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28th February 2011

Ramey, White were the big winners at Cowtown Speedway’s the “Big Chill”

Kevin Ramey was the ASCS2 Non-Wing 600′s feature winner.

By Don Cook
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Cowtown Speedway (Kennedale)
Feb. 26 (Saturday)

Fort Worth’s own Kevin Ramey, #7m, won the ASCS2 Non-Wing 600′s 25-lap feature at the “Big Chill” Saturday afternoon at Cowtown Speedway. The cold weather, which had postponed the show a couple of week’s ago, wasn’t a problem today. If anything the strong breeze today helped Ramey lead the feature race from start to finish and take home the $1,500 first prize. Coming in second was Justin Melton, #11, and Christopher Bell, #19, was third. 

Harli White was the ASCS2 Outlaw Winged 600′s feature winner.

Oklahoma’s all around athlete, Harli White, #17w, showed the fellows the fast way around the high-banked, 1/4-mile dirt track for the ASCS2 Outlaw 600′s 25-lap feature win. Harley picked up a kool $1,500 for her outstanding effort. Tyson Hall, #5x, was second and Christopher Bell, #21, was third.

Kyle Keeler was the ASCS2 Restrictor 600′s feature winner.

Kyle Keeler Motorsports, #027, was the feature winner in the ASCS2 Restrictor 20-lap feature. Kyle took home $750 for the first place win. Colton Wiseley, #20, came in second and Austin Shores, #8x, was third.

Justin McCoy was the Limited Modified feature winner.

A disappointing six cars competed in the RaceTX.com Limited Modifieds feature race. Justin McCoy, #15, took home the first place prize of $400. Bret Young, #69, was second and Nick Clinkenbeard, #66, was third.

For OFFICIAL results and more information, go to: www.cowtownspeedway.com

To purchase track photos, contact Rudy at: www.rudygarciaphotos.smugmug.com

This “Fox” puts a bite in it’s bark.

To view some photos of the race cars, go here:



To view a video of Saturday’s feature races, go here:

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28th February 2011

News & Rants: 2011 Cadillac CTS and CTS-V Sport Wagon: Car Seat Check

Latch system: The Sport Wagon has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats. Access to the anchors is ingenious. The CTS and CTS-V have zippered compartments that can be easily opened, offering you a clear view of the anchor. The wagon has three tether anchors. The two outboard anchors sit under large flaps at the bottom of the seatbacks. The flaps can get in the way of the bulky tether anchor. The middle tether anchor is on the cargo floor and is easier to use than the other tethers because there’s no flap to wrestle. However, it could be in the way if you’re loading the cargo area full of items.

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28th February 2011

Fiat Launch “A Tiny Bit Behind”

Bloomberg [via Automotive News [sub]] reports that all 130 planned Fiat USA showrooms will not be opened until September. Initial rollout plans had called for “around 165″ dealers, but that number has been dialed back, possibly due to overlap. It’s not clear if the delay will affect Chrysler’s goal of selling 50k Cinquecentos this year, but it probably will considering

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28th February 2011

Report Critiques Red Light Camera Research Methods

A peer-reviewed article published Wednesday in the Florida Public Health Review elaborated on a previous analysis of methods used in certain red light camera studies. University of South Florida (USF) researchers Barbara Langland-Orban, Etienne E. Pracht and John T. Large returned to clarify certain points raised in response to their 2008 report that concluded red light cameras tended to increase injury accidents (view study).

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28th February 2011

Go green – get a Bentley!




Here’s something to mull. Bentley engines are able to run on bioethanol blend E85. Yes, a Bentley is a flex-fuel vehicle so, like-for-like, that means that you will be doing your bit for the environment if you run on E85. Look, it all helps doesn’t it? Maybe…

But hang on, it’s not very easy to find E85 fuel is it? I can recall finding the E85 pump at a Morrisons supermarket in Norwich a few years ago when Saab lent me a ‘BioPower’ 9-3. The sole E85 pump was padlocked to stop people who don’t know any better filling their tanks and messing their engines up. I got the key, but it wasn’t all that smooth an operation if I’d been in a hurry. There were just a handful of E85 pumps around the country in 2007. Now, it seems, there are even fewer.

This from our latest just-auto management briefing: ‘In the UK, biofuels had been privy to a 20 pence per litre fuel duty rebate since early last decade. That rebate was removed in 2010, making bioethanol E85 more expensive to buy at the pump then petrol and diesel. As a result, Morrisons supermarket, which used to sell E85 on some of its petrol forecourts stopped selling the fuel towards the end of last year and Saab has taken all BioPower cars off its UK pricelist, making them available only on special order. The UK’s favourite car brand, Ford, stopped selling its flexi-fuel range of cars in the UK in 2009, due to a lack of consumer interest in them and the absence of any strong government support of them.”

So, you have gone green and purchased that coveted Bentley that can run on a blend of green petrol that is partly made from plants that reduce the net CO2 contribution from your 0-60 in 3.7 seconds green and mean machine. Good for you, feel good about yourself perhaps, but in reality you can’t actually fill up with E85. And let’s get real: is the typical Bentley buyer looking for an E85 pump at the petrol station? Are they even aware of ‘flex-fuel’ capability on their Bentley?

But if VW/Bentley has done this to get its fleet CO2 emissions down it raises a question. Does flex-fuel capability get your fleet CO2 emissions down even if there are actually very few places to buy E85, the vehicles in use in reality being 99.9% run on regular gasoline? 

February 2010 Management Briefing: Biofuels in Europe (Part 1)looks at government policies

February 2010 Management Briefing: Biofuels in Europe (Part 2)looks at manufacturer FFV product strategies

 

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27th February 2011

Manufacturing Troubles Remain a Drag on Recovery, Trade & Jobs


via The Seattle Times

by Jon Talton

Top of the News: The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index seems consistent with recovery, coming in at 53.6 for November; any number above 50 signifies expansion in the sector. Unfortunately, the reading sagged from 55.7 the month before, tripping up what economists had hoped would be a steady climb out of recession.

A deeper look shows that the index provides no relief for the biggest immediate problem facing Americans, unemployment. Only six of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in employment. Only 11.7 million Americans worked manufacturing as of October. That compares with 17.3 million in October 1999.

Not only do manufacturing jobs pay better than their counterparts in service industries, they tend to add real value to economic activity (as opposed to selling mortgage swindles). They are also twined with our trade issues. Even fewer manufacturing jobs are now in industries that export, a key part of our huge manufacturing trade deficit.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon was happening even before the Great Recession. A report from the Economic Policy Institute shows that manufacturing employment between 1965 and 2000 never dipped below 16.5 million. This even as manufacturing shrank as a share of the economy (take out Boeing and it would be much smaller). This changed as imports surged after China joined the WTO and other Asian factory centers upped their game. By 2004, the number was lower than any time since 1950.

“It is often claimed that declines in manufacturing employment stem entirely from productivity growth,” according to EPI economist L. Josh Bivens. “However, rapid productivity growth is the norm, not the exception, in manufacturing. What is new about the manufacturing job crisis of the last four years is the sharp downturn in the ratio of domestic production to demand.”

Indeed, American steelmakers are shrinking yet again.

The Back Story: The official unemployment rate including discouraged workers and part-timers seeking full-time work is 17.5 percent. But Shadow Government Statistics, a provocative and reliable site, argues even this underestimates the problem. Try…22 percent.

Complete Article



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