This time of year racing news is kind of slow. Still there have been some things of note especially as teams have been testing at Daytona & Charlotte with the new car. But the biggest racing news this month is that Danica Patraick is dating Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Danica, a success in the media if not yet in NASCAR came out in an interview recently stating her love for the 25-year-old two-time Nationwide champion. They will both be competing against each other for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year title.
Danica announced last November that she and husband Paul Hospenthal were divorcing after seven years of marriage, and said in the Jan. 3 filing that her marriage to the 47-year-old Hospenthal was “irretrievably broken.”
The original Batmobile that was used on the TV show “Batman” starring Adam West from 1966 through 1968 sold for a lot of money at the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. To be exact $4.6 million. “Holy Dollar Signs, Batman!” It cost originally only $15,000 to build by George Barris.
The car is built around a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept model in only 15 days. It has about 500 horsepower and has a fake jet exhaust, bulletproof Plexiglas bubble windshield, a Batphone. The car also has two parachutes that really work which also can help if you take it to the drag strip. The car was purchased by Rick Champagne in Tempe Arizona. He said during the auction he will keep the Batmobile in his living room.
Memories run short so for those that forgot, Jeremy Mayfield was suspended by NASCAR a few years ago for violating their substance abuse policy. He is currently facing felony charges for stolen goods and possession of methamphetamine in North Carolina. Yet Mayfield 43, announced recently his intention to return to NASCAR as a driver. Before he said he would not attend rehabilitation but the other day said he would. “I’ll do whatever it takes,” Mayfield stated outside the courtroom where he had hoped to enter a plea agreement “Whatever it takes.”
Mayfield, was suspended back in May of 2009 after testing positive for methamphetamines and still insists his results were from a false positive that came from mixing Adderall for Attention Deficit Disorder with some over-the-counter allergy medicine.
Cup Driver AJ Allmendinger last July 24th was suspended for violating the same policy but completed NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program in September.
NASCAR commonly lets driver’s who run afoul of their rules to set the expiration of the probation periods at the end of the year. Remember Jeff Gordon (#24) wrecking Clint Bowyer (#15) on purpose at Phoenix. After today, Jeff can go after Clint again.
Kurt Busch who started out the season in the Phoenix Racing #51 and finished the year in the #78 Furniture Row Chevy had to sit out the race at Pocono. There are a lot of people wondering if Kurt can make it through the 2013 season without getting into trouble.
Even the Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski got himself in trouble for Phone-gate.
They have a hair salon and clothes line but you can also find one or both of the Cope Twins, Angela & Amber racing in NASCAR. Some of you may want to also check out their spread in MAXIM Magazine. Kevin Harvick is not a fan. While leading the race yesterday in New Hampshire Amber Cope in the #24 got in the way. She was something like 32 laps down at the time and in the video below you can see Harvick & Keselowski lapped her twice during the brief video. So why didn’t NASCAR black flag her as you must have been below minimum speed. Additionally, she had been in the way of Harvick and other drivers earlier in the race. Am a big supporter of women in racing but have to wonder if they are at the track to race or for their other interests. But she is good to look at
NASCAR has approved the Simpson Hybrid Pro device for use in its touring series including the Sprint Cup Series. Reportedly NASCAR has been testing the Simpson version of the Head and Neck restraint system similar to the HANS for some time and is not a reaction to the crashes of Dan Weldon in IndyCar or Jimmy Johnson at Charlotte.
The design minimizes the size giving you the first device requiring no seat modification. It also is better for the smaller-sized cockpits in today’s cars.
Dan Wheldon died Sunday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the age of 33. The 2-time Indianapolis 500 winner was caught up in a fiery 15-car pileup. His car took flight over another vehicle and landed in a catch fence just outside turn 2.
Three other drivers, including championship contender Will Power, were injured and sent to a nearby hospital. The race was officially canceled after a 2 hour Red flag and the remaining teams did a five lap salute to Dan Wheldon around the Vegas track. The last time a fatality occurred at an Indycar event was in 2006 when Paul Dana was killed at Homestead. Many drivers and teams had expressed concerned about the high speeds at the track, where they were hitting nearly 225 mph during practice.
Wheldon was in Sunday’s at Las Vegas the Indycar season finale, thanks to Indycar CEO Randy Bernard’s promotion that promised $5 million to any moonlighting driver who could win the IndyCar season finale at Vegas. At the time of the crash Wheldon gained over ten spots on the track.
“IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries,” Bernard said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race. In honor of Dan Wheldon, the drivers have decided to do a five-lap salute to in his honor.”
Wheldon was rumoured to replace Danica Patrick next season in the Go-Daddy-sponsored car for Andretti Autosport.
June 22, 1978-October 16, 2011
Hometown: Emberton, England
Residence: St. Petersburg, Fla.
16 wins, 134 Indycar Starts, 5 Poles, 93 Top 10′s
2005 Indycar Championship
The 106-year-old, six-tenths-of-a-mile racetrack caled Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is looking for a new life. NASCAR’s top series has not raced there since 1984 but Sterling Marlin, Richard Petty & others are trying to keep the historic track from turning into another big construction project. The track sits on the city owned Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Cars started racing on the track back in 1904 msaking it one of the oldest tracks. Marlin said if Dover closes the superspeedway, the only NASCAR racing in Tennessee would be in Bristol which is a five-hour drive.
Sterling Marlin’s group’s proposal detailed Thursday calls for replacing the swath of asphalt parking lots with trees and grass to retain rain and help drainage, a wind farm to take advantage of the hilly location, solar panels and bike paths and walking trails for neighbors. Charging stations for electric cars also are on tap with sound barrier walls to dampen track noise to keep neighbors happier. They want at least a 15-year lease from the city although in the past the city has refused any long-term leases.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YeiMrOqNKs A lot recently has been said about blocking in racing. In NASCAR there is the ongoing movements between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski. In last week’s Indycar race Helio Castroneves was penalized for blocking teamate Will Power in the race at Edmonton. Many question the call as the track was wide enough for several cars where the incident took place. Castroneves simply took the best line away from Power a reasonable thing to do when leading the race.
Today’s Hungarian Grand Prix had seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes blocking the faster Williams Cosworth of Rubens Barrichello. As can be seen in the video here, Schumacher nearly put Barrichello into the pit wall. This could have had catastrophic consequences as it was only inches from a solid concrete wall. Barrichello said that it was the most dangerous manoeuvre ever used against him.
The penalty leveled againsy Schuey is ten positions on the starting grid for the August 29th Belgian Grand Prix. Does the penalty fit the crime? How does this compare to the blocking in recent Indycar and NASCAR races? Is blocking just part of the sport or will it eventually kill someone? Blocking has always been a part of racng from local short-track racing to the big leagues. It really comes down to what is defined as blocking and what is part of the competition.