March 2008
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RACE NEWS & VIEWS
Latest news is at the bottom
Indy Speedway News Index
Mar 5 - The Stone Temple Pilots will be performing for the Carb Day Concert at the speedway this May (05-23-08)!  The band's five albums have
sold over 17.5 million copies in the United States alone and over 20 million albums worldwide. The band had fifteen top ten singles on the Billboard
rock charts, including six #1's, and one #1 album on the pop charts (1994's Purple). In 1994, the band won a Grammy for "Best Hard Rock
Performance" for their song "Plush". Stone Temple Pilots were also ranked at #40 by VH1 on the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock list   They are
going on a reunion tour this year and will play Indy as their 3rd concert on the tour!  
Check out their
website.
STP
Mar 9 - Forsythe Championship Racing announced that it was
unable to secure the sponsorship money needed to be able to
compete in IndyCar this season and will only be competing in the
Atlantic Championship in 2008.   Jerry Forsythe's team has been a
long time Champ Car and CART team.

This puts
Paul Tracy's career in question now.  Will he join an
IndyCar team or move to another series?
Look Alikes - Paul Tracy and Larry the Cable Guy
You know what is sweet?  When a rookie comes in and kicks your butt
and you are let go, then your next job pays you $46 million a year with an
option in your contract that you can get out if their car doesn't perform!  
Don't believe me?  Ask
Fernando Alonso, who left McLaren Mercedes
and will be driving for Renault again this Formula One season.  
I also noticed that Alonso grew back his long hair.  Perhaps like
Sampson,  stalwart McLaren should have let him keep it long.
Mar 15 - Dale Jarrett is retiring from racing in NASCAR
Sprint Cup after this weekend's race at Bristol.  Jarrett
has 32 Cup wins, a 1999 Championship season, 3
Daytona 500 wins and 2 Brickyard 400 wins!
1999
1991
Mar 16 - Listen up race fans!  How would you like to attend an
inaugural race for the return of one of the most exciting racing
venues in America?  A race that will feature 50 cars!  A race that
pits stock car drivers against America's Formula One driver,
Scott
Speed
.

"Hmm," you say, "I really can't afford it as I'm saving up $500 for
my Bristol ticket."  

Well how about if I tell you that the Friday action is free, the
Saturday action is priced from $0 to $10 and race day prices
range from only  $20 to $35!

This is the absolute best bang for your entertainment buck that
you are going to find on the planet!  AND you will be witnessing
history as the legendary Rock returns to action!

Yes! The Rockingham Speedway will host it's first race with ARCA
stock cars this May 2-4.  Called the "Carolina 500", they will race
around the The 1-mile oval 312 laps (500 km) The track features
25 degree banking in the turns and is 50-55' wide.  The track lies
10 miles north of Rockingham, North Carolina.  So break away
that weekend and join me in the beautiful state of N.C.

Check out more information at their website
rockinghamspeedway.com
    I talked to the new owner, Andy Hillenburg,
    this weekend.  He grew up in Indiananpolis
    and his desire, he told me, is to recreate the
    feeling of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in
    the 60's & 70's!  

    This, my friend, is a most worthy ambition as
    Indy in the 60's & 70's was the epitome of
    what racing is all about - Innovation, guts and
    broken speed records!

    Not only is he going to be going for the feel,
    but also the look, as he is currently erecting
    racing flags along the top of the grandstands,
    as we do at the Indy Motor Speedway.

    I'm sure Hillenburg has a lot of work cut out for
    himself.  I hope you race fans can get behind
    him and help his vision to become a reality.  

    Hillenburg is an ARCA champion who has
    competed in WOO and NASCAR.  He's
    raced in the Indianapolis 500 as well as the
    Daytona 500!
Mar 22 - The ARCA RE/MAX Series has been holding open testing at Rockingham
Speedway.  Friday morning, Scott Speed was 14th fastest out of 39 cars.  He
moved up to 8th during the afternoon session.

                             -----------------------

Honoring Rockingham Speedway’s history has been paramount with owner
Andy
Hillenburg
since he acquired the track last fall, and Friday he continued his
philosophy with the naming of the tower, garage and grandstands for three men
instrumental in the speedway’s legacy.  (The track opened in 1965.)

The frontstretch tower housing race control, scoring, the track’s suites, and press
box is now the
Benny Parsons Tower. Parsons, a former Ellerbe resident,
earned the ARCA championship in 1968-69 and in 1973 claimed NASCAR’s Cup
title at the 1-mile track while driving for Richmond County businessman L.G.
DeWitt, builder of the facility that opened in 1965.

Recently retired NASCAR driver
Ricky Rudd will now have his name on the first-
and second-turn grandstands, while the garage has been named for
Papa Joe
Hendrick
, the father of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick.

During Rockingham’s tenure on NASCAR’s Cup tour, Hendrick Motorsports totaled
four victories, six poles, 25 top-five and 47-top 10 finishes. The organization
acquired its first pole in October 1984 with
Geoff Bodine. Its first victory came in
February 1995 with
Jeff Gordon, who started from the pole. Hendrick’s last
Rockingham victory occurred in November 1998 with Gordon.

Rudd was honored and said, "I always liked that speedway because you could run
on the bottom and nobody ever handled perfectly there,” Rudd said. “That was the
good thing about it; it made for good racing all day long.

"Andy is a great guy and he’s trying to revive the speedway. If you talk to all of the
competitors that raced on it, they never wanted to see it leave the schedule. That
was a lot of drivers’ favorite track and I put that in my category, also. To have him
[Andy] named a grandstand after me, it’s unbelievable.”
Andy Hillenburg
Mar 24 - During Formula One qualifying this weekend, two drivers drove
very slowly after their qualifying attempts, in order to save fuel.  They were
fined by the FIA for impeding the progress of two other racers who were still
trying to qualify.  This presented a dangerous situation and the FIA may
change F1's qualifying rules soon.
Derrick Walker claimed Walker Racing would compete in the IRL, but
they will not. They will stay in Formula Atlantic.  This leaves driver
Simon Pagenaud looking for a ride.  Will Power will drive for Team
Australia in the IRL.
Mar 25 - I've added the Champ Car teams that have joined the
IRL on the
2008 IRL Photo page.  

For Champ Car fans who have yet to acclimate to the new
unified series, they will have the chance on April 20th to say
their farewells to the Champ Car DP01s with Cosworth
powerplants at the Long Beach street race. The IndyCar
March 20  -The following is a statement from Walker Racing owner Derrick Walker.

"I was extremely disappointed by Craig Gore's announcement to take Team Australia, our driver, and sponsors to KV Racing. Contrary to Gore's
recent statements, I developed the concept of Team Australia in 2005. Over a three-year period, Team Australia had great success in using
motor sports as a marketing tool for Australian companies, including Gore's winery, Aussie Vineyards.

"Despite the success of the team, Gore defaulted on his financial obligations to Team Australia throughout the 2007 season. Walker Racing was
forced to loan the team substantial funds in order to continue competing in the Champ Car World Series. Walker Racing is still owed in excess of
$1,500,000 by Gore and his related entities. I relied upon Gore's repeated assurances that he would fulfill his commitments to the Team Australia
program and to me. Until Gore's recent announcement to take Team Australia to KV Racing, I was led to believe that we would be moving forward
together as a team in 2008.

"I believe that Gore's actions are a serious default of his contractual commitments and fiduciary obligations as a business partner. I have given
Gore ample opportunities to resolve these disputes informally. Unfortunately, it appears I will have no choice but to take legal action."
March 24 - The following is a statement from Team Australia owner Craig Gore.

"Team Australia was created by Kevin Kalkhoven and myself in San Francisco in late 2004 as a result of wanting to run David Besnard's single
Champ Car race in Surfers Paradise that year. Not by Derrick Walker as he has publicly stated," said Gore.

"We ran the 2004 Surfers Paradise race with Walker Racing at the request of Kevin Kalkhoven. Kevin's generosity continued when he requested I
form a JV agreement with Derrick Walker because he was about to shut his doors. Kevin felt it best for the series and Walker Racing if we formed a
partnership. Kevin Kalkhoven contributed on that basis alone. It must be Team Australia. I discussed this with Derrick Walker and he agreed. We
created GORE FISH WALKER LLC.

"All sponsorship, funding and acquisition costs, development funding and marketing of the Team Australia brand and team during our entire tenor
has been borne by myself, sponsors I provided, CCWS owners' companies and Kevin Kalkhoven.

"Not at any time did Derrick Walker and or Walker Racing or anyone associated with him provide any permanent funding to the team, the branding
of Team Australia or any other form of funding required for the team. This amounts to more than $US20 Million over a three-year period.

"Derrick Walker and Walker Racing used, to its sole benefit, the Branding of Team Australia to develop funding for the Champ Car Atlantics'
program. I received no benefit from this and I am currently owed $US500,000 for cars and equipment bought by myself to establish this team the
previous year. I have never called on or asked for this to be repaid.

"There have been numerous anomalies in accounts over the period amounting to more than $US500,000. I have never called on these to be
repaid. I will now call on the funds to be repaid immediately. I will also cause for all accounts to be forensically investigated to ensure there has
been no misappropriation of funds provided to the team.

"After three years there is less than $US300,000 owing in the accounts, save for Mr Walker himself, up to and prior to the date I advised him to
cease operation. I have paid all budget over runs including $US950,000 in 2006 which were incurred without my express agreement or prior
knowledge.

"At present there is $US1.1 million outstanding in the GFW accounts. Of which I have provided Derrick several undertakings to pay. These have
been obviously unacceptable and now withdrawn. However, when taking into consideration Mr Walker is the largest creditor (His contribution to our
partnership) it was agreed to work harmoniously to resolve these matters in an orderly and appropriate manner.

"I would like to point out all drivers during our tenor were provided to the team by myself, CCWS and Kevin Kalkhoven. Contracts for Marcus
Marshall, Alex Tagliani, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power were negotiated firstly by myself, Kevin Kalkhoven and CCWS and then offered to Derrick
after the fact. Not at any time did Derrick Walker and or Walker Racing have any say or involvement in the driver arrangements, allocation of
funding for those drivers or any other aspect of their agreements other than to operate them in accordance with the agreement between the JV
parties and the funding provided.

"Not at any point did I have a direct or indirect role in funding allocation. My involvement was to provide funds, which were the shortfall to the team
after sponsor contributions. I meet and will continue to meet these requirements. Derrick Walker has been offered a resolution to all outstandings,
none of which are acceptable to him.


"The heads of agreement which we (Walker and Gore) operated under for three years was deemed by Derrick Walker as unacceptable and
unworkable in January of this year. Given this, and the uncertain future direction of the sport at that time, I meet with Derrick Walker in late January
in Los Angeles to discuss the future of both and it was agreed both the series and GFW could not continue as it was. There was no confusion.
Either we effected change or we closed the doors.

"There needed to be change. I subsequently meet with Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerry Forsythe in Las Vegas and in accordance with my agreement
with Derrick, explained to both Men in no uncertain terms our lack of desire to continue in the series as it was. There needed to be change.
Significant change for GFW to continue to operate and or participate in the CCWS. There were many topics discussed at this meeting including my
further involvement in the series independently as a Team Owner.

"At the conclusion of this meeting I meet again the following day with Kevin Kalkhoven for several hours to discuss the future of the sport and that
of CCWS. At the conclusion of that meeting I telephoned Derrick Walker and told him to cease all expenditure on the program. I provided Derrick
Walker with many opportunities during the next month or so to walk from both GFW and CCWS. It was my understanding after meeting Kevin
Kalkhoven there was change afoot and from that point on we should seriously consider all our options moving forward.

"Unfortunately, Derrick was not able to contribute anything other than management skills and moving forward there was a requirement for real cash
to be contributed. Derrick advised in mid February even if he were to finalize matters with GFW satisfactorily to his requirements. He was in no
position to contribute capital, nor did he have any sponsors which could come on board to underwrite his desires.

"I have not mislead Derrick Walker and or Walker Racing in any form. Derrick provided me with an unacceptable budget and costings with nefarious
funding schedules to continue in 2008 and he has constantly advised he was moving on with other sponsors if I didn't agree.

"I have not at anytime attempted to disband the company or steal drivers or staff. I have never directly or in directly had any conversations or
engagement with staff of GFW. Even during the period where the staff were employed directly by me.

"In fact, Derrick signed Will Power in mid-February without my knowledge or consent to operate independently to GFW. A breach of his duty to both
GFW, myself and the parties he was purporting to deal with. (This was a short term contract in which Derrick failed to fulfil certain criteria -- Will was
automatically released after the required deadline and then signed to race with Team Australia and KV Racing Technology).

"Once this was disclosed to me I severed all ties with Derrick Walker. I did try to involve him in the new team, but he was not prepared to work for
others, or with others and wanted to continue operating as Walker Racing. He was not prepared to sell his factory, shut down his team and merge.
He was insistent on operating the team from Walker Racing premises and his conditions of funding were ludicrous, fanciful and self-serving to say
the least.

"I did not provide Derrick Walker or Walker Racing any commitment moving forward other than to do my best to contribute towards the merging of
both series as I thought this was the best outcome for all involved. I believe I have contributed to this process positively and uncompromisingly. I
make no apology for this.

"More over, during this period Derrick has been constantly in the media during the most sensitive negotiations in the sport's history. Telling the
world he had moved on and was going racing in the IRL regardless of what the outcome of merger negotiations were. His continuous outburst
against the CCWS, his colleagues and partners have left them confused and disappointed after providing him so much support over the past three
years. His actions have taken a lot away from his great contribution to the sport over many decades.

"I look forward to any court action Derrick Walker may take. I relish the opportunity to have my day in court.

"My focus now is on open wheel racing in the Untied States. The development of the new combined series and the development of Will Power as a
talented Australian Driver.

"There was always going to be attrition once a merger took place. I am not responsible for the failures Derrick now faces. He was given every
opportunity to participate. And he took every opportunity to steal from the hands that feed him via the media. This spiteful and vexatious behaviour
does nothing but demonstrate the fragile nature of his team and a desire to manipulate a small section of the media for self-serving purposes. You
can't threaten to leave the sport and move on from your partnerships via the media, then expect the world to take you seriously when the same
people decide they are better off without you.

"I will be making no further comment on this matter."
Do you like a little soap opera now and then?  
Then check out the feud between ex-Champ Car guys - Craig Gore and Derrick Walker:
                            NEW FOR INDYCAR

* New teams and drivers that are coming in from Champ Car.

* Paddle shifters that allow the drivers to keep both hands on
the wheel.

* A minimum weight rule that keeps lighter drivers from getting
an advantage.  (Sorry Danica)

* All oval tracks will now have 4-lap qualifying like the Indy 500
Mar 29 - Homestead-Miami hosted the first IndyCar race of the
season.  It marked the first race for the new unified open-wheel
series.  There was some apprehension that the race could be a
crash fest as some drivers were not only new to the IRL cars, they
were new to ovals.  There were a few teenage drivers and the race
was ran at night under the lights.  

But things turned out well as the drivers all presented themselves
well for a fast and exciting race.  There were only a few wrecks.  
Milka Duno lost her rearend in a turn and collected a Penske car.  
Unfortunately for
Tony Kanaan, he too got taken out by a spun car
infront of him as he was looking to maybe win.  That honor would go
to
Scott Dixon.
regulars will be on the oval that same weekend in Motegi, Japan
on the Twin Ring oval. Word is out that several of the Champ
Car past champions might make an appearance in Long
Beach.  This race will carry IndyCar points and purse.

The IRL has added Champ Car's Surfers Paradise race in
Australia to it's schedule.
Band Members:
Scott Weiland
Robert DeLeo
Dean DeLeo
Eric Kretz