People, Places & Racing News

ENRIQUE BERNOLDI TO DRIVE FOR ROCKETSPORTS IN CHAMP CAR AND OTHER RACING NEWS

NEW BLOOD: Brazilian driver Enrique Bernoldi will drive for Rocketsports Racing in the Champ Car World Series this season. Also, Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing confirmed its Champ Car driver lineup of Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson.

HE’S BACK: Gil de Ferran, who won the Indianapolis 500 in 2003 and retired at the end of that season, is returning to the cockpit. He will own and drive an Acura entry in the American Le Mans Series, which will debut later this season in the LMP 2 class.

IT’S A DRAG: Lowe’s Motor Speedway and NHRA representatives officially announced the construction of a state-of-the-art dragstrip adjacent to the historic speedway in Concord, North Carolina. The track is to be completed in time to host the inaugural Carolinas Nationals, September 11–14.

FOUR LAPS: All oval-track qualifying runs in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series this year will be four laps in length, with the fastest four-lap average winning the pole.

THRICE IS NICE: Chip Ganassi Racing won the Rolex 24 at Daytona for the third consecutive year, making it the first team to win the prestigious twice-around-the-clock endurance race three times in a row. Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas drove the team’s Riley Lexus.

HIRED: Former road racer Michael McDowell, who won the rookie of the year award in the ARCA RE/MAX Series last season, has been hired to wheel the third Michael Waltrip Racing entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. He takes over the car at Martinsville, Virginia, in March.

POWER RANKINGS: The 2008 National Speed Sport News (NSSN) Power Rankings appeared for the first time in the January 30 issue of the publication, with sprint-car Donny Schatz leading the way. The Power Rankings will appear weekly in NSSN through the end of the year.

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