver who did not have a huge ego. After you break every record in the book, you're going to be remembered - think Wilt Chamberlain.

  • (8/18) - Indy 500 announcer, Tom Carnegie, who retired this summer after 60 years of service at IMS, was inducted into the Motorsports Hall Of Fame in Detroit.
  • (8/18) - Formula One will return to the Indy Speedway for the US Grand Prix in 2007. Tony George signed a new one year deal which will carry Indy through to the end of the current Concorde Agreement. F1's commercial and organizational structure is not yet finalized for 2008 and beyond. George said it was still his goal to make the Speedway the longtime home of the United States Grand Prix. The provisional date is Sunday, June 17th.
  • (8/13) - Eddie Cheever, Jr. may have been taking a verbal beating amongst IRL drivers this summer, but he won an incident-packed Grand Prix Masters race at Silverstone with a near-flawless drive in tricky wet conditions.

    Silverstone Grand Prix Masters race result

    1.  CHEEVER          1h01m08.625s
    2.  VAN DE POELE     +16.7s
    3.  DANNER           +36.6s
    4.  STUCK            +53.5s
    5.  CAFFI            +1m03.0s
    6.  PATRESE          +1m06.9s
    7.  MARTINI          +1m46.4s
    8.  FITTIPALDI       +1 lap
    9.  ARNOUX           +1 lap
    10. DE CESARIS       +2 laps
    11. TAMBAY           +3 laps
    12. JOHANSSON        +4 laps
    13. LAMMERS          DNF
    14. SALAZAR          DNF
    15. WARWICK          DNF
    16. MANSELL          DNF
  • (8/11) - Sarah Fisher has a new sponsor for her return to Indycar - Fastenal!
  • (8/10) - Yesterday, Al Unser Sr. and Bobby Unser were driving home on Unser Rd in Albuquerque when they encountered some cops who had cornered a carjacker who had crashed his car. The brothers began to ignore the cops pleas to leave the area and tried to continue home, according to police, and both were arrested. The carjacker later shot and killed himself.
  • (8/10) - Mark Webber has found a new F1 drive for next year at Red Bull, where he'll join David Coulthard. Now Christian Klein will be looking for a new job.
  • (8/10) - Sarah Fisher was the most popular driver in the IRL for three years running.

    Since 2005, Danica Patrick has not only been the most popular driver in the IRL, she's likely the most popular driver in America. Sexy and tough, she's a true original who has garnered better rides than Sarah was able. (Today Andretti-Green Racing, the team Danica is moving to next year, announced a $21 million contract with Motorola for her.)

    These fast ladys will finally meet on the track at Kentucky Speedway this weekend. Obviously their gender is unique in this sport and many are looking forward to these two duking it out.

    However, the chances that Sarah will be able to keep up with Danica is not likely for three reasons:

    Sarah has not been in an Indycar for 2 years and she is going to be rusty. Danica competed in 2005 as well as in every Indycar race this year except the first one at Homestead, where her team-mate, Paul Dana, was killed in practice. That's 10 Indycar starts for her this year. Sarah ran stock cars last year and hasn't raced anything this year.

    Danica's Rahal-Letterman team has run three cars at each race all season while Sarah's Dreyer & Reinbolt team has only ran one car, except at Indy where they added a car for Al Unser Jr. This means Danica's team has a lot more feedback which provides better race setups.

    The proof is in the pudding. Danica has beaten every Dreyer & Reinbolt driver by a decent margin in every race this year except at the Glenn, where Ryan Briscoe finished third; and then at the last IRL race when she ran out of fuel at the end (Michigan).

    Here are the three Dreyer & Reinbolt drivers and Danica's finishing order in 2006:

  •                       Buddy    Danica   Ryan     Al
    Date   Track	      Lazier   Patrick	Briscoe	 Unser Jr
    ----   -------------  ------   -------  -------  -------
    7/30 - Michigan  	15  	17
    7/23 - Milwaukee 		 4	 18 
    7/15 - Nashville		 4        9
    7/2  - Kansas		15	11
    6/24 - Richmond		16	15
    6/10 - Texas		19 	12
    6/4  - Watkins Glenn		 8	  3
    5/28 - Indy 		26	 8		  24
    4/22 - Japan		14	 8	
    4/2  - St Pete		14	 6
    3/26 - Homestead	14 	DNS

  • (8/6) - Jacques Villeneuve has been fired from Sauber BMW and replaced with Robert Kubica, who had been Sauber's test pilot. I wonder if its due to the rumor that JV was supposedely interested in following Montoya to Nascar. Frankly, I find that hard to believe. Why either of these race car drivers would choose stockcars over Indycars is beyone my comprehension. They both already have enough money to last them several lifetimes.

    Jenson Button won a rainy race in Hungary. Pedro de la Rosa had his first podium finishing in 2nd and Nick Heidfeld finished 3rd. Kimi Raikonnen's bad luck continued, as he crashed. Points leader Fernando Alonso had car troubles and did not finish. Michael Schumacher is now just 10 points behind Alonso.

  • (8/4) - Champ Car driver Cristiano da Matta needed surgery to remove a ruptured blood vessel in his head after his race car collided at ~180 mph with a deer that wandered onto the track during a test session at Road America on Thursday.
  • (8/3) - Sarah Fisher will return to Indycar this year! She will be driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing at Kentucky Motor Speedway. Her past successes at the track include a podium 3rd place finish in 2000, the pole in 2002. She still holds the track record qualifying record as well.

    The last time (and first) two females competed in an Indycar race, was the 2000 Indy 500. Sarah Fisher and Lynn St James tangled and took each other out! Danica better look out!

  • (8/2) - Williams F1 confirmed that Alex Wurz will race alongside Nico Rosberg for the team in 2007. Wurz joined Williams as test and third driver this season after holding the same role at McLaren for five years. His last full time role as a race driver was with Benetton in the late nineties. He replaces Mark Webber, whose future is currently unknown.

    August 9, 2006

    lowes car

    Race Results

                                Laps  Prize Money
    Fin Car# Driver          Completed   
    1.  (5)  Jimmie Johnson     160 $45,2861
    2.  (20) Matt Kenseth       160  361,141
    3.  (10) Kevin Harvick      160  327,636
    4.  (2)  Clint Bowyer       160  271,900
    5.  (19) Mark Martin        160  239,150
    6.  (31) Dale Earnhardt Jr. 160  230,516
    7.  (37) Kyle Busch         160  209,825
    8.  (32) Tony Stewart       160  237,111
    9.  (22) Carl Edwards       160  202,975
    10. (14) Denny Hamlin       160  177,225
    11. (13) Tony Raines        160  168,825
    12. (3)  Kurt Busch         160  211,933
    13. (8)  Ryan Newman        160  198,308
    14. (11) Ken Schrader       160  184,264
    15. (1)  Jeff Burton        160  243,995
    16. (16) Jeff Gordon        160  198,236
    17. (30) Brian Vickers      160  161,675
    18. (24) David Stremme      160  179,033
    19. (23) Martin Truex Jr.   160  174,733
    20. (34) Scott Wimmer       160  152,275
    21. (12) Scott Riggs        160  148,350
    22. (26) Bill Elliott       160  143,850
    23. (39) Casey Mears        160  181,308
    24. (21) Joe Nemechek       160  171,845
    25. (36) Travis Kvapil      160  158,558
    26. (18) Jamie McMurray     160  186,575
    27. (40) Kyle Petty         160  161,508
    28. (35) Dale Jarrett       160  172,825
    29. (42) Dave Blaney        160  149,797
    30. (41) Reed Sorenson      160  147,725
    31. (33) Sterling Marlin    160  136,225
    32. (28) Kenny Wallace      160  136,125
    33. (7)  Greg Biffle        160  156,625
    34. (6)  J.J. Yeley         160  170,500
    35. (9)  Robby Gordon       160  134,925
    36. (4)  Kasey Kahne        159  accident 173,689
    37. (17) Mike Skinner       159  134,750
    38. (29) Jeff Green         159  142,625
    39. (25) Chad Chaffin       158  134,525
    40. (38) Bobby Labonte      135  engine 171,386
    41. (15) Jeremy Mayfield     82  suspension 164,316
    42. (43) Boris Said          19  accident 134,225
    43. (27) Elliott Sadler       3  accident 162,383 
    Race Statistics:
    Winner's average speed: 137.182 mph
              Time of race: 2:54:57
         Margin of victory: under caution
                  Cautions: 8 for 24 laps
              Lead changes: 18 among 9 drivers
    Lap leaders: 
    Burton 1-6; 8-41; 43-58; 61-69; 71-71; 90-109; 
    Kahne 7; 
    Wallace 42; 
    Vickers 59-60; 
    Harvick 70; 73-89; 
    Kenseth 110-116; 124-125
    Johnson 117-123; 128-143; 151-160
    Ky. Busch 126; 144-150
    Nemechek 127; 

    jimmie johnson
    Jimmie Johnson

  • (08/06) - RACE WRAPUP

    Neither dead batteries nor flat tires nor pit fires could keep Jimmie Johnson from the coveted Victory Lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 6, as he overcame several early-race hurdles to win the 13th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

    Johnson handed Hendrick Motorsports its record fifth win in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition at the famous 2.5-mile IMS oval by leading 33 laps of the 160-lap race in a No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet that was dominant when it counted, toward the end of the race.

    Matt Kenseth equaled his 2003 best-career finish of second at this event in the No. 17 DeWalt Ford. 2003 race winner Kevin Harvick was third in the No. 29 Reese's/GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, while Harvick's Richard Childress Racing rookie teammate, Clint Bowyer, who started second, finished fourth in the No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet. Mark Martin was fifth in the No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford.

    Johnson was able to cruise to the checkered flag on the last lap due to two incidents that brought out the yellow flag, causing the race to finish under caution. The race, which saw eight cautions for 24 laps, had an average speed of 137.182 mph. Johnson earned $452,861.

    "I'm speechless right now," said Johnson, who drives a car that is co-owned by Rick Hendrick and four-time Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon. "I can't thank this race team enough for what they've done. We overcame a left-front flat tire to rally back. We drove all the way to the front. I never thought I would win at this racetrack. We had such a drought at this racetrack, and now we have a victory."

    Johnson and his team struggled in three of their previous four starts at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. After finishing ninth in 2002, his rookie season, Johnson's respective finishes in 2003-05 were 18th, 36th and 38th.

    The victory also extends Johnson's lead in the NEXTEL Cup Series points by 107 over Kenseth, but Johnson's focus wasn't on points.

    "There was nothing of a championship on my mind today," he said in Victory Lane. "I wanted this trophy over here with the brick on it. I want to pucker up and kiss those bricks on the front stretch. It was all about winning the race today."

    Johnson's 2006 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard started ominously. He was a late departure from the grid as the field pulled away to start pace laps because his team had to frantically replace a dead battery on the car.

    On Lap 40, the caution flag flew as smoke trailed from Johnson's car entering Turn 1 due to the left-front tire problem. Johnson was able to nurse the car back to pit lane with only very minor damage.

    Following the pit stop, a minor oil fire erupted in Johnson's pit that was more dramatic than dangerous, due to the cloud of smoke and fire retardant that briefly erupted over the No. 48 pit near the south end of pit lane. There were no injuries.

    Johnson also was sent to the tail end of the longest line on the Lap 45 restart for pitting before pit lane was open.

    But once the green flag flew, Johnson started a pace that would see him in ninth place by Lap 79.

    Pole winner Jeff Burton dominated the first two-thirds of the race and led the most laps, 87. He led all but 21 of the first 109 laps but said the No., 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet did not handle well late in the race.

    "We made huge adjustments, and it never fixed it," Burton said. "So I don't know, we might go home and find that a spring collapsed or something unusual. I would be shocked if we just tuned ourselves out like that; we never do. To lead that many laps and to have that big of a dominant car and then not even be in the mix is really disappointing."

    Johnson had a commanding lead of 2.3 seconds on Kenseth when the caution flag flew on Lap 143 due to debris in Turn 3. The leaders, including Johnson, Kenseth, Martin, Denny Hamlin, Bowyer and Harvick, dove into the pits for tires and a splash of fuel while Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman and Joe Nemechek stayed on the track.

    On the restart on Lap 147, Busch and Earnhardt pulled away from the field while the drivers that pitted battled behind them. Johnson and the other drivers on fresh tires quickly got around Newman and Nemechek and, on Lap 150, Earnhardt took the lead from Busch in Turn 2 while Johnson was on a fast approach. Johnson passed Busch on the backstretch on Lap 150 and took the lead back from Earnhardt in Turn 4.

    Kenseth got around Earnhardt and Busch and tried to give chase to Johnson, but Johnson gradually widened the lead to 2.144 seconds when he received the white flag with one lap to go, just before the last-lap incident involving Kasey Kahne brought out the caution flag.

    Robby Gordon and Greg Biffle also made contact on the last lap and they finished 33rd and 35th, respectively. LaPorte, Ind., native Tony Raines was caught in Kahne's accident but still managed to finish 11th in the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet.

    2005 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard winner Tony Stewart finished eighth in the No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet, while four-time race winner Jeff Gordon encountered bad luck early when a tire deflated on the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet on Lap 7, breaking a sway bar. He went three laps down but returned to the lead lap, finishing 16th.

    Johnson's win marks only the second time in race history that the same driver has won NASCAR's Daytona 500 and Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in the same year. Dale Jarrett accomplished the feat in 1996.

  • Brickyard 400 Qualifying
    August 5, 2006

    Pos No  Driver  	   Make   Team		Time
    1.  31  Jeff Burton  	   Chevy  Childress  	49.240 
    2.  07  Clint Bowyer*  	   Chevy  Childress	49.242 
    3.  2  	Kurt Busch  	   Dodge  Penske	49.247 
    4.  9  	Kasey Kahne  	   Dodge  Evernham	49.331
    5.  48  Jimmie Johnson     Chevy  Hendrick	49.386
    6.  18  J.J. Yeley*  	   Chevy  Gibbs		49.404
    7.  16  Greg Biffle  	   Ford   Smith		49.433
    8.  12  Ryan Newman  	   Dodge  Penske	49.471
    9.  7  	Robby Gordon  	   Chevy  Gordon	49.484
    10. 29 	Kevin Harvick  	   Chevy  Childress	49.523
    11. 21 	Ken Schrader  	   Ford   Wood		49.576
    12. 10 	Scott Riggs  	   Dodge  Rocco		49.703
    13. 96 	Tony Raines  	   Chevy  Hall of Fame	49.714
    14. 11 	Denny Hamlin*  	   Chevy  Gibbs		49.741
    15. 19 	Jeremy Mayfield    Dodge  Evernham	49.859
    16. 24 	Jeff Gordon  	   Chevy  Hendrick	49.860
    17. 37 	Mike Skinner  	   Dodge  Carter	49.865 
    18. 26 	Jamie McMurray     Ford   Roush		49.882 
    19. 6  	Mark Martin  	   Ford   Roush		49.935 
    20. 17 	Matt Kenseth  	   Ford   Roush		49.965 
    21. 01 	Joe Nemechek  	   Chevy  MB2   	49.969 
    22. 99 	Carl Edwards  	   Ford   Rousch	49.982 
    23. 1  	Martin Truex Jr*   Chevy  Earnhardt	49.982 
    24. 40 	David Stremme*     Dodge  Ganassi	50.150
    25. 34 	Chad Chaffin  	   Dodge  Front Row	50.177
    26. 100 Bill Elliott  	   Chevy  Waltrip	50.207 
    27. 38 	Elliott Sadler     Ford   Yates		50.215
    28. 178 Kenny Wallace      Chevy  Furniture Row	50.223 
    29. 66 	Jeff Green  	   Chevy  Haas		50.272
    30. 25 	Brian Vickers  	   Chevy  Hendrick	50.287
    31. 8  	Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevy  Earnhardt	50.301 
    32. 20 	Tony Stewart  	   Chevy  Gibbs		50.305
    33. 14 	Sterling Marlin    Chevy  MB2		50.323 
    34. 4  	Scott Wimmer  	   Chevy  Morgan-McClur	50.355 
    35. 88 	Dale Jarrett  	   Ford   Yates		50.368
    36. 32 	Travis Kvapil  	   Chevy  PPI		50.380 
    37. 5  	Kyle Busch  	   Chevy  Hendrick	50.414
    38. 43 	Bobby Labonte  	   Dodge  Petty		50.435
    39. 42 	Casey Mears  	   Dodge  Ganassi	50.463
    40. 45 	Kyle Petty+  	   Dodge  Petty		50.555
    41. 41 	Reed Sorenson+*    Dodge  Ganassi	50.765
    42. 22 	Dave Blaney+  	   Dodge  Davis		50.856
    43. 160 Boris Said  	   Ford   No Fear	50.412
    DNQ 15  Paul Menard  	   Chevy  Earnhardt	50.499
    DNQ 55  Michael Waltrip    Dodge  Waltrip-Jaspe	50.536
    DNQ 170 Johnny Sauter      Chevy  Haas 		50.676
    DNQ 49  Kevin Lepage  	   Dodge  BAM		50.818
    DNQ 190 Stephen Leicht     Ford   Yates		50.863
    DNQ 104 Bobby Hamilton Jr. Dodge  Hamilton	50.903
    DNQ 61  Derrike Cope  	   Dodge  Peak		51.565
    * Series rookie 
    + Set by owner points 
  • (8/4) - Ken Schrader and Robby Gordon were the only drivers to hit 180 mph in the first Nascar practice session on Friday.

    Others reached that speed in the second session, with Kurt Busch going 182 mph.

  • (8/4) - While the Corvette has paced many Indianapolis 500's, it will pace the Brickyard 400 for the first time this year. I would not be surprised if it can lap the track faster than the cup cars.

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