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ARCA Thiller Justin Lofton Wins at Chicagoland. Beats Talented Grant Enfinger by a NOSE!!!

August 30, 2009

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JOLIET IL-  ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Justin Lofton, in the Lofton Cattle Toyota, held off rookie Grant Enfinger in a last-lap shootout to win the Ansell Cut Protection 150 Friday night at Chicagoland Speedway.
Lofton had 17 lead-lap cars in his rearview mirror for the final restart, which came on lap 99 of the 100-lap, 150-mile race.

“At that last restart, honestly, the only thing I was thinking was ‘oh dang’ because I had acquired a little bit of a lead there and I knew that there were some pretty strong cars behind me,” said Lofton. “It was great during that race to be able to battle against some of those guys for the lead, especially Brian Ickler because I grew up racing with him and to race him in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and come out ahead feels pretty good to me.”

Enfinger, on fresher tires, drove underneath Lofton off the fourth corner but fell short by less than a length at the checkered flag. Enfinger, in the BeasleyAllen.com-Roush Yates Performance Parts Ford, settled for second, earning his second runner-up finish of the season. Listen Now

IndyCar owners support moving up Indianapolis 500 start time

August 30, 2009

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The Indianapolis 500 will return to its more traditional start time — 11 a.m. — if some influential IndyCar Series team owners have a say in it. The leaders of Team Penske and Andretti Green Racing said Saturday they support a change back to the earlier start time to help the event attract NASCAR drivers, which they figure would boost television ratings for the 500. Currently, the 1 p.m. start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway does not allow enough time for drivers to complete the 500 miles and then fly to Concord, N.C., for the Sprint Cup Series night race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Team Penske president Tim Cindric brought the subject up in an owners meeting held with Indy Racing League officials prior to the race at Chicagoland Speedway. “It’s worth one (ratings) point, at least,” Cindric said after the meeting.

Angelelli and Frisselle win Grand-Am race at Montreal

August 30, 2009

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 MONTREAL — Max Angelelli and Brian Frisselle teamed to win the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race on Saturday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
It was the 14th career victory for Angelelli and the team’s second win of the season.

Angelelli led the final 12 laps of the 67-lap race in the No. 10 Ford Dallara and won by over a minute in a race which featured rain throughout.

While most teams opted to change to rain tires, SunTrust Racing kept Angelelli on dry tires, and he sprinted away for the victory to close within five points of the championship lead.

Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard were second in the No. 12 Porsche Riley, followed by Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, who took over the points lead.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards spun out while trying to warm his tires during a pre-race warmup lap and hit the Turn 11 wall hard in his No. 77 Ford Dallara. Listen Now

Marcos Ambrose on Pole at Montreal for Nationwide Race

August 30, 2009

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Ron Fellows 2008 Winner starts third.

MONTREAL — When it rained yet again at Circuit Gilles Villenueve, Marcos Ambrose was in the driver’s seat.

The hard-charging Ambrose, who grew up in rainy Tasmania, turned a fast lap of 80.905 mph over the rainswept 2.7-mile street course on Saturday to capture the Nationwide series pole.

He easily beat Carl Edwards, whose best lap was 80.116 mph but more than a second slower as dusk was beginning to fall.

“It’s better to be lucky than good,” Ambrose said. “It worked out perfectly. I had a great draw. I went out first in my group, which helped me get clean track. The conditions worked in our favor. The track deteriorated, the daylight disappeared, and we got lucky. We’ll take it.” Listen Now

NAPA Auto Parts 200 Lineup

August 30, 2009

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At Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal. Lap length: 2.709 miles. (Car number in parentheses)

1. (47) Marcos Ambrose (FSY), Toyota, 80.905.

2. (60) Carl Edwards (FSY), Ford, 80.116.

3. (5) Ron Fellows (FSY), Chevrolet, 79.717.

4. (09) Boris Said (FSY), Ford, 78.902.

5. (20) Brad Coleman (FSY), Toyota, 78.837.

6. (32) Jacques Villeneuve (FSY), Toyota, 78.823.

7. (10) Justin Marks (FSY), Toyota, 78.287.

8. (86) Antonio Perez, Dodge, 78.261.

9. (11) Andrew Ranger, Toyota, 78.257.

10. (98) Paul Menard (FSY), Ford, 78.206. Listen Now

Briscoe edges Dixon by a nose, wins IRL race at Chicagoland

August 30, 2009

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JOLIET, Ill. — Ryan Briscoe grabbed the IndyCar series points lead by stringing together quietly consistent finishes. Then he took control by putting on a remarkable wheel-to-wheel show under the lights at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday night.

Briscoe made an aggressive move for the lead going into the final lap of the race, pulling alongside fellow title contender Scott Dixon as the white flag flew. After going side-by-side with their wheels inches apart, Briscoe nosed ahead at the finish line to win by 0.0077 seconds.

Told that his margin of victory — the fourth-closest finish in series history — translated to about 28½ inches on the track, Briscoe didn’t balk.

“Nice,” Briscoe said. “That’s enough.”

Dixon finished second by a nose, followed by Mario Moraes and the third remaining championship contender, Dario Franchitti. Three of the series’ four closest finishes have come at Chicagoland. Listen Now

Results: PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300

August 30, 2009

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Indy Racing League

Date: Saturday, August 29th

Site: Chicagoland Speedway — Joliet, Illinois
Track: 1.5-mile tri-oval

1 1 Ryan Briscoe Dallara Honda 200 71 53 TBA
2 6 Scott Dixon Dallara Honda 200 61 40 TBA
3 8 Mario Moraes Dallara Honda 200 0 35 TBA
4 3 Dario Franchitti Dallara Honda 200 34 32 TBA
5 5 Graham Rahal Dallara Honda 200 0 30 TBA
6 12 Ed Carpenter Dallara Honda 200 0 28 TBA
7 9 Oriol Servia Dallara Honda 200 0 26 TBA
8 14 Tomas Scheckter Dallara Honda 200 4 24 TBA
9 17 Raphael Matos Dallara Honda 200 0 22 TBA
10 15 Justin Wilson Dallara Honda 200 0 20 TBA
11 7 Marco Andretti Dallara Honda 200 0 19 TBA
12 10 Danica Patrick Dallara Honda 200 0 18 TBA
13 4 Tony Kanaan Dallara Honda 200 7 17 TBA
14 19 Sarah Fisher Dallara Honda 199 0 16 TBA
15 18 Ryan Hunter-Reay Dallara Honda 199 0 15 TBA Listen Now

ESPN’S NASCAR Ratings Improve for Second Consecutive Week

August 29, 2009

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Live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway Aug. 21-22 by ESPN saw increased ratings from last year’s telecasts for both events, the second consecutive week that ratings for both series have shown increases from 2008. ESPN’s telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Aug. 22 earned a 3.8 final national household coverage rating, up from the 3.5 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ESPN. The telecast averaged 5,322,577 viewers. The Bristol race was ESPN’s fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season but only the third to be run and telecast as scheduled. The previous week’s race at Michigan International Speedway also saw a ratings increase from 2008. Live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Bristol on ESPN2 earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.5, up from a 1.4 for last year’s race that aired on ESPN. The telecast averaged 1,956,225 viewers. Last week’s Michigan race also saw an increase.

2010 Indy Car Schedule Changes

August 29, 2009

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IndyCar Series and TMS officials announced the move on Wednesday as part of adjustments to the 2010 schedule, eliminating what would have been a break for drivers after Indianapolis.

The Texas race has been moved up to June 5, a week after Indianapolis, because of a scheduling conflict with a NASCAR truck race that is part of the IRL weekend in Texas.

“I have always been a proponent of that off week between Indy and us, but we hope the back-to-back races create even more momentum for the IRL and Texas Motor Speedway,” track president Eddie Gossage said.

In the open-wheel series’ first nine seasons from 1997-2005, there had always been an off week between Indianapolis and Texas, the series’ top-drawing events. But there had been races the week between them for the past four years. Listen Now

Daytona 500 qualifying moved to avoid Super Bowl conflict

August 29, 2009

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla — Qualifying for next season’s Daytona 500 will be held one day earlier than usual, a move that avoids running the session on the same day as the Super Bowl.

The top two spots for NASCAR’s biggest race of the year are typically determined in qualifying on the first Sunday of “Speedweeks.” But the NFL moved the Super Bowl back one week in 2010.

Although NASCAR’s qualifying would have ended before kickoff, the move avoids any conflicts with the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 in Miami.

Qualifying will be part of a Saturday tripleheader at Daytona on Feb. 6 that includes the exhibition Budweiser Shootout and the season-opening ARCA race.

Daytona International Speedway president Robin Braig said the move provides “even more value to our race fans, who can now enjoy a unique racing tripleheader as well as all the festivities surrounding the Super Bowl the following day.”

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