Skip to content

In wake of scandal, Venezuela freezes support money for drivers

Oct 19, 2013, 1:45 PM EDT

E.J. Viso AP

The government of Venezuela has frozen all disbursements of hard currency for race car and motorcycle drivers who compete internationally, according to a report from Jorge Rueda of The Associated Press.

One of the drivers affected is Andretti Autosport’s E.J. Viso, who was said to have been “ill” and mentioned trying to recover from food poisoning in a tweet yesterday. Colombian driver Carlos Munoz has taken over Viso’s No. 5 Chevrolet – which features backing from Venezuela’s state-run oil company, PDVSA – for tonight’s MAV TV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

According to Rueda’s report, Venezuelan officials are investigating a sports currency scandal stemming from its Cadivi state agency, which is in charge of helping Venezuelan businesses abroad obtain currency.

Sports Minister Alejandra Benitez told a local newspaper that an initial investigation of the disbursements found that one unnamed driver received $66 million and that her signature had been forged on 60 disbursement files for hard currency.

The freeze on these disbursements could have a major effect on many Venezuelan racers around the world, as according to Rueda, Benitez mentioned that more than 98 percent of her foreign competition budget goes toward motor sports efforts.

Venezuela helps support programs in a variety of disciplines such as IndyCar, sports car racing, and Formula One, where Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, like Viso, also receives support from the PDVSA oil group.

The death of longtime Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in March had been seen as potentially having severe consequences for Venezuela’s drivers, and the country’s economy has gone on a downward slide since then. However, PDVSA noted shortly after Chavez’s death that its support of Maldonado would continue.

Latest Posts
  1. Reports: Turner Scott’s NASCAR Truck team set to close

    Aug 27, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    TSMTrucks Getty Images

    Big hit for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with the Turner Scott Motorsports team set to close.

  2. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 pm ET — Burton on replacing Stewart, Logano’s Bristol win, Atlanta look ahead

    Aug 27, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT

    140827-NASCAR-AMERICA

    Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America will be chock full of looking back at Saturday’s race at Bristol, as well as starting our lookahead over the next three days for this Sunday’s night race at Atlanta.

  3. IndyCar: New Orleans race confirmed with April 12 date (UPDATED)

    Aug 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    indynola

    IndyCar will formally confirm the addition of New Orleans to its 2015 schedule later Wednesday.

  4. How will CTMP NASCAR Truck race match its first one of last year?

    Aug 27, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Canadian Tire Motorsports Park - Day 1 Getty Images

    NASCAR Trucks race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this weekend. Will they be able to match up with the 2013 edition?

  5. Olympian Matt Antoine goes for two-seater IndyCar ride in Milwaukee (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Matt-Antoine Getty Images

    Skeleton Bronze medalist Matt Antoine goes for two-seater ride with Arie Luyendyk in Milwaukee.

  6. After Pro Mazda title bout, Porsche GT3 Canada sees Pigot vs. Hargrove once again

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Photo: IMSA Photo: IMSA

    Scott Hargrove looks to secure Porsche GT3 Canada title while his season-long rival in both Porsche and Pro Mazda, Spencer Pigot, looks to play spoiler.

  7. Jeff Gordon set for 750th NASCAR Sprint Cup start in Atlanta

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Bob Brodbeck) AP

    Jeff Gordon will make his 750th Sprint Cup start at Atlanta this weekend, the site of his first in 1992, and also the site of another record he’ll hit next year.

  8. Red Bull: Rocquelin promoted, Vettel set for another new chassis

    Aug 27, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    RocquelinVettel Getty Images

    Sebastian Vettel’s getting a new chassis for Monza, and a new engineer for 2015 at Red Bull.

  9. Fontana flashback: Gil de Ferran’s 241-plus mph record lap in 2000 (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    lg_deferran_ap_01 AP

    With Fontana this weekend, we take a look back at Gil de Ferran’s closed course speed record in 2000.

  10. Sports car racing may be confusing, but that’s no excuse for this graphic (PHOTOS)

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT

    Patrick Dempsey AP

    Promotional poster for the COTA FIA WEC event features some rather bizarre car choices to promote the race.

  11. NASCAR schedule reveals some potential 2015 IndyCar schedule hints; Texas IndyCar returns

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:23 AM EDT

    TorontoAnalysis Getty Images

    MotorSportsTalk sorts out fact from fiction regarding the yet-to-be-revealed 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, based on hints from today’s NASCAR schedule release.

  12. Kevin Harvick riled at Tony Stewart portrayal in Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy

    Aug 26, 2014, 10:41 PM EDT

    Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart together in happier times at Phoenix earlier this season. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) AP

    NASCAR star Kevin Harvick has never been afraid to speak his mind. But the Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy has caused him to be more judicious in what he says and also “frustrated” at how the media has dealt with the entire incident.

  13. Like a good stew, 2015 Sprint Cup schedule and new Chase format need time to simmer for best taste

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:51 PM EDT

    nascar logo 2014 Getty Images

    The long-awaited release of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule was much less of the surprise many expected. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  14. NASCAR: Keselowski’s Truck team among 3 penalized after Bristol

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Brad Keselowski AP

    Brad Keselowski won his first Camping World Truck Series race last Thursday at Bristol, but his and two other teams have been dinged by NASCAR after their Trucks failed post-race height requirements.

  15. NASCAR AMERICA: How did the 2015 schedule come together? (VIDEO)

    Aug 26, 2014, 7:06 PM EDT

    Irwin Tools Night Race Getty Images

    Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president of racing operations, explains the factors that influence how the final racing schedule is created.

  16. NASCAR AMERICA: Kyle Petty and Jeff Burton break down 2015 schedule (VIDEO)

    Aug 26, 2014, 6:21 PM EDT

    Bojangles' Southern 500 Getty Images

    The NASCAR AMERICA crew make their initial observations of the 2015 Sprint Cup docket (Hint: They’re really happy about Darlington returning to Labor Day weekend).

  17. NASCAR announces 2015 Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Truck Series schedules (VIDEO)

    Aug 26, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

    Aaron's 499 Getty Images

    NBC Sports Group begins its 2015 NASCAR race coverage on July 4th (Nationwide) and 5th (Sprint Cup) from Daytona International Speedway.

  18. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA reveals 2015 schedule at 5 p.m. ET

    Aug 26, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Irwin Tools Night Race Getty Images

    The big moment is almost here. Click this post for stream links to today’s special edition of NASCAR AMERICA – featuring the announcement of the 2015 NASCAR schedule!

  19. Matt Kenseth, wife Katie debut “Race Against Bullying” children’s book

    Aug 26, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Credit: Joe Gibbs Racing Credit: Joe Gibbs Racing

    It’s the first of a planned four-book series that’s designed to help kids be more self-confident and make good choices.

  20. Everything you need to know for Sunday’s Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta

    Aug 26, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    AdvoCare 500 Getty Images

    Notes and numbers to keep in mind as NASCAR sets up shop in Atlanta this weekend.

Video from NASCAR America

Breaking down the 2015 schedule
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. K. Busch (2104)
  2. J. Gordon (2085)
  3. K. Harvick (1547)
  4. K. Larson (1507)
  5. B. Keselowski (1248)
  1. R. Blaney (1231)
  2. C. Elliott (1084)
  3. J. Logano (1016)
  4. A. Almirola (823)
  5. C. Mears (818)