No. 1005
July 17, 2019

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(Ron McQueeney/IMS)
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chief Executive Officer Tony George presents Tony Stewart with his champion’s ring for his 2007 victory in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on the floor of the Indiana House of Representatives in Indianapolis this past Monday (Feb 4). Stewart, who was born in Columbus, Ind., and also spent part of his youth in nearby Rushville, moved to the Charlotte, N.C., area for several years to pursue his NASCAR career but has since moved back to Columbus, calling it home when not pursuing his busy racing schedule. Members of the Indiana House of Representatives and Indiana Senate honored Stewart in a joint resolution for his many accomplishments on track ­including Allstate 400 at the Brickyard victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in 2005 and 2007, and two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships, in 2002 and 2005 ­and his numerous charitable acts off track.

arrowup.gifConnor De Phillippi, Mazda. After three days of intense competition and evaluation by motorsports industry professionals at Sebring International Raceway, Connor De Phillippi was named as the champion of the 11th Annual Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out, topping 50 of the best karters from the U.S. and abroad.  Connor will now have a sponsored ride in the 14-race 2008 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda.  This prize is valued at approximately $45,000, the richest prize available to karters in North America. In addition, the following karters were awarded scholarships as follows: Brett Smrz, a full season in a Skip Barber Regional Racing Series, Fabio Orsolon, a half season in the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, Maverick Bartlett, $10,000, Court Vernon, $10,000 and Michael DeNino, $10,000. In total, approximately $130,000 was awarded. Congrats to Connor and kudos to Mazda once again for its continued support and funding of America's only true competitive "ladder" for young drivers interested in road racing.

(Photo courtesy of BMW)
BMW announced at the Chicago Auto Show today that it was returning to the American Le Mans Series with a factory-entered next-generation M3 coupe starting late in the 2008 season. Rahal Letterman Racing will campaign the cars on behalf of BMW Motorsport. Series President and CEO Scott Atherton had this to say: “BMW represents one of the cornerstones on which the American Le Mans Series was built and has maintained a loyal following of dedicated owners and fans since that time. We are thrilled to embrace this effort from BMW with Rahal Letterman Racing.” Rahal Letterman will campaign two BMW M3s for a full-season championship run beginning in 2009. The ALMS GT2 field is the most hotly-contested manufacturer class in major league sports car racing with defending champion Ferrari as well as Aston Martin, Dodge, Ford, Panoz and Porsche participating. BMW will now add even more combustion to the mix. The return of BMW coincides with the American Le Mans Series’ 10th season of racing. BMW won the first race in the history of the American Le Mans Series as JJ Lehto, Tom Kristensen and Jorg Muller drove a BMW V12 LMR to victory in the 1999 Twelve Hours of Sebring. That same year, BMW became the first team from the American Le Mans Series to win the overall championship at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In all, BMW teams have won 15 times in the series - nine in GT2 and six in LMP1.