People Places & Racing News


CLOSING IN: As of Wednesday morning, officials of the Indy Racing League and the Champ Car World Series were closing in on an agreement, that would bring the two factions of open-wheel racing together for the first time in 13 years. When agreed to, remaining Champ Car teams and some of the series’s dates would become part of the IRL IndyCar Series under the direction of IRL founder Tony George.

LONG TIME COMING: It took nearly 30 years, but team owner Roger Penske finally won the Daytona 500. Driver Ryan Newman grabbed the surprising victory on the last lap in the 50th running of the event, handing Penske, who has won the Indianapolis 500 14 times, the victory.

NEW CAMPAIGN: The FIA, governing body for Formula One, is set to launch a worldwide anti-racism campaign. It will kick off at the Spanish Grand Prix in April. Black driver Lewis Hamilton was the subject of racist abuse while testing in Spain earlier this year.

MORE CHANGES: As part of the effort to change the face of the United States Auto Club (USAC), new USAC President Kevin Miller announced that the new-generation Silver Crown car, which debuted in 2006, will be “re-evaluated,” with the traditional-style Crown car returning to competition on asphalt race tracks. In addition, USAC has introduced a substance-abuse policy for the first time.

HALL OF FAMERS: Michael Andretti, Buddy Baker, John Force, Richie Ginther, Wayne Rainey, Paul Goldsmith and Betty Skelton are the latest members of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. The group will be induced August 13 at the Fillmore in Detroit.

SAD ENDING: The remaining assets of the International Race of Champions, which featured the world’s best drivers in identically prepared cars, will be sold at auction March 7–8 at IROC headquarters in Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

POWER RANKINGS: Donny Schatz clung to lead the National Speed Sport News Power Rankings, but NHRA’s Tony Schumacher and dirt-late-model ace Billy Moyer are close behind.

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