Archive for the ‘Motor Sports’ Category

Fallout from NASCAR Brawl

NASCAR sprint car drivers Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski have escaped for their punch-up in Pit Land aftter the Texas 500; but their crews have not been so lucky.

Four of the Hendrick Motorsports crew were banned and fined for getting involved in the fracas. Dwayne Doucette, Jeremy Fuller (a crewman for teammate driver Kuhne) and Jason Ingle were suspended for six races and fined $25,000; while  Dean Mozingo was banned for three races and fined $10,000.

Crew chiefs for the Gordon/ Kuhne team were handed the harshest punishments. Alan Gustafson and Kenny Francis were hit with $50,000 fines and put on probation for the next six races. Both men were deemed to have ultimate responsibility for the actions of their crews.

All fines were for “actions detrimental to stock car racing” and “getting involved in a post-race physical altercation with a driver on pit road.”

Trsm Goron vs Team Keselowski. Image:  www.news.coma.u

Trsm Goron vs Team Keselowski. Image: www.news.coma.u

Hendrik motorsports have said they will nt contest the penalties. Although team owner rick Hendrick said the crewmen will face no further punishments.

“With NASCAR’s new Chase format,” said Hendrick, “we’re seeing an unprecedented level of intensity every single week. Emotions run high when you’re racing for a championship, and that;s exciting for our fans and everyone involved with the sport.

“But there’s a line the competitors need to be cogniant of, and we understand theat.

“Jeff (Gordon) was rightfully fired up Sunday night, and it just reiterated to me how passionate he is and how much he wants to win. The NO. 24 team is a group that works together and is loyal to one another. They have our full support as we go into these final two rces.”

No members of Brad Keselowski’s crew were penalised.

Keselwoski was deemed to have been pushed into the fight by Gordon and Kevin Harvick.

However, Keselowski is still on probation from a post-race scuffle between himself and Kevin Harvick three weeks ago in Charlotte.

Robin Pemberton, senior vice president of NASCAR said, “While the intensity and emotions are high as we continue through the final rounds of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the actions that we saw from several crew members Sunday following the race at Texas are unacceptable.

“We reviewed the content that was available to us of the post-race incident along pit road, and identified several crew members who crossed the line with their actions, specifically punching others.”

“We therefore have penalised four crew members as well as their crew chiefs, as they ultimately are responsible for members of their team per the NASCAR rule book.

“A NASCARR championship is at stake, but we can’t allow behaviour that crosses the line to go unchecked, particularly when it put others in harm’s way.”

NASCAR Brawl Clears the Pits

There was another ugly post-race NASCAR brawl on the weekend.

The yellow flag came out late in the AAA Texas 500. Jeff Gordon’s comfortable lead was suddenly gone and the pack allowed to reform for the two-lap green-white-chequers finish.

Sensing an opportunity Keselowski nudged Gordon. The impact shredded one of Gordon’s tyres and sent him into the wall. As his car wobbled into the pits Gordon parked next to Keselowski.

The crew members from each team were already at it. Both sides had seen what happened and both sides had very interpretations.

Gordon parked his car, got out, and went for Keselowski.

Keselowski turned away and tried to ignore him.

That’s when Harvick stepped in. He pushed Keselowski back towards Gordon. Gordon didn’t need a written invitation and started thumping Keselowski!

Image: blogs.mcall.com

Image: blogs.mcall.com

The bleachers of both teams cleared and those not already in the battle joined the fray

Pretty much everyone was left bruised and bloodied. Keselowski and Gordon emerged nursing fat lips, black eyes, and cuts.

When asked about the on-track incident, ESPN,170 Gordon said, “Outta nowhere I just got slammed by the No.2 and it cut my left rear tyre.

‘He’s just a dip$#!t you know?

“The way he races, I don’t know how he’s ever won a championship. I’m just sick and tired … I mean that’s why everybody’s fighting him and running him down.

Not surprisingly Keselwoski sees things differently: “We were just racing for the win,” he told ESPN.

“I was racing him hard and he left a hole. From everything you watch in racing, if you leave a hole you’re supposed to go for it. It closed back up and we made contact.

“I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day, I want to win a race and that was our opportunity. It just didn’t come together.”

Roger Penske, the Team Boss defended Keselowski saying he was pleased to see his driver stand up for himself.

Schumacher Junior Secures Second in German Carting Championship

Michael Schumacher Junior. Photo: www.news.com.au

Michael Schumacher Junior. Photo: www.news.com.au

15 year-old Michael Schumacher, son of Formula 1 racing legend of the same name, has just been pipped for the German Junior Carting title.

The final race of the season was held on Sunday, Michael junior was eighth in the penultimate round. His main rival, David Beckmann, needed to finish fourth to win the overall title.

It all came down to the final race. In fact it all came down to the final lap!

Both boys raced hard. Schumacher was able to edge in front of his rival, but was unable to shake him. Beckmann threatened to pass him several times, but he held off until it mattered most.

In a gutsy manoeuvre he surged past the younger Schumacher with less than a lap to go. There was no track left for Schumacher to fight back. Schumacher flashed across the line behind Beckmann after an incredibly entertaining and hard fought race.

Michael Junior also finished runner up to the British racing prodigy Enaam Ahmed in this year’s junior world championship category, held in Essay France last month.

It is a credit to the son of the famous driver that he obviously wants to earn his place as a driver. Schumacher junior has only recently begun using his father’s surname. Until now he raced under the surname Betsch (his mother’s maiden name) and under the adopted name of Mick Jnr.

Second place is still highly creditable; especially when the racing was this close.

Tony Stewart Cleared of Murder Charges

A US grand jury decided last week not to charge three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart with the death of Kevin Ward Jr.

On August 9 Stewart struck and killed Ward during a race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. Stewart faced reporters for the first time since the incident. He was flanked by his lawyer who advised him not to speak about the incident as Stewart may still face civil proceedings from Ward’s family.

Tony Stewart. Photo: news92fm.com

Tony Stewart. Photo: news92fm.com

Stewart told reporters he’d fallen ot of the four-car race team he co-owns. Since the death of Ward he hasn’t raced, nor even been able to watch the races he has missed. His team, he says, has pretty much functioned without him.

“I’ve let my team down from that standpoint,” Stewart told reporters. “I’ve been a little bit of a cheerleader, but that’s about all I’ve been able to contribute here the last seven weeks.

“It’s been hard for me to function day-to-day. There hasn’t been anything normal about my life the last seven weeks, so it’s been very hard to try to do anything to be productive to help those guys.”

Stewart said he has been receiving counselling since Ward’s death. The race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park wasn’t a big race meet, Stewart only went for the fun of racing, he didn’t need to be there that night.

He says he now regrets he was.

The Expenses of Being an F1 Driver

Poor Daniel Riccardo.

Daniel Riccardo doing it tough. Photo: www.sportsbet.com.au

Daniel Riccardo doing it tough. Photo: www.sportsbet.com.au

The Australian Formula 1 driver has taken part in a recent video about the Red Bull racing team. Part of the video shows team principal poring over the accounts received from Riccardo. And Horner is, to say the least, bemused.

“he’s a tight bugger, Daniel, isn’t he,” Horner says to the cameras. “Water at Nice Airport – seven pounds,” he laughs. “Lunch at Nice airport – five pounds. Snakcs at Heathrow … all he does is eat!”

But really that’s fair enough.

Poor Daniel Riccardo only gets paid $1.1 million a year. How can he be expected to pay for his food as well?

This figure is especially demeaning when you consider teammate Sebastian Vettel is making $32 million a year – despite not performing as well as the underpaid Riccardo.

So the next time you’re wondering whther to sneak another biscuit from the bickie-tin at work think about poor Daniel Riccardo – scrimping every dollar out of his team just to survive.

14 Year-Old Set to Debut in V8’s

14 year-old Jake Kostecki is set to break Paul Dumbrell’s record for being the youngest ever driver in a V8 race. Dumbrell was 16 when he began his stellar career with a place in V8.

Jake Kostecki. Photo: booths.speedcafe.com.au

Jake Kostecki. Photo: booths.speedcafe.com.au

Kostecki has come through the karting grades, beginning when he was just six years-old. He has a long pedigree of worthy performances in KF3, has raced in the Stars of Karting championship, and battled it out with the best in the Australian Swift Racing Series.

Owner of the Ford Performance Racing team, Matthew White, said “we’ve ticked everything off so far and the final sign-off is on Friday (today) in practice so we have been working through with CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motorsport) on the requirements.”

The West Australian prodigy will be driving a full-spec Ford Falcon at this weekend’s Shannons Nationals, as part of the Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car Series.

Matthew White is hoping to ease his new driver into the rigors of racing at the highest level by giving him as many laps as possible. “I love to help fast track some young drivers and give them a chance of being a valuable commodity to a V8 Supercar team,” said White. “He (Kostecki) had a test at Winton and was a quick learner and listened to what he was told and was quite respectable by the end of the day.”

White will be driving the other team car this weekend. But White’s racing will be more focused on helping the young tyro get up to speed in the big leagues of V8.

Drivers Petition to Have Canamasas Banned from GP2 Racing

Sergio Canamasas. Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Sergio Canamasas. Photo: en.wikipedia.org

GP2 Series racers have had enough and are putting together a petition to ban fellow racing driver Sergio Canamasas. In just over two years of competition Canamasas has notched up a reputation as a reckless, fool-hardy, and downright dangerous driver. However, he outdid himself on the weekend when racing at Monza; causing four crashes, involving six cars, in only 14 laps, before being disqualified.

In only the first lap Canamasas drove straight through the Ascari chicane. This hare-brained attempt (described by commentator Will Buxton as pure PlayStation) to shortcut rivals only slowed him down as he limped out of the gravel.

In the following straight he caused two multi-car incidents. And  upon the entry to the Parobolica he set off another; this time taking out his own racing teammate, Johnny Cecotto.

But Canamasas wasn’t done yet.

Several laps later he attempted an impossible overtaking manoeuvre that had him ramming into the side of the car driven by Rene Binder. Binder’s car slid onto the high curb and was unable to continue. Canamassas’s car was forced through the gravel chicane (again), to emerge back onto the track and into the path of a flying Raffaele Marciello.

Desperate to keep Marciello at bay Canamasas put him into the wall at the next corner.

At this point there was barely a stretch of track without some carnage strewn across it. Officials had no choice but to disqualify Canamasas and try to salvage a race from whomever was left.

Fans and drivers are outraged at Canamasas’ antics. Commentator Will Buxton blogged: “For more than two years, Sergio Canamasas has raced in the GP2 Series withot an apparent care or consideration for the morality or regulation of the sport in which he is engaged and with a seeming disregard for his own safety and that of those with whom he shares a track.”

The other drivers are petitioning to ban him. The are effectively telling organisers ‘It’s either him or us.’

Youngest Ever F1 Driver Crashes Car Before First Race

F1 prodigy Dutchman Max Verstappen made headlines earlier this year when the 16 year-old was signed to drive for the Red Bull team. Yesterday, however, he made the headlines again; this time for all the wrong reasons.

To show off their signing the Red Bull team put on a demonstration.  Verstappen has driven a Formula 1 car before. He has practiced in one at the Rockingham circuit in England and driven the car of the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam as a promotion.

Max Verstappen. Photo: www.planetf1.com

Max Verstappen. Photo: www.planetf1.com

This time, however, with the fans lined up along the barricades and countrymen cheering themselves hoarse, Verstappen did what racing car drivers do – burnouts and donuts.

Verstappen turns 17 at the end of the month. Many have already taken to social and conventional media to discuss whether he is too you to pilot a car, let alone one of the most powerful cars in the world. Verstappen added fuel to the debate when, after embarking on the standard showing-off he got a little too close to the wall.

Verstappen managed to stop before hitting the wall, but he was unable to find reverse gear. It took a few bystanders to push him back into the centre of the track so the show could resume.

But once it did, it didn’t go on for long Verstappen revved the engine a few times and floored the accelerator, hoping to spinning the wheels. Instead he roared forward straight into the boards on the other side of the track.

The deamage, fortunately, was kept to a broken nose wing and Verstappen’s pride.

Toro Rosso, with whom Verstappen will drive in 2015, are attempting to give the young Dutchman some practice sessions at the closing events of this year’s F1 season.

Will Power Wins at Milwaukee Mile

Toowoomba-born IndyCar series racer Will Power got his first short-course victory at the Milwaukee Mile on the weekend.

After the race Power, along with the place-getters were awarded their trophies. They sprayed the obligatory champagne over the crowd and patted each other on the back.

And then came the traditional cream puffs to the face.

Only in Milwaukee do the place-getters in an IndyCar race get to throw cream puffs in the winner’s face. It is a tradition that began with the Wisconsin state Fair (the same ground at which the race is held) and has been carried over to other sports.

Everyone loves it. And last year it was Power and fellow Penske driver Helio Castroneves turn – throwing cream puffs in the face of race-winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.

This year it was Power tasting victory (literally).

But what began as a fun sporting tradition turned bizarre as a small piece of Juan Pablo Montoya’s pie found its way deep inside Power’s right ear.

Power was forced to go to the track-side medical centre to have it flushed out.

This weekend the IndyCar Series moves to California. Power is hoping to extend his lead at the Sonoma Raceway, a track he won at last year.

Speedway Death Investigation Intensifies

Daisies and sunflowers have been left outside the Canandaigua race track in memory of racing driver Kevin Ward.

Tony Stewart. Photo: www.chatsports.com

Tony Stewart. Photo: www.chatsports.com

Ward was struck and killed by fellow driver Tony Stewart in dramatic fashion on the weekend. Stewart appeared to bump Ward’s car sending him crashing into the wall. Ward wriggled out of his car and stormed onto the track, shaking his fist and pointing at Stewart’s number 14 car. Other drivers swerved to avoid him, but Stewart’s car collided, dragging Ward beneath the chassis for 15 meters before dislodging.

Emergency teams arrived within seconds. But Ward was already dead.

Investigations into the crash are intensifying. Stewart has a much blemished record of angry incidents, confrontations and outbursts. The investigations are attempting to ascertain if Stewart struck Ward with criminal intent.

Legal analyst Rob Becker believes so. In an interview with Fox Sports 1 Becker said, “What happens when you hit the throttle is the car is going to slide to the right … Stewart had to know that if he hit the throttle with a man standing on the track to his right, there was a good chance the car would hit him; which means there’s a good chance he could be killed.”

Becker said that such action constitutes reckless homicide – manslaughter in the second degree.

However, the Ontario County Sheriff’s department admitted they had no plans to question Stewart again. “At this time,” said a Sheriff Philip Povero, “there are no facts that exist that support any criminal behaviour or conduct or any probable cause of criminal act in this investigation.

Stewart has announced he will withdraw from this weekend’s NASCAR race at the Michigan International Speedway. His spokesperson, Mike Arning, said that Stewart was grieving and would be given all the time he needed.