People, Places & Racing News

NORTH CAROLINA SPEEDWAY TO GO BACK ON LINE IN 2008 AND OTHER RACING NEWS

THE ROCK: Race car driver Andy Hillenburg, who operates the Fast Track Driving School, paid $4.4 million to buy North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham at auction last week. Hillenburg hopes to bring racing back to the track in a variety of forms as soon as November 2008.

FINISHED: The International Race of Champions, which ran races for championship winning drivers in identically prepared cars from 1973–2006, has met its end through the lack of sponsorship and commitment from car manufacturers.

NEW RIDE: After two seasons with Gillet Evernham Motorsports, Scott Riggs will move to the Haas CNC Racing team for the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup campaign.

STOCK-CAR MAN: IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti was officially announced last week as the driver of the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 40 for the 2008 season. Two days later, he made his stock-car racing debut, finishing 17th in the ARCA race at Talladega, Alabama. Meanwhile, former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve made his Nextel Cup debut at Talladega and finished 21st after qualifying sixth. Both drivers are former Indy 500 winners.

FULL CONTROL: Dennis Huth has acquired all rights to the American Speed Association from former owner Steve Dale.

THE CHAMP: Veteran stock-car racer Steve Carlson earned the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly racing title for the first time in his career.

HE’S BACK: Nelson Philippe will return to the Champ Car World Series, driving the final two races of the season in Australia and Mexico City for Conquest Racing.

A BEST: Davey Blaney’s third-place finish behind Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson Sunday at Talladega, Alabama, was the best for Toyota in its maiden season of Nextel Cup competition.

NUMBER ONE: With his 18th World of Outlaws triumph of the season at Princeton Speedway in Minnesota, Donny Schatz remained atop the NSSN Power Rankings for the second-straight week. NHRA Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly, who has won five straight, jumped to second.

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