People, Places & Racing News

SCOTT DIXON NOTCHES SECOND CAREER INDY CAR CHAMPIONSHIP AND OTHER RACING NEWS

THE CHAMP: Despite losing the race to Helio Castroneves in a photo finish Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, Scott Dixon wrapped up his second IRL IndyCar Series championship.

RIDE SWAPS: Dario Franchitti, the 2007 IndyCar Series and Indy 500 champion, will return to the series full-time next season. Franchitti, who tried his hand at NASCAR stock-car racing this season, will replace Dan Wheldon in the second Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry. Wheldon has signed with Panther Racing, the team with which he began his IndyCar Series career, leaving Vitor Meira among the drivers shopping for a ride for the 2009 season.

TOP ROOKIE: Hideki Mutoh won the IndyCar Series Bombardier Learjet Rookie of the Year award.

BIG MONEY: Jac Haudenschild earned $50,000 for his third Gold Cup Race of Champions sprint-car triumph at Silver Dollar Speedway in California. Meanwhile, Shane Clanton picked up $41,000 for winning the World 100 dirt-late-model event at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.

CHANGES: Kansas Speedway is going to build a permanent infield road course at the 1.5-mile superspeedway located in Kansas City, Kan.

A CHIEF: Darian Grubb has officially been named crew chief for Tony Stewart next season at Stewart Haas Racing.

POWER RANKINGS: NHRA Top Fuel point leader Tony Schumacher remained at the top of the National Speed Sport News Power Rankings heading into the inaugural Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., this weekend. The National Speed Sport News Power Rankings, which are published weekly in the 74-year-old motorsports publication

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