February 2022 News
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NASCAR Races in Football Arena

Feb 4 - The annual pre-season "Clash" race for
NASCAR's renamed Busch Light Series, was
moved from the Daytona Motor Speedway's oval
track to it's "roval" course last year.  The race
was moved again this year - across the country
to California.

A temporary paved track has been installed in the
L.A. Memorial Coliseum, where the USC Trojans
football team  play.  The facility has a massive
seating capacity of 93,607.

It took a month to create the track.  With gravel
and 4" of pavement, the track sits 4 feet above
the football field.  It will immediately be torn
down after the race.
The 1/4-mile track is short and narrow that will
keep the cars running pretty slow, I think. It will
be like watching the NBA play on a half-court.  
Regardless, it may be good for the Coliseum,
which no longer has an NFL team, and for L.A.'s
NASCAR fans.

Forty drivers will compete in single lap
qualifying on Saturday to set the field for four
25-lap heat races on Sunday afternoon.

The top four finishers from each race will
advance directly to the Clash, while the fifth
through tenth will be split into two 50-lap Last
Chance Qualifying races.

The top three in each last chance race will move
on to the Clash along with the highest finishing
driver in the 2021 season that did not qualify
through the heat races.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with Race Track Installed
The NASCAR 2022 Next-Gen Car

Feb 19 - This year’s Cup cars are new, except for the engines (358 CID, Fuel-injected,
pushrod V8s) that are provided by the three manufacturers in the series – Ford,
Chevrolet and Toyota.

This is the first major redesign for the series since 2013.

The 2022 cars are wider, have larger forged wheels (18” with a center lock mount
replaces the 15” with lug nuts), a shorter greenhouse and a shortened deck lid to make
them look more like the real street cars they are supposed to represent - the Mustang,
Camaro and Camry.

The bodies need to be similar enough to prevent one having an aerodynamic advantage,
but otherwise they try to get the race cars to look as similar to the street version as possible.  

The cars also now have a rear diffuser like road course sports cars, which provide more
downforce and breaks up the dirty air for the benefit of the cars directly behind them.

There are also changes that you won’t see:
* The body is made of carbon fiber instead of sheet metal.  
* A 5-speed sequential transaxel replaces the 4-speed trannys and the 9-inch rea axels.  
* The cars will now have independent rear suspension, employing twin wishbones and coilover dampers.  
* The body tray underneath the cars are now spec  and the bumpers are new.

The new car will be more economical for the teams, look more like the street car and provide
more exciting racing.
F1 Cancels Russian Race

Feb 26 - The invasion of the Ukraine by Russia
this week caused outrage around the world,
though it came as no big surprise.  

This prompted the the Euro-based Formula 1
organization, who races in Russia, to issue the
following statement:

"The FIA Formula 1 World Championship visits
countries all over the world with a positive
vision to unite people, bringing nations together.

We are watching the developments in Ukraine
with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and
peaceful resolution to the present situation.

On Thursday evening Formula 1, the FIA, and
the teams discussed the position of our sport,
and the conclusion is, including the view of all
relevant stakeholders, that it is impossible to
hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current

Formula 1 has held the Russian Grand Prix
each year since 2014, and the race has been set
to expand in prominence in 2023 with a move
from Sochi Autodrom to Igora Drive in the St.
Petersburg region.

Haas F1 has a Russian driver,
Nikita Mazepin.
His main sponsor is Uralkali, a Russian potash
fertilizer company of which his father is a key
shareholder.  Instead of using the colors from
the companys logo, Haas used the colors from
the Russian flag.

Preseason testing is taking place in Spain and  
Haas has removed those colors from the car,
which includes the logo.

Mazepin took part in the morning session as
planned on Friday, but team boss
indicated he might be fired and replaced
by reserve driver
Pietro Fittipaldi; who,
incidentally, competed in some IndyCar races in
2018 for Dale Coyne Racing.
Nikita Mazepin
Update March 5 - Haas ended Nikita
Mazepin's driver contract and terminated its
title partnership  with Uralkali.
Update March 9 - Haas hired back Kevin
with a multiyear contract.

Magnussen raced for Haas between 2017-2020.
Kevin Magnussen
Feb 17 - The FIA announced a new structure in the wake of last year’s F1 Abu Dhabi
Grand Prix. The FIA president said Formula 1 race director
Michael Masi is being
replaced by two men who will alternate in the role, and be assisted by a permanent
senior advisor and a virtual race control room. Also, direct radio communications to
the race director from teams will be removed.
Feb 4-27 - All of the Formula 1 teams held their launch parties this month. To see
photos of their drivers and new cars, go to
2022 Formula 1 Launch Photos.
Feb 14 - Formula 1 has settled on inserting Sprint Qualifying into only three races
this year - Imola, Austria and Brazil. F1 has also decided that points will be awarded
to the top 8 drivers (1st place gets 8 points, on down to 8th place getting 1 point.)
Magnussen going back to Haas is kind of funny, if you will
recall that Haas finished in last place in the Constructor's
Championship last year - the only team with zero points,
and then look at what Magnussen was quoted as saying a
month ago:

"The rest of my career will be only racing with a hope of winning.
Whatever I do, I’m not going to go into anything if I know I can’t
win, never again."

Asked if that means he wouldn’t go back to a midfield F1 drive if
offered, Magnussen replied:

No, I’ve been there, done that."
Other News Areas:
Feb 27 -  Team Penske driver Scott McLaughlin captured his first IndyCar pole and
win at St Petersburg today.