April 11, 2012 |
LAS VEGAS -- Maybe legendary race car driver Al Unser Jr. thought he saw a raised checkered flag in the dead of night on that lonely stretch of New Mexico freeway: Speeds were high, discretion apparently tossed to the wind. But with his second DUI conviction on Wednesday in less than five years, it's Unser's reputation that's now seemingly a bit more checkered. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and drag racing, charges that stemmed from a September incident near Albuquerque, authorities say. Unser, 49, a scion of the legendary Albuquerque Unser racing family, entered his guilty plea the day before he was scheduled to be tried on aggravated DUI, drag racing and reckless driving charges.
April 8, 2012 |
The former Marina del Rey headquarters of automotive legend Carroll Shelby was sold along with two office buildings for $6.5 million. Shelby, once a race car driver, set up shop for his fledgling car company Shelby-American at 1042 Princeton Drive in March 1962, his website said. That year he introduced his first Cobra sports car, and in 1963 a Cobra won the United States Road Racing Championship. The company operated out of a red brick industrial and office complex built in the late 1950s that, according to books on Shelby, had previously been leased by playboy race car driver and entrepreneur Lance Reventlow.
March 9, 2012 |
Reporting from Las Vegas -- Danica Patrick returned to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time since October's IndyCar race in which fellow driver Dan Wheldon was killed. A former IndyCar driver now competing full-time in NASCAR's Nationwide Series, Patrick told a press conference Friday that "there won't be a time that I come to Las Vegas that I won't think about Dan. " Wheldon, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, died of head injuries suffered in a fiery, 15-car crash in IndyCar's season finale on the 1.5-mile oval.
March 4, 2012 |
Reporting from Avondale, Ariz. -- On a mid-November day in 2010, Denny Hamlin nearly was inconsolable after he climbed from his race car at Phoenix International Raceway. The Virginian, poised to win his first Sprint Cup Series championship, had dominated the race until his No. 11 Toyota ran short of fuel and required a late pit stop. A stunned Hamlin lost the race and, the next weekend, he lost the title to Jimmie Johnson. So Hamlin understandably felt a measure of vindication Sunday when he won the Subway Fresh Fit 500 for his first victory at Phoenix, even if this time it was only the second race on the schedule.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2012 |
Dmitri Nabokov, the only child of acclaimed novelist Vladimir Nabokov who helped protect and translate his father's work while pursuing careers as an opera singer and race car driver, has died. He was 77. The younger Nabokov died Wednesday at a hospital in Vevey, Switzerland, after a long illness, said literary agent Andrew Wylie. Dmitri spent much of his life trying to carve a life away from the shadow of his father, considered one of the premier writers of the 20th century for such books as "Lolita" and "Pale Fire.
February 25, 2012 |
James Buescher didn't appear to have much of a shot at winning the Nationwide race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway heading into the final lap. But as the cars started piling up in front of his No. 30 Chevrolet, the 31-year-old driver suddenly became the only car with a shot to win the race. After watching an 11-car crash unfold in front of him, Buescher was able to maneuver through the debris to claim an unlikely victory , his first in the Nationwide Series.
February 8, 2012 |
Drag racing's best return to Pomona this weekend to kick off their season with the NHRA Winternationals. In the sport's two elite divisions, top fuel and funny car, the racing is expected to be just as close as when it ended at the same track, Auto Club Raceway, last November. Titles in both classes in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s Full Throttle Series — in which the cars reach speeds of more than 300 mph in 1,000-foot races — were decided on the final day. Del Worsham won the top-fuel championship for the Al-Anabi Racing team over Spencer Massey, and Matt Hagan of Don Schumacher Racing captured the funny car title over teammate Jack Beckman of Norco.
February 7, 2012 |
Drag racing has a new Force to be reckoned with. Courtney Force, 23, the youngest daughter of drag-racing legend John Force, will make her debut in the sport's top series this weekend at the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona that start Thursday. She's driving one of the 7,000-horsepower Ford funny cars for her dad's Yorba Linda team in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s premier Full Throttle Series, where the nitro methane-fueled dragsters reach a blistering 300 mph in 1,000-foot races.
December 18, 2011 |
Two months after the nation was stunned by a 15-car crash that killed driver Dan Wheldon, the Izod IndyCar Series is trying to reestablish momentum heading into next season. But after announcing last week that no one factor caused Wheldon's death in the fiery wreck Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, IndyCar and its chief executive, Randy Bernard, now must overcome several issues still weighing on their effort to boost the sport's popularity. Among them: The series is rolling out a new race car whose ultimate performance is yet unknown.