Dan's Indianapolis Motor Speedway
News & Views

March 2003

  • (3/29) - Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk was confirmed as part of a three-car effort of Mo Nunn Racing in this year's Indy 500.
  • (3/23) - Tony Kanaan held off Castroneves to win the IRL race in Phoenix. So far, both IRL races this year has had less than a second between the leaders at the finish. IRL regulars, Felipe Giaffone and Al Unser Jr finished third and fourth.

    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.

  • (3/24) - FORMULA ONE RACE
    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)

  • (3/12) - Well darn. I was hoping the IRL's Infiniti Pro Series would race during May at the nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park's .66 mile oval. I guess it didnt' work out. However, you Hoosiers can still watch them race at no less a place than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! On Saturday, May 17th the IPS teams will compete.

    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

  • (3/9) - Well, the first F1 race of the year is over and there was no Ferrari driver on the podium. David Coulthard won his 13th Formula One grand prix, moving him ahead of Mario Andretti in the catagory of total F1 race wins.
  • Scott Dixon (3/2) - Scott Dixon won the first IRL race of the year in the first IRL race of his life! Scott is a native of New Zealand and is 22 y/o. He is driving for the Target Chip Ganassi team. He won rookie-of-the-year honors in CART two years ago and he won the Indy Lights championship in 2000.

    While the top 8 qualifiers at Homestead had Dallara chassis, Scott drove a Panoz G-Force to victory!

  • (3/1) - Tony Kanaan has the pole for tomorrow's Toyota 300 at Homestead. His Andretti-Green teammate, Michael Andretti will start beside him.

  • (3/1) - Rookie A.J. Foyt IV learned a lesson yesterday during practice for the IRL Homestead race this weekend. He let Helio Castroneves inside which forced him into the wall, demolishing the entire rightside of his new Dallara and the gearbox. They'll have to work hard to get it ready for the race tomorrow. Helio and Penske racing appologized which made Anthony feel a little better. Helio said a similar incident occurred to him in Homestead's first turn in 1998. He grazed the wall after letting Michael Andretti go under him in the race. "From then on, I don't do that," Castroneves said. "I told him not to be such a nice guy next time." A.J. Foyt had some words of advice for his grandson, "I told him next time just turn left and blast him, and let both of you go to the wall. That will break him of that habit." He he. When A.J. is done with Peewee, everyone better look out!

    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.

  • (3/1) - For awhile there, it looked like Bradley Motorsports might make the IRL line-up this year, after securing driver Jeff Ward, but things have fallen apart for the team. Created in 1996 for '96 IRL co-champion, Buzz Calkins, the team survived one year after Buzz retired after 2001.

  • February 2003

  • (2/21) - Awesome news this week! Hemelgarn Racing had lost Coors as sponsor and it was dubious whether 1996 Indy 500 Champion Buddy Lazier would be able to race. They missed the Test in the West. Hemelgarn announced he'll be racing in the first event at Homestead however!

    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.

  • (2/18) - The IRL spent Monday and Tuesday with open testing at Homestead Florida. Rain interrupted some. Penske and Andretti had the best times. A.J. the 4th hit the wall today.

    Driver, Speed (MPH)
    1. Gil de Ferran, 205.761
    2. Helio Castroneves, 205.307
    3. Michael Andretti, 204.847
    4. Roger Yasukawa, 203.652
    5. Scott Dixon, 202.996
    6. Tony Kanaan, 202.710
    7. Scott Sharp, 202.617
    8. Sam Hornish Jr., 202.604
    9. Dario Franchitti, 202.553
    10. Kenny Brack, 202.079
    11. Tora Takagi, 201.097
    12. Felipe Giaffone, 200.997
    13. Buddy Rice, 200.500
    14. Sarah Fisher, 197.765
    15. Tomas Scheckter, 197.532
    16. Robbie Buhl, 197.157
    17. Jaques Lazier, 196.922
    18. AJ Foyt IV, 195.764
    19. Al Unser Jr., 195.739

    Driver, Speed (MPH)
    1. Andretti, Michael 207.378
    2. de Ferran, Gil 206.756
    3. Sharp, Scott 206.230
    4. Castroneves, Helio 206.152
    5. Kanaan, Tony 204.958
    6. Franchitti, Dario 204.536
    7. Hornish Jr, Sam 204.067
    8. Dixon, Scott 203.750
    9. Scheckter, Tomas 203.712
    10. Brack, Kenny 203.692
    11. Yasukawa, Roger 203.335
    12. Giaffone, Felipe 202.969
    13. Rice, Buddy 202.969
    14. Takagi, Tora 202.051
    15. Unser Jr, Al 201.660
    16. Fisher, Sarah 201.474
    17. Lazier, Jaques 200.986
    18. Buhl, Robbie 198.470
    19. Dixon, Scott 195.537
    20. Foyt IV, AJ 193.857
    21. Hattori, Shigeaki 192.753
    22. Mayer, Scott 192.178

    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.

  • (2/16) - Rain stopped the Daytona 500 twice today. The 2nd time was for good. Pencil in Michael Waltrip's 2nd Daytona 500 win!
  • (2/14) - Some more new rules for Formula One this year. For this season there will be no two-way telemetry, radio communication or spare cars and come 2004, traction and launch control and automatic gearboxes will be banned! I'm all in favor of losing these electronic driver aids. I think these changes are intended to help the excitement level as well as save some money for the teams.
  • (2/14) - Jaguar Racing is joining Minardi, Renault and Jordan in opting for the new Friday testing plan in Formula One. These teams will be allowed two extra hours of practice on race weekend. However, they must give up lots of other testing hours in between the races.
  • (2/12) - Citing the downturn in the economy, coupled with possible payouts in the tobacco settlement, R.J. Reynolds has talked with NASCAR about the possibility of the stock-car sanctioning body finding another sponsor for its premier series.

    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.

  • (2/8) - Phoenix Final Practice - Here are the fastest drivers in the final day of testing:
    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.

  • (2/7) - Test in the West - The IRL has all new cars this year and the race teams are rushing to get the cars ready for the first race coming up in March at Homestead FLA.

    22 IRL guys practiced at Fontana, a 2 mile D-shaped oval on Tuesday.

    California Fastest Laps
    1. Felipe Giaffone
    2. Tomas Scheckter
    3. Tony Kanaan
    4. Dario Franchitti
    5. Gil de Ferran
    6. Scott Dixon
    7. Tora Takagi
    8. A.J. Foyt IV
    9. Al Unser, Jr.
    10. Helio Castroneves
    12. Sam Hornish, Jr.

    Next, the teams all flew to Arizona and tested on the 1-mile Phoenix oval.

    Phoenix 1st day Fastest Laps
    1. Helio Castroneves
    2. Kenny Brack
    3. Felipe Giaffone
    4. Tomas Scheckter
    9. Sam Hornish, Jr.

  • (2/7) - I've been hearing about basketball coach Bobby Knight as far back as I can remember. The same goes for A.J. Foyt. Both of these men have figured prominently in the sporting news in Indianapolis for years. I always thought these two guys shared some similarities - they were both hard asses and neither were ever afraid to say what they thought.

    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.

  • (2/7) - Cool! Petty Enterprises is going to let John Andretti race in the Indy 500 this year! He'll have to grab the last train to Charlotte to compete in the 600. I guess we can give up on Tony Stewart coming back, but maybe Robby Gordon will attempt the big double again.
  • (2/6) - How would you like to be on Al Unser, Jr's pit crew? Charity raffles will be held ($100 per ticket) and the winner will receive round trip air fare for two to an IRL race beginning with the Copper World Indy 200 on March 23rd in Phoenix, Arizona. Included is ground transportation, two all-access pit passes, two grandstand tickets, hotel accommodations with Kelley Racing, an exact replica of a drivers helmet autographed by the driver, his crew and Tom Kelley as well as the option of working with the crew throughout the event weekend. There will be several raffles throughout the year. Proceeds are going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

    To get more information or to enter to win the “Experience of a Lifetime” you can go to their website at www.PitCrewForADay.com or call 1-866-573-RACE (7223).

  • (2/5) - PDM Racing helped their 69th driver achieve their IRL racing license. Alex Mueller, a young German who raced for Minardi in Formula 3000 took the test in California and passed with flying colors.

    Scott Mayer will be the PDM driver this season.

  • (2/5) - As you probably know, A.J. Foyt IV. is going to be driving for his grandpappy in the #14 IRL car. It seems A.J. Foyt's IRL sponsors have decided to move to his Winston Cup team. Luckily new ones have come on board. His grandson is going to be sponsored by the bankrupt Conseco Insurance company which is based here in Indy. (Bankrupt they may be, but they also paid the city $20 mill to keep their name on the Indiana Pacers' fieldhouse for a few more years.) They had been sponsoring Foyt's Winston Cup team.

    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.

  • (2/1) - The 1991 CART champion and the winningest CART driver, Michael Andretti, announced he will retire from Indycar racing after this year's Indy 500. Michael is 40 and retiring about 14 years sooner than his father, Mario, did. Michael has competed in the last couple of Indy 500's even though he was racing in the CART series. This year he brings a new 3-car team to the IRL - Andretti-Green Racing. He, himself, plans on competing in all the IRL races this spring up unto the Indy 500.

  • January 2003

  • (1/29) - With the loss of digital pay-per-view in Formula One, the rest of us will suffer. 250 people who ran it were layed-off. There will no longer be ground-based pick-up points around the track which means that all on-car camera footage will have to be fed to a chopper prior to being beamed around the world. This limits the number of cars that can be veiwed in-cockpit.

    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."

  • (1/26) - GOLDEN, Colorado (AP) -- Johnny Mauro, a 1948 Indianapolis 500 racer and founder of the U.S. Truck Driving School, died in a head-on collision with a teenage driver on Interstate 70.

    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.

  • (1/21) - NASCAR is cracking down on the number of fans roaming around in the pits and garages. They are handing out special "hot" passes for people that need to be in there. They are also erecting strobing red lights that will go off 30 minutes before on-track activity. This will tell the fans it is time to clear out of the way.

    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!.

  • (1/16) - The ESPN2 show, INDY PIT PASS, returns for 2003. This 1/2 show takes a look behind the scenes of the IRL during the previous season. Here is the schedule (EDT):

    Jan. 162:30-3 p.m.Helio vs Sam
    Feb. 202:30-3 p.m.Infiniti Pro Series
    March 2012:30-1 p.m.George Mack
    May 13-3:30 p.m.Tomas Scheckter
    May 153-3:30 p.m.Helio Castroneves
    June 192:30-3 p.m.Robbie Buhl
    July 163-3:30 p.m.Gil de Ferran
    Aug. 223:30-4 p.m.Sarah Fisher
    Sept. 182:30-3 p.m.Panther Racing
    Oct. 223-3:30 p.m.Jeff Ward
    Nov. 191:30-2 p.m.Alex Barron
    Dec. 183-3:30 p.m.Firestone

  • (1/15) - A.J. Foyt announced his 25 y/o son, Larry, will drive the #14 Dodge on the Winston Cup circuit this year. As a side note, A.J.'s 18 y/o grandson, A.J. Foyt IV will make his debut in the IRL this year.
  • (1/15) - Kevin Kalkhoven and Craig Pollock (original head of the B.A.R. F1 team) has bought the defunct CART team, Pac-West. The name of the new team will be PK Racing and they will be based out of Indianapolis. Jacques Villeneuve will not be involved in the venture.
  • (1/13) - The IRL has wrapped up the winter's first testing at Homestead. Test in the West will be Feb. 3-7 at California Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. The teams have a lot on their plate with sorting out the new chassis and engines.
  • (1/13) - CART has gotten their two European dates back - they will race in England and Germany in May. I also noticed something interesting about their schedule, most of the U.S. states they visit, they visit twice during the season.
  • (1/5) - CART's Herdez Competition has confirmed veteran driver Roberto Moreno will teammate with Mario Dominguez.
  • (1/2) - Jeff Gordon is going to host Saturday Night Live on January 11th! He is the first race car driver to do so.

    Also, Today's date is 1/2/3!


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