Ryan Briscoe

Ryan Briscoe returning to Panther for Milwaukee IndyFest


Ryan Briscoe will return to the cockpit of the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet for Panther Racing at this weekend’s Milwaukee IndyFest (Sat., 4 pm ET, NBC Sports Network) after racing for the team a week and a half ago in the Detroit doubleheader event.

“I felt like the team gelled really well when we worked together in Detroit and I’m sure we’ll be able to pick right up where we left off this weekend in Milwaukee,” Briscoe said in a team statement. “It’s obviously a very challenging racetrack and you need to get things right but Panther’s always had a great oval package and I’m excited to jump back into the National Guard Chevy and get back at it this weekend.”

Briscoe has made five career IZOD IndyCar Series starts at the Milwaukee Mile and won his first race in the series there in 2008 as a member of Team Penske.

In the same statement, Panther managing partner John Barnes indicated that the team was working toward landing Briscoe’s services for more IndyCar events this season that can work around his full-time commitments in the American Le Mans Series.

“We’re working on getting him signed for several other races this season, so hopefully we’ll have that finalized in the short term future,” Barnes said.

In his first run with Panther at Detroit, Briscoe posted a result of 21st in the first Dual race (a late spin scratched a potential Top-10 result) and then finished 13th in Dual 2 after being collected in a Lap 28 multi-car pileup that was triggered by contact between Sebastien Bourdais and Will Power.

Oriol Servia, who drove the Panther car last weekend at Texas, will step back into the No. 4 for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway on June 23.

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.

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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