Thursday, August 9, 2007

Aug. 9 newsstand

Looking ahead to this Saturday's Kentucky race.

Practice, qualifying, IPS practice/qualifying. Quals begin at 6:15 p.m. (video on
6:30 p.m.: ICS Meijer Indy 300 (200 laps, 300 miles). TV: ESPN2. Radio: IMS Radio Network.
8:30 p.m.: IPS Kentucky 100 (67 laps, 100 miles). TV: ESPN2 (5:30 p.m. Aug. 16). The first-ever night race.
Weather for race day: High of 91F, sunny, 10% chance of precip

Kentucky Speedway
On ICS schedule since 2000. First "night" race (or at least "twilight" race).
Race winners:
2006: Sam Hornish Jr.
2005: Scott Sharp (over Vitor Meira in a close finish)
2004: Adrian Fernandez
2003: Sam Hornish Jr.
2002: Felipe Giaffone
2001: Buddy Lazier
2000: Buddy Lazier
Interesting fact: Neither Ganassi nor AGR has won a race at Kentucky.

Lexington Herald-Leader: Hornish seeks more Sparta magic.
"Like Texas, Kentucky Speedway is a magical place for me," Hornish said. "This is the track where it all began, and it's still a place where we find success." More on this story later, too.
Lexington Herald-Leader: Ganassi teammates divided by will to win. Scott says he needs Dan's help to get him into the winner's circle (check out the Aug. 8 newsstand, where Dan discusses his rotten season).
Lexington Herald-Leader: Sophomore slump slows Andretti. Says Marco, "I've been competitive week in and week out and it's just been something stupid that takes me out each time."

Cincinnati Enquirer: Hornish honing in on Kentucky. Also has an attached Q&A with Sam, where he says he'd like to go to art school. Most of the story focuses on possible NASCAR-jumping, so it's also linked in the Silly Season section.

Cincinnati Post: Rice is glad he chose racing. Nice profile of the 2004 Indy 500 winner from a soon-to-be-defunct (but good) paper. Rice discounts any notion that he was a pro baseball prospect. He also discusses the season, changing to D&R, and the old question of whether or not racecar drivers are athletes, including Scott Goodyear's favorite line about traveling a football field a second. Says Buddy, "If you start to have any form of breakdown, mentally or physically, it's just going to compound problems."

Putting the crash behind him and looking ahead. Oh, not Dario (really??) but Vitor Meira, who is pretty candid in this story. Vitor quote from the story: "It's good to run close and two-three wide, but everyone has to understand that bad things can happen. We have to push, and race hard; but we also have to know when to do that and at Michigan we were a little over the edge."

Much like yesterday's USA Today story (Aug. 8 newsstand), tells us about the diversity of tracks in the final four races. Sharp heads to Kentucky after hard-fought third-place finish. Also notes RHR heading to his second oval, and that Helio & Sarah need extra clearance from Dr. Olinger before climbing into the car at Kentucky.

AP: Penske's Hornish & Castroneves fail to meet expectations. Someone might want to tell the good folks at TSN that neither driver races in NASCAR yet. A good read, if for nothing else than the Helio quotes about Tony Stewart copying his celebration.

Madison Courier: Dixon, TK chasing Franchitti for title. Hometown Indiana-side paper article. The Klein Tools people want to give a shout-out for the "ancient" photo of last year's car.

IRL fast facts: IRL press release about the upcoming race. Everything you needed to know and then some.

Kansas City Star race preview. Again, everything you need to know in capsule form.

In USA Today, A.J. discusses his losing battle with a bulldozer, his winning battle with a water moccasin, and then tells how Darren Manning (as well as the rest of the guys in "The Big One", including grandson AJ IV) escaped some serious injury. A.J. says "the angels were working overtime." A.J. also tells us he's parking the dozer. Good move.
ESPN: Jemele Hill tells Danica to shut up in her feud with Dan Wheldon. I believe Danica's version of the events (in that Dan was probably more at fault than Dario), but she did come off as more than a little bit whiny.

Dario was on Larry King Live Wednesday night. Scroll about 1/4 of the way down the page for a transcript. A couple of highlights: "This accident, I think, was caused by, in my opinion, the car next to me moving up the track into the back of my car," (he called it a slight misjudgement). Dario also complained about the aero/rules package. "The regulations that we run on the Indy cars and those types of tracks mean that we run very, very closely together with zero margin for error." Dario has been one of a handful of drivers that has expressed his frustration with high-speed ovals.

It's always fun to get the gossip people involved in this, as Contact Music tells us that Dario isn't blaming his rival for "the big one" (and gives us some Dario & Ashley red carpet photos).

The Scottish press, including the Glasgow Daily Record, has a rather colorful accounting of the crash, including quotes from Dario's uncle.
The Lexington Herald-Leader story on Hornish referenced above has the obligatory will-Sam-go-t0-NASCAR bit. It says the 17-race schedule makes Hornish & other drivers "seriously stir-crazy" (the author's words, not his) and mentions the well-known RP desire to add another Cup team.

The Cincinnati Enquirer tells us Hornish is "about 50-50." Dan Wheldon says he'd consider it, especially if Sam left, but he "really enjoys driving these cars."

Apparently, according to the AP, Sam isn't telling anybody, including his teammate. (For the record, Helio is happy where he is).
Other news: Leilani Munter gains IPS sponsorship from Smart Paper (and make sure to read Pressdog's account of how her name is causing all kinds of problems. Sorry, this blog is an umlaut-free zone).

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