Racing News (6684)
Racing News from around the World
INDYCAR announced a multiyear contract extension today with Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC (BATO), continuing its longtime partnership with Firestone as the official tire supplier of the Verizon IndyCar Series. The announcement extends the tire brand's involvement in open-wheel racing that dates to Ray Harroun's Firestone-equipped Marmon Wasp winning the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911.
"Firestone is part of the fabric of INDYCAR and its commitment to evolving performance, innovation and safety in the Verizon IndyCar Series has been remarkable," said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. "The Firestone brand has been part of our sport for more than 100 years and continues to be an integral partner in the growth of INDYCAR on and off the racetrack."
Firestone has been involved in racing competitions since the early days of the automobile, particularly at the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Alexander Rossi's win at the 100th Running of the Indy 500 last May was the 67th for Firestone - more than all other tire manufacturers combined - in the iconic race. Firestone, which returned to Indy car racing in 1995 following a 20-year hiatus, has been the sole supplier of Verizon IndyCar Series tires since 2000 and provides teams with a known, stable and reliable platform for the future of INDYCAR.
"For more than a century, the Firestone brand has utilized racing as the ideal stage to showcase the trusted dependability of our tires," said Lisa Boggs, director of motorsports, Bridgestone Americas. "This partnership is integral to our marketing initiatives as it allows us to engage with fans via the unique, multi-faceted platform that the Verizon IndyCar Series provides, and we look forward to building upon the brand's time-tested racing legacy."
This season, following discussion with Verizon IndyCar Series teams, INDYCAR and Firestone have added to the overall tire allotment at each event to increase the amount of on-track activity during practice sessions. Additionally, teams will be permitted to run one set of alternate (red-sidewall) Firestone Firehawk tires during Friday practice sessions at all road/street course events to better evaluate their capabilities for qualifying and the race.
In addition to its contributions to on-track competition, Firestone is a key partner in the marketing and promotion of the Verizon IndyCar Series. The season-long activation for Firestone includes sponsorship of race events, on-site fan engagement via the INDYCAR Fan Village and a national advertising campaign that spans television, radio and print/digital media outlets.
The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 12. The race will be broadcast live on ABC (noon ET), the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212 and XM 209.
The Garage is now outfitting F-150 trucks with more than a dozen custom components to make your truck stand out above the rest. Customers and dealers can also purchase an exclusive high-performance package for the Ford F-150, equipped with a Whipple supercharger system producing up to 700 horsepower and supported by a three-year, 36,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Backed by Petty's approval, Petty's Garage will equip the truck body with new features including a custom hood, a grill with clearance lights, fender flares, and more, all sitting on 33" General Tire Grabber all terrain tires.
Petty's Garage will modify the suspension of the truck with industry-leading riding features, such as a FOX 2.0 coilover suspension and FOX rear shocks. Under the truck, a Magnaflow cat-back stainless steel exhaust will give the truck the sound you desire.
Sparing no details, Petty's Garage has added custom interior features such as embroidered headrests and floor mats, along with a dash signed by Petty. Additional options will include leather interior and AMP electric side rails.
For more information about Petty's Garage, and to learn more about ordering the Ford F-150 packages, please visit www.pettys-garage.com or contact Matt Crump at 336-799-4681.
Following the two-day ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards open test session at Daytona International Speedway, it was hard to wipe the smile off Justin Fontaine’s face.
And for good reason.
Driving the No. 33 ProMATIC Automation Toyota Camry for Win-Tron Racing, Fontaine posted the 13th quickest lap overall in a session that saw 63 drivers turn at least one lap around the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
Despite his limited superspeedway experience, Fontaine under the direction of his Win-Tron Racing team and car owner Kevin Cywinski quickly built up his speed and comfort level sending the University of North Carolina Charlotte student into the lead draft Saturday allowing the 19-year-old to post a strong lap at the “World Center of Racing.”
“I’m very satisfied with my weekend at Daytona,” said Fontaine. “I can’t thank the Win-Tron Racing team enough for bringing me a strong No. 33 ProMATIC Automation Toyota for the test.
“Each lap I made on the track, I continued to learn and that will help me a bunch when I come back to Daytona next month. We worked a lot on single car runs on Friday and then we worked up my comfort level getting into the draft. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”
Car owner Kevin Cywinski expressed how pleased he was with Fontaine’s progress from start to finish.
“Daytona can be intimidating,” he said. “It’s a place that has such rich history both on and off the track, but Justin added his name to the track legacy in his own way with a successful test at Daytona.
“He and the team worked really hard on getting him comfortable in superspeedway trim then took the opportunity for him to find his groove in the draft. He worked extremely close with his teammate Gus Dean who did a great job mentoring Justin. I really think we’re going to come back to the race next month with two cars capable of winning the race. I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of everyone at Win-Tron.”
Fontaine joins Win-Tron Racing, the driver development partner of AM Racing for several races on the ARCA Racing Series tour in 2016 starting with the Feb. 19 Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire.
Tim Self, team principal at AM Racing attended the ARCA test to watch Fontaine to make his first laps at Daytona.
“I’m real proud of Justin,” said Self. “He learned a lot at Daytona this past weekend and that will without a doubt will help us not only for the ARCA race next month, but also for his impending Truck Series start at Daytona the week after.
“The effort of Win-Tron Racing will undoubtedly give him the confidence he needs to go have a successful run on Feb. 19 and then hopefully that carries over to the Truck Series opener a week later. Good things are on the horizon and AM Racing is just proud to be a part of it.”
Justin Fontaine is the younger cousin of longtime Truck Series competitor and Florida short track ace Chris Fontaine.
Justin Fontaine PR
Less than a month before the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s “Super Bowl,” FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB takes the show to Houston, site of Super Bowl LI, in the week leading into FOX’s live broadcast of the big game.
In the days preceding FOX’s live broadcast of Super Bowl LI (Sunday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 PM ET), NASCAR RACE HUB, NASCAR’s most-watched daily news and information program, airs live from Discovery Green in Houston Monday, Jan. 30-Thursday, Feb. 2 (6:00 PM ET on FS1). Co-hosts Adam Alexander and Danielle Trotta anchor the one-hour program live from the FOX Sports Super Bowl set alongside analyst Larry McReynolds. The trio welcome a variety of analysts and special guests from the NASCAR world throughout the week, including FOX NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon (Thursday) and 2016 DAYTONA 500 winner Denny Hamlin (Tuesday). Several additional guests will be announced in the near future.
NASCAR RACE HUB, which was up 7% (144,000 vs. 134,000) in total viewership year-to-year in 2016 vs. 2015, according to Nielsen Media Research, makes its 2017 season premiere on Monday, Jan. 23 at 6:00 PM ET on FS1. “Hub” kicks off the new year with three special manufacturer preview shows airing from NASCAR team race shops and performance centers the first week.
The Jan. 23 edition, airing from Hendrick Motorsports, focuses on Chevrolet teams. The Jan. 24 (6:00 PM ET) episode, originating from Joe Gibbs Racing, centers on the Toyota brigade, while the Jan. 26 (6:00 PM ET) installment airs from the Ford Performance Center.
Monday’s Chevrolet preview show features interviews with Jimmie Johnson, Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress, Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson. Tuesday’s Toyota show features Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr. and Daniel Suarez. Finally, Thursday’s Ford-focused preview show includes interviews with new Ford team co-owner Tony Stewart and drivers Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick, as well as Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney and David Ragan.
The Wednesday, Jan. 25 edition of NASCAR RACE HUB airs live from the Hub studios in Charlotte at 6:00 PM ET with all the latest news heading into the new season.
FOX Sports kicks off its comprehensive Daytona Speedweeks programming on Friday Feb. 17, with live coverage of THE CLASH AT DAYTONA practice (5:00 PM ET on FS1), culminating with live coverage of the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 (2:00 PM ET with pre-race coverage beginning with FOX NASCAR SUNDAY at 1:00 PM ET) on FOX.
FOX Sports PR
Armed with a brand-new No. 32 GREE Cooling & Heating Products Toyota Camry, Gus Dean and Win-Tron Racing left the open ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards test at Daytona International Speedway this past weekend satisfied.
During the two-day test, Dean along with crew chief Todd Myers worked to dial their No. 32 GREE Toyota Camry into comfortable conditions both in single car runs and inside the draft.
Posting competitive and top-10 times on both fronts, the team is anxiously waiting to return to the “World Center of Racing” for next month’s ARCA season-opener.
“I’m really excited about how the test went,” said Dean who signed with Win-Tron Racing in December to run for the series championship this season. “Whenever you bring a new car to the race track you never can be sure what to really expect. However, the Win-Tron Racing team worked hard throughout the test and I believe we have a car capable of winning.”
Car owner Kevin Cywinski was equally satisfied with the results from the two-day test at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
“I really like what I saw from Gus and Todd this weekend,” said Cywinski. “Even though we’ll qualify and spend much of the race in the draft, the two really spent a lot time together working on their communication in both single car and draft runs. I’m hoping that’s a great sign for the future.
“We’re real proud of the car that we brought. Gus seemed real comfortable in it. Timmy and his guys at Performance Vehicle Works (PVW) really busted their tails to bring us probably one of the best superspeedway cars we’ve had in our fleet. We’ll make a few tweaks and look to come back to Daytona in February and see what Gus and Todd can do.”
Poised to make his second start at Daytona in the Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire on Feb. 19, Dean, the Bluffton, S.C. native spent a lot of time in the draft.
The team’s purpose in the multi-car draft was hoping to get an early inkling on who might be the perfect drafting partner, including new teammate Justin Fontaine.
“We worked with a lot of cars this weekend,” added Dean. “Justin did a really good job getting up to speed and getting comfortable in the draft. We wrestled in the draft and we both posted a good lap. There were a lot of good cars down at the test and I expect it to be the same when we come back.
“I can’t wait for the season to get started in our No. 32 GREE Toyota.”
Already committed to proving their focus on Motorsports in 2017, GREE has confirmed an in-car camera for each ARCA Racing Series race televised on either FOX Sports 1 or FOX Sports 2 during the series’ 65th consecutive season beginning with the Lucas Oil 200 from the World Center of Racing at Daytona on Feb. 18.
In seven ARCA Racing Series starts, 21-year-old Dean captured his first career victory in his second career start at Talladega Superspeedway after starting second in Apr. 2016. Overall, Dean has one top-five and three top-10 finishes and has led 21 laps in ARCA competition.
Gus Dean PR
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series announced today a sponsorship deal that will make Kennol the official oil supplier of the European NASCAR Series for the 2017 season and beyond.
The French lubricant manufacturer will provide NWES teams with a new generation of specific high-performance synthetic oils, especially developed for the 450 HP, 5.7 litre V8 and the 4-gear transmission equipping the NWES cars: the Kennol Ultimate 15W50 and the Kennol Ultimate 75W140. The Kennol brand will also be featured on every NWES car for the entire season and in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series communication.
“We are happy to welcome Kennol in the Series and we are proud to promote their products across Europe. I am sure our teams and the whole Series will benefit from their technology and knowledge,” said Jerome Galpin, NWES President CEO.
“We are present in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series since many years now with drivers like Christophe Bouchut, Mathias Lauda and Freddie Hunt, who raced cars fielded by our partners. Today this major agreement testifies the confidence the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series has in our know-how. For us associating the championship’s popularity with our international growth is a natural step to take,” said Olivier Morihain, Kennol President CEO.
The Kennol brand was literally born for the track at the end of the 20th century and quickly established itself among the market leaders for high-end racing products by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Spa 24 Hours, the GP2 Series and the FIA GT World Championship. Kennol tests its products on track before industrializing them and this process grants that they have all the qualities needed to protect a production engine.
The 2017 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will kick-off in Valencia, Spain on April 8-9 with the Valencia NASCAR Fest at the Circuit De La Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo.
The last time Calvin Carroll had the chance to visit Daytona International Speedway he was just a young kid running Quarter Midgets. He and his family had been racing at nearby New Smyrna Speedway and made the drive over to check out the “World Center of Racing” were they took a tour and watched some of the action taking place.
This past weekend 16-year old Carroll of Andover, NJ, was back at Daytona only this time he was part of the action. During the two days of ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards open testing, Carroll was making his first ever laps around the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
Matter of fact it marked his first time in a full bodied stock car and he impressively showed great capability, posting the 19th overall fasted time, 48.333 seconds for a speed of 186.208 mph out of 63 drivers that took laps.
“It was awesome, it was the best thing I’ve ever driven to this point in my career. I was nervous at first but not long after my first laps that all went away,” said Carroll.
Carroll was running Bryan Dauzat’s No. 57c Chevrolet that was prepared by legendary engine builders Bob and Dick Rahilly. Dauzat invited Carroll to test the car.
Carroll’s career began in Quarter Midgets then Micro Stocks where he won regularly. He then moved up to USAC’s Eastern HPD Midget Series were he achieved his career first win on June 14, 2014 at North Carolina’s Ace Speedway. He closed out that year a solid second in points.
In 2015 Carroll once again stepped up the racing ladder when he seated into an asphalt Modified. He began at Pennsylvania’s Mahoning Valley Speedway. Last season he began venturing to other Northeast pavement tracks which included a number of open shows plus a host of starts with the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series and was named Rookie of the Year. He also made a few starts on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
All that traveling last season is actually how Carroll got the opportunity to run the ARCA Daytona test. While at last year’s North-South Shootout at Concord Speedway the acquaintance with Dauzat was made. Dauzat had spoken with Carroll’s father, Joe Carroll, about his season with the Modified and made the offer to come to Daytona.
Once on track Carroll adapted quickly to the speed. After a few single car laps to get familiar with the everything he then took on the draft and pack racing.
“I ran about a half dozen laps by myself and then moved into a group of cars and I felt comfortable. You of course had to pay attention a lot more and just follow the car in front of. If you fell back a little bit you could catch right back up again. We passed a few cars and all in all if was a great experience,” explained Carroll.
“The ARCA officials were great. They took all the rookies out in a van and made sure to point all the details of the track. My car owner Bryan Dauzat was with me the whole time too and he made sure to show me were to hit my marks and run the correct lines. Everyone was very helpful.”
After his time was complete Carroll had several people compliment him on his admirable job despite never having run here before.
“It was nice to have people come up to me afterwards and say I did a nice job and I looked as though I had been at this for a few years,” he noted.
Carroll was given the go-ahead by ARCA to compete on superspeedways, however, that may not be right away. This was just a test run and although he was able to make the most of it, the car will be run by Dauzat. But, depending upon the right circumstances, Carroll is hopeful for a drive in the not too distant future.
“There’s nothing for sure at the present but I’m hoping and keeping my options open to possibly do something with an ARCA car in the upcoming season,” said Carroll.
Until that happens Carroll will be back in the Modified were this season he plans to run for Rookie of the Year honors with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Calvin Carroll PR
Just a day before pre-season testing is set to being at Daytona Speedway Digest has learned that ARCA Racing Series driver Leilani Münter was reportedly detained after protesting on private property owned and operated by Seaworld Parks in Orlando, FL earlier in the week on Sunday afternoon as guests were arriving at the park.
According to social media accounts livestreamed on Facebook after placing roses and a sign near the park entrance during what she described as a peaceful protest and banned from the property.
" I was not doing anything to disturb anyone - I had no loudspeaker, I was not shouting or harassing any of their customers. I simply set the sign and roses down and was taking some photos and video." Said Munter
Officer Rose Silva of the Orange County Sheriff Office confirmed through email to Speedway Digest that Ms. Munter was issued a trespass warning to not return back to the property.
I was shocked that they filed a trespassing complaint with the Orange County Sheriff's Department and banned me from all their properties indefinitely. When they told me that if I ever set foot on any of their property again that I would be arrested, I replied "That's cool, I'm not a huge fan." Munter Continued.
Additionally Seaworld has confirmed this incident took place in an area in which guests arrive.
“We worked with the Orange County Sherriff’s office to issue a trespass warning to Leilani Munter on Sunday, Jan 8, as she was on private property at the guest arrival area. The safety of our ambassadors and guests, and the welfare of our animals is always our top priority.” Said Aimée Jeansonne Becka Vice President of Public Relations in a released statement to Speedway Digest.
Munter a known environmental activist is scheduled to run the Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 at Daytona in what she has described as a “Vegan Powered Racecar” for Venturini Motorsports when the series kicks off on February 18th during the annual Speedweeks at Daytona.
Editor’s Note: Updated with statements from Ms. Munter
The first step in revealing INDYCAR's next equipment generation comes in the form of signing Dallara, the sport's longtime chassis manufacturer, to a new contract, officials announced today at the North American International Auto Show.
The multiyear agreement calls for Dallara, an Italian company with a U.S. base in Speedway, Indiana, to continue providing driver safety cells to the Verizon IndyCar Series through the 2020 season. The 2017 season marks Dallara's 20th anniversary in U.S.-based open-wheel racing.
"Dallara has been an instrumental partner to INDYCAR and we look forward to having them continue in this important role," said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president, competition and operations. "Dallara's safety record gives INDYCAR and its competitors a great deal of confidence and this continues to be a tremendous partnership between the two companies. Dallara also understands the direction INDYCAR is headed with the series."
INDYCAR will soon unveil plans for new bodywork giving the Dallara IR-12 chassis a fresh appearance for the 2018 season. Also, teams will be given more flexibility and control over parts for their cars.
"The signature of this contract is a natural extension of an intensive working relationship that has been continuing since 1997," said Giampaolo Dallara, founder and president of Dallara Automobili. "We are pleased to continue to contribute to the great success that this series deserves."
Founded in 1972 near Parma, Italy, Dallara has an enviable record of success around the world, designing and manufacturing cars for a range of different motorsports series and formulas. Dallara began its INDYCAR affiliation in 1997.
"We are all working together for a common goal and this is the reason why the possibility to work more closely with the teams excites us," said Andrea Pontremoli, CEO and general manager of Dallara Automobili. "We want to contribute concretely to their success and to that of the series."
As INDYCAR works toward a universal aerodynamic bodywork kit for all Verizon IndyCar Series cars in 2018, the development process is well under way.
Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations, unveiled a series of initial concept drawings for how the car might look during a media roundtable at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Without revealing specific details to how the cars and their accompanying aerodynamic bodywork will look when they hit the track for the 2018 season, Frye offered the first visual peek into the future at INDYCAR's NAIAS exhibit in the Motor City.
The drawings were completed months ago, but they give the first concept designs that will cover the Dallara IR-12 chassis. The images revealed will not be what the cars wind up looking like in 2018, but they provided the first public direction of the process.
INDYCAR will share more details of the development process in coming weeks, including another public update following the 2017 preseason's open test Feb. 10-11 at Phoenix International Raceway. The goal is to have a car built for display at the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in May, with on-track testing in the summer.
INDYCAR previously announced a development freeze for the upcoming season, which means teams will use the aero kits offered by Chevrolet and Honda for the 17 races. The season opens two months from today, March 12, with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg