Murray Walker said I'm extremely sorry to hear this news. It was a brave, enterprising and laudable effor on Bernie's part to provide a better-quality product. That product is now going to be denied - not only to people who are prepared to pay the digital premium, but also to the vast majority of ITV viewers who were hoping to watch digital images as well. At a time when improved TV coverage is desperately needed, sadly, it will be getting worse."
Mauro's car crossed into incoming traffic Thursday night in Golden, about 10 miles west of Denver, state Trooper Ron Watkins said.
Both Mauro, 92, and Christopher Basinski, 17, were killed. A 16-year-old passenger in Basinski's car was injured, authorities said.
Mauro usually drove a couple blocks every day to drop off bank receipts from the driving school but rarely drove on the interstate, said Mauro's nephew Richard Lammers, who runs the school.
"I don't think he's been on I-70 for 20 years. We don't know how he got there," Lammers said. "It's a tragic accident. We feel for ourselves and the other parties involved."
Mauro raced for years in the Midwest, using the name "Jack Morris" for a time so his parents wouldn't know he was racing. He competed in the Indy 500 in 1948, finishing eighth behind winner Mauri Rose. Mauro founded the driving school in the late 1950s.
Also, the Daytona 500 has announced that John Travolta will be grand marshal and Mariah Carey will sing the national anthem. Why can't the Indy 500 get a decent line-up? I mean, yeah, John Mellencamp is cool, but come on, he lives down the street and everyone around Indianapolis and Bloomington has seen him like 50 times. Most people didn't know who the guy they got to be grand marshal of the Indy 500 last year was. Coincidentally, I finally saw this guy in a movie just last night. It was a some chick flick that was so lame I wanted to puke.
Who do I recomend for grand marshal? Well, not Ozzy Osborne!.
Also, Today's date is 1/2/3!
His younger brother's IRL career had been blossoming sinec 2000 as he jumped from one team to another before landing the awesome Menard ride in 2002. Four races later and he broke his back at the Nazareth race. Jaques Lazier had to sit out the rest of the season. Rookie Vitor Meira filled in for him for the final four races and won the pole at Texas! Vitor is from Brazil and he did an awesome job. John Menard had a problem. Did he stick with this new younger talent who looked like he might be as good or better than Jaques, or go with his more experienced original driver and hope he was over his injury. I am happy to see that he has decided to give Jaques the ride. Things are tight, good drivers are out of work, and if he didn't give Jaques another chance, who would? Vitor has not been discarded however. He will be the test driver this year for the engineering partnership group between Team Menard and Red Bull Cheever Racing.
It was looking doubtful if Bradley Motorsports would survive, but they have gotten a G-Force with Toyota power and hired Jeff Ward!!
Greg "choke" Ray also landed a job with the new Access Motorsports Team. I was sorry to see that this team did not go with the new Falcon chassis as they'd originally planned. They'll be using a G-Force chassis with a Honda engine. I guess Falcon was behind in getting a chassis together in time. No team will be starting the season with one. I hope they can hang around long enough for some teams to try their car.
COMBINED MONDAY PRACTICE:
COMBINED TUESDAY PRACTICE
Butch Meyer (General Manager, Team Menard): “It went great for us. We have a new car, and we are learning a lot about it. When we come back to race in a week and a half, I think we are going to be very competitive. The announcement of the driver will be made in the next few days. John Menard will make that announcement.”
Sam Hornish Jr blames their slow start to the fact that they are a one-car team and it would help to have another car providing feedback on the race setup of these new cars.
RJR has been the title sponsor since 1971, when the company came into the sport as manufacturers were leaving. Many have considered Winston to be a saving grace to NASCAR, establishing a points fund and pumping millions of dollars into the sport.
1. Tony Kanaan - Honda power
2. Scott Dixon - Toyota power
3. Gil de Ferran - Toyota
4. Helio Castroneves - Toyota
5. Kenny Brack - Honda
6. Felipe Giaffone - Toyota
7. Tomas Scheckter - Toyota
8. Dario Franchitti - Honda
9. Scott Sharp - Toyota
10. Michael Andrettie - Honda
11. Roger Yasukawa - Honda
12. Sam Hornish, Jr. - Chevrolet
It will be televised tonight on ESPN2. Buddy Rice hit the wall today and Mark Taylor made contact back on Thursday.
22 IRL guys practiced at Fontana, a 2 mile D-shaped oval on Tuesday.
California Fastest Laps
Next, the teams all flew to Arizona and tested on the 1-mile Phoenix oval.
Phoenix 1st day Fastest Laps
Now that Bobby's coaching in Foyt's home state of Texas, the two met up at a recent game where Knight's Texas Tech team lost to Texas A&M. After the game was over, Bobby invited A.J. in to help him give those boys a talkin' to! I'd sure love to have seen that.
Scott Mayer will be the PDM driver this season.
Shoring things up monetarily in the #5 car will be the Japanese company, Epson. Naturally, Shigeaki Hattori is part of the deal. I think this team will qualify for the biggest gap in driver age (18 & 39).
I wonder what will become of Airton Dare. I wonder if he's gotten married yet. I heard he was engaged.
Michael Andretti got into a crash with Gil de Ferran when Gil tried to pass him. Gil had to go to the hospital with a concussion and a fracture in his lower back. He will be sitting out the Japan race in order to get healed up for Indy. Alex Barron will be filling in for him in Japan.
The big story at the F1 race in Malaysia was the fact that the Renaults started on the front row! Fernando Alonso won the pole position beside his teammate Jarno Trulli. Fernando is the youngest driver to ever capture pole as well as the only Spanish driver to do so.
Michael Schumacher collided with Jarno Trulli in the second turn on the first lap. His race was further hurt when he had to replace a nose cone and THEN got a drive through penalty. He managed to work his way to finish in 6th. His brother had a good drive finishing in 4th, after having started in 17th.
Kimi Raikonnen, won his first grand prix at the age of 23. This was the McLaren driver's 36th grand prix. I was really bummed that I didn't get to see this race. My vcr goofed up while I was down in Tennessee at the Nascar race. (Dan's Bristol pictures)
Not only that, but all you race fans can come out and check out the IRL's new feeder series for no more than the normal price for an IRL practice day - $5! And of course you'll probably get to see the big cars out practicing before their last chance of qualifying for the Indy 500!
The feeder series for - the second weekend of qualifications will see the IRL's Infiniti Pro Series
While the top 8 qualifiers at Homestead had Dallara chassis, Scott drove a Panoz G-Force to victory!
Scott Sharp was fastest yesterday in practice at 204 mph around the 1.5 mile oval. He joined Ed Carpenter today as men who have made contact with the outside wall today.
Robby Gordon will again be running the "daily double" this year. He will race in the Indianapolis 500 and then fly to North Carolina to compete in Nascar's Coca-Cola 600. Robby has landed a nice ride with Andretti-Green Racing.
Arie Luyendyk is running again in the 500 too. He's driving for Mo Nunn Racing.
Mario retired from Indycar in 1994, but ran Le Mans in 2000. He has currently been staying over in the CART camp and is on their board of directors. While the possibility of him actually filling in for one of Andretti-Green's injured drivers in May is slight, its still an intriguing concept.
"I'm like Dale Earnhardt was when he was alive, those (bleeping) plate races (stink). NASCAR is so crooked. Whoever you are, I don't care what you say, if you can't see that, then you are blind. Why should you take out that many cars if you are racing?"
"All it is any more, restrictor-plate cars is a glorified IROC race, that's all it is," Foyt said. "If you are going to go racing, then go racing. But if you want an IROC race, then just call it an IROC race. I've never been for plate racing, I never will be.
"It's just like racing back to the yellow, I'm glad to see Jeff Gordon speak out against that. Racing shouldn't be who is a complete idiot on the yellow flag. It's a different ball game than it used to be. It's not getting any better, it's getting worse."
Foyt admitted he was losing interest in Nascar.
Several comments have been made by veteran IRL drivers about the illegal blocking moves that the new guys from CART have been engaging in. It will be interesting to see if Brian Barnhart issues some penalties this week.
Sam Hornish commented, "What are you going to do? You have guys two or three laps down to me, blocking, and I'm fighting for position. How many drivers had to go out of here today on a stretcher or an ambulance?"
Pancho Carter, who is now a spotter, commented, "There were a lot of crashes going on today. A lot of guys were racing a lot closer than they need to at these speeds. I guess that's the way they race over there in the other series. I don't have a good explanation of it. Probably the biggest thing is too much micromanaging goes on on a lap-to-lap basis."
Tomas Scheckter also spoke up on Gianffone's great drive at the end against Hornish, "Felipe has been in this series for a couple of years. He knows what Brian (Barnhart) will allow and won't allow. He knows there is no reason to block the guy because all you will do is end up in a pile of pieces in turns 3 and 4. I had a good race with everybody I'm used to racing against. Take that however you want to."
Scott Dixon will start from the pole position based on his lap of 206.996 mph set Friday afternoon. Tony Kanaan, who turned a lap at 206.484 mph on Saturday morning, will start second.
Setting the starting grid based on practice times is a new rule for the Indy Racing League in 2003.
The safety car had to come out numerous times and unfortunately toward the end, after Giancarlo Fisichella in the Jordan passed Kimi Raikonnen for the lead, there was further trouble. Mark Webber, who had been challenging all day in his Jaguar, spun and crashed. Renault's Fernando Alonso soon came up too fast on the debris, hit one of the Jag's tires and slid into the inside wall, smacking it sideway, then rebounding across the track while spinning like a top and smacked the outside walls sideways again. Alonso crawled slowly from the cockpit and sat down against the wall. It was obvious he had a problem with his left leg. With debris strewn all over the track, the red flag was thrown ending the race and a ambulance took Alonso away.
Fisi stopped his car in the pitlane hopped out, and his engine caught fire. He was excited about winning his first F1 race, but soon learned that the rules state that the driver line-up reverts to the way it was 2 laps before a red flag is thrown. Since his pass of the Mercedes-McLaren had happened just one lap before, he was moved down in to second place and Alonso was moved up to third. So, on the podium and in the after race interview, they were a man short as Alonso was on his way to the hospital.
It will be driven by Herb Fishel, the executive director of GM Racing.
The move reinforces the company's intention to become a worldwide leader in the design and supply of engines, vehicles and associated technology.
"This is a big step for the technical company Eddie and I formed last year," John Menard said. "The resources and knowledge of the workforce at TWR Engines opens the door to a great number of new business opportunities."
May 2003 - INDY 500
Sara Fisher was voted the peoples favorite driver for the third year in a row. She and Billy Boat were the first Chevy's to retire. Sam Hornish, Jr. almost finished in 6th place for Chevy, but his engine let go with 5 laps to go! The story this year was all Toyota and Honda engines. Chevy is going to have to start spending a lot of money if they want to catch up with the Japanese.
Late into the race, Scott Sharp hit the safer barrier in turn 1 hard. Soon after, rookie Dan Wheldon lost control in turn 3. After hitting the wall, he became airborn and flipped and landed upside down. No one was hurt today in the race.
The men who lead the most laps included Kanaan, Scheckter and Michael Andretti who was racing his final Indy car race. The Andretti luck continued as his car broke down and he had call it quits. His teammate Tony Kanaan had a great race and ended up in third place. The Ganassi drivers did well most of the day and Tomas Scheckter came home in fourth place. Tora Takagi rounded out the top 5.
The Penske team worked their usual magic and finished 1-2. Gil de Ferran finished a split second ahead of his teammate and defending 2-time Indy 500 Champion, Helio Castroneves. One was driving a Dallara chassis and one was driving a G-Force chassis! It was a very close race and about 7 cars were on the lead lap at the end.
Here is an interview with Tony:
How much will you pay attention to the goings-on during race day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
"Considering we have a night race, I'll sleep in all morning and get up in time to watch the start of the race. I'll wake up, eat my breakfast and pay pretty close attention to it."
A lot was made of the possibility that the Indianapolis 500 would not have a full, 33-car field. But after Bump Day last Sunday, they will, in fact, have a full field. Why was filling the field such an issue this year?
"The field was thin this year because of all the changes that were made. There were new chassis this year, so a lot of the underfinanced teams that had trouble finding sponsors because of the economy were forced to miss the event. There weren't as many teams, but the teams that are there this year are quality teams. I think there are more quality teams this year than there have been in the past. I think the field is probably stronger than it's ever been. We just didn't see the magnitude of cars in terms of car counts that we're used to seeing."
It wasn't but 10 years ago when CART and NASCAR were neck and neck in terms of motorsports supremacy. Today, CART is struggling to rebuild itself, while NASCAR is the 800-pound gorilla of motorsports. Some think NASCAR is in the same position that CART was 10 years ago, and that they're susceptible for a fall. Do you think that's the case?
"CART's demise came with the car owners trying to run the series. That's why NASCAR won't fall into that same trap. NASCAR knows what's in the best interest of our racing series and they're in control of it. The car owners have input, but they're not in control. That way, the series can't be corrupted by other people's agendas."
"I think so. Even for me, it's still hard to understand some of the things NASCAR does and why they do it, but there is a reason for all of their actions. And it's their leadership that has gotten this sport to where it is. You don't have to understand why things are being done all the time, but you know that the end results of those decisions are in the best interests of our sport."
You used to be a part-owner of an Indy Racing League (IRL) team. Do you have any desire to get back into the ownership ranks of the IRL?
"You never say never, but I would have to do a lot of homework to start an IRL team. The technology in that series has gotten away from me a little bit. But I enjoyed my ownership in the IRL, and I would enjoy being a part of it again. You never know what may happen down the road."
How much has the technology changed in Indy car racing since you last competed in the Indy 500 two years ago?
"It's quite a bit different. For a whole day and a half during the first week of practice when I did double duty, I would pull into the pits and the crew would tell me an aero number, but I didn't know what the aero number meant - and I still don't remember what the aero number meant when I drove for Ganassi. The difference is that those cars use on-board telemetry and live-time telemetry. It's space-age. It's technology that hasn't been available to Winston Cup cars until the last couple of years, and even then we can only use it during tests. It's not allowed for race weekends. And even at that, it's still behind what's being used in the IRL. We're using stuff in the Winston Cup Series that we had in the IRL five years ago. We're kind of behind on that, but that's also NASCAR's way of helping the teams save some money, or using that money for different areas of their program."
There was a crash on the opening lap when Beardsley spun in turn 3, collected Medeiros, and the both slammed into the wall. The rear wheels and rear spoiler became detached from one car. I'd never seen that before.
On the restart, Craig Dollansky crashed in turn 2. He spun into the grass, and then drove head first into the outside wall. His head jerked forward with quite a jolt. He ended up in the hospital with a fractured lower spine. Craig, 37, races in the World of Outlaws and this was his first IPS race.
Before they could restart again, it began to rain and the race was postponed. The IPS will try to hold the race tomorrow and the Indycars will have their last day of qualifying.
A.J. Foyt Jr.: "When it first happened and I saw he was OK, I got on him pretty hard. Then when I came back to the garage and saw the setup sheet, there was so much nose-weight on the front end that there was no way he couldn't have wrecked. I apologized to him because it was a mistake on the crew's part and mine for not catching it. I feel bad for him because the three accidents here this month weren't his fault. One was caused by a cut tire, the qualifying spin was caused by a droop-stop bolt that had backed out and the windy conditions, and now this. I'm just thankful he's been able to walk away from them all."
Andretti-Green - Michael Andretti Rahal Letterman - Kenny Brack Dreyer Reinbold - Robbie Buhl Penske Racing - Helio Castroneves Ganassi Racing - Scott Dixon Mo Nunn Racing - Felipe Giaffone Panther Racing - Sam Hornish, Jr Andretti-Green - Tony Kanaan Red Bull Cheever - Buddy Rice Target Ganassi - Tomas Scheckter Kelley Racing - Scott Sharp Kelley Racing - Al Unser, Jr
Alex Barron will substitute for him at Mo Nunn Racing.
The crew members all agreed, and IMS Productions filmed Fisher's crew working on her race car in SpongeBob boxer shorts. Engineer Mark Weida, crew chief Dan Miller, data acquisition specialist Jason Lucas and crew members Andy O'Gara, Scott Merryman and Mark Talifario all participated.
When the IMS Productions crew finished filming in the garage, Fisher told them they needed one more shot to show that they were at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The crew agreed to walk through the garage in full view of all the other teams and pose in front of the timing and scoring pylon.
Fisher had the crew practice saying together in front of the camera, "Hi, we're the No. 23 SpongeBob SquarePants team." But the crew couldn't get it right, so she held up a sign that said" "Gotcha - you're on Speedway Spoofs." When the crew read the sign, they chased Fisher. According to team officials, the crew has vowed revenge, and Fisher is watching her back.
Then later that night, WFBQ 94.7 FM will be sponsoring another free rock concert. Steppenwolf will be playing downtown at the corner of Jackson Street and Meridian Street!
Brian Barnhart has now penalized Tora Takagi. He has been imposed probation until Dec. 31, 2003 and loss of 23 Driver points as well as 23 Entrant points for Mo Nunn Racing. Barnhart said, "I have reviewed the broadcast footage of the Texas race, and I am disappointed to view actions which exhibit reckless, careless and overly aggressive driving, and endangering the safety of competitors."
I think they should have found Jeff a Formula One helmet first. His head was being buffeted all over the place. After his first stint, he said he was really surprised at the g-forces generated by this car, the blood rushed to his head, and he's never felt anything like it. His neck was sore and assured us that Juan must have a very strong neck. He was also amazed at the fantastic brakes that the Williams BMW had. Similarly, Montoya was surprised at the poor brakes on the Winston Cup car. Jeff had a brief off into the grass, but otherwise did quite well. His lap times improved and he came within a second of the baseline speed Montoya did in the F1 car in the morning. Montoya beat Jeff's baseline speed in the Winston cup car by a 1/10 of a second. He had a few lockups, flat spotting Gordon's Chevy.
I loved this demonstration! As Jeff Gordon screamed around the track in the high-tech Williams car, I could imagine what it was like for him. In a euphoric fog, I left, red-lining it all the way back to work in my turbo Talon as if it were a F1 car. Ah, we're never too old to dream!
Little Al comes to Pikes Peak in contention for the IndyCar Series title. He climbed to second in the standings, 26 points behind Tony Kanaan, after winning the Bombardier 500 on June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The Chevys are running about 7 mph slower than the Japanese powered cars this year. GM has been building these non-turbo engines for the IRL since 97. Honda and Toyota entered the series just this year.
At the first IRL race of the year, Jaques Lazier made light contact with the wall ending the race for him on lap 89.
At Phoenix, he had a 360 degree spin, but kept it off the wall and finished 6th.
Next in Japan, Shinji Nakano wrecked in front of him leaving him no where to go.
Then in Indy, Jaques crashed after Richie Hearn wrecked in front of him forcing him to get on the brakes which sent him out of control.
Team Menard gave Jaques Lazier a chance to make a come-back this year but evidently don't like his luck percentage as he's out and Vitor Meira is in.
This race was awesome! The competition was fierce and this track gives the Texas Motorspeedway a run at having the most exciting IRL race. The 75' wide 2-mile track allows the drivers to run 3 and 4 wide and attack from different angles.
It was also exciting to see Sam Hornish, Jr. debut the new Chevy Gen IV engine. For the first time this year, he had as much power as the Toyotas and Hondas. He sprinted from the 2nd row to take the lead at the beginning and was often leading the race. All of the other Chevy drivers was at the rear of the pack. These teams and drivers look forward to the Kentucky race when Chevrolet should have built enough of these new engines to supply all the teams. As it stands right now, they will be able to introduce the new engine to Team Cheever and their driver Buddy Rice at St Louis in a few weeks.
Sam dueled with Little Al, Sharp, Alex Barron, Dixon & Scheckter through out the 400 miles. It was good to see A.J. IV up to speed - he stayed on the lead lap through most of the race. There was a scary moment when Barron drifted high into someone and he ended up spinning at over 215 mph. He kept it off the wall as he ended up back in the right direction and with his motor still running, he got back in the race.
With 10 laps to go it was anybody's race - then my VCR tape ended! ACK! I stayed away from the news for a few days, hoping to get to watch the end on someone elses tape, but eventually I heard that Alex Barron beat Sam Hornish by a nose. Alex Barron never seems to disappoint as he subs in CART and the IRL. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a steady ride.
It looks like the Brits have helped - Sam starts in P4. All the other Chevy Chevies are starting at the back.
"Well, I feel a range of emotions in the last 24 hours that I'm not very happy with. I feel that I've supported CART when CART had nobody to support them. Team Player's supported CART when nobody was supporting them. The things that have happened and the inconsistencies in the rules that have been going on for years and years, are very frustrating to me and very troubling. My emotions are probably not much different from that of Tony George or Honda or Toyota, Marlboro Team Penske or Michael Andretti. So those are the type of feelings that I've had over the last 24 hours with how CART is handling what's going on in and outside the racetrack."
"It's a real specialized race, and we feel it requires direct attention," Burton said. "There's nothing at all like this. The only thing the same about this and Pocono is that it has long straightaways. The corners are totally different.
"This place is so much smoother, (and) Pocono is rough. There's not a corner on this racetrack that resembles Pocono. A lot of people look at the straightaways and say, 'It's like Pocono,' but it's nothing like Pocono."
"This place is so much smoother, (and) Pocono is rough. There's not a corner on this racetrack that resembles Pocono. A lot of people look at the straightaways and say, 'It's like Pocono,' but it's nothing like Pocono."
Burton said both he and his team owner, Jack Roush, place winning the Brickyard 400 high on their "to do" list.
"Anybody that has been involved or is involved in motorsports that doesn't have a respect for Indianapolis doesn't deserve to be in motorsports. It's a historic place with a tremendous amount of heritage, and I have a lot of reverence for that. Everybody's heard of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so anytime you can be successful at a track with that much history and heritage, that's a special thing."
This incident, on the 12th lap of the 60-lap contest won by Rubens Barrichello, for Ferrari, came only hours after the sport's commercial ringmaster, Bernie Ecclestone, had issued an ultimatum to the circuit's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, and the Government that they have just one month in which to put Silverstone in order or risk being omitted from the 2004 calendar
Dixon set a track record by circling the 1.33-mile oval in 22.695 seconds in his Toyota-powered G-Force, reaching 206.211 mph (329.937 k/hr) for his fourth overall pole of the season, including Japan and his current streak.
Nascar has given $250,000 to the Citizenship Education Fund, an arm of Jackson's coalition. The group says it has used the money to boost minority participation in motor sports.
Project 21 accuse Jackson of intimidating NASCAR into giving him money to keep him from making a public fuss about the lack of minorities in motor sports. (I wonder why they would care?) On Thursday, the group challenged Jackson to show he is truly committed to minority participation in motor sports by sponsoring a black driver himself.
They suggested Herbie Bagwell Jr. who has qualified for the upcoming Busch North Series and who needs sponsorship. Charles Farrell, director of Rainbow Sports, said Jackson's group does not sponsor athletes.
I think they should try using that quarter million Nascar just gave 'em!
My friend Jeff thinks that he'll join Ganassi or Penske, run the full IRL schedule in 2004 and also run a half dozen select Nascar races, so that he'll get experience in Nascar and then go Nascar full-time in 2005 and still be able to compete for rookie of the year.
"Net loss for the 2003 second quarter was $34.5 million or $2.34 per fully diluted share, compared to a net loss of $3.7 million, or $0.25 per fully diluted share, in the comparable period a year ago. ... management now expects that it will need to raise additional capital for the 2004 season. At this time, the Company has not identified any source for this capital and there is not any assurance it could be raised. Projections beyond 2004 are, in management's view, very speculative."
What I'd like to know is when F1 comes to Indy, why do teams have to cover up their tobacco sponsorship. I can understand Ferrari not being allowed to show Marlboro, as that tobacco brand is in other series in the states and by law are limited to one series. But Benson and Hedges and West? Smoke 'em if you got 'em!
Also, CART's president, Chris Pook, has questioned the viability of having CART events at Cleveland in July and Mid-Ohio in August.
During the race, police tried to arrest a man near the third turn grandstands. He fled, but officers caught him on the backstretch golf course.
Through Sunday afternoon, police had made several dozen arrests in the vicinity of the Speedway. Most were for public intoxication; a few were for disorderly conduct, drug possession and drunk driving.
Speedway police reported 37 weekend arrests while Indiana State Police made 17 arrests. Most came the night before the race.
The weather was sunny and partly cloudy and the heat was in the low 80's today in Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400. The race had few cautions. One of the local Hoosier favorites, John Andretti, hit the wall.
photo by Jeff Barrie
Dale Jarrett lost control coming into the pits and spun it around and tagged the wall and his jackman. Hoosier Ryan Newman led some laps, but he lost some positions when he ran out of gas. Tony Stewart, another Hoosier, led most of the race. Some late cautions moved Tony back; and Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick to the front. Soon a big wreck happened coming out of turn 3. Joe Nemechek, Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Rudd, Mike Skinner, Sterlin Marlin, were involved. It looked to me like Kurt Busch caused it. He continued racing and finished 7th. This caution brought a lot of cars back onto the lead lap. Now Kevin Harvick and Robby Gordon were in front. Harvick pulled away and Robby held up McMurray and Kenseth so that Kevin Harvick had a comfortable 3 second lead. Soon Robby had Jeff Gordon and Bill Elliott also got around Robby with 2 laps to go. And that's how they finished.
BRICKYARD 400 TOP 20 FINISHERS
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2003 -- Kevin Harvick made Brickyard 400 history Aug. 3, becoming the first pole sitter to win in the 10-year history of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Harvick pulled away on a late restart in the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet and beat Winston Cup Series points leader Matt Kenseth by 2.758 seconds for his first career Brickyard 400 victory and first victory this season. He averaged 134.554 mph.
"I can't believe this," Harvick said. "I don't even know if I can explain it. It's so awesome. I can't wait to kiss the bricks."
Rookie Jamie McMurray finished third in the No. 42 Havoline Dodge, 4.587 seconds behind Harvick. It was the best finish for a Brickyard 400 rookie since the inaugural year in 1994.
Three-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon was fourth in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, and 2002 Brickyard 400 winner Bill Elliott rounded out the top five in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge.
Harvick's victory fulfilled a dream that was spawned when he was a youngster growing up in Bakersfield, Calif., home of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears.
"I told Matt (Yocum, NBC pit reporter) I've got a picture hanging on my wall that says, 'Good luck, hope to see you here someday,' from Rick Mears. Damn if we aren't here in victory lane at the Brickyard. This is awesome." Harvick took the lead for good during an intense! duel on Lap 145 after a restart.
McMurray led when the green flag flew on Lap 145, with Robby Gordon and Harvick in pursuit. Harvick pulled past McMurray and Gordon toward the end of the lap when a seven-car incident between Turns 3 and 4 triggered the final caution period of the race. It was the last of 17 lead changes among 12 drivers.
The No. 97 Rubbermaid Ford driven by Kurt Busch hit the rear of No. 5 Kellogg's/got milk? Chevrolet between Turns 3 and 4, collecting the cars driven by Sterling Marlin, 1997 Brickyard 400 winner Ricky Rudd, Jimmie Johnson, Mike Skinner and Joe Nemechek in the melee. No one was injured. Harvick led the field on the final restart on Lap 151, leading by .633 of a second over teammate Robby Gordon in the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet after one lap around the historic, 2.5-mile oval.
Then Harvick pulled away on Lap 152, expanding his lead to 1.311 seconds over Gordon.
By Lap 155, the! race for the checkered was over, as Harvick's lead grew to 3.491 seconds. Meanwhile, McMurray used drafting help from behind from Kenseth to pass Gordon entering Turn 3 for second. Kenseth also squeaked his No. 17 Smirnoff Ice Triple Black/DeWalt Ford past Gordon to take third.
Kenseth then passed McMurray for second on the inside of Turn 3 on Lap 157. Kenseth expanded his series lead to 286 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished 14th in the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet.
"I was a little too far behind," Kenseth said. "All my guys did a great job. We had good pit stops, and we had a good strategy. I knew it was going to be tough to get around the 31 and then get around the 29."
Defending Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart appeared to be the driver to beat midway through the 160-lap race. He started 15th in the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet but picked his way through the pack and climbed to the lead by Lap 26.
Stewart led a total of ! 60 laps -- more than any other driver -- and led at the 60-, 70-, 80, 90- and 100-lap marks. Stewart's lead ballooned to 10.272 seconds on Lap 88.
But the field gradually reined in Stewart, and he led for the last time on Lap 106. Stewart lost ground on a green-flag pit stop on Lap 131, and many of the other leading cars pitted after a caution on Lap 139.
"Poor finish," said Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's crew chief. "The Home Depot Monte Carlo ran good all day. The guys put up a great car. We kind of had a poor pit stop and gave up track position and kind of struggled from there." "We put tires on that were a little loose. We were still doing OK, and then that caution came out and gave up all of that ground and big lead that you had. Just from that point on, it seemed like with 30 or 40 to go or whatever, we just struggled. Nothing went our way or did not play the right game." Harvick and Richard Childress Racing definitely played the! right game. The victory returned Childress' team to victory lane at Indianapolis for the first time since late seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt won the 1995 Brickyard 400.
"Anything we can do that Dale Earnhardt did is an accomplishment," Harvick said. "That's why we still have this '3' on the side (of the car). He's what made this whole organization what it is today. I'm just glad to be a part of it."
BRICKYARD 400 TOP 5 QUALIFIERS
1. Kevin Harvick
Personally, I think this will greatly damage the attendance at the F1 race and maybe hurt the Indycar race too. There are many open-wheel fans who attend both the Indy 500 and the U.S. Grand Prix. Currently, there is a big enough gap between the two, that it is reasonable that they can fly in twice, or have the money to spend on hotels and souvenires, etc. Now having them a month or less apart is bound to discourage attendance at one race or the other. The grand prix will also be a hotter race now, inserted as it is into summertime.
The only positive that I can see is that more Americans may watch the F1 race on tv in June because it won't be competing with football.
Jarno Truli had the pole on Friday at 1:09. However on Saturday, he crashed during warm-up.
Sam Hornish Jr. won, his 4th win in the last 5 races. After a dreadful start to the season for the defending IRL champion, he has been fighting his way back to the top of the point standings since receiving the new Chevy engine. With one race remaining in TEXAS, it's going to be a SHOOTOUT!! That final race will be on Oct 12th.
Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon are tied for first in the IRL with 467 points. Tony Kanaan has 460 and Hornish 448. Roger Yasukawa is just 3 points in front of Dan Wheldon as they fight for Rookie of the Year honors.
<(9/14) - CART has been purchased at 53 cents on the dollar by a group of CART team owners: Gerald Forsythe, Paul Gentilozzi, Kevin Kalkhoven, Carl Russo and Jamie Rose. Their partnership is called "Open Wheel Racing Series LLC"
Tunnel that goes under track completely flooded.
Five full-time teams currently use Pontiacs, with Ricky Craven providing the only victory in 2003. In the manufacturer standings, Pontiac is a distant fourth, trailing leader Chevrolet by 127 points. Ford and Dodge also race in Winston Cup.
Tony Renna 1976-2003
Tony was very excited about joining the powerhouse Target team, who has a penchant for picking awesome up-and-coming drivers. Tony and the team were up late last night getting him fitted for the car, as his first day would begin today with a tire test at IMS. Tony started the session a little past 9 a.m. It was a cold morning in the 40's, with gusty winds.
On his 4th lap, Tony had the car up to 218 mph. He apparently spun in turn three, caught some air underneath the chassis and went airborne. His car slashed into the catch fence, some pieces cutting through the fence. There were a couple of other cars on the track at the time, but no one was involved with Tony's accident. The wreck was bad. Tony was taken to Methodist hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.
1. There will now be two 1-hour practices on Friday and no qualifying.
2. Teams not in the top four of the Constructors' standings may run a third car in Friday practices.
3. There will be two 45-minute practice sessions on Saturday.
4. Saturday qualifying order will be determined by the results of the last race. The starting order at the first race of the season will be taken from the last race of the previous year.
5. Drivers will have two chances at qualifying, one after another. However If a driver fails to set a timed lap in the first section he will not be allowed to take part in the second.
While the top 5 drivers who were viying for the championship all stayed in the front of the pack, toward the end, Helio and Kanaan touched wheels and this put them in for new tires and dropped them out of contention. Gil de Ferran won the final race of his IRL career!
Scott Dixon finished 2nd. Dixon and Target Chip Ganassi won the 2003 IRL championship and the $1 Million bonus!
Now Sam Hornish Jr. will be switching to team Penske. I wonder how he and Helio are going to get along...
IRL 2003 FINAL - TOP TEN DRIVERS
Bernie Ecclestone said in the "Sun" that he tried to find JV another ride. "I did everything possible to talk teams into giving Jacques a drive for next season but the truth is no one wants him. I still regard him as a great racer but he needs a team that would give him extra motivation. Toyota would have been the perfect platform for him because they could give him a car capable of winning races. I even suggested he should go to Ferrari and drive alongside Michael Schumacher for free. But it didn't come off because Michael insists on No. 1 status, which shows he must still consider Jacques a threat." Duh.
A motorcycle's top speed on the front straightaway could reach 200 mph under race conditions. Jake Zemke said, "Without being strapped in, that's too much, the walls are so close here and the speeds are so high."
GPF1 will contribute somewhere in the region of $12 million; the total cost of the compensation amounts to $29 million. The teams will receive $30 million (US) for one year and Bernie Ecclestone will invest his own money for further compensation, thought to be in the region of $10-13 million.
Darren is 28 years old and is from England.
Sauber will also have new drivers. Nick Heidfeld switched places with Giancarlo Fisichella - So Fisi is now at Sauber and Nick will be at Jordon. Heinz-Harald Frentzen retired and so Sauber moved test driver Felipe Massa up to fill in for him.
Other F1 Driver changes of note: As we found out a few months ago, Villeneuve has been replaced by Takuma Sato at BAR. And as mentioned earlier this month, rookie Christian Klien will be driving at Jaguar.
“The review of this accident was more difficult and prolonged because it was a private test. Although we are confident we’ve pieced together what happened during the accident, it appears we will not know why the crash started. That is the frustrating part of this effort.”
The accident review revealed that Renna’s car entered Turn 3 at 227 mph. At a point just past the apex of the turn, the car did a 90-degree spin to the left into the infield grass. The car began to skip through the grass as it traveled sideways, allowing air underneath the car and causing it to lift into the air. While in the air the car spun approximately another 30 degrees to the left.
The car traveled across the track through the air and made contact with the debris fence on the outside retaining wall in Turn 3. IRL officials said it appears that the most significant damage and resulting fatal injuries were caused when the bottom of the car made direct contact with one of the debris fence support posts, which is part of the Speedway’s fence system.
Race engines will be limited to one per 2-day race weekend and two for 3-day weekends. This will reduce costs in engine rebuilds and prevent special engine builds just for qualifying.
Other rule changes for 2004 include reducing the fuel tank from 35 to 30 gallons and a limit of five laps for a backup or “T” car on race weekends, unless the primary car is damaged in an accident.