FEBRUARY 2007
Indy Speedway News Index
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
Latest news is at the bottom
Feb 1 -  An Unser getting arrested is getting to be old hat.   Al Unser Jr., 44,  was arrested Friday night outside Las
Vegas for drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident.  Troopers responded to an accident in which a car
crashed into a freeway median after being sideswiped by a Ford Excursion that had fled the scene and was being
pursued by other drivers.   When the Excursion got off the freeway, police approached the sports utility vehicle to
find Unser at the wheel.   He failed all of the sobriety tests according to a state trooper.
Feb 8 - Marco Andretti was invited back by Honda to test their F1 car.  The practice took place in Jerez Spain.
13 other F1 drivers also practiced.  
Nick Heidfeld was fastest with a lap of 1:29.5  Andretti was slowest, his best lap a
1:32.4.  Andretti will be racing in his sophomore year in Indycar.  Honda F1's 2007 drivers are Jenson Button and
Rubens Barrichello.
Feb 7 - Champ Car has had to drop Denver from its 2007 & 2008 Calendar, leaving 16 events this year.  The recently
added September races in Holland and Belguim.
INDYCAR TEST IN DAYTONA

Indycar testing took place over two days at Daytona on the road course.   New Honda engines and the switch to all
Ethanol fuel were certainly among the items to be reviewed.  Rain came and washed out some of the test for the 17
drivers who showed up.

As one would expect, Penske, Andretti-Green and Ganassi were at the top of the speed charts, with
Helio
Castroneves
leading the way.  Castroneves will be striving to win his first Indycar championship this year.

Danica Patrick lost practice time sitting around waiting for her seat to be fixed.  "We didn't make a very good seat for
the road course car and I just didn't fit right," Patrick said. "On a road course, it's especially important to be
comfortable because you're always pushing the limit. It's not like a 1.5-mile oval where you just put your foot down.

"It's been a tough couple days, for sure, but that's just all part of the learning process," she added. "We're taking a
new team's car and learning what we need to get it right."

Anthony Foyt was the fastest of the three Visoin drivers in the last practice session, who's cars showed up without
their '07 paint schemes.
Danica Patrick and team-owner Michael Andretti
Tony Kanaan and Michael Andretti.
Michael Andretti, having "retired" a few years
ago, came back and raced in the 2006 Indy 500
and almost won it, finishing 3rd.  

He announced that he is going to attempt to
qualify for the 2007 Indy 500 too!
It seems to me that his dad and uncle have been arrested about 3 times since Junior punched his girlfriend and then
left her stranded out on an Indianapolis interstate in the middle of the night after leaving a bar.  

Perhaps we'd all be safer if we put these guys back to work driving race cars.  NASCAR could keep them busy and
out of trouble with their 40-race schedule.
Feb 14 - Cheever Racing has hired American Richard Antinucci to drive for them in the  Indy Pro Series team in '07.  
Antinucci raced in Formula 3 in Europe and Japan and is the nephew of Eddie Cheever, Jr.

Antinucci’s passion for racing began when he watched Cheever finish third in the U.S. Grand Prix in Phoenix in 1989.
Moving to Rome when he was 12 years old, Antinucci developed his driving skills in Europe. Antinucci raced karts,
Formula Fords, and Formula Renaults on his way to Formula 3 competition, which culminated in a fifth-place finish in
the 2006 Euroseries with two wins and a second-place finish at Macau.
Richard Antinucci
Richard Antinucci Biography

Birthdate: January 26, 1981
Birthplace: Rome, Italy (Italian-American citizenship)

2006
Drove in the Formula 3 Euroseries finishing fifth in the championship with two wins, two second
places and one third place. Finished second at the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix after an impressive
charge through the field from ninth on the starting grid (following a penalty in qualifying.)

2004
Was an official TOMS Toyota driver in the Japanase Formula 3 Championship, finishing fourth in the
championship with one win and 11 other podium finishes. Finished 8th (started 33rd) at the Macau
Formula 3 Grand Prix and set the record for the fastest lap at Macau.

2002, 2003
Drove in the British Formula 3 Championship. Earned the Formula 3 World Cup Champion title in
2003.

2000, 2001
Drove in the European and British Formula Renault series. Most notably, won the 2001 Spa
International Festival and was runner up in the British championship with four wins.

1998
Drove one race in the Italian Formula Ford series, winning the event.

1989 to 1997
At eight years old began racing go-karts. Won races at local, national and international levels.

Interesting facts: Single; speaks English, Italian and French; Chargers Fan; likes training, cycling
and tennis; lived in Arizona and Oregon as a child.
The Chevrolet Corvette will be the official
pace car for the 2007 Indy 500.

This is the 9th Corvette to pace the 500.  
This is the 4th year in a row the Vette has
been the pace car.
Feb 19 - I feel sorry for Fernando Alonso.   He joins McLaren and so out goes his sense of style and off comes all
that hippy hair of his.  When you work at McLaren, they insist that you look "professional".  If professinal means
you look like a buck private, then I guess he now looks professional.  I know its common place for guys to shave
their heads these days, but I can't get used to it.  It just looks ugly to me.   I always tell the young guys that they
better grow some hair while they still can!
While rooting for Alonso at Renault, I purchased a hat and shirt that had the most remarkable color scheme -
bright turquoise and yellow.  The colors went together very well and nothing in my closet resembled it.   The shirt
would always garner praise from the ladies when I would wear it away from the track.  Having an attractive racing
shirt  was a pleasant departure after having spent years wearing BAR's weird and drab olive clothing, as I rooted
for Jacques Villeneuve.  I could have chosen the nicely designed blue and white BMW clothes or the brilliantly
colored Ferrari shirts, but I chose to root for my favorite driver instead.

Now, I'm facing the same problem again as the current line-up of clothing for Fernando is boring and ugly thanks
to the funky 2007 designs at McLaren.   The shirt does not even say McLaren on it!   
2004 - Cool Alonso meeting King of
Spain and Prince Andrew.
2007 - Dorky Alonso
Feb 18 - There were a lot of big crashes during the end of the Daytona 500.  A restart with 3 laps left, Mark
Martin
looked like he would win his first Daytona 500, however he got passed by Kevin Harvick at the last
moment, who won the race by just a few feet.  And then there was another big pile up.....  Some
whisky-sponsored car slid across the finish line on its roof, which was kinda cool.  It flipped again as it came to a
stop, right-side-up, and with its windshield on fire.  The driver exited with no apparent injury.  

I think instead of airbags, passenger cars would be a lot safer if they were designed with roll bars like a Nextel
Cup car.  It would be fun seeing girls in the supermarket parking lot climb into their cars through the windows
too.
Feb 26 - Formula One has been testing in Bahrain.  Both Ferrari and McLaren have been fast, but Nick
Heidfeld
set the fastest lap last week in his BMW powered Sauber.  Testing will continue this week.

The IRL was testing in Homestead.  
Dan Wheldon was fastest both days, however he did tear up a race car on
the 1st day.