Rants And Some Raves

Road racing continued to dominate the racing coverage this week with wrap ups on the Grand Am Series, Rolex 24 at Daytona as well as coverage of the Winter Test in Sebring for the American LeMans Series. However after the Super Bowl this Sunday, the motorsports world will be focused on the Daytona International Speedway. The stock car racing season kicks off with the ARCA 200 on Saturday, February 9. There are several interesting stories going into the ARCA race. Look for stock car racing’s first “Green Team” car. Owned by Baker-Curb Racing and sponsored by EnvirOx, LLC, the ?Green Team? Ford Fusion will debut at the ARCA 200. Baker-Curb Racing’s Green Team was formed for the purpose of raising awareness of our health, protecting the environment we live in, and the role environmentally preferred products play in keeping our world healthy.

EnvirOx is supplying its environmentally preferred degreaser, Greasinator 500, to all Daytona International Speedway garages (as allowed by individual team sponsorships) to replace existing hazardous degreasers and brake cleaners. The car will be driven by veteran driver, Brad Baker.

Look for the ageless one James Hylton to attempt to make the ARCA 200 with EM Motorsports. Also, the first Pakistani will attempt to make the race, Nur Ali, former A1GP driver, is set to compete in the upcoming ARCA race. In December?s practice sessions, Nur logged the most laps and miles over the three days of testing than any other driver. Nur plans to compete in all 21 ARCA race events in the 2008 season.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, Jimmie Johnson had an interesting answer when asked about NASCAR mulling the age eligibility for the Sprint Cup Series by raising it to age 21. Did Johnson feel he was ready to in the Cup Series when he arrived?

Johnson, ?I feel that today I could still use more experience and do a better job where I’m at in the Cup Series. I think that 18 should be the limit. You can vote. You can go to war for your country. Why couldn’t you drive a NEXTEL Cup car or Sprint Cup car?

I don’t see why that would be of anyone’s concern or interest to say now 21 is the legal age. I don’t understand that. Some of our best drivers that are coming along are young and they’re in that age bracket. Yeah, they make mistakes, but that’s part of being a rookie. You have kids going right out of high school to play in the NBA and to play in other pro sports. I think the age limit of 18 and the format we currently have is fair and works really well.?

In the ?it?s better than nothing? category, Stephen Leicht is currently scheduled to race in just two events this season for #21 Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

In the ?it?s a good thing he?s not engaged anymore? category, Helio Castroneves plans to attend annual Super Bowl parties hosted by Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Maxim and ESPN: The Magazine. Following the Super Bowl, Castroneves heads to New Orleans where he will serve as a Monarch in the Krewe of Orpheus’ annual Lundi Gras parade on Feb. 4 ? the day before Mardi Gras officially begins. It?s good being a racecar driver.

Also, the ?face of IndyCar? Danica Patrick, will be featured in’s commercial during the Super Bowl game broadcast, also will attend the Sports Illustrated and Maxim parties as well as Vice and Marquis Jet parties. She also will participate in the Holly Rod Glamour Fashion Show.

Newly formed Indy Pro Series team named, Team E will be competing full-time in 2008 with veteran driver Bobby Wilson behind the wheel. Based in Odessa, FL, Team E is owned by Florida businessman Neil Enerson. “I met Neil a couple of years ago doing some karting work, coaching his son,” said Wilson, who won the Stars of Karting championship in 2003. “Neil went to a few races (in 2007), saw the marketing potential of this series, how it’s taking off. We started talking about running a car, went through the numbers and put it all together.” The team acquired all new equipment, including a Dallara chassis (one of the first delivered) and transporter, and hired veteran engineer Dave Conti and veteran team manager Doug Hoy.

Australian James Davison signed with Sam Schmidt Motorsports and will also compete in the Indy Pro Series during the 2008 season. The 21-year-old Davison finished second in the Star Mazda Championship in 2007 which included winning in Mosport last year. reported that Tony Cotman will be named vice president of competition for the Indy Racing League today.

?I?m just going where I think the future of open-wheel racing is going to be,? said Cotman, who quit as Champ Car?s executive vice president earlier this month. ?It?s a good job. I?m going to oversee anything that has to do with competition, technical issues, tracks and assist Brian (Barnhart) in race control.?

Cotman who is from New Zealand went to work for the Champ Car Series three years ago after serving as team manager for Barry Green?s CART team and the Andretti Green operation in IndyCars.

Cotman is a well respected among his peers in both the Champ Car paddock and IndyCar paddock for his fair officiating and common sense approach. He is known for playing no favorites, be it the drivers or owners. Cotman will run the Indy Pro Series events and assist Barnhart at Indianapolis and other IndyCar venues.

Congratulations to longtime United States Auto Club (USAC) official Dick Jordan as he will be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon, May 31st, during the nineteenth annual ceremonies on the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa.

This years inductees also include Drivers: Tony Bettenhausen (Sr.), Glenn Fitzcharles, Brent Kaeding, Johnnie Parsons (Sr.), Earl Wagner, Kramer Williamson. Owners-Mechanics-Builders-Manufacturers-Car Sponsors: Bob Hampshire, Doug Howells, Gordon Schroeder. Promoters-Officials-Media Members-Event/Series Sponsors: Louis “Rusty” Espinoza, Dick Jordan, John Padjen.

European-based Audi Sport Team Joest will enter two of the latest generation Audi R10 TDI for Dindo Capello and Allan McNish and Alexandre Pr

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