Archive for November, 2009
Monday, November 30th, 2009
Monday December 7th, 7:06 PM: Another “Night of Champions” with 2009 and 6-time consecutive NHRA Top Fuel Drag Racing champion TONY SCHUMACHER… and with the wounded economy still a big headline in the sport, how to race at the hobby level and not break the bank with former DIRT Modified regular Joe Middlemiss, racing in “ChumpCar” and “The 24 Hours of Lemons… plus The Tissot/Raceline E-Mail Bag.
Coming Up December 14th: show # 1 in our annual Holiday Season “Best Of” Raceline Radio series featuring replays of some of the best interviews from the 2009 Raceline season!
Best-Of # 1: December 14th: Jeff Arend, Francois Dumontier, Robert Wickens and Tom McGeer
Best-Of # 2: December 21st: AJ Allmendinger, Jordan Szoke, JR Fitzpatrick and Alex Tagliani
Best-Of # 3: December 28th: Jay Mason, Tom Ryley, Danica Patrick and Jack Roush.
Best-Of # 4: January 4th, 201o: Richard Petty and Junior Johnson, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Schumacher and Dari Franchitti.
Saturday, November 28th, 2009
To the City of Montreal, the Quebec and Federal governments, nice work!
You told F-1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone to stuff his 175 million dollar price tag to keep the Canadian Grand Prix in your town, and look what happened.
Bernie lost money trying to hold you for ransom. He lost money taking your race to Turkey.
On top of that, the manufacturers that remain in F-1 “told” Bernie they needed to re-establish contact with their North American customer base, and get us back racing there, pronto!
So as much as you needed the GP back for your tourism trade, Bernie needed it more than you did!
That’s why you got the Canadian Grand Prix for $75 million for 5 years, a cut rate discount from Bernie’s ridiculous price tag of $175 million.
The only bad part of this deal?
You never gave the out of town media a chance to attend the media conference to announce the new deal.
You issued the release calling the conference, then had it the same day, Friday.
But I’m glad Formula One is back where it belongs, to reset itself as Canada’s biggest sports weekend.
Now, if we can just get Canadian Motor Speedway in Fort Erie approved, with the return of the IRL Indy to Toronto, despite the rotten economy, this will go down as one of the biggest and best seasons ever in Canadian motorsport!
Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
I’m sure Kris Dubé at the Fort Erie Times wouldn’t mind us posting his story here, to bring us all up to date on what’s shaping up to be an historic process for Canadian race fans.
The idea of a major motor speedway in Fort Erie is speeding towards the finish line.
At Monday’s regular council meeting, a presentation was made by a representative from Urban and Environmental Management Inc., a consultant acquired by the proponents hoping to build the Canadian Motor Speedway on 823 acres of land adjacent to the QEW between Bowen and Thompson Roads. While at the podium, Richard Brady said his client has a “sense of urgency” with the project moving forward and hopes it can be given approval before the end of the year. Following his presentation about different measures being taken to mitigate concerns about noise and environmental impact, he petitioned council to request a staff report be presented at the next council-in-committee meeting on Dec. 7th. Later in the meeting, Ward 4 Coun. Tim Whitfield made a motion, honouring the proponent’s request resulting in a report that will be brought forward at the next meeting.
Rino Mostacci, the Town’s director of planning and development said it is the right of the proponent to make such a request and it is also council’s option to honour it.
The Dec. 7th meeting would allow you to signal to the proponent your endorsement or not of the project,” Mostacci said to members of council.
Mostacci said a considerable amount of feedback has been received by the Town from many residents and with this report coming to council in less than two weeks, it is best practice to notify those who have offered their opinions about the Canadian Motor Speedway that a major step could be taken if council decides to approve the report. He said it is fortunate many email addresses and phone numbers have been collected, making it less difficult to contact people who have been providing input.
“There is no statutory requirement for notice because this won’t be a public meeting…we‘ve already had that,” said Mostacci.
“This will be a courtesy contact to let people know who have participated in the process that the matter is being considered again by council,” he added.
Jay Mason, one of the proponents hoping to bring the one-mile oval track and 2.5 mile road course to Fort Erie said this project has been in the works for over five years and it’s nice to see it move forward.
He said the concerns of residents will not be by-passed and if the speedway is approved, those concerns will be implemented into the plan.
“You can take it from me, we are going to deal with those issues as if it were in our own backyard,” he said after the speedway-related presentation.
With a revised noise study due to be received by the middle of December, Mason said environmental concerns are also very important. Plans for the proposed speedway also involve a research and development centre operated by McMaster University, hospitality facilities, a commercial shopping area, restaurants and more.
He referred to a global shortage of fossil fuels, saying the research and development aspect of the proposed facility will be a breeding ground for breakthrough research that deals with heavily addressed environmental issues.
“The solutions to those issues are going to come from places like this,” he said.
During the meeting, mayor Doug Martin suggested a larger venue for Dec. 7th when Town staff will present its next report to council, presuming a large crowd of residents will likely attend to gather more information. The Leisureplex banquet hall was the first location mentioned by the mayor.
He said approving Whitfield’s motion to have staff return with another report was the proper thing to do because if the investors, Emirates Consulting, is not given an indication as to when the project will be approved, it wouldn’t take much for them to seek a different municipality to build the speedway in.
“They’ve got a lot of money invested in this to date and if there is no support for this, they’ll look elsewhere,” said Martin after the meeting.
The project is expected to generate millions of dollars for the Town and will create 100 full time jobs and 2,500 part time jobs.
Once approved by the Town, the project will also need approval from the Niagara Region which may occur on Dec. 9th.
Auto-racing star Jeff Gordon will also be affiliated with the $150 million facility if it is built.
The proposal indicates plans to seat 65,000 race fans with the potential to expand to 100,000.
Thanks Kris… cross yer fingers kids… this could be huge, and what an enormous Christmas present if it gets approved before the 25th of next month!
Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
2009, like last year, has been the year of the streak.
Winning streaks, long stretches of winning.
I love seeing everyone try to catch and kill the giant!
Both Chicago Illinois’ Tony Schumacher and Frenchman Sebastien Loeb this season, both nailed their 6th consecutive points championships. Schumacher in NHRA Top Fuel Drag Racing, and Loeb in World Rally Championship play for Citroen.
The astounding thing about Tony’s streak is that his crew chief Alan Johnson, and most of his team left to form their own outfit after his 2008 title, and not too many so-called experts gave “Sarge” a cat’s chance of winning title # 6.
But he did. Because he’s that good.
Sebastien Loeb is simply at the top of his rally game right now, and even though Mikko Hirvonen gave him quite a tussle, there was just no stopping him from winning his 6th straight championship.
Winning back-to-back championships is hard enough… think about 6 in a row.
Longest championship in other sports, the Montreal Canadians-5 cups in a row.
Let’s not overlook Jimmie Johnson’s record setting 4 straight NASCAR Sprint Cup crowns. Talk about handling a deep field, the deepest in racing! Wow!
Schumacher, Johnson and Loeb. Incredible shows of excellence, considering how competitive each field is.
And you know what’s scary? All 3 have a better than decent chance of winning each title again in 2010.
Until next time..
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
By Erik Tomas, The Raceline Radio Network.
Wrapping up weekend of Nov. 20, 21, 22nd, 2009, and on-track racing season!
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: SEASON COMPLETED!
Sunday Nov. 22nd: Homestead, Miami Florida.
Chase race 10/10:Last Race: Miami Homestead Speedway: Jimmie Johnson did exactly what he had to do. From the pole he simply stayed out of trouble to finish 5th, while Mark Martin could do no better than 12th, so it’s all done. Jimmie Johnson wins 7 this year to claim a record 4th straight NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, by 141 points over Martin, to break the tie of 3 with Cale Yarborough. 12th career title for team owner Rick Hendrick, and the first owner in NASCAR’s 61 year history to have his drivers finish 1-2-3 in points: Johnson, Martin and Jeff Gordon.
2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season opener: Sunday Feb.14 Daytona 500
Formula One World Driving Championship: SEASON COMPLETED!
2010 season opener: March 14th in Bahrain.UK’s Jenson Button claims his first career championship and Brawn wins the Constructors crown in their first year of operation.
Biggest question pending in the off-season: Is the Canadian Grand Prix confirmed for Montreal for June 2010?______________________________________________________________________________________________
Indy Racing League IndyCar Series: SEASON COMPLETED!
2010 Season opener: March 14th in Brazil. 2 Canadian dates: Toronto July 18th and Edmonton July 25th.
Target Chip Ganassi’s Dario Franchitti claims his 2nd IRL IndyCar Series championship in 3 seasons. The 2010 season will feature at least one full time Canadian team again: Montreal’s Alex Tagliani. ____________________________________________________________________________________
American LeMans Series: SEASON COMPLETED!
LMP-1 champion: Brabham/Sharp. LMP-2 champion: Diaz/Fernandez. GT-2 champion: Bergmeister/Long.
Note: Mosport confirmed for 2010 ALMS schedule: August 29th.
Rallying: Canadian Rally Championship presented by Subaru: SEASON COMPLETED!
Season closer: Rally of the Tall Pines, Bancroft. November 21. Mechanicals decide it! Pat Richard battles a jammed up gear box while a burned out clutch kills Antoine L’Estage’s weekend. Richard wins the Pines to claim his 2nd-straight Canadian Rally Championship presented by Subaru.
World Rally Championship: SEASON COMPLETED!
Frenchman Sebastien Loeb/Citroen claims an unprecedented 6th straight WRC title. 2
2010 season opener: February 4th, Rally Sweden.
Monday December 7th: 6-time NHRA Top Fuel drag racing champion TONY SCHUMACHER… The “24 Hours of Lemons” on a budget with JOE MIDDLEMISS, and the Tissot/Raceline E-Mail Bag.
- Guest scheduling is subject to change.
Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
Hey there… busy like an idiot this week…
Spoke with Jack Roush and his hat yesterday at Warplanes Heritage museum under the
wing of the “last” Lancaster Bomber left that flies in the world. Jack rode in the bump-seat
of the Lanc and also rode in the B-25 Mitchell bomber. The convo on the next show and how
WWII aircraft engines helped Jack with some things on the Ford cuo motors. Very cool!
Jimmie Johnson will win a record 4th straight Cup title this weekend. We will have sound on the show
I want to get 6-time consecutive NHRA Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher on the show, but his PR people
are not returning messages. “Sarge” has been demoted to buck-private by the Raceline nation.
Until next time..
Friday, November 13th, 2009
Gee thanks guys…. what kept ya!
Nothing like being scooped by 9 years…
This was posted on the “Autosport” website this morning: Formula-2 runner-up Robert Wickens targets a move to F1 for 2010, although a lack of sponsorship could stop him achieving his dream. Formula Two runner-up Robert Wickens has revealed that has spoken ‘off the record’ with a number of teams about making the move into F1 for the 2010 season. Wickens’ will head in to 2010 as the only driver from North America to hold a valid FIA superlicence which could make him a possible option for teams, although a lack of sponsorship was likely to work against him.
“I haven’t been approached officially, but I have spoken off the record with a few F1 teams,” he told Canada’s Globe and Mail. “I will be the only North American in 2010 to hold a valid FIA super-licence, which could pay dividends. But we will have to wait and see. “Basically, if you can’t bring any money to the table, you can’t get in with one of the new teams and, with the current economy, you aren’t going to get a reserve role with any of the other teams. I have always said my whole life since I was 10 years old that I just want a career in motorsports. I mean the goal is still F1 and my dream is F1, but in the end, I would rather pay my bills racing than being in an office from nine to five.”
As “Hard Ball” TV host Chris Matthews likes to say, “tell me something I don’t know!”
Other than the fact young Robert ( 20 ) is now the only North American driver to hold an FIA Super-License, we’ve known everything else in this article, suddenly discovered by the Globe and Mail, ever since Wickens was 11 years old.
That’s when he first appeared on The Raceline Radio Network. When he was only 11 years old!
We’ve tracked his career through the Red Bull thing, and when he’s on with us again next week, he will talk about having that license, and repeat his plan to become a Formula One driver.
I think Rob is Canada’s next great F-1 hope.
The fact he’s spoken to some F-1 teams is not new, and his repeated statement he will need to find sponsorship to make that happen is seriously old news.
But you knew that already Mr. and Mrs. Raceline listener….didn’t you?
BTW: This weeks show will feature another exclusive interview with Azhar Mohammad of Emirates Consulting, the firm proposing to build that NASCAR/IRL calibre one mile oval/2 mile road course complex in Fort Erie/Niagara. The vote is less than a month away, and we are getting ever closer to having a facility of this size and quality in Canada for the first time.
And like the Wickens story, The Raceline Radio Network is the only radio outlet anywhere near this story…
But ya’ll knew that too… didn’t you!
Until next time…
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
Wednesday was remembrance day. For our American friends, Veterans Day.
At the stroke of 11 AM, a couple of World War II fighter planes flew over the home office.
I have a passion for WWII aircraft.
Not sure what these babies were, but they were single seater radial engined Navy planes I’m pretty sure.
I thought one of them was a Grumman TBM Avenger, a Navy torpedo plane.
I remember The Canadian Warplanes Heritage Museum near Hamilton used to have an Avenger in their collection, but that fire in hangar 3 in ’93 consumed that big blue bird with the folding wings, along with a few others including a magnificent Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane.
Where ever these planes came from this morning, with that unmistakable rattly-poppy radial engine sound came from… thank you.
Same thing when the Lancaster bomber flies over with those 4 fabulous straight-pipe Packard Merlin V-12′s.
Those sounds get you off your butt and out of your house to look up … and reflect.
These planes are living, working monuments and memorials to the brave men and women who used them to destroy cruel dictatorships to preserve our freedom and way of life.
The Lancaster is one of only 2 in the world still flying.
How lucky we are to have one of them only a few miles away, where with the B-25 Mitchell, Spitfire and others can take to the skies, especially on remembrance day, to remind us what sacrifice and bravery is really all about.
These are the planes pilots and crews from across Canada flew into the teeth of incredible danger day after day, year after year until the job was done and the evil vanquished.
A lot of these brave souls didn’t make it back home.
You may take your poppy off … but the planes are still flying.
It’s the sound of history, of victory, of bravery and sacrifice.
Thank you Vets…
“Never have so many owed so much… to so few!” – Winston Churchill
Friday, November 6th, 2009
Despite some logistical difficulties, we loved the fact the IndyCars returned to Toronto this past July to start another 22 year run at the CNE grounds. With Edmonton, two shows in Canada.
How lucky are we?
But all the while, we silently worried about the long term survival of the IRL.
They didn’t have a title sponsor to prop it all up, like NASCAR has Sprint… as in Sprint Cup.
It got even more bleak when the Hulman-George family recently took Tony’s toy away.
“Grandson” George founded the IRL IndyCar Series, and is seen as a villain for splitting IndyCar racing into two weakened IndyCar divisions. CART/ChampCar on one side, The IRL on the other side, with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy 500 as the wedge.
I was one of Tony’s biggest critics.
For the good of this form of racing, it was clear the two sides had to re-join, and that happened, when The IRL swallowed what was left of ChampCar.
But all the while, we knew Tony, make that Tony’s family, was paying the bills out of the profits of the Speedway, and their Clabber Girl baking powder fortune.
Tony’s sisters and his mother demoted him, took him off the board, and even though they told everyone they were behind the IRL IndyCar Series, they no longer wanted to pay for it out of their own pockets.
So how long could the series survive on its own?
Not long without some help. Not without a title sponsor.
But along comes The Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation and their IZOD sports apparel brand, escalating their involvement from the official clothing of the IndyCar Series, to the title sponsor of the whole shootin’ match.
Big money has arrived!
IZOD intends to restore IndyCar racing back to the top again, because once upon a time, IndyCar racing was vastly more popular than NASCAR’s stock car racing.
They intent to get IndyCar’s drivers out on the red carpet, and because they’re a company outside the usual gas/oil/tires realm, they can expose the so-called “pop culture” to these very fast and exciting race cars and the men and women who drive them.
It puts IndyCar racing on a much larger stage.
Ryan Hunter-Reay says IZOD’s partnership is exactly what the IndyCar Series has been waiting for.
Of course RHR is right.
Man, do I admire people with guts!
Phillips-Van Heusen/IZOD is the largest apparel company in the world.
How did they get that way?
They learned a hard and fast rule of marketing and advertising that too many companies have forgotten.
That you do not cut back your advertising, marketing and promotion during a recession, you INCREASE it.
In racing terms, you keep your damn foot on the throttle and pass your competition who’s slowing down or stopping during the recession, so that when it gets back to normal, you are leading, and the competition is now hopelessly behind.
Unlike manufacturers in Formula One, and a few more in NASCAR, who all have what they believe are legitimate reasons for getting out of the sport, PVH-IZOD hasn’t “lifted”.
And as an IndyCar fan, I thank the Lord PVH-IZOD has a lead foot!
Until Next time…