1st Quarter 2001 IMS RACING NEWS

Brickyard 400 News

Racing News - January 2001
  • (1/30) - Greg Ray sufferend a mild concussion after hitting the wall while practicing for the Miami Grand Prix.
  • (1/22) - Michael Andretti, now driving for Team Green, in regard to the Indy 500, was quoted as saying, "I'd say it's highly likely I'll be there next year." Meaning 2002.
  • (1/21) - Eddie Cheever, Jr. was chosen to receive the "Pat O'Connor Award'. This award is presented only in years in which Hoosier Auto Racing Fans (HARF) officers wish to honor a driver exhibiting on-track excellence, devotion, consideration and a constant effort to promote auto racing.
  • (1/19) - Johnny Rutherford, 3-time Indy 500 winner, has been invited to the White House for the presidential inauguration. Rutherford said he would invite W to this year's 500. Rutherford, who works for the IRL, has been the guests of 4 other U.S. presidents!
  • (1/18) - Penske Racing has officially announced they will be bringing Gil de Ferran, the 2000 CART champ, and Helio Castroneves to Indy in May to try and qualify for the INDY 500. They will first run in the Phoenix IRL race, however they will not be able to use their Marlboro paint job in Phoenix.
    Target/Chip Ganassi Racing will also be bringing their two new CART drivers, Nicolas Minassian and 2000 F3000 Champ - Bruno Junqueira.
  • (1/15) - Galles Racing has hired two new drivers to join Al Unser Jr. on the team:
    Casey Mears, 22, is the nephew of 4-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears. Casey not only finished 2nd and 3rd in the Indy Lights series the last two years, he drove in the Fontana CART race last fall and finished 4th!
    Didier Andre, a Frenchman, won Laguna Seca in '98 & '99 when he drove for PacWest's Indy Lights team. He didn't get the sponsorship in 2000, but now he brings sponsorship from Sony PlayStation to the IRL.
  • (1/14) - There are many IRL and CART race teams located in Indianapolis, many of which are on the northwest side of town. Panther Racing will be moving to a larger facility by the airport. Panther plans to have an old-time Speedway theme and a viewing area for fans.
  • (1/14) - Hemelgarn Racing has decided to let Buddy Lazier, IRL 2000 Champ, keep his #91 this year, although he has rights to use #1. Note: Buddy will be joining Dale Earnhardt Senior and Junior in running the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona Feb 3-4.
  • (1/14) - While the Penske CART team has purchased a dozen IRL Aurora engines and tested at IMS 3 times since last May, they have not formally announced they will run in the Indy 500. Roger Penske has stated that he would like to compete in the IRL Phoenix race as a warm-up to Indy, but is finding it difficult to work around the 2001 CART schedule. Note: Last year, Ganassi won Indy without any such 'warm-up'.
  • (1/14/2001) - Carl Hogan, 71, died today. He and Rahal were partner team owners in the early 90's and participated in 4 Indy 500's.
  • (1/11) - Boing! Nike has been trying for 16 years to come up with a better way of cushioning athletic shoes, such as using steel springs and hi-tech designs. They finally found a formula that offers a comfortable bounce and is durable. Their new Shox shoes has four cushioning columns in the heel. These columns are made from polyurethane foam originally used to absorb shock in F1 Cars. (There. That's the racing tie-in. :-)
  • (1/10) - Robin Miller, no longer covers auto racing at the Indianapolis Star.
  • (1/7) - Ricky Craven has signed a multiyear deal to drive for Cal Wells in the Tide Winston Cup car. This frees up Scott Pruett, whom competed in four Indy 500's.
  • (1/7) - FIA is re-introducing traction control to F1 this year in an attempt to even the field, although many argue it simply replaces the driver's skill with computer software. It is also possilble that full electronics will be allowed by April!
  • (1/5) - Riley & Scott and Reynard Motorsport recently reviewed their relationships and have agreed to a split, with Riley & Scott reverting back to being an independently owned company.
  • (1/5) - Arie Luyendyk will come out of retirement and return to Treadway Racing to race in the Indy 500 this year.

    Luyendyk won the Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year award in 1985, and five years later he won the first of his two 500s. In addition to those wins, Luyendyk owns five Indianapolis 500 records:

    • The one-lap qualifying record of 237.498 mph, set in 1996
    • The four-lap qualifying record of 236.986 mph, also set in 1996
    • The 500-mile average speed record of 185.981 mph, set in 1990
    • The single-event prize money total of $1,568,150, set in 1997
    • The all-time earnings record of more than $5.5 million
    Luyendyk also has three pole positions, two top-five finishes and three top-10 finishes to go along with his two wins. He?s also led seven races for a total of 187 laps led.
  • Jeff Gordon's new paint scheme(1/1)- Dupont has changed the paint scheme on Jeff Gordon's car for 2001. You can now truthfully call him a flamer.
  • (12/31/2000) - Jim Gilmore, Jr. died in a passenger car winter accident in Kalamazoo. Jim was a major Indy Car sponsor who began in the mid-60's sponsoring Gordon Johncock. He teamed up with Foyt in the 70's and helped A.J. win his 4th Indy 500.
    Further info

Gilmore racing
The Gilmore Team celebrating upon winning the '77 500.

Racing News - February 2001

  • (2/28/2001) - Duke Nalon, who raced in the 30's through the 50's and who captured two Indy 500 Pole Positions, died two days ago at age 87. Duke was well known for having the strength to handle the powerful Novi racecars. In 1949, he led the first 23 laps, then hit the north chute wall in a crash that took him out of racing for a while due to serious burns. Survivors include his wife Frances, sons Dennis Jr. and Patrick, a stepson, Rick Stookey, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
  • Duke Nalon's '49 Novi crash Duke Nolan

  • (2/25) - WC race in Rockingham is delayed due to rain.
  • (2/24) - Sam Hornish, Jr. remained the fastest driver at Homestead this weekend. Sarah tagged the wall. This track is wide and flat.
  • Sam Hornish, Jr.

  • (2/23) - The IRL will be practicing at Homestead today and tomorrow. Stay abreast of the action at Indyracing.com. So far in the first 3 of 4 sessions, Panther Racing's Sam Hornish, Jr. has been the fastest and the only car to break 200mph a lap out of the 13 drivers to show up. I think some teams will be practicing at Phoenix next weekend.
  • Open house: Indianapolis 500 legends Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser will have a special treat for fans during their visit to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the track's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami Open House on Feb. 24.

    Rutherford and Unser will give Pace Car rides around the 1.5-mile oval to fans who purchase their tickets for the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami.

    The Open House also will include an autograph session with many Indy Racing Northern Light Series stars from 12:05-1 p.m., a contest for a trip for two to this year's Indianapolis 500 and other fun-filled activities for the family.

    Pace Car rides for ticket buyers will take place from noon-1 p.m. (EST) Feb. 24. Fans who purchase tickets also will receive a T-shirt.

    Rutherford is a three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, while Unser is one of only three drivers to win The Greatest Spectacle in Racing four times. Rutherford now is in charge of special projects for the Indy Racing League. Unser is driver coach and a consultant to the league.

  • (2/22) - McCormack Motorsports is not teaming up with Johnathan Byrd this year. They are also going to run rookie Brandon Erwin of Denton Texas in the IRL for 2001.
  • (2/19) - IMS is adding 5 new large tv screens along the main straight, all facing toward the tower terrace, thus increasing the value of those seats! This moves the number of huge tv screens to 18 around the historic track.
  • Dale Earnhardt

    Dale and wife after winning 95 Brickyard 400

    Dale's last crash

  • (2/18) - Dale Earnhardt, Sr., in the last corner, in the last lap, of the Daytona 500, slammed head-on into the concrete wall after making contact with Sterling Marlin at the front of a tight pack of five cars fighting for position. The Nascar legend died at age 49 of a basilar skull fracture. Earnhardt won 7 Nascar championships and the 1995 Brickyard 400. He finally won the Daytona 500 in 1998. Dale is survived by his wife, Teresa and Kelly King, Dale Jr., Kerry and Taylor Nicole." Click Here for Earnhardt pictures.
  • (2/18) - Michael Waltrip made his first win special by winning a Daytona 500. He had participated in almost 500 races before finally getting the win. There was a very bad crash 25 laps from the end that involved 17-19 cars and had Tony Stewart's car flipping around up in the air. His crash looked worse than Dale's, but luckily he was o.k.
  • (2/17) - Dale Jarrett won his first IROC race in Daytona in his 6th season competing. Dale Earnhardt was last year's IROC Champion.
  • (2/14) - This may be old news, but I just heard the amount paid and had to post it. As we know, NBC, Turner Sports and Fox Sports, bought the television rights to broadcast the Winston Cup races away from CBS & ESPN. I read that they paid $2,800,000,000.00 for a 6-year run! Billion? Billion?! Geesh, just to show it on tv. So they must figure they can get more than this in advertising dollars from Nascar sponsors over sponsors of some other show. Wow.
  • (2/13) - Sam Schmidt, who was paralyzed in a accident while testing at Walt Disney Speedway last year, met Frank Williams in September. Frank is the wheel-chair bound boss of the Williams F1 Team. He so inspired Sam, that Sam has teamed up with Larry Nash and is starting his own IRL team!
  • (2/13) - Scott Goodyear has agreed to run the 2001 Indy 500 for Team Cheever!
  • (2/11) - Like last year, Stephan Gregoire is impressive in testing, as he ended the IRL's 'Test In The West' (Phoenix) with the fastest overall lap and speed. (CART's Penske Race Team, showed up for testing with their new IRL cars, but finished at the bottom of the speed charts.)
  • (2/11) - Well, it looks like its final, CART has lost the Brazil race in Rio de Janeiro. CART contains many Brazilian drivers, so its a real shame for the Brazilians. There are other tracks in Brazil, however CART's new president, Joe Heitzler, has probably squashed those hopes with his undiplomatic handling of the Rio mayor. He not only called him immature and irresponsible, he called him a criminal! Well, as most of us know, the government in Brazil is pretty corrupt, but CART won't be welcome anywhere with public relations like that.
  • (2/10) - DaimlerChrysler is hurting financially as well as structurally, with layoffs and the loss of their best designers. Having launched into Winston Cup with their Dodge Intrepid, they are also trying to buy into Formula One. Sounds pretty expensive, especially for a company that is laying off 26,000 Americans. Well, after the Germans run it into the ground, maybe Lee Iacocca can buy up all the idled Chrysler plants cheap and start another succesful American car company.

    Bernie Ecclestone head of Formula One, and the financially troubled German media company EM.TV own half of the Formula One holding company that is now up for sale. Doesn't sound very promising for F1 with the two screwed up German companies running things.

    I'm getting side tracked. Back to DamnedChrysler and WC. The race season opens this weekend with the Bud Shootout in Daytona, the first of 3 WC races at this track this month.

    Bill Elliott in the new Dodge Intrepid, captured pole for the Daytona 500 with a average lap speed of 183.565 mph. Because of a variety of aerodynamic changes on the cars, it was the slowest pole-winning speed since A.J. Foyt's 182.744 mph in 1971.

  • (2/9) - Galles Racing has added Budweiser as an associate sponsor at Indy. They were with T/CG last year at Indy. I doubt that the official beer of the 500, COORS, appreciated the winning team sporting Bud logos.
  • (2/9) - Due to injuries incurred while practicing for CART, Gil de Ferran will not be in the first IROC race at Daytona. Tony Stewart will replace him. Why not get another CART driver?!
  • (2/9) - Brian Barnhart, IRL v.p., announced a new IRL rule: Series points will no longer be awarded to the top three qualifiers.

    "The (old system) created an environment where people were spending a lot of money to buy championship points by making qualifying (engines)," he said. "That runs counter to Tony's philosophy of controlled costs."

  • (2/9) - Bob Reif, IRL v.p., announced that the IRL will increase its television presence to 500 hours in 2001, up from 88 in 2000! All races will be shown live on ABC & ESPN.
  • (2/4) - The IRL will be testing at Phoenix Feb 9-10 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Team Penske is showing up and it will be the first time that these CART boys have practiced with the IRL.
    The main grandstand will be open Feb. 10, free of charge, for spectators. Fans should enter the track through Gate 7. An open autograph session featuring Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers will start at noon Feb. 10 on the front straightaway at PIR.
  • (2/4) - Buddy Lazier finished 22nd in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona this weekend in a Judd R, driving for Robinson Racing. Dale Earnhardt's Corvette team finished 4th. The endurance race was won by a Corvette driven by Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell, Chris Kneifel & Franck Freon.
  • (2/4) - Gil de Ferran injured his foot when he put his Honda/Reynard into the wall at Homestead. X-rays determined his foot wasn't broken. Gil had a similar accident in Phoenix last week, again while practicing.
  • (2/2) - Struggling F1 team, Minardi, has been bailed out by Australian businessman Paul Stoddart who has purchased the team.
  • (2/2) - Scott Goodyear has been testing for Team Cheever in Homestead. An offer was made for Scott to join the team, but nothing official has been signed yet. Goodyear last ran at Homestead under the old configuration back in 1996.

Racing News - March 2001
  • (3/31) - Michael Schumacher has won his 7th Pole in a row! For the first time in F1 history, two brothers will start from the front row! Montoya, 2000 Indy 500 champion, has qualified in 4th position in only his second F1 race, between Hakkinen and Coulthard, with Barrichello back in 6th! Look out! Here comes Williams-BMW! The rest of the line sees most drivers next to their teammates. Poor Jacques will start from 12th(!) after his teammate Olivier Panis qualified in 11th. BAR better get with it or Honda may put more resources behind Jordan's engine program.
  • (3/28) - Delphi Automotive, affected by the auto recession, is being forced to slash 11,500 jobs. How will this effect their sponsorship of Kelley Racing?
  • 2001 Michael Andretti's CART car (3/27) - Well, its official, CART's Team Green has entered two Dallara's in the Indy 500 for Michael Andretti. The cars come from Panther Racing and Panther's Team Manager and co-owner, John Barnes, will be Andretti's Team Manager. If he wins, will it be a CART victory? No matter, this will probably coax the remaining CART fans out of their dark crevises and into the light once more. I can't wait to see Andretti with an IRL patch on his jumpsuit.

    The Pennsylvanian mentioned that he likes the direction the IRL is going. As you know, a few of the less talended CART teams decided to boycott the race in '96 when they were unable to boss the owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Michael and his father sided with this minority of team owners and were critical of IMS and president, Tony George. They seemed to be under the impression that the Indy 500 was great due to their recent, and brief, careers there!

    So now, Andretti has a public relations problem. What is he doing running in the IRL? Mikey stated today, "I definitely said some things that were probably wrong at the beginning, but that was more from emotion because I wasn't going to be at the Indianapolis 500." -

    'I DEFINATELY stated some things that were PROBABLY wrong' ?!
    Sounds to me like he may have a career in politics.

  • (3/26) - Tony Stewart has been fined ten large and placed on double top-secret probation for the next five months for the stunt outlined below. Who gets the ten grand? If he had to personally hand it over to Gordon - THAT would teach him a lesson...
  • (3/25) - As Elliott Sadler headed for his first Winston Cup win, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon tangled. Jeff came out in 4th and Tony lost out. Sooo, Tony drives around to catch back up with Jeff on the cooldown lap and evidently, he hadn't cooled down under that Simpson Helmet, for he bumped Gordon, sending him into the pit wall.
  • (3/23) - Barry Green issued a notice for a news conference for next Tuesday with Michael Andretti and Tony George, president of IMS. Apparently Andretti has gotten sponsor Motorola to back a 2001 attempt at Indy. Andretti last raced in Indy in 1995 where he led for 45 laps but had to retire early due to suspension trouble. Andretti, now 38, shared 500 Rookie of the Year honors in 1984 with Roberto Guerrero.

    Rumor has been that he will get a car from Panther Racing, who has won the last two IRL races.

  • (3/18) - In Phoenix, for the IRL race, the 2000 IRL champ, Buddy Lazier started beside the 2000 CART champ, Gil de Ferran on row 3. Gil's spotter was none other than Rick Mears. Rick's nephew, Casey Mears, started in his first IRL race today, driving for Galles.

    At the start of the race, Sam Hornish beat pole sitter Greg Ray off the line.

    About 80 laps in, Schroeder ran into the back of de Ferran when he suddenly slowed before dropping down into the pit lane apron. They collected Mark Dismore as they slid into the wall and out of the race.

    Galles Racing had a rough day, all three of their cars were slow and Little Al dropped out with car trouble.

    Greg Ray led at the halfway point until his engine began to blow. Once again, Team Menard can't win from pole.

    While leading, Stephan Gregoire, spun and hit the wall when passing Robbie Buhl. Stephan drives for Dick Simon, who recently lost their main sponsor. Stephan drove around the track with a large question mark painted on his side pod. Stephan was fastest in practice at the start of this season, just as he was last year.

    A spat of engine trouble took out Cheever, then Castroneves and then Fisher. Sarah Fisher seemed unable to get out of her burning car because she was wearing the Hans Device - the new carbon-fiber head brace for racers. Track officials helped her out, but it looked like her backside got a little warmed while waiting.

    Stan Wattles spun backwards into the infield wall smacking it hard. He was taken away on a stretcher. Pretty scary, but the infield hospital announced he is OK and he appeared with his wife for an interview at the end of the race.

    The Pennzoil Panther Racing Team won the last IRL race of 2000 with Scott Goodyear. Their new 21 year old driver, Sam Hornish, Jr. won this, the first IRL race of 2001.

    Davey Hamilton competed in all four races at Phoenix this weekend and he won the Supermodified race. A month ago Davey did not have an IRL ride for Phoenix, so he made a few phone calls and lined up rides in the USAC Midget, USAC Silver Bullet, and SRL Supermodified events at the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200. Then Sam Schmidt called and offered him a ride in the new Sam Schmidt Motorsports Indycar, meaning Davey Hamilton would be attempting something that only the late Rich Vogler and Gary Bettenhausen had tried before.

  • (3/18) - In Malaysia, Michael Schumacher started the 2nd Formula One race of the year from pole. Soon after the start of the race, there occurred a monsoon, which resulted in many drivers sliding off the track and the elimination of a half dozen of these drivers, including Jacques Villeneuve. His new teammate, Panis, had already been eliminated due to Honda engine problems. It did not look good for Michael or teammate Rubens, when they both slid off due to Panis' spilt oil, but it was not long before they worked their way back up to the front. Evidently they were the only team that went to intermediate tires during the Monsoon, instead of wets.

    Michael went from 11th to 1st and stayed there to win his 6th F1 race in a row, tying Ascari's 1950's record. Additionally, Michael was the first driver to win 6 in a row - all from pole! It should be mentioned that Arrows, Williams, and Jordan put on a great display of their power today. Hakkinen finished in 6th!

  • (3/17) - As usual, Team Menard has captured another pole (177.663 mph). This was Greg Ray's 10th and his 3rd straight at Phoenix. A tick behind was Panther Racing's new driver, Sam Hornish, Jr.
  • (3/17) - I heard Jason Priestley's first attempt at providing color to the IRL broadcasts, during the Phoenix quals. It was pretty bad. Evidently this tv actor has raced in IMSA.
  • (3/16) - I've seen some pictures of the cast for the new racing movie, "Driven" and I've got good news and bad news.
    First the bad news.

    Here is the star driver in the movie:
    fruit loop

    His character is named "Memo Moreno"!
    (Memo Gidley + Roberto Moreno?)

    The Good news? The woman playing Stallone's ex-wife, Gina Gershon: (Click on her picture to see a bigger picture.)

    The movie hits theaters April 27th.

  • (3/16) - ABC Sports has hired a new race commentator to provide color for 7 IRL events, including the Indy 500. His name is Jason Priestley and he's a 31 y/o tv actor who used to be on a tv show called "90210".
  • (3/14) - Perhaps you've seen the customized McLaren F1 car that allows them to give VIP's a spin in a race car. The IRL now has such a beast. And better yet, you don't have to be a VIP to get a blazing ride in it. They propose to take this car around to most of the IRL races this year, beginning with Homestead, and sell rides. Its going to cost you $500 for a lap or two around a track, however its going to cost double that for Indy in May. Click here for more information or call (317) 486-0000
  • (3/14) - Team Green spokesman said Michael Andretti is trying to find sponsorship dollars so that he can run in the Indy 500 this year.
  • (3/13) - John Della Penna, who disbanded his CART team after last season, said he is giving up on a May run at Indy, too. He said sponsorship has not come together in time to field unemployed Memo Gidley.
  • (3/12) - MBNA bank will sponsor the Indy 500 Pole Award this year. The Pole sitter will get a check for $100,000. In 2000, Greg Ray earned the pole with a four-lap average of 223.471 mph.
  • (3/11) - Kenny Brack led the new Mexican Cart race from pole. Throughout the two hours of this event, he and Cristiano, the eventual winner, diced back and forth. The race ended because of the CART 2-hour time limit. Kenny ended up in 5th like always. At least he's consistant.

    In one turn of this track in Monterey, the top layer of pavement quickly wore away, which caused numberous crashes into the wall.

  • (3/11) - Tight finish in the WC race - In only his third WC race, Kevin Harvick won by .006 of a second.
  • (3/9) - I saw an interview with Bob Reif on local Indy public television (WFYI), "Inside Indiana", tonight. Bob is the 33 year old marketing whiz who works for IMS and IRL. He said Tony George and he were seperating the IRL organization from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He said the IRL will focus marketing in areas where they'll race. As you may know, the IRL is racing in numerous new cities this year. They have produced a half-hour infomercial for these markets. They hope to make people aware well ahead of time that the stars of Indy Racing are coming.

    CART on the other hand gets a really special boost with the soon-to-be-released movie "Driven", Sylvester Stallone's new racing movie. I think it comes out the middle of April. Sly was over in Europe for awhile, trying to film the F1 guys. It didn't work out, (I heard Bernie was restricting him too much,) so he gave up and started following CART around last year. Geesh, you can't buy advertising like that! I heard Sly is 53 now.

    Any movie buffs out there? I wonder how many times a movie has been made around IMS. It seems I've seen two. One of them starred Paul Newman, (he was a driver and his wife cheated on him with another driver.) Seems like the other one had Clarke Gable in it...

    D.W. writes,
    The 2 movies you are thinking about were:
    1) "Winning". This did star Paul Newman and Robert Wagner and was centered around the 1968 race. It really was not too bad and actually had some drivers in it. I know Bobby Unser was in it for sure.
    2) "To Please a Lady". It starred Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck for all you Big Valley fans. It was filmed sometime in the fifties.

    D.M. writes, Don't forget "The Big Wheel" starring Mickey Rooney. It's from the '40s or '50s.

  • (3/9) - The new Sam Schmidt Racing team has hired its crew, including chief mechanic Steve Dunlap.

  • (3/8) - I'm hearing the 2001 INDY 500 TICKETS are arriving!!!

    Try not to get impatient for yours though since it may take awhile to get 'em all mailed out!

  • (3/8) - Here is something new - the Pace Car for this year's 500 is a truck - the new Oldsmobile Bravada SUV which is powered by a 270-horsepower, inline six Vortec motor.
  • (3/8) - IRL team owner, Larry Cahill, threatened to leave the IRL over a misunderstanding about car numbers of all things! Evidently, he forgot to mention he wished to retain the #98 that he has used the past three years, when he sent in his entry application. However, he did specify #11 for the 2nd entry he had planned on running. Beck Motorsports comes along and grabbed up #98 and now Cahill is mad that he doesn't have it.

    IRL administration didn't do anything wrong. And they can't backpedal now and take the number away from Beck, that wouldn't be right; or fair.

    Mr. Cahill said he's got the number 98 plastered all over the place and obviously he would have to spend some money to repaint and reprint signs, forms, etc. And the first race is in 10 days. But it was his oversight that caused the problem and it only takes a day or two for paint to dry...

    Beck says they have a reason for using #98; One of their partners is the son of famous car owner J.C. Agajanian, who used #98 in the 50's & 60's. Still, I think the best solution is for Beck Racing to be big, act like a typical IRL team that supports each other, and give the number back to Cahill. Perhaps if they've began to use #98, Cahill or the IRL can pay to have their numbers repainted.

  • (3/7) - Hemelgarn Racing, winner of the 2000 IRL championship, was happy to report that Tae-bo has moved from an associate sponsor to main sponsor. Ron Hemelarn also said that Billy Blank's company provides fitness training for his team! Sounds like a good deal.
    Sponsorship from Coors Light, Delta Fawcet and Life Fitness continues.
  • (3/5) - Davey Hamilton once more hooks up with a ride and will continue to be the only driver to have competed in every IRL event since its inception. The 38 y/o will drive for the newly formed Sam Schmidt Racing team. As mentioned previously, LP Racing's Larry Nash will be helping out as Team Manager. Schmidt has also said that he will be seeking technical and marketing help from his old team, Treadway Racing.
  • (3/03) - Jacques Villeneuve survived a wild crash toward the beginning of the Australian Grand Prix which killed a crowd marshal and injured 11 fans when debris went flying as his car went airborn and somersaulted into the fence. Michael Schumacher led and won the race.
  • Hakkinen crashed out, perhaps due to suspension failure.

  • (3/02) - He crashed, he spun, He locked his wheels - but he set the fastest F1 lap ever around Albert Park, and grabbed his first pole in Australia. Michael Schumacher heads an all-Ferrari front row, alongside Barrichello.
  • (3/01) - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway mailed Indy 500 entry invitations to race teams today.
  • (3/01) - MELBOURNE, Australia -- World champion Michael Schumacher blamed a fault in the design of the Albert Park street circuit on Friday after walking away unhurt from a spectacular high-speed crash in free practice for Sunday's Australian Formula One Grand Prix. Schuey 3/1/1

    The 32-year-old German was pushing hard for an improved time in the closing stages of the second session of the day when his car spun, touched a curb and then lifted off after making contact with a "step" on the edge of a gravel trap.

    After two dramatic rolls, his Ferrari came to rest by the barriers and Schumacher was able to climb out, slightly shaken but not hurt.

    The accident happened on the sixth turn of the track when Schumacher was braking from a speed of about 220 kph.

    Ferrari said they were concerned about the condition of the car and would not confirm it would be fit to use on Saturday until they had carried out a thorough examination. The team revealed they had brought only three cars to the race.

Racing News - April 2001
  • (4/30) - Dr. Jack Miller was released from the Atlanta Medical Center yesterday in good condition after suffering a mild concussion from his wreck in Atlanta. 11 cars were involved in the pileup Saturday night and he was the only one who had to be hospitalized. It was such a horrific crash, that it was a miracle no one was killed.
  • The CART Texas Race Review
    Cowards Aren't Racing Today (4/29) - CART has bragged in the past that their cars have more horespower than either the IRL or F1, making them the fastest formula cars on the planet. Today, it seemed to be a detriment.

    Some of the most awesome close racing the IRL fans have experienced has taken place the last few years at the Texas Motor Speedway. CART was anxious to get there and experience some of the action on the 1.5 mile oval.

    CART drivers had a few compaints about the track at first, and the speedway took care of it (smooth a few spots on the track and add a wall). For some reason, the management questioned CART's ability to run the speeds they were wanting to run a couple weeks ago. CART assured them that things were fine. Qualifying took place and Kenny Brack, the 1999 Indy 500 Champion, qualified on pole.

    The night before the race, CART teams began to suggest that things were not alright. CART's doctor reported that most of the drivers were suffering from black-out or vertigo conditions from the high G-forces and from holding their breath. They said that their cars were too fast for human endurance on this track. 5 gees were being felt instead of 3.

    Brack qualified this weekend at 233. The fastest pole for the IRL has been 225. The IRL has raced there twice a year since the track opened. Evidently, a speed in the 230's on Atlanta's 24-degree banking for sustained periods causes unforseen problems, for CART anyway. I'm curious what jet pilots have to say about that.

    Michael Andretti said, "The G forces were beyond what I could have ever imagined. You feel very compressed when you get down in the corners. Everything is just compressing your body. It's a feeling I've never felt before."

    CART considered several methods for reducint speed, cutting turbo boost and adding more wing, but the computer model said it wouldn't slow them down enough to make a difference. I suggest that the drivers control their speed with their right foot, but evidently they don't understand the word LIFT.

    The fans showed up, the televisions crews showed up and my VCR was set to record; but the race was cancelled! The Texas Motor Speedway management was miffed. CART hopes to reschedule and really hopes that this doesn't result in trouble with the Speedway Motorsports Inc which could sue as well as cause trouble for CART at the other track they own where CART runs, Las Vegas.

    General manager of the track, Eddie Gossage said, "It should have been sufficiently tested months and months and months ago. Both TMS and the fans are frustrated by what has happened."

    In 1985, the Michigan race was put off because of concerns over the radial tires Goodyear was to introduce on the circuit. After three accidents before the race, several drivers refused to compete. Goodyear solved the problem by withdrawing the radials, and the race was run safely with bias-ply tires.

  • An alert reader sent me: What does CART stand for?

    1. Cancelled at Race Time
    2. Couldn't Allow Reasonable Testing
    3. Cars Aint Racin' Texas
    4. Can Anyone Run This?

  • The F1 Spain Race Review
    (4/29) - For several years now, the Ferrari and McLaren teams have had a lock on winning and it has really begun to get boring. However, Williams, the 97 F1 Manufacturer Champ actually started giving them some competition, with the Jordan team not far behind. Today's race introduced active electronics (traction control and no more shifting gears) and it looked like things were back to their boring self, with Ferrari and McLaren filling the top four positions on the grid. DC however couldn't get his engine started for the warmup lap and had to start from the back of the grid.

    Montoya made a remarkable start, charging from 12th up to 6th position, directly in front of Villeneuve. Pedro de la Rosa decided he'd rather quit early than let someone by, so he took H-H out when the Jordan was passing him. Ralf, who won the last race, spun off ending his day. DC slowly passed car after car and by lap 33 he was up to 9th! Then the Ferrari of Barrichello slid off damaging his suspension and ending his day. Then Eddie Irvine's engine let go.

    Michael Schumacher led all day, but when he pitted, Mika Hakkinen, who had been behind him, stayed out for several more laps and increased his lead until he was able to pit for fuel and return still in the lead at lap 50 of 65. This is a strategy that he has been a victim of many times before from Michael and Ferrari. Michael had a 1 minute lead over 3rd place Juan Pablo and 4th place Jacques Villeneuve. However, he started slowing down due to tire wear, and the interval shrank frightenly quick. He was, however able to hang on until the end.

    Mika surprisingly was not! On the last lap, Hakkinen's McLaren rolled to a stop! Mika had won in Spain the last three years, now trails Schumacher by a massive 32 points and team mate David Coulthard by 24.

    "I'm super-disappointed - goddamn it, you know - Jesus," Hakkinen, spluttered. "It could have been a fantastic finish for me - it was going so easy. It just didn't work out this time over here for me."

    DC, his teammate, managed to bring it home in 5th. Montoya got his first F1 podium (and the first F1 race he has finished) and Villeneuve got his first points of the season.

  • The IRL Atlanta Race Review
    (4/28) - Team Menard and Greg Ray had shown up at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this month to run TWO simulated 500 mile races. They showed off their speed this weekend by running away with the pole with a 218.265 mph. Ray qualified 6 seconds faster than the majority of cars and 2 seconds faster than 2nd place Jeff Ward. Cheever, Hatorri and Calkins qualified especially well for this night race.

    Rain unexpectedly delayed the race from starting for about an hour. This helped cool the hot track off and forced the teams to make changes to compensate. These cars run fast and close at Atlanta. Al Unser, Jr. started well, moving from 14th up to 6th place by lap 40. Unfortunately, he had trouble during a pit stop, which moved him back to 13th. Sam Hornish, Jr. winner of the last two IRL races, got around Jeff Ward for second place, after running side by side for several laps. Greg Ray stayed a little out of reach.

    The pit workers looked cool tonight. They had several flashing triangle lights attached to numerous places on their persons. It reminded me of the Power Rangers.

    2001 Atlanta IRL Wreck A spectacular wreck occurred on lap 53. Coming out of turn four, some cars came together. It looked as if Cory Witherill, who made his first IRL start may have sparked it off, but it was confusing. Robbie Buhl sliced across the back of Jack Millers cars as he rocketed into the wall. This ripped open Dr. Miller's fuel tank and a fire ball of flame exited his car as he slammed into and slid along the wall. His car was hit by others as it turned over and over. Casey Mears ramped off him and got airborn. At least 8 cars were damaged. All drivers got up and limped away except for Dr Jack Miller, who was making his first IRL race of the year. He was air-lifted to the hospital to check for a concussion. The drivers involved were jarred and happy to be alive. Ironically, the movie DRIVEN started this weekend and this wreck was as spectacular as anything in that $75 million Hollywood movie. Unfortunately for the IRL, many of the struggling teams were involved in the crash and some may have trouble getting ready for opening day at Indianapolis which starts next week. Interestingly enough, Ganassi and the other CART guys who are running Indy, were not at this race.

    Even though John Menard showed up for this race, his car, piloted by Greg Ray, led most of the race and took the win by a large margin. The only race the well funded team won last year was also Atlanta.

  • (4/27) - Indy Lights is owned by CART and acts as a feeder series for up and coming drivers. The price to run in the series has been increasing and participation has been declining. The IRL offered to buy the series, but CART declined. So, the IRL is beginning their own feeder series. The cars will be open-wheeled single seaters of course, with 450 H.P. (Indy Lights has about 420) and will run at all IRL events as a support series. The cars can be configured to run on a road course and will also be used as a support series for the U.S. Grand Prix! Cost to run in the new series should be about 1/3 that to run in the Indy Racing League.
  • (4/26) - I don't know who has been lining up the music talent at the speedway lately, but good job!! This year, the Carb Day concert in the track's tower plaza, will be Collective Soul! The concert will start shortly after the Pit Stop Challenge at 3:30 p.m.
  • (4/26) - The Speedway Lions Club is adding a neat event to this year's first day of qualifying by sponsoring a hot-air balloon race. Breakfast will be provided for the 6 a.m. one-hour balloon race. There will also be coffee and dessert for the 6 p.m. balloon show.
  • (4/25) - Michele Alboreto died today at the age of 44 in a race car in Germany. Michele won 5 Formula One races, competed in 5 IRL events including the 1996 Indy 500, and he won LeMans in 1997. He is survived by his wife, Nadia and two daughters.
  • (4/24) - At a meeting today in Paris, the FIA confirmed the 100-year agreement for the commercial rights of Formula One with the company SLEC, represented by Bernie Ecclestone. This agreement will not affect in any way the current Concorde Agreement, which expires in 7 years and binds all of the F1 teams together.

    SLEC and the Kirch Group have confirmed that the F1 Championship will continue to be shown on free-to-air television. (Except in the USA, where it is on Speedvision only.) This may halt the plans of the manufacturers to start a rival series.

  • (4/24) - F1 team BAR, has hired a new test driver - Takuma Sato. Prost has hired a 2nd test driver, F3 driver - Jonathon Cochet. Arrows had ex-Indy Lights driver, Johnny Cane, doing some testing this week.
  • (4/24) - Another CART driver snuck into the track for some pre-testing before the "Month of May" begins, Michael Andretti ran 30 laps with a top speed of 217.7 mph.
  • (4/23) - CART team-owner spoil-sports continue boycotting Indy 500 any chance they get. Last year, Bobby Rahal wouldn't let newly acquired Kenny Brack defend his Indy 500 title. And now, Patrick won't let Jimmy Vasser participate in this year's biggest race. Ganassi wanted to hire him to drive his third car. Ganassi tried to get Paul Tracy, but Green won't let him run either. The bad attitudes and greed of these CART owners does nothing except give themselves a black eye. It damages their drivers' careers and stirs up strife among the race fans. Their short-sightedness is exceeded only by their ill-will.
  • (4/23) - Speaking of Rahal, as you know, he is now over in Europe 'running' the Jaguar F1 team. (What must his position be now that Jag has hired ex-F1 champ, Niki Lauda?) He has moved Pedro de la Rosa from test driver to driver and sent Burti packing. Luciano Burti has now joined Prost, replacing Gaston Mazzacane.
  • (4/22) - Bobby Labonte won the 2nd IROC race of the year, edging out Kenny Brack.
  • (4/22) - Winston Cup ran a caution free race at Talladega.
  • ( 4/19) - Greg Ray hit 223.7 mph in testing.
  • (4/18) - Autoweek reports Mazda has paid $7.5 million to Laquna Seca so they would rename it "Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca" (for five years).

    The same magazine also said there was a rumor that Lola would become a chassis manufacturer for the IRL in 2003. Lola, a British builder, currently builds cars for endurance sportscars (Le Mans), Formula Nippon, F3000, Indy Lights, and CART. Lola cars have won three Indy 500's and three IndyCar championships.

  • (4/17) - The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation will again host a benefit at Morton's Steakhouse in downtown Indianapolis on Sunday, May 6th from 6-10 pm. (This is Opening Day at the track). Indy drivers will be there. A strolling buffet will be provided. Price is $99 and can be ordered by calling (317) 236-9999. I'll see you there!
  • (4/15)Imola, Italy - Although the McLarens started on the front row in today's F1 race, neither they nor the Ferraris would win today. DC outqualified Hakkinen! Ralf outqualified his brother!

    Williams continued to look like they are stepping up. Although Montoya DNF, Ralf Schumacher passed DC at the start and led him to the finish to capture his first F1 win. This is the first win for Williams since JV's last. This was also a win for new entrants, Michelin tires and BMW engines.

    A record set today: The Schumachers are the first two brothers to both win a F1 race. Hmmm. how many brothers have won a Indy 500? Answer

  • (4/14) - There will be nine Indy 500 rookie drivers this year at Indy.

    Four Americans are joining via the IRL - Cory Witherill, Casey Mears, Jon Herb and Brandon Erwin.

    Others also passing their 2001 Indy 500 rookie orientation program include Nicolas Minassian and Bruno Junqueira, driving for Target/Chip Ganassi; Shigeaki Hattori, driving for Vertex-Cunningham; Helio Castroneves, driving for Penske; Didier Andre, driving for Galles; and Felipe Giaffone, driving for Treadway.

    Nicolas Minassian crashed later in practice. After hitting the wall the second time, he was taken to the hospital for a a sore neck and a sore wrist and was later released.

  • (4/14) - A.J. Foyt Racing has entered a car in the Indy 500 for Robby Gordon. Robby ran in the 500 for Foyt back in 1993 as a rookie.
  • (4/11) - Billy Boat has decided to be loyal and stick with his Beck Motorsports team for the Indy 500, instead of "standing them up" in order to run one of A.J. Foyt's cars for the Memorial Day classic.
  • (4/10) - Ed Carpenter, the stepson of Speedway president Tony George, ran 65 laps in an IRL car test Tuesday at Atlanta with a fast lap of 208.5 mph.
  • The IRL Miami/Homestead Race Review
    (4/8) - Jeff Ward started from the pole today at the hot flat mile and a half in Miami. Sam Hornish, Jr. quickly showed his stuff as he raced side-by-side with Greg Ray through the turns passing him for second place. By lap 13, Hornish blew by Jeff Ward for the lead. Ward got him back by lap 34 and then held onto the lead until lap 62, when Sam got by him again, but only after more wheel-to-wheel racing.

    Al Unser, Jr. got charged with a stop-and-go penalty for pitting too soon during a yellow. But he would soon turn it on and let it loose! On lap 94, Al passed Greg Ray for fourth position. Ten laps later, he got by Buddy Lazier and Jeff Ward, to take over second place. Sam Hornish, Jr. had looked unstoppable. He held a half-lap lead (12.4 seconds), over Little Al. But somehow, Al started to reel him in. He had cut Hornish's lead to 9 seconds, when he was forced to pit for fuel! (Jeff Ward, in third, also pitted.) Team Hemelgarn couldn't get Al Unser Jr.'s car started for several agonizing moments. Al was losing laps!

    As Unser and Ward came back out on to the track, Ray smacked the wall, brought out a yellow, and virtually ended Unser and Ward's day, as now the other leaders could pit under yellow. Greg Ray had been dropping back. In fact he had even came into the pits for a mysterious splash-and-go after Sarah Fisher, embarrassed him by passing him. I think Ray's addage is: "If you can't beat 'em, drive into the wall!". I don't think Greg Ray deserves as good a ride as John Menard gives him. He has proven time and again that he cannot keep it together when things start heating up and the stress level rises. Poor Unser may have won this race, but now he would only finish in sixth.

    Like Al earlier, Sam Hornish had trouble keeping the car running in the pits. He went from 1st to 4th during the pitstop. Eliseo Salazar, the 45 y/o Chilean who now resides in Miami; had been having a good run late in the race as he had passed Ray, Fisher and Lazier. He now had the lead in front of Sarah and Buddy after the restart.

    On lap 177 of 200, the unexpected happened - Lazier, the 2000 IRL Champion, hit the wall and brought out another yellow. Sam Hornish immediately passed Sarah on the restart. Three laps later, Sam let off early in a turn, so as to prevent his rev-limiter from kicking in, he then was able to floor it longer and get by by Eliseo Salazer to take over the lead. Walker (Racing) must have noticed and radioed Sarah, because she then pulled the same trick! Foyt was furious at his driver, who would finish third behind Sarah. Sam Hornish Jr; won his second race in a row for Panther Racing! It looks like Andretti is hooking up with the right team. But didn't he hook up with Senna's team in F1? We will all see in a month and a half! At any rate, it should be mentioned that Treadway Racing's new driver, Felipe Giaffone, qualified well, stayed out of trouble all day, and brought his car home in 4th place. Great job Felipe!

    Also during the race, Scott Sharp, who was under the weather, hit Glenn Scott, Menard's Crew Chief, during a pit stop. They took him to the hospital for a possible broken leg.

    New tv commentator, Jason Priestley, improved from the last IRL race, however he did make some mistakes, such as assuming Scott Goodyear was racing for Panther Racing during the 95 Indy 500 when Panther didn't even exist then. I think Bob Jenkins has probably been kind of fed up with Jason, who evidently has no journalism experience, but Bob was stumbling all over his words today, so Jason shouldn't feel too bad. Larry Rice did well and of course Jack Arute is a real pro and a real fan. You can catch the IRL under the lights of Atlanta in three weeks!

  • (4/6) - Toyota, a CART engine supplier, has announced it will begin competing in the IRL in 2003. They will join Olds and Nissan as IRL engine suppliers. There has been talk of CART eliminating turbos and moving to an IRL formula as well. Toyota and Ford are for it, however Honda is not. Honda is known for their high-revving engines and the way the IRL must control speeds is with a rev-limiter. This would not show off the best attributes of the Honda technology. On turbo cars, they can reduce power by reducing the amount of pressure of the pop-off valves, while still allowing the engines to rev as high as they can.
  • (4/6) - Greg Ray is still recovering from his January practice crash in Miami. He broke two bones in his leg. He will attempt to qualify for this weekends IRL race.
  • (4/3) - Just a note: CART is "sanctioning" the participation of its members in the Indy 500. This will allow Penske to run their Marlboro colors. I was hoping we could continue to keep tobacco sponsorship out of the Indy 500.
  • (4/3) - I've heard that Jim Rathmann, Sr., 1960 Indy 500 winner, is involved with the new Heritage Motorsports program whom Jeff Ward drives for. Jim competed in the 500 from 1949 to 1962.
  • (4/2) - George Connor, the last surviving driver who competed in the Indianapolis 500 before World War II, died Thursday, March 29, 2001. He was 94. Connor's best Indy 500 finish was third, in 1949; his best pre-war finish was ninth in 1937. In his final appearance in the race, in 1952, he placed eighth. Survivors include grandson David Bolick III of Laguna Niguel, and three nephews. Services will be Monday at the Kern Hesperia Mortuary in Hesperia, with a private burial in Indianapolis.
  • (4/2) - Jos Verstappen has been fined $15k for hitting Juan Montoya in yesterday's Grand Prix. Mika Hakkinen got fined $5k for not replacing his steering wheel.
  • The F1 Brazil Race Review
    (4/1) - WOW! Today's Formula One race in Sao Paulo Brazil offered intrigue with one surprise after another. Hakkinen never even got a chance to race, as his car stalled on the grid. The safety car had to come out for a bit, and upon the restart, Juan Montoya passed pace leader, Michael Schumacher in a a late breaking ballzy pass in Turn One, where he tapped wheels with him and showed absolutely no fear of Schumacher.
    Montoya passes Schumacher
    This pass, and the excellent drive Montoya proceeded to turn out, portents a new challenge to Schumacher and Ferrari. The BMW-powered Williams seemed to have better straightline speed than the Ferrari; perhaps better brakes. Not to take anything away from Montoya's skill. Juan would lead Michael until lap 25 when Michael unexpectedly pitted. When Michael resumed the race, by lap 31, he had worked his way back up to third place, behind David Coulthard.

    Rubens, being Brazilian, was the local favorite. Somehow he forgot to brake and ran right into the back of Ralf and thereby took himself out of the race very early. He also mixed it up with Ralf at Malaysia and it seems he ran into the back of Frentzen in Oz. Poor Ralphie's rear end must have a target painted on it - recall Villeneuve slammed into his backside and then went somersaulting into the fence, debris hitting numerous people and killing the crowd marshall in Oz. Villeneve had a disappointing weekend this week also.

    Montoya pitted, and upon re-entry, Jos Verstappen, a lapped car, charged right into the back of Montoya, knocking him out of the race as he still held the lead! Coulthard inherited the lead and easily held onto it, as Michael was some 20+ seconds back in second place. Montoya had never raced at Interlagos before, but it looked like he was on his way to his first win in his first season of Formula One. [Montoya won the CART championship in 1999 and the Indianapolis 500 in 2000.]

    We saw some trouble in the pits today. Most drivers began pitting around lap 41. Nick Heidfeld started to leave with his fuel hose still connected, but he detected the problem in time. Villeneuve had to wait in line behind teammate Panis who was still in the pits when he arrived. And then after some drivers, such as the Schumacher brothers, left the pits, a downpour started and it was back into the pits to switch tires. Michael switched to intermediates (half-rain/half-dry tires). The rain was forcing DC to slow way down, so he dove into the pits for intermediates also. This opportunity gave Michael the lead! Would Michael make this his 7th win in a row?! Only a few more races to win and he'd tie the all-time record set by Alboreto Ascari in 1953.

    Suddenly, Michael spun! He caught it at about 45 degrees, kept it on the track, got it pointed in the right direction and resumed! The Rainmeister showed his awesome car control in the wet once again with that save.

    It was quite wet there for awhile, with giant rooster tails of water spraying out from each of the cars tires. The sun came out soon and along with the 90 degree temperatures, the track began drying. They do have a drainage problem at Interlagos and the FIA are concerned about the track conditions in Brazil. They have written the mayor to ask what steps will be taken to improve things before they return next year. There is the possibility that Brazil will lose F1, as they did CART a month ago. Also, numerous F1 people were held up at gunpoint and several teams had items stolen such as wheels and laptop computers.

    DC got past Michael around lap 53 (of 71). Michael then lost it and went off into the gravel traps, but kept it going and resumed in 2nd place, which he would hold to the end of the race. Young Heidfeld worked his way past Trulli and Frentzen to take over third place and 4 points for Sauber. BAR's Olivier Panis had a good day and also passed those two to finish in 4th place. His partner, Villeneuve, finished just out of the points, in 7th, behind Fisichella's Benetton.

Special MAY Announcements:
  • 500 Results
  • The rock band Aerosmith has gotten involved with the Indy 500. Not only is lead singer, Steven Tyler singing the National Anthem at this year's 500, the band is helping sponsor Jeff Ward's entry. Jeff's car now sports a paint job based off Aerosmith's new albumn, "Just Push Play". See following photos:
  • Just Push Play

    Heritage Racing/Jeff Ward COOL!

  • Kelley Racing and Scott Sharp had the fastest pit stop in the Carb Day competition.

    Collective Soul took the stage afterwards and rock n rolled a full crowd.

  • Collective Soul 2001
  • Quote of the month by A.J. Foyt
    "There's one thing about racing, its like women. You can never figure it out," said Foyt, who was more worn out than exalted over putting three cars in the race.
  • The lead singer for Aerosmith is going to sing the national anthem before the 500. Florence Henderson will instead sing "America the Beautiful". Jim Nabors will still sing "Back Home Again In Indiana".
  • I saw a big display across Georgetown Road from the Speedway (not far from 16th street) that is renting scanners. For freq's, check this page.
  • The field is set, 33 drivers are ready for the 85th Indy 500
  • Scott Sharp (Kelley Racing) is on the pole!

    Beside him will start Greg Ray (Team Menard) and Robby Gordon (A.J. Foyt Racing).
  • Fashion model, Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp will drive the Pace Utility Vehicle this year.
    I'd like to see John Mellencamp play on Carb Day next year.

    Can you believe these gas prices?!
    Next to an Indycar, an SUV gets great gas mileage!

Racing News - May 2001
  • (5/30) - There were a rash of 3 accidents in the opening laps of the 500. One involved Scott Goodyear, who got a fractured back. He is in the hospital, but he is not paralyzed and should recover in 2-3 months. He will try to resume his IROC racing when IROC comes back to the Brickyard in August.

    This rash of accidents at the start of the race, coupled with some mechanical troubles, took out the best of the IRL teams, but left the returning CART teams untouched.

    If CART's richest teams had not swooped in and collected the top finishing spots, some low-budget IRL teams would have benefited drastically from the Indy pay out. The IRL teams were already hurting from the damage done in the big crash at Atlanta a month ago, a race that these CART/NASCAR teams did not show up for. Its too bad, but that's racing.

    Of course it was all just dumb luck and intelligent people know it. Even Andretti admitted it. Its very unlikely CART can get this lucky again next year and I'm sure they know it. But this came at a crucial time for CART and their fans as they were really down and out what with two race cancellations this year, management in disarray, their crappy television deals and the decrease in their fans. This year's Indy 500 will provide a boost for their whole series that goes beyond mere money.

  • (5/27) - Brazilian, Helio Castroneves won the 85th running of the Indy 500 in his first 500. His Penske Teammate, Gil de Ferran, finished right behind him. This was Penske Racing's 11th Indy victory. Castroneves earned $1,270,475 of the total 2001 purse of $9,615,325.
  • (5/24) - Kelley Racing and Scott Sharp not only won pole position for the race, they have also won the pit stop competition.
  • (5/20) - Last Day of Qualifying: WHO GOT IN:
    Eliseo Salazar, Donnie Beechler, Stephan Gregoire, Airton Dare, Cory Witherill and Raul Boesel.

    Tyce Carlson, Roberto Guerrero, Didier Andre, Shigeaki Hattori, Felipe Giaffone.

    Note: Dare got bumped out and then re-qualified and bumped his way back in. Since Giaffone has big bucks backing him (Brazil's Hollywood cigarettes), Treadway is going to let him drive the car Raul Boesel qualified. Poor Raul!

  • (5/18) - Friday Practice was rained out.
  • (5/17) - Greg Ray had the fastest lap again today in practice, another 222 mph run. 26 drivers were on the track in 26 cars today, completing a total of 786 laps. Billy Boat roughed up his car when he touched the wall, but it was repaired and he came back out to practice and managed a 220 mph run.
  • (5/16) - Track open again for practice. 22 drivers were on the track in 21 cars today, completing a total of 691 laps. Greg Ray had the fastest lap today at 222.266 mph.
  • (5/15) - Future Indy star, Eliseo Salazar VI is born! A big 10 pounder!

    Also, 2000 Indianapolis 500 rookie Andy Hillenburg and his wife, Michelle, welcomed son Dustin Dwight Hillenburg into the world May 11. Dustin is the Hillenburg?s fourth child. His name continued Andy and Michelle?s tradition of naming their children in alphabetical order. The couple?s first three children are named Ashley, Brittany and Casey.

  • (5/14) - IF you missed F1's Austria Grand Prix, try and catch the first 1/2 hour on a Speedvision repeat. Here's a quote from Juan Montoya, 2000 Indy 500 Winner, after the G.P.
    "If (Schumacher) thinks he has been granted by divine grace some right which allows him to overtake wherever he wants, I have news for him: he can forget it; he won't intimidate me because I'm not psychologically fragile as other drivers."

    Also, Team BAR is protesting the results saying Kimi passed Burti illegally.

  • (5/13) - A day after being replaced on his IRL team, rookie driver Brandon Erwin's mother died. Patsy Erwin died Saturday night in Denton, Texas, where she and her son lived. Brandon Erwin returned home Sunday morning.

    A team spokeswoman said that no other details were known, except that Patsy Erwin had been eager to come to Indianapolis on race weekend.

  • (5/13) - 2nd day of qualifying - Rookies Nicolas Minassian and Bruno Junqueira gave Target/Ganassi four cars in the field.

  • (5/12) - Scott Sharp has captured the pole for the Indianapolis 500 with a 4-lap average speed of 226.037 mph. Beside him sits Greg Ray and Robby Gordon.
  • (5/12) - After Tony Stewart and Jimmy Vasser qualified his two primary cars, Chip Ganassi says he'll bring his CART rookies back in afterall and let them try to qualify another two cars. Can't you just see 4 red Target cars in the race? Oh brother!
  • (5/12) - Guerrero did qualify in Gregoire's car at 220. Brandon Erwin, also not finding the speed in his car, stepped aside to give Jimmy Kite a chance.
  • (5/12) - Yellow flag flew today when Helio Castroneves brushed the wall and when Jaques Lazier had a brake go bad while on the track.

  • (5/11) - Eliseo Salizar and Stan Wattles both had hard hits against the wall today (Friday).
  • (5/11) - Dick Simon's driver, Stephan Gregoire, has not been able to find the speed in practice for their new car and has opted to step out of the drivers seat to see if Roberto Guerrero can. Whether its all in the Frenchman's head is yet to be seen. Gregoire has traditionally been amongst the fastest in testing throughout the entire season the last couple years. Simon said Gregoire is used to a stiff car, and since they didn't get to test before this week's practice, this car was set up soft.

  • (5/10) - Greg Ray was back on top of today's Speed Chart with a 224.542 mph run.
  • (5/10) - Jim Guthrie and Jeret Schroeder both spun and hit the wall today and both were ok. Brandon Erwin and Helio Castroneves both had light contact with the wall.

    Tony Stewart is tied with Jimmy Vasser now, as each has hit one bird a piece.

  • (5/9) - Colorful engine maestro and car builder, Smokey Yunick, died today from illness. He was 77. More.

  • (5/9) - Scott Sharp eclipsed his teammate's fastest time of the month today by running 226.137.
  • (5/9) - Perhaps the greatest racecar in American history, the Marmon Wasp, was DRIVEN around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today by 3-time winner, Johnny Rutherford. It looked like he was pushing it pretty fast. Its average speed in 1911 was like 74 mph. The car really looked huge. Afterward, Johnny said that you bounce around a lot and you slide around a lot on the bench seat because there is no seat belts.
  • (5/9) - Dr. Jack Miller has decided he needs more time to recuperate from his accident at Atlanta Motor Speedway and has chosen to step out of his ride for this year's Indy 500 for Cahill Racing.

  • (5/8) - Arie Luyendyk turned a lap of 223.9. Right after that hot lap, Casey Mears lost control in T2 and spun and hit the wall hard. As Arie attempted to miss the debris by diving down, his car came around on him, but he didn't make contact with anything. Mark Dismore came out in the last 5 minutes of the day and captured the fastest time of the month so far with 224.823
  • (5/8) - Texas Motor Speedway says CART is keeping the sanctioning fee and award money and so they are suing to get it back. How will CART expect to keep the Vegas or Texas race if they have Speedway Motorsports angry at them?

    If the race were called off because of something unexpected, like weather, it would get postponed for the next day and those dollars would not be returned. But CART's postponement hasn't take place since and no date has been announced.

    Perhaps if CART were to have returned the money, they would have gotten it back when they chose a make-up date. Now they're going to find it difficult to work with the speedway company. I wonder if the Speedway has returned the money for the tickets to the fans?
    Alert Reader KC answered this question for me. Yes, the Texas speedway began refunding money to ticket holders within a week of the race.
    You can read all about how CART is ripping them off on their website at
    Texas Motor Speedway.

  • (5/7) - Since CART had two oval races cancelled so far this year, Target/Chip Ganassi's two rookie drivers have not gotten much oval-racing experience. Consequently, Chip has yanked them from the line-up and evidently payed out some big cash, because he now says he has Tony Steward and Jimmy Vasser driving for him! Chip said, "I had to come up with something because there's a lot of shooters here."

    Stewart, who started from the pole as an Indy rookie in 1996, drove in the IRL for a few years. He now drives in NASCAR's Winston Cup series and will have to fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, N.C., immediately after the May 27 race to drive in the Coca-Cola 600, as he did in 1999. Stewart won the Pontiac Excitement 400 on Saturday night, his 10th victory in 79 career starts.

    "It seems a little funny to come back after what's gone on," Vasser said of leaving Ganassi after last season. "But I'm stepping into one of the cars that has the best chance to win the race. It's as simple as that." Stewart, a native of nearby Columbus, IN, and the 1997 IRL champion, called it "a great thrill to be back at Indy."

  • (5/7) - Arie Luyendyk and Eddie Cheever were both above 220 mph in the second day of practice for the 85th Indy 500
  • (5/7) - In the first incident of the month, Cory Witherill made slight contact with the fourth turn wall during a spin.
  • (5/6) - Greg Ray posted the fastest lap on Opening Day at 224 mph, faster than last year's qualifying speed!
  • (5/6) - Scott Brayton, one of the stars of Indy Racing, lost his life at the Brickyard in 1996. His father, Lee, decided to put a car in this year's field in honor of his late son. He leased a car from Clayton Cunningham. The car will have the same paint scheme as Scott's rookie car in 1981. Lee has chosen Steve Knapp to drive for his team. Many in the garage are helping Brayton?s effort, including Arie Luyendyk?s former engineer Tim Wardrop and Heritage Motorsports team manager Mitch Davis.

    It's announced that CART fill-in driver, Memo Gidley will be driving for Brayton Engineering. Memo crashed during qualifying last year and didn't get in. Memo has brought sponsorship from "Cure Autism Now" so the Brayton Team will run two cars. Lee's Engineering company builds IRL engines.

  • L

  • (5/4) - Indycar parts are scarce, as 11 teams scramble get ready for Indy after wrecking last week in Atlanta.
  • (5/4) - Indy500.com has a new roster out and I'm seeing some new names!!

    Jim Guthrie! - with Blueprint Racing
    Steve Knapp! - with Brayton Engineering
    Tyce Carlson! - with Tri-Star Motorsports & Immke Racing
    "Beware Tyce. Arie's back."

  • (5/5) - CART driver Mauricio Gugelmin suffered the death of his six y/o son, Giuliano. The boy was a quadriplegic and suffered from a form of cerebral palsy, requiring 24-hour care. He succumbed to respiratory complications early Thursday morning. Big Mo has two other children. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorial contributions be made to United Cerebral Palsy, Attention Development Department, 1411 NW 14th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33125.
  • (5/4) - Lyn St. James announced she isn't going to race Indy Cars any longer. Hopefully we'll see the pretty racer around Gasoline Alley anyway.
  • better learn to play guitar

  • (5/4) - I think we've got an even trade now.

    We may have to put up with a SUV for the pace car at this year's Indy 500, but guess who is going to show up to drive it? John Mellencamp's super-model wife, Elaine Irwin! The first female to ever drive the pace for the Indy 500.

    Hubba Hubba!

  • (5/3) - Nascar team-owner, Richard Childress, is partnering with A.J. Foyt to bring Robby Gordon to the Indy 500 this year. Sounds like a powerful combination. Childress' Nascar team won the Brickyard 400 in 1995 and with driver Dale Earnhardt and was Dale's team-owner for six of his seven national championship titles.

    Said Childress: "Being involved in some way in the Indy 500 is something I've always wanted to do. A.J. and I have been friends for a long time, and there isn't anyone else I'd rather be a co-owner with for that race. We have both been fortunate enough to get to Victory Lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I think we have a real shot at getting there together this year with Robby, who is a very talented driver."

  • (5/3) - Ah, it surfaces that a wheel flew over the fence into some empty stands during the big crash at Atlanta. Although CART, IRL, F1, and Nascar use wheel tethers these days to keep wheels attached to the cars in an accident, sometimes they get sheared off. The IRL also began tethering the rear wings this year and that appears to be helping. Tethers are made out of Zylon which can withstand 10,000 lbs of pressure.
  • (5/1) - I just got back from seeing the new Stallone movie, DRIVEN. I give it a thumbs up. I had fun and was able to get into the fantasy of it for the most part, expecially during the first half of the film. Even when they were driving their race cars through Chicago traffic at 190, zigging and zagging, I couldn't refrain from letting out a whoop. Totally impossible, but wouldn't it be cool?

    The kid Stallone is hired to help reminded me of a young JV. His older brother/manager could be Villeneuve's close manager, and the actor who plays the part, reminded me of Buddy Lazier. Also, in one scene, Sly is wearing a Winfield hat (an old JV sponsor). For us race fans, there is a tremendous amount of Hollywood b.s., but at the same time, they do present some aspects of racing.

    At the last race shown in the movie, they are at the Detroit Grand Prix. Didn't look much like Belle Isle to me. Some of the racing strategy was not realistic. The real racers just get quick flashes on the screen and no lines. I can remember seeing Montoya, Brack, Tracy, Kanaan, and I thought I saw Sly's character chatting it up with Jean Alesi! Chip Ganassi gets some lines and his cars get lots of exposure. In one scene, a fan has his shirt off and has the Finnish Flag painted on his body. I doubt THAT was filmed at a CART race (a Hakkinen fan).

    Click for Large Picture The story has a few too many characters and love stories going on. The Gershon chick is too foxy to kick out of the flick, but give her a better role and lose her stupid boyfriend, Memo Moreno. Also lose the useless reporter chick hanging around Sly. If you gotta add a third chick, bring in Sally in a wheelchair for Burt.

    This film must be PG. There is no nudity or gruesome stuff. I don't recall any cussing. I think you can take the kids. I also saw every single action scene in this movie on the previews over the past week. But thats every movie.

  • Atlanta (5/1) - A friend of mine talked to Dr. Jack Miller about his accident last Sunday in Atlanta. He suffered a mild concussion and was released from the hospital Sunday. He reports that he felt ok Sunday, but on Monday he was very sore all over. He also said that he doesn't remember the accident. He just remembers "waking up" in the helicopter that was air-lifting him to the medical center. Dr. Miller said he still plans on racing this month. Unfortunately his back up car was being driven in this race by Robby McGehee, and it was also involved in the big accident. Consequently, the Cahill Racing team has their work cut-out for them as they try to get a car ready for Indy. The car Dr Jack was driving was obviously totalled.

    That's racing.

Racing News - June 2001

  • (6/24) - Ralf Schumacher battled in the European G.P. trying to get by his brother for first place. He got penalized for coming out of the pits too wide and that ruined his day. Michael led flag to flag. Montoya finished 2nd.
  • (6/19) - I just found out that Kim Basinger was lined up to drive the Pace Car this year, but due to a case of bronchitis, missed out.
  • (6/17) - New, cool, and short IRL commercial debuted during the Pikes Peak race. John Mellencamp sings a little diddy while he hangs out at Indy and drives an old Indy Car, sans helmet, down the front straight. His beautiful wife was this year's Indy 500 Pace Car driver and appears in the video.
  • (6/17) - Target/Chip Ganassi replaced rookie driver Nicolas Minassian with Memo Gidley
  • (6/14) - Stan Wattles, driving for Hemelgarn Racing, announced his retirement. He had competed in the IRL since its inception in 1996.
  • (6/13) - Regarding the IRL Texas race:

    Davey Hamilton is recovering in Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Robby McGehee is recovering in Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

    The IRL, upon reviewing tape of the race, has moved Sam Hornish and Donnie Beechler back a spot as they both passed someone during a caution.

    The IRL is contemplating punishing race winner Scott Sharp and Greg Ray for aggressive driving! Eddie Cheever stated "It was a very exciting race, but this is not IROC. I like the guy in the #2 car, and I like the guy in the #8 car, but they can't drive like that. You can't be ducking and weaving and pushing people around. I got shoved below the white line and way up into the gray. It's irresponsible lunacy."

    Scott Sharp said, "It did get a little crazy out there, but most of it was between Greg and myself, and I felt Greg and I raced each other pretty hard. Somewhere out there's a line and some people have a different idea of where that line is. We ran to that line. Eddie is the guy who gives you the least amount of room. He has set the precedent. In this case, the aggressive driving was in front of him. I guess he didn't like the seat he had."

    While Sharp said he doesn't give Cheever's beef much weight, he does respect Barnhart's position. Sharp realizes the difficulty of balancing competition on the ovals with safety.

  • (6/10) - Hendrick Motor Racing team has won its 100th Winston Cup race with Jeff Gordon's win at Michigan.
  • (6/10) - for the first time in F1 history, brothers finished 1-2 with Ralf Schumacher winning the Canadian GP in Montreal.

    JV & Pablo

    Jacques Villeneuve and Juan Montoya, both 500 champions, got into a scrap over race weekend. During the drivers meeting, JV grabbed Montoya by the coller and the race director had to pull them apart. Its rumored that during the argument, Juan told Jacques that he'd already killed someone this year. This would be in reference to Jacques getting hit from behind by Ralf Schumacher, which resulted in a track worker getting killed by debris in Oz. Juan consequently was bawled out by Sir Frank Williams for his comment. Villeneuve had this to say, "I am furious with Montoya. It is not the first time that he has tried this maneuver. I tried already to get an explanation out of him but he doesn't appear to understand. Maybe he isn't intelligent enough to understand and if he isn't intelligent enough to comprehend then maybe we will have to teach him a lesson on the track."

  • (6/9) - The IRL race at the Texas Motor Speedway was extremely exciting as usual. Eddie Cheever, Greg Ray, and Scott Sharp diced for the lead, inches apart, lap after lap, with Sam Hornish and Jeff Ward nipping at their tails.

    There were two violent accidents. The first resulted due to a blown engine. It resulted in breaking Davey Hamilton's legs. Tires were flying loose all over. Sarah Fisher let off the gas moments before she punted one of the loose tires into the infield. If she'd been a blip slower letting off the gas, she'd have been killed by the tire. And as the tire flew into the infield like a cannon, it miraculously didn't venture into the nearby crowd. I hope that some engineer somewhere can come up with more reliable wheel tethers.

    The second accident happened 4 laps from the end. As the leaders were attempting to pass backmarker, Robbie McGehee, race leader Greg Ray clipped McGehee sending both into the wall, collecting Cheever along the way. Cheever looked to have the best car tonight. He had the power and the best setup. He looked like he could go anywhere on the track that he wanted. McGehee also had to go to the hospital with a broken leg. Now that the Cheever and Ray were out, Scott Sharp won the race under yellow.

  • Wheels were flying everywhere. The first crash was sparked by a blown engine

  • (6/9) - Tony Stewart took the lead and ran away with the IROC win at Michigan Motor Speedway. Al Unser Jr, filling in for an injured Scott Goodyear, picked up second place while Scott sat in on the broadcast as a guest.
  • (6/6) - Hemelgarn Crew Member Celebrates 85th Birthday

    Ft. Worth, TX -- Hemelgarn crewmember Hoyt "Doc" Kerr celebrated his 85th birthday at the Texas Motor Speedway Friday night following the final practice for the Casino Magic 500. Friends honored the oldest working crewman in the INDY Racing League with gag gifts, cards and a birthday cake.

    Born in Mechanicsville, Iowa, Kerr moved to central Indiana in 1978. Following his retirement from the real estate business, he stumbled upon a new career in auto racing. Kerr, or better known as "Doc" because of his strong resemblance to Dr. Marcus Welby (Robert Young) of the old TV show, joined Hemelgarn Racing in 1987 hauling parts. He quickly became a permanent fixture with the team taking over as the showcar coordinator. "Doc" spends nearly half the year on the road visiting cities and making friends all over the U.S. and Canada.

    Team owner Ron Hemelgarn is thrilled to have "Doc" on board. "Doc has been one of the greatest ambassadors for Hemelgarn Racing, its sponsors and the INDY Racing League," Hemelgarn said. "He doesn't know a stranger and makes friends everywhere he goes. "Doc" has found the fountain of youth in his positive attitude towards life."

    With incredible support from his three daughters and one son, "Doc" shows no signs of slowing down. Time and again, he has proven that age is never an issue.

  • (6/6) - Eddie Cheever has lost his main sponsor, Excite@Home. Coincidentally, I returned my @Home cable modem today. That'll teach 'em.
  • (6/5) - Chevrolet will be providing engines for the IRL in 2002, replacing the defunct Oldsmobile. I hope this means we'll have some more Corvette pace cars!
  • (6/5) - Sarah Fisher will be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight.
  • (6/1) - Jay Leno will be driving the Pace Car for the Brickyard 400.

Racing News - July 2001

  • (7/31) - After a career of contributing more to racecar driver safety than perhaps any other individual alive, Bill Simpson is leaving Simpson Race Products. Why? Because of the treatment shown him by Earnhardt fans and NASCAR.

    Simpson received death threats and saw his employees harassed after NASCAR announced on Feb. 23 that it had found a broken Simpson lap belt in Earnhardt's crashed car.

    Although all the experts concluded that whether the belt was broken or not, it did not contribute to Earnhardt's basilar skull fracture that killed him. None the less, Nascar has continued to blame Simpson.

    Simpson said the stress of the controversy ``got to be too much.'' He has maintained for months that NASCAR made him a scapegoat in the wake of Earnhardt's death.

    ``It's just been one thing after another,'' Simpson said. ``Like I come with new (safety equipment, such as a head-restraint device) and NASCAR takes it away, and they don't give it back. I deserve more respect than that.

    ``The amount of disrespect shown me in my position over the last five months has been too hard for me to swallow.''

  • (7/31) - Mac Tools has signed a five-year agreement with the National Hot Rod Association to become the primary sponsor of the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the most prestigious drag racing event in the world. This is the first time in NHRA history that the U.S. Nationals has featured a title sponsor.

    As you may have heard, the NHRA is losing their big R.J. Reynold's sponsorship. Due to some new law, they can only sponsor one race series, so they are going to drop drag racing and stick with stock cars.

    The 47th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals will take place Aug. 29 through Sept. 3 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

  • (7/31) - Numerous Indycar drivers will be testing today in St. Louis at Gateway. Two new drivers will appear too: Rick Treadway is the son of IRL Team owner, Fred Treadway. Rick has competed in USAC Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown competition and he is scheduled to race in two IRL events this year. Also, 4th place Indy Lights driver, Chris Menninga is going to attend practice.
  • (7/31) - While Scott Goodyear continues to recover from his back injury suffered in the Indy 500, the doctor says he will have to miss the final IROC race of the year at IMS this Saturday. Little Al will fill in for him as he did at Michigan last month. Scott has looked on the bright side and enjoyed the extra time he has been able to spend with his wife and three children this summer. Scott was honored to be chosen to compete in IROC and hopes he gets another chance to compete in the series.
  • Luciano Burti goes airborn (7/29) - Spectacular crash in the F1 race at Hockenheim: At the very start, Michael Schumacher, starting from the 2nd row, had his car stall AFTER getting going. While it looked like everyone would miss him, alas, Luciano Burti rammed him hard from behind, shot up the back of the Ferrari like a ramp and got big air. He flipped and landed upside down. Everyone was ok. The race was red flagged and restarted with some using their back up cars.

    The BMW-engined Williams cars outpowered everyone in qualifying and in the race. This fast track took its toll on engines as over half the field didn't make it to the end. Uncharacteristically, Michael Schumacher's Ferrari failed. He was also joined by race leader Juan Pablo Montoya and both McLarens.

    Ralf Schumacher claimed his 3rd win of the season! Barrichello and Villeneuve joined him on the podium.

  • (7/25) - IRL driver, Davey Hamilton, underwent additional successful surgery on his right foot and ankle June 25 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. This should be his last surgery on that leg. He will return home to begin recovery next week.
  • (7/25) - Woa, would you believe that Jordan F1 has fired Heinz Harald-Frentzen in the middle of the season?! Evidently he and Eddie Jordan got into it after the British GP. He will be replaced by their test driver, Ricardo Zonta at the Heinz' home race this weekend in Germany. This may be the break that BAR has been waiting for!

    Also, Toyota joins F1 next year and they are supposed to be hiring Mika Salo and Allan McNish. I wonder if HHF will get one of those rides.

  • (7/22) - Kenny Brack collided with his teammate in the Michigan 500 when it looked like he might win it. This track is great for swapping positions and it should be a great new addition to the Indy Racing League next year. Lots of empty stands made it look like no one in Michigan likes auto racing though. Also, the pilot of a small plane towing a banner over the Speedway was seriously injured when his plane crashed into a field about 4 pm.
  • Harrah's Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway
    Lazier's Nashville trophy is a guitar! (7/21) - A very exciting race unfolded upon the new white concrete track in Nashville. The 1.3-mile track may not have the same traction as an asphalt track, but it sure was a pretty white color. This is the only concrete track in the Indy Racing League's schedule.

    Although leading a large portion of the first half of the race, Sam Hornish, Jr. lost some power and about 10 mph and was no longer a factor.

    The racing was clean clear up until the halfway point of this 200 lap race, when Cheever moved down on Greg Ray and caused a big crash. The most spectacular incident in the wreck was Airton Dare's 200 mph wheelie into the wall. Very fortunately for him, he stayed low and out of the fence, but he smacked the wall at a sharp angle and hard!

    He was ok, and as he walked away, I thought how the director of Driven was drooling over the celluloid ESPN had just recorded.

    Not only were loose tires flying down the track, I also saw something large, like a spoiler, go flying over the fence. Must not have been infront of the sold-out grandstands because I didn't hear anything about it.

    Billy Boat had a wonderful race, dicing back and forth for the lead in his Curb Records/Beck Motorsports car. I'd like to commend Boat who stuck with his new team for the Indy 500 after being tempted away by a ride from A.J. Foyt - a ride which ended up starting on the front row. They're team continues to improve.

    Boat would finish in second behind the 2000 IRL Champion, Buddy Lazier. This is Buddy's 7th IRL win and the highest number of wins in series history. Buddy's brother crashed on the last lap due to a tire, while in 3rd place. This was Jaques Lazier's best race to date!

    Jeff Ward missed the last race because of money trouble. Heritage Motorsports didn't think they could afford to run again until St. Louis, but news of a new sponsor coming onboard in a week got them out there today. He started 8th, but lost an engine about lap 83.

    Robby McGehee was back since breaking his leg at Texas last month. He finished 4th in front of Sharp. Scott Goodyear, recovering from a broken back in the Indy 500, showed up to watch.

  • (7/20) - Greg Ray won the pole for the Tennessee IRL race.
  • (7/18) - Robby Gordon is filling in for an injured Mike Skinner for Richard Childress Racing. Robby raced in this year's Indy 500.
  • (7/17) - Michael Schumacher hit the Monza rubbered-wall at 185 mph. He is apparently unhurt.
  • (7/17) - Half of the Nascar drivers were able to practice at the speedway this week. Jimmy Spencer posted the fastest lap speed of the practice, at 177.425 mph. The other half of drivers will get to practice next week, July 24-25.
  • (7/15) - Michael Andretti missed all the accidents and won the Toronto CART race once again. This race was nothing but yellow flags as a wreck would happen just as soon as they got the last one cleaned up. All the usual front runners fell out either to accident or car trouble. By lap 88, 13 drivers were out. Tora Takagi was responsible for taking out several cars with his driving that was simply stupid, before finally taking himself out. He was penalized 3 of his 4 championship points and put on probation for 5 races. Paul Tracy was also hit with some penalties for rough driving.
  • (7/15) - Mika Hakkinen finally wins in 2001! He blew the competition away. His teammate, DC, slid off early as did Panis and Trulli. DC was Mclaren's points hope for this year. It appeared that points leading Schumacher was content to play it safe in this British Grand Prix, as he was passed by both Hakkinen and Montoya. None the less, he finished 2nd thanks to some pit strategy. The Sauber team continued its impressive year by finishing in 5th & 6th, both positions that provide points toward the championship. Barrichello once again wore his big number 2 hat in the post race interview, which, while being his number, I think he wears as a statement about being treated like the second at Ferrari. He seems to be under the mistaken impression that he is as good as Michael. Also, for the first time in three years, a driver did not qualify for a race - Tarso Marques did not secure a dispensation to race.
  • (7/13) - Speedway musuem shipped some old race cars over to England for display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, including the Marmon Wasp. This is the first time that the 1911 Indy 500 winner has left the country. Bobby Unser, Danny Sulivan and Bobby Rahal showed up to drive some of the old racers around at the festival.
  • (7/8) - A great crowd showed up for the first IndyCar race in Kansas since the 30's, when they had one of the wooden board tracks. (I've got a picture of one on my pictures page.) Infact they said the place was sold out (75,000)!

    Kansas Speedway crowd

    This track is a mile and a half. On a day when track temperatures reached 137 degrees and trackside readings soared to 98 degrees, Hornish and Cheever fought back and forth for first place most of the day. A few laps from the end, Eddie Cheever passed for the lead and won this race in an exciting finish. This was Cheever's 5th IRL victory, his first of 2001 and Eddie Cheever Jr. scorched the new 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway oval to claim his first victory for the new Infiniti Indy 35A engine. Hornish finished 2nd for the third consecutive race and retains the lead in the Northern Lights Indy Racing League Points lead.

    Has anyone noticed what an AWESOME car Cheever Indy Racing has had lately??? I'll bet the sponsor who bailed out on them after Indy was over, is bumming! Cheever Indy Racing retained Infinity, Firestone, Menards, Bosch, True Grit, and Eviciti as sponsors.

  • (7/8) - Davey Hamilton has been moved from Methodist Hospital to a Rehab center in Indianapolis.
  • (7/6) - Larry Curry, Tri Star Motorsports owner, went to prison Monday for committing mail fraud against his former employer, Team Menard. He has been sentenced to 32 months. The IRL team, with driver Jon Herb, plan to keep racing.
  • Davey Hamilton had the record for having competed in EVERY IRL event since its inception in 1996. He was seriously hurt in a crash this summer and a fund has been set up to offer assistance to the Hamilton Family. If you can, please send a donation to:
    Wells Fargo Bank
    Davey Hamilton Recovery Trust Fund
    108 E. Plaza St.
    Eagle, ID 83616
    (208) 939-7498
    Acct No. 8885491772

    You can email your best wishes to Davey at getwell@daveyhamilton.com

  • (7/2) - The Indy Racing League announces 2002 Schedule.
    The IRL will hold 14 races next year, one more than 2001, with all of them televised live, 10 on ABC and four on ESPN. Three of the races--the first of two Texas races, Richmond, and Nashville--will be held at night and all will be shown on ESPN. Two races will be new events for the IRL--a July race at Michigan International Speedway and an April race at Nazareth Speedway. Both tracks are owned by the International Speedway Corporation and both have long histories hosting CART/FedEx Championship Series races. Tony George stated that the Michigan race will not be a 500-miler for the IRL. There will be only one 500 mile race and that, of course, will be in Indianapolis. The Atlanta night race got the ax. I'm not sure why. Sure its Nascar country, but the crowds there seemed good enough to me. I wonder if it has to do with the tire that went sailing over the wall into an empty area after this year's big crash that injured Dr. Jack Miller.
  • (7/1) - Michael Schumacher won his 50th grand prix at this weekends race in France. His Brazilian teammate, Rubens Barrichello, finished third. During the post race interview, he wore a big "2" on his hat. I wonder if he is still trying to infer that Michael only wins because he gets preferential treatment from Ferrari...

Racing News - August 2001

  • (8/31) - You've all heard of Indy Lights - the smaller, less powerful race cars that help train some future Indycar drivers. CART runs that series, so naturally its having trouble staying in business. The IRL offered to buy it, but CART declined.

    So, the IRL is starting their own support series, to be called the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series, to debut next year. Here is the formula:

    • ENGINES:
      • Name: Infiniti Q45
      • Size: 3.5 liter 90-degree V8
      • Power: 450 horsepower at 8100 rpm
      • Name: Dallara
      • Type: Single-seat winged chassis
      • Minimum Weight: 1,430 pounds
      • Fuel: Gasoline, 25-gallon tank
      • Wheelbase: 120 inches
      • Track: Front: 67 inches Rear 64 inches
      • Aerodynamic Specifications: Ground-effect stepped plane
      • Pi Data Acquisition System - Measures steering angle, shock travel, wheel speed, throttle and one spare sensor
      • Manufacturer: Ricardo
      • Configuration: Six-speed sequential with gears mounted forward of the differential
    • SAFETY
      • Cockpit: 19 inches wide with Indy Racing League-approved headrest construction Collapsible steering column
    • Approved SWEMS on wheels and rear-wing assembly
    • COST: Est. $800k to run a full season (12 races) for a single-car team.

    They will be schedule to run at 12 IRL events next year. And no, they won't be running at Indianapolis. The Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 have no support races.

    This will be cheaper than running Indy Lights. I noticed that the next Indy Lights race has been canceled due to lack of cars, so you might see these Indy Lights teams join the IRIPS next year. I wonder how this will effect the existing series that have offered support races to the IRL in the past.

  • (8/31) - As reported in May, Texas Motor Speedway sued CART, seeking millions of dollars lost because CART cancelled the race the morning of the race and then did not refund the money TMS had paid in prize money, etc. CART still has not refunded their money and has asked the court to either throw the case our or move it out of Texas.

    The court has denied Cart either of these requests today.

  • (8/31) - Ack! I just had a thought. As you know, Kenny Brack won the Indy 500 and the IRL championship a few years ago and then moved to CART. So, I've wished him well. Although he's always been strong, he always seems to end up in 5th place. That is until this year.

    This has been Brack's break-out year in Cart, as he has been winning races and leading the Cart points most of the year. Now what is the reason for this? Anyone notice that the year things start going right for the team, the team owner has been away in England running the Jaguar F1 team all year?

    Well as we all know, Bobby Rahal has returned to the states as he was fired from the Jaguar team before the year was out. Does he have time to screw up Brack's bid for the championship?? I say definately! At least it will be won by some Indy 500 winner.

  • (8/29) - Look for two new IRL teams appearing at the sold-out Chicagoland race this weekend. Racing Professionals and Conquest Racing will make their Indy Racing League debuts on the new 1.5-mile oval with rookies Jon Herb and Laurent Redon, respectively, behind the wheel.
  • (8/29) - Well someone told me this last week but I didnt' believe it: Jordan, on the heels of firing Heinz-Harald Frentzen, is losing their other driver! Jarno Trulli is switching seats with Benetton's Giancarlo Fisichella!
  • (8/28) - The IRL has fined Scott Sharp for defensive driving (blocking) during the Kentucky Race. I didn't notice it while I was there, nor did Brian Barnhart. But after studying tapes of the race, he decided to fine Scott the biggest fine in IRL history (over $20k)!
  • (8/26) - The IRL ran their first race at Gateway Raceway infront of a good crowd. Sam Hornish pitted a few laps from the end while leading, Little Al took his chances and stayed out and went on to win his first race of the year! This was probably an important race to win for Unser as Budweiser and Coors Light are both thinking about sponsoring him. Buddy Lazier had engine trouble all day that kept him out of the chase and probably ended his chances at winning back-to-back IRL championships. All 3 rookies that started did not finish. Jacques Lazier started his first race for Menards, and had a great race, running up front all day untill his car suffered mechanical difficulties.

    What I'd like to know is why wasn't Robbie Buhl penalized? On lap 42, he came jumping out of the pits while two cars were side by side going down the tight pit lane already. He forced Alex Barron up into Buzz Calkins, crashing both their cars and putting them out of the race. Buhl was not penalized, infact he went on to lead the race at one point and finished 5th! Barron should have just kept going straight and let Buhl fend for himself instead of running into Calkins. I talked to Calkins about it and he said, "That's two weeks in a row that his pit guy has let him go early. Must work because he has almost won the last two races. So goes racing."

  • (8/25) - Ken Tyrell died today of cancer, he was 77. Ken was famous for running a Formula One Team. In fact, he ran one longer than anyone else, from 1968 - 1988, when he sold his team to BAR. Ken discovered many talented drivers including Jackie Stewart, Michele Alboreto, Martin Brundle, Jean Alesi and Mika Salo.
  • (8/25) - The IRL will tackle the 1.25 mile oval at Gateway International Raceway for the first time today at 2 pm. This race is the 11th of 13 races in 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series season. The race is for 250 miles/200 laps with more than $1 million in prizes.

    Due to rainy weather canceling qualifying Saturday, the starting lineup is based on the current point standings. Consequently, Sam Hornish and Buddy Lazier will start the inaugural event from the front row.

    Be sure and look for Robby McGehee's car. The St. Louis native is having a special "baseball" paintjob put on his car in honor of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

  • (8/24) - It came as no surprise to me when the Jaguar F1 Team announced today that they had fired American Bobby Rahal during his first year. They replaced him with Niki Lauda who was already working for them and in charge of "motorsports". I assume Rahal will return to the states to continue on with running his CART team. If you recall, he was also the acting president of Cart before his exit to Europe. I wonder if Cart might not put him back in that position.
  • (8/24) - Last year, the U.S. Grand Prix was only televised on the cable channel Speedvision, which has the rights to all F1 races in the United States. This year, ABC is trying to get the rights to broadcast our home race live to the whole nation!! Unfortunately, ABC probably will not be able to televise the race here in Indianapolis.
  • (8/24) - Davey Hamilton had another surgery on his feet this week. The doctors suspect he'll be able to walk in early 2002.
  • (8/24) - Walker Racing has bought a Menard engine for Sarah Fisher.
  • (8/23) - Sam Schmidt Motorsports announced they have hired CART driver Alex Barron to fill the seat vacated by Jacques Lazier.
  • (8/23) - A new IRL team and driver will appear for the last two races of 2001. The driver is a 28 y/o Frenchman named Laurent Redon. He was a F1 test driver for Benneton in '99 and for Minardi in '98. The team, Conquest Racing, has been competing in Indy Lights in recent years. Two-time Indianapolis 500 starter Eric Bachelart is their CEO.
  • (8/23) - The Jordan F1 team has signed Giancarlo Fisichella to a 3-year deal beginning next year.
  • (8/21) - Nascar spent a lot of money investigating why Dale Earnhardt died last winter on the last lap of the Daytona 500. Their results were released today and are the same as the initial diagnosis before all the hoopla.
  • (8/21) - Brayton Racing (Lee and Todd Brayton) is trying to generate funding to race full-time in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series in 2002, and it has created a unique sponsorship program to help achieve its goal. The team wants to field a car sponsored by its fans after receiving so many well wishes from fans during this year's Indianapolis 500. Fans can go to the team's web site for information on how to contribute to the effort.
  • (8/21) - Robby McGehee has gotten some new sponsorship for the IRL race at Gateway this weekend. Robby is a St Louis native and is having a special St. Louis Cardinals baseball paint scheme applied.
  • (8/19) - Michael Schumacher lead the Hungary Grand Prix from start to finish and wrapped up the World Driver Championship with 4 races yet to go. This was Schumey's 4th F1 Championship. Ferrari also clinched the 2001 Constructors Championship. Michael tied Prost for the most F1 wins at 51. He also surpassed Senna's record for the most laps lead.

    Barrichello finished 2nd in Hungary and did not wear his #2 hat in the post-race interview this time. However he did comment that Ferrari hadn't won the constructor's championship until HE arrived. We could feel sorry for any driver in the shadow of Schumacher, but Rubens sounds is obviously a pompous ass.

  • (8/19) - Speedvision announced that they would broadcast the CART races next year.
  • (8/18) - I was just telling someone yesterday that Menards should have hired Kenny Brack and gotten the 1999 Indy 500 champion back in the IRL. Today I hear that Kenny is leaving Team Rahal and joining Target/Chip Ganassi Racing for 2002.

    This means that Brack will be back in Indy this May!!!

    Only he'll still be in CART...

    At least he's not driving the VIAGRA car. Poor Mark Martin...

  • (8/16) - Jacques Lazier is replacing Greg Ray at Team Menard.

    Rookie Anthony Lazzarro may be sitting in Jacques old ride at Sam Schmidt Motorsports in St Louis in two weeks.

  • (8/15) - ESPN and ABC has dropped CART from its lineup for 2002. Mike Soltys, ESPN's director of communications stated "We're going to put our resources behind the IRL because we feel it has greater growth potential." CART has been picked up by CBS for 2002.
  • (8/13) - Heritage Motorsports brought two drivers interested in being a Indycar driver to the Kentucky race. Former Formula One driver, Johnny Herbert and 19 y/o Danica Patrick. Herbert competed in over 100 grand prixs, winning 3 over his 12-year F1 career. He is going to test drive an IRL car today at the Kentucky Speedway. He raced in a CART race in England this year. His goal is to be in the Indy 500.

    Danica finished 2nd in the highly competitive European Formula Ford series last year. This was the highest finish for a female ever. She was also the first American to finish that high since Danny Sullivan in 1974.

  • (8/12) - Well the resurfacing of Kentucky Speedway worked. There was only one spin all day. Buddy Lazier won the race for his 8th IRL win.
  • (8/9) - After a year of settling in, the new Kentucky Speedway's surface was so uneven that the IRL cars could not run at speed on it in last Friday's test. Calkins spun five laps into his test session. Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. spun twice in his Panther Racing car, once while running 30 mph off the pace. Neither driver was injured.

    "The track was a mess, the worst I've seen in racing since I got involved in 1968," said Panther co-owner/team manager John Barnes. "You could see where they had done the grinding. There were 3/8-inch dips. It launched the tires right off the ground."

    IRL director Brian Barnhart hopes a sealant applied to Kentucky Speedway this week will return the oval track to its racy self. The IRL could also dial in more downforce to keep the cars stuck to the track, but this would slow the cars about a half second a lap. After practice this Friday, it will be determined if the race will be held or not. Most likely it will be held and the IRL drivers will be in for a bumpy ride.

  • (8/8) - Jean Alesi, a 12-year veteran of Formula One, was able to get released from his contract with the Prost Team to join the Jordan Team, who had fired their driver, Heinz-Harald Frentzen last month. H-H has been picked up by the Prost team. Ricardo Zonta, after filling in for H-H racing at Hockenheim, reverts back to test driver.
  • Gordon wins Brickyard (8/5) - Jeff Gordon won the 8th Brickyard 400. He started the race from the 27th position! This was Jeff's 3rd win at Indy. In the post race interview, Jeff said that he didn't know who Louis Meyer was. Doh!
  • (8/4) - Bobby Labonte won the IROC race and the IROC 2001 Championship.


Indiana native Gordon wins third NASCAR Brickyard 400

By Bruce Martin

Jeff Gordon's victory in Sunday's NASCAR Brickyard 400 moved him from greatness to immortality.

Gordon won the Winston Cup glamour event for the third time, storming from 27th place, using a brilliant pit strategy and holding off Sterling Marlin by just under a second to give himself a belated birthday present.

Gordon became the first three-time winner of the Brickyard 400 in just eight tries. By contrast, the Indianapolis 500 was 25 years old before it had its first three-time winner in Louis Meyer in 1936.

One day after his 30th birthday, the native of nearby Pittsboro scored his 56th career victory, won $428,452 and was hailed by the sellout crowd of 340,000 that basked in the Hoosier sunshine.

"This has been an amazing week for me," Gordon said. "It's the best way to celebrate my 30th birthday. It's been a phenomenal day. It's absolutely amazing. To have all these people still here cheering us on, I was choked up in the car. I love Indianapolis and I love the state of Indiana. It's been so good to me."

Driving a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Gordon finished 0.943 seconds in front of Marlin's Dodge Intrepid. Johnny Benson Jr. was third, followed by Rusty Wallace and rookie Kurt Busch.

Gordon's starting position was the deepest of any Brickyard 400 winner, breaking Dale Jarrett's mark of 24th in 1996.

"It's really special because we started so bad today and we kept working and working," crew chief Robbie Loomis said. "When you get in a situation like we were in today, you have to count your blessings. This is the greatest race team with the greatest driver."

"I don't race for statistics; I race to win, and that's what we did today," Gordon said.

About the only thing Gordon could not do right was a burnout on the frontstretch after he won the race.

It was Gordon's fourth Winston Cup win of the season. His crew made the race-winning move when Gordon made his final pit stop during a caution period that began on lap 131 for debris.

Gordon was among several drivers who opted for two tires rather than four. That put him behind Marlin, who decided not to pit.

"Lately, we haven't had any pit strategy things go for us, and that was the key," Gordon said. "At the end of the race, we took two tires on our last pit stop and that was the decision. Robbie Loomis makes all the calls in the pits. We were between two tires and no tires and I thought we needed two."

When the green flag waved on lap 135, Gordon drove to the inside of Marlin in the first turn to take the lead.

"We took a gamble here by not pitting," Marlin said. "We got caught in slow traffic and lapped traffic and the car pushed. (Team manager) Tony Glover made the call not to pit. He wanted me to make the decision, and I told him that's why he made the big bucks so he could make the decision. Our car was pretty good, but we weren't good on new tires. We decided to stay out and take the gamble."

Gordon was driving away from the field before teammate Jerry Nadeau crashed in the third turn of lap 138 to bring out the final caution.

The green flag waved on lap 143 and Gordon once again drove away from the field.

"For some reason on our car, we have a lot of trouble on restarts," Marlin said. "I wanted to get close enough to him to put more pressure on him and make him hit the wall. He hit it one time in (turns) 3 and 4, but I really couldn't get close enough to him to make him make a mistake and get him a little loose. I just couldn't get close enough."

Seventeen laps later, Gordon drove into auto racing history.

There were 18 lead changes among 12 drivers. Gordon averaged 130.790 miles per hour.

After a series of early cautions, Marlin overtook rookie Kevin Harvick -- who won Saturday night's Busch series event at nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park -- and grabbed the lead on lap 45.

Pit stops began again on the 62nd lap as Steve Park, Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bobby Labonte and Ward Burton traded the lead before the yellow waved for debris on the 75th lap. That was when most of the leaders pitted, except for Tony Stewart.

Park passed Stewart's Pontiac Grand Prix for the lead on the 80th lap midway point, taking an inside route on the third and fourth turns.

Stewart, who decided not to pit under caution when the rest of the leaders made pit stops on the 76th lap, was unable to hold the low line on the track to fend off Park's Chevrolet, which had pitted for new tires and fuel.

Meanwhile, Gordon was not a factor.

"We started the race with a lot of doubt in my mind," Gordon said. "It was amazing starting back there where we were at, just how much air was moving around and the car was buffeting and I couldn't do anything I wanted to do. I thought I was in serious trouble at that point. We made some adjustments, made the car better, but still was not a threat.

"But we kept our chins up. We worked hard on it, and there was one time that I said to Robbie Loomis that we just need to get out in clean air. When the caution fell just after we came out of the pits, that's when the race really changed for us. That's when we became a top-five car."

By becoming the first three-time winner of the Brickyard 400, Gordon has elevated his status to a legend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"It tells you how prestigious an event is when they start really highlighting a two-time or three-time winner," Gordon said. "It's just like the Daytona 500. I think Richard Petty won it seven times so the big events are obviously very important races.

"I think with this race still being young in our community and to the NASCAR fans, it's something that is very prestigious just to be a part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I never dreamed I would win one Brickyard 400, so this is overwhelming to me, really."

              2001 BRICKYARD 400 RACE RESULTS:

Pos  St No Driver                Make  Pts Bonus Laps Status
 1.  27 24 Jeff Gordon            Chv  180  5   160  Running
 2.   8 40 Sterling Marlin        Dge  175  5   160  Running
 3.  26 10 Johnny Benson          Pon  165  0   160  Running
 4.  37  2 Rusty Wallace          Frd  160  0   160  Running
 5.  34 97 Kurt Busch             Frd  160  5   160  Running

 6.  19 22 Ward Burton            Dge  150  0   160  Running
 7.  13  1 Steve Park             Chv  156 10   160  Running
 8.   2  9 Bill Elliott           Dge  147  5   160  Running
 9.   7 32 Ricky Craven           Frd  138  0   160  Running
10.  36  8 Dale Earnhardt, Jr     Chv  139  5   160  Running
11.  11 29 Kevin Harvick          Chv  135  5   160  Running
12.   6 88 Dale Jarrett           Frd  127  0   160  Running
13.   1 26 Jimmy Spencer          Frd  129  5   160  Running
14.  30 43 John Andretti          Dge  121  0   160  Running
15.  15 18 Bobby Labonte          Pon  123  5   160  Running
16.  22 99 Jeff Burton            Frd  120  5   160  Running
17.   9 20 Tony Stewart           Pon  117  5   160  Running
18.  16 12 Jeremy Mayfield        Frd  109  0   160  Running
19.  35  5 Terry Labonte          Chv  106  0   160  Running
20.  20 33 Joe Nemechek           Chv  103  0   160  Running
21.  31 30 Jeff Green             Chv  100  0   160  Running
22.  25  6 Mark Martin            Frd   97  0   160  Running
23.  38 21 Elliott Sadler         Frd   94  0   160  Running
24.  10 66 Todd Bodine            Frd   91  0   159  Running
25.  14 15 Michael Waltrip        Chv   88  0   159  Running
26.  29 01 Jason Leffler          Dge   85  0   159  Running
27.  39 55 Bobby Hamilton         Chv   82  0   159  Running
28.  40 36 Ken Schrader           Pon   79  0   159  Running
29.  32 90 Hut Stricklin          Frd   76  0   159  Running
30.  42 31 Robby Gordon           Chv   73  0   159  Running
31.   5 02 Ryan Newman            Frd   75  5   159  Running
32.  17 50 Rich Bickle            Chv   67  0   159  Running
33.  33 92 Stacy Compton          Dge   64  0   159  Running
34.  28 14 Ron Hornaday           Pon   61  0   158  Running
35.  21 77 Robert Pressley        Frd   58  0   158  Running
36.  43 44 Buckshot Jones         Dge   55  0   158  Running
37.  18 11 Brett Bodine           Frd   52  0   158  Running
38.  41 25 Jerry Nadeau           Chv   49  0   135  Out
39.   4 28 Ricky Rudd             Frd   46  0   107  Running
40.  24 93 Dave Blaney            Dge   43  0   100  Out
41.   3 19 Casey Atwood           Dge   40  0    38  Out
42.  23 17 Matt Kenseth           Frd   37  0     2  Out
43.  12 96 Andy Houston           Frd   34  0     1  Out

NEWS brought to you from WIBC - 1070 on your AM dial :

Results from Saturday's qualifying for the Brickyard 400 at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
1. (26) Jimmy Spencer, Ford, 179.666.
2. (9) Bill Elliott, Dodge, 179.565.
3. (19) Casey Atwood, Dodge, 179.361.
4. (28) Ricky Rudd, Ford, 179.233.
5. (02) Ryan Newman, Ford, 179.037.
6. (88) Dale Jarrett, Ford, 178.848.
7. (32) Ricky Craven, Ford, 178.444.
8. (40) Sterling Marlin, Dodge, 178.207.
9. (20) Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 178.042.
10. (66) Todd Bodine, Ford, 177.711.
11. (29) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 177.459.
12. (96) Andy Houston, Ford, 177.249.
13. (1) Steve Park, Chevrolet, 177.186.
14. (15) Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet, 177.141.
15. (18) Bobby Labonte, Pontiac, 177.134.
16. (12) Jeremy Mayfield, Ford, 176.835.
17. (50) Rich Bickle, Chevrolet, 176.762.
18. (11) Brett Bodine, Ford, 176.737.
19. (22) Ward Burton, Dodge, 176.703.
20. (33) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 176.661.
21. (77) Robert Pressley, Ford, 176.588.
22. (99) Jeff Burton, Ford, 176.502.
23. (17) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 176.450.
24. (93) Dave Blaney, Dodge, 176.363.
25. (6) Mark Martin, Ford, 176.343.
26. (10) Johnny Benson, Pontiac, 176.287.
27. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 176.180
28. (14) Ron Hornaday, Pontiac, 176.094.
29. (01) Jason Leffler, Dodge, 176.080.
30. (43) John Andretti, Dodge, 175.967.
31. (30) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, 175.884.
32. (90) Hut Stricklin, Ford, 175.874.
33. (92) Casey Atwood, Dodge, 175.833.
34. (97) Kurt Busch, Ford, 175.816.
35. (5) Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 175.706.
36. (8) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 175.497.
37. (2) Rusty Wallace, Ford, provisional.
38. (21) Elliott Sadler, Ford, provisional.
39. (55) Bobby Hamilton, Chevrolet, provisional.
40. (36) Ken Schrader, Pontiac, provisional,
41. (25) Jerry Nadeau, Chevrolet, provisional.
42. (31) Robby Gordon, Chevrolet, provisioinal.
43. (44) Buckshot Jones, Dodge, provisional.

Failed to qualify 
(7) Mike Wallace, Ford; (4) Kevin Lepage, Chevrolet; (45) Kyle
Petty, Dodge; (27) Rick Mast, Pontiac; (71) Dave Marcis, Chevrolet;
(84) Shawna Robinson, Ford; (49) Andy Hillenburg, Ford; (13)
Hermie Sadler, Ford; (37) Derrike Cope, Pontiac; (57) David Keith,
Ford; (95) Ed Berrier, Ford.

Other speeds 
(4) Kevin Lepage, Chevrolet, 175.637; (2) Rusty Wallace, Ford,
175.517; (36) Ken Schrader, Pontiac, 175.497; (31) Robby Gordon,
Chevrolet, 175.339; (37) Derrike Cope, Pontiac, 175.087; (7)
Mike Wallace, Ford, 174.975; (21) Elliott Sadler, Ford, 174.808;
(25) Jerry Nadeau, Chevrolet, 174.601; (13) Hermie Sadler, Chevrolet,
173.816; (95) Ed Berrier, Ford, 173.477; (55) Bobby Hamilton,
Chevrolet, 173.444; (57) David Keith, Ford, 173.067; (27) Rick
Mast, Pontiac, 172.808; (44) Buckshot Jones, Dodge, 172.731;
(71) Dave Marcis, Chevrolet, 172.596; (45) Kyle Petty, Dodge,
172.582; (84) Shawna Robinson, Ford, 171.966; (49) Andy Hillenburg,
Pontiac, 169.706. 
Bobby Labonte's win in Saturday's International Race of Champions
event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway allowed him to clinch the
2001 series championship, the first of his career. Labonte won
two of the four series races, the other in April at Talladega.

Labonte edged Tony Stewart by .324 seconds Saturday to claim
his third career IROC race win and the series title, which comes
with $250,000 in prize money.

"This goes back to (Dale) Earnhardt. This is a great championship.
He was here last year," said Labonte, who earned his first Winston
Cup victory of the season last weekend at Pocono. 

"This black No. 3 (Labonte's IROC car), it might looked like
I drove like it a little bit today, but I really felt heart-felt
right now that he's not here."

Earnhardt had won the past two series titles, clinching both
at the Indianapolis race.

from Atlanta Journal-Constitution
#11-Brett Bodine, one of the few owner-drivers left in Winston
Cup, is searching for sponsors to replace the ones he's losing
at the end of the season. But his recent on-track performances
are giving him some good fodder for his sales pitch. He has been
running at the finish of the past 26 races, and he got his first
top-10 this season at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona last month. At
New Hampshire, he wrecked his primary car in practice and had
to use a car built in the mid-1980s. He drove it to a 13th-place
finish, his fourth straight top-15 run. Bodine said he needs
at least $8 million a year from a sponsor to run up front consistently.
He now operates on far less than that.


Racing News - September 2001

  • (9/30) - U.S. GRAND PRIX
    • Mika Hakkinen, on the cusp of his retirement, won the 2nd annual F1 race at Indianapolis after starting from 2nd.
    • Michael Schumacher started from pole and finished 2nd.
    • 4th place finisher, Jarno Trulli was disqualified due to a plate on the bottom of the car, being too thin by the end of the race. How lame.
    • Juan Montoya led part of the race, but retired due to car failure.
    • Rubens Barrichello led too, and was looking to finish in 2nd, when his engine faltered a few laps from the end.
  • (9/30) - In the support races for the U.S. Grand Prix, German Jorg Bergmeister won the Porsche Pirelli Supercup race and and American Steve Earle won the Ferrari Challenge race.
  • (9/21) - Greg Ray might be driving on a Nascar Busch team next year, as well as driving for Foyt's IRL team.
  • (9/21) - This year's guest drivers competing in the Porsche Pirelli Supercup race during next week's U.S. Gran Prix include IRL champ Sam Hornish, Jr. and David Donohue, the son of Mark! Last year, we had Mario and Little Al compete in the race.
  • (9/21) - Bobby "Dorkboy" Rahal has said his cart team, based in Ohio, will attempt to qualify at Indy next year. Um, where were you at when you had Kenny Brack on your payroll wanting to defend his 500 championship? Loser.
  • (9/21) - A 20 y/o Brazilian, Felipe Massa is testing with the Sauber F1 team and apparently will replace Kimi Raikonnen when he moves to West/McLaren next season. Recently a crop of very young drivers have been entering F1 - Nick Heidfeld, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Alex Yoong. Felipe also brings some hefty sponsorship dollars with him!
  • (9/21) - The condition of Alessandro Zanardi continues to improve, and his medication has now been reduced to the point where he is awake and talking. He came out of the medically induced coma yesterday, and today reached the next stage in his recovery.

    "[Zanardi's wife Daniella] had just told Alex about his legs and he said that was OK, he didn't care because he still had her and Niccolo," related Tony Kanaan, Zanardi's teammate at Mo Nunn Racing. "That's the kind of spirit I expected from him."

  • (9/21) - Well, the CART race from Germany, where Alex Zanardi's accident took place last week was rescheduled again. It supposedly will be broadcast in the middle of the night tonight on ESPN. TV Guide reports now that it will be on at 2:30 am Saturday (22nd) Indy time (Central Daylight, or Eastern Standard).
  • (9/20) - It appears that Steve Park's steering wheel came off his Busch car on Sep. 1st at Darlington and that is what caused his accident.

    During a caution period, his car jumped down infront of Larry Foyt's car, who was accelerating to move up to the head of the line of lapped cars on the inside lane. He couldn't avoid hitting Park's car on the driver's side.

    Park had to be cut from the car and spent two days in a South Carolina hospital. He hasn't raced since because of a bruise to his brain and is expected to miss at least another month.

  • (9/20) - Security agencies have been meeting with IMS officials about plans for the upcoming U.S. Grand Prix. They say that excellent plans were already in place and there is some tweaking going on and that no changes may even be visible to the fans, although more announcements could come Friday.

    Peter Beering, Indianapolis' terrorism preparation coordinator, was encouraged by Wednesday's meeting with IMS.

    "We've always had great dialogue between the agencies and the folks at IMS, but it's even better now," he said. "We've got a plan in place and it's pretty solid -- time-honored and battle tested, as I like to say.

    "We'll make some adjustments for this race, I'm sure, but that's not unusual. We always consider current information."

    Beering said the public's renewed interest in security will help Speedway fans accept any changes.

    "People need to remember that the Speedway is one of the best-constructed sporting facilities ever built," he said. "Its (grandstands are) reinforced steel and concrete. It was meticulously built with solid engineering. It's a strong facility."

  • (9/17) - Sarah Fisher and Walker Racing are looking for new sponsors for 2002.
  • (9/16) - 2000 Indy 500 champ Juan Pablo Montoya will be coming back to the Speedway to compete in the U.S. Grand Prix on the heels of his first Formula One win in Italy.
  • (9/15) - Alex Zanardi suffered a career-ending accident in the first CART race in Germany, losing his lower legs. The race will be rebroadcast Saturday at 2:30am on ESPN. Apparently Alex was leading the race, dropped into the pits for a splash of fuel 12 laps from the end, and spun out into the track exiting the pits. He slid into the path of Alex Tagliani who was going 200 mph. Zanardi had the front end of his car sliced off along with his legs. Its been a week from hell. Kenny Brack ended up winning the race.
  • Zanardi's car
    Alex Zanardi's car

  • (9/15) - Juan Montoya has the pole for the Italian Grand Prix, his 2nd pole position in a row and his 4th of the season.
  • 9/14) - McLaren confirmed that Mika Hakkinen would end his current term in the sport at the end of the year, and at the same time announced that Coulthard would continue in 2002, to be joined by the new young sensation, Kimi Raikkonen. Hakkinen says he needs a break and will try and come back after a year off. He has raced for McLaren nine years for 159 races and has garnered 26 pole positions and 19 wins and 2 driver championships. Coincidentally, Kimi is from Mika's home country - Finland.

  • a Ferrari in mourning 9/14) - The IRL and NASCAR has postponed their races for this weekend. The season ending IRL race at Fort Worth has been moved to Saturday October 6th. The New Hampshire Winston Cup race has been moved out to November 23 and will become their season ending race. F1 will observe a moment of silence during practice today and Ferrari are running their cars with no sponsor logos and black nosecones all weekend.
  • (9/13) - I was wondering if all of the foreigners who will be pouring in for the U.S. Grand Prix will be dismayed at the new tighter airport security that we will have set up. But my well traveled friends assure me that they are used to it as the rest of the world's airports have been like this for a long time.
  • (9/12) - Due to the national tragedy of the terrorist attack on NY and DC, the IRL and NASCAR has cancelled qualifying for this weekends races.
  • (9/12) - Sigh. Well, after only two weeks of my predicting that CART would run Indy Lights into the ground, they pulled the plug today. The IRL had offered this year to buy it, but they turned them down. So the IRL will create their own junior racing league called The Infiniti Pro Series. It will debut sometime next year. See last months news for more.
  • (9/10) - Brake lights are set be tried out for the first time in Formula One at this month's U.S. Grand Prix, the FIA governing body confirmed on Friday. "Consideration is being given to fitting all Formula One cars with brake lights in time for evaluation in the first free practice session for the U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis," it said in a Formula One update. Formula One cars currently have constant red rear lights used in bad weather as well as a flashing rear light linked to a speed-limiter that comes on when they enter and leave the pits. The new lights will come on when a driver brakes or slows by lifting off the power.
  • (9/9) - As you may have noticed, whenever a racing series that runs Goodyear tires, recieves some competition from another tire company, Goodyear drops out. Goodyear recently approached Tony George, president of IMS, about returning to Indycar racing. Currently, Firestone supply tires to both the IRL and to CART. As you know, Firestone has been under fire for their Ford Explorer tire recall and are hurting financially. Goodyear figured it was a good time to re-enter openwheel racing, however, they still do not want any competition and told Tony that they will not return if any other tire manufacturer is allowed to compete. Currently Goodyear is the only tire supplier for Winston Cup racing. Goodyear also dropped out of Formula One several years ago when Bridgestone started competing. Michelin has recently began competing in Formula One too.
  • (9/7) - The track's young marketing guy, Bob Rief, is leaving the Speedway team to run his own NY marketing company, though he will still be promoting the IRL. Reif was responsible for the IRL dropping the Las Vegas oval from the schedule. He was also responsible for having Aerosmith sing the national anthem at the 2001 Indy 500 which was a p.r. disaster as the rendition steamed many fans. On the plus side, he helped form the new tv package for the IRL.
  • (9/6) - Heritage Motorsports will is adding a second car to their team. To join Jeff Ward will be former F1 driver, Johnny Herbert. Herbert won 3 G.P.'s as well as Le Mans. This new car too will be powered by an Infinity engine.
  • (9/6) - A.J. Foyt has replaced Donnie Beechler with Greg Ray to run in a second car at Texas. This car will be powered by an Infinity engine, the first Infinity for Foyt Racing. For now, Beechler is going to stay with Foyt and see how things work out. Greg also drove for Foyt back in '98 when he filled in for an injured Billy Boat.
  • (9/4) - Great news for the U.S. Grand Prix! ABC will be broadcasting the race "live" across America. This means that the entire country can watch the F1 race instead of just the cable channel subscribers! However, Speedvision, who will be televise the race delayed, retains the right to the "in car cameras" and they're not sharing. Consequently you won't see incar views during the "live" broadcast on ABC. Speedvision will be televising the race the following week. Also, ABC will probably black-out the race in Indianapolis. Also, F1 has given Tony George the right to work on the tv schedule for F1. He is trying to get ABC/ESPN to broadcast all F1 races next year! He said "Speedvision has done a reasonable job with what they have, but on ABC, more people would watch it by accident (than on purpose on Speedvision)." This would greatly enhance F1's exposure in the USA.
  • (9/4) - Luciano Burti suffered a concussion and brain bruising after his crash in the Belgium G.P. Formula 3000 driver Tomas Enge of the Czech Republic is one of the drivers in line to fill-in for Burti. Enge will begin a three-day test for Prost at the Magny-Cours circuit in France on Wednesday in an attempt to land the temporary drive.
  • (9/3) - Hometown Heroes Capture Championships During 47th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals

    Local drivers Whit Bazemore of Indianapolis and Larry Dixon of Avon headlined a spectacular final day of eliminations at the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Bazemore captured his second U.S. Nationals title in the Funny Car division, while Dixon dominated the Top Fuel field for his second U.S. Nationals title. Other winners for the day included Greg Anderson in Pro Stock, Angelle Savoie in Pro Stock Bike and Mike Coughlin in Pro Stock Truck.

  • (9/2) - Jaques Lazier won the inaugral IRL race in Joliet Illinois for his new Team Menard.

    Sam Hornish Jr. finished 2nd today in the race at the new Chicagoland speedway earning enough points to clinch the 2001 Indy Racing Northern Lights Series Championship!

    Felipe Giaffone won the IRL's rookie of the year.

  • (9/2) - Announcement: ABC and ESPN, Inc. have agreed to terms that would extend and expand their partnership through 2007 to telecast and promote the Indy Racing League as their exclusive American open-wheel racing series.
  • (9/2) - WilliamsBMW capture the front row with JPM on the poll. However after 3 restarts today at the Belgium GP, Micheal Schumacher took the lead and held it to the end. THIS IS HIS 52nd FORMULA ONE WIN AND A NEW WORLD RECORD!!! Note that Fisi made the podium!
  • (9/2) - Luciano Burti has really been taking a beating in F1; one bad crash after another. Then, today in the Belgium GP, Eddie Irvine sliced his front wing off as he drove him off the road at the Blanchimont turn. This removed the downforce at the front of Burti's car. Eddie might as well have just taken away his steering wheel.

    Burti plowed directly into the wall out of control. There was a tire barrier there several tires thick. Burti, burying his Prost under the tires and spanked that wall hard. It was a horrific sudden stop and I was pretty certain that he was dead. Eddied stood by trying to help.

    It appears that he will be ok. He suffered a concussion and may have some broken bones. I reckon he's had enough violent crashes this year to last him a lifetime.

Hornish Wins
2001 Indy Racing Northern Lights
Series Championship!!

Panther Racing began in 1996 when Indianapolis Colt's star quarterback, Jeff Harbaugh joined forces with Indianapolis businessman Gary Pedigo among others. Their bright yellow Pennzoil car has been seen at every IRL race since. Driver Scott Goodyear raced for them throughout the majority of the IRL's life. 22 y/o Sam Hornish, Jr. replaced retiring Goodyear at the beginning of this year. While Scott had won the last race of 2000 for Panther, Sam won the first two races of 2001 for them.

Sam and Panther's consistent performance since has enabled them to beat reigning champion Buddy Lazier and Hemelgarn Racing in the Championship even though Lazier won 4 races in 2001.

Felipe Giaffone is the Rookie of the Year!
Felipe Giaffone

Felipe hasn't won a race, but has been very consistent. He did finish 2nd in June at the Texas race and has had ten top-10 finishes so far with one more race to go.


NOTE! Jarno Trulli finished 4th, but the place was taken away from him due to some car technicality. In October, this decision was reversed and here is the updated points for the 2001 US Grand Prix:

10 points - Mika Hakkinen / McLaren
6 points - Michael Schumacher / Ferrari
4 points - David Coulthard /McLaren
3 points - Jarno Trulli / Jordan
2 points - Eddie Irvine / Jaguar
1 point - Nick Heidfeld / Sauber

Pos Driver               Nat   Constructor        Time 
1. Mika Hakkinen         FIN   McLaren-Mercedes        1:32:42.840 
2. Michael Schumacher    D     Ferrari                     +11.046 
3. David Coulthard       GB    McLaren-Mercedes            +12.043 
4. Eddie Irvine          GB    Jaguar                    +1:12.434 
5. Nick Heidfeld         D     Sauber-Petronas           +1:12.996 
6. Jean Alesi            F     Jordan-Honda                 -1 lap 
7. Giancarlo Fisichella  I     Benetton-Renault             -1 lap 
8. Jenson Button         GB    Benetton-Renault             -1 lap 
9. Heinz-Harald Frentzen D     Prost-Acer                   -1 lap 
10. Olivier Panis        F     BAR-Honda                    -1 lap 
11. Pedro de la Rosa     E     Jaguar                       -1 lap 
12. Enrique Bernoldi     BR    Arrows-Asiatech              -1 lap 
13. Tomas Enge           CZ    Prost-Acer                   -1 lap 
14. Rubens Barrichello   BR    Ferrari                     -2 laps 
DNF Jacques Villeneuve   CDN   BAR-Honda                 on lap 46 
DNF Jos Verstappen       NL    Arrows-Asiatech           on lap 45 
DNF Juan Montoya         COL   Williams-BMW              on lap 39 Gearbox 
DNF Alex Yoong           MY    Minardi-European          on lap 39 
DNF Ralf Schumacher      D     Williams-BMW              on lap 37 Spun 
DNF Fernando Alonso      E     Minardi-European          on lap 37 
DNF Kimi Raikkonen       FIN   Sauber-Petronas           on lap 3 Driveshaft 

DQ Jarno Trulli          I     Jordan-Honda

Racing News - October 2001

  • (10/30) - The FIA has reversed its decision and given Jarno Trulli back his 4th place finish in the U.S. Grand Prix! Evidently a steward didn't show up for the hearing, so it was thrown out.
  • (10/30) - Alex Zanardi was released from the hospital today, 6 weeks since the CART race in Europe where he lost his legs. His doctor said it most likely would be a year or two before Zanardi can walk again using artificial legs. Alex will return home to Italy to live with his wife and child.
  • (10/28) - Gil de Ferran won the 2001 CART Championship. He won it last year too.
  • (10/26) - PDM Racing (driver- Jeret Schroeder) has picked up a new associate sponsor for 2002, AMVETS (American Veterans). This is the organization that comes by my house a few times a year and picks up clothes and stuff, kind of like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. If you'd like to help AMVETS and maybe win some tickets to the 500, go check out their new racing merchandise! Just go to Amvets Racing.
  • (10/25) - Arie Luyendyk will return again to the Indy 500 in 2002! Arie retired in 1999, but returned to the 500 this year.

    Indiana got hit with severe weather yesterday afternoon. But before it hit, Arie and Buzz Calkins ran some test laps before the weather got too bad.

    And the Speedway had a surprise visit from Dick Harroun and his wife. Dick is the son of the first Indy 500 winner, Ray Harroun (1911). Dick is 86 now. He visited the pits and got to watch Calkins practicing! Dick lives in Florida.

  • (10/25) - Cheever Indy Racing has secured a new sponsor - Red Bull! This is a energy drink popular(?) in Europe that they have been selling recently in the U.S. Red Bull have been sponsors in Formula One. I tried one of the drinks not too long ago. It cost $2 for a little can and was too sweet. It contained some chemical I'd never heard of. I suppose that and the sugar is the energy part. Cheever recently lost their main sponsor, so its great for them to get another before the start of next season.

  • (10/22) - Many NASCAR Winston Cup drivers have been complaining about restrictor plate racing. After the last lap pile-up at Talledega yesterday, Sterling Marlin said, "It ain't the drivers, it's NASCAR. You run all day, you're going to wreck. Every driver has been telling them (that). They wanted it to happen," after his car was demolished along with about 15 other cars.

    Tony Stewart, who made it through to finish 2nd said, "But when you come off of turn two after the checkered flag and see your teammate's car upside down, it scares you to death. There is no reason that we, as drivers, should be put in that position."

  • (10/19) - Mo Nunn Racing, a CART team, announced they are starting an IRL team for 2002. One of their main sponsors is Hollywood, a tobacco company in Brazil. Hollywood also sponsors Felipe Giaffone in the IRL. Hollywood's marketing director stated, "We value our eight years in CART, but we feel the timing is right to focus on the IRL for the future."

    Mo Nunn Racing is hiring Giaffone and will create a new IRL team for him and retain Hollywood sponsorship. Giaffone is the 2001 IRL Rookie of the Year

    Mo Nunn Racing will still field a car in the CART series for Brazilian, Tony Kanaan. We may get to see Tony racing in the Indy 500 this May.

    Mo Nunn Racing was formed in December of 1999 by a group led by championship engineer Morris Nunn. The team is based in Indianapolis. Nunn is one of the best-known and most successful engineers in Indy car racing history. While serving as chief engineer for Alex Zanardi in 1996, 1997 and 1998, he helped guide Zanardi to Rookie of the Year honors (1996) and back-to-back CART FedEx Series Championships (1997-98). In 1999, Nunn teamed with current Formula One star Juan Montoya to win that year's CART FedEx Series Championship. Nunn also guided Emerson Fittipaldi to an Indy car championship and an Indy 500 victory in 1989.

  • (10/18) - During private testing at the track today, three Indy 500 champions drove -Helio Castroneves, Buddy Lazier, and Eddie Cheever. Also out on the track were Chriss Menninga, Rick Treadway, Jon Herb, Brandon Erwin, and Johnny Herbert. Jacques Lazier was once again the fastest. Testing should continue tomorrow.
  • (10/17) - NASCAR ordered the immediate use of a HANS or Hutchens device (head-and-neck restraints) for the Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series, trying to improve safety after a string of fatal crashes in the past 17 months.
  • (10/17) - CART has finally settled the suit with Texas Motor Speedway. Neither is saying how many millions of dollars CART coughed up to reimburse the speedway. CART cancelled their first race there last April two hours before showtime. They said their drivers had experienced dizziness there in testing. Texas Motorspeedway reimbursed some 60,000 people. CART didn't return the 2.5 million the speedway had paid them, let alone reimbursed them for all their trouble. Until now that is. CART doesn't plan on racing there next year, but may race at their sister track in Vegas.
  • (10/17) - IRL cars were out on the track testing today. Jaques Lazier had the fastest speed of the day at 225 mph. Sam Hornish, Jr. reached a speed of 223 mph before smacking the turn 1 wall. He broke his left foot. Doh! Former F1 driver, Johnny Herbert turned some laps and hit 218 mph. He raced on the road course in the U.S.G.P. last year for Jaguar. Also testing were Buddy Lazier, Jeff Ward, Rick Treadway, and Brandon Erwin. Helio Castroneves is scheduled to test tomorrow.
  • (10/16) - A rumor is that the IRL is going to raise the appearance money for the teams from $22k to $65k per race.
  • (10/15) - Ricky Craven won his first Winston Cup race today in Martinsville.
  • (10/15) - Oriol Servia was released Sunday night from the hospital after his CART wreck. He sustained only bumps and bruises after his spectacular crash with Gugelmin, which sent his car high into the air where it flipped over twice before before landing right side up in the sand.
  • (10/14) - In the CART race at Laguna Seca, there were 8 cautions, a high number for a road course. Can you imagine 8 cautions in an F1 race? Unthinkable. Why is this? It reminds me of when I go to the gokart track and race against impatient beginners, who will plow right into you in the turns. Paul Tracy has been fined and put on probabtion again.
  • (10/14) - Schumy won the Japan G.P.
  • (10/13) - WOW! Michael Schumacher has captured his 11th pole position of the year at Japan - the last and 15th race of the season. He had the THREE fastest laps of the qualifying session! If he wins tomorrow, he'll become the all-time points leader in F1. We are fortunate to be witnessing the best racing career in history.
  • (10/12) - Safari Associates Inc. (OTCBB:SAFR) of Amsterdam, New York, has developed a new "softwall" compound for use on cushioning the blows race cars take when they hit the wall. They call the substance "Molecuthane"(TM). They tested it at the Indianapolis Speedrome yesterday with a NASCAR Craftsman truck and claimed great success. Unlike the "softwall" experiment used at IMS during the BY400 a few years ago, this compound does not get torn away from the wall and require 1/2 hour to repair. Instead, it returns to its original shape! They claim it reduces a 20g crash to 5g's. The test driver, Brian Van Deman, president of Indianapolis' No Limit Racing Adventure, also used the new substance on his racing harness and said that it prevented him from injuries.

    "Our soft wall is ready. We're prepared to begin manufacturing tomorrow," said Craig Walls, Director of Product Development for Safari Associates. "We have a working soft wall solution that can save lives and help prevent serious injuries. We'll be talking with track owners around the country to determine the best way to begin implementing Molecuthane soft walls at their tracks. Certainly our technology will improve, but we have a working solution today that could very well prevent another tragic death.

  • (10/12) - As you may recall, Robby McGehee was seriously injured in a crash at Texas on June 9. He had 10 breaks in his leg, dislocated his shoulder, had a concussion and cracked his ribs. He had a preliminatry surgery the next day and a month later, was hobbling out to his race car on crutches to return to racing - talk about the courage of a champion! Now that the IRL season is over, he returned to the hospital to finish his surgeries. It was announced that the doctors' jobs were successful and Robby will recuperate at his home in St. Louis.
  • (10/10) - The Jordan F1 team has hired the Japanese driver Takuma Sato to replace Jean Alesi, who is retiring. Sato won the 2001 British Formula 3 Championship, taking a record 12 race wins in 13 championship rounds! Sato was also a test driver at BAR this year. BAR and Jordan are both running Honda engines and it is likely that one team will lose that factory sponsor. A Japanese driver could make the difference in the decision if Honda decides to support just BAR or Jordan.
  • (10/8) - The IRL Championship Banquet was held in Texas. Tony George presented series champion Sam Hornish, Jr. and Panther Racing with the IRL Trophy and a bonus check for $1 million. Hornish also won the EMCO Gears Out Front Award for leading the most laps. This award came with $10,000.
    Felipe Giaffone was the Chevy Rookie of the Year Award winner and he received a bonus check of $50,000.
    Simon Morley from Panther Racing, won the Pennzoil Chief Mechanic of the Year Award and recieved a $25,000 bonus.
    Greg Ray won the MBNA Season Pole Award for winning the most pole positions, and he recieved $20,000.
    The IRL Crew voted Sarah Fisher the most popular driver.
  • (10/7) - Another racing venue has been added to the 2002 IRL schedule. The California Speedway in Fontana California has been inserted between the Phoenix and Nazareth races. This will add more exposure to the L.A. marked for IRL sponsors.

    California Speedway President Bill Mille said, "California Speedway will be one of the most multi-faceted facilities in the world. There is a strong motorsports tradition here in the west, and we are proud to be able to offer a variety of events to the fans. We are now further aligned with two of the most prestigious events in the world, the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500."

    CART also added a new race to their schedule for next year, Colorado.

  • (10/06) - Sam Hornish, Jr., wraps up his IRL Championship season by winning in Fort Worth Texas in a incredible 3-wide run for the checkered flag.
  • The Close Finish
    Sam Hornish, Scott Sharp and Robbie Buhl together at the Finish Line!

  • (10/06) - General Motors, which Friday announced that the Panther and Hemelgarn teams will be its lead Chevrolet teams in 2002. The two Indianapolis-based teams will finish 1-2 in the championship when the IRL season ends today with the Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
  • (10/05) - CART gives up the fight with the IRL and decides to drop the turbo for 2003 and conform to the 3.5 liter V8 engine style that the IRL uses. This comes on the heel of Toyota, a CART engine supplier, announcing plans to move into the IRL. Now we must wonder if Ford and Honda, the two remaining CART engine suppliers, will drop out of racing open wheel in America, or will they conform.
  • Jeff Gordon Wins
    2001 Winston Cup

    Gordon grabs fourth Winston Cup championship

    By Marty Smith, Turner Sports Interactive
    November 18, 2001
    6:53 PM EST (2353 GMT)

    HAMPTON, Ga. -- Skeptics galore presently stand united in embarrassment, having been proved wrong by Jeff Gordon, Robbie Loomis and the rest of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports contingent.

    Throughout the past two NASCAR Winston Cup Series seasons, such cynics denounced the Gordon regime, assuming the dynasty built at Hendrick Motorsports had been a fluke: A product of Ray Evernham?s genius, a rare collaboration of elite talent assembled to make Gordon appear more capable than he really was.

    This year served as proof otherwise

    At Atlanta on Sunday, Gordon finished sixth to clinch his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship in seven years.

    Gordon now moves past Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson and Lee Petty into sole possession of third place all-time in Winston Cup championships won.

    With his fourth title, Gordon joins Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt as the only drivers in Winston Cup history to win more than three championships in a career.

    "It's starting to sink in a little bit," Gordon said. "I think it's going to take a little while for that number -- four -- to sink in. I look at who had three, who had two, who had one, and then who had seven. It's an unbelievable league of company to be with." Heading into Friday's season finale at New Hampshire, Gordon has six victories, 18 top-fives and 24 top-10s, pushing his lead over second-place Tony Stewart to an insurmountable 376 points, enabling him to clinch the title. Gordon took the lead for good on July 29 with an eighth-place finish at Pocono.

    At that time, he held a 45-point advantage over Ricky Rudd. After a win the following week in the Brickyard 400, Gordon extended that advantage to 160 points over Dale Jarrett and 179 points over Rudd.

    After yet another victory the next week at Watkins Glen International, Gordon was up 194 points on Rudd. From there, his advantage never dipped below 212 points.

    "This is too good to be true," he said. "Without the perseverance God gives us, we wouldn't have been able to get from last year to this year the way we did. These guys are just awesome, the way they came together.

    "I don't know how (Petty and Earnhardt won seven championships). There's just so much into being a champion. It takes so much out of you. I don't think we're ready to think about seven. Maybe we?ll just start out thinking about five."

    Gordon's last championship came in 1998, when Evernham was at the helm of the 24 team and Hendrick Motorsports was in the midst of four-consecutive championship seasons.

    Midway through the 1999 season, however, Evernham departed the Hendrick organization to head up Dodge's return to the Winston Cup Series.

    Despite winning a series-high seven races, Gordon finished sixth in the standings.

    Then, after the season, the Rainbow Warriors jumped ship to join Dale Jarrett's championship-winning No. 88 team at Robert Yates Racing. With an entirely new crew, including Loomis, Gordon won three times in 2000 and finished eighth in the standings -- his worst finish since he was a rookie in 1993.

    Many assumed Gordon had been exposed. They assumed the reeling No. 24 team was proof that Evernham's guidance was the source that had produced three titles in four years, not Gordon's talent.

    Now, he has won championships with two entirely different teams and the skeptics stand silent.

    "A championship in anything is hard to come by, and to do it multiple times is amazing," car owner Rick Hendrick said. "We had three in (four years), then we stumbled. We had lost our pit crew, head fabricator.

    "Then we had to start all over, and to come back to the top of the mountain after being knocked off is awfully sweet."

    Gordon's title marks Hendrick's fifth as an owner. He also won the 1996 title with driver Terry Labonte. Moreover, Hendrick won the 2001 Craftsman Truck Series championship with Jack Sprague at the wheel, and has eight major NASCAR championships overall.

    "You start this series and you never think you?ll win (a championship)," Hendrick said. "When you win the first one, you never think you?ll win again. To win the fifth, it's just unbelievable."

    While Hendrick has multiple titles at his disposal, this is the first for Loomis, who faced his own skeptics when he was hired at the outset of the 2000 campaign.

    "It feels great, man," Loomis said. "It's all about these guys down here. So many people sacrificed to make this happen. I told Jeff this is his championship. I think he let the cat outta the bag this year. He's a pretty good driver."

    Most certainly, the skeptics now concur. Their silence is deafening.

    Hornish Wins
    2001 Indy Racing Northern Lights
    Series Championship!!

    Panther Racing began in 1996 when Indianapolis Colt's star quarterback, Jeff Harbaugh joined forces with Indianapolis businessman Gary Pedigo among others. Their bright yellow Pennzoil car has been seen at every IRL race since. Driver Scott Goodyear raced for them throughout the majority of the IRL's life. 22 y/o Sam Hornish, Jr. replaced retiring Goodyear at the beginning of this year. While Scott had won the last race of 2000 for Panther, Sam won the first two races of 2001 for them.

    Sam and Panther's consistent performance since has enabled them to beat reigning champion Buddy Lazier and Hemelgarn Racing in the Championship even though Lazier won 4 races in 2001.

    Felipe Giaffone is the Rookie of the Year!
    Felipe Giaffone

    Felipe hasn't won a race, but has been very consistent. He did finish 2nd in June at the Texas race and has had ten top-10 finishes so far with one more race to go.

    (10/8) - The IRL Championship Banquet was held in Texas. Tony George presented series champion Sam Hornish, Jr. and Panther Racing with the IRL Trophy and a bonus check for $1 million. Hornish also won the EMCO Gears Out Front Award for leading the most laps. This award came with $10,000.
    Felipe Giaffone was the Chevy Rookie of the Year Award winner and he received a bonus check of $50,000.
    Simon Morley from Panther Racing, won the Pennzoil Chief Mechanic of the Year Award and recieved a $25,000 bonus.
    Greg Ray won the MBNA Season Pole Award for winning the most pole positions, and he recieved $20,000.
    The IRL Crew voted Sarah Fisher the most popular driver.

    Last IRL Race of 2001

    After an 80,000 sell out in Illinois, the Indy Racing League returns to the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Originally scheduled for the weekend of September 16th, the racing was postponed until the weekend of October 6th.

    Saturday, Oct 6 - The IRL had perhaps their best race to date! There was side by side racing throughout and the front runners were separated only by feet. The engine attrition was high and no serious accidents occurred. By the end, 3 cars dueled side by side for the win. Scott Sharp had led the last dozen laps, running low in the groove. Sam Hornish, Jr. and Robbie Buhl right on his tail. Sam waited until the last turn and manages to put his nose in front by the finish line. This had to be the closest 1-2-3 finish ever.

    Consistantly EXCITING racing like this, coupled with CART's inability to even run at Texas, makes one understand their decision to start changing their formula to come more into line as the IRL. [CART is moving to 3.5 liter normally aspirated engines in 2003.] It not only creates a better racing environment for the fans, it brings the ultra-high costs down for the sponsors and teams.

    Sam Hornish, Jr. in his first year racing for Panther Racing, finished every race of 2001 and won the 1st two races as well as the last! In the process he has won the 2001 INDY RACING LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP!!


    CHEVY 500 Results
    1. Sam Hornish, Jr.
    2. Scott Sharp
    3. Robbie Buhl
    4. Eliseo Salizar
    5. Rick Treadway
    6. Al Unser, Jr.
    7. Airton Dare
    8. Greg Ray
    9. Jon Herb
    10. Buzz Calkins

    Note: Buzz Calkins has been given the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch in the next Olympics.

    Saturday, Oct 6 - Rain forced the IRL to cancel practice and qualifying Friday. The 25 drivers, including seven rookies, will be given a 2-hour practice this morning and start the race based on series points.

    Greg Ray returns to the IRL after a 2 race hiatus. He joins A.J. Foyt and will be driving an INFINITY-powered car. Similarly, Heritage Motors is going to add an INFINITY-powered car to their stable for the Texas race. They too have a new driver - 37 y/o Johnny Herbert who had a 12-year career racing in Formula One. This brings the total up to four teams who are now using the Infinity v-8 engines.

    The track has also just received a new paving. "The new surface is excellent," said Johnny Rutherford, head of special projects for the Indy Racing League who was observing the test session. "It is so smooth, the competition should be even better than past Texas races."

    Schumey Michael Schumacher earned $80 million in 2001, easily making him the highest paid driver in the world. Schumacher, arguably the best race car driver of all time, broke many records in Formula One in 2001. He clinched his 4th World Drivers Championship by August and he kept on winning.
    He surpassed Ayrton Senna for the highest number of laps lead in a lifetime. He surpassed Alain Prost for the most number of career victories. He tied Nigel Mansell's record for the most wins in a season. Michael won 11 poles and 9 races in the 16-race 2001 season, and he finished 2nd five times. He now has a total of 53 career wins.
    Yet, there are still some records for Michael to shoot for. Juan Fangio won 5 F1 Championships and Ayrton Senna won 65 pole positions.

    Racing News - November 2001

  • (11/18) - Jeff Gordon wraps up his 4th Nascar Winston Cup championship. more...
  • (11/17) - Dorkboys Bobby Rahal and David Letterman held a news conference at the Speedway to announce that they want to hold on to their sponsor.. Er, I mean, now wish to return to the big race.

    When Tony George didn't show up, Letterman said, "Just why the hell isn't Tony here? I got up at 5 to be here."

    Rahal's team had a switch of drivers with Chip Ganassi - Kenny Brack for Jimmy Vasser.

  • (11/16) - Its rumored that Kool cigarettes is thinking of switching from CART to IRL now. This is the sponsor for Barry Green's team, so Team Green may show up at Indy next year too.
  • (11/16) - Unlike these tobacco companys that are seeing the value in being at Indy, Budweiser does not seem to be interested in competing against Miller and Coors at Indy. Galles Racing was counting on their sponsorship for 2002. Rick says that if he doesn't have a main sponsor in 2 weeks, then he is closing up shop and going back to Albuquerque and then Al Unser, Jr. will be looking for a team.
  • (11/15) - Three drivers from the IRL are signed up to compete in IROC in 2002 - Sam Hornish Jr.,Buddy Lazier and Scott Sharp. Apparently, the reigning Indy 500 Champ, Helio Castroneves, is planning on competing in IROC as he has been practicing at Daytona for the first race. However, the CART schedule conflicts once again with IROC's. How is Helio going to compete in IROC if he is in CART? Either he'll have to miss a race (not likely) or Penske Racing must be be planning to run Helio in the IRL next year instead of CART.
  • (11/13) - IMS is getting its SW Vista and part of the South Vista refurbished this winter.
  • (11/13) - The Forsythe Hilliard CART Team has to shutdown due to lack of sponsors, which will put Bryan Herta out of a ride.
  • (11/12) - Interesting rumor: RED BULL which is beginning to sponsor Cheever Indy Racing and has been sponsoring Sauber over in Formula One, but has backed off and started to fund the Arrows team; is said to be trying to talk GM into developing an F1 engine with the goal of turning Arrows into an all-American F1 team.
  • (11/12) - The Formula One drivers auctioned off parts of their racing suits from the U.S. Grand Prix this past week on eBay. The profits are to aid the children of parents who were killed by the Muslim terrorists on September 11. Michael Schumacher's helmet brought the biggest bid - $55,000!
  • (11/12) - Christian Fittipaldi, in addition to running in CART, has begun to dip into Nascar's Busch series. Casey Mears is expected to follow.
  • (11/8) - Greg Ray will be driving in the 24 Hours of Daytona in an older Ferrari 333SP.
  • (11/2) - IRL driver, Davey Hamilton, has begun rehab.
  • (11/2) - Michael Andretti has been voted CART's most popular driver by its fans, the series announced Thursday. I wonder what fans these are - the American fans? Since the series is mainly Brazilians and I think Andretti is currently the only American, it isn't too surprising.
  • (11/2) - The Star reports that CART teams have been calling Brian Barnhart in recent weeks to discuss participation in the 2002 Indianapolis 500. Asked who has called, Brian said, "It would be a shorter list if I said who hasn't called."
  • (11/1) - It had looked like Foyt Racing had him, but Kelley Racing announced today that they signed ex-Menard driver,Greg Ray. He'll join Scott Sharp as a driver for the team next year. No mention of Mark Dismore, so you can figure he's been let go. He's getting old, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him get another ride somewhere. He and Sharp had been teammates longer than anyone else in the IRL.
  • >
    Racing News - December 2001

  • (12/28) - Emerson Fitipaldi was in a bicycle accident in Miami that resulted in his breaking his collarbone and wrist. Emmo won both the Indy 500 and the F1 World Championship twice. He suffered career-ending injuries while racing in CART in 1996.
  • (12/21) - The IRL has added 25 laps to the race at Pikes Peak, as it had been getting over with too soon. The race will now be 225 miles long.
  • (12/21) - A new IRL race team is forming, called 310 Racing. Don Culver is president and Mark Laidler is the owner. Their race shop will be in Indianapolis. It looks like their driver will be championship karter, George Mack. George is 30 and an African-American. The team still needs to get a car and George will have to pass the IRL driver tests.
  • (12/21) - Hemelgarn Racing was testing the new Chevy V8 at California Speedway this week. Buddy Lazier logged 300 laps of the 2-mile oval and got the car up to 225.15mph lap average.

    "In my entire racing career, I've never seen a brand-new motor run so well right out of the box," said Lazier. "The Chevy engine exceeded all of my expectations. The motor feels lighter and that helps the car handle better, but it's the power that is really impressive."

  • (12/20) - Sam Schmidt Motorsports has signed former Toyota Atlantic champion Anthony Lazarro to drive the team's IRL car in 2002. Lazarro, who has two career IRL starts, signed a multiyear contract.
  • (12/20) - CART, as suspected, has hired Chris Pook as its new leader. Chris was the organizer for CART's street race in Long Beach. These CART teamowners seem to think this 60 y/o Californian is going to get more viewers for CART. While he may be successful in California, I don't see any evidence that he knows anything about the traditional open-wheel fans who reside in the midwest and northeast. His effort at getting CART into St. Louis didn't last long. Then again, CART seems to have abandoned these fans anyway, having moved all their oval races to other countries.
  • (12/18) - Toyota displayed their new entry into Formula One.
    Toyota 2002
    Toyota's F1 operation is the only team apart from Ferrari to produce its own chassis and engine under one roof, and is the first new entrant to do so since 1979. Their 2002 drivers will be Mika Salo and Allan McNish.
  • (12/18) - 21 y/o Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia has been signed as an official test driver for the BMW-Williams F1 team.
  • (12/18) - The F1 team, BAR, unveiled its new car, including its new Honda engine, the RA002E. BAR has also replaced Craig Pollock with David Richards as team principal. Honda announced they signed a 3-year technical partnership with BAR to supply engines as well as stepping up its commitment to chassis development.

    It has been questioned if Honda would leave BAR since the other team they provide engines for (Jordan) has hired a Japanese driver. But, since Jordan hired BAR's Japanese tester, BAR just went out and hired another. 22-year-old Ryo Fukuda won the 2001 Formula Three Championship and is BAR's new test pilot.

    BAR also picked up a new sponsor - Brunotti, a sportswear manufacturer. The deal includes livery branding.

  • (12/17) - Just a day before BAR launches its 2002 car, Team Principal Craig Pollock has announced he is resigning! He successfully wrestled control for BAR from Adrian Reynard. He's had Villeneuve in his pocket since Jacques was a kid. It seems to me that Pollock owes his whole career to the talented Mr. Villeneuve. Jacques has re-signed with BAR. They have Honda Works engines. Why in the world would Pollock leave?!
  • (12/14) - It appears that Cunningham Racing will be on its own this year in the IRL. They teamed with Treadway/Vertex and driver Shigeaki Hattori in 2001. They are planning to field a car for rookie, Rocky Moran, Jr. in 2002. Rocky recently fell off the back of a motorcycle and fractured a vertebrae though. This event forced Cunningham Racing to cancel testing at Homestead this week. Moran supposedly will be ready to go in a month.
  • (12/14) - According to a report by the Indianapolis Star, CART could field as few as 19 cars next season. CART is teetering on a big problem. Some contracts with tracks require the series to bring 18 cars. At least two call for 20. CART is facing its third decline in field size in four years after peaking at 27.9 cars in 1998. Meanwhile, the IRL is looking like they may have 30 cars in 2002. F1 has had 22 for years, but may be 24 for 2002.
  • (12/13) - Cheever Indy Racing, Bradley Motorsports, Mo Nunn Racing, and Penske Racing showed up to test at Homestead today. Felipe Giaffone, the 2001 IRL Rookie of the Year, had the fastest time, 27.22 on the 1.5-mile oval. Cheever's team also gave a test to IndyLights driver, Dan Wheldon.
  • (12/13) - Robbie Buhl, IRL racer since '96, will be testing the new cars for the new feeder series for the IRL- the Infinity Pro Series. Buhl says he was also the tester for the development of the Reynard Barber Dodge series car.

    The Infiniti Pro Series will debut on July 8, 2002, at Kansas Speedway. The Kansas race will be the first of seven anticipated Infiniti Pro Series events in 2002. Races will take place at the same track and on the same day as IRL events, with every Infiniti Pro Series race distance set at 100 miles.

  • (12/13) - Toyota is making solid strides in development of a 3.5-liter engine for the 2003 IRL season. Brian Barnhart said the Japanese manufacturer expects to put its first prototype engine on the test dyno in February and make its initial track assessments in June.
  • (12/13) - IRL rule changes for 2002 consist mainly of refinements, with a continued emphasis on safety. The $40,000 update kits are being readied for delivery to the teams in January.
  • (12/13) - The IRL is on the verge of limiting the maximum number of tires a team can use in private testing. Currently, the only testing restriction in the Indy Racing League Rule Book is a limit of two days per team at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from January to May
  • (12/11) - PDM Racing completed rookie tests for USAC stars, A.J. and Aaron Fike at Atlanta Motorspeedway. After completing 92 laps of the 1.5 mile oval and reaching 209mph, A.J commented on the IRL cars, "It?s kind of like a big, laid back go-kart. Everything is really responsive. The faster I went, the better it felt." PDM plans on giving Scott Mayer a test at Homestead next week.
  • (12/10) Panther Racing will play host to its fifth annual Christmas party for inner-city children Dec. 15 at its southwest Indianapolis shop. Jonathan Byrd is providing the lunch and the Speedway giftshop and team sponsors are providing some gifts for the kids.
  • (12/8) - Starting on Dec. 4, the Olympic torch will be on the road for 65 days and will travel 13,500 miles on its journey before entering Salt Lake City on Feb. 8 for the XIX Winter Olympic Games. Cheever and Hornish will participate in the torch relay as torchbearers, taking the torch for a ceremonial lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Jan. 8, 2002.
  • (12/7) - As expected, Penske Racing announced that they and their Marlboro sponsorship are jumping from CART to the IRL in 2002. Penske Racing has won the Indy 500 a record 11 times. This team won the CART championship the past two years as well as the 2001 Indy 500. Their drivers are Brazilian Helio Castroneves and Frenchman-raised-Brazilian Gil de Ferran. Penske Racing also competes in Nascar Winston Cup.

    Regarding the loss of Penske, CART's Bobby Rahal says "One man doesn't make a series". In response to Penske Marlboro Racing deep pockets, IRL's A.J. Foyt said, "They didn't show that much at Phoenix (last year) for all the testing they did. And at Indy, they weren't really that fast; they were just steady. They will not come in here and run away with it, I'll assure you."

    On a related note, Team Kool Green was thinking of following Penske, but is going to remain in CART next year.

  • (12/6) - CART has fired their president - Joe Heitzler, who has served a year at the helm of the publicly traded company. He follows in the wake of Bobby Rahal and Andrew Craig.
  • (12/3) - Panther Racing tested the new GM engine at Phoenix this weekend. The new engine replaces the Oldsmobile engine that has been dominant in the IRL. This Chevy engine is smaller and lighter. Sam Hornish, Jr. said that it felt like it had a little more power. The engine ran great for 450 miles right out of the box, so that was impressive as well. Chevy last powered an Indycar in 1993.
  • (12/3) - CART sued their Swiss marketing company, ISL, for $48 million and have driven ISL to bankruptcy court. ISL had the responsibility of seeking sponsorship for CART and was obligated by contract to guarantee a pre-determined amount of income to CART on an annual basis. The lawsuit, filed in February and settled Wednesday, alleged that ISL failed to pay CART more than $6 million with respect to the 2000 guarantee.
  • (12/1) - Penske Racing will be running two cars in Winston Cup next year instead of 3, putting Mike Wallace out of a job.
  • (12/01) - Hemelgarn Racing announced plans to run a car in the Infiniti Pro Series, the IRL's new feeder series. The first race for the series will be on July 8, 2002, at Kansas Speedway.