Archive for IndyCar
MOTORSPORTS 2012 PRESENTED BY VP’S SEF SMALL ENGINE FUELS
RACE CAR AND TRADE SHOW
Promoter: Len Sammons @ 609.888.3618
MEDIA CONTACT: Ernie Saxton Communications, Inc.
Ernie Saxton @ 215.752.7797
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PLEASE WITH OUR THANKS
BIG CROWDS MAKE MOTORSPORTS 2012 A SUCCESS STORY FOR 27TH YEAR
OAKS, PA January 23, 2011 . . . Large crowds jammed the aisles and exhibitors did brisk business at the Motorsports 2012 Presented by SEF Small Engine Fuels Race Car and Trade Show. Racers, fans and promoters filled the three day show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center to see just about everything imaginable in motorsports. Attendance was up considerably over past years for Friday and on the closing day, Sunday. A big crowd filled the Expo on Saturday despite the first winter storm to hit the area this season.
NASCAR Sprint Cup star Matt Kenseth, four time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday, drag racing legend Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, five time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Chad Knaus, former NASCAR star now SPEED TV personality Jimmy Spencer and a host of other well known figures in the sport were on hand to visit with fans and sign autographs.
“Our sales were good this year and every year. We know the market, the people know we are going to be here and give them good prices,” said Jeff Behrent of Behrent’s Performance Warehouse (Florida, NY).
Other vendors, filling more than 600 exhibit areas, shared the same enthusiasm about the show with several already making plans to return with the show takes place again in January, 2013.
No less than 250 race vehicles representing a wide variety of motorsports were won display and enjoyed by the fans.
Attendees also had the opportunity to visit various speedway displays collecting information on the 2012 season that will help them make plans for the events they want to attend.
“We do this show to meet the racing public, get exposure, and give something back to the sport, “ said VP Racing Fuels’ Fred Turza. “The Motorsports show has been excellent for what we are trying to achieve.”
One of the many highlights of the show was the annual BPG Racing Ms Motorsports Pageant won this year by Ms. Samantha Legas. The 20-year-old resident of Savannah, NY picked up $1,500 as the new Ms. Motorsports and will now represent the show through a number of personal appearances at motorsports events throughout 2012.
“I never expected to win Ms. Motorsports since I never had entered a pageant before,” said Legas. “I enjoy modeling, I enjoy racing and this is an opportunity to do both. I’m really looking forward to it.”
First Runner-up was 21-year-old Kasey Missimer of Bechtelsville, PA representing NASCAR sanctioned Grandview Speedway. Kasey also has the opportunity to be Miss AARN. Should Legas not be able to fulfill her obligations as Ms. Motorsports Kasey would step in.
Second Runner-up honors went to Mindy English of Addison, NY. The Dangerous Wines Swimsuit Winner was Kimmie Trout of Reading, PA.
The MetalFab sponsored Sunday activities included the Little Miss Motorsports Pageant with eight year old Carlee Strunk, daughter of 358 Modified racer Glenn Strunk, of Bechtelsville, PA earning the title. First Runner-up was Brianna Carter of New Egypt, NJ with Second Runner-up honors going to Kylie Murray of Pottstown, PA.
In the Tiny Miss Motorsports Pageant seven year old Samantha Idele of Southampton, NJ walked off with the top prize while First Runner-up honors went to Raclyn Eisenhard who calls Reading, PA home. Second Runner-up was Samantha Grice of Newark, Delaware.
Also on Sunday Joshua Fisher lead Jacob Reinfendifer and Cody West across the finish line in the 7-9 bracket of the Big Wheel racing action. Shane Rothman was tops in the 5-6 year old class with Bryce Smith and Gunnar Zeiner (son of late model racer Zane Zeiner) following. Mia Hirschman, granddaughter of asphalt modified racer Tony Hirschman Sr., won the 3-4 year old feature with Mackenzie Adams and Lainden Hinds finishing second and third.
Best Booth Awards were earned by:
Best In Show: Four Star Lettering
Best Commercial Booth: DMI
Best Quarter Midget Booth: Doylestown Quarter Midgets (Honeybrook)
Best Vintage Club: Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club
Best Speedway Booth: NASCAR sanctioned Grandview Speedway
Best Car Award went to:
Best Stock Car: Matt Jester (BD Media Booth)
Best Open Cockpit Car: Nick Schlauch, Sr. (Lincoln Speedway Booth)
Best Drag Car: Mike Clayboss 1970 Buick (VP Booth)
Best Vintage Stock Car: Frankie Schneider Sedan (Nazareth Reunion)
Best Vintage Open Cockpit Car: “White Phantom” (Flemington Historical)
Plans for the 2013 edition the Motorsports show will be announced shortly. Companies wishing to get on the mailing list to receive 2013 exhibitor information, which will be available in less than a month, can do so by writing to email@example.com. Fans can also join the mailing list by writing to the same address.
“We would love to hear from show attendees/fans/racers with their opinions about the show,” said show producer Len Sammons. “We are always looking for suggestions regarding the show. We think we had a great show this time around but we always feel there is room for improvement.”
MEDIA NOTE: Our thanks to all of you for making this another successful event. Ernie Saxton on behalf of Len Sammons Productions.
ERNIE SAXTON COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
Motorsports Marketing - Sponsorship Consultant
215.752.7797 - PA. Office
386-677-5152 - Florida until March 16
267.934.7286 - cell/text
Nelson Philippe and Will Power were hospitalized after a practice crash at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA today, according to a statement issued by the IndyCar Racing Series. A third driver, EJ Viso, was also involved in the incident but was uninjured.
Both drivers suffered concussions with Power breaking two veterbra in his back. Philippe underwent surgery for a broken left foot.
The report says that Philippe lost control exiting turn 3 on the road course and then was struck by Viso’s car and then finally by Power.
The Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL announced today that the Indy Racing League has signed a three-year deal to bring Indy car racing to the Alabama track. The inaugural “Indy Grand Prix of Alabama” is scheduled for the April 9-11 weekend of 2010.
The Indy Racing League held a practice session on the 2.38-mile road course in March 2009. At 45 feet, the track is slightly wider than Watkins Glen International. Officials are hoping to draw 100,000 spectators over the three-day weekend.
The Barber Motorsports Park is located about 50 miles west of Talladega Superspeedway, where NASCAR typically races on the last weekend of April.
Tony George will no longer be president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — a position he’s held since 1990 — according to a statement released by the Speedway today. He will be replaced by IMS executive Jeffrey G. Belskus. George will remain on the Board of Directors for both the IMS and the Indy Racing League.
The announcement was made by George’s mother, Mari Hulman-George, chairman of the board.
“Our board had asked Tony to structure our executive staff to create efficiencies in our business structure and to concentrate his leadership efforts in the Indy Racing League. He has decided that with the recent unification of open-wheel racing and the experienced management team IMS has cultivated over the years, now would be the time for him to concentrate on his [IRL] team ownership of Vision Racing with his family and other personal business interests he and his family share.”
“Tony will remain on the Board of Directors of all of our companies, and he will continue to work with the entire board to advance the interests of all our companies.”
For more information about Jeffrey Belskus, read the official release from IMS.
According to USA Today, the 93rd Indianapolis 500 scored a 3.9 Nielsen rating, comparable to the postponed and rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 that was run on Monday in Charlotte.
The 3.9 rating represents the lowest television rating of a live flag-to-flag Indy 500 broadcast.
It’s hard to spin the obvious: there are fewer people enthused about this race and “re-unification” of two weak series into one has not strengthened Indy car racing. I’m sure the consistently absymal performance of ABC and the lack of serious television coverage in May contributed to the poor showing.
I know I keep hammering on the same point, but we really have to face it… I’m a racing fan and even I didn’t know half the drivers in that field Sunday. It amazes me that there are people out there who still refuse to recognize this as a serious problem. The AJ Foyts, Rick Mears, Mario Andrettis, Al Unsers and Johnny Rutherfords are long gone… and the current crop of drivers replacing them don’t have the image and widespread visibility to fill their shoes.
I know… I’m talking crazy again.
Let’s File This Under “Oops”
Speaking of crazy… Robin Miller must be feeling a bit red-faced today after “breaking” a story on SPEEDTV.com that Tony George had been ousted as CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by the Board of Directors. The Board, of course, is comprised of his own mother, sisters, and a few others. The story had it that the Board was fed up with George’s “spending” and they voted Tuesday night to release him as CEO.
George held an impromptu press conference of sorts for local Indy media to refute the story, indicating that he remains CEO of the Speedway and that no such discussions have occured that he is aware of. Later, Mari Hulman-George, Tony’s mother, released a statement that essentially declared the story to be false.
George has brought a lot of changes to the Speedway since becoming CEO — including the addition of new races like the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race in 1994 and the US Grand Prix Formula One event. Also in 1994 George announced that the Speedway would create the Indy Racing League under USAC sanction to rival the established CART series. That undertaking and subsequent struggles of the IRL have likely dipped deeply into the Speedway coffers.
George has also been criticized for spending too much money on updates to the facility, e.g. in preparation for the Formula One event. But George addressed that criticism in the press conference, saying that overall the Formula One venture broke even: the first four races drew a large enough profit to recuperate the costs and the losses generated with the final four races. The Speedway abandonded the Grand Prix after the 2007 season.
Under George’s leadership the Speedway invested heavily in safety improvements — including higher fences, new pit exit / entrance lanes and a new pit divider. The Speedway was the primary financial driver of the now ubiquitous SAFER barrier.
So… it looks like Tony George isn’t going anywhere.
That Robin Miller… always trying to stir up controversy.
Parity…? What Parity?
After that, it’s hard to believe anything Robin Miller has to say… but he gave some eyebrow-raising statistics on SPEED the night after the 500. He said that Team Penske and Target Chip Ganassi Racing have combined to win 49 of the previous 51 oval races, including 9 of the prior 10 Indy 500s. Now the teams have had a variety of drivers over the years, but it’s scary to think that those two paint schemes have been first to take the checkers on such a consistent basis. When racing becomes predictable… well… it becomes boring.
Scuttlebutt out of Indianapolis is that H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler — famed NASCAR promoter for Charlotte Motor Speedway (”retired”, of course) — would make a fantastic addition to the Indy Racing League. Apparently the Gene Simmons “I am Indy” advertising campaign didn’t pan out.
It would be quite an ironic twist to see Wheeler — who spent his life trying to get the Coca-Cola 600 to outshine the Indy 500 — working for the IRL. I think it might be a good idea… at this point the IRL has to try everything. I just hope Wheeler’s idea of promotion doesn’t include school buses jumping 30 wrecked cars with pyrotechnic explosions down Indy’s front straightaway.
I think the IRL needs to make some moves of a little more… substance? This dog is on life support and I don’t know if even Wheeler could save it.
Just a month after being acquitted by a jury on six counts of tax evasion, Helio Castroneves became only the ninth driver in history to win a third Indianapolis 500. The victory represented car owner Roger Penske’s 15th Indy 500 win.
Castroneves, who started from the pole, led the first 7 laps and then reclaimed the lead for the final time from Scott Dixon on lap 142. He held off second-place finisher Dan Wheldon and third-place Danica Patrick on a lap 183 restart. Townsend Bell and Will Power rounded out the top five.
Driver Vitor Meira was injured in a lap 174 crash with Raphael Matos in turn 1. Meira and Matos made contact entering the turn and Meira hit the wall head-on and his car flipped on its side. He was extricated from the car and taken to the infield care center. Earlier in the race, Meira suffered a significant pit fire during refueling.
Only three drivers — A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, and Rick Mears — have won the Indy 500 four times. Castroneves, 34, will likely have the opportunity to add his name to that list in the coming years and perhaps even become the first five-time winner of the race.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is celebrating its Centennial Anniversary in 2009, opening for its first race in 1909.