1st Quarter 2001 IMS RACING NEWS

February March

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.

Older news pages

  • 2000 1st Quarter Racing News
  • 2000 2nd Quarter Racing News
  • 2000 3rd Quarter Racing News
  • 2000 4th Quarter Racing News
  • 1999 Indy Car Racing News
  • 1998 Indy Car Racing News
  • 1997 Indy Car Racing News

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