WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Jacques Villeneuve and J.R. Fitzpatrick both will live to race another day after somewhat disappointing results — of eighth and 11th respectively — in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200.
But the hard feelings created near the end of the race when Villeneuve drove his No. 32 Toyota underneath Fitzpatrick’s No. 7 Chevrolet causing it to spin out could carry over to their next meeting at Montreal in two weeks.
“He ran me hard all race,” Fitzpatrick said of Villeneuve. “We were running in eighth place and he just dive bombed me in that corner. He’s just a wild man.
“I have the world of respect for him. You don’t win in F-1 and IndyCar without being great but he’s just a nut job out there under braking.”
As for Villeneuve, he said it was just one of those racing incidents.
“I guess he just realized too late that I was going to go for it,” he said.
“We didn’t touch so what else can I say.”
Changes in the 2011 NASCAR calendar are coming fast and furiously. After first releasing news that Atlanta would lose a race date to Kentucky, on Saturday word leaked out that California will lose its place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship and that date will go to Chicagoland Speedway.
The Chicagoland race is expected to be the first of the 10-race Chase format. New Hampshire which has started off the Chase deal since its inception, could also lose a date.
Honda Racing announced on Saturday that it plans to adopt a new engine formula for the IZOD IndyCar Series, extending their deal beyond expiration of its current contract that was to run out at the end of the 2011 season.
Honda will keep providing the current Honda Indy V-8 engine to all IndyCar competitors during the 2011 season, after which a new 2.4-litre, twin-turbocharged V-6 power plant, designed by Honda Performance Development, will make its debut in 2012.