Indianapolis 500 - Practice

Josef Newgarden shows us the life of a driver

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As his second IZOD IndyCar Series season has progressed, Josef Newgarden has continued to position himself as a guy that the series can rely on to get the word out.

Newgarden, who was a threat to win one week ago in Sao Paulo and sits a decent 13th in the standings going into the 97th Indianapolis 500, has proven to be a pro when it comes to both self-marketing and pushing the series. From his past involvement in IndyCar’s “The Offseason” series of YouTube clips to his current role with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s “#Indy500OrBust” marketing campaign, the Tennessee racer has fully embraced online and social media — an area that the series would be wise to keep exploiting as it looks to raise its stature.

It also helps that the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver is always up for a bit of humor, as his latest clip above shows. The clip purports to show what the everyday life of a race car driver is all about, and truth be told, it’s not that different from our own – except for the sweet-looking helmet, of course.

Newgarden was ninth-quickest in yesterday’s practice session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He and the rest of the drivers will take on the third day of practice this afternoon up to 6 p.m. ET.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

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Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski