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Racing News: Lotus F-1 Team Ends Cosworth Contract, Chooses Renault for Next Season

BAD BREATH: NHRA Pro Stock competitor Allen Johnson was disqualified from competition at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina, last weekend after registering a .027 reading on an alcohol breathalyzer test prior to the start of Saturday’s events.

OPTIONS: Dan Wheldon will not return to the Panther Racing IndyCar Series team next season and is currently investigating his options for the 2011 season.

TOP DRIVER: Ryan Wilson, an 18-year-old late-model driver from Randleman, North Carolina, was named the winner of Richard Petty’s Driver Search II. He will receive an opportunity to race during the ARCA Racing Series event at Rockingham (North Carolina) Speedway October 9.

NHRA Pro Stock drivers Warren and Kurt Johnson will receive primary sponsorship support from Grant Motorsports LLC for the remainder of the season and beyond.

NEW ENGINES: The Lotus Formula One team confirmed last week that it will switch to Renault horsepower next year, ending its contract with Cosworth two years early.

RETURN TO PRESS: Speedway Illustrated, which ceased publishing earlier this year, will return, thanks to the magazine’s former editor Karl Fredrickson and a group of investors who have purchased the rights to the magazine. Founder Dick Berggren is also involved in the revival.

LAWSUIT: Front Row Motorsports is suing its former driver Kevin Conway and his sponsor Extenze, alleging Conway and Extenze failed to pay a portion of a multi-million-dollar sponsorship agreement.

IN CHARGE: The Dawsonville (Georgia) City Council voted unanimously September 13 to give control of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame to the volunteers who oversee its daily operations.

CASH FLOW: NHRA Pro Stock driver Johnny Gray sold his company, Marbob Energy Corp., to Concho Resources Inc., in a $1.65 billion transaction.

DIED: Hillen “Hilly” Rife, a racing pioneer who was instrumental in organizing NASCAR’s Northern Swing in the ’50s and ’60s, died September 17 after a long battle with cancer. He was 83.

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