Archive for August, 2011
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
Ring the bell, and put your $ on Boris!
NASCAR officials will review an incident in which Greg Biffle took a swing at Boris Said in the garage following Monday’s Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International.
Biffle approached Said’s car after a wild green-white-checkered finish in which Said got into the back of David Ragan, Biffle’s Roush Fenway Racing teammate.
The bump sparked a violent crash that destroyed the cars of Ragan and David Reutimann, whose Toyota went upside down and into a retaining wall shortly before another crash initiated by Tony Stewart brought out a caution flag and secured Marcos Ambrose’s first Sprint Cup win.
After the race, Biffle took at least one swing at Said through the window of Said’s Phoenix Racing Chevrolet. Once Said unstrapped himself and climbed out of the car he went after Biffle, who by then was protected by his crew.
“He is the most unprofessional little scaredy cat I’ve ever seen in my life,” said an angry Said during a TV interview with ESPN. “He wouldn’t even fight me like a man after. So if someone texts me his address, I’ll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs.”
“He needs a whooping and I’m going to give it to him. He was flipping me off, giving me the finger. Totally unprofessional. Two laps down. I mean, he is a chump,” Said added.
Said, a road course specialist who finished 22nd, admitted it was his contact that initiated the crash that collected Ragan and Reutimann, who were released from the infield care center without major injuries.
But Said was more upset with Biffle, who finished 31st after running out of gas early, than about the accident.
“He comes over and throws a few little baby punches and then when I get out he runs away and hides behind some big guys,” Said said. “But he won’t hide from me long. I’ll find him. I won’t settle it out on the track. It’s not right to wreck cars, but, he’ll show up at a race with a black eye one of these days. I’ll see him somewhere.”
Biffle used his Twitter page to respond to Said’s remarks.
“Boris,’the roadcourse ringer’ caused that wreck,” he posted on his page, later adding. “Then Mr. Class pulls in behind my truck after the race today?! Shouldn’t you go check on David & David? How unprofessional & disrespectful!”
Both drivers left the track before NASCAR officials had a chance to talk to them.
“We are evaluating the situation,” NASCAR spokesperson Kristi King said.
Any potential penalties likely would be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Monday, August 15th, 2011
By Erik Tomas, The Raceline Radio Network.
Weekend of: August 12, 13 and 14th, previewing August 19, 20, 21, 2011
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:
Last Race: Sunday August 14th: Watkins Glen NY Road Course. Rain pushes race to Monday Aug 15th at 10 AM! Aussie Marcos Ambrose tapped Brad Keselowski out of the way with 2 laps to go, then made his fuel last as the rain re-started for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup win. Last lap, David Regan got David Reutimann airborne into the fence. Same crash collected Toronto’s Ron Fellows.
All drivers OK. Roxton Pond Quebec’s Andrew Ranger 35th.
Cup Points: Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch are tied at 752 each, 6 ahead of Jimmie Johnson.
Next Race: Sunday August 21: Michigan. Last year’s winner: Kevin Harvick.
Indy Racing League IZOD IndyCar Series:
Last Race: Sunday August 14th: New Hampshire. A mess! First points leader Dario Frachitti is taken out by Takuma Sato and DNF’s. The with 8 laps to go, IndyCar inexplicably re-starts the race while it’s still raining triggering a big crash. After the wreck, they checker the race and award the win to Ryan Hunter Reay even though he doesn’t actually take the green! Drivers are furious! Oriol Servia 2nd, Scott Dixon 3rd. Toronto’s James Hinchcliffe 4th. Will Power 5th. Power gives the double-finger to race control for the botched re-start and finish ruling!
Alex Tagliani had a body work fire: 19th.
IndyCar Points: Power’s 5th and Dario’s DNF means Power pulls to within 35 of Franchitti with 5 races to go.
Next Race: Sunday August 28th: Infineon Raceway, Sonoma California. Last year’s winner: Power. _____________________________________________________________________________
Formula One World Driving Championship:
Next Race: Sunday August 28th, Belgian Grand Prix, Spa Franchorchamps. Last year’s winner: Lewis Hamilton.
Last Race: Sunday July 31, Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring: Jenson Button wins his 2nd of the season to with his win in Montreal.
F-1 Points: Vettel still leads Mark Webber ( 5th ) by 85 in Driver’s. Red Bull with a healthy lead over McLaren in Constructors: 103.
Next American LeMans Series August 8th: Mid-Ohio: Luhr/Graf, Muscle Milk Aston Martin wins overall and LMP-1 to go back to back with Mosport win. Canada’s Kyle Marcelli and Tommy Drissi win LMPC. Henzler/Sellers win GT. Next Race: Aug 18th: Road America.
World Rally Championship: July 31: Finland: Sebastien Loeb ( Citroen ) to lead Mikko Hirvonen by 27 in Driver points.
Canadian Rally Championship presented by Subaru: July 1-2: Rally Baie des Chauleurs PQ. Winner: Antoine L’Estage. Next Rally: Sept. 9-10: Rally Defi St. Agathe PQ.
North American Championship: New England Forest Rally: Winner: L’Estage/Richard by a minute over Higgins/Drew ( Subaru ).
COMING UP ON RACELINE RADIO on SportsNet Radio The FAN 590:
Monday August 15th, 7:06 PM : RON FELLOWS on his JR Motorsports NASCAR NW rides at Watkins Glen and Montreal… MIKE BARTELLI recaps the Richard Petty Driving Experience Canadian Tour… TANA ROBINSON on the Alex Friesen Summer Nationals….PETE BICKNELL on this traction control controversy in DIRT Modifieds, and our Tissot/Raceline E-mail Bag contest!
Monday August 22nd: BOBBY RAHAL and PIPPA MANN talk about their progress toward a full-time IndyCar assignment… KYLE MARCELLI’s recent ALMS win is the first for a full-time Canadian driver since Ron Fellows. Kyle comments… plus our Tissot/Raceline E-Mail Bag contest!
-Guest scheduling is subject to change.
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Kimi Raikkonen did not deserve the title he won in 2007 and he only secured it because he was lucky, according to former world champion Jacques Villeneuve.
Raikkonen took the 2007 title for Ferrari against all odds, after overcoming a 17-point gap in the final two races of the season.
Villeneuve believes Raikkonen’s team-mate Felipe Massa deserved the title more.
“If Kimi won the championship, he did it by luck, because he didn’t deserve it,” Villeneuve told Brazilian website TotalRace after the Canadian competed in the stock car race at Interlagos during the weekend.
“Felipe deserved it a lot more. He was always more capable than Kimi and it was easy to beat him.”
Shut up Jacques!
Monday, August 8th, 2011
When you’re working with 8 thousand horsepower cars that are travelling the other side of 300 MPH, you need to make sure the track…. the drag strip can handle it.
Funny Car driver Ron Capps said track conditions at Pacific Raceways are “dangerous and an embarrassment for fans” at the NHRA Northwest Nationals this past weekend.
“I hate to be the guy, but somebody has to step up and talk about this.” “This is one of my favorite
places to come. I got my first win here and I love the Pacific Northwest. The fans are great, but this is an embarrassment for the fans. They have to completely resurface the track!”, Ron continued.
“We didn’t see a single side-by-side pass in that first round. Only two cars made it down under power in Funny Car. It should have been awesome in these cool and cloudy conditions. We should have seen tracks records.”
Robert Hight had a tire come apart on his burnout before his attempt at a second-round qualifying pass.
Capps tweeted after the first round about the problems with the racing surface: “It’s pretty bad when there are pieces of the track on your tires after the burnouts.”
This is not a new issue. The Pro Stock drivers threatened the boycott during qualifying last year at Pacific Raceways because they felt the track wasn’t safe, but cooler heads prevailed before Sunday’s final eliminations.
“The only time something got done was years ago when Whit Bazemore said the track bumps were so bad it had to be fixed. He got fined, but they fixed the bumps.”
Capps is a driver representative on the board of directors for PRO (Professional Racers Organization), the team owners group of the NHRA.
Capps plans to talk to PRO president Kenny Bernstein about the track problems, hoping PRO will back his request of a track resurfacing.
Capps expects Bernstein to talk to Graham Light, the NHRA’s senior vice president of racing operations for the NHRA.
Light is one of a number of Canadians in NHRA management.
“One thing I want to say is Graham Light has been very proactive about getting things done when we go to him,” Capps said. “He listens to our concerns. I sent Graham a snarky text after that round, but I’m sure he’s as upset about it as I am.”
Not every driver is as upset about the track as Capps, including NHRA Funny Car legend John Force, who was the No. 1 qualifier Friday.
“Ron is a good man, but everybody right now is suffering in a tough financial deal,” Force said. “In this economy, you can’t ask a track to spend that much money.”
Like Force, another former Raceline Radio Network guest, Larry Dixon, the NHRA 2010 Top Fuel champion said, “ I trust my equipment and my team. If I have to worry about track conditions for my safety, I’m in trouble.”
Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher, another former guest, a seven-time champion and Capps’ teammates at Don Schumacher Racing, said he supports Capps. “Ron is our representative and he takes this stuff seriously.” ”They need to do something. Nobody wants to see a one-lane race.”
But more critically, the NHRA has had far too much tragedy losing drivers over the last decade.
If even one of them doesn’t feel safe running on a drag strip, it needs to be addressed without delay.
Safety, especially when dealing with the most dangerous race cars in the sport, can never be handled half-measure!
We thank espn.com and former show guest Terry Blount for the quotes!
Saturday, August 6th, 2011
Hate this! Justin Wilson is one of the nicest blokes in the sport, and a frequent Raceline Radio Network guest!
Justin Wilson broke his back crashing during practise at Mid-Ohio on Saturday!
The 33-year-old Dreyer & Reinbold driver ran wide at Turn 1, went on to the grass where his car then traveled over an access road and bottomed out, causing Wilson to sustain an anterior compression fracture of the 5th thoracic vertebra.
Wilson was extricated from his car and taken to the circuit medical center before being transferred to the local hospital, Mansfield MedCentral, where the diagnosis was made.
The Englishman’s expected to stay there overnight before being transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis Sunday where he will meet with IndyCar’s medical consultant Dr. Terry Trammell, the leading orthopedic surgeon in the States.
Simon Pagenaud, who qualified Wilson’s No. 22 car 18th without any prior running over the weekend, will stand-in again for Justin for the race.
It’s been a long while since Simon’s driven an IndyCar.
“I feel really sorry for Justin,” said Pagenaud. “He’s a good friend and you never wish for this kind of situation to happen. I’m glad that Dreyer & Reinbold Racing asked me to represent him and the team I’m pleased that they have confidence in me to do the job.
“It was a bit of a rush, really,” he added. “I was watching practice in the infield and for the first time I didn’t bring my gear, maybe because I don’t have an insane mind thinking that someone could get hurt.
Thank you very much to a lot of the drivers in the IndyCar paddock for helping me and lending me their stuff to use.
One of the reasons why I love this series … co-operation like that!
Heal fast big guy, we need you back out there!
Thanks to RACER for the quotes.
Friday, August 5th, 2011
Former Raceline Radio Network guest Brad Keselowski has been cleared by doctors to race at Pocono, even with a broken left ankle.
Although Keselowski himself said x-rays were negative after being examined at hospital on Wednesday, doctors said there was a hair-line fracture in there, but he can still drive.
That’s gotta be sore though….
Sam Hornish Jr, another former Raceline Radio Network guest, who raced for Penske until last year in Cup will replace BK for the Nationwide Series race at Iowa.
Keselowski was lucky to scape relatively unharmed from a massive shunt during testing on Wednesday at Road Atlanta, where he was prepping for the Cup event at Watkins Glen. The incident took place at Turn 1, blamed on suspected brake failure.
Had Keselowski been unable to race Pocono, he would’ve been able to benefit from NASCAR rules by handing his car to a relief driver following the start.
According to the rule, the driver starting the race is credited with the finish, even if he doesn’t actually drive the thing across the finish line.
Brad’s a nice kid with gops of talent.
Heal fast lad!
Thursday, August 4th, 2011
Carl Edwards is staying home.
The current series points leader has agreed to a new multiyear deal with Roush
Fenway Racing, declining an offer to move to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012, the team
announced Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In a statement, team co-owner Jack Roush said he was “thrilled” that
Edwards would remain part of the team for years to come.
“Carl Edwards has achieved a level of success on and off track that would
put him at the top of the list for any race team,” Roush said. “We saw great
potential in Carl a decade ago, and it’s been a thrill to watch him grow into
one of the sport’s premier drivers behind the wheel of the No. 99.”
Edwards had been mulling offers from both organizations, with several
reports saying he would leave the team that gave him his NASCAR break in the
Truck Series in 2002.
However, with what Ford spokesman Kevin Kennedy called an unprecedented
offer by the manufacturer for Edwards to stay at RFR and other incentives,
Edwards opted to stay put.
Edwards said Roush Fenway has given him “the resources I need to win.”
“I sincerely appreciate the amazing opportunity that Jack Roush has given
me in this sport and am honored to race for him,” Edwards said. “I really enjoy
competing with this group and looking forward to continuing that relationship
into the future.”
Edwards began his Cup career at RFR in 2004, replacing Jeff Burton in the No. 99 late in the season when Burton left to go to Richard Childress Racing. He won four races in 2005 and finished tied with teammate Greg Biffle for second in the final standings.
His best season came in 2008, when he won a career-high nine races and finished second to Jimmie Johnson in the Chase for the Cup.
The tide apparently turned for Edwards because of Ford’s big push. ”We are pleased with Carl’s vote of confidence in Roush Fenway and Ford,” said Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing. “This signals he believes he is with the right team and the right automaker to win races and championships. Now we can continue to focus on winning the 2011 championship.”
Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark said there was a time during the negotiations that he knew there was a chance Edwards could go to JGR, where there was speculation he would move into the No. 20 Home Depot car currently occupied by Joey Logano.
But at no point, Newmark said, did Edwards say he’d made a decision to leave.
“I read the reports out there that Carl had finalized a deal with Gibbs,” Newmark said. “He was always adamant with me that he had not made a decision yet.” Newmark added that neither RFR nor Ford came up with an 11th-hour offer that swayed Edwards.
“We put one economic package in front of him a while ago,” Newmark said. “It never changed. At no point in the last five days was there any change in the economic offer, so this did not come down to money.
“I can tell you unequivocally that Carl has always told us this was not about the money. I really believe that is the case. He is passionate about winning championships and that is the sole focus.”Edwards has an 11-point lead over Johnson as the series heads to Pocono Raceway.
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
So now AP is repeating what Raceline Radio has been predicting about Danica Patrick’s future plans.
Not hard to figure out really, but welcome to pur way of thinking Associated Press!
Danica Patrick could still run the Indianapolis 500 even if she makes a full-time move to NASCAR, The Associated Press has learned.
Two people familiar with Patrick’s 2012 plans said she is in the final stages of a deal to run a full-time Nationwide Series schedule with JR Motorsports and limited Sprint Cup Series races with the team owned by two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The people spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because the deal won’t be finished until she has secured a release from Andretti Autosport.
The talks also include her continuing to run the Indianapolis 500, one person told AP.
JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. said last weekend he wants Patrick to run a full Nationwide schedule with his team. She has driven 19 Nationwide races for his team over the last two seasons and has six more scheduled starts this year.
“I would like for her to run fulltime, and I’m sure she is considering that, and I think she would enjoy it,” Earnhardt said at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I feel confident that she’s content where she is and happy with what we’re doing. I think things are looking positive for us to put something together.”
Earlier this year, Stewart said he would love to work with Patrick but only in the Sprint Cup Series. He has wanted to expand his two-car Stewart-Haas Racing organization but had no interest in fielding a Nationwide car.
“Anybody that’s got a Cup team that would have the availability would jump at the chance to do something with her,” Stewart said in May. “You would be crazy not to entertain an offer like that and an opportunity for her to drive a race car for you.”
The potential to continue to race the Indianapolis 500 is a new wrinkle, considering JRM co-owner Kelley Earnhardt has said that it would be difficult for Patrick to run that race and compete for the Nationwide championship.
Running the Indy 500 requires drivers to spend most of the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and NASCAR this year ran three Nationwide races during that span.
Patrick finished third in the 2009 Indy 500, the highest finish for a woman in open-wheel’s most prestigious race. She has one career victory in IndyCar and currently is ranked 11th in the series standings. In 109 career starts, she has three poles and 20 top-5s.
Although she’s winless in 19 career Nationwide races, she flirted with victory last month at Daytona, leading 13 laps before the last-lap chaos dropped her to a 10th-place finish.
“She’s way ahead of the curve,” Earnhardt said. “We’ve had the opportunity to put several drivers in that car, and her performance is right on par with all those drivers. We started out struggling and she had a steep, steep climb to go and she’s really come a long way. I’m excited about what the potential is with her going forward.”
So is D gone to NASCAR?
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
It took a while, but IndyCar rule enforcers have decided to come down on a few guys for recent contact.
Better late than never.
INDYCAR officials have placed drivers Mike Conway, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alex Tagliani on probation through Dec. 31, 2011 for multiple instances of initiating avoidable contact during IZOD IndyCar Series events this season.
That would include Toronto and Edmonton.
“We are disappointed in these actions, which have exhibited a pattern of driving that endangers on-track safety and adversely affects competition,” said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and operations, INDYCAR.
Conway, of Andretti Autosport, was penalized for avoidable contact with Ryan Briscoe at Toronto and Oriol Servia at Edmonton. Teammate Hunter-Reay was cited for the same violation after contact with Briscoe at Barber and Takuma Sato at Edmonton. Sam Schmidt Motorsports’ Alex Tagliani was deemed in violation of the rule after contact with Will Power at Toronto and Graham Rahal at Edmonton.
If the improvements are not met, INDYCAR may impose other penalties at its discretion.
Now, back to the racing!
Monday, August 1st, 2011
The Good: NASCAR’s Tony Stewart, continues his record of being very good with the Raceline Radio Network!
He couldn’t have been in a better mood last week when we interviewed him in Glen Styres house at Ohsweken Speedway where he came up to run ( and win! ) in a World of Outlaws Sprint car.
Smoke’s mood can change like the wind, but he has always been spot on, attentive and friendly when the Raceline microphone bobs into view.
The Bad: goobers who buy tickets to local speedways, and because they sit their ass down on a wooden plank, think they are experts with all the inside scoops on what track management is doing, has done, and should do in the future.
It gets particularly cute when these “breathers” hide behind fake names and post their puke on track message boards.
I guess it does take all kinds to fill a freeway!
The Ugly: The fact that TV producers and directors don’t hear or refuse to stop Rusty Wallace from saying “RIGHT NOW” every 10 seconds!
Rookie nerves might explain it on one or two telecasts, but several seasons in, the nails-on-black board catch phrase from RW is getting worse and even more frequent!
A very smart colleague with vast amounts of TV experience says he has to turn the sound OFF when Rusty’s on.
I know what he means.
I wish I could do the same thing when local track PA announcers think we need to be sprayed with ceaseless screaming.
The only relief is at tracks small enough so the cars drown out the leather-lungs when they come down the front straight.
Isn’t this sport noisy enough?