IRL: Indy Racing League News and Notes 2007-11-26

Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines 1. Castroneves ready for last dance(s) 2. Briscoe to be honored at Autosport Awards 3. Kanaan, Meira finish in top 10 4. Losch team finishes sixth in Baja 1000 5. Of note 1. Castroneves...

Today's IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series headlines
1. Castroneves ready for last dance(s)
2. Briscoe to be honored at Autosport Awards
3. Kanaan, Meira finish in top 10
4. Losch team finishes sixth in Baja 1000
5. Of note

1. Castroneves ready for last dance(s): One night of dancing and a plethora of votes from his fans is all that separates two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves from the "Dancing with the Stars" championship.

The hit ABC show enters its final week Nov. 26. Castroneves and his professional dance partner Julianne Hough will perform the Quickstep, Jive and a freestyle piece in hopes of securing their place in American pop culture history. Other finalists on the show are Marie Osmond and Melanie Brown.

"I've had a great run this fall and the experience has been one of the best things I've ever had the opportunity to do," Castroneves said. "I truly have the greatest fans in the world and I know that it's because of them, and what Julianne has taught me of course, that we have made it this far in the competition. Please, please vote for me one more time."

The judges' total scores plus viewer voting via phone, text message and online will determine the winner of the mirror ball trophy. The champion will be announced live on Nov. 27.

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2. Briscoe to be honored at Autosport Awards: Ryan Briscoe, recently named to drive the No. 6 Team Penske Honda-powered Dallara in the 2008 IndyCar Series season, will receive the Bruce McLaren Trophy at the annual Autosport Awards on Dec. 4 in London.

The award recognizes meritorious performance by a Commonwealth driver during the year. Briscoe finished fifth in the 91st Indianapolis 500 in May and was the rookie of the year in the American Le Mans Series for Penske Racing.

Briscoe, 26, is the ninth Australian to win the award. The McLaren Trophy is named in honor of the New Zealander who founded the McLaren team that had success in Formula One and American open-wheel and sports car racing in the 1970s and '80s.

***

3. Kanaan, Meira finish in top 10: Tony Kanaan finished eighth and Vitor Meira tied for ninth in the International Challenge of Go-Kart Champs at Florianopolis in Brazil last weekend.

Seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher won the event that featured two races (reverse grid for the top eight finishers). Race organizer and last year's winner Felipe Massa finished fifth.

Kanaan placed 10th and Meira 12th in the first race. They were ninth and 10th, respectively, in the second race. Also competing were IndyCar Series alums Felipe Giaffone, Gil de Ferran and Roberto Moreno.

***

4. Losch team finishes sixth in Baja 1000: Indy Pro Series owner/driver Ken Losch co-drove with his son, Sebastian, and 16 others to form a Protruck team that competed in the Baja 1000.

The team, after facing tests of endurance and patience, finished sixth in its class in 36 hours, 22 minutes, 11 seconds. Losch and his son drove the first section of the race. There were 424 total entries.

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5. Of note: Three-time Indianapolis 500 champion and IndyCar Series pace car driver Johnny Rutherford was in the driver's seat of a race car float in the 25th annual Parade of Lights last weekend in Fort Worth, Texas--Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and "Dancing with the Stars" icon Helio Castroneves is scheduled to appear at the Michigan International Auto Show at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Feb. 1.

***

The 2008 IndyCar Series season begins under the lights on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, one of the most diverse in all of motorsports, features races on 11 ovals, three permanent road courses and two temporary street circuits, all broadcast worldwide through a comprehensive, long-term agreement with ABC Sports/ ESPN. The 2008 Indy Pro Series season also begins on March 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 16-race schedule, which features eight ovals and four road/street course doubleheader weekends, will be televised by ESPN2.

-credit: irl

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