Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shelby American: Kim Kardashian at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Tommy Baldwin Racing's #36 Chevrolet - Veteran Mike Bliss has been hired to drive TBR's No. 36 Chevrolet, Kevin Buskirk will be the crew chief, and everyone in the shop seems excited about the possibilities a new season can bring, especially with this new sponsorship deal with Sephora [ CTRL-CLICK image to launch YouTube video of Kim Kardashian at LVMS]. Image and Video Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Shelby American: Kim Kardashian at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Kim Kardashian, today, just became a part of the history of motor-culture when she and beauty products manufacturer/retailer Sephora, sponsored the #36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car driven by Mike Bliss. The #36 car is owned by Tommy Baldwin, Jr. and the sponsorship was managed by Brandthink out of Mooresville, North Carolina.

Kim Kardashian (pictured here standing next to stock car racing and car ownering legend Junior Johnson) after being introduced to the NASCAR faithful before driver introductions for the NASCAR Shelby American at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. By the way, for promotions, one can not beat the fact that this was the ninth consecutive sellout crowd for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

This excerpted and edited from Out of Bounds -

Back That Ass Up; behold the Kim Kardashian NASCAR entry
By Rick Chandler - Thu Feb 04,2010 12:15 PM ET

Oh, Lordy. I haven't decided whether this will set NASCAR back 40 years, or end the sport altogether.
The glorious details at Kim K.'s web site:

I have to tell you about this amazing sweepstakes Sephora and I are doing! One grand-prize winner and a guest will be flown out to Las Vegas to meet me at my fragrance event at Sephora at the Venetian and attend my launch after-party at Tao!! Tao is one of my favorite clubs in Vegas... you guys will LOVE IT!

And... the part I'm most excited for... you will come to the Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event to help me cheer on my car! I can't believe I actually have my own NASCAR racing car! No one has seen this yet, so this is your exclusive first look at my car! What do you think?

Um, I'll defer to you NASCAR fans.

The car is the result of the partnership between Tommy Baldwin Racing, Kardashian and Lighthouse Beauty Marketing, the latter which developed Kardashian's personal fragrance that will debut on Valentine's Day. The car's paint scheme was created in concert with that, and Kardashain will make a personal appearance at the race to, um, hand out samples? That'll be fun.

Hey, NASCAR attendance is down, and it's all about marketing. But I don't see this car making it three laps before being crushed like an empty Mountain Dew can.
Reference Here>>

At the track, Mike Bliss and the Kim Kardashian/Sephora #36 Chavrolet actually made it 47 laps before having an accident in turn 2. Ahhh, the sweet smell of sponsorship!

... notes from The EDJE

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

BSCC's WLSR Has A Challenge On The Horizon With The USLSR

The USLSR Car: As designed by Chuk Williams, this streamlined vehicle is being built to far surpass the existing Land Steam Record. With a projected speed of over 200 MPH, we expect this vehicle will be induced into the history books as the new Land Speed record holder for Steam Vehicles. The marriage between the Cyclone Engine and the Williams body design will be hard to beat. Length--21 feet / Weight-approx 1600 lbs / Height-30 inches-not including fin / Width--30 inches / Drag Coefficient-less than .2. Caption & Image Credit: USLSR

BSCC's WLSR Has A Challenge On The Horizon With The USLSR

World land speed records are a cherished and fragile thing. Take the world land speed record (WLSR) for a steam-powered vehicle as an example.

Fred Marriott in the seat of the steam powered vehicle built by the Stanley Brothers to an amazing speed of 127.659 mph (1906). The sanctioning body for international land speed records at the time was the FIA. Land speed records were measured across a marked mile in a single direction and a single pass. The time was recorded and the record determination was made from the calculations of that time. Image Credit: birthplaceofspeed2006

The official record was originally set by the folks that created the Stanley Steamer (127.659 mph), with a specialized racer in 1906, where it sat on a shelf, only to be challenged once, unofficially in the mid-eighties at Bonneville with an adapted public transportation Lear steam engine (145.607 mph), until last summer (August 26th, 2009). The British Steam Car Challenge (BSCC) broke the WLSR for a steam-powered vehicle with a custom multiple (12) boiler engine settled into a British Racing Green Bonneville style racer, and after over five years of testing and development, attained a two pass speed over a measured kilometer of 148.308 mph (set by the chief test driver, Don Wales) on Rogers Dry Lake bed on Edwards Air Force Base.

BSCC vehicle - Inspiration: 12 boilers heat the water to 400C - Two mile network of tubing - Water tank holding 140 litres which, when converted to steam, applies full power enough for three minutes - Two stage turbine on single spool - Output: 300bhp at 12,000rpm (turbine speed) (225kw) - Output shaft gear ratio: 4:1 or 4.45:1 to twin output shafts - Differential: Epicyclic type with viscous couplings. Caption & Image Credit: BSCC

This is a little like waving a red flag in front of a fighting bull ... having a well financed aristocratic effort from across the pond snatch an American WLSR out from under the nose of Americans on American soil. Fact is, the BSCC wanted to attempt to set the record at Bonneville but believed the more secluded, controlled, and custom made surroundings of Edwards AFB helped the effort attain their speed without the distractions of Speed Week on the famed salt flats in Utah.

Well, the bull has responded in the form of an American challenge, formed under the name - United States Land Steam Record (USLSR), featuring two unique cornerstones that just may make this thing happen. An engine that had its first successful test at the end of last year (that's right, just a couple, three months ago), and a lifelong, seriously trained steam-power enthusiast. The challenge is set for Bonneville Speed Week 2011.

Cyclone Power Technologies, the owner of this technology, is developing a 6 cylinder, 336lbs, 95HP engine capable of producing up to 860 ft.lbs. of torque at starting, sufficient for powering a full sized passenger automobile. The specially designed USLSR Engine is a non-condensing variation of the Mark V automotive engine offering 180 HP by utilizing a double combustion chamber system. The Cyclone Engine is a Rankine Cycle heat regenerative external combustion, otherwise known as a “Schoell Cycle” engine. In short, the Cyclone is a 21st century, high efficiency, compact and powerful steam engine. The Cyclone Engine is capable of running on virtually any fuel (or combination of fuels) including today’s promising new bio fuels, while emitting far fewer pollutants than traditional gas or diesel powered internal combustion engines. Image Credit: Cyclone Power Technologies

This excerpted and edited from WIRED - 

U.S. Team Hopes to Bring Steam Car Record Home

By Keith Barry, Email Author - February 23, 2010

Six months after the British Steam Car Team shattered the record for steam powered vehicles, an American team has emerged with the goal of beating 148.308 mph and bringing the title back home.
Using an engine from Cyclone Power Technologies, steam car enthusiast Chuk — that’s not a typo — Williams is creating a lightweight vehicle he plans to pilot across Bonneville Salt Flats in an attempt to top Team Steam.

The U.S. Land Speed Record vehicle, known as Streamliner, will be 21 feet long and weigh about 1,600 pounds. That’s about one-quarter what the British car weighed, which Williams says makes the Streamliner easier to deal with.

Williams is building the vehicle in his home workshop, but has just a rough mockup and so he sent a picture of his current steam car (above) instead.

He’s been playing with the technology for about five years. “Things are designed and I have quite a few of the parts that I’ve
purchased, and I’m working on the frame right now,” he said of the new car.

He’s getting some help from fellow steam car aficionados, many of whom are also engineers. But it’s a small operation, a far cry from the big team behind Britain’s car. “We’re coming from a totally different point of view,” he said. “I just want to go out there and go fast, and I like building these vehicles and the development.”
The engine, specially built for the job, is a heat-regenerative external combustion engine that weighs less than 200 lbs, puts out 180 horsepower and has a maximum starting torque of 850 foot pounds and 262 foot pounds at 3,600 RPM.

Williams says the engine
is extremely efficient, and with some development he hopes steam engines will become a viable alternative to petroleum-powered internal combustion. “They’ll burn almost any fuel – not even just liquid, but waste products,” he said.
“In addition to being able to build it, the payoff is driving it and setting a record,” he [Chuk Williams] said. “The only thing that causes me hesitation is the heat, because it’s very hot in Bonneville and the vehicle is very small, and you have to wear a fire suit and a helmet.

The speed is just exhilarating, but having to wear all those protective clothing in 110 degree weather is what concerns me.”

[Reference Here]

See you all in Utah at the salt flats in August ... during Bonneville Speed Week 2011!

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: BSCC, Charles Burnett III, Chuk Williams, Cyclone Power Technologies, Don Wales, Mark V, Rankine Cycle, Steam-Powered, The EDJE, USLSR, WLSR, World Land Speed Record

Sunday, February 21, 2010

F1 Driver Sato jumps to IndyCar's KV Racing Technology

Takuma Sato at the end of the 2008 Formula 1 season when he was in talks with Scuderia Toro Rosso to revive his Formula One career [CTRL-CLICK image to launch YouTube video from Takuma Sato, Tokyo, Japan]. Image Credit: The Telegraph

F1 Driver Sato jumps to IndyCar's KV Racing Technology

Longtime driver associated with Honda in Formula 1, Takuma Sato takes a seat in a Honda-powered Dallara at Jimmy Vasser's KV Racing Technology team for the 2010 season. His introduction to the old chassis came with tests last week at Sebring International Raceway and his debut to IndyCar and the other drivers who will compete in the IndyCar Series will come this next week when the established drivers and teams will test at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

Sato, who speaks English quite well (with a hint of a British accent), brings the prestige of a longtime history of driving with some success in European open-wheel competition. A veteran of seven Formula One seasons, he competed in several European series most notably British Formula 3. Sato placed fourth in the British Formula 3 National Class B championship in 1999, third in Class A in 2000 and won the Class A championship in 2001. His greatest winning achievement came when he posted 16 wins in British Formula 3 over the 2000 and 2001 seasons - this is still the record number of wins in a season for this series.

All Thumbs Up! - KV Racing Technology's Jimmy Vasser and new driver, Takuma Sato at Sebring tests on and behind the wheel of the No. 5 KV Racing Technology Dallara after agreement was reached [CTRL-CLICK image to launch YouTube video]. Image Credit:

This excerpted and edited from -

Sato secures KV IndyCar deal

By Matt Beer - Thursday, February 18th 2010, 04:18 GMT

Takuma Sato will return to racing in the IndyCar Series this year after completing a deal with KV Racing.

The former Formula 1 driver has been on the sidelines since his Super Aguri team folded in mid-2008. He has long been linked with an IndyCar move and visited last year's Indianapolis 500, although he wanted to exhaust any potential options for an F1 comeback before switching his full attention to opportunities in America.
The 33-year-old Japanese driver contested 92 grands prix for Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri between 2002 and 2008, with his third place in the 2004 United States GP his best F1 result. He is confident that he can be an immediate frontrunner with Jimmy Vasser and Kevin Kalkhoven's team.
"We are very excited to have been able to put this deal together with Takuma and his group," said Vasser.

"I can't wait to see what I know will be a extremely fast pace by Taku on the road courses and look forward to working with him and getting him up to speed on the ovals. I have no doubt that Taku will be right on the pace immediately.

"Taku's knowledge and experience will be a great asset and his great sense of humour and easy manner will add positive energy to our team."

KV was a race-winner in Champ Car and has been a regular top ten contender since joining the IndyCar Series, although Mario Moraes' third place at Chicagoland last year is its only podium in the championship to date.

The team also ran former HVM driver EJ Viso at Sebring this week, and could return to a two-car line-up for 2010 after only running Moraes for a full campaign last year. KV is also thought likely to field Paul Tracy in a limited programme again.
Reference Here>>

Well, if IndyCar can not develop an open-wheel racing platform for the next generation to replace the Dallara (see DeltaWing Project), they can, at least, sign proven and tested open-wheel F1 race car champion to invigorate this series.

The season opens with the first of four road/street races on March 14, on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil followed by the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida - March 28, the road course at Barber Motosports Park - April 11, and the best street venue in American style open-wheel motorsports ... the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - April 18.

... notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Long Beach Readies Itself For The 2010 Toyota Grand Prix

The Committee of 300 of Long Beach begins its 36th straight year of involvement with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with a KICKOFF PARTY Thursday night, Feb. 18 from 6-9 p.m. at V2O Nightclub & Events Center, 81 Aquarium Way in downtown Long Beach. Image Credit: C-300

Long Beach Readies Itself For The 2010 Toyota Grand Prix

Construction began today on the famed 11-turn, 1.97-mile street circuit that, in just 60 days, will host the cars and stars of the 36th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster poses on K-rail in what will be Turn 10 of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race course [ctrl-click to launch YouTube video]. Image Credit: Andy Witherspoon - GPALB

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster ceremoniously kicked off the construction by helping workers install concrete blocks on Shoreline Drive and, over the next two months, the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach (GPALB) will build what is essentially a small town for one weekend.

More than 14 million pounds of concrete blocks that line the race circuit will be set in place, turning Shoreline Drive and downtown Long Beach into a comfortable circuit for more than 175,000 people to enjoy six racing events April 16-18.

Safety First with helmets and vest. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

What stitches all of this event together from a human perspective after the bleachers are up, the circuit is laid out, and the entrance gates are put in place is a group of courageous volunteers known as the Committee Of 300, or just C-300. The members of this group are part of a nonprofit community service organization dedicated to promoting the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the City of Long Beach. The Committee of 300 became known as "The Redcoats" because of the distinctive red jackets worn by its members. Created in 1975 to assist the inaugural race, the Committee of 300 is always visible during the race weekend, when members serve as grandstand ambassadors, assist in the press facility and manage the Paddock Club.

While the Mayor kicked off the construction of the track today, the Committee Of 300 kicks off its effort for the Grand Prix event on Thursday night, Feb. 18 from 6-9 p.m. with construct of its own, a KICKOFF PARTY held at V2O Nightclub & Events Center, 81 Aquarium Way in downtown Long Beach. This party signals the beginning of the race for the 2010 season of volunteering and camaraderie as it is pursued throughout the year by C-300.

K-rail and bleachers getting ready to form the 36th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This perspective is from what will become turn 10 looking slightly Northwest toward Pine Avenue. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

It is doubtful that there is another civic-minded organization like it in the whole world. It is the only known organization where anyone can join (social or political pull doesn't count). Only three things are required for membership:

1. Payment of yearly dues.

2. Active participation on race weekend.

3. Exhibiting a desire to become part of a civic-oriented effort to assure the successful growth of the City of Long Beach and its community.

C-300 KICKOFF PARTY 2008 - Just days before the announcement that the ChampCar World Series would merge with the IRL

In addition to its valuable service with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the C-300 can be seen assisting on staffing for the Los Angeles and Orange County Auto Shows, the Belmont Shore Auto Classics Show, the Belmont Shore, Seal Beach, and Daisy Lane holiday parades, and are supporters of the STEEL MAGNOLIAS, an organization for the Stramski Children's Development Center at Memorial Hospital.

Shoreline Drive as it gets lined into a near 190mph race track with the 10,000 pound blocks of concrete known as K-rails [ctrl-click to launch YouTube video] . Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

As far as the track preparations are concerned ... "Race attendees will need everything from luxury suites to rest rooms to trash containers to hundreds of other little, but no less important, things," said Grand Prix Association of Long Beach director of operations Dwight Tanaka.

"Our staff of 40 will put in more than 30,000 working hours installing concrete blocks, three miles of fencing and 16,000 bolted-together tires, along with 15 huge spectator grandstands, seven pedestrian bridges and eight giant-vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage." continued Dwight, "And then, we're only half-done. Beginning Sunday night, we start taking everything down, inspecting it and getting ready again for 2011."

The 36th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will feature 2009 Long Beach winner Dario Franchitti, Danica Patrick and the rest of the IZOD IndyCar Series stars, along with the always-popular Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, Tequila Patron American Le Mans Series race, Firestone Indy Lights, Team Drifting Challenge and SCCA Pro World Challenge Championships.

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster (left) and President/CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach Jim Michaelian are happy to get this party started. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

"It's a team effort to construct a circuit which is challenging for the drivers and provides a variety of spectacular views for our fans," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "Dwight and his staff, together with the City of Long Beach and our suppliers, deserve an enormous amount of credit for building a world-class circuit while, at the same time, minimizing the impact on downtown."

Tickets for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach can be purchased from the Grand Prix ticket office by calling toll-free at (888) 82-SPEED, Ticketmaster or by visiting A handy ticket brochure - which includes circuit map, grandstand and parking locations, ticket prices and order form - can be obtained by calling the ticket hotline.

Ticket prices, which remain unchanged for the second straight year, range from $25 for Friday general admission up to $125 for a three-day ticket that includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seats in upper levels of the grandstands. Pre-paid parking packages are also available when ordering through the Grand Prix Ticket Office. Handicapped seating, IndyCar Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a variety of hospitality club packages are also available.

Of course, if paying for tickets is not your thing, and you would rather be a part of the show as opposed to just watching the show, come to the Committee Of 300 KICKOFF PARTY Thursday night, Feb. 18 from 6-9 p.m. at V2O Nightclub & Events Center, 81 Aquarium Way in downtown Long Beach. Volunteer and meet the Mayor of Long Beach, Bob Foster, members of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and the supporting cast of this 36th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach ... the C-300!

... notes from The EDJE

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Open-Wheel Driver Transition To Stock Car Racing Seen

SPEED coverage of the ARCA Racing Series season opener from Daytona scored a Nielsen Household Rating of 2.30 (1,723,000 households), a 59-percent increase over last year's 1.45 (1,062,000 households). Highlighted by the stock car debut of Danica Patrick, race coverage peaked at 2.66 (1,997,000 households), up a stunning 72 percent from last year's peak of 1.55 (1,137,000 households). Image Credit: ARCA

New Open-Wheel Driver Transition To Stock Car Racing Seen

Open-Wheel racing drivers take on a new challenge of placing a heavier, full bodied, sheet metal covered car around their seats as they take to the track in Daytona for the Automobile Racing Club of America race (ARCA Slick Mist 200) this last weekend.

Among the most prominent names from the IRL, Formula One, and etc. were Danica Patrick driving for a team put together by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Rick Hendrick in the #7 Chevrolet, Nilson Piquet Jr. in the #6 Toyota prepared by ARCA standout, Eddie Sharp Racing, and Milka Duno driving the CANTV, Celebrity Jazz sponsored #90 Toyota.

Even though Piquet and Duno got caught out early in a multi-car crash and eventually were unable to finish the race, at the ARCA Series open test at Daytona in December, and in her very first time in a stock car, Milka was the fastest stock car rookie on the second day of the three-day test.

As for Piquet ... this Q&A from his fan website -- You started from a excellent 7th place for a debutant, even for a long time you were in fifth place. But then it went backwards for you.
Piquet: Well, it was almost expected that it would be in the race a completely different story. After the race was interrupted ( red flag ), I could not start my car. A problem with the main switch. Bad contacts or something. So I just had to start from behind again, then around 22, 23, 24 Place.

From there it went so well again to the front, but eventually it was over.
Piquet: I made it back to the twelfth. Everything went perfectly. For sure I would have stayed in front with it. But I had a lot of contacts. On three corners of the fenders the tires had or were scraping. On the right front, the aerodynamics were gone. At some point I was far too slow and could not keep the connection with the other drivers any more. There were also slow opponents.

What is for you the most important lesson of your first oval race?
Piquet: Today I learned a lot, lot more than I ever imagined. Patience is the key word.Just have patience. This is the most important thing.

You had a collision with Danica Patrick.
Piquet: What should I do? I was pushed down, she would probably just below try to get through. Then we touched.

Despite the Danica Mania that commanded the majority of the attention, Lebanon, Pennsylvania veteran Bobby Gerhart out-performed and out-smarted his closest rivals during Saturday's running of the 47th Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona Int'l Speedway to earn a record sixth victory at the "World Center of Racing". Image Credit: ARCA

This excerpted and edited from NowPublic -

By Charles Oladeji | February 8, 2010 at 04:57 am

Next Sunday being St Valentine’s Day, another commercially driven ‘day of observance’ (or subservience if you see it thus) recreated by a well known greeting-card manufacturing company will be upon us once more. But, my excitement leading on to the 14th of February will have nothing to do with buying flowers, chocolate confectionary or the agonising ritual of purchasing sexy ladies lingerie. But rather, I’m keenly awaiting the arrival of that “Great American Race” known as the Daytona 500, which represents the real competitive beginning of the 2010 NASCAR season.
The extensive and gruelling nature of NASCAR competition, and the commitment it demands of Drivers and Teams alike, formed a substantial part of the numerous concerns put forward by those who questioned IZOD IndyCar Driver Danica Patrick’s Part-time involvement NASCAR, even though her participation in Nationwide Series in 2010 will be limited and overwhelming commercially driven (please pardon the pun).

Danica, took part in the scheduled Automobile Racing Club of America race (ARCA Slick Mist 200) at Daytona this past weekend amongst six other lesser known female Drivers including fellow Venezuelan IZOD IndyCar Driver Mika Duno. Unfortunately, Mika Duno did not finish the race while it’s reported that Danica put on a good showing coming in 6th overall having to fight her way back to the top 10 after being bumped off the track on the 54th lap by none other than Nelsinho Piquet.

The Brazilian former Formula One Driver Nelson (Nelsinho) Piquet Jr, who tested in the Truck Series at Rockingham last year for Red Horse Racing (RHR), and has debuted in ARCA racing this year, has also declared his intentions to stay with NASCAR for the foreseeable future. However, he finished in 27th position after being caught up in a pile up later in the 80 lap during the ARCA race on Saturday.

With Danica’s #7 Chevrolet finishing top 10 in what can be considered her first real Stock Car test in full glare of the media, Hendrick /JR Motorsport can feel a ‘wee’ bit vindicated for pursuing her driving services so aggressively last year, whilst commentators (myself included) questioned her driving ability in both IndyCar and Stock Car racing, where seasoned and aggressive Drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya have struggled to gain a steady foothold.

Yet, Danica Patrick is having a phenomenal effect on NASCAR at present, and I’ll readily admit to being a Danica Patrick fan. However, I’m no fan of Danica Patrick’s actual racing. Such is the media pull of Danica Patrick that the historic nature of the ARCA race winner Bobby Gerhard this saturday, winning the Slick Mist 200 for the 6th time was reduced to a footnote. How long Danica fans of my particular ilk remain intrigued by the Danica brand as the NASCAR season gets more competitive is unknown to us. What we do know is that beautiful people like Danica Patrick are good commercial business; and much needed business at that.
As the Daytona 500 rapidly approaches, Danica Patrick’s popularity has even managed to eclipse NASCAR new-age hero. Aged Mark Martin, who, building on last season’s success as part of Hendrick Motorsport with Jimmie Johnson has qualified in pole position for the forthcoming February 14th race. Current Sprint Cup Champion Johnson is positioned 7th on the grid while Martin will share the front grid with Dale Earnhardt Jr come the green flag at 1pm EST on Sunday.

One thing is becoming certain; St Valentine’s Day at Daytona will not be a romantic date with the beautiful people, Danica and Nelsinho.
Reference Here>>

Not just yet anyway ...

The racing debut ended early for Piquet and Duno but as this clipped report shows ... the race was pretty straight forward for the eventual race winner, veteran driver Bobby Gerhart, 51, and just a little less so for Danica Patrick.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. says that he is refraining from giving driver Danica Patrick too much advice heading into her stock car debut in Saturday's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards race, allowing the IZOD INDY Car Series veteran to make her own race day game plan. Image Credit: ARCA

This excerpted and edited from -

Gerhart wins his sixth ARCA 200 at Daytona
By Joe Jennings - - 2010-02-06 (Daytona Beach, FL)

Gerhart shared the post-race spotlight with Danica Patrick, who drove superbly to garner sixth place.

Dazzling the crowd, the colorful driver's race report reads as follows: started 12th, advanced to fifth, pitted once, lost the draft and dropped back, made contact with Nelson Piquet Jr. and slid through the grass on the front-stretch and kept the car off the wall, stopped twice for minor repairs, fell back to 20th and taking advantage of yellow flags, she bolted through the field in the in the final 10 laps to secure a solid finish [Danica's sixth place finish], to the delight of the chilled crowd.

"I learned how to use the fenders a little bit," Patrick said. "For the race, I wanted to play it smart, make it to the end and learn something from it. At the end, I just said to myself, 'What the heck, I don't really care as I have made it this far, let's see what else we can do.' It was a lot of fun. I got bumped from the front, the back and the side, and I learned a lot. Having so much fun in the car, I can't wait to do it again."
Reference Here>>

We can not wait either, Danica ... we wish that all of the new open-wheel transition drivers bring excitement to the turn-left crowd in full-bodied cars over the course of this next year.

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Indianapolis Colts IndyCar / Vision Racing letters of recommendation

The Indianapolis Colts IndyCar - Image Credit: IndyCar Garage

The Indianapolis Colts IndyCar / Vision Racing letters of recommendation

The Indianapolis Colts are playing in the Super Bowl against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday and the IZOD IndyCar Series is right the middle of all the action. The blue and white car that is pictured above was rolled out and shown off at a recent golf outing sponsored and presented by Van Heusen with attendees that featured former NFL Players. IndyCar Series standout, and former ChampCar World Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay was also in attendance. Jim Irsay should probably sponsor the car for his new son-in-law, AJ Foyt IV ... who is married to Casey Irsay.

Speaking of sponsorships, Vision Racing is looking to have Menard's continue to support its racing effort through its sponsorship of the car driven by Ed Carpenter. Tony George is having trouble retaining his longtime relationship with the home center retailing giant in the mid-west. Menard's has alwayus been tightly associated to the Indy 500 event and its colors have been a standout on the IndyCar Series ever since the IRL was formed by Tony George as a break-away alternative to CART/ChampCar open-wheel racing series.

Now that the two series are again one, and have been solidly one for one full year in 2009 (merged in 2008 but the two racing discipilines still had equipment and racing venues to sort out under the ICS banner), Menards is contemplating a change in its approach to sponsorship in the series. Vision Racing has asked its fans to submit letters of recommendation to the Menards organization in the hopes at retaining this long term relationship they have shared ever since Vision Racing was formed and before with its support of the George/Hulman family and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway racing events.

That shot of the Menards livery on turn 11 ... oops, turn 9, at Long Beach should tell them they (Menards) need to have a store in Southern California. Let them know how you feel Vision Racing & Ed Carpenter have represented them, and how much you LOVE the day-glo yellow No.20 MENARDS IndyCar. Image Credit: Vision Racing (2009)

This excerpted and edited from a Facebook message sent out to "friends" -

To our Vision Racing fans

Sat, January 30, 2010 4:27:41 PM

“It is with profound regret and heavy hearts that we share the following update with you all. Despite the team’s best efforts, Vision Racing will be suspending all racing operations. We have an amazing group of people here that appreciate all the support you have given the team. Efforts to find a solid sponsor partnership have been difficult but will continue so that we may take to the track once again. We hope to see you all there in the near future.”

Followed by:

What Vision Racing Fans CAN Do...
Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 5:25pm

Dear Vision Racing Fans,

We cannot tell you how much your words of support and encouragement have meant to all of our team members in the past few days. We want you to know that we are working hard to get past this speed bump and get our team back to the business of building race cars & IZOD IndyCar & Firestone Indy Lights racing.

Many of you have asked what YOU, as fans, can do to help.

Well, we thought about it and the fact is YOU guys count A LOT. We race BECAUSE of you. We race for you. Sponsors get involved because they want YOU to buy their products and support their involvement in our sport. Neither of us can succeed without you, the fans.

SO... here's what you can do if you want to help.


If you are willing, we would ask you to send a letter, email, short note, fax to Vision Racing that we can pass along to potential sponsors AND the sponsors that have been supportive of us in the past. (They don't all yet understand the power of twitter & facebook)

Think of it as a letter of reference that we can use to find and secure sponsors that want your business.

Please feel free to send these to us so that we can pass them along on your behalf:

by email at

by FAX at 317-295-7066

or by snail mail to:

Letter of Reference
c/o Vision Racing
6803 Coffman Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268
One of the sponsors that HAS supported Vision Racing and our driver Ed Carpenter for a number of years is MENARDS.

We are NOT asking you to HARASS our friends at MENARDS. In fact, ALL we'd like you to do is let them know that YOU still support us and appreciate the support MENARDS has shown us. The folks at MENARDS love racing as much as you do but they also have difficult decisions to make sometimes.
We'll make sure your letters get to MENARDS or if you prefer, you can send you letters directly to them by fax at 715-876-2774.
Thank YOU!

Vision Racing
Reference Here>>

The letter of reference writing campaign should focus on gaining a sponsorship from any business entity that would like to be recognized as being associated with one of the more compelling figures in all of motorsport ... Tony George.

A lot of motorsports history surrounds Tony George and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

At this point in time, a few entities are finding it easy to turn their back when some are down ... but Tony George is not out if a company would like the special advertising and public relations attention that would be brought by backing a racing effort with the history and "Vision" of a team owned by one of the truly monumental figures in the world of motor culture!

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... notes from The EDJE