Saturday, August 18, 2007

Aug. 17/18 newsstand

We missed yesterday due to work commitments, but we're back today with a bucketload of stuff.

Sam's all over the news today
Toledo Blade: Hornish unsure about NASCAR future.
Sam acknowledges the annoying monopolo-NASCAR-centric media assumption that every talented OW driver should be driving the bricks on wheels ... "That's been a big topic of debate - ever since I won my first race in IndyCar."

One interesting quote from this story, though,
"This was an extracurricular activity to running our IndyCar program, so most of the focus is on that, and this is a secondary thing. What people don't really understand is that the times that we're out here racing the stock car - that's my practice time. If we're at the track, it is usually in the car, racing."

Sam speaks himself in a Q&A. (Warning: former Indy Star writer Raygan Swan's line of questioning will make you want to throw things at your computer ... she calls the minor-league Busch Series the "second most competitive circuit in the country" and, my favorite, she compares being fifth in ICS points to 15th in a NASCAR series ... and, even interjects, "now, if we can just get him to make up his mind on when he's coming" ... like it's NASCAR's birthright to have every top driver from every series).
Says Sam: "I'm still right down the middle. I'm just very fortunate that I have the option of either direction that I want to go next year."

Jackson Citizen-Patriot: Open or shut case: Hornish's dilemma
Says Sam: "We've had in place since about the middle of last year, a plan that we were going to see through in its entirety." Lure of stock-car success lures Hornish to NASCAR event
Says Sam: "It's something I'm thinking about all the time," Hornish said. "I know I would miss the Indy 500, but having won it last year, that would make it easier to live without."

Defiance Crescent-News: Hornish set to race in Busch race at MIS
Sam's hometown paper checks in.

Slap yourself if you've heard this story before: When is Indy champ going to the cabs?
Usually, this tired old story gets trotted out about the first week of June every year ... when is the Indy 500 winner going to NASCAR. We get it in August this year. According to, Dario Franchitti has had "preliminary discussions" with Richard Childress about running a Cup car. A few things that might give this legs -- Dario is 34, had considered stepping away last year, has now won the Indy 500, and he's spent the last two weeks showing off his pilot skills in IndyCars. However, Sam Hornish Jr. says he doesn't see it happening (or, for that matter, he has noticed nobody else has tested a Cup car).

A possible new team for '08?
According to the
Houston Chronicle, Houston businessman Greg Del Canto is beginning Kingdom Racing, with the goal of running in the 2008 IndyCar Series. No more details have been given.

Probation violations
Since the entire field is on probation, Brian Barnhart is apparently levying some cash penalties. According to the Indianapolis Star, BB will fine Dario Franchitti for running over Kosuke Matsuura, and will also fine Helio Castroneves for touching TK. The fines will be announced at Infineon.

More on Dario
The Albuquerque Tribune's Charles Googe thinks Dario is going to win the title, and opines on the events of the last couple of weeks.

Looking ahead
Oakland Tribune: Danica, not Dario, looks for liftoff.
A piece from Thursday's test at Infineon. Dario talks about his propensity to fly, and Danica says she's got a better shot at getting win No. 1 on a roundy-round than a roadie.

More on the Iowa deal being extended through 2009
Des Moines Register. With a little bit more detail than the day-of-announcement story. Rusty Wallace plans to add some grandstands to handle the crowd.

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