Motorsports Feed

Castroneves captures tax victory

IndyCar champ Helio Castroneves won the pole for today's Indianapolis 500, but regardless of the outcome of the race, he's already claimed a significant victory. On Friday, federal prosecutors dropped the remaining tax evasion conspiracy charge against the Brazilian driver and his sister. Now Castroneves can concentrate completely on his track tasks. The other IndyCar series competitors better be worried. In his first race of the season, just hours after a federal jury in Miami acquitted him (and his sister) of the other tax-evasion charges, Castroneves finished seventh in Long Beach, Calif. The next race in Kansas, he came in... Read more →

Ford bests Toyota & other auto/tax news

Well, here's an unexpected bright spot for U.S. automakers: Ford outsold Toyota for the first time in at least a year. Of course, the rest of the story isn't really that that positive. The American automaker didn't best its Japanese counterpart. Rather, Ford didn't have as big a drop-off in sales as Toyota. But, hey, any straw for an industry that's grasping. Toyota saw a 42 percent decline in April, while Ford's U.S. sales fell "just" 32 percent. Meanwhile, the country's top-selling car maker, General Motors Corp., reported a 33 percent drop. Bankruptcy bargains: Meanwhile, Chrysler is now dealing with... Read more →

I'm a race fan. In fact, when I began writing this, I was watching the NASCAR Nationwide series race from Talladega. Earlier in the day, there was Sprint Cup qualifying from 'Dega. And before that, on DVR because 6 a.m. is just too darn early any day, but especially on a Saturday, the F1 boys fought for the pole in Bahrain. The hubby and I will watch that tape tonight as part of our exciting weekend. So, being a confirmed fast and furious addict, when Forbes magazine said it had found the 10 fastest fuel-efficient cars, I had to take... Read more →

Helio Castroneves, the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Dancing With the Stars champ, will be back on the race track this weekend. A Miami federal jury acquitted him of six tax evasion charges this afternoon. Castroneves' sister, Katiucia, was cleared of the same charges. The siblings' lawyer, Alan Miller, also left the courthouse a free man. Jurors did, however, deadlock on the conspiracy charge against the brother and sister. There's a chance that federal prosecutors could push for another trial on that charge. But don't bet on it. Helio, Katiucia and Miller had been accused of using Panamanian and Dutch... Read more →

The Indy Racing League opened it's 2009 season with one of its stars sidelined. While his Penske Racing compatriots were firing up their engines in St. Petersburg, Helio Castroneves was stuck further south in Florida. He's been in a Miami federal courtroom for the last four weeks where he, his sister Katiucia and his financial adviser Alan Miller are all facing tax evasion charges. Roger Penske has put Will Power behind the wheel of Helio's car temporarily, but the racing boss says Castroneves, who has won two Indy 500s, has a Team Penske IndyCar waiting for him whenever his tax... Read more →

NASCAR's 2009 season is underway and like many of the sport's drivers, I'm now doing double duty. A year ago this month, I started writing a racing column for a monthly trucking magazine, Owner Operator. Just before this anniversary arrived, my editor at the digest in which Crazy Woman Driver debuted called to tell me he was moving to another magazine within the Randall-Reilly publishing company. In conjunction with that move, he had convinced the editor of the company's flagship trucking mag, Truckers News, to start running my column in that larger-format, glossy monthly. While I was glad for his... Read more →

Helio Castroneves has found maneuvering the federal court system a bit more challenging than the race tracks with which he's more familiar. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner has been charged with plotting, along with his sister and an attorney, to evade taxes on approximately $5.5 million in income. Last week, he headed to federal court in Miami to seek dismissal of the charges. U.S. District Judge Donald Graham, however, black flagged the request. Another hearing on more pretrial motions is scheduled for Monday. The trial itself is set to start on March 2. Federal prosecutors allege that the Brazilian racer... Read more →

A new NASCAR season is just around the corner and what a strange one it promises to be. If you thought Junior leaving his late daddy's team was as unexpected as it could get, think again. This year will begin without the storied Petty race team. OK, technically the remnants of Petty Enterprises will be there as part of Gillett-Evernham Racing, which absorbed what few Petty assets there were earlier this month. And the storied #43 will still be on the tracks.But it's all just in name and for show. The 60-year day-to-day involvement of the legendary Petty family is... Read more →

This afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that legislative body will probably act first on a $15 billion auto industry bailout package. His Republican counterpart, however, immediately raised concerns about the in-the-works proposal. According CQ Politics, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized key parts of a draft bill that was circulated Monday, underlining the trouble supporters may have overcoming opposition in the upper chamber from GOP members. The latest word is that Congress may be in for a weekend session to hammer out a final loan package to help the Big Three U.S. car makers survive. NASCAR... Read more →

Helio Castroneves in tax trouble

Race fans know Helio Castroneves as a winning, exuberant Indy car driver. Television fans know him as the winner of the 2007 season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Now the two-time Indianapolis 500 champ has a less stellar item to add to his resume: indicted tax evader. Earlier this month, a Miami federal grand jury (Castroneves lives in South Florida) found there was enough evidence to hand up an indictment against the 33-year-old driver on charges of conspiracy and six counts of tax evasion. He allegedly failed to report to the IRS about $5.5 million in income that federal... Read more →

Sunday race break: F1 is fun!

Hey fellow U.S. racing fans, F1 is fun! I make the case for watching these magnificent machines maneuver road courses literally around the world in my latest Crazy Woman Driver column. Don't get me wrong. I haven't abandoned NASCAR. It's still my first racing love. But I do have room in my heart for a little F1 romance. And it's a relationship worth nurturing even though we Americans have to deal with time differences, TV access issues and new terminology (over steer and under steer vs. loose and tight). Here are a couple of reasons to watch F1: The drivers:... Read more →

Crazy Woman Driver sounds off
on Kyle, Junior and HMS choices

It's time for my regular detour into auto racing. This month, my Crazy Woman Driver column explains why Rick Hendrick was right to dump Kyle Busch. You can check out the digital magazine here. (This direct link is being a bit cranky today; try refreshing if you get an error page. Or you can go the to Owner Operator's Web page and click the digital magazine link there.) Once you get to the online version of the magazine, my column starts on page 36, or you can click the tease there on the upper left cover. I love writing this... Read more →

Women racers rule!

OK. Maybe not yet, but as I note in my latest Crazy Woman Driver column, my fellow crazy-like-a-fox women drivers are making inroads in the professional racing world. My motorsports epistle for the July issue of the trucker magazine Owner Operator (click the blurb at the top right of the cover) looks at how things have changed since Janet Guthrie and Shirley Muldowney fought the first on-track battles for women racers. And how they haven't changed as much as you might have expected over the last 30 years. Still, we're getting there. The good news is Danica isn't the only... Read more →

June race break

My latest Crazy Woman Driver column is on the newstands. OK, it's really at the truck stops, but the point is that it's now available. This month I talk about the last NASCAR hero. I'm willing to bet that it's not who you think. Find out which driver I tapped by clicking here for the digital version of Owner Operator magazine. The column starts on page 48. And thanks to my editor for the nice cover blurb. You also can read my previous CWD columns via the links found in this prior/archive post. Read more →

Fuel thoughts on a perfect race day

Today is heaven for auto racing fans, at least those of us who enjoy watching drivers turn mostly left. The day started with the F1 Grand Prix in Monaco. Fast cars, international drivers, the streets of Monte Carlo, royalty, huge yachts, rich and famous onlookers. What excessive fun! I'm sure Lewis Hamilton and his fellow Englishmen and women will be having the most fun tonight. Hamilton became the first Brit to win this most prestigious F1 race since Graham Hill in 1969. More importantly, he took the series championship points lead. Congratulations to Hamilton and his McLaren Mercedes team. Next... Read more →

Racin' detour

As we head into the weekend, I'm taking a brief blog detour to let motorsports fans know my latest Crazy Woman Driver column is out. It's in the May edition of Owner-Operator magazine. Click here to read the digital version; it starts on page 38, or you can click on the blurb at the lower right corner of the mag's cover to go straight there. This month I castigate Tony George, who tried to totally kill open wheel racing in the United States. He maimed the sport good, but it's clinging to life. And with the long-awaited reunification of Indy... Read more →

Crazy Woman Driver takes a Sunday drive

UPDATE August 2011: This post will no longer be updated. Links to my racing columns, Crazy Woman Driver and Views From The Grandstands, are now on a separate blog page. Please check there for the my racing rants and raves. I'm begging your indulgence today to take a brief detour off the usual tax and financial matters highway. As long-time readers know, I'm a NASCAR fan, having blogged previously about some of Jeff Gordon's racing milestones (here and here). This weekend, NASCAR pulled into my home state, taking the track at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. That's a little... Read more →

Time for a nice Sunday drive

Now that tax season is over (or mostly over; details on extended deadlines here and in the Tax Calendar in the right column), we have time for some more relaxing pursuits. Like the proverbial motoring of the headline. And who better to provide a road map than Mark Tapscott with his latest Carnival of Cars at Straightline. This week he brings us intriguing, and oxymoronic, news of a maxi Mini, a more optimistic view of GM's future (good news to us Bowtie fans) and, I am pleased to say, my item on stupid tax tricks (if you read it, you... Read more →