Dale Jr. To Retire Cup Racing At End Of 2017 Season

April 25, 2017 . by Kay Presto, www.carsandcompetition.com --- No doubt there was a huge sigh of disappointment in the Junior Nation when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. announced on Tuesday that he will retire from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the end of this 2017 season. His words were compelling. “I'm very sad because I know that it's definitely disappointing for a lot of people to wake up to that news this morning.  I know we've got a lot of fans that are very sad, for lack of a better way to describe it. “You're wondering why I reached this decision; it's really simple,” he said to the media. “I just wanted the opportunity to go out on my own terms. I wanted to honor my commitment to Rick (Hendrick, his team owner), to my sponsors, to my team, and to the fans.  I'll admit that having influence over my exit [...]

Formula One Champion Alonso To Test At IMS

April 24, 2017 --- Two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso will begin on-track preparation for his Indianapolis 500 debut with a test session Wednesday, May 3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The test will take place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) on the 2.5-mile oval. This will be the first career laps on an oval for 2005 and 2006 World Champion Alonso, who drives in Formula One for McLaren Honda. Alonso, 35, from Spain, is skipping the Monaco Grand Prix this year to compete in the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 28 at IMS. He will make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in a Dallara-Honda car entered by McLaren and prepared by reigning race champions Andretti Autosport. He is aiming to win the second leg of auto racing's triple crown of victories in the Indianapolis 500, Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of [...]

Treffert Tops Mitty Weekend

  April 23, 2017  - Day-long rain showers didn't come close to dampening the competitive spirit and camaraderie of the 40th Classic Motorsports Mitty presented by Hagerty and sanctioned by HSR that came to a wet but successful conclusion Sunday at Road Atlanta.  Sunday's schedule was highlighted by a pair of one-hour B.R.M. Chronographes Enduros and a full-slate of second-round WeatherTech Sprint races, all of which were run in damp or full-on rainy conditions. Despite the anticipated inclement weather, a large contingent of HSR competitors and even heartier race fans were on hand Sunday at Road Atlanta for the third and final official day of racing at the 40th Classic Motorsports Mitty. The B.R.M. GT Classic Enduro, as well as the Group 5 WeatherTech Sprint, were won by Todd Treffert in his 1974 No. 141 Porsche 911 IROC. The two victories gave Treffert and his SpeedConcepts team an event-high four [...]

Pritchett Races To Third Top Fuel Win Of Season

April 23, 2017 === Leah Pritchett piloted her Papa John’s dragster to the Top Fuel victory Sunday at the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway.  Ron Capps in Funny Car and Bo Butner in Pro Stock were also winners in their respective categories at the fifth event of 24 on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.  Pritchett raced a 3.781-second pass at 321.96 mph to defeat Steve Torrence who ran a 3.787 at 322.11 in his Capco Contractors dragster. This is Pritchett’s fourth career victory and third of the season.  “Our goal was to leave as the points leader and that was not easy at all,” said Pritchett, who takes over the points lead with the victory. “Going into the final we said this is our bounce back and we’re going to keep it interesting. Never been in a position to really be counting points [...]

Newgarden Notches Second Barber Victory

April 23, 2017 --- Josef Newgarden added to the growing bank of fond memories he is accumulating at Barber Motorsports Park, driving to victory today in the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama presented by America's First. Newgarden's win by 1.0495 seconds over Scott Dixon is his second on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn permanent road course and comes two years after he secured his first career Verizon IndyCar Series victory at the same track. It also is the 26-year-old American's first win since joining Team Penske, which took three of the top four finishing positions in the 90-lap race. Driving the No. 2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Team Penske Chevrolet, Newgarden took the lead for the first and only time on Lap 77 when teammate Will Power was forced to pit in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske with a punctured left rear tire. "This is a good one to have, I think [...]

Colton Herta Wins Barber Indy Lights

April 23, 2017 --- Colton Herta etched his name into Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires history when he became the series' youngest winner last month. He further solidified his place in Indy Lights annals today at Barber Motorsports Park when he won the series' 400th race. Starting from the pole position, the 17-year-old phenom led all 35 laps in the No. 98 Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing Deltro Energy Dallara IL-15 and crossed the finish line 9.1465 seconds over Juncos Racing's Kyle Kaiser. Herta, who leads the Indy Lights standings by 16 points over Kaiser after four of 16 races, became the youngest winner in series history March 12 at St. Petersburg when he was 16 years, 11 months, 12 days old.

Courtney Tops Funny Car Field

Photo credit: Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery April 22 – First mission complete. Courtney Force kept her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS at the top of the Funny Car time charts, earning the coveted No. 1 qualifying spot for Sunday’s NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway – the fifth stop on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. Force stood on a time of 3.851 seconds (tying her third quickest time of her career) at 330.23 mph she set Friday evening to earn the No. 1 spot. Saturday’s two sessions were run under significantly different track and weather conditions she expects to face Sunday. However, she turned in a time of 3.897 at 323.89 mph in her final qualifying attempt Saturday afternoon – in the heat of the day. Conditions for Sunday’s elimination rounds are expected to be cooler than Saturday’s qualifying attempts. “We made a killer run [...]

Veach Subs For Hildebrand At Barber

April 18, 2017, by Kay Presto, www.carsandcompetition,com -- One simple move can definitely make an instant difference in the IndyCar field... Ed Carpenter Racing announced today that Zach Veach will fill in for the injured JR Hildebrand in this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park. Veach will drive Hildebrand’s No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in the 2017 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama while Hildebrand rests his hand. A bone in Hildebrand’s left hand was broken on Sunday, April 9 in a final-lap incident during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The break in the 29-year-old’s hand required surgery, performed on Tuesday, April 11 at the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center in Indianapolis. "This obviously is not how I had hoped this would play out, but I've done everything there was to do since surgery last Tuesday with good results. It seems the risk [...]

HSR Mitty Loaded With Talent

April 13, 2017) - An entry list of nearly 300 vintage and historic race cars for next weekend's Speedfest at the Classic Motorsports Mitty presented by Hagerty and sanctioned by Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) includes a stellar lineup of prototype sports cars from the last six decades that will be a featured attraction of the 40th edition of HSR's longest-running vintage and historic race at Road Atlanta, April 20 - 23. A must-attend happening for competitors and race fans alike, the Classic Motorsports Mitty has grown in the last four decades to take its place on the short list of America's elite vintage and historic racing events. High-speed pieces of history that battled on the track in the 1960s, several Lola T70s and Ford GT40s will be in action at Road Atlanta. The 10 combined entries heading to The Mitty include both original versions and immaculate reproductions of both race [...]

F1’s Alonso To Race In Indy 500

   April 12, 2017 - The Indianapolis 500 has attracted another world champion to its driver field. McLaren announced today that Fernando Alonso, Formula One's two-time champion and three-time runner-up, will compete in the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28. Alonso will drive for Andretti Autosport, which has won four Indianapolis 500s, including last year's race with Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Alexander Rossi at the wheel of the Honda-powered Dallara. Honda also powers Alonso's car on McLaren's grand prix team. Alonso becomes the ninth driver to enter the 500 with a world championship on his resume. In recent years, Nigel Mansell's participation in 1993 as the reigning F1 champion was the most celebrated, with media interest at a fevered pitch. Mansell finished third. Alonso's decision to join this year's 500 field adds to the momentum of the race and the Verizon IndyCar [...]