Danica Patrick to Focus on Indy 500 and Daytona 500

Prior to the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Danica Patrick announced her plans to retire from a full-time in NASCAR Monster Energy Cup to concentrate her efforts on two major races in 2018: the NASCAR Daytona 500 and IRL Indianapolis 500. The very popular Stewart-Hass driver leaves NASCAR as the first woman to ever win a Cup Series pole (2013 Daytona 500), the first woman to ever lead that race and holds the most top ten finishes by a woman in the Cup Series with seven. The Beloit Wisconsin native is the most famous American open-wheel racing driver and the first woman to win an IRL race at the 2008 Indy Japan 300. Like many of today's top drivers, Danica Patrick began her racing career in karting 25 years ago. After several years driving in feeder series in both...

November 17, 2017
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Pepper May Be Driving Your Autonomous Pod

As writers explore the future of autonomous transportation, there has alway been the question of what to do with the steering wheel. It will likely be as obsolete as the buggy whip was after Henry Ford released the Model T. Most automakers have already shown us futuristic interior designs where all the passengers face one another with zero concern for the road. Some commercial transit companies have suggested that their driverless pods (or shuttle buses) would still employ someone who is responsible for trip. However, an announcement this week involving billions in investment funding may provide clues as to what the future could look like. SoftBank Group, a Japanese telecommunications conglomerate and parent company of SoftBank Robotics, struck a deal with Uber to invest $10 billion...

November 14, 2017
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Hight and Force Claim NHRA World Championships at Pomona

The semi-final rounds of the Countdown to the Championship at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona were filled with excitement. Having entered the Championship in last place as the sixth-seeded driver in Top Fuel, Brittany Force stepped up her game. When she eliminated Richie Crampton in the second round after season-favorite Steve Torrence had just lost to Antron Brown, the Mello Yello Top Fuel championship was hers. Force joins Shirley Muldowney (1982) as the second woman in NHRA history to win the championship, and gave John Force Racing its first Top Fuel crown. In Funny Car, Robert Hight continued to show why he is one of the fastest drivers on the planet defeating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.839 pass at 332.51 mph in the first round of eliminations. When his nearest competitor, Ron...

November 12, 2017
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Could You Be Driving Your Last Car?

Bob Lutz has worked for automotive giants like Ford, GM, Chrysler and BMW, so his credentials far exceed those of the average car enthusiast. The "semi-retired" Lutz is currently working with Henrik Fisker at VLF Automotive on the development of America's next upper-end supercar that will compete in the quarter million dollar and up price range. As one of the industry's legendary executives, his comments in a recent Business Insider article created quite a buzz. Most car geeks were surprised when a person who spent his lifetime at the top of the automotive industry suggested that the end of the automobile could arrive in 20 years. As a straight talking car guy, Lutz compared the acceleration toward change to that experienced in the early 1900s when travel rapidly transition from the...

November 8, 2017
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Tire Manufacturers Launch Programs for Sustainability

Some of the biggest tire manufacturers on the planet have joined forces in a quest to end the use of fossil resources in tire manufacturing by using 100% sustainable materials. With the initial focus on raw materials, Bridgestone has created a plant-derived synthetic rubber and Goodyear is experimenting with soybean oil to replace petroleum-based products. In keeping, Continental and Michelin are looking at plants that can be grown and harvested more efficiently for a viable, eco-friendly alternative. Commitment to a Smaller Footprint However, when we seek to make a smaller footprint in anything we do, there is always more than one element or component involved. When it comes to tires, the most obvious starting point is raw material as well as the resources consumed in manufacturing...

November 6, 2017
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Autonomous Vehicle Didn't Understand Human Error

If you look in your AAA Las Vegas travel guide, you will find multiple shuttle routes leading to many of the city's top attractions, such as the Neon Museum, Stratosphere Tower or Hoover Dam. Now, AAA has partnered with a couple of French companies that manufacture and run public bus systems in the city to launch the first "driverless shuttle" bus. The bright blue, bubble shaped autonomous vehicles can't be missed as the decorative body panels read, "The Future Is Here" and "Hop On with AAA". Sponsors of the downtown transportation project are providing free rides for residents and tourists to raise money for the Las Vegas Victims Fund that was established after the October 1 mass shooting at the site of a country music festival adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. ...

November 2, 2017
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No One Loves a Good Burn Like E3 Spark Plugs

According to Wikipedia, fuel efficiency is a form of thermal efficiency, meaning the efficiency of a process that converts chemical potential energy contained in a carrier fuel into kinetic energy by putting it to work. Form the very beginning, E3 Spark Plugs has been about the energy, efficiency and ecology represented by our complete line of ignition products for your car, truck, motorcycle, powersports and lawn & garden needs. The open-end design of our spark plugs allows the flame kernel to travel more directly toward the air/fuel mixture in your engine's compression chamber. After years of research and development, we determined that our edge-to-edge spark could significantly improve the efficiency of that burn. Worst Polluter in Your Garage Is Not Your Car When we learned...

October 30, 2017
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Terry McMillen Hits the Jackpot at Las Vegas

You may or may not believe in the classic literary verse of 19th-century British poet Violet Fane, "Good things come to those who wait." But, Terry McMillen does. After 195 career starts in Top Fuel dragster, McMillen hoisted a Wally Sunday at the 17th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals. With only two rounds remaining in the 2017 Countdown to the Championship, McMillen defeated Richie Crampton, Clay Millican and Shawn Langdon on his way to the final round at Las Vegas Motor Speedway's "The Strip." It was a long time coming but was meant to be as he literally coasted to win in his AMALIE Motor Oil XTERMINGATOR after Brittany Force left the line staring at a red light. In Top Fuel Funny Car, Matt Hagan piloted his Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T to first career win at the The Strip. After...

October 30, 2017
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Do You Know How to Drive Green?

Whether you're driving an electric vehicle or filling up with E85 ethanol, there is always more of an environmental impact than you might think. For example, the electricity that powers some of today's vehicles has to be produced somewhere. In the United States, most of our electricity is generated from fossil fuels and about one third comes from coal-fired power plants (which are our nation's leading source of carbon emissions). Moreover, corn-based ethanol competes with our food crops, doesn't get as good of gas mileage and has to be distributed via road or rail transport. Reduce the Junk in the Trunk There is so much talk today about making a smaller environmental footprint that it is easy to lose sight of what each of us can do to limit air pollution. Being a conscientious driver...

October 25, 2017
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Engine Surging Can Be an Early Warning Sign of Ignition Problems

Engine surging is usually a warning sign that your car or truck is having combustion problems. Since a vehicle's ignition wires and spark plugs play a major role in proper engine performance, it is likely time to check your engine's electrical components. Each spark plug delivers current from the ignition coil via your vehicles spark plug wires to an individual cylinder's combustion chamber. The electrical impulse transmitted through the plug jumps the gap at the plug's firing end to ignite a compressed air/fuel mixture. Bad Plugs Can Cause a Misfire Each cylinder has a spark plug and a piston. The electrical voltage needed for combustion varies with different spark plugs. Intense heat causes the electrons following through the ignition system to jump the plug's gap and ignite the...

October 23, 2017
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