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The DeltaWing, minus Nissan, Might Find its Way into Indy

The DeltaWing, which most people know as the “Nissan” DeltaWing, took a run at the Le Mans series and was doing well until a wreck put it out of commission. What some people may not know is the fact that the group that put together the DeltaWing were originally attempting to put it into play in the INDYCAR series. That never happened, and the rest is history.

With the Indy Lights series gaining some notoriety and its base chassis, the Dallara, getting on in age, Indy is now seeking a new manufacturer to build a base chassis to replace its aging unit. Now the entire group, less Nissan, is pitching the DeltaWing to become the successor to the Dallara. To achieve this task and even be considered for Indy Lights, the group needs to fit the DeltaWing with the required paddle shifting capability, upgraded data systems, and alternative fuel considerations.

Overall, the DeltaWing looks like it would be a shoe-in, if it can get those few requirements taken care of. However, there are five or six total entrants trying to win this spot in the Indy Light series, so the Delta Wing group needs to focus on getting the car perfect, so they can get it into the circuit.

For now, this is just another pipe dream for the DeltaWing, but so was its entrance into the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It succeeded in getting into that race, though it didn’t last for more than half of the race.

We’ll keep you updated on this race to the Indy Light series and let you know once Indy makes its final decision.

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New Jersey Leg of F1 Circuit Put on Hold

Between F1 and INDYCAR, we are unsure which of the open-wheeled racing conglomerates are in worse shape. INDYCAR gets bumped by a beer festival, then can’t find a location quick enough to replace it, so cancels the race altogether. Then again, F1 has its head honcho, Bernie Ecclestone, in hot water for bribing various banking officials. Both circuits, F1 more than INDYCAR, are constantly under fire for their lack of parity, as the same drivers/teams win over and over again. We don’t have an issue with the lack of parity, we say let the best driver and car win, but the public tends to get bored by it.

Now F1 is joining INDYCAR in the cancelling of races, as after saying that the New Jersey leg of its U.S. tour may be pushed back to 2014. Now Ecclestone is saying “No. Definitely no,” that the race will not happen in 2013. This all comes following Sebastian Vettel’s test drive of the course and him saying that the track is “nowhere near ready.”

Following his pretty definitive statement, Ecclestone backed up and reworded his statement by saying that if organizers get the NJ track ready, it will be added to the 2013 calendar.

This is obviously one gigantic mess, as even the event organizers in NJ are saying that they are ahead of schedule and have not hit any of the snags that the other American leg, Austin, Texas, hit. So, maybe Ecclestone is jumping the gun a little on this one, so we will have to keep an eye one what’s going on here.

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Beer-Bumped INDYCAR Race Cancelled Altogether

After a Chinese beer festival overrode the popularity of INDYCAR and was bumped out of Qingdao, China, we all assumed that INDYCAR wouldn’t just cancel the race outright. Officials pointed to several venues as the possible replacement for the beer-bumped race, the most likely of which was Texas Motor Speedway, but that never came to fruition, as INDYCAR officials have chosen to just axe the race altogether.

According to reports, the cancellation was not due to lack of interest, but rather due to not being able to promote the event and fees. Randy Bernard was also quoted saying “We want to make sure that when we add events to our roster they have long-term potential and are given every opportunity to be successfully promoted.” So apparently just because it wouldn’t be a repeating race each year, INDYCAR chose to just hack the points from the season… It’s interesting to think of the logic behind that.

NASCAR has tracks, sponsors, and promoters chomping at the bit to get a race in their speedway. Plus, there would be no need for promotion. Just put up a sign and you’d have 200,000 screaming NASCARites at the gates ready to pay for tickets. As if the cancellation of the race for a two-week-long beer festival wasn’t indicative enough of the condition of INDYCAR, this just proves that only a very select audience watches it.

I can personally live without either, but if I absolutely had to watch on of them live, I would take INDY every time. I guess I am the strange one.

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INDYCAR Greenlights Changes to Lotus' Engine — Finally, Some Good News

INDYCAR Greenlights Changes to Lotus’ Engine — Finally, Some Good News

Recently, we haven’t had much good to say about Lotus and trust us, that is not by choice. We actually love Lotus and everything it once stood for in the performance car world. Unfortunately, it has undergone some serious changes and the CEO that it had decided to abandon what we all loved about Lotus.

In addition to the woes that Lotus underwent on the retail car front, it also underwent similar struggles on the racing front. Due to funding issues, its engines fell drastically behind the competition and its newly-signed-up partners all abandoned ship. It’s only two remaining partners ended up finishing dead last in May.

Part of the problem was that due to funding issues, Lotus entered its revised engine plans for approval by INDYCAR too late and it was stuck running its original engines. Well, it looks like the downpour of bad news is starting to dry up for Lotus, as Lotus’ INDYCAR manager, Oliver Picquenot, was quoted saying "Lotus has been working with outside engineering firms, in conjunction with Mr. John Judd and his enterprise.”

This obviously means that INDYCAR has finally given Lotus its much-needed permission to upgrade its engine via its engineering partner Engine Developments Ltd. This should give lotus the chance to at least close the INDYCAR-estimate 2.5 percent gap between its engines and everyone else’s, and Lotus is saying that it expects huge improvements.

So let’s hope for the best here and see if Lotus can make some money off of racing, or at least garner a little interest via finishing better than dead last to help calm its rocky seas.

Just an update, resigned Caterham Managing Director, Ansar Ali, is still a free agent and we already see a good fit between him and Lotus. So we’ll continue to monitor that situation, as well as Lotus’ INDYCAR improvements, as it tries to dig itself out of the hole a certain “someone” put them in…

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Beerfest Bumps IndyCar out of China

Beerfest Bumps IndyCar out of China

IndyCar was all set to make its Chinese debut on August 19th, but the folks in Qingdao, China have better things to do, so its mayor cancelled the race. What is this better thing to do? Well, drink beer, of course. Yup, the August 19th race date directly overlapped the Qingdao International Beer Festival, which runs from August 11th – 26th and the mayor just didn’t see it fit to have something as small and unpopular as IndyCar interrupting its drinking festival, so he gave the IndyCar race Das Boot!

Now IndyCar must scramble around and attempt to find a replacement race and another China-based race is highly unlikely. There are rumors circulating that a second race at Texas Motor Speedway attached to the very end of the IndyCar 2012 season is going to be the likely replacement for the Beerfest-bumped race.

We are willing to bet that IndyCar is a little bit embarrassed to be bumped out of China, due to a 15-day-long beer festival. Who would have known that the folks in Qingdao took their drinking so seriously? Now the citizens of Qingdao can enjoy their two weeks of imported suds without interruption.

NASCAR may want to give the mayor of Qingdao a call, as they may be able to design an entire marketing campaign around the two…

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Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon dies after huge crash in IndyCar season finale

Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon dies after huge crash in IndyCar season finale

Dan Wheldon was on top of the racing world five months ago after winning his second Indianapolis 500 crown.

At IndyCar’s season-ending race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the weekend, Wheldon lost his life after getting involved in a huge accident involving a total of 15 other cars. Wheldon’s car flew over another vehicle, before hitting the catch fence and catching fire as race marshals scrambled in to check on the race car driver.

Wheldon was immediately airlifted from the track to University Medical Center in Las Vegas where he was later pronounced dead from "unsurvivable injuries".

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard issued a statement shortly thereafter, in which he said: "IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race."

In addition to ending the race, the drivers all partook in a five-lap tribute in his honor.

Personally speaking, we’re huge fans of Dan Wheldon and we’re delighted to see him take a spectacular run to win the 100th installment of the Indianapolis 500 earlier this year.

His death is as big a blow to us, as it is to the entire racing and sporting community.

Rest in Peace, Dan Wheldon. You will be missed.

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Video: Tanner Foust's record-setting practice jump almost turns into disaster

Video: Tanner Foust’s record-setting practice jump almost turns into disaster

By now we’ve seen the footage of Tanner Foust, aka Hot Wheels’ ’Yellow Driver’, and his remarkable record-setting jump for the longest of a four-wheeled vehicle at the Indianapolis 500.

The feat in itself is very impressive considering the dangers and risks involved in such a daredevil stunt. But while we applauded and congratulated Foust for his courageous derring-do, what we didn’t know at that time was that the whole jump almost never happened.

In a recent video that was just released by Hot Wheels, the company took us back to one of Foust’s previous practice sessions and showed us just how close he came to severely crashing his four-wheeler.

The video goes into detail about how a perfect jump is supposed to happen - Foust was supposed to hit the ramp at a speed of 109 mph and continuing to accelerate - and how Foust got it wrong on one of his attempts, a mistake that almost proved fatal were it not for the modified suspension system in the four-wheeled vehicle.

Check out the video and watch how a practice stunt that almost went wrong could have severely injured one of Top Gear USA’s hosts.

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Tanner Foust breaks world record for longest four-wheeled vehicle jump

Tanner Foust breaks world record for longest four-wheeled vehicle jump

Yesterday’s running of the Indianapolis 500 - the 100th anniversary of the inaugural race - will go down as one of the most dramatic auto races in the series’ long and illustrious history.

23-year old rookie J.R. Hilderbrand already had the race won until he lost control of his car and crashed at the very last turn before the checkered flag. Hilderbrand’s misfortune paved the way for Dan Wheldon to make the pass just before the caution came out, leading to a stunning win that left everybody at the Brickyard and all those watching on TV shocked and completely speechless.

But that wasn’t the only notable item to happen during the weekend. Just before the start of the Indy 500, the long-awaited world-record jump attempt by Team Hot Wheels, dubbed "Fearless at the 500", finally took place. The team’s "Yellow Driver" - later revealed to be Top Gear USA’s own Tanner Foust - drove a specially prepared truck down a 90-foot ramp before blasting off into another ramp, clearing 332 feet through the air and setting the record for the longest jump of a four-wheeled vehicle in the world.

For everybody who’s ever had dreams of riding a stunt like this - we know we did at one point in our lives - Foust’s record-setting jump was a surreal moment, one that probably saw a lot of kids doing their own "world record jumps" in the backyard of their homes after watching the spectacle.

If you missed the whole thing, you can check out the video that Hot Wheels released of the jump in its entirety.

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2012 Dallara IndyCar Concepts

2012 Dallara IndyCar Concepts

The IndyCar Series will be getting its fair share of changes when the 2012 season rolls around with the most notable of which being the entry of Dallara as the official chassis manufacturer of the racing series.

As early as this week, the company has presented two new concepts of what the 2012 IndyCar racer will look like. Using the same chassis but with a different design, the two concepts have differing set-ups, one being set-up for oval racing while the other being prepared for road circuits. Dallara went with this presentation to show teams the lengths of which aerodynamic modifications on the car can be done while still sticking with the current set of car regulations handed down by the series’ governing body.

Both concepts are still in the testing and development phase so expect some changes – whatever they may be – to come when the race car concepts are put through the paces out on the track. Above everything else, Dallara is making safety and technological performance the top priorities in the development of the 2012 IndyCar racer.

For now, you can check out the two concepts and you let us know what you think about them in the comments section below.

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2011 Lexus LF-A Pace Car

2011 Lexus LF-A Pace Car

Formula One uses a Mercedes SLS AMG. The Indianapolis 500 has a Chevrolet Camaro SS. Now, you can add a Lexus LF-A to the growing list of high-powered pace cars that have been used this year by a bonafide racing event.

The 2011 LF-A, Lexus’ resident supercar, served as the official pace car of the 2011 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, an open-wheel racing event held every year at the streets of Long Beach, California. Just in case you need a refresher, the race is part of the Izod IndyCar Series calendar. It was actually held last weekend where England’s Mike Conway emerged as the winner for Andretti Autosport.

Dressed in black with matching white stripes and looking the part of a Japanese zebra, the LF-A Pace Car was undoubtedly a pleasant surprise for a lot of us. We don’t know if the car will be used in other IndyCar races for the rest of the year, but we’re certainly hoping to see more of it down the road, hopefully even at a race that doesn’t have Toyota as a title sponsor.

As a brief refresher, the 2011 LF-A is a supercar that’s powered by a 4.8-liter V10 engine that delivers a maximum output of 560 horsepower with a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph.

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Chevrolet To Supply Engines For Indy In 2012

Chevrolet To Supply Engines For Indy In 2012

Well, it’s now official, Chevrolet is going to be racing in 2012 and not that go around in circles kind of racing either. The automaker will be the V6 engine supplier for Team Penske for the Indy Car Series in two years.

Those who are big into Indy Racing, and not just for Danica Patrick, will remember that Chevrolet used to supply motors from 1986 till 1993 and then again in 2002 to 2005.

The motor that is being worked on is a twin-turbocharged, direct injection 2.4-liter V6 that will run on E85 fuel. The block and cylinder heads will be aluminum, but we have yet to read how much power will be produced.

Penske Racing is the first team to agree to use Chevrolet motors, but the company expects to have more, as rules dictate that any team can use them if they so choose.

Hit the jump to see the press release.

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Honda’s giving you a chance to ride shotgun with Mario Andretti on a real IndyCar

So what’s it going to take for us regular Joes to get a chance to side in an IZOD IndyCar race car with Mario Andretti sitting behind the wheel? Apparently, as far as Honda is concerned, we need to buy a car from them.

Honda is giving its American buyers a chance to sit beside Mario Andretti as he takes a two-seater IZOD IndyCar at the Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway for a parade lap before the start of the race. We gotta say, as much as it excites us to get a chance to ride a legitimate IndyCar race car at a live event with Mario Andretti behind the helm, we wouldn’t do it for a price of a real Honda, but hey, if you’re on-board with the whole program, by all means, join in the fun.

In any case, Honda is prepping the competition up by releasing this new commercial featuring the man himself, Mario Andretti.

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IndyCar to add road and oval course championship for the 2010 season

IndyCar to add road and oval course championship for the 2010 season

One championship isn’t enough so IndyCar is planning to throw a new format in its racing series by introducing two new championships to go with the overall driver’s title: the top driver in road courses and the top driver in oval courses.

We’re not exactly sure what this accomplishes, but as far as IndyCar is concerned, it’s right in-line with the common tenor of the racing series. In addition to that, the new format should, at least it’s what IndyCar is hoping for, drum up interest from racing fans of other series like Formula One and NASCAR. Likewise, IndyCar drivers will now compete for more than just one title and those that aren’t in a position to win the overall driver’s championship can still stake claim to the two other titles that will now be up for grabs.

According to officials of IndyCar, the first champion - the road course winner - will be crowned at the Aug. 22 race at Infineon Raceway in California while the oval champion will be honored on Sept. 19 following the race at Motegi, Japan. The overall champion will then be crowned at the racing series’ season finale on Oct. 2 at Homestead.

We like the whole expanded title format, but while it may foster a new level of competition among the drivers, it’s still a little too early to tell if it will go over among casual fans of racing. For what it’s worth, this year should be an interesting IndyCar season to keep tabs on.

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Honda Formula Cars at the 2009 SEMA Show

Honda Formula Cars at the 2009 SEMA Show

The Japanese automaker Honda didn’t become the world’s best selling engine manufacturer by resting on their laurels, in fact ever since the 1960s Soichiro Honda’s baby has been competing in the top tier of open wheel motor sports, Formula One. Despite withdrawing from competition last year, the current champion Brawn GP was born from the defunct Honda team. On this side of the pond we are more familiar with a different kind of high speed open wheel racing, the IRL, and Honda had quite a display set up at the largest specialty car show in the world, SEMA.

Honda had a few variations of open wheel competitors at the show in Las Vegas ranging from professional to grassroots efforts and even added a look into the future. Even though the Dallara Indy Racing League chassis is a non working show car, it was hard imagine anything other than the red and white winged wonder screaming as it climbs the high banked turns of a super speedway before rolling back into the throttle and rocketing down the back straight at 200 MPH. The other full sized single seater on display is the prototype Honda Formula F race car, intended for up and coming cash strapped SCCA racers, the Formula F is based around Honda’s 1.5 Liter four cylinder from the Fit as a cost effective racing solution.

Despite being trapped inside a glass case, the 2012 Indy Car Chassis Concept offered quite a view into the shape of things to come. Looking more like a stealth fighter then an Indy car, Honda promises to keep making things interesting well into the future. Aside from the cars, Honda had a few of their race engines on display as well, and the only way to get this good a look at the exotic power plants would be against the wishes of an angry pit mechanic. The display included a trio of championship winning CART V8s engines in both boosted and naturally aspirated forms as well as one very special IRL spec Indy V8. Having all these engines on display like this makes us laugh and think back to when we were nearly chased out of the paddock for snapping a few photos of the inside of an Indy car. Oh how the times have changed.

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MARIO MORAES: YOUNG, FAST AND SUCCESSFUL BRAZILIAN INDYCAR DRIVER

MARIO MORAES: YOUNG, FAST AND SUCCESSFUL BRAZILIAN INDYCAR DRIVER

Brazilian Formula 1 race car drivers are among the best in the world with champions like Emerson Fittipaldi, Rubens Barichello, Nelson Piquet and of course Ayrton Senna still described today as one of the best F1 driver ever.

A new generation of brazilian pilots is for sure coming with drivers like Tony Kanaan (winner of the 2004 IRL IndyCar Series championship driving Andretti Green Racing’s 7-Eleven sponsored car) or Mario Moraes.

Mario Moraes (20, born in 1988 in Sao Paulo) is a brazilian professional race car driver, his career is short but he already showed a lot of talent and impressive performances. He is currently racing with KV racing team, car N0 5 in the Indy Racing League (IRL) IndyCar Series.

He spent the all day and evening at the W Hotel with Izod "In pursuit of Fast" event and the other drivers to celebrate the Indycar Series Championship Week, we took this opportunity to ask him few questions on the sunny beach of Miami Beach in between two catch and throw of volley ball.

Interview with Mario Moraes after the jump.

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RYAN HUNTER-REAY: THE CHAMPION IS THE FACE OF IZOD

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: THE CHAMPION IS THE FACE OF IZOD

Ryan Hunter-Reay is an American IndyCar driver, 2008 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, and the new face of IZOD a well known apparel brands with sport- inspired product lines a company from the 1930s owned by Phillip Van Heusen Corporation.

Despite is young age Ryan Hunter-Reay (28) is not a new comer in car racing.
Among other in his palmares he was 2007 IndyCar Roockie of the year, the Test Driver for Robby Gordon’s NASCAR Cup Team and he represented the USA for TeamUSA in the International AIGP Championship Series. He also is the youngest American to ever win an Oval Race in 2004 and first American Rookie in over 20 years to win a Champ Car race in 2003 (Australia).

We wait for a time break in the game to ask few questions to the champion playing volley-ball under the sun with his fellow drivers and the Miami Beach Ocean Rescuers and Lifeguards during a beach party at the W Hotel with IZOD-PVH, APEX Brazil and IRL Indy Racing League.

Interview with Ryan Hunter-Reay, American IndyCar driver and 2008 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year after the jump.

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IZOD AND INDYCAR SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP: IN PURSUIT OF FAST 100 YEARS OF INDY RACING, FASHION AND DESIGN-A DAY OF CELEBRATION IN SOUTH BEACH

IZOD AND INDYCAR SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP: IN PURSUIT OF FAST 100 YEARS OF INDY RACING, FASHION AND DESIGN-A DAY OF CELEBRATION IN SOUTH BEACH

Izod/Phillips-Van Heusen-IZOD was celebrating the INDYcar Series Championship Week at The W hotel in South Beach on Saturday October 03, 2009.

The whole day was planned with the Indy Racing League and APEX-Brazil starting with a volleyball competition between the Miami Lifeguard and the INDYcar series drivers, in the evening a cocktail party was thrown in honor of the drivers with Miami celebrities and athletes in the Provencal garden of the W Hotel followed by a Brazilian Fashion Show with special guests N.E.R.D and Pharell.

The day was hot with happy Brazilian drivers and models celebrating Brazil a day after the announcement of the International Olympic Committee decision to attribute the 2016 Olympic games to Rio de Janeiro.

Vintage cars marking a century of American racing were displayed at the front doors of the W Hotel South Beach to welcome guests along with Izod car and motorcycle.

Interview with Michael Kelly, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Phillips-Van Heusen-IZOD Corporation after the jump.

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Danica Patrick, "Got Milk?"

Danica Patrick, "Got Milk?"

Female indy car driver Danica Patrick is responsible for bringing newfound life and massive appeal to her sport. By being an attractive member of the opposite sex in a male dominated environment, Danica stands out as the face of the IRL.

Well the notorious guy behind the “Got Milk?” ads, you know, the ones with famous celebrities sporting the infamous milk moustache all asking the same question, took notice of Ms. Patrick and recruited her for a photo session.

Danica didn’t waste the opportunity to add her own twist and bridge the gap between milk and the winner’s circle at the Indy 500. She told the press that chocolate is her flavor of choice for this season.

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IndyCar Series Racing Schedule for 2008

IndyCar Series Racing Schedule for 2008

The 2007 season of the IndyCar Racing Series has ended and now the drivers are preparing for the 2008 season. The drivers and the teams are taking a break until next year and they are preparing for another exiting season of IndyCar racing.
This is the Schedule for 2008:
Date
Race
Mar. 29*
Homestead-Miami Speedway
Miami, FL
Apr. 6
Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, FL
Apr. 19
Twin Ring Motegi
Motegi, Japan
Apr. 27
Kansas Speedway
Kansas City, (...)

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Lance Armstrong to drive 505-hp Corvette Z06

Lance Armstrong to drive 505-hp Corvette Z06

Two racing icons will unite when Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France winner, drives the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pace car to lead the field to the start of the 90 th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, 2006. For a record 17th time, a Chevy will pace the race, and it’s the eighth time for a Corvette to be leading the pack.
Neither Armstrong nor the Corvette is a stranger to elite endurance racing. Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France titles, and the Corvette Z06 (...)

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Carmelo Anthony to partner with IRL race team

Carmelo Anthony to partner with IRL race team

Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets will be a co-owner of the Hemelgarn team in the Indy Racing League, a partnership designed in part to broaden the series’ appeal to a younger generation of race fans.
The deal between the IRL team and the 21-year-old Anthony, one of the top young stars in the NBA, was brokered by rock guitarist and member of KISS Gene Simmons, whose marketing company signed a deal to promote the open-wheel series in January.
"It was my group, his group, going (...)

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