Racing News and Notes

Big Bend, WI (December 1, 2009) – Sage midget auto racing rep Bryan Gapinski informed me that sadly, demolition of the famed Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix continues. The track which was closed in April, is now padlocked. Gapinski wrote to me in an e-mail. He was given admission to inspect the track last week when he in Phoenix. He took several pictures of the remains of one of the country’s most famed short tracks. The track is excepted to be completely gone by late January. Dave Ellis had purchased the lights, fence and grandstands for the track he hopes to reopen in Casa Grande in 2010. The pictures have been posted on the National Midget Driver of the Year website: . To view, click on the photo page link at the top of the front page.

After 201 events at 82 different tracks in 24 states, Bryan Clauson’s late season victories have earned him the 2009 National Midget Driver of the Year Championship. Clauson scored eleven midget feature victories with five sanctioning organizations, finishing 51 points ahead of two-time NMDOTY Champion Brad Kuhn, who led the point standings from late-June until the final weekend. Kuhn captured both the USAC National Midget and POWRI Championships during the season. Brad Loyet who won 19 midget features the most since Billy Boat in 1995, finished third, followed by Jerry Coons Jr.and Brad Sweet, with 567 drivers earning points during the season. Kuhn’s primary car owner RW Motorsports captured the Car Owners Championship finishing ahead of Loyet Motorsports and Wilke-PAK. Arizona’s Alex Bowman captured two features during the season winning the Design 500 Racewear Rookie of the Year. Spike (Chassis), and Ford-Esslinger (engine) again won the Manufacturers Championship. The top drivers and car owners along with Manufacturers Champions and Rookie of the Year will receive their point fund checks and trophies in the annual ceremony held during the final night of the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals on Jan. 16, 2010.

Good news for North American Formula One fans as the Canadian Grand Prix has returned to the 2010 F1 calendar. Apparently the Canadian government stepped in to help secure a five-year deal for the race. Also, BMW has agreed to sell its Formula 1 team back to Peter Sauber who should take Toyota’s place on the grid next year.

Andretti Autosport announced today it has hired motorsports industry veteran Tom Anderson, and defined the operational and senior management structure for the new company. Anderson, who will serve as Andretti Autosport’s senior vice president of racing operations, most recently was the co-owner and managing director of Fernandez Racing. Prior to his stint with Fernandez, Anderson was the managing director of Chip Ganassi Racing. In addition to Anderson’s oversight of racing operations, the Andretti team will be led by two other senior managers. J-F Thormann, who has worked alongside Andretti in various capacities since 1990 and with the team since 2006, was named executive vice president and chief operating officer. Senior vice president and chief marketing officer John Lopes will oversee Andretti Autosport’s commercial operations, including client services, corporate communications, business development and marketing. Lopes has been with the team since 2005.

The Edmonton IndyCar race might be on tenuous ground after the city revealed last month that last July’s Rexall Indy car race lost almost 4 million dollars, more than double the expected amount.

NASCAR media outlets have been headlining their web-sites and papers with the news that Danica Patrick has not signed a contract to race in the junior circuits in 2010. It’s usually in the second or third paragragph we find out Andretti Autosport has signed domain registrar to a multi-year primary sponsorship agreement and has also secured Danica to a multiple year contract. Interesting.

Speaking of NASCAR, Penske Racing has announced that both Jay Guy and Paul Wolfe have joined the organization as crew chiefs working with driver Brad Keselowski for the 2010 NASCAR season.

The IZOD IndyCar Series announced its 2010 broadcast schedule today, featuring five races with long-term broadcast partner ABC and 12 races on cable television partner VERSUS.

The schedule is highlighted by ABC’s coverage of the Indianapolis 500 in addition to VERSUS’ extensive coverage of the final seven races of the 2010 season.

ABC will offer high-definition broadcasts of five races in 2010 produced by ESPN, including the Indianapolis 500 on May 30 for the 46th consecutive season. ABC will air the season’s first domestically-run race on the Streets of St. Petersburg on March 28. The network will begin its month of May IZOD IndyCar Series coverage May 1 when it televises the series event at Kansas Speedway, the lead-in race to the Indianapolis 500. ABC finishes its 2010 coverage with the broadcasting of back-to-back events at Watkins Glen International and the Streets of Toronto in July.

VERSUS will televise the remaining 12 IZOD IndyCar Series events and will begin its in-depth and all-encompassing coverage with events from Sao Paulo, Brazil and Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama – two new events on the 2010 schedule. VERSUS’ live race coverage will continue following the Indianapolis 500 with the Texas Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway telecasts. VERSUS concludes its 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series coverage with the final seven races on the schedule, including the season finale, for the second consecutive year, at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Oct. 2.

All 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series events on VERSUS will be produced and shown in high definition where available.

The complete 2010 IndyCar Series television broadcast schedule:

Date Location Venue Television
Sunday, March 14 Sao Paulo, Brazil 2.3-mile street course VERSUS
Sunday, March 28 Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. 1.8-mile street course ABC
Sunday, April 11 Barber Motorsports Park 2.38-mile road course VERSUS
Sunday, April 18 Streets of Long Beach, Calif. 1.968-mile street course VERSUS
Saturday, May 1 Kansas Speedway 1.5-mile oval ABC
Sunday, May 30 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval ABC
Saturday, June 5* Texas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile oval VERSUS
Sunday, June 20 Iowa Speedway .875-mile oval VERSUS
Sunday, July 4 Watkins Glen International 3.4-mile road course ABC
Sunday, July 18 Streets of Toronto 1.721-mile street-course ABC
Sunday, July 25 Edmonton City Centre Airport 1.973-mile airport course VERSUS
Sunday, Aug. 8 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 2.258-mile road course VERSUS
Sunday, Aug. 22 Infineon Raceway 2.245-mile road course VERSUS
aturday, Aug. 28* Chicagoland Speedway 1.5-mile oval VERSUS
Saturday, Sept. 4* Kentucky Speedway 1.5-mile oval VERSUS
Saturday, Sept. 18 Twin Ring Motegi 1.5-mile oval VERSUS
Saturday, Oct. 2* Homestead-Miami Speedway 1.5-mile oval VERSUS
* Denotes night race Schedule Subject to Change

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