Ricciardo: No news on Red Bull yet

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Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he is yet to get the call from Red Bull to confirm that he will be racing for them next season, despite all of the signs suggesting that he is set to join the defending world champions.

Ricciardo was initially shortlisted alongside Kimi Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne for the seat next season after Mark Webber confirmed that he would be retiring at the end of the year. Vergne was quickly ruled out by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, and news broke earlier this week quoting Raikkonen’s manager who confirmed that talks with the team were over. Despite appearing to be the last man standing, Ricciardo is refusing to believe that the move is a formality.

“Obviously there’s a bit of excitement around, maybe everyone gets a bit bored in the August break, I get bored don’t worry,” Ricciardo joked. “Nothing yet, nothing further to say from what I knew. Until it comes from someone over that side [Red Bull], whichever decision they make, as far as I know I’m still here for this year and don’t know anything about next year.

He also believes that teammate Jean-Eric Vergne is still an option for Red Bull, meaning that he cannot get complacent about securing the drive for 2014.

“I think I’ve learned that until something is signed, sealed, delivered, nothing is ever concrete, particularly in this environment. Whether that’s true or not, who knows, obviously there’s still my teammate Jean-Eric who as far as I am concerned isn’t out of the picture. There’s a lot of other F1 drivers on the grid with pretty good credentials, so as I said, until something is done, I’m not gonna start celebrating or getting my hopes up.”

Had Ricciardo impressed Red Bull enough, one would assume that the announcement would already have been made. Instead, he is being forced to bide his time which, all the while, is allowing other drivers to throw their hat into the ring for Webber’s seat next season.

Dodge to celebrate 50th anniversary of Hemi motor at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
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When this year’s NHRA U.S. Nationals plays out from August 29 through September 3 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a lot of folks are going to be channeling one of the most famous lines in motorsports:

“Hey, that thing got a Hemi?”

Dodge and parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday – on National Hemi Day, no less – announced that it will celebrate the Hemi’s 50th anniversary of Super Stock cars with the 18th annual Dodge Hemi Challenge during the U.S. Nationals.

Cars that will take part in the Challenge will be 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda cars – “The most iconic of the Mopar package cars,” touted a Dodge press release – in a head-to-head battle.

The Dart and Barracuda were purpose built for use solely on a drag strip. The 23 entrants in the Challenge will drive their personally owned versions of the ’68 ‘Cuda and Dart.

The winner of the Challenge – which will be held August 30-31 – will take home a $15,000 purse, while cash rewards will be available for all 16 drivers that qualify for final eliminations.

“The Dodge brand is proud to serve as title sponsor of the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, an event that spotlights the legacy and power of the 426 HEMI engine,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

Beahm added, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that debuted back in 1968 and are still competing today, which makes our support of this edition of the HEMI Challenge extra special.”

One special incentive for contestants is the 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy, created in the spirit of the 426 (cubic inch) HEMI engine.

Jimmy Daniels has won the Challenge the last two years and goes for a three-peat in this year’s race within a race. His father, Jim Daniels, won the race in 2010.

The Challenge’s all-time winningest driver is Charlie Westcott Jr. of Parma, Michigan, who captured the Challenge in six different years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

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