(DETROIT) -- AutoTrader.com, the leading online automotive marketplace, has just completed an extensive study of millennial car shoppers titled, "The Next Generation Car Buyer." The study was designed to paint a complete picture of how millennials relate to automotive brands and shop for vehicles. AutoTrader Senior Director of Research and Marketing Analytics, Isabelle Helms, announced the results of the study, revealing what millennials think about specific automotive brands and the many differences in attitudes and behaviors between millennials and older generations when it comes to cars and car shopping during an Automotive Press Association luncheon Friday, August 23 at the Detroit Athletic Club. The millennials are considered between the ages of 16 to 32 and only 38% feel they should buy American made cars. However, they have been buying vehicles made in the U.S. They are listening to their friends and buying reasonably priced vehicles that look sharp and have the dated technical features. They consider the salesperson as important and the manner in which they are treated. The older millennials consider Chevrolet and Ford when purchasing vehicles.
Submitted by G.E.B
(DETROIT) -- The 25th Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Media Luncheon hosted by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association was held Tuesday, August 20 at the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle. The 2013 inductees of the 25th Motorsports Hall of Fame of America will be honored at the Fillmore in Detroit Wednesday, August 21. This year's inductees include Alex Zanardi--open wheel; Robert E. Petersen--at large; Bud Moore--stock cars; Brad Lackey--motorcycles; Masten Gregory--sports cars; Harvey Firestone--history; and Jack Chrisman--drag racing.
STORY & PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY ROBERT BENKO
Mr. & Miss Bobby Alison at the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association media luncheon.
Master of ceremonies sports broadcaster Dave Hobbs introduced the honored guest, and former motorsports legends who were in attendance.
Mr. Firestone is the grandson of Harvey S. Firestone who is one of the inductees Wednesday, Aug. 21
(BROOKLYN, Mich) -- TV star Carter Oosterhouse served as the grand marshal for the Pure Michigan 400 on August 18 at Michigan International Speedway. Oosterhouse, from Traverse City, Mich., is an easily recognizable television personality who got his start as a carpenter during the fourth season of TLC's "Trading Spaces." In 2007, he joined HGTV, hosting his own show called "Carter Can," which offered homeowners easy-to-follow insider tips. Carter's second show, "Red Hot & Green" hit television sets, providing viewers with great tips on Earth-friendly ideas. Carter's current hit, "Million Dollar Rooms," gives viewers a glimpse into the rooms of some of the richest people on Earth. The 36-year-old is also a model, having appeared in numerous photo shoots and publications. He was named by "People" magazine as one of the sexiest men on television in its "Sexiest Man Alive" edition. The Michigan native has also modeled for Hewlett Packard, Miller Lite and Gillette.
PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY ROBERT BENKO
Carter Oosterhouse and actress Amy Smart at MIS
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Joey Logano started the Pure Michigan 400 on the pole on Sunday after setting a track-record mark of 203.949 miles per hour on Friday. He finished the race right where he started, but this time he led the field to the checkered flag.
The victory by Logano gave Ford Racing the inaugural Michigan Heritage. The trophy, inspired by the iconic Stanley Cup, will recognize the winning manufacturer - Ford, Toyota or Chevrolet - after each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at MIS.
"Obviously we're very honored to receive the first and inaugural manufacturers trophy," Ford Racing's Jamie Allison said. "It is special. Every win is special. But to win it here in front of our employees, our fans, with our team, just makes it even more important."
Mark Martin, 54, appeared ready to add to his overall success at Michigan International Speedway and become the oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner at the track. But Logano chased him down over the last few laps before getting by Martin.
That made Logano the youngest Sprint Cup winner at MIS at 23-years old.
"It's crazy racing Mark Martin, my childhood hero," Logano said. "I was able to race against him at Pocono last year for the win. It's so cool racing against a guy like that. This is unbelievable to win here at Michigan in Ford's backyard. We needed this for our Chase hopes."
It was also an important win for team owner Roger Penske who calls Michigan home.
"As I go back probably 30 years here at the track, this is probably one of the biggest wins," Penske said. "With Joey coming onboard, his first win with the Shell‑Pennzoil car, our relationship with Ford. It's my home state, my home track. Detroit is my city."
Kevin Harvick was right behind the battle for the lead and was ready to take advantage of a mistake by any of the top two. He closed quickly and was able to get past Martin, but was not able to make a pass of Logano.
Kurt Busch finished third in the Pure Michigan 400.
Harvick had good intentions on the last restart of the race on lap 177 with just Martin in front of him but said he mistimed his restart.
It was a weekend loaded with positives for Logano. He moved from 16th to 13th in the points with three more races remaining in the race the Chase where the 12 finalists in the points will compete for the Sprint Cup Series title.
Logano became the 17th driver in MIS history to win from the pole and got the maximum number of points in not only capturing the race but leading the most laps. While still in the race for the last two wild card positions he's now only six points behind Martin Truex Jr., in 12th and 17 points behind Greg Biffle, currently in 10th.
It was Logano's first win this season and third in 170 NASCAR Sprint Cup races. Two of his three wins have now come from the pole.
Jimmie Johnson, the current points leader, had to drop to the back after he crashed during practice on Saturday. He took the lead 44 laps into the race, but the engine in his backup car expired 10 laps later and his record at MIS fell to 0-24.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., was also among the race leaders who ran into troubles, finishing 36th after brushing the wall 65 laps from the finish when his right front tire failed. He led for a total of 20 laps.
PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY ROBERT BENKO
Joey Logano receives a congratulations from Brad Keselowski
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher executed a perfect pass of Kyle Busch in the closing laps to win the Michigan National Guard 200. Overcoming a problem in the pits, Buescher sat third with four laps to go. With a perfectly timed pass, Buescher wheeled by both second place Brendan Gaughan and leader Kyle Busch in turn four. The defending champion then was able to pull away and take his first victory of the 2013 campaign. Busch did not go quietly as stayed on Buescher's back tailgate for the last three laps. But Buescher countered every Busch move. For Buescher the risky move was a must, mentioning that the season has not gone according to plan. The victory brought him within one point of second place Jeb Burton and 52 points behind points leader Matt Crafton.
"It's a good way to start that turnaround," Buescher said. "It's no secret that it's not the season we've been expecting."
Busch, Ty Dillon, Joey Logano and Miguel Paludo rounded out the top five. For Busch, it was his fourth second place finish during an NCWTS event at MIS. He has won on the two-mile oval in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series, but is still seeking his first win in the trucks.
Busch gave Buescher credit but was still unsure how the move worked.
"How the 31 (Buescher) could get a run on the 62 (Gaughan) who got a run on me is beyond me," Busch said. "It blows my mind."
Earlier in the day in NCWTS qualifying, Jeb Burton and Gaughan broke Joey Coulter's track record of 184.101 mph. Burton ran an average speed of 185.759 MPH while Gaughan timed at 184.120 MPH.
PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY ROBERT BENKO
BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) - A U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient from Ohio has been selected as the honorary starter for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR race. The state of Michigan says David Balestrino Jr. of Youngstown won a contest on the Pure Michigan Facebook page, getting the highest number of votes for his entry on why he wanted to wave the green flag on race day at Michigan International Speedway. Balestrino served as a combat engineer from 2003-2009 and received a Purple Heart during service in Iraq. In his entry, Balestrino said he would like to start the race in honor of his 6-year old son, Brady, after missing the first year of Brady's life while in Iraq. TV personality and Traverse City native Carter Oosterhouse is Pure Michigan 400 grand marshal.
(AREA) -- The Michigan Department of Transportation will suspend construction and reopen lanes on major state highways surrounding Michigan International Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 race on Sunday, Aug. 18. Construction will be suspended from 7 a.m. Thursday, August 15, until 7 a.m. Tuesday, August 21. Construction at the US-23/US-223 interchange in Monroe County is now complete with all lanes and ramps open at the interchange. MDOT says that after the race M-50 will have two lanes for outbound traffic and one lane for inbound traffic with a new wider shoulder between Brooklyn and Napoleon. MDOT reminds motorists to drive with caution in those work zones that are still active. To assist motorists and race fans, MDOT is posting MIS race day travel information on the Web, along with information about inbound and outbound traffic, at www.michigan.gov/mdot and at www.michigan.gov/drive
(TRAVERSE CITY) -- A panel of speakers were on hand in Traverse City August 8 and discussed how racing plays an important role in the develpment of the automotive industry-from safety products to new technology in vehicles and engine design. The Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminar was titled "From Racing to Product Development:How Racing can Drive the Product." Roger Curtis and his team have worked hard to make MIS a year-round tourist destination with the addition of sports car and go kart races and non-motorsports events such as a Tough Mudder, a wine and beer festival, and music festivals. Since 2008, MIS has been the home to a significant and growing amount of automotive R&D testing: working with partners such as MDOT TRADAC, USDOT, Rousch Industries, the X-Prize, CAMP, Lexus, and Hyundai.
PHOTO & STORY SUBMITTED BY ROBERT BENKO
PICTURED: Left to Right, Scott D. Gallet, Vice President, Marketing, Public relations, Govenment Affairs, International Communications, BorgWarner Inc.; Roger Curtis, CEO, Michigan International Speedway; Chris Baker, Director, Motor Sports, Michelin North America; Stephen Eriksen, Vice President & COO Honda Performance Development, Inc.; and Moderator Brett Smith, Co-Director, Manufacturing, Engineering & Technology, at Center for Automotive Research.
(TRAVERSE CITY) -- It has innovative engineering inside and out, and it's all the work of students.
A next-generation Mazda concept vehicle, conceived and engineered by Clemson University automotive engineering students at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), was shown here Monday for the first time in its finished form.
The Deep Orange with body panels designed by student Frederick Naaman at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., was unveiled at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars.
Derek Jenkins, design director for Mazda North American Operations, said that to be part of a college program of this caliber that focuses not just on one aspect of a vehicle, but the vehicle as a whole, is an automaker's dream come true.
"These students have provided fresh and inventive ideas from sketch pad to sheet metal, and the final product truly speaks to that open dialogue and collaboration between the Art Center College of Design and Clemson University," Jenkins said.
The Deep Orange 3 prototype chassis vehicle was unveiled during the 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas. The vehicle was displayed minus the body panels.
Paul Venhovens, BMW Endowed Chair in Systems Integration at CU-ICAR, who leads the Deep Orange program, said the students had free rein to push the boundaries of conventional design and engineering.
Deep Orange 3 features a unique hybrid powertrain that automatically chooses front-, rear- or all-wheel drive; a load-bearing structure based on innovative sheet-folding technology patented by Industrial Origami; and groundbreaking 3+3 seating configuration in sports car architecture.
"We know the future of the automotive industry will require ever more flexible, more cost-effective and more innovative approaches to manufacturing," Venhovens said. "Our manufacturing approach on this project was exemplary of this kind of change."
Students in Clemson's graduate automotive engineering program are required to create and manufacture a new vehicle prototype. The vehicle's concept and design are developed in partnership with students from the transportation design department at the Art Center focusing holistically on the vehicle and the end-user.
"Deep Orange offers companies an exclusive opportunity to showcase advanced-vehicle technologies," said Stewart Reed, chairman of transportation design for the Art Center College of Design. "For designers and engineers alike, it's a rich experience of working directly with industry leaders to develop ideas.
"Today is extremely exciting," Reed said. "The result is a physical, drivable vehicle, and nothing could be more exciting for our students."
The program provides students with experience in vehicle design, development, prototyping and production planning. Each year, a prototype vehicle is developed with a new market focus and technical objectives.
The project showcases advanced vehicle technologies and provides students an opportunity to work directly with automotive industry partners to innovate and develop ideas.
The CU-ICAR booth is located in the governors pre-function area, just outside the main conference hall, and will be displayed throughout the event.
INFORMATION & PHOTO SUBMITTED BY ROBERT BENKO
(TRAVERSE CITY) -- Volkswagen of America announced today that it has set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement for the "lowest fuel consumption-48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car" category with a stellar 77.99 mpg - more than 10 mpg better than the previous mark of 67.9 mpg. The achievement also beats the hybrid vehicle record of 64.6 mpg by more than 13 mpg.
The Passat TDI Clean Diesel departed from Volkswagen of America's headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, on Friday, June 7th, at 12:00 pm and arrived back on June 24th, having covered 8122 miles and visited all 48 states. The car, along with drivers Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger, were greeted in Herndon by Volkswagen employees as well as Virginia State Delegates Tom Rust and Jim LeMunyon.
Delegate Tom Rust said: "Breaking a world record is a huge accomplishment, and I'm especially pleased that Volkswagen of America-a Herndon, Virginia-based company-is doing its part to make its products more environmentally compatible and less dependent on foreign oil by using cutting-edge diesel technology. Congratulations!"
Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., said: "To cover 8122 miles on just 104.94 gallons of fuel is nothing short of astonishing and shows just how economical our TDI Clean Diesel vehicles can be. Even for everyday drivers, the mileage benefits of our TDI engines are significant: Volkswagen has no fewer than six TDI Clean Diesel models that achieve an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 40 mpg or better on the highway."
Wayne Gerdes, founder of cleanmpg.com was the primary driver. Automotive journalist Gerdes has made a career out of hypermiling and has set mileage records in more than 100 vehicles, as well as achieving the record for lowest fuel consumption in the lower 48 U.S. states with a hybrid vehicle at 64.6 mpg. His co-driver was Bob Winger, an electronics engineer long involved in energy and conservation projects.
"We felt we had a good chance of beating the existing record with the Passat TDI," Gerdes said, "but to smash it by averaging 77.99 mpg is really impressive and a testament to the potential of Volkswagen's TDI Clean Diesel vehicles. Obviously, we employ some specialized techniques to achieve such figures, but there's no reason why owners of TDI vehicles shouldn't be able to achieve great mileage with a few simple pointers." Gerdes suggests: Plan in advance: look for impediments or topography 15 to 45 seconds ahead, rather than reacting to where you're currently driving. Use downhill momentum to help crest an uphill section, Allow the rabbits to win the race to the stoplights. Heavy braking and acceleration consume fuel at a far greater rate than coasting between intersections, and Obey speed limits: The difference in fuel economy between 55 mph and 75 mph can be as much as 30 percent or even higher in some cars.
The 2013 Passat TDI uses Volkswagen's advanced turbocharged and direct-injection Clean Diesel engine to achieve EPA estimated highway fuel economy of 43 miles per gallon when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. This enables the Passat TDI to go up to 795 highway miles before needing to refuel.
INFORMATION & PHOTO SUBMITTED BY ROBERT BENKO