Rusty Wallace was fastest at the NASCAR test at Infineon Raceway's newly paved 1.99-mile NASCAR road course, setting the pace with a lap of 1min 15.5secs, which is unofficially faster than the track record set last year by Boris Said.

The open test is in preparation for the upcoming Dodge/Save Mart 350 Nextel Cup race on 27 June.

Perhaps contributing to Wallace's quick lap was his being in qualifying trim, while the four other drivers - Robby Gordon, Terry Labonte, Jim Inglebright and rookie Brian Vickers - were in race trim.

Inglebright is a one-off driver for the Richard Childress Chevrolet, as he is a local Left Coast driver with Infineon track experience from the West and Southwest Tour series. The usual AOL driver is Johnny Sauter, but he will have two races off, ostensibly due to conflicts with the Busch Series schedule, where he is thirteenth in the BGN standings.

On Monday, Sauter finished tenth in the rain-delayed Busch race and, this weekend, is racing in the Nashville Busch race, while Dave Blaney replaces him at Pocono. In the Cup standings, Sauter is 28th. This past weekend, Blaney filled in for Shelby Howard in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, and finished sixth in #23 Toyota Tundra in his first Truck race.

The Grand Marshals for the Infineon race will be the Smothers Brothers, Dick and Tommy. Both comedians, Tommy owns a couple of wineries, and Dick used to race in Northern California in the Sixties, including two races at what was then Golden State Raceway before it became Sears Point Raceway.

Racing at Infineon with the Nextel Cup and Southwest Tour will be the Motorock Trans-Am Series. Last year, Johnny Miller raced in both Trans-Am and as a road specialist in a Cup car. So far, however, there has been no mention of Miller being at the race in either series. But he has just announced that he will run two Trans-Am races this season - at Road America and on the Denver street track. Miller will run #64 Eaton Electrical Chevrolet Corvette for Derhaag Motorsports, and plans a full 2005 season.

For the first time to my knowledge, NASCAR has penalised a PR representative. James Caldwell, who works for Kevin Harvick, was suspended until 21 July, fined $2,500 and placed on probation for the rest of the year for violating Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Busch Series Rule Book, concerning actions detrimental to stock car racing, after becoming involved in an altercation on pit-road after the conclusion of the race.

Also penalised were Harvick's coach driver, James Smith, and Busch racer Brad Teague, who were each fined $2,500 and placed on probation for the rest of the year.

The incident occurred after the Busch Series Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on 29 May. Teague complained about getting the one-fingered salute one too many times from Harvick and threatened to do something if it didn't stop. There was a tussle, Teague landed on the ground and came up swinging. NASCAR officials had to separate them all.

The 56-year old Teague is ranked 38th in the standings, after running eight of the 14 races. He has run BGN on and off since 1982, with his best year claiming seventh overall in 1987. Harvick, a Nextel Cup regular, also runs Busch, and is 20th with nine races to his credit. Rookie Kyle Busch leads the standings, out of 102 drivers who have run at least one race this season.

Another son of a famous father, Chris Dyson, will be busy this month. Right now, he's in France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and, next week, he's back on the Left Coast racing Champ Car Toyota Atlantics at Portland International Raceway, his latest venture.

Young Dyson is racing the #15 Dome-Judd with co-drivers Jan Lammers and Katsutomo Kaneishi for the former's Racing For Holland team. Tuesday saw scrutineering take place in 'downtown' Le Mans ahead of tonight's practice and qualifying. There is more pre-race track time on Thursday, with Friday a day off before the race starts on Saturday afternoon.

SPEED TV has confirmed that it will air 21.5 hours of coverage in the United States, starting at 8:30am ET Saturday morning with a taped back-story. The live coverage begins at 9:30am ET, and the on-air 'talent' includes Bob Varsha as host, Derek Daly, David Hobbs and Derek Bell as analysts. Leigh Diffey covers the 'play-by-play', and pit coverage will be provided by Calvin Fish, Andrew Marriott, Amanda Stretton and Brian Till.

Saturday morning, by the way, sees the Group C Legends race, with 38 cars.

Dyson was at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April, reviewing his options, and it evidently paid off, as he has acquired two Swift .014 chassis, tested at Sebring International Raceway and is now ready for his first TAC race at PIR. Whenever Dyson's commitments to the American Le Mans Series don't conflict, he will be racing Atlantics.

Dyson, who won the 2003 ALMS LMP675 championship, is campaigning a Lola LMP675 in this year's series, and is currently leading the standings. His Atlantic ventures will be tied in with his two-car Dyson Racing ALMS Lola B160-AER team based in Poughkeepsie, where co-drivers include Butch Leitzinger, Andy Wallace and James - a formidable trio of comedians and veteran sportscar racers and champions. Wallace is fifth and Leitzinger/Weaver are tied for sixth in the points.

Michael White will be the TAC team manager and Peter Weston the race engineer. They both hold similar positions with the ALMS team, which shares its Thetford/Norcold sponsorship with the TAC team.

Finally, the Indy Racing League has confirmed that it will keep the aerodynamic changes introduced at this year's Indianapolis 500. The IRL races this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, which has witnessed five of the ten closest IRL finishes.

This year, the IRL races twice at TMS, but track general manager Eddie Gossage admits that next year it could be just once, depending on how things shake out for the busy schedules of both the series and the track. TMS wants to keep the race date for the first race after the Indy 500, which is the second largest crowd for IRL each year, and also wants to be the IRL's season finale. No doubt this will be discussed at the weekend with IRL president and CEO, Tony George, TMS owner Bruton Smith and the IRL's senior vice-president of business affairs, Ken Ungar.


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