KERCHNER: Friday Morning Heat Race
Another weekend is upon us and it is time for our weekly charge through the racing world. This week’s heat race is 10 laps in distance.
1. Would you like to rest for eternity at your favorite race track? Legislation in the Florida House and Senate was voted down this week, which would have allowed for the construction of an on-site columbarium to house the urns of racing fans at both Daytona Int’l Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
2. We wonder how Danica Patrick felt about taking a backseat to Simona de Silvestro, who had a sterling drive to fourth-place in the season-opening IndyCar Series event at St. Petersburg. We’re not sure if we’re more impressed by de Silvestro or her HVM Racing team. It’s an impressive performance for a single-car racing team.
3. Speaking of St. Petersburg, was anyone really surprised that Tony Kanaan finished third in his first race with KV Racing Technologies, while none of the four Andretti Autosport (Kanaan’s former team) machines finished in the top 10. Kanaan is a wheelman!
4. It was a bizarre situation this week, which saw Rick Ware Racing fire fourth-generation driver Jeffrey Earnhardt and hire him back 24 hours later. Team owner Rick Ware released Earnhardt from his contract to drive in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series because the son of Kerry Earnhardt allegedly shopped the team’s sponsor (Fuel Doctor) to other team owners. A day later, Ware reversed course saying there was a lot of emotion involved and a lack of communication among the parties involved. Earnhardt, who ranks 10th in the Truck Series standings, will wheel Ware’s No. 1 Saturday at Martinsville, Va.
5. It’s been a week and I still can’t believe Sebastian Vettel won the Australian Grand Prix by 22.7 seconds. Did anyone else even show up to race? For perspective, that is the equivalent of approximately six runs for an NHRA Top Fuel dragster.
6. Off-course excursion. Happy birthday to longtime NSSN contributor and friend Keith Waltz.
7. Ohio’s Attica Raceway Park will reward its home track heroes when the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series visits the track May 21. Drivers in the top 25 in sprint-car points at the track as of May 14 will be eligible for cash and contingency money worth more than $10,000. If one of the top 25 in Attica points can defeat the World of Outlaw regulars and win the feature he/she will receive a $2,500 bonus. The highest finishing Attica regular will also receive a $500 bonus.
8. It’s difficult to remember a winter as stubborn as this one. Cold, snow and rain have combined to postpone events from the West Coast to the East Coast and many places in between.
9. Congratulations to IndyCar team owner Sarah Fisher, who announced Thursday that she and her husband Andy O’Gara are expecting their first child in September. Fisher’s No. 67 will run a limited schedule this season with Ed Carpenter the hired driver.
10. If you like motorsports memorabilia, don’t miss the National Speed Sport News auction April 13 at its Harrisburg, N.C., office.