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WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing announced Aug. 16 that they will form a multi-car organization for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. The team will be known as CFH Racing.

The two single-car teams, based in Indianapolis, will be headquartered at the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing shop in Speedway, Ind., just a few blocks from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Additional details about CFH Racing, including personnel, suppliers and sponsors, will be announced in the near future.

Ed Carpenter Racing, established in 2012, has three victories this season with Mike Conway capturing the Long Beach and Toronto street races and team owner/driver Ed Carpenter winning at Texas Motor Speedway oval in the No. 20 ECR/Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet.

In addition, Carpenter won the Indianapolis 500 pole position in 2013 and 2014.

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, formed in 2008 and co-owned by Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman, won its first race in 2011 at Kentucky Speedway with Carpenter behind the wheel.                

This season, SFHR driver Josef Newgarden has recorded a best of second place at Iowa Speedway in the Honda-powered No. 67 SFHR Hartman Oil car.

“I am very excited about this new opportunity to merge Ed Carpenter Racing with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing in CFH Racing,” Carpenter said. “We had success together in 2011 and have always had a great relationship. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that we won our first race together at Kentucky Speedway.

“I look forward to getting started with this new team and continuing to add to the success that each of our teams have had in the past. There will be a lot of work to do this offseason to bring the two teams together to form one new team, but we feel that it is a great opportunity for all of us to grow and reach new heights of success. There are a lot of details we will need to finalize after the season comes to a close, so for now we are focusing on finishing this season on a high note for Ed Carpenter Racing.”

Fisher, the first woman to win an IndyCar Series pole, became the first female team owner in the IndyCar Series in 2008. She announced her retirement from driving in 2010.

“The merger of the two teams is a big-picture plan,” she said. “At the nucleus of all parties, there is a lot of synergy that has great potential for the future. Working with Ed, and capturing that first win, was a foothold in our team, and I look forward to the many more that will come as a result of bringing all the parties together.”

Hartman, a successful businessman in Wichita, Kan., and owner of Hartman Oil, joined Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing as co-owner in December 2011.

“I am excited about the opportunity for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing to join with Ed Carpenter Racing to create a top-tier Verizon IndyCar Series team,” he said. “The newly formed collaboration as CFH Racing will allow us to double down on our commitment to be successful on and off the track.”

Photo and Data courtesy of IndyCar.com 

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INDYCAR Presents: Beer, Cheese & Charity, a fundraiser and online auction benefiting Racing For Kids on its silver anniversary and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

WHERE:

VIP beer garden, inside IndyFest Street party, Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 509 W. Wisconsin Ave.

WHEN:

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15

COST:

Admission is $25 and includes beer, paired with cheeses and hors d’oeuvres and entry into the VIP lounge. Tickets are available at qtego.net/racingforkidsmilwaukee and at the entrance to the event. Entry in the Indyfest Street Party is free.

THE AUCTION:

The event’s auction runs from Aug. 6 at 12 p.m. through Friday, Aug. 15 at 9:30 p.m. at qtego.net/auc/racingforkidsmilwaukee

FOR THE MEDIA & MORE INFORMATION:

Contact Cathy Kightlinger at ckightlinger@indycar.com or 317-797-3490.

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Welcome to Racing for Kids

 

Founded in Detroit in 1989, Racing For Kids® is designed to use the increasing popularity of motorsports to focus public attention and funding on the health care needs of children

The hospital visits form the heart of the program. Racing For Kids® drivers visit children in Children’s Hospitals wherever they race. They spend time with each sick youngster answering questions about their sport, posing for pictures, signing autographs and handing out the distinctive Racing For Kids® hats, coloring books and assorted memorabilia provide by our sponsors.

Racing For Kids® representatives have visited with more than 25,000 young patients in nearly 500 hospitals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, and Australia.

In addition, nearly $6 million has been raised through donations and specific fund raising events for children’s hospitals and child health institutions and causes across the country.

Meet the Team

Racing For Kids, 93 Kercheval, Suite 4, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236 | 313-882-3403

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chris owenINDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 10, 2014 – Marc Marquez’s perfect season rolls on.

The Spaniard pulled away in the second half of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sunday, beating Jorge Lorenzo by 1.803 seconds to win for the second consecutive year on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and continue an incredible 2014 season.

The 21-year-old has won all 10 races so far on the MotoGP World Championship schedule, an extended run of dominance not seen in the sport since Australia’s Mick Doohan’s won 10 in a row in 1997.

“I cannot explain – every race I go to the weekend and I say, ‘OK, here maybe is the time to finish second or third. Here will be the time that I struggle,'” Marquez said. “But every race I feel so strong.”

His afternoon at IMS began with a struggle as he fell from the pole position to fifth moments after the race began and needed 10 laps to work his way back to the front. But once there, the defending world champion held steady for the final 17 laps on his No. 93 Repsol Honda and became the first back-to-back champion at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.

“The start was not so good, and in the beginning I had some moments,” Marquez said. “Then when I saw the tire (come in), Jorge also attacked and tried to push in the front. I said, ‘OK, now is the time I overtake them’ and I started to push.”

Mike HardingMarquez won for the fourth consecutive year at IMS, having also won in Moto2 in 2011 and 2012. In winning on Sunday, he also secured the 500th Grand Prix win for Spain. No. 499 came from Efren Vazquez, who started Sunday’s racing with a win in Moto3 after a fierce battle among five riders in the closing laps.

Italy’s Romano Fenati led coming into the front straightaway but Vazquez ran him down in his Honda for a 0.065-second margin at the Yard of Bricks and his first Moto3 victory.

“It was a really hard race for us and, I think, for every rider,” Vazquez. “I will take it – the first victory.”

Moto2 featured a dominant wire-to-wire performance by Mika Kallio of Finland, who led all 16 laps in a shortened race following an early red flag. His margin at the finish was 1.380 seconds over Maverick Vinales of Spain.

In the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series, Steve Rapp won in a five-bike shootout in the closing laps.

The Red Bull Indianapolis GP will return in 2015, with a race date to be announced in the future.

 Data and Photography Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Editor’s Note from Speedway Sightings …

After midnight last night, I began to see on-site press reports surface about the tragedy involving Kevin Ward, Jr. and Tony Stewart in a Sprint Car race at Canandaigua Speedway in upstate New York. I stayed with the story until the end of a press conference held by Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero at 3am.

At times like this I fall back on my favorite quotation from John Lawton as he was speaking before the American Association of Broadcast Journalists in 1995.  He said: “The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion.”

The purpose of my re-posting this writers work is that it is too important to be a link buried within the text of the short few paragraphs. It deserves to be published in its entirety.

Steven Cole Smith has taken the high road by offering up the facts as best reported and leading the reader through a list of varying aspects that should be considered before condemning anyone for this tragedy.

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Incomprehensible tragedy occurs Saturday night at a dirt track in New York.

By: Steven Cole Smith

Editor-in-Chief — Motorsport.com

Many of you will wake up to the incomprehensible news that Tony Stewart was responsible for the death of a fellow racer last night. It’s true. But you need to know the whole story – or at least as complete as it is at 5 a.m. ET, when I write this.

There is no denying that the death Saturday night of 20-year-old sprint car driver Kevin Ward, Jr., killed when he was struck by the right rear tire of a sprint car driven by NASCAR star Tony Stewart, is a tragedy almost beyond comprehension.

His team released a brief statement, but it is generic and probably vetted by lawyers: “A tragic accident took place last night during a sprint car race in which Tony Stewart was participating. Tony was unhurt, but a fellow competitor lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We’re still attempting to sort through all the details and we appreciate your understanding during this difficult time.”

Making it so much worse is the excruciating contention, repeated literally hundreds of times last night on social media that Stewart swerved into Ward intentionally.

According to a video of the incident, Stewart was inside the young Empire Super Sprint driver going into turn two of Canandaigua Speedway in upstate New York. Stewart drifted high, and Ward, running out of room, touched the outside wall, spinning completely one time, and coming to a stop pointing in the wrong direction, his right rear tire flat.

He climbed from his car, and began striding down the track, obviously looking for Stewart, whose car was approaching at a reduced speed under the caution flag, but still traveling at perhaps 40 mph. Ward was pointing a finger at Stewart’s car and moved toward it.

It appears Stewart saw him at the last second, and swerved, but still hit Ward hard enough to toss him like a rag doll at least 20 feet down the track. An autopsy is pending, but it seems likely Ward suffered a broken neck, though he still had his helmet and head restraint device on, but the device only works when you are strapped into your car. Stewart stopped about a hundred feet down the track. Emergency workers were there in second. Indeed, Stewart may have hit the gas, but you steer sprint cars with the throttle for more than the steering wheel. The idea that he accelerated trying to hit Ward is beyond the pale.

How could this happen?

I have driven winged sprint cars, and as you can imagine, visibility to the side is horrible. Ward was wearing a mostly black fire suit and a black helmet. The idea that any driver would purposely hit another over what was a comparatively minor, that’s-racing incident is hard to swallow. That Tony Stewart would do it on purpose? That is unthinkable.

There are so many sad coincidences here that the mind reels. This is the same track where, just over one year ago, Stewart sparked a 17-car collision that sent two drivers to the hospital, including a 19-year-old female racer.

And just a few days ago, it was the one-year anniversary of Stewart’s own crash in a 360-cubic-inch sprint car identical to the one he was driving Saturday night, breaking his leg so severely in two places that he had to miss the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Let me correct one thing I just said: The car Stewart was driving Saturday night was fitted with several safety features that Stewart helped develop, based on his crash and the death of three sprint car drivers last year, including NASCAR driver Jason Leffler. Those safety features included tethers similar to the ones used in IndyCar, and a re-enforced tunnel for the torque tube, which is essentially a driveshaft that runs between the driver’s legs. That tube rupturing is what injured Stewart. He told me earlier this year that if anything good came from his crash that — like it did when the death of Dale Earnhardt occurred – safety innovations were developed that have likely saved other driver’s lives.

And a final irony is that Saturday night, 820 miles due west from Canandaigua, New York, the biggest sprint car race of the year was being held – the Knoxville Nationals, in Knoxville, Iowa, featuring all the World of Outlaws sprint car stars, and the top drivers from other series. The feature there was just about to get rolling when Stewart’s accident occurred. The winner of the Knoxville Nationals, for the eighth time – Donny Schatz, who drives for team owner Tony Stewart. In fact, Stewart was in Knoxville earlier this week, cheering on his team, which also includes soon-to-retire sprint car legend Steve Kinser.

Why does Stewart do it ?

After Stewart’s own crash, he took a lot of criticism about how someone of his stature should not be racing sprint cars – that so many employees and sponsors depended on him that he simply shouldn’t participate in something so dangerous. Some of those people will be waiting for a respectful time to pass before they say, “I told you so.” Others won’t even wait that long.

Stewart said that of all the types of cars he has driven, winged sprint cars were the most challenging, and that he needed to challenge himself. Some of his fellow drivers understood, others did not.

Not long ago, I asked NASCAR driver Greg Biffle – who, like Stewart, came up racing on short tracks – what he thought of the fact that a healed-up Stewart had said that he was about to go back to sprint car racing.

This is what Biffle said: “It’s in our blood. Driving race cars is what we do. I like to ride dirt bikes and ride my ATVs and I have a sand car, and if somebody told me I couldn’t do that anymore I’d be devastated. I’m different from Tony, or Kasey Kahne or Clint Bowyer – I get my fill of racing from NASCAR, so my fun activity is to get to go play in the sand or the desert. That’s what I love to do.

“So I know where he’s coming from. That’s what he enjoys, what he loves, that’s what he’s done since he was a little kid. No matter what you do, racing or not, we could all get hit by a bus when we cross the street. We should all be able to do something you love, and that’s what he loves to do.”

As for what he gets out of sprint cars: He did a conference call with some of us just after he returned to sprint car racing on July 18, winning his first time out at the Tri-City Speedway, a dirt track in Michigan, where he showed up unannounced to run a 360 sprint with the SOD (Sprints on Dirt) series.

“I just like it,” Stewart said. “I’ve always liked dirt racing. I’ve always liked racing Sprint cars, and it’s just what I enjoy doing.  Everybody has hobbies. Everybody has stuff they like to do when they have downtime, and that’s just what it is for me.  That’s what I like to do when I have extra time.”

The coming storm …

As I write this, it is difficult – impossible, really – to imagine the storm that is about to rain down on sprint car racing in general, Tony Stewart in particular. Having covered him since his original short-track days, I wish I could tell you about the charitable deeds you don’t know about. About how we once admitted to each other that we each had a Chihuahua dog, that happened to sleep in our bed, and how we must never again say that out loud in public. About how, when he briefly owned a few racing Greyhounds, that he would fly them to new owners in his private jet when they retired.

Tony Stewart is as gruff as they come, but he has the biggest heart of any professional driver I have ever known. I can only imagine how his heart is broken for causing the death of another young driver, and to have people insisting that he did it on purpose.

I can imagine how bad that is: I cannot imagine what the friends and family of Kevin Ward, Jr. – described in one Facebook post by a friend as “the nicest folks who ever walked the earth” – must be going through.

This story will be enormous, the repercussions far-reaching and likely devastating on multiple levels. No matter what happens at the NASCAR Sprint Cup race this afternoon at Watkins Glen, where Stewart is supposed to start 13th – the number of Kevin Ward’s sprint car – this tragedy will eclipse everything, and will for a long time.

I’m praying for Kevin Ward’s family, and for Tony Stewart. If you are so inclined, maybe you can, too.

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