9 November 2011
Briefs: Busch fined, Hendrick recovering, Keselowski worried
"I'm not a big fan of it at all. Carburetor technology is 50 years old but is very simple. The benefit of a carburetor is that it's very, very easy to police. That's why NASCAR stuck with that," he added. "They've been pressured into switching it through the green initiatives. In reality it's no more efficient than what we have, and it costs a lot more."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said that his own tests with the new fuel injection system had been very smooth and suggested that Keselowski's criticism - which could attract a penalty from NASCAR - was down to problems in the Penske testing. "It drives exactly like the carburetor car," said Earnhardt. "It's just a step in the natural process of the sport."
One-groove Phoenix worries drivers
This weekend's return to Phoenix International Raceway is causing consternation among the Sprint Cup field, who fear that recent repaving and reconfiguration work at the venue will mean that there will be no alternative to single file racing this weekend.
The organisers of the event are going to considerable lengths to prepare the track for this weekend's races, and have been sending out vehicles dragging tyres around the one-mile oval in an effort to lay down some rubber to widen the usable groove. They have also been running cars loaned from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, with drivers Randy LaJoie, Frank Kimmel, Tim Fedewa, Steve Grissom, Brad Noffsinger and Andy Thurman putting in some 3000 laps on 80 soft Goodyear tyres over the course of 12 days.
"We ran in the upper groves trying to lay down more rubber," said former NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Fedewa. "And it's getting black. You can see the second groove. I'm confident it's going to be better."
"I don't see it being fixed by simply dragging tyres, but I could be wrong," insisted Brad Keselowski. "I think a big question will be how the track will rubber in. I don't expect a lot ... I think the track, it has a coating on the top of it that needs to be worn through. The tyre appears to be too hard to achieve that."
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield has been indicted on charges of possessing the illegal drug methamphetamine, by a North Carolina grand jury, following a raid on his house by police last week which allegedly found 1.5 grams of the substance along with approximately $100,000 in stolen goods on the premises.
Mayfield denies any knowledge of the drugs. If found guilty of possession, Mayfield could serve between three to 10 months in jail.
The police raid was based on a tip from a police source which stated that "Mayfield is a consistent user of methamphetamine and often consumes up to an ounce a day of that substance," according to a police affidavit presented as part of the original search warrant.
Mayfield was suspended by NASCAR in May 2009 after failing one of the newly-introduced drugs tests, which he blamed on a false positive caused by the interaction of his prescription for ADHD and an over-the-counter allergy medication. Mayfield sued NASCAR over the suspension but lost the initial case, and is awaiting a date for a hearing before the US Court of Appeal. Reports in the media this week suggest that Mayfield has debts of $555,000, $145,000 in unpaid taxes, and also faces demands to repay a bank loan of $1.35m after defaulting on payments.
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