February 2014 News
Latest news is at the bottom
NASCAR Changes The Chase

Feb 1 - Bill France announced changes to the
way the NASCAR Cup championship will be
decided this year.

Here's an overview of the new format:

• The postseason field will expand from 12 to
16. If a driver wins a race in the 26-event
regular season, he's essentially locked into
the playoffs. The driver that captures the
regular season points championship is also
in. If there are more than 15 different race
winners, the tiebreaker will be position in
the standings.

• The Chase is now elimination-style, sort of.
After the first three races, the bottom four
drivers will be out of the title hunt—unless one
of the four notches a playoff victory, which
automatically moves the driver to the next
round. After six Chase races, three more
drivers will be gone; after nine, only four will
still have a shot at the title.
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• At Homestead in November, the points will be
wiped clean to set up a winner-take-all dash to
the title between the final four drivers. It should be
noted that, if this format had been in place in
2013, the championship-winning driver wouldn't
have taken a single checkered flag in the
playoffs. That driver's name: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
New F1 Cars First Test

Feb 4 - Most Formula 1 teams showed up at the
Jerez circuit in Spain at the end of January to test
their new race cars.  Besides new aero rules, there
is a new engine formula - a turbo 1.6L 6-cylinder.  
There are three engine manufacturers remaing in
Formula 1 after Cosworth's withdrawal: Ferrari,
Mercedes and Renault.

Mercedes ran a total of 309 laps with Ferrari
following with 251 laps.  While McLaren skipped the
first day of practice, Lotus did not show up at all.

Red Bull, who won the championship last year, was
only able to run 21 laps all week due to a variety of
problems such as overheating, poorly-fitted parts,
battery problems and electical issues.

Formula 1's next test will be in Bahrain beginning
February 19th.
Rookie Kevin Magnussen clocked the fastest time of the week
in McLaren Mercedes' new MP4-29.
Fastest Lap of the Day

Day 1     Kimi Raikkonen       Ferrari                            1:27.104 seconds
Day 2     Jenson Button          McLaren-Mercedes      1.24.65 seconds
Day 3     Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedese    1:23.276 seonds
Day 4     Felipe Massa           Williams                         1:28.229 seconds
New Brickyard Vintage Racing Event

Feb 4 - For the first time ever, the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway will host more than 500 of the world's
finest and most historic racecars as they compete
on the recently reconfigured road course as well as
running exhibition events on the famed 2.5 miles oval
as part of the
Sportscar Vintage Racing Association's
Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational to be held
June 6-8.

The races will showcase a wide variety of cars
including cars that competed in past Indianapolis
500s, cars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup and
Nationwide Series, Formula One, Grand-Am
prototypes and Trans-Am. In addition, American
racing cars from makes like Chevrolet will compete
with historic racecars from Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar,
MG and many others in twelve different classes of
racing. A special class will also feature open-wheel
race cars with Indianapolis 500 or other historic
racing background.  

Racing at IMS will be virtually non-stop each day from
8 a.m.-6 p.m. The cars will be on display in the infield
and open to all fans providing up close access to the

"Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans appreciate and
enjoy the history of racing and welcoming this event
to IMS is the perfect way to celebrate racing history
with cars that have competed in all different classes
and many different venues over the last 100 years,"
J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor
Speedway president. "SVRA events are incredibly
fan friendly, offering everyone the rare opportunity to
get close to the historic racecars, talk to the owners
and drivers, and trade stories about racing's heritage.
When you combine the story of each of the cars
competing to the over 100 years of history and stories
of competition at IMS, this will be an unforgettable
weekend of racing."

The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association is one of
the oldest and largest of the vintage racing
organizations in the United States. Originally called
the Southeast Vintage Racing Association and
founded in 1981, the organization has become the
premier vintage racing organization in the United
States with more than 1,500 members. Over the
years SVRA has conducted Vintage events at
legendary race tracks throughout the country including
Sebring, Road America, Watkins Glen International,
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and Circuit of the

"We are extremely pleased and excited to present the
first ever Vintage racing event at the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway," said SVRA President and CEO
Tony Parella. "We are confident that the incredible
heritage and geographic location of the Speedway
will make the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational
the largest Vintage event ever held in the United
The Day Before The 500 Concert

Feb 10 - One track day in May that I have always
avoided is the day before the race.  There has
always been the drivers' meeting on this day, and
not much of anything else.  No cars on the track.

This is unfortunate for many race fans who fly into
town for just the weekend.  

IndyCar has been trying to spice things up for the fans
on this day.

They now call it Legends Day, where they salute an
old race car pilot.  This year it is Mario Andretti's turn.

All 33 drivers will be available for autographs too.

Today they announced they are going to have a music
concert.  His name is
Jason Aldean.  He has five
platinum albums.  Normally, Rock n Roll is played at
the track during the month of May.  However, Aldean
plays country music.
Legend Day follows Carburation Day.  IMS has not
yet announced what rock band will be playing on
Carb Day.  What we do know is it is free.  Not so for
this country concert.

Current ticket-holders to any 2014 IMS events are
eligible to receive discounted general admission
tickets for $25 or a VIP ticket for $40. Advance
general admission tickets are $30, and day of show
tickets are $35. VIP tickets are available for $50 in
advance and $60 day of show.  
Note: The VIP is already sold out.
IndyCar Driver Trying Formula 1

Feb 16 - Simona De Silvestro moved to the U.S.
from Switzerland when she was 18 to drive race cars.  
She competed in the Formula BMW USA series in
2006, followed by the Formula Atlantic Championship
from 2007 to 2009.  

Hired by HVM Racing, she moved to IndyCar in 2010
where she won Rookie of the Year honors at the Indy

She picked up sponsorship from NuClear Clean Air
Energy the following year which she held on to the
following three years.

She moved to KV Racing last year where she had a
successful season, grabbing a 2nd place finish at
the first Houston race.  She finished in the Top 10 at
eight races last year.

Unfortunately for her IndyCar fans, De Silvestro is
leaving this year to pursue her dream of racing in F1.

The Swiss-based Sauber F1 team have appointed
the homegrown De Silvestro as an affiliated driver,
which will see the 25-year-old initially involved in a
preparation program with the team.

That will include on-track testing and simulator
training, as well as mental and physical preparation
for De Silvestro to gain the necessary super licence
that will allow her to compete in F1.

Good luck Simona!
At Indy in 2011, she suffered 2nd-degree burns to her
hands after a mechanical fault during practice sent
her car airborne and into the outside retaining wall.  
The brave driver didn't let the injury deter her from
competing race day!
In 2010, De Silvestro's crashed car caught on fire at
Texas Motor Speedway.  A fumbling safety crew took  
39 seconds to rescue her.  She was vey lucky that she
only burned her finger.
Simona De Silvestro (2nd), Scott Dixon (1st) and Justin Wilson (3rd) on podium
after the first race at the 2013 Houston Grand Prix.
Injury from 2011 Indy 500 practice crash.
Danica Back in My News Finally!

Feb 17 - I feel like she's looking at me
looking at her nipple.
Could NASCAR Drivers Race in Indy 500?

Feb 19 - With Kyle Larson’s recent declaration
about trying to do the Memorial Day ‘Double’ and
Kurt Busch being around 70% done with his plans
for the ‘Double’, lets look back at the history of the
feat known as the ‘Double’.

The Indy 500 was held on Sunday for the first time in
1974, and the Coca Cola 600 was held around the
same time during the day. Doing the ‘Double’ at that
point was physically impossible, but in 1992, lights
were installed around Charlotte Motor Speedway,
and the start time of the 600 was moved to the late
afternoon, making the feat possible.

John Andretti became the first driver to attempt the
‘Double’. He finished 10th at Indy in 1994 but
dropped out of the 600 with engine failure.

Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart were the only
two other drivers to compete in both races on the
same day. However, Stewart was the only driver to
finish all 1100 miles, finishing 6th at Indy and 3rd at
Charlotte in 2001. Gordon was one lap short the
following year of finishing all 1100 miles and in
subsequent years was not able to finish one of the
two races in 2003 and 2004.

When the start time for the 500 was moved to noon
EST, travel time was reduced for drivers wanting to
compete in both races, making the feat near impossible.

However, with the start time for the 500 back to where
it was, the feat has become possible again for drivers
to do, but there are noticeable challenges.

1. Logistics
The driver must be able to get from the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway to the Indianapolis airport in an
expedited fashion and fly to Charlotte by a set time,
as air travel will be around an hour. After landing in
Charlotte, the driver has to have quick travel to
Charlotte Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart was able
to use helicopters to achieve fast travel back in 2001
between the tracks and the airports, so that wasn’t a
big issue for him.

2. Weather
If the 500 is delayed for weather, one event may be
declared the priority event. In 2000, Robby Gordon
stayed in Indy when the start was delayed and missed
the start at Charlotte. In 2004, he left Indy during a rain
delay after the race had started, so he left for Charlotte
and another driver drove for him. Then again,
Charlotte may have issues that may delay the start of
the race to the next day, making the feat not a same
day affair.

3. Health
A driver must be in near-perfect physical condition for
the races. Tony Stewart had numerous IVs
administered to him in his 2001 odyssey but was able
to finish the 600 with the fastest last lap of the race.
Kyle Larson, Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
4. Sponsorship Conflicts
A driver might have sponsorship or manufacturer
conflicts to deal with when trying to do the double.
Chevy has told Kurt Busch to try seeking out Chevy
IndyCar teams, which might hinder his opportunities
at Indy (Kurt tested with Andretti Autosport last year,
they switched to Honda this year). In 2004, Tony
Stewart was considering driving an A. J. Foyt-entered
car in the 500, but contracts prevented him from
wheeling a Toyota-engined car at Indy when Chevrolet
powered cars were already in the field.

Some cars would be an instant no for many drivers
wanting to race. There would most likely be a ban on
Toyota drivers in NASCAR driving IndyCars with
Honda engines in the back of them.

But, despite all the challenges in place, two drivers
might make an attempt this year at running both races.
If the plans come together, it could be a wild ride.
NASCAR's Bowyer Flip

Feb 21 - A nine-car accident happened coming to the
checkered flag in the second of Thursday night's
Budweiser Duel qualifying races at Daytona
International Speedway.

It started due to Jimmie Johnson running out of gas.

In the video, you will see Clint Bowyer flipping, landing
on his tires and continuing!  Pretty cool.
Formula 1 Testing at Bahrain

Feb 22 - Formula 1 spent four days in Bahrain
preparing for the start of the 2014 season.  
Championship team Red Bull continues to have
problems.  The last test session will be next Thursday
at Bahrain.

Day 1 Fastest Lap
Nico Hülkenberg, Force India, 1:36.880s  78 laps

Day 2 Fastest Lap
Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1m34.910s  46 laps

Day 3 Fastest Lap
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:34.263  67 laps

Day 4 Fastest Lap
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:33.283  89 laps
Kimi Räikkönen spun and hit the wall
at Turn 4 at the end of Day 4.
Daytona 500

Feb 23 - The Daytona 500 kicks off the NASCAR
season.  The race started at 1:30 p.m.  Rain storms
rolled in and red flagged the race on lap 36.  

The sun went down and the race had not been
restarted yet.  But Daytona Motor Speedway has

The race resumed around 8:30 p.m. and lasted till just
past 11 p.m.  It looked like most of the crowd came

A tight two columns of cars raced hard to the end.  
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was able to hold off Jimmie
and Jeff Gordon to take the win.  
Earnhardt won the race once before ten years ago.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Villeneuve Will Race in Indy 500

Feb 26 - Jacques Villeneuve is ready to make an
IndyCar comeback.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports said Wednesday it has
hired Villeneuve to race in this year's Indianapolis 500,
19 years after the Canadian driver first drank the milk
in Victory Lane.

At age 42, Villeneuve seemed content being a
television analyst, musician and RallyCross driver.
But when ,
Sam Schmidt, Jr. and co-owner Rick
, also from Canada, made a serious offer,
he couldn't refuse.

Villeneuve certainly has a compelling resume.

As an Indy rookie in 1994, he qualified fourth and
finished second to
Al Unser Jr., and was named the
race's rookie of the year.

The next season, the reigning CART rookie of the
year was even better. He qualified fifth at Indy, forced
Scott Goodyear into a costly mistake on the final
restart and eventually held off
Christian Fittipaldi to
become the first and only Canadian winner of the
race. Villeneuve completed all 400 laps at Indy in
those two starts and won the 1995 CART title, too.

But after starting 33 races, winning six poles and five
races in two IndyCar seasons, Villeneuve had a
chance to become an international star. So he
headed to Europe and joined Formula One — the
series that made his late father, Gilles, a household

Like his dad, who died in a 1982 F1 qualifying crash,
Villeneuve excelled on the world stage. In 163 career
starts between 1996 and 2006, the younger
Villeneuve reached the podium 23 times, won 11
races, 13 poles and claimed the 1997 world
championship. At that point, American open-wheel
racing wasn't even on the radar.

His journey back to North America began in 2007
when Villeneuve made the move to American stock
cars. Over the next seven seasons, he dabbled in
Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Le Mans series as well
as sports cars.

Villeneuve regained interest in IndyCars last season
as he watched how close and competitive the races
had become. To him, it reminded him of the series he
left almost two decades earlier.

Suddenly, he was interested in making a return — if
he could find the right car and the right team.

"To get this opportunity is a gift," Villeneuve said. "A
lot of people say when you have kids, you slow down. I
want my kids to see me race."
Schmidt is the winningest team owner in Indy Lights
history and already employs two full-time drivers in the
better-known IndyCar series — Russia's
and France's Simon Pagenaud. In previous
years, Schmidt has always found a way to compete at

Getting Villeneuve might be the biggest coup of all for
his low-budget team.

"Indy is a special place. We go there not to exist but to
win the race," Schmidt said. "To see a guy that
finished second and finished first there, I don't think
he's going to have any problem going back."

Villeneuve becomes the fifth 500 winner on this year's
entry list. The others are three-time winner
of Brazil, two-time winner Scott Dixon
of New Zealand, 2000 winner Juan Pablo Montoya
of Colombia and Brazil's Tony Kanaan, the
defending champ.

Another trip to Victory Lane would give Villeneuve
two more milestones. He would break Al Unser's
record for the longest gap between first and last
victories. Unser went 17 years between his first Indy
crown in 1970 and his record-tying fourth win in 1987.
Villeneuve also would break
Gordon Johncock's
record for the longest gap between first and second
wins at Indy, 1973 and 1982.

Villeneuve isn't motivated by records. He wants to win.

"I'm a racer," he said, explaining he does not plan to
retire anytime soon. "I've got to find ways to get better
and better and better, and I'm going there with a team
that's very experienced and has been very successful
as well."

Montoya, who is also returing to IndyCar after a long
hiatus, used to race Villeneuve in Formula 1.
1995 Indy 500 Winner - Jacques Villeneuve
"I can't really as a former driver get my arms around the Chase format.  Like always, I
definitely want to put a premium on winning. But there's also something to be said for being
up there every week. You're still a competitor and could be a worthy champion. You could
probably have twice the points heading into the Chase as somebody who won one race
and finished 35th in every other one of them."
Mario Andretti's comment
on "The Chase: