Friday, February 27, 2009

First "TTL" (Transition Team Legion) IndyCar Test Of 2009

KV Racing Technology have signed Mario Moraes for the 2009 IndyCar Series (1-13-2009). The 20-year-old Brazilian jumped straight from British Formula 3 to IndyCar with Dale Coyne Racing last year and made steady progress during his rookie season, taking a best result of seventh at Watkins Glen, although several other promising performances ended in accidents (pictured here while competing in the Indy 500). /// "We are very excited to have Mario join our team," said team co-owner Jimmy Vasser. "Mario is young and extremely talented. He impressed us with his performances on both ovals and road/street circuits last year. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

First "TTL" (Transition Team Legion) IndyCar Test Of 2009

By all reports, the test was a success on almost every measure. Twenty-two cars (21 drivers) -- the most for a spring Open Test since 2002 -- turned 2,610 laps for a two-day total of 4,698 without incident.

Ryan Briscoe in the No. 6 Team Penske car topped the speed chart at 25.1984 seconds (212.156 mph), with reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon second (25.2378; 211.825). Andretti Green Racing's Marco Andretti with his car sporting the livery of a new sponsor (25.3036; 211.274) was followed by Andretti Green Racing teammate Tony Kanaan (25.3582; 210.819).

Mario Moraes, driving the car sporting the livery of the one driven by Oriol Servia in 2008, making his debut with KV Racing Technology (driving last year for Dale Coyne Racing/Sonny's BBQ), cracked the top five for the second consecutive day (25.3842; 210.603). KV Racing Technology was the highest placing team and driver in this test session from the merger transition of the CCWS into the IRL last year.

Transition teams from last year did not really fare that well in this first session of the first full year of unification. First off, the Transition Team Legion (TTL) lost one of its drivers to an established IRL team – Will Power, formally with KV Racing Technology, has been tapped by Penske Racing to drive the car normally driven by Helio Castroneves who has to take a leave of absence to deal with a legal challenge about the payment of taxes. Will placed 7th overall behind Moraes.

Pacific Coast Motorsports and their driver from last year, Mario Dominguez were noticeably absent with rumors involving PCM about the possible combination of two teams coming together to compete rumbleing in from Indiana.

Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing solider on without their chief namesake, Paul Newman who passed away at the end of September of 2008. This will be the first year around the paddocks of top level Motosports racing the figure of Paul Newman will not be seen. Justin Wilson (placing 20th) has moved on to race for Dale Coyne while T-Team Legion standout Graham Rahal (10th), maintains his seat and is joined on the team by Robert Doornbos (placing 12th), CCWS Rookie of the Year for 2007. For the test, established IRL driver Mila Duno drove as a test driver for NHLR (placing 17th) while she sorts out her sponsorship and team package for 2009.

Other "TTL" drivers from last year include EJ Viso/HVM Racing 14th, and Jamie Camara/Conquest Racing at 21 out of 22 cars.

"TTL" (Transition Team Legion) drivers and/or teams in *BOLD – A total of eight participants qualify to be listed as "TTL".

This excerpted from -

Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway - IndyCar - 1.485
Report: Combined Results of Practice Sessions February 25, 2009
Event: Homestead-Miami Open Test – Open Test 1 of 2
As Of: End of Open Test

Rank Car Driver Name C/E/T Session Time Speed Total Laps
(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: H=Honda | (T)ire: F=Firestone | (R) Rookie

1 - 6 Briscoe, Ryan D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.1984 212.156 214

2 - 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.2378 211.825 282

3 - 26 Andretti, Marco D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.3036 211.274 212

4 - 11 Kanaan, Tony D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.3582 210.819 199

5 - 10 Franchitti, Dario D/H/F Practice 1 00:25.3842 210.603 240

*6 - 5 Moraes, Mario D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.3842 210.603 265

*7 - 3 Power, Will D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.3914 210.544 248

8 - 4 Wheldon, Dan D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.4085 210.402 115

9 - 24 Conway, Mike (R) D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.4299 210.225 276

*10 - 02 Rahal, Graham D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.4465 210.088 229

11 - 27 Mutoh, Hideki D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.4578 209.995 224

*12 - 06 Doornbos, Robert (R) D/H/F Practice 1 00:25.5077 209.584 256

13 - 14 Meira, Vitor D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.5210 209.475 219

*14 - 13 Viso, EJ D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.5356 209.355 130

15 - 7 Patrick, Danica D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.5383 209.333 231

16 - 3 Briscoe, Ryan D/H/F Practice 1 00:25.5479 209.254 14

*17 - 23 Duno, Milka D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.5809 208.984 222

18 - 20 Carpenter, Ed D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.5881 208.925 247

19 - 12 Matos, Raphael (R) D/H/F Practice 1 00:25.6165 208.694 247

*20 - 18 Wilson, Justin D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.6886 208.108 259

*21 - 34 Camara, Jaime D/H/F Practice 1 00:25.7790 207.378 161

22 - 98 Barrett, Stanton (R) D/H/F Practice 2 00:25.9180 206.266 208

Total Laps for Combined Sessions: 4698
Information provided by Indy Racing Information System - Copyright Indy Racing League, LLC 2009
Reference Here>>

... notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lance Armstrong Dispatches "Syringe Man" On Palomar Mountain

Fans and photographers gather around Lance Armstrong (center, white cap) as he begins his first real competition of the 2009 season at the Amgen Tour of California. Image Credit: Dave Cynkin

Lance Armstrong Dispatches "Syringe Man" On Palomar Mountain

In the final stage of the Tour Of California 2009, Lance Armstrong pulled off a move that I suspect he (or any competitive cyclist) has been wanting to perform since he was taken down by a fan's lanyard grabbing his handlebar on an uphill stage in the sixth of his seven Tour de France wins.

An exhibitionist fan dressed up in a black and yellow costume and carrying an apparatus that resembled two syringes on a stick (people have dubbed "Syringe Man"), was running along side of the peloton on snow covered Palomar Mountain. The man was alone and presented a hazard to the riders as they made their way up the mountain as he was alone and looking as if he were running in an unpredictable manner.

As the Peloton, led by Lance Armstrong's Astana Cycling Team team mates passed by the fan, Lance Armstrong helped "Syringe Man" out of the way and deposited him in a snowbank at the side of the road - hazard dispatched!

This excerpted and edited from Amgen Tour Of California -

Herbalife Play by Play
Feb. 22, 2009 17:46:41

We saved the best for last at the 2009 Amgen Tour of California. Stage 8 was the Queen's stage, the most difficult of the race. It was a 96.8-mile pedal from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido, which was the first time the race has traveled to San Diego County.

The route included four California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains climbs, none bigger than the fearsome Palomar Mountain, an above categorization climbs that peaks at 5123 feet, the highest summit ever reached in the Tour.

With two-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer (AST) in the leader's tunic, an abundance of attacks were expected in a final effort to claim the yellow jersey. An early break was established, but eventually collapsed on Palomar Mountain where an elite group formed including Leipheimer and his closest rivals – David Zabriskie (GRM) and Michael Rogers (THR).

On the descent four riders formed a new move, which then slimmed down to duo consisting of Frank Schleck (SAX) and Vincenzo Nibali (LIQ). The pair made it over the final KOM climb of the race on the testing Cole Grade and motored towards the finish on the valley floor while the Astana-powered peloton kept the gap close to preserve Leipheimer's overall victory.

After rounding the final corner, Schleck made his move and pulled away for the stage win ahead of Nibali. George Hincapie (THR) won the pack gallop to claim 3rd place for the day.

The top three positions on the General Classification held up:
Leipheimer followed by Zabriskie (36 seconds) and Rogers (45 seconds).

Tonight Leipheimer celebrates his Amgen Tour of California three-peat and his Team Astana toasts the Team victory. After winning back-to-back stages earlier in the week, Mark Cavendish (THR) takes home the Herbalife Sprint jersey. Jason McCartney (SAX) climbed his way to the California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains title. For the third consecutive year, Robert Gesink (RAB) leaves the Golden State with the Rabobank Best Young Rider jersey in his suitcase.
Reference Here>>

Good on Ya' ... Lance!

... notes from The EDJE

Monday, February 23, 2009

Newman/Haas/Lanigan Tap Robert Doornbos

Robert Doornbos confers with engineers of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing after a test stint at Homestead - After missing a racing seat for the 2007 Formula One season, Robert Doornbos signed a contract with Minardi Team USA for the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. He made a successful debut in the series in the first race of the season, the Vegas Grand Prix. After qualifying 3rd, Doornbos finished on the podium, taking 2nd place in the race. This made him the first rookie since Nigel Mansell in 1993 to make it to the podium in his first Champ Car-race. Image Credit: NHLR/Doornbos

Newman/Haas/Lanigan Tap Robert Doornbos

Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing announced that Robert Doornbos, 27, will join the team for the 2009 IndyCar Series season.

He will join Graham Rahal in the NHLR paddock to round out the two car effort. He replaces Justin Wilson who has signed on with Penske Racing to hold Helio Castroneves’ seat while Helio addresses and attends his trial for tax evasion.

Doornbos (nick-named "Bobby-D", around the paddock by ESPN) was a standout rookie to American open wheel racing when he competed in the ChampCar World Series the last year the series was in existence before it’s merger with the IndyCar Racing League in 2008. He finished on the podium five of the first six races, including victories at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, and San Jose, Calif. He went on to finish third in standings and received the Jim Trueman 2007 Rookie of the Year Award, ChampCar's highest rookie honor.

Most recently, Bobby-D kept in tune when he competed in the China and New Zealand rounds of the 2008/2009 A1GP series, recording podium finishes twice in four races (sprint and feature race per round).

"Bobby-D" Robert Doornbos at speed on the track at Homestead - Robert won the 2007 Mont-Tremblant Grand Prix in Canada and as a result took the joint lead of the championship with S├ębastien Bourdais. Future team mate Graham Rahal place second. This is believed to be Bobby D's first introduction to Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. After scoring this victory, the ESPN broadcast team dubbed him "Bobby D" - a nickname he reportedly enjoys. Image Credit: NHLR/Doornbos

This excerpted and edited from -

Doornbos on board
By staff

He will participate in the IndyCar Series Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Feb. 24-25, and will receive additional track time Feb. 23 (designated for first-year drivers). Doornbos will be a teammate of Graham Rahal, who won the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in his IndyCar Series debut last April.

"I'm very happy and proud to get this chance to race with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing," said Doornbos, of Rotterdam, Netherlands. "Racing in the IndyCar Series has been my biggest dream and especially to do it with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. The history of the team and the big success they have had in the past really attracted me and it makes me proud to become part of this winning team. Racing on the ovals should be very exciting. It will be tough, but I'm training as much as possible and am in good condition and ready to achieve results.

"I'm also excited to race in the legendary Indy 500. I really want to thank (team co-owners) Mr. (Carl) Haas and Mr. (Mike) anigan for giving me this chance. I'm looking forward to the first race."

Doornbos spent four seasons in various ladder series in Europe before he became the 2004 Rookie of the Year in the FIA International Formula 3000 series and finished third in series standings. That success led to becoming a test driver for two Formula One programs and he eventually made 11 Formula One starts during the 2005 and 2006 seasons for Minardi and Red Bull Racing, respectively, before he moved to the Champ Car World Series in 2007.
Reference Here>>

Robert Doornbos may be the most accomplished professional young driver ever to hail from the Netherlands. Bobby-D is a welcome addition to the international field that will race in the 2009 IndyCar Series.

... notes from The EDJE

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It’s A Busch League Day In NASCAR

On the 21st February 2009, Busch made NASCAR history, becoming the first person in the history of the sport to win races in two of NASCAR's touring series in the same day by winning the San Bernardino County 200 in the afternoon and the Stater Bros 300 in the evening. Here, Kyle celebrates his win in the Nationwide Series Stater Bros. 300 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Image Credit: Kyle Busch (2009)

It’s A Busch League Day In NASCAR

Saturday, February 21, 2009 was a very historic day in racing (any racing) at the Auto Club Speedway in Southern California.

Kyle Busch won both events (Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series) held by NASCAR at the track making it the first time any driver has won two races in NASCAR’s three national touring series on the same day.

Busch will go for a weekend sweep today in the Auto Club 500 in the Sprint Cup Series. No driver has won the Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Cup races on the same weekend.

Kyle Busch accept the trophy with his Nationwide Series team for winning the Stater Bros. 300 at the Auto Club Speedway. Image Credit: Kyle Busch (2009)

If Kyle Busch does happen to pull of a hat trick (three wins in three races held over the event weekend), NASCAR will just have to be labeled a “Busch League” (at least for the weekend) in the annals of auto sports racing.

This excerpted and edited from the Boston Globe –

Kyle Busch makes history with second win of the day
By David Poole / McClatchy Newspapers - Sunday, February 22, 2009

Day or night, car or truck, it didn’t matter. Nobody could touch Kyle Busch on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway.

Busch finished off an absolutely dominant day with a victory in the Stater Brothers 300, leading 143 of 150 laps for his first Nationwide Series victory of the season.

Busch picked up where he left off in the Truck Series race earlier in the day, which he won after leading 95 of 100 laps.
"This was just a blast," Busch said. "To win here is special and to win twice in one day is even more special."

The only time Busch was challenged during Saturday evening’s race came after the final pit stop. Greg Biffle’s spin on Lap 128 gave the leaders an opportunity to make those stops under the caution, and Carl Edwards’ crew got him off pit road just ahead of Busch. That put Edwards in front for the restart on Lap 135, just 16 laps from the finish.

Busch had to fight his way past Edwards and fend off Kevin Harvick’s car as well as they battled for the lead for three turns. But coming off Turn 4, Busch’s car was on the outside and he had the momentum_and the lead, again.

He went on to finish off his 22nd Nationwide win. Busch now has won the past two Nationwide and the past two Truck series races held at this 2-mile track. He has led 287 of the past 300 Nationwide Series laps run at Fontana and 146 of the past 200 laps in the Truck Series.

The victory came as Jason Ratcliff returned as crew chief on the No. 18 Toyota owned by Joe Gibbs Racing. Ratcliff finished serving a team-imposed six-month suspension in this year’s first race at Daytona after a rules issue last season.
Reference Here>>

... notes from The EDJE

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Winds Of "Change" Swirl Around NASCAR

View northwest of the snow dusted San Gabriel's from the main straightaway grandstand seats at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana [pitlane and team suite viewing boxes in foreground] - The tallest mountain in the background is Mount Baldy, elevation 10,064 feet, and is part of the San Gabriel Mountain range. The summit can be reached from several different directions, including the Devils Backbone trail. Image Credit: 4D7 (2008)

The Winds Of "Change" Swirl Around NASCAR

Last year's Auto Club 500 at the track was hampered by rain ... but with the economy in a tailspin since the election of Barack Obama (DOW down 3,998 points, or 34%, since November 3, 2008) and the New York Times trying to sell its share in a NASCAR team, the climate that will confront NASCAR may be a little harder to overcome than just a little rain on a normally sunny Southern California afternoon.

The economic crisis could take center stage and adversely affect the attendance at NASCAR's three events of this weekend's Auto Club 500 event in Fontana.

Auto Club 500 event logo - Image Credit: Auto Club Speedway

This excerpted and edited from the Los Angeles Times -

Fontana races to be tested by a different type of climate

By Jim Peltz - LA Times - February 18, 2009

The NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Southern California a year ago was hampered by rain that caused numerous delays and frustrated fans, drivers and track officials.

Now the sport and the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana are about to be tested again, this time by an economic storm -- and a big question is how many stock car racing fans will weather it by showing up.

NASCAR's top-tier series follows its season-opening Daytona 500 with the second race on its 36-race calendar, the Auto Club 500, at the Fontana track Sunday.

The speedway, 50 miles east of Los Angeles, also holds a doubleheader Saturday with races in NASCAR's second-level Nationwide Series and its Camping World Truck Series.

But it's Sunday's race featuring Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth, reigning NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and the sport's other stars that could be a telling sign of how much the economic recession is affecting NASCAR.
Ever since NASCAR awarded two Cup races a year to the track in 2004, the 92,000-seat facility has not sold out for either event.

It's a shortfall whose potential causes -- ranging from how the races are marketed to the quality of racing on the wide two-mile oval to bad weather -- have been hotly debated in NASCAR Nation.
International Speedway Corp., which owns the Fontana track and several others, said Jan. 29 that its combined advance ticket sales at that point were down 17% from a year earlier, although it did not break down sales for each track.

Gillian Zucker, president of Auto Club Speedway, said "it looks like we'll be off about 10% from [the] Labor Day" race last year, which NASCAR said drew an estimated 70,000.
The 568-acre track she oversees and other speedways have been cutting prices on selected seats and rolling out other promotions to limit the attendance declines.
Auto Club Speedway cut prices to $35 per ticket from $55 for several thousand seats in the first five rows for Sunday's 250-lap race, which starts at 3 p.m. Its higher grandstand seats, offering a better view of the whole track, range in price up to $105 each.

Zucker said about two-thirds of those purchasing the $35 seats were first-time buyers, and "that's very encouraging about what the future holds when the economy begins to recover."

The track also is bringing Kenseth to Century City for an autograph session Thursday, and it appointed Hugh Laurie, star of the television show "House," as the race's grand marshal. Baseball Hall of Fame member Reggie Jackson will drive the pace car.
The lifeblood of racing budgets is money provided by corporate sponsors. But total racing sponsorship spending by North American-based companies is expected to drop 6% this year to $3.3 billion, the research publication IEG Sponsorship Report said last week.
Yet, for all the economic pressures, the turnout for Sunday's race also could partly depend on the weather.

In 2007, the track swung from very cold temperatures for the Auto Club 500 to a sizzling 110 degrees for its second race on Labor Day weekend. (The Labor Day race will be moved to October starting this year.)

Last February, rain caused a two-hour delay in the start of the Auto Club 500 and, after only 87 laps, more rain forced the race to be finished Monday, with Carl Edwards winning.

This Sunday? The National Weather Service is forecasting partly cloudy skies with a high of 68 degrees.

Reference Here>>

Should be another great weekend for the second round of NASCAR Cup racing here in California, there might even be a slight dust of snow on top of the San Gabriel mountains to the north, making this Hollywood set backdrop at the track ... complete.

... notes from The EDJE

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A DAYtona In The Life Of Dale Jr.

EARNHARDT (ON BAD LUCK.): "I think we were good, I just had some bad luck. Every time I would get in the front, some bad luck would take me to the back. Something I would do or something else. But I had a great car; I could run up in the top five all night. I had a great car. My car was ready to go -- just had some circumstances kept moving me to the back." Image Credit: Hendrick Motorsports (2009)

A DAYtona In The Life Of Dale Jr.

Good driver, good car, great racing, bad day for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

With a little more than 75 laps to go, Dale Jr. commits an aggressive driving error that takes out ten cars while he was riding on the bottom of the track one lap down to the leaders. The only good news was that even though he was involved, he skated through the melee with no damage to his car.

Brian Vickers was also a lap down and saw Dale Jr. trying to sneak around him on the inside track position. Dale Jr. was pushed beyond the double yellow marker line and could not advance. On the way back on to the racing part of the track, Dale Jr. caught Brian Vickers’ bumper and spun him up the track in front of the field taking out about 10 cars including the best running car of the day driven by Kyle Busch.

Tom Cruise in the crowd before the race. He had the honor of driving the pace car to lead off the race. Image Credit: OSPHOTO via Twitter

Brian Vickers was interviewed after the wreckage was cleared and stated that he felt that Dale Jr. had touched him on purpose. “NASCAR should penalize him” stating that a driver was penalized earlier in the week during the Bud Shootout and the cost assessed by NASCAR was five (5) laps. How come he was not penalized?, asked Vickers.

The truth for Dale Jr. was not having a good time judging many things all race long … mostly in the pits.

Weather threatens to end the race early. Image Credit: dmentd82 via Twitter

The first judgment mistake that happened early in the race was that Earnhardt overshot his pit box. This caused Dale Jr. to have to go back around and pit out of sequence placing him at the back of the field upon the restart.

Raindrops are fallin' on my head ... Image Credit: nascargirls via Twitter

His second judgment mistake happened on the round of pitstops before the Vickers accident. There, Dale Jr. placed his car at a slight angle in the pitbox and had his right front tire on the line. The NASCAR official tried to warn the pitcrew but they changed the right front tire and the official had to penalize Dale Jr. one full lap.

This had Dale Earnhardt Jr. frustrated and working hard to make up his lap before the pending rain came over the track.

Image Credit: Tinaodarby via Twitter

The Daytona 500 Race ended on Yellow Flag/Red Flag Caution due to rain with 48 laps to go.

In an after race interview, Dale Jr. was heard saying, “Vickers should have held his ground” and “My pit sign is pink and everyone else’s is pink – next week we will probably make ours yellow and everyone else will make theirs yellow."

Dale Jr. ended up finishing in 27th position in a field of 43 cars - on the same lap as the winner.

A bad day for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the 88 AMP sponsored Chevrolet.

A good day for open-wheel ChampCar racing veteran AJ Allmendinger driving a Valvoline sponsored Dodge with a 3rd place podium finish in his first Daytona 500.

Matt Kenseth in a DeWalt sponsored Roush Fenway Ford won the race for the driver’s first win and team’s first ever win after 22 tries at Daytona, followed by Kevin Harvick in his Shell/Pennzoil sponsored George/Haas Chevrolet.


... notes from The EDJE

[ liked this post so much, they patterned their story after this posting]

Saturday, February 14, 2009

COT (Car-Of-Tomorrow/Today) Nets Big Rewards For Rookie

The Car of Tomorrow (CoT), sometimes called CoT or "Car of Today", is the car style for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Larger and boxier than the design it replaced, the Car of Tomorrow is safer, costs less to maintain, and makes for closer competition. /// The car was introduced in the 2007 Cup season at the Food City 500 on March 25 and ran a partial schedule of 16 races. The plan was to require all teams to use the new car in 2009, but NASCAR officials moved the date up to the 2008 season. Image Credit: NASCAR

COT (Car-Of-Tomorrow/Today) Nets Big Rewards For Rookie

This will be the real breakout year for the chassis design that is mandated for use by NASCAR.

Originally run as a test to standardize the chassis and outer skin of a NASCAR race platform back in 2007, 2008 was the first full year where the chassis was run at all tracks.

Standing at the precipice of the 2009 season, the green flag falls on the second full season using the COT this weekend, when NASCAR sets up shop on a 36-week run to November at the Daytona 500.

This is the year teams have all the knowledge of the car and because there are no real changes to the base chassis, attention is brought back to the performance of the drivers and teams. The COT delivers a lower cost chassis and allows new drivers to shine … especially if they are able to hook up with a seasoned and professional winning team.

Joey Logano, sitting in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota COT - Daytona 500 (Daytona International Speedway). Image Credit: Joe Gibbs Racing

This excerpted and edited from -

Logano: Duel result earned respect
By Matt Beer, - Saturday, February 14th 2009, 13:41 GMT

Teenage rookie Joey Logano believes he proved a point with his fourth place finish in Thursday's Gatorade Duel, and thinks other drivers will now be more willing to work with him during tomorrow's Daytona 500.

Logano has replaced double Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart at Joe Gibbs Racing this season, the 18-year-old having wowed NASCAR when he won the Kentucky Speedway Nationwide Series race last year.
"I think we accomplished everything we needed to," said Logano. "Our main goal was to go out there and finish the race - that was more than we got in the Shootout.
When asked if he felt he had now earned the experienced drivers' trust, Logano replied: "Yeah, I think I have a little bit. It's just going to take time.

"I think this run (in the Duel) helped, getting up there at the end helped a lot. But yeah, that stuff just takes time."

He said he did not necessarily expect the established drivers to help him in the draft yet.

"I understand if someone wouldn't, there's an excuse not to," said Logano. "But at the same time, I feel like I'm getting treated fairly. I'm not getting dumped out there or anything like that.

Pretty fair."

Reference Here>>

With the Car-Of-Tomorrow running on a restrictor plate, a device that slows engines down from 900 horsepower to around 450, overall speeds at Daytona will be limited.

As a result, the 43-car field will run in tight formations along Daytona's 2.4 mile high-banked oval. Drafting will be at a premium and this is where a young driver can shine if he is able to tuck in with the right “partners”.

Welcome to this first real breakout year for the Car-Of-Tomorrow/Today!

... notes from The EDJE

Sunday, February 1, 2009

F1 - Clarification Of A Diffusing Situation

Combination image featuring the AT&T Williams FW31 and the Panasonic Toyota TF109 at the tests held at Algarve Motor Park, Portimao, Portugal. Image Credits: AT&T Williams/Panasonic Toyota - Combined by Edmund Jenks (2009)

F1 - Clarification Of A Diffusing Situation

Rival Formula One teams are set to request a rules clarification from the FIA about the design of the diffusers on the Williams and Toyota cars, this week's Autosport magazine reveals.

The two outfits are alone in having opted for a different design concept at the rear of the car compared to their rivals.

The diffusers at the rear of the Williams FW31 and the Toyota TF109 appear to exceed the maximum height of 175 mm at their peak through clever aerodynamic shaping of the rear crash structure.

Panasonic Toyota TF109 rear diffuser - Image Credit:

Although both teams are confident that their designs are within the regulations, rivals outfits have expressed curiosity in the way their diffusers have been shaped - especially because it could give them an advantage in slow speed corners.

It is understood that several teams are looking at seeking clarification from the FIA about the matter, with Renault the first to confirm it will do so.

Renault executive director of engineering Pat Symonds told Autosport: "They (the diffusers) are certainly interesting, although I don't think I can comment on their legality.

"That's something for the FIA to comment on. We will be asking the FIA about it, but we haven't yet."

AT&T Williams FW31 rear diffuser outline - Image Credit: Sport Life Press (2009)

The Williams diffuser has a low centre section, well below the 175mm height limit, before a higher steeper element further back creates a second section around the rear crash structure.

The extra area of the Toyota diffuser is based in a 15 centimetre wide zone at the centre of the car where teams are allowed to fit extra bodywork. This has created a longer centre tunnel for air.

This week's Autosport magazine carries a full graphical analysis of the Williams and Toyota diffusers.

Because the regulations have changed so much this year, there is a high chance that further areas of car design will come under scrutiny over the course of the season as teams push to find loopholes in the new rules.

Teams who are concerned that an area they are developing may be questionable, can ask the FIA for a clarification about their design.

Furthermore, rival outfits can also seek answers from the governing body about the legitimacy of design features they have spotted on rival cars and may want to incorporate themselves.

An outright question about the legality of a rival car can only be lodged on a grand prix weekend, when a protest would need to be handed in to the race stewards.

Panasonic Toyota Racing is preparing for its eighth season in Formula 1 using its all-new car, the TF109, which features revised aerodynamics and slick tires to comply with the sport's new rules.

The car was launched via the internet on 15 January and pre-season testing began on 19 January. Drivers Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock drove the car on special filming days at the Ascari Race Resort in Spain.

Available video includes rights-free footage of Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock driving the TF109 car at the Ascari Race Resort and features short shots of the difusser in action - HERE - [Released 30-Jan-2009].

... notes from The EDJE