August 2012
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Sonoma Changes For IndyCar
Aug 1 - Officials at Sonoma unveiled a modified track layout for the IndyCar
race August 26th to enhance passing opportunities.

The raceway worked with a number of people on the modifications,
including Team Penske president
Tim Cindric, Team Penske drivers Ryan
and Will Power, Mario Andretti and INDYCAR officials, among

The race distance will increase from 75 to 85 laps. At this point, the
modified track will only be used for INDYCAR-sanctioned events.

Drivers will visit the facility for the first official test of the new layout on Aug.
17 during a full-field test session.
Allmendinger Fired
Aug 1 - Penske Racing has fired NASCAR driver A.J.
for testing positive for a banned stimulant.

While awaiting the 2nd results of his drug test last week, 2006
Indianapolis 500 winner
Sam Hornish Jr. drove Allmendinger's
race car in the Brickyard 400.  Hornish will now take over his
ride for the forseeable future.

Allmendinger said he will complete NASCAR's drug
rehabilitation program.
"Smoke" will now refer
to Allmendinger.

Tony Stewart will
hence forth be known
as "Beer Belly".
IndyCar Full-Course Caution Free Again
Aug 5 - IndyCar returned to the Mid-Ohio road course, known
as being a strenuous course.  Today's race ran non-stop in the
heat and the drivers were particularly tired at the end.  
had been feeling sick prior to the race and he sat
down on the ground for a post-race interview.  A big rain storm
blew through over night and there was a threat of rain during
the race, but it held off.

Will Power captured the pole and held the lead throughout
most of the race.  He was on a 2-stop strategy, as was
who was chasing him.  On the second stop, they pitted
at the same time and the Target team got Dixon out a click
faster, moving him into 1st place.  He would hold on to the lead
till the end, winning this race for the 4th time.  This is the first
time an IndyCar driver has won Mid-Ohio four times.

Ryan Hunter-Reay had problems including going off the
course and ended the day in the pits with an injector problem.  
He lost the points lead to Power, who finished in 2nd.

The push-to-pass button has been modified for road courses
so that the extra turbo boost does not come on until 5-seconds
after the driver pushes it.  So if the driver behind you is passing
you, and then you hit the button, it will be too late and he will
have passed you.

The new IndyCars performed admirably at this circuit with
passing at unexpected places.
500 Veteran Grant Dies at 77
Aug. 13 - Jerry Grant, a 10-time competitor in the Indianapolis
500 and the first person to turn an official lap faster than 200
mph in an Indy car, died Sunday, Aug. 12. He was 77.

Grant, a prominent American road racer, turned his historic
201.414-mph lap in 1972 at Ontario, Calif. But he is probably
best remembered for nearly winning the 1972 Indianapolis 500.

Driving the purple Mystery Eagle as teammate to
Bobby Unser
on Dan Gurney's All-American Racers team, Grant led at the
188-lap mark when he had to pit to replace a tire which was
losing air. Instead of pitting in his stall, he went to the adjoining
one of Unser, who had retired much earlier in the day. Whether
or not Grant actually took on any fuel from Unser's refueling
tank is up for discussion, but the hoses were momentarily
hooked up, and it became known that the tank in his own pit
was apparently empty, the maximum allotment of 275 gallons
having been exhausted.

While Grant did finish the 500 miles, taking the checkered flag
in second place behind
Mark Donohue, officials subsequently
disallowed Grant's final 12 laps, thus dropping him from second
to 12th.

Such an occurrence was hardly a new experience for Grant.
With only five minutes remaining in the 1966 Sebring 12 Hours,
the Ford GT Mk. II he shared with Gurney was in front when a
mechanical issue forced Gurney to stop on the course. Gurney
then proceeded to push the stricken car the final 300 yards to
the finish line, whereupon he was disqualified.

Gurney and Grant would have placed second, based on
distance covered, if the car remained untouched at the side of
the road. Less than three months later, Gurney and Grant were
seemingly on their way to winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans
when a mechanical issue eliminated them while leading at the
21-hour mark.

The diversified Grant, who climbed from 43rd to fifth in the 1967
Daytona 500, finished fifth in the 1966 Dixie 400 at Atlanta,
co-drove a Ford Cobra in the 1964 Targa Florio (shared
second in the GT class with Gurney) and had three top-10
finishes in the Indianapolis 500, topped by a seventh place in
1970. He competed in 49 USAC National Championship races
between 1965-77, placing third in the 1974 Ontario 500 and
fourth in a 150-mile event in 1969 on the road course at Castle
Rock, Colo.

An entertaining speaker and story teller, Grant became part of
Champion Spark Plug Company's Highway Safety program,
lecturing on highway safety to students and service personnel,
eventually succeeding
Fred Agabashian as Champion's
senior lecturer.
MotoGP Qualifying at Indianapolis
Aug 18 - Qualifying began today at 2 pm under sunny skies
and a lovely 78 degrees. There were some serious accidents
today however.

Casey Stoner crashed in a huge high side in Turn 13 at the
beginning of the session.  He knew he was hurt and lied there
awaiting a stretcher.  They thought he had torn his right ankle
ligament and took him to the hospital.  It did not appear as if
he'll be able to race tomorrow.

Late in the session, American
Ben Spies also crashed in turn
13.  He stood up and was ok.

A few minutes later and American Nicky Hayden was flung from
his Ducati in a high-side crash between turns 14 and 15.  He
was knocked unconscious and was taken to the hospital for a
CT scan.   He hurt his right hand.  It appears he too will not
compete tomorrow.

Dani Pedrosa broke the lap record on his Repsol Honda on his
way to winning the pole position for tomorrow's race.
Top Five MotoGP Qualifying:
1.   #26 Dani Pedrosa         1:38.813
2.   #99 Jorge Lorenzo        1:38.913
3.     #4 Andrea Dovizioso   1:39.235
4.   #11 Ben Spies               1:39.279
5.     #6 Stefan Bradl            1:39.437
Jorge Lorenzo said the infield portion of the 16-turn, 2.62-mile
circuit is dangerous at best.

“From (Turn) 5 on to the last one the surface is more white,” he
said. “Out of line it’s like being on ice.”

Aug 19 - Dani Pedrosa became the first MotoGP rider to win
the Red Bull Indianapolis GP twice and turned up the heat on
World Championship leader
Jorge Lorenzo with a dominant
victory Sunday, Aug. 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Pedrosa beat fellow Spaniard Lorenzo to the line by 10.823
seconds on his Repsol Honda. It was the second victory of the
season for Pedrosa, who also won this event in 2010.

The victory helped Pedrosa close to within 18 points of Lorenzo
with seven races remaining.

Andrea Dovizioso finished third on a Monster Yamaha Tech 3
machine. Reigning World Champion
Casey Stoner produced a
superb performance to finish fourth on his Repsol Honda after
suffering fractures in his right ankle and lower right leg, and
torn ligaments in his right ankle in a huge crash Saturday.

Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top five on his San Carlo
Honda Gresini bike.

Ben Spies rocketed to the lead on the first lap from
the fourth starting position on his Yamaha Factory Racing
machine. Pedrosa and Spies swapped the lead on the third and
fourth laps of the 28-lap race, with Pedrosa keeping the top
spot for good on Lap 4.

Spies was running a comfortable second when white smoke
began to stream from his exhaust pipes just as he crossed the
Yard of Bricks start-finish line to start Lap 7. Spies pulled off
track, out of the race.

It was a day of highs and lows for the other American riders.

Steve Rapp, 40, scored two points by finishing 14th on the
Attack Performance APR machine. It was the MotoGP debut for
American Motorcyclist Association veteran Rapp and Attack
Performance, based in California.

Aaron Yates finished a solid 16th on his GPTech BCL fielded
by Michigan-based GPTech, just missing scoring a point. It was
the MotoGP debut for AMA veteran Yates and GPTech and
Yates’ MotoGP debut and his first race since suffering severe
leg injuries in a crash in March 2010.

Nicky Hayden did not race on his Ducati after
suffering a concussion and two broken metacarpal bones in his
right hand in a huge crash Saturday.

Colin Edwards finished 13th on his NGM Mobile Forward
Racing Suter-BMW.
In the other World Championship races...

Marc Marquez of Spain expanded his points lead
with a commanding victory on his Team
CatalunyaCaixa Repsol Suter-Honda in the Moto2

Luis Salom of Spain earned his first Grand Prix
victory with a thrilling, last-lap victory in the Moto3
race. Salom climbed from third to the lead by diving
his RW Racing GP Kalex-KTM under
and Maverick Vinales in Turn 10 on the
final lap. He held on over the last six turns of the 16-
turn, 2.621-mile IMS circuit to beat Cortese by .056 of
a second.

Jonas Folger finished third after Vinales fell out of
the race in the second-to-last turn. He was unhurt.

Tyler O’Hara won the AMA Pro Vance & Hines
XR1200 Series race Sunday after
PJ Jacobsen fell
out of the lead on Lap 4 of the 10-lap race.
finished second.
There was also a race today - the first of the Harley XR1200

Kyle Wyman won the race when PJ Jacobsen fell out of the
lead on Lap 5, triggering a four-bike pileup that forced AMA
officials to red-flag and then end the race with no further
Kyle Wyman
2012 Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix Results
Ben Spies' engine blew while he was leading!
MotoGP Winner: Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda Team
MotoGP Heading to Czech Republic

August 25th News


Andrea Dovizioso
: Italian Dovizioso has finished on the
podium in four of the last five races on the Tech 3 Yamaha
to stay in fourth place, the highest-ranking rider on a
satellite (non-factory) bike. Dovizioso is the first satellite
rider since 2006 to record at least five podium finishes in a
season. Dovizioso also signed this week a lucrative,
two-year contract with Ducati to ride one of its factory bikes
starting next season.

Aleix Espargaro: Spaniard Espargaro has emerged as
the best rider on production-based Claiming Rule Teams
machinery this season, ahead of former MotoGP factory
riders Randy de Puniet and Colin Edwards. Espargaro
placed 10th and ninth at Laguna Seca and Indianapolis,
respectively, on his Power Electronics Aspar ART bike.

Casey Stoner
: Reigning World Champion Stoner's
attempt to end his career with a third MotoGP title appears
to be over after he returned to Australia this week for
surgery to repair the broken right leg and ankle and torn
right ankle ligaments he suffered in a vicious high-side
crash during qualifying Aug. 18 in the Red Bull Indianapolis
GP. Stoner will miss this event and may not return until late
September or early October on his Repsol Honda. He
entered this event 39 points behind championship leader
Jorge Lorenzo.

Nicky Hayden: 2006 World Champion Hayden also will not
compete at this event after missing his home round last
weekend at Indianapolis due to a broken hand and a
concussion suffered in a big accident during qualifying.
This is the first time Hayden has missed consecutive races
since he suffered a heel injury in 2008 while training on a
motocross bike. He had started 67 consecutive races
before missing the Red Bull Indianapolis GP last weekend.
American Hayden hopes to return to his Ducati Team
machine by the Grand Prix of San Marino on Sept. 16.
AJ Tested Positive For Prescription Drug
Aug 7 - Suspended NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger
says he tested positive for a prescription drug typically
used to treat attention deficit disorder.

Allmendinger said in an interview with ESPN that he took
Adderall a couple of days before the race at Kentucky
Speedway on June 30 because he was tired. He does not
have ADHD or a prescription for the drug.
He says a friend gave him the pill and said it was a workout
supplement that would give him energy.  

Two days later he was randomly tested at the race track.

Allmendinger told ESPN that he wasn't informed what drug
triggered the positive test -- only that it was an
amphetamine -- until after a B sample was tested July 24.

Allmendinger also said he had never taken the drug before.
Stewart Setting Good NASCAR Example?

Aug 26 -  Another one of NASCAR's hot-tempered cry
Tony Stewart, came down on Matt Kenseth's car
as Kenseth was passing him at the crashfest that is
Stewart managed to knock himself out of the race in the

He took his frustration out on Kenseth by throwing his
helmet toward Kenseth's head as he drove by.

I've seen big penalties in auto racing for flipping the bird
on TV or saying that a racing league has management
problems, or, as you can read above, by a driver taking a
prescription pill.

But I don't think any of those things are going to get you
thrown in the hoosegow in real life.  

Try going out on the interstate and throwing a bowling ball
at some body's windshield and see what happens.

I find it difficult to believe that NASCAR finds this
acceptable behavior.

Too bad the helmet didn't bounce back and hit Stewart in
the face.
IndyCar Races In Wine Country
Aug 26 - Will Power has won Sonoma the last two years
in a row.  He entered the race today first in points and he
had the pole position.

On the first lap at the turn 7 hairpin,
Helio Castroneves
Scott Dixon, spinning him.  Dixon kept it running
and fell back to 15th.  Castroneves was penalized with a
drive-through which dropped him back to 25th.  Both of
these drivers are competing with Power for the
championship.  Castroneves was 3rd in points and Dixon
was 4th in points.  Turn 7 would prove to be a fateful spot
as other drivers throughout the day would also get spun

Power pulled away from the pack and built up an 8 second
lead over his Penske teammate
Ryan Briscoe.  

Through out the day, the leaders were:
1. Will Power
2. Ryan Briscoe
3. Sebastien Bourdais
4. Dario Franchitti
5. Alex Tagliani
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay

Dixon was doing a good job working his way back up to the
front, but he tangled with Hunter-Reay and damaged his
front wing.

It was looking like IndyCar would have it's 3rd caution free
race in a row, but 21 laps from the end, Bourdais went off
course and collected
Joseph Newgarden, causing a bad
accident.  Power had just pitted and the caution came out.  
Some drivers pitted, including Briscoe.  Power had already
came out of the pits but got caught behind the pace car
and Briscoe became the new leader!
At the restart on lap 11, Tags came in too hot into turn 7
and spun Hunter-Reay who stalled his car, which brought
out another caution.

Briscoe held onto the lead for the win.  This was his 7th win
and his first since the 2011 Texas race.

While Power was sad not to have won, he was happy that
his points lead was extended.  

Surprisingly, Castroneves finished in 6th.

Note: Indy Lights driver
Sebastian Saveedra, racing in
his first IndyCar race since the Indy 500, had a great
weekend and finished in 15th.
Sebastien Bourdais takes out Joseph Newgarden