People, Places & Racing News

Racing News: Toyota Prepares for a "Must-Win" Formula One Season

NEARLY GONE: Toyota officials acknowledged that slumping car sales nearly led to the company pulling its Formula One racing program. Tadashi Yamashina, chairman of Toyota Motor Sports, said the pressure is on and for the team to survive it “must win” this season.

A SAD DAY: Fans and racers alike are morning the loss of one of America’s historic short tracks. Manzanita Speedway, located in Phoenix, was sold March 12 and will be used for industrial development. The final race at the half-mile oval, which has been holding auto races for 58 years, will be April 11.

FUEL CONSIDERATIONS: As the Indy Racing League considers a new engine formula that would be used beginning in 2012, one thing holding up the process is the fuel to be used. While the IndyCar Series currently uses ethanol, several of the manufacturers interested in supplying engines would prefer to use a gasoline/ethanol blend. No decision has been made either way at this point in the process.

BUD RUNS DRY: Currently in its 30th season of sponsoring Kenny Bernstein Racing, Anheuser-Busch informed the legendary NHRA drag racer that its Budweiser brand will not return to sponsor the team with Kenny’s son Brandon driving in 2010, ending the longest sponsorship relationship in motorsports history.

HIRED: Joe Mattes has been named interim president of Motorsports Authentics.

TOP DOG: With Donny Schatz struggling during a two-day World of Outlaws visit to Silver Dollar Speedway, Kyle Busch moved to the top of the National Speed Sport News Power Rankings. The rankings appear weekly in America’s Motorsports Authority.

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