Dan's Indianapolis Motor Speedway
News & Views

2003 Indianapolis 500 News & Notes

Drivers who've crashed at Indy this month:
5/16 A.J. Foyt IV Hit Turn 1 wall in car he qualified - extensive damage. He's ok.
5/14 Shinji Nakano Too low in turn 1 makes him hit turn 2 wall. He's ok.
5/11 Scott Sharp Wind helped send him into the wall in Turn 2. Scott came out later and qualified his backup car.
5/11 Tomas Scheckter Wind helped send him into brushing the wall in Turn 2. He's fine.
5/10 Billy Boat Spun out of 4, hit pit wall hard backwards. Went to the hospital, he's ok, just sore. Heavy damage to car.
5/9 Arie Luyendyk Hit outside walls between Turns 1 & 2. Arie went to hospital with back pain, heavy damage to car. He's out.
5/8 A.J. Foyt IV Hit Turn 1 wall. He's fine.
5/6 Shigeaki Hattori Hit Turn 1 wall. Concussion, out 7 days
4/22 A.J. Foyt IV Glanced off Turn 1 wall. He's fine.
4/23 Kenny Brack Spun in 1 and hit Safer barrier. He's fine.
4/23 Mario Andretti Performs wicked triple somersaut, lands on tires. He's ok, but giving it up.
4/24 Tomas Scheckter Spun on out lap and hit turn 3 wall. He's fine.

Here are the daily fastest!
5/22 227.276 mph mph Kenny Brack Rahal/Letterman Honda
5/16 229.966 mph Scott Dixon Ganassi Racing Toyota
5/15 229.157 mph Tora Takagi Mo Nunn Racing Toyota
5/14 229.704 mph Tora Takagi Mo Nunn Racing Toyota
5/11 231.725 mph Helio Castroneves Penske Racing Toyota
5/10 233.236 mph Scott Dixon Ganassi Racing Toyota
5/9 230.714 mph Scott Dixon Ganassi Racing Toyota
5/8 232.202 mph Dan Wheldon Andretti-Green Honda
5/7 231.039 mph mph Kenny Brack Rahal/Letterman Honda
5/6 231.108 mph Dan Wheldon Andretti-Green Honda
5/5 229.019 mph Tora Takagi Mo Nunn Racing Toyota
5/4 228.764 mph Scott Sharp Kelley Racing Toyota

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Indycar Complete Stats

2003 IRL Standings
2003 Winston Cup Standings
2003 F1 Standings
2002 Brickyard 400 Notes
2002 U.S. Grand Prix Results
2002 Indy 500 News

May 2003 - INDY 500

  • (5/26) - Whew, another Indy 500 in the books. While the 65 degree temperature was not terribly cold, it was the 3rd coldest race in history - the two colder being in '92 and '97.

    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.

    Dan Wheldon's 2003 crash
    Photo by Larry Papke

    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.

    Photo by Jeff Barrie

  • (5/23) - Sara Fisher finally has a new sponsor. GMAC sponsorship dollars should help her get through the IRL season this year.
  • (5/23) - During Carb Day, Kenny Brack had the fastest practice time of the day and he also played lead guitar during a rock concert at the end of the day for all the fans! He was good too.
  • (5/23) - Red Bull Cheever Racing won the Pitstop Competition, beating out Penske Racing. Eddie said the pit crew gets to share the entire $30,000 prize money. But come race day, he is going to be taking a piece of any prize money!
  • (5/20) - Robby Gordon is again going to race in the Indy 500 and afteward fly to N.C. to race in one of Nascar's biggest races. Tony Stewart has done this before, but he is not attempting the daily double any more.

    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."

    Has NASCAR set the template for how a racing series ought to be run, essentially with a benevolent dictatorship?

    "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."


    Muhammad Ali
    Tim Allen (actor/comedian)
    Neil Boortz (national radio talk show host)
    Avery Brooks (actor, “Star Trek”)
    Former President George Bush
    Ruth Buzzi (actress/comedian)
    Jim Caviezel (actor)
    Former President Bill Clinton
    Bryan Cranston (actor, “Malcolm in the Middle”)
    Howie D. (Backstreet Boys group)
    Anthony Edwards (actor)
    Andrew Firestone (“The Bachelor”)
    George Hamilton (actor)
    Florence Henderson (actress/singer)
    Orlando Jones (actor)
    Naomi Judd (singer)
    Wynonna Judd (singer)
    General John Keane (Vice chief of staff, U.S. Army)
    Jeannette Lee (champion billiards player)
    David Letterman (late-night TV icon)
    Charlie Maher (“The Bachelorette”)
    Peter Max (Official Indy 500 artist)
    Mercy Me (Christian band)
    John McGinley (actor, “Scrubs”)
    Brian McKnight (singer)
    Bode Miller (U.S. Olympian)
    Dennis Miller (actor/comedian)
    Beverley Mitchell (Actress, “7th Heaven”)
    James Mungro (NFL running back)
    Jim Nabors (actor/singer)
    Bubba Paris (former NFL player)
    Daniel Rodriguez (singer)
    Ryne Sandberg (Former baseball all-star)
    Steven Spielberg (filmmaker/producer)
    Staind (alternative rock band)
    Joe Tiller (Purdue football coach)
    David Wolf (astronaut)
    Darryl Worley (singer)
    David M. Finkel (Shelbyville)

  • ( 5/19) - Bobby Unser has a new book out, "Winners are Driven".
  • (5/18) - The 33-car field for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500-mile race was filled today on the last day of qualifying - known as "Bump Day". This year there were only 33 drivers attempting to qualify, so there was no bumping of drivers on the bubble. That hasn't happened since 1949! Considering that neither CART nor Formula One can even field over 20 cars in today's economy, its nice that the IRL can still field 33 Indycars. This year, only one driver has come over from CART to participate - the American, Jimmy Vasser. Also, the IRL's new minor league race series field 19 cars for their race this weekend.
  • (5/18) - Ed Carpenter won the inaugural Freedom 100 at IMS today where it was restarted after yesterday's rainout.
  • (5/17) - Not only is ex-president Bill Clinton attending this year's Indy 500, but so is ex-president George Bush.
  • (5/17) - The Indycar's minor league series, the Infiniti Pro Series, made history when they held a race at IMS today during the month of May. They practiced and qualified in the last two days. Ed Carpenter won the pole position. While the Indycars are reaching speeds of 230 mph, the IPS cars hit 180.

    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.

  • (5/16) - Little Al brushed the wall today. His comments: "We were just trying to get the car right, and I got a little high getting into Turn 2 and got into the marbles and tapped the fence. It put an end to our day. The car was working better today than it was yesterday, and we were trying some things out there. We were making headway. We were out doing a long run and got in just a little bit high and couldn't get it back down. It is a long month at the Speedway, but I think you need it because you get the best out of your team, the best out of your race car and the best 33-car lineup on Race Day."
  • (5/16) - A.J. Foyt IV tore up his qualified car today during pratice. Here is what his team owner had to say -
    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."
  • (5/14) - Sarah Fisher is in the lead for the "Most Popular Driver Award". You can vote at the track inside Turn 2 this weekend and outside Turn 4 during the extended race weekend.
    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
  • (5/14) - Arie Luyendyk is still feeling pain from his accident on May 9th and is going to miss competing in this year's 500. Will Arie be back next year after he turns 50? A.J., Al and Mario all did.

    Alex Barron will substitute for him at Mo Nunn Racing.

  • (5/14) - There will be a music group warming up for Cracker at Carburation Day next Thursday at the speedway. This band will be headed by Indycar driver Kenny Brack, who plays guitar. He has a few friends and local talent joining him, including Indy Blues guitarist, Gene Deer.
  • (5/11) - Helio Castroneves earned Penske their 12th Indianapolis 500 pole and Toyota their first. 24 drivers qualified on this extremely windy day. All the Chevys qualified after all the Honda and Toyotas (except for AJ's Toyota which qualified 2nd to last.)
  • (5/10) - The Indy 500's First Day of Qualifying was rained out. That hasn't happened since 1990. Pole Day will be decided on next day, Sunday, if the weather permits. The drivers will now have to radically adjust because the temperature has dropped, the wind has picked up, and all the rubber has been washed from the track.
  • (5/9) - Sarah Fisher and the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team are looking for sponsorship, and Fisher's teammates always tell her they will do anything to help out. On May 8, Fisher decided to play a practical joke on the crew and came up with an idea for "Speedway Spoofs" and told her crew that they had a chance to get sponsorship money from Nickelodeon and SpongeBob SquarePants. According to Fisher, a Nickelodeon crew wanted to shoot footage of the team working on her car wearing SpongeBob attire, which just happened to be SpongeBob SquarePants boxer shorts.

    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.

  • (5/9) - Marlboro Team Penske officials announced this morning that Helio Castroneves will attempt to qualify with a Dallara chassis and Gil de Ferran will use a Panoz G Force chassis.
  • (5/8) - Access Motorsports formed recently and has one car for Greg Ray to try and put in the 500. This new team is made up of members of previous IRL teams Blair and Treadway, and the only race they have competed in this year is last month in Japan where they finished 9th.
  • (5/7) - Something new this May was the production of a lot of Indycar sculptures and bases that were painted and decorated and displayed around the city. They were about 1/3rd scale The Star newspaper has pictured all of these cars on their website and they are having a contest where you choose your favorites and you might win some 500 tickets. Go to Art In Motion.
  • (5/7) - Shigeaki Hattori lost control in turn 1 yesterday, hit the wall backwards, and broke his finger and got a concussion. IMS rules state a driver must stay out of the car for atleast 7 days after suffering a concussion. Hence, Shiggy will miss the first weekend of qualifying. Of course Foyt could always replace him with someone else. Dare and Salazar are waiting in the wings.
  • (5/7) - 7 drivers surpassed 230 mph in practice yesterday. The fastest Chevy -powered car only reached 228. While GM has been involved with the IRL for years, newcomers Toyota and Honda are showing they can kick the general's butt. Both companys compete in Formula One so its not too surprising that they know how to make an engine go fast. Eddie Cheever believes GM will catch up, but not in time for the Indy 500.
  • (5/6) - PDM Racing is letting Jimmy Kite do some testing and hoping that he can come up with some sponsorship dollars to help put the car in the 500.
  • (5/6) - Andretti-Green driver Tony Kanaan has been cleared to drive in the 500. He was injured in the race in Japan last month. Andretti-Green has also hired Bryan Herta who last raced in CART in 2001 and hasn't been to Indy since '95. During May, he will be a backup driver for Robby Gordon. Afterward, he'll fill in for the injured Dario Franchitti. Bryan gave up a ride in in the 24 Hours of LeMans to take this job.
  • (5/6) - In response to veteran IRL drivers complaining of the new drivers from CART driving style, Scott Dixon claims that the CART cars were unable to hold the outside line through corners, necessitating that they chop down into the lower line. A habit that they will have to break.
  • (5/5) - Jerry Nadeau, who suffered head, lung and rib injuries when his car hit the wall in Friday's (May 2) NASCAR Winston Cup practice at Richmond International Raceway, has been upgraded from critical to serious but stable.
  • (5/5) - CARB DAY ANNOUNCEMENT - In keeping with the tradition of having the best midwestern rock bands give free concerts on Carburation Day (May 22nd), this year the band will be CRACKER! I saw this band last year and they were great! The concert will start around 4pm, after the Pit Stop Competition. Carb Day Concert is also brought to you by Miller Lite and WTTS 92.3. They will also be having a tent party with free food, beer & the Playboy Playmates.

    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!

  • (5/4) - Scott Sharp had the fastest time in the first day of practice for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500. He exceeded 228 mph.
  • (5/1) - Scott Dixon broke his right hand and wrist while racing in Japan on April 13th. Gil de Ferran fractured his neck and lower back while racing in Phoenix on March 23rd. Both have been cleared this week to drive in this month's Indy 500. Tony Kanaan broke his left wrist in the racing accident with Dixon. Tony has not yet been cleared to drive in the 500.

  • April 2003

  • (4/30) - It has been determined that the piece of debris from Brack's car that launched Mario's Indycar into the sky was the rear wing. The launch also gouged the track.
  • (4/29) - Ex-President Bill Clinton will be attending this year's Indy 500. Wyonna Judd will be the Grand Marshal.
  • (4/25) - Jimmy Vasser will be returning again to the Indy 500 and running for the Rahal/Letterman race team. He races in CART.

    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.

  • (4/25) - Jeff Gordon in a Formula One car?! YOU BET. On June 11 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jeff is going to take out Juan Pablo Montoya's BMW Williams FW25 car and drive the hell out of it on the road course! Similarly, Montoya is going to drive Jeff's Dupont Chevrolet Winston Cup car on the road course.
  • (4/25) - Six drivers passed their Indy Rookie tests at IMS on Monday: A.J. Foyt IV, Roger Yasukawa, Dan Wheldon, Tony Renna, Buddy Rice and Vitor Meira. However PDM's Scott Mayer did not, so they'll be looking for a new teammember for May. In the rookie tests, they have to prove they can run consistent laps at high speed. 10-lap averages of 200-205mph, then 205-210mph, then 210-215mph and finaly over 215mph.
  • (4/23) - It was a beautiful day in Indianapolis today. Two minutes before the Indycar drivers practicing on the speedway were required to end for the day, Kenny Brack crashed in Turn 1. Mario Andretti was following him and ran over some debris. The front of his car came off the ground and he took off like an airplane. The car rapidly flipped end over end about three times(!) before landing on its wheels and coming to rest against the outside of turn 2. Fortunately, Mario and Kenny were both ok and able to walk away. Video of Mario's crash is at WTHR's website.
  • (4/23) - Holy cow! Mario Andretti got in one of his son's IRL cars and took off on the speedway's track and soon had it up to 212 mph. While his 40 year old son is talking of retiring from Indycar racing this May, The 63 y/o Andretti is talking about qualifying on the pole!

    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.

  • (4/21) - Tony Renna, driver of the No. 32 Cure Autism Now/HomeMed Pharmacy Indianapolis 500 entry, completed his Rookie Orientation Program today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • (4/20) - The Schumacher brothers both qualified on the front row for this weekend's race in San Marino, Imola, Italy. Their mother, having fallen a week ago had lapsed into a coma. The boys were at their mother's side last night before she died at age 55. They flew back to Italy and somehow managed to race. Michael won his first race of the year and his brother finished in 4th.
  • (4/18) - The back injury sustained by Dario Franchitti in a motorcycle accident (see 4/8 below) is apparently going to keep him out of racing for the next 3 months. His team, Andretti-Green, said they'd be interested in running Robby Gordon in Dario's place next month in the Indy 500. They may need someone to fill in for Kanaan as well.
  • (4/16) - Michael Schumacher spent some time talking about his rivals recently. He commented that Villeneuve should spend more time racing and less time talking. Well, after 3 races this season, he has only gotten his world-conquering Ferrarin into 8th in the standings while Villeneuve has his junky B.A.R. in 11th. Maybe Michael needs to heed his own advise!
  • (4/16) - For some time, a new stock car racing series has been being designed. It will feature 3 types of cars: Chevy Corvette, Ford Mustang and Dodge Viper. The series name is TRAC and will consist of six 4-car teams that are based from cities and will compete as teams, similar to ball games. Anyway, they have a television package in place now with ESPN and they plan to start racing in May 2004
  • (4/16) - A.J. Foyt discussed his Winston Cup car's disqualification from qualifying at Talledega and his subsequent withdrawal from the race in Martinsville in his Texas style, "After what NASCAR did to me at Talladega last week, we didn't see any point in going up to Martinsville and tearing something up," Foyt said. "The deal they did to us at Talladega was a big (bleep)-off deal, so (bleep) them.

    "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.

  • (4/15) - Scott Dixon, the winner of the season opener in Miami, and Tony Kanaan, the winner of the league's second race in Phoenix, crashed in Turn 3 on Lap 178 while dueling for the lead of the Japan IRL race. Kanaan suffered a radial fracture on his left arm, and Dixon suffered multiple fractures in his right hand and wrist.

    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."

  • (4/13) - There has been only two Japanese race in the Indy 500. Currently there are four Japanese drivers competing in the IRL.
  • (4/12) - Qualifying for Sunday's Bridgestone Japan Indy 300 was rained out forcing IndyCar Series officials to set the starting grid based on combined practice times.

    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.

  • (4/11) - Much to the delight of Jordan Ford, the FIA decided that Giancarlo Fisichella had started on his 56th lap before the red flag was thrown in the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend. Since he'd taken the lead on lap 54, he was ruled the winner and Kimi Raikonnen was moved down to 2nd place. This miracle is just what the struggling Jordan team needed as they search for sponsorship dollars. This is the team's 4th victory, their last coming in 1999. This occasion was also the team's 200th outing and Fisi's first win in Formula One.
  • (4/9) - Eddie Cheever is bowing out of the Indy 500. He says he's been so busy running his race team, that he has not had time to prepare for racing in the 500. So for now, he is going to concentrate on running the team this May.
  • (4/8) - In the F1 race Sunday, it looked like Fernando Alonso might have broken his leg, but he is ok and just has a sore knee.
  • (4/8) - Dario Franchitti stopped by his native Scotland on the way to the IRL race in Motegi Japan. He crashed his motorcycle into a hedge and suffered a compression fracture of the L1 vertebra. He still plans on racing in the Indy 500, but Dan Wheldon, the backup driver for Andretti-Green Racing will be filling in for him in Japan.
  • (4/5) - Rain and water washing across the track made for a very exciting and unpredictable Formula One race. Seven drivers spun in the greasy 3rd turn and all but Mark Webber had their race finished as the result of. These drivers included Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya.

    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.

  • (4/1) - IMS has selected the 2003 pace car and its a strange vehicle - part pickup truck - part convertible. It will be the first time the pace car is a truck. Here it is, the Chevy SSR:

    It will be driven by Herb Fishel, the executive director of GM Racing.

  • (4/1) - Menard Cheever Technologies (MCT) has acquired the independent British engine design company, TWR Engines and is renaming it MCT. Service to current and future customers will be provided from this U.K. facility as well as the expanded MCT facility in Indianapolis, Ind.

    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."


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