People, Places & Racing News

NORTH CAROLINA SPEEDWAY IS BACK IN BUSINESS AND OTHER RACING NEWS

PAID: Speedway Motorsports Chairman O Bruton Smith paid $340 million to purchase New Hampshire Int’l Speedway from the Bahre family late last week. The one-mile oval seats 92,000 and is located in Loudon, N.H.

BACK IN BUSINESS: The former North Carolina Speedway, now known as Rockingham Speedway, is back in the racing business. Andy Hillenburg closed on the sale last week and wasted little time scheduling events. The Carolina 500 for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is scheduled May 4, while the Hooters Pro Cup Series will conclude its 2008 season at the 1.017-mile oval Nov. 1.

14 RACES: The Champ Car World Series released a 14-race schedule for the 2008 season, including the series’s first visit to Spain.

TITLE TIME: For the second straight season Tony Schumacher used the final run of the season to steal the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series championship from another driver. It was his fourth-consecutive championship and fifth overall.

RETIRING: Robert Clarke will step down as president of Honda Performance Development Jan. 1. He will serve in an advisory role for newly appointed president Erik Berkman. Clarke, who worked 27 years for Honda, will retire June 30.

SIGNED: Hideki Mutoh will fill the fourth seat for Andretti Green Racing in the Indy Racing League next season.

SEPARATE WAYS: Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso has left the McLaren team with which he spent the 2007 season, and is seeking employment elsewhere.

NUMBER ONE: With his ninth victory of the season, Jimmie Johnson solidified his spot at the top of the National Speed Sport News Power Rankings.

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