Motorsport

  • Wilson suffers head injury at Indycar event

    Justin Wilson was transported by helicopter to a hospital Sunday after he appeared to have been struck by a piece of debris from Sage Karam’s car when it crashed in front of him during the final laps of the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.

    Karam was leading when his No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet spun on its own in Turn 1 on Lap 179 of the 200 lap race. As parts from his car littered the track, one of the pieces appeared to strike Wilson, who was trailing.

    Wilson’s car immediately veered into the left and into the inside wall on the exit of Turn 1. Safety workers immediately arrived and frantically worked to extricate Wilson from the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda.

    Wilson is currently in a coma and in critical condition while undergoing further evaluation at Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pa

    The wall where Wilson hit was covered by a SAFER barrier.

    Karam emerged from his car under his own power. He appeared to be shaken, but walked to an ambulance. He was later checked at the infield care center. IndyCar said he would be transported to Allentown as well, to evaluate a right foot injury.

    IndyCar did not red flag the race for the incident, instead allowing a single file of cars to parade around the track as the safety crews worked.

    Wilson, 36, is a native of Sheffield, England, who resides in Longmont, Colo. He has competed in American open-wheel racing since 2004, and competed in six races this season for Andretti Autosport, owned by former driver Michael Andretti.

    “It’s a tough one right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with Justin right now,” team owner Michael Andretti said after watching another of his drivers, Ryan-Hunter Reay, win the race under caution.

    Hunter-Reay was subdued in the winner’s circle as Pocono Raceway and its fans fell silent.

    “I saw the trucks around him. … First thoughts with Justin, for sure. He’s my friend. I have no details right now, so it’s a bit hard not knowing anything,” Hunter-Reay said. “I thought Justin was OK the whole time. I thought he was in an ambulance and was going to get a check.”

    Hunter-Reay was later told that Wilson was “unconscious and not responding” when he was airlifted to the hospital.

    Wilson’s brother, Stefan Wilson, who spent four seasons (2009-12) driving in Indy Lights, the Verizon IndyCar feeder system, tweeted that he was trying to get himself and Justin’s wife, Julia, to the area, but that he had no update on his brother’s condition.

  • Winton Motor Raceway CEO Sacked

    The chief executive officer of Winton Motor Raceway, Brian Pearson, has been dismissed after refusing to transfer a large sum of money to another company.

    Mr Pearson told local newspaper The Ensign he was dismissed after he refused to transfer a large sum of money to another company.

    The Ensign has since been given legal documents from a source within Benalla Auto Club including a letter to Mr Pearson requesting that he pay more than $450000 to the company Motor Raceway Development Pty Ltd. The amount was allegedly owed to the late Michael Ronke as the director of Motor Raceway Development.

    Mr Ronke died in 2013 and his son Matthew Ronke was appointed as director of the Motor Raceway Development.

    Mr Pearson alleges he indicated he would willingly comply under a court order authorising the transfer of the money after he had sought legal advice as to the due diligence of the payment.

    He told The Ensign he was confronted.

    He reported the circumstances to Victoria Police and would not comment further.

    Mr Pearson was employed as chief executive officer in September of last year. His contract was not due to expire until April 2017.

    Winton Motor Raceway director Adam Ronke confirmed Mr Pearson’s position had been ‘‘terminated’’ but said because Mr Pearson was disputing the decision, he would not comment further.

    Mr Ronke told The Ensign the decision to sack Mr Pearson was made by the three Winton directors — himself, his brother Matthew Ronke and Ian Watt.

    Winton operations manager Wayne Williams, who was appointed as manager in January, has been appointed as acting chief executive officer and the position will be advertised.

  • World Challenge Win Gives Lynton Jeffrey Final Ticket to Nationals Championship

    Lynton Jeffrey claimed the Speed Sport World Challenge Friday night, and in turn gained the 25th starting spot for Saturday’s 55th Annual FVP Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores! The Sydney, New South Wales, Australia native now residing in Prairie City, Iowa assumed the lead from James McFadden, who saw his power plant go up in smoke with two laps to go.

    Randy Hannagan jumped out to the early lead in the 20-lap event over Jeffrey and Kraig Kinser. Jeffrey used a slide job to gain the point from Hannagan on lap two, and took off from the field on the cushion after a lap three restart for a spun Sheldon Haudenschild.

    McFadden shot to third on lap four, while Daryn Pittman moved into the top five on lap five. Haudenschild brought out another caution and retired with a blown right rear with nine laps in the books. Jeffrey led Hannagan, McFadden, Pittman and Kinser back to green.

    McFadden stormed into second on lap 12 and stalked Jeffrey for five laps. On lap 17, he shot to the bottom of turn three and slid in front of Jeffrey to take the lead. The native of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, pulled away and appeared to be heading for the big show on Saturday night. Unfortunately, his motor went south with two laps to go, handing the win to Jeffrey.

    Jeffrey won by a large margin over Hannagan, Pittman, Brooke Tatnell and Brad Sweet. Kinser, Ian Madsen, hard-charger Christopher Bell, Tim Kaeding and Kerry Madsen rounded out the top ten.

    “I commiserate for (McFadden), he had a great car,” said Jeffrey in Victory Lane. “He’s had a little bit of bad luck in America this year. That sucked for him. He did a great job and got unlucky. I’ve done that myself. This team’s worked hard this year. I’m really thinking about the Swindell’s right now. I’d like to send some love and some prayers to the family and Kevin. I just hope he gets well, and I dedicate this win to him.”

    Speed Sport World Challenge (started), 20 Laps, NT: 1. Lynton Jeffrey (2); 2. Randy Hannagan (1); 3. Daryn Pittman (9); 4. Brooke Tatnell (6); 5. Brad Sweet (13); 6. Kraig Kinser (3); 7. Ian Madsen (7); 8. Christopher Bell (18); 9. Tim Kaeding (17); 10. Kerry Madsen (14); 11. Terry McCarl (12); 12. Jamie Veal (5); 13. Jordyn Brazier (16); 14. Lucas Wolfe (10); 15. Jason Sides (4); 16. James McFadden (8); 17. Scott Bogucki (15); 18. Sheldon Haudenschild (11); 19. Glen Saville (20); 20. Bruce White (21); 21. Jac Haudenschild (19). Lap Leaders: Hannagan 1, Jeffrey 2-16, McFadden 17-18, Jeffrey 19-20. Hard-charger: Bell.

  • XFINITY Team Penalized For Rules Violation

    The No. 4 team that competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series has been penalized for a rules infraction committed during a May 16 practice at Iowa Speedway.

    The infraction is a P3 level penalty and violates the following Sections in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:
    12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
    20.17.2.1: Overall vehicle weight
    B. Any and all ballast added to the vehicle must be bolted inside an added ballast container, inside the main frame rails, and/or inside the front sway bar mounting tube. Weight affixed improperly.

    As a result of this violation, crew chief Gary Cogswell has been fined $15,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. Additionally, car chief Charles Kent has been placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.