People, Places & Racing News

"ENCOURAGING" MERGER TALK BETWEEN CHAMP CAR AND IRL AND OTHER RACING NEWS

MERGER? The Indy Racing League and Champ Car World Series are continuing to discuss a merger, which when complete would see the two open-wheel series, which have been separate since 1996, united together under the Indy Racing League banner. There remain several hurdles to clear, but the negotiations have been encouraging to this point. Among the many contingencies involved would be the IRL adding several of the Champ Car events to its schedule.

ALL HENDRICK ALL THE TIME: After winning half of the 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup races last season, Hendrick Motorsports is off to a fast start, winning the Bud Shootout at Daytona with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his first race with the team. Two-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson won the pole for the Daytona 500 as well.

BACK ON THE ROAD: BMW is planning a full-time return to the American Le Mans Series with M3 coupes competing in the GT2 division. The cars will be fielded by Rahal Letterman Racing.

PROMOTED: Kenny Kane has been promoted to vice president of media and communications for Daytona International Speedway.

PROMOTER OF THE YEAR: Lynn Phillips, who operates the Talladega Short Track was selected as the Racing Promotion Monthly Promoter of the Year by a vote of his peers.

POWER RANKINGS: Donny Schatz continued to lead the National Speed Sport News Power Rankings after a pair of victories at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, but NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson and NHRA’s Tony Schumacher are close behind.

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