People, Places & Racing News

RACING NEWS: TRANS-AM SERIES MAKES A COMEBACK

IT’S BACK: The Trans-Am Tour is expected to return in 2009 with the SCCA sanctioning eight events in conjunction with major SCCA club racing events across the country. Rules are to closely resemble those of the SCCA GT-1 classification.

MAZDA SPEED: Mazda will enter the American Le Mans Series next season, with veteran team owner Rob Dyson fielding a pair of Mazda-powered cars in the LMP2 class.

DRAG MOVES: It appears that team owner David Powers will park his Top Fuel dragster because of a lack of funds. Driver Rod Fuller and crew chief Mike Kloeber are hoping to salvage the team under new ownership.

DRAG MOVES II: Team owner Don Prudhomme has released Larry Dixon from his contract and hired Spencer Massey to drive his Top Fueler next season. While nothing is official, the move frees up Dixon to drive for new team owner Alan Johnson next season. Johnson won five straight titles with Tony Schumacher before splitting with the Schumacher team at the end of the season.

UNEMPLOYED: Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte was released from his contract with the financially strapped Petty Enterprises team last week and is currently seeking a job with another team.

CHAMPION: Several days after being named the 2008 Driver of the Year, NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher became the first two-time winner of the Economaki Champion of Champions Award presented by Speedway Motorsports Inc. and National Speed Sport News. Schumacher accepted the award at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Orlando, Florida.

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