SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 9, March 3, 2011

Racing News: IZOD IndyCar Series to Offer $5 Million to Winning Driver in Season Finale

BONUS MONEY: The IZOD IndyCar Series will offer a $5 million bonus for a driver from outside the series who can come in and win the season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway October 16. The event will be known as the IZOD IndyCar World Championships.

SHUT DOWN: De Ferran Dragon Racing has shut down because of a lack of sponsorship. The team had previously signed driver Tony Kanaan, but Kanaan was unable to secure funding for the IZOD IndyCar Series season.

MERGER:
Sam Schmidt Motorsports has merged with the FAZZT Racing Team that fields an entry in the IZOD IndyCar Series for driver Alex Tagliani.

NEW RULES:
The Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway Masters Classic for 360 sprint cars will no longer permit drivers with more than 10 starts in a winged 410 sprint car during the last two years to compete in the annual event, which features drivers age 50 or older.

MONEY ISSUES:
Ray Evernham has sued George Gillett Jr. for the $19.3 million he is still owed from the sale of Evernham Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup team to Gillett in 2007. Gillett no longer owns the team, which is now known as Richard Petty Motorsports.

WIDE OPEN: Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) opened the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season with victories during the Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California, Sunday.

DROUGHT BUSTED: Jeff Gordon put an end to his 66-race winless streak by winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, Sunday afternoon.

MOD MONEY: Terry Phillips drove to victory during the USRA Winter Meltdown for modifieds at Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, New Mexico, pocketing $20,000 for his efforts.

FEES WAVED: Because the Bahrain Grand Prix was canceled, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone will not charge event officials the standard $31 million sanctioning fee.

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