People, Places & Racing News

2007 INDY CAR CHAMPION DARIO FRANCHITTI MOVING TO NASCAR AND OTHER RACING NEWS

HEAD WEST: The Champ Car World Series has announced a return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next season. The event does not add a race to the schedule, as it will replace the San Jose Grand Prix, which has run in the streets of San Jose the past two years. A date for the race has not been announced.

CHAMP ON THE MOVE: Dario Franchitti secured the IndyCar Series championship last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, but the Scottish driver is reportedly heading to NASCAR and will drive the No. 40 Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Sprint Cup Series next season.

AGREEMENT: AT&T, NASCAR and Sprint Nextel reached an agreement that will allow Richard Childress Racing to run AT&T logos on its car, but the deal is contingent on AT&T being out of the sport by the end of the 2009 season.

RETIRING: Noted NASCAR team owner Robert Yates will retire at the end of the season, handing the keys to his race team to his son Doug. David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil will wheel the Yates entries next season.

STICKING AROUND: Thanks to an offer from rival team owner Ken Black to fly him to 10 events next season, four-time NHRA champion Gary Scelzi has decided to nix plans to take a sabbatical from drag racing and will return to the Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car camp full time next season.

MAKES: Joe Gibbs Racing officially announced its switch from Chevrolet cars to the Toyota Camry for the 2008 NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series campaigns.

SHORT TRACK ACES: Jimmy Owens won the prestigious World 100 dirt-late-model race at Eldora Speedway, while Joey Saldana picked up the victory in the Gold Cup Race of Champions winged-sprint-car race at Chico, California. Todd Shute was the big winner at the IMCA Super Nationals.

NUMBER ONE: Tony Schumacher remained at the top of the NSSN Power Rankings, but Indy Racing League champion Dario Franchitti jumped to second in the countdown.

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