Tuesday, June 09, 2009


The 24 Hours of Le Mans is this weekend (I can remember when ABC's Wide World of Sports would show those classic Ford GT-Ferrari battles in the 1960s) so it's a good time to welcome Adrian Fernandez as Newsmaker of the Week on Wednesday's 7 p.m. EDT The Race Reporters radio show. You can listen "live" (or later) by clicking my show icon at http://powerupchannel.com/ .

Fernandez and co-driver Luis Diaz have won all four ALMS P2 class races this season in the Lowe's Acura. Adrian had to drive qualifying-style laps at the end of last month's race at Utah's Miller Motorsports Park (I was there) to secure that win. Of course, we best remember Adrian for his 11 Champ Car/IRL victories. Let's remember, too, that he did some NASCAR for Hendrick Motorsports -- so I just might ask him about the Dale Earnhardt Jr. situation.

There's lots to talk about during the media roundtable segment. My panelists will be Gordon Kirby (Motor Sport), Larry Edsall (iZoom.com) and John Oreovicz (ESPN.com).

The show will re-air several times during the week. Check the daily listings on the PowerUpChannel home page for those dates/times. Please use The Race Reporters information page to bookmark the show, sign-up to receive an "E card" with news of upcoming guests, and to hear the show's promotional spot: http://www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/vshow.aspx?sid=1549 .
Thoughts . . .

* NASCAR's new double-wide restart rule? Not really important to me one way or the other, as long as all acknowledge it's striclty showbiz. And as long as the drivers are willing to take the risk of wild late-race two-wide runs in the closing laps at places like Indianapolis, Bristol, Martinsville, Phoenix and the road courses. And the owners are willing to pay to fix torn-up cars.
* Just what we need: A racetrack with its own Terrible Towel. Thanks, Pocono.

* Speaking of showbiz, that's what the IRL at Texas used to be all about -- crazily-so, to a lot of people. Not so much now. A couple of yellows with less than 100 laps to go Saturday night brought back a taste of pack racing but the current aero-tire package has taken away the League's one calling card -- spectacular, close finishes.

* NASCAR says it's going to embrace -- and credential -- "citizen journalists." Hey, gotta fill all those empty media center seats to make it look good for sponsors. Please, just counsel them not to be asking traditional-media journalists in the deadline room why they don't write positive stories.

* I admit it. While at the Indy 500, I couldn't bring myself to walk to the front of the media level to see who was sitting in Bill York's office.

* Grand-Am unnecessarily extended Saturday's six-hour run at Watkins Glen, due to a late yellow, citing a rule that the white-flag must be waved. I've been to several races where, for reasons of safety or even race-control mismanagement, the white wasn't displayed. Teams who carefully plan their fuel mileage for the scheduled distance shouldn't be penalized. If Scott Pruett had gone dry on the last lap, and lost, it would have been a bogus result.

* IRL team owners signed a letter in support of Tony George as IMS CEO but, according to one report, released it to the media but didn't actually send it. Will it make a difference? Not unless they mail it and attach seven or eight-figure checks made payable to "The Hulman-George Family Trust."

PLEASE NOTE: I'll be posting each week's The Race Reporters audio link soon after each show and providing a news nugget from the Newsmaker of the Week. Check out the link and John Force's comments below.

[ more next Tuesday . . . ]