January 2002

  • (1/31) - Toyota will begin building engines for the IRL in 2003. They have arranged their deal and will be supplying Kelley Racing in 2003. BTW, Toyota enters Formula One this year with an all-Toyota F1 car.
  • (1/30) - Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello both crashed in testing. They were ok, but their cars were ruined and sent back to Maranello. As a side note, the great Schumacher has himself insured for 51 million pounds against injury this season.
  • (1/30) - Eddie Cheever Jr. was slated to reveal who would drive the No.52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but will now apparently take a few more weeks to make the decision.

    Cheever has tested four drivers for the seat, IRL veteran Jeff Ward, Tomas Scheckter, Buddy Rice and Daniel Wheldon.

  • (1/30) - Who else will compete in IROC this year? Representing NASCAR will be Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Sterling Marlin and Kevin Harvick. Series Champions Jack Sprague (NASCAR trucks) and Danny "the Dude" Lasoski (World of Outlaws) were also invited to compete. And of course the 5 IRL drivers mentioned prior.
  • (1/29) - After months of speculation, the French gov't has closed down the F1 Prost Team which had a debt of $27 million. 200 employee's will be layed off. The famous driver/owner, Alain Prost, created quite a stir when he claimed it was a defeat for France, explaining that not one sponsor, backer or French buyer had made contact with him. Former driver, Jean Alesi said, "Alain has only himself to blame. Everybody was behind him, including me as I left Sauber to join him. But he ruined everything.

    With the entrance of the new Toyota Team, F1 remains at 22 driver/cars.

  • (1/26) - A new IRL team has been announced - Convergent Racing, out of Fort Worth Texas. They have signed Formula Nippon driver, Hideki Noda
  • (1/25) - Winston Cup Drivers in INDY 500 - The Indianapolis Star reports that Chip Ganassi Racing is trying to bring Tony Stewart back to run the Indy 500 this year before running in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte this year. Joining him should also be Robby Gordon who's Nascar team (Richard Childress) will be working in conjunction with John Menard. And of course, John Andretti is hoping that Petty Racing Enterprises will allow him to run the race in his home town of Indy.
  • (1/20) - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has added rare 1925 McFarlan TV6 to their collection. The McFarlan car company competed in the first Indy 500. The TV6 has a 120 hp, 572cu 6-cylinder engine. There are only 10 in existence.
  • (1/19) - HOMEY DON'T PLAY DAT.

    With the advent of more CART teams competing in the 500 and not the IRL season, the IRL has instituded a major benefit program for those teams that do compete for the IRL title, referred to as the "Leader Circle" program.

    If you are an IRL regular, you can look forward to free electronic package (a $30k value), Discount on entry fees (and they went up alot), Free use of welding equipment (a $15k value), 25% off on race gas, and best of all lots of free Firestone tires!

    Speedway management says, "We have negotiated unprecedented contracts with engine, chassis and transmission suppliers, providing controlled costs and development for our competitors over the first six seasons. Now we are pleased to add tires and other services to this list."

    Tony George has watched the CART teams (and the CART-biased media) try to destroy the Indy Racing Leage for six years. As in any war, they've managed to damage the entire sport and themselves as well. Now for the last few years, CART teams have began to filter in and join the big IRL party at the Indy 500. That's got to make Tony a little sore. I think this new program is going to be a dig at CART and provide Tony with a little satisfaction. I'm sure the IRL teams love it. Unfortunately, you have some little race teams who dearly love the Indy 500 and can only muster the resources to run Indy. That might be their one time goal of their career - one chance at the Indy 500. This program discourages them more than it would the rich CART teams. Oh well, the IRL has done nothing but help dozens of the "little guys" all along! Remember that.

  • (1/18) - Brayton Racing announced that they will run the entire IRL series this year. They have hired John de Vries as their driver. They supposedly have signed Red Bull as their primary sponsor and Rhino as an associate sponsor as well as NBA bad boy, Latrell Sprewell! CAN THIS BE TRUE? I thought Red Bull was sponsoring Cheever Indy Racing this year. It is hard to believe Sprewell has an interest outside of basketball, especially in a predominately white sport such as racing. Maybe he saw A.J. hit Arie, and figured here's another sport he could get away with strangling a few people - doh! And why hire some nobody from Formula Holden (Australia) to race your car, what with well liked drivers such as Mark Dismore and Al Unser Jr floating around? Things that make you go "Hmmmmmm". Seriously though, those drivers would command a hefty price, and Brayton has actually had race fans contributing money to their team to help get them going. For $100, you can help sponsor the team and get a your name on the team's transporter.

    Brayton Engineering has been a part of the racing community. They build engines for some IRL teams. Brayton is ran by the family of late Indy car standout, Scott Brayton. Their team is in memory of Scott. They purchased their equipment from defunct Tri-star Motorsports.

  • (1/18) - IROC has announced two more IRL drivers will be joining the three IRL drivers already lined up to run the 2002 schedule. Al Unser, Jr. accepted an invitation to compete. Unser is currently looking for a 2002 IRL ride. Little Al won the 1986 and 1988 IROC series championships. He also competed in some IROC races last year when he filled in for the injured Scott Goodyear. The 2001 Indy 500 champion, Helio Castroneves is the other IRL driver who will be joining fellow IRLers Buddy Lazier, Sam Hornish Jr., and Scott Sharp.
  • (1/18) - Blair Racing, the new team joinging the IRL, announced that McLaren Performance Technologies will be building their GM powerplant for their Indycar. McLaren is based in Livonia Michigan. McLaren-built engines have appeared at Indianapolis since the late 1960s and powered Johnny Rutherford?s Indianapolis 500 victories in 1974 and 1976. In addition, a McLaren-made Buick engine powered Pancho Carter to the pole for the 1985 Indianapolis 500
  • (1/18) - The IMS Radio Network lost the U.S. rights to broadcast Formula One races to a company owned by former CART president, Andrew Craig!
  • (1/18) - Chilean Eliseo Salazar, a driver for A.J. Foyt Racing, announced he has a new sponsor for 2002: the Bank of Chile.
  • (1/15) - Since the CART races will no longer be on ABC and ESPN, Paul Page returns as an IRL commentator. Also, Gary Gerould joins Jack Arute and Vince Welch as pit reporters. Evidently, that goofy 90210 actor is history. I personally found his interaction with Bob Jenkins rather humorous, even if he wasn't any good at the job. More good news is that Scott Goodyear will be in the booth providing color commentary beside Paul Page. I think he'll be good anyway. He's a pretty sharp Canadian. He moved to Indy after all.
  • (1/14) - The IRL Team Xtreme has dissolved, leaving Airton Dare searching for a ride.
  • (1/14) - Blair Racing (formerly Arciero-Blair) say they are moving from CART to the IRL. Their driver is the 21 y/o American, Alex Barron. Alex began racing karts at age 9. He moved to F2000 in '96 and to Toyota Atlantics in '97. He has been racing in CART since '98.
  • (1/14) - The IRL has lost their series sponsor - the Internet company, Northern Lights. They have ran into money concerns two years into their five year contract.
  • (1/14) - Tony Stewart won the famous Chili Bowl sprint car race in Tulsa!
  • The gap here in news is because I've been on vacation!

  • (1/3) - Robin Miller, the acerbic ex-sportswriter for the Indianapolis Star, should not have tried to fight the paper over his firing. A independent arbitrator from Chicago was brought in to mediate the case and this has simply caused all of Miller's dirty laundry to be made public. The outside arbitrator handed down a decision which said there was just cause in Miller's dismissal and that he was not entitled to severance pay due to "gross misconduct". Future employers of his would be wise to read the article in today's paper. (the article)
  • (1/2) - Riley & Scott and Jim Mathews Racing announced the drivers for their team to compete at the 2002 Rolex 24 At Daytona: Robby Gordon, Scott Sharp, Guy Smith and team owner Jim Matthews. They will be driving the Riley & Scott Mark III-C powered by an Elan Power Products 6.0L V8.
  • Judd

  • (1/2) - CART driver, Dario Franchitti,28, is engaged to actress Ashley Judd, 33. Note photo: Ashley atop Dario's new 2002 CART car
  • February 2002

  • (2/28) - Cheever Indy Racing had the fastest times in testing at Homestead, prior to the IRL race this Saturday.
  • (2/28) - Several ex-CART teams were among the 24 teams selected to benefit in the IRL's new Leader Circle program: Penske took two slots, Ganassi, Mo Nunn and Blair both took one each. 33 teams had applied.
  • (2/26) - After his impressive testing, I suspected Cheever would hire Tomas Scheckter and he did. Eddie says that Tomas, 21, was the best athlete he tested and that he is single-minded and determined, but he is an unknown. However, Tomas not only had the guidance of his father, the 1979 F1 Champion, he has been climbing the European racing ladder.
    Beginning in karts when he was 12, he won the Western Cape Championship (South Africa) in 1995.
    In '97, he won two South African Formula Ford races.
    In '98 he won a race, rookie of the year, and finished 3rd in the standings in the British Formula Vauxhall Junior series.
    In '99 he won 8 races and the title in Formula Opel Euroseries and also raced twice in the Formula Nissan Championship, winning one race and two poles.
    In 2000, Tomas finished 2nd in the British Formula 3 series with two wins and two poles. He also competed in the final four races of the FIA Formula 3000 series and finished in 2nd place at all four events.
    Last year, Tomas was runner-up in the Open Telefonica Formula Nissan Championship with four wins and eight poles. He also was a test driver for Jaguar Racing Formula One team until May!
    He will be driving car # 52.
  • (2/22) - Now I hear Ford is NOT going to provide engines for CART in 2003! Who is?! Maybe they'll be using last year's IRL engines. Ha ha. Seriously, I don't know who else they could get except the IRL engine manufactures next year.
  • (2/21) - It's awfully late in the season for the silly season to still be going on, but it is.

    Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. will drive the No. 7 Kelley Racing entry in the Indy Racing League through the 2004 season with sponsorship from automotive aftermarket company Corteco, team owner Tom Kelley announced.

    This means Greg Ray is now out looking for a ride. Maybe Dreyer Reinbolt will pick him up?

  • (2/19) - Dreyer Reinbolt Race team is expressing interest in adding a second car to the Infiniti-powered stable alongside Robby Buhl and getting Al Unser, Jr. to drive it.
  • (2/18) - Recently in the final practice in Phoenix, Sam Hornish, Jr. and Gil Ferran had the fastest times. This week at testing in Homestead, they once again topped the speed charts with IDENTICAL fast laps. The IRL races at Homestead March 3rd
  • (2/18) - Little Al continues to look for a ride since Budweiser bailed on him and Galles Racing. I've heard that Kelley Racing is thinking of replacing Greg Ray, who reportedly is scurrying to secure more sponsorship money for himself.
  • (2/17) - Daytona International Speedway officials announced Saturday a grandstand sellout for Sunday's 44th Daytona 500. The track has sold all 167,785 grandstand seats, roughly two to three times the capacity of most Superbowl stadiums. Race fans can still purchase infield tickets for the Nascar race which will push overall attendance for Sunday to approximately 200,000. As comparison to the Brickyard 400 at the Indianpolis Motor Speedway, no infield tickets are sold for this event, yet attendance is approx 400,000.
  • (2/16) - Tony Stewart passed little Al on the last lap of the IROC race to get the win. Sam Hornish Jr., Scott Sharp, and Jack Sprague also got by him to finish 2-3-4.
  • Buzz Calkins

  • (2/14) - Buzz Calkins, the first winner of the Indy Racing League race (1996 at Disney World Speedway), is reported to be retiring. Buzz is a nice guy and has finished more Indycar races than anyone since the IRL debuted, 40. He started 53 of the 56 IRL races to date. He was IRL champion in '96 too. His team may continue in the IRL if sponsorship can be found.
  • Always the color red

  • (2/12) - Sprint-car champion Cory Kruseman completed the speed phase of his Indy Racing League rookie test Monday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kruseman, from Ventura, Calif., completed each of the four 10-lap phases of the test in just 81 laps, with an unofficial top speed of 207.6 mph on the 1.5-mile oval. It was his first time at speed in an Indy Racing car.
  • (2/12) - I'm now hearing that Honda has changed their mind and will compete in CART next year alongside Ford. Was this nothing more than a bluff to try to keep the American open-wheel scene split? Now that CART says they are going to go with IRL-type cars, I've also heard that Dallara, and IRL-chassis manufacturer, will begin making chassis for CART too. I guess we are about to see a bunch of builders spanning both series now. Hopefully it will help bring in more builders as well.
  • (2/10) - Last Day of IRL Testing at Phoenix
    DriverLapTimeSpeed# Laps
    Hornish Jr, Sam20.0219179.80312
    Castroneves, Helio20.1690178.49229
    Giaffone, Felipe20.2018178.20211
    Sharp, Scott20.3917176.54238
    Lazier, Buddy20.4703175.86590
    Redon, Laurent20.6385174.43158
    Lazier, Jaques20.6709174.15813
    Boat, Billy20.6811174.07251
    Buhl, Robbie20.7345173.62488
    Scheckter, Tomas20.8408172.73828
    de Ferran, Gil20.9652171.71365
    Treadway, Rick20.9827171.57020
    Cheever Jr, Eddie21.0580170.95641
    Barron, Alex21.1083170.54920
    Calkins, Buzz21.6808166.04632
  • (2/9) - CART president had a press conference Thursday to talk about how they will embrace the media, how they are definately going to go with the 3.5-liter normally aspirated engine formula they voted on a few months ago (So, goodbye Honda) and he spoke about the differences between the IRL and CART. What I found interesting was that he stated, "If your customers want to buy Ford and Chevys and Dodges, go to the IRL. If you want to buy Toyotas, Hondas, import cars, stay with us."

    But, Toyota and Honda are both leaving CART! Toyota is definately running in the IRL next year. Ford said they were not interested in a normally-aspirated engine. Toyota didn't want to stay if they were going to be the only manufacturer. I must assume then that Ford has changed their mind and in 2003, CART will have Ford and Toyota will then stay? Also, the IRL does not have Dodge or Ford. We've got Infiniti (Nissan) and Chevrolet. Does this guy really know what's going on or does he know something we don't?! The IRL has said to expect one or two more chassis manufactures to come on board next year, but they didn't mention another engine manufacturer. Could Dodge and Ford be thinking of entering the IRL next year? Cool, but I haven't heard it.

    He also said, "If you just want to sell in the United States, the IRL is where you should be." He said that CART wanst to compete in an international level, ergo, compete with F1. But instead of stepping up to compete with F1, it sounds more like they are going to REDUCE costs and become more like the IRL. Well, I guess you could try and compete with F1 in other countries by becoming an IRL for other countries. I don't even think CART is allowed to race in anything but an oval track in Europe as F1 has it locked up.

    If he wants CART to move out and compete with Formula One, then why make wholesale changes just so the cars can easier compete alongside the IRL at Indy? Even though I like hearing Chris Pook say, "Indianapolis is the greatest race in the world. I hope all of our teams have the opportunity to participate in it. I think it indicates that CART still is confused and has no direction.

    Another thing he spoke about was their supporing their lower series (Barber and Atlantics). He talked about embracing them and hugging them and holding them close. But when pressed about sending them any money, or having any CART teams make any guarantees toward their drivers, he had to say No.

    Pook is either hoping the auto-media blindly parrot what he says, or he's just really confused.

    Other notes: Pook confirmed he wants to move CART headquarters to Indianapolis. Pook announced that CART will have 20 cars in 2002. The IRL announced this week that they will have at least 26.

  • (2/8) - The IRL began practicing at the 1-mile oval in Phoenix today after earlier practice at the 2-mile track in Fontana. Buddy Lazier had a cracked bell-housing and will try to get it fixed for tomorrow's test. Rookie Tomas Scheckter got nudged out of the fastest speed catagory by Gil de Ferran who topped the speed charts today.

    This is what Tomas had to say, "Everybody warned me beforehand about this circuit and that it would take two days to learn, but I think I got back into it very quickly. The thing is, the car is very good, and the Red Bull Cheever Racing team is working well. All the settings we try improve the car, and that is just allowing me to go quicker in the car and build confidence." (About differences between Phoenix and Fontana): "Obviously, it is a lot shorter and more physical. You have to be more precise. You have to be much smoother and a lot more accurate. You can?t get it wrong, and you can?t afford for the car to be wrong, otherwise you?ll be in the wall. There were a couple of times today that it got loose on me, or it was pushing, and I started seeing that wall come at me pretty quickly. You just have to take that into consideration and get the car right. It?s a big jump from Fontana."

    IRL Phoenix Tests - Day 1
    DriverLapTimeSpeed# Laps
    de Ferran, Gil20.0407179.63425
    Castroneves, Helio20.0752179.32648
    Scheckter, Tomas20.2575177.71251
    Giaffone, Felipe20.2690177.61129
    Hornish Jr, Sam20.2829177.48912
    Sharp, Scott20.7306173.65618
    Cheever Jr, Eddie20.7571173.43521
    Redon, Laurent20.8151172.95155
    Buhl, Robbie20.8250172.86962
    Lazzaro, Anthony20.8621172.56257
    Lazier, Jaques20.9048172.20917
    Ray, Greg21.1733170.02510
    Herb, Jon21.1746170.01551
    Calkins, Buzz21.2333169.54551
    Boat, Billy21.2639169.30111
    Treadway, Rick21.3402168.69641
    de Vries, John21.3500168.61838
    Mayer, Scott21.7732165.34142

  • (2/8) - David Pook, the 30-year-old son of CART President and CEO Chris Pook, was listed in critical condition Friday after being injured in a testing accident Thursday at Phoenix International Raceway. Pook, who was wearing a HANS device, suffered a clean fracture of his second cervical vertebra, an injury that will require him to be fitted with a halo device. Pook was testing a NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour Chevrolet stock car when the car's steering failed. He hit the Turn 1 wall nearly head-on.
  • (2/8) - Did you wonder where A.J. Foyt Racing was when all the IRL boys were out in California testing at Fontana? Well ol' A.J. skipped it and took his boys, Salazar and Beechler, straight to Phoenix for some private testing.
  • (2/8) - Its appearing that Speedvision will change its name to the Speed Channel. They will begin televising a new 'Nascar TV' show beginning next week. Currently, Speed Channel is in 46 million cable subscriber homes, they hope that 'Nascar TV' will help propel this number upward. They also will be televising CART and F1 races.
  • (2/8) - Daytona International Speedway has erected a 9-foot bronze statue of Dale Earnhardt. Dale died at the track on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
  • (2/8) - Another CART team announces they will run in the Indy 500 - Team Motorola will bring Michael Andretti back to Indy for the second year in a row.

    "I said last year when I came back to the Speedway that I felt like I had some unfinished business at this place," remarked Andretti, "and after coming so close last year, that feeling hasn?t changed so I?m glad to be getting another opportunity." Andretti started 21st and finished third in his return to the Speedway in 2001 after overcoming a punctured tire and a collision on pit lane.

    "Each time I come to the Speedway, it throws me a new curve," said Andretti who holds the record for most laps led (398) in the Indy 500 without a victory. "I plan on changing the statistics after this year?s race, hopefully adding 'winner' to my final results column."

  • (2/7) - Good idea! The IRL has changed the placement of the car numbers, so that fans can easier identify them. The cars now have their number on the end plates of the rear wing; and they must by at least 11" x 18". They are also required to be on the car's nose.
  • (2/7) - 2,500 fans showed up to watch the IRL's practice in Fontana California; as did a slew of Indy car drivers wishing for rides. Al Unser, Jr. was there helping Johnny Rutherford coach four rookies.

    Tomas Scheckter, son of F1 great, Jody Scheckter, was the fastest in testing yesterday. He is becoming Eddie Cheever's favorite choice to fill the second seat on his team.

    Fontana Testing Results:
    DriverLapTimeSpeed# Laps
    Scheckter, Tomas32.4395221.95228
    Lazier, Jaques32.4541221.85213
    Cheever Jr, Eddie32.4779221.68911
    Lazier, Buddy32.5464221.22371
    Buhl, Robbie32.6292220.66114
    Lazzaro, Anthony32.6419220.57537
    Sharp, Scott32.6631220.43235
    Castroneves, Helio32.6676220.40230
    de Ferran, Gil32.7276219.99841
    Ward, Jeff32.7899219.58045
    Brack, Kenny32.8092219.45114
    Hornish Jr, Sam32.8667219.06735
    Junqueira, Bruno32.8813218.96966
    Boat, Billy32.8916218.90125
    Ray, Greg32.9003218.84314
    Giaffone, Felipe33.0266218.00611
    Herb, Jon33.2102216.80173
    Vasser, Jimmy33.2780216.3595
    Barron, Alex33.3066216.17357
    Luyendyk, Arie33.4558215.20926
    de Vries, John33.6673213.85727
    Mack, George33.6914213.70442
    Calkins, Buzz33.7880213.09340
    Mayer, Scott33.8295212.83224
    Redon, Laurent62.0453116.0445

  • (2/6) - The Chevy Corvette will be the Pace Car for the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500. This is the Corvette's 13th time.
  • (2/6) - The IRL had a press conference in California to address the current state of the league. Here are the highlights:

    Ken Ungar, Vice-president of Business Affairs:
    "Looking back, in 1996 we saw the Indy Racing League debut against the odds, behind the claims of some that the league would never turn a wheel.

    In 1997 you saw the first simultaneous introduction of new chassis and engines in American racing history.

    1998 through '99 saw us overcome one challenge after another.

    2000 saw the Indy Racing League break through with consistent competition, one of the best races ever in Texas and... plans that helped bring our league to new markets and new customers.

    2001 saw the largest number of races yet; four sell outs, consistent growth in attendance and realization that the Indy Racing League is open-wheel racing's future in the United States.

    2002... The number of races is growing again with 15 this year and in key open-wheel markets here in Fontana for the Los Angeles market, Michigan as our mid-west strategy continues to grow and Nazareth in the eastern United States. Our television presence is getting even stronger with most of our races on ABC this year and the balance on ESPN networks in a contract that has been extended through the 2007 season. Our international television presence through ESPN International will be our strongest ever and by far the best for any American based racing series.

    Nowhere is growth more important than in sponsorship, and at a time when all sports are finding it difficult going we're proud to be adding blue chip names to the Indy Racing League, including Chevrolet, Toyota, Worldcom, Firestone, Marlboro, Reebok and Red Bull, to name a few, joining Nissan and Coors and others who are increasing their commitment to the Indy Racing League.

    Penske, Nunn and Blair, all well-known names in open-wheel racing are being joined by several newcomers adding to a stable core of Indy Racing League teams who have proven that they can compete with anyone.

    Our plan is working. We're keeping it simple. American oval tracks, controlled costs, level playing field, and opportunity for men and women who want to compete in open-wheel cars and oval tracks and whose ultimate goal is to compete in and within the Indianapolis 500 mile race, the greatest race in the world.

    We're staying focused. Stay oval, keep costs down, provide opportunity and have a team of individuals who know and love what they are doing. We're working hard. We're proud that our league does more for its team and partners than any other in motor sports.

    As we begin a 2002 season, we look forward to 2003 season as well. The doubters are fewer, the believers are growing in numbers and the Indy Racing League is close to claiming its rightful number in sport.

    Tony George's vision is becoming reality, but he would be the first to acknowledge that it is a shared vision of men and women. People like Herb Fischel, A.J. Foyt, Leo Mehl and those who believe in the history and tradition of open-wheel racing."

    He also mentioned how the average number of cars at races was going up and the IRL is likely to have 26-27 cars minimum at every race.

    Brian Barnhart, Vice-president of Operations spoke about the new Leader's Circle program:
    "We set the deadline for notification on Monday, January 28th. And to be perfectly honest, we thought we would be announcing the 24 participants today and we have been pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by the positive response to the program. We have 35 applicants for the 24 positions.

    The program will carry over. It is basically a phase one impacting in 2002. The program will continue to grow in 2003, and as we continue to grow as a league the benefits available to the Leader Circle participants is virtually limitless.

    We introduced several new rules for 2002 to help keep the competition playing field level. Testing is limited through the number of tires that are available... All entrants are allowed a set number of tires for race weekend depending on the length of the race. 200 mile gets seven, 300 mile gets eight, 400 nine, total of 38 sets available throughout the year for racing. We have open tests here at the California Speedway tomorrow, two days at Phoenix, Friday and Saturday of this week and two days at Nazareth the first week of April. Those five days of open tests entrants will have three sets available per day to be used on those. They will use them or lose those sets... An entrant would be allowed 30 sets of tires to test with for the year and those sets are guaranteed only if you are a Leader Circle participant. We have a great way of controlling costs, there is only X number of miles in a set of tires, so as an owner you know maximum number of miles you will be able to run through the course of the year. There is a cost per mile of operating the cars. You know very closely before the season begins what your budget is going to consist of and number of miles you can run and number of sets of tires you can run.

    We have finalized about 90 percent of our specs for the 2003 chassis. We're increasing the size load, the nose push-off test. We're making changes to our cars based on safety.

    We contacted and have been contacted by several new manufacturers in the chassis area. We look for a potential of new manufacturers joining us in 2003.

    He also talked about the IRL's new support series, the Infiniti Pro Series. He announced that the IPS races will be telecast on ESPN!

  • (2/6) - CART lost another American oval track. The Chicago Motorspeedway announced that they are suspending all motor races at their track in 2002, which also includes a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race. Motor racing began there in 1999. Officials from the track stated economic reasons for the cancellation, but they will continue to feature horse racing.

    CART's remaining oval tracks in the U.S. are Milwaukee (1-mile) and the California Speedway (2-mile) in their 18-race schedule. The IRL will also race at the California Speedway this year. CART has 3 oval races outside the U.S.

  • (2/5) - Another CART team announces they will compete in the Indy 500 this year. Team Kool Green is bringing Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy, however they won't be able to display their Kool Cigarette name. This will be Dario's first Indy 500. Barry Green says he hopes to also bring Michael Andretti back again. His Motorola team got help from the IRL's Panther Racing to field Andretti's car in 2001.
  • (2/3) - The 40th Anniversary Editon of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is in the books and the Car #27 Doran Lista Racing Judd Dallara has taken overall. Its drivers included Max Papis, Fredy Lienhard, Mauro Baldi and Didier Theys. The #36 Mathews R&S car with Robby Gordon, Scott Sharp, Jim Mathews and Guy Smith was second overall.
  • March 2002

  • (3/29) - Ferrari is finally ready to use their new 2002 F1 car beginning this weekend at the Brazil race.
  • (3/29) - Robby Gordon made it official Thursday that he will attempt his third Memorial Day doubleheader by driving in the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.
  • (3/29) - CART is now taking their previous president, Joe Heitzler to court, claiming fraud. It wasn't too long ago that they were suing their advertising company for millions.
  • (3/29) - Things are not going well for Walker Racing either. Not only are they losing their CART chassis, they haven't been able to race in the IRL this season and their driver, Sarah Fisher, has retained a lawyer to help her get out of the contract she has with the team so that she can find a team that can get her back into IRL racing. Sarah said, "I'm not doing any good sitting here in Indiana in the rain. I want to drive a race car."
  • (3/29) - Things haven't been going well for Adrian Reynard. He lost his involvement with the Formula One team, B.A.R. last year. And then his own company, Reynard Motorsport, has just gone bankrupt. Adrian founded this British company in 1973 and grew it to a multi-million dollar company, with outstanding success in international motorsports through the years across many formulas, including British F3, F3000, the Japanese Nippon Series and CART, of which their cars have won the last 7 CART championships. In addition, the company has provided consultancy services for many major automotive manufacturers and engineering companies.

    This means that CART is only going to have one chassis - Lola.

    This also causes big problems for 6 of the 13 CART teams that use Reynards as they'll be scavenging for parts until they can get converted over to Lolas. Teams affected: Team Kool Green, Patrick Racing, Players/Forsythe Racing, Mo Nunn Racing, Team Motorola, and Walker Racing.

  • (3/28) - John Andretti was one of the Winston Cup drivers hoping to get to run in the Indy 500 this year. It sounds like his Nascar team is not prepared to let him do that this year.
  • (3/25) - Greg Ray says he's had an opportunity to race in every IRL race this year since getting cut at the last minute by Kelley Racing, but he's waiting for the right opportunity. He says he'll definately be in the Indy 500
  • (3/25) - A.J. Foyt Racing has permenantly replaced Donnie Beechler, who was injured before the first IRL race of the year, with the young Airton Dare
  • (3/25) - Richie Hearn filled in for the injured Anthony Lazarro at Sam Schmidt Motorsports in yesterday's race. Lazzaro complained of back pain in the crash he experienced last week at Phoenix and as it ends up, he broke his spine. He also injured his back in 1999 while driving a Busch car. Docs say he'll be back in a few weeks.

    The Yamaha 400 was the Indy Racing Leagues first race at the 2-mile track in Fontana. CART has raced there for a number of years. Due to late scheduling, only about 15-35,000 tickets were sold. Too bad, Californians missed an awsome excellent race that saw non-stop racing for 85 laps before debris on the track brought out the first yellow caution. Up till then the race speed average was at least 210 mph!! Buddy Lazier says he had an awesome car for the race, but he crashed it during morning practice and had to race his backup car.

    The race began with Sam Hornish, Jr dueling with Jeff Ward and Eddie Cheever with 2 lead changes on the very first lap! This race would go on to set the IRL record for most number of lead changes, 39. Tomas Scheckter moved up and passed Hornish for the lead on lap 29. Hornish would experience radio problems again throughout the day. He also lost his pit speed limiter and had to manually try to keep the car under the 60 mph pit lane speed limit. His guide on the radio, Pancho Carter, continues to coach the 22 y/o racing champion.

    Jacque Lazier was surprising folks as well as his team, when he kept refusing to pit. The crew would be yelling at him on the radio, "Pit! Pit!" and he would zoom on by. They would hold out signs telling him to pit, but it did no good. He would pit when he was ready and lucky for him, his engine never died before he had refueled. Twice he ignored their pleas and we all saw him run 41 laps between pit stops.

    Hattori's engine blew around lap 150 of 200. Tomas began to have some engine trouble and as his car suddenly slowed, Hideki Noda slammed into the back of him resulting in both cars getting demolished. This was the fourth race car to be ruined this year for Cheever Indy Car. But Eddie didn't have time to worry about that as he was leading the race having taken the lead on 162. The Infiniti engines had plenty of power this day. Due to not taking on new tires, after the yellow, Gil de Ferran temporarily had the lead, but soon Cheever, Hornish, and both Lazier brothers passed him. Then the racing really took off!

    There was side by side racing at 219 mph! These four cars were two and three wide and they would get so close that their tires would touch! During these closing laps, it was Jacque Lazier running beside Eddie Cheever, Jr. for the lead. On lap 191, Cheever's Infiniti engine blew up, tossing a giant plume of white oily smoke into the face of Sam Hornish, Jr. Sam went right and missed the slowing Cheever, as the veteran managed to keep the car going straight as he brought it down onto the apron. Soon, Memo Gidley's Infiniti engine blew as well . The rookie Frenchman, Laurent Redon, was now in 3rd, but he had Infiniti power too, would his engine last?!

    Photo by Will Lester On these last few laps, Jacques was in front of Sam. On the last lap, they ran side by side. Sam took the lead, then Jacques passed him back they dueled to the end and coming off the last turn before the checkered flag, they touched wheels! Sam Hornish, Jr. was able to get his nose a few feet infront of Lazier to take the checkered by 2/100ths of a second!

    Sam's race average speed, including caution periods, was 179.276 mph, a new IRL record (and this was over a 400 mile race!) Redon did finish in 3rd, so at least one Infiniti engine survived. He was followed by the two Penske cars. Hornish led a race-high 73 laps, although all but one of those laps was not at the end of the race. Jacques Lazier led 45 laps, Cheever led 33 and Scheckter led 28.

  • Miss Universe 2001 Miss Universe, Denise M. Quinones August from Puerto Rico, sang the National Anthem prior to the Yamaha 400 race.

    And the winner receives....
    Champaign Shower ............ Price: $30
    Trophy presentation.......... Price: $1200
    Prize Money award ........... Price: $120,000

    Miss Universe presenting you with a Maurice Lacroix IRL "Tiago" Chronograph.... Priceless!

  • (3/23) - Eddie Cheever, Jr. has won his first IRL Pole Position.
  • (3/23) - Robbie Buhl crashed after qualifying for the Yamaha 400 at Fontana. He was removed by the safety crew and transported to the hospital. It appears he is ok, but has a concussion. Memo Gidley will be filling in for him in the race.
  • (3/22) - First off, Tyce Carlson suddenly retired after crashing in Phoenix. He has been in the IRL since the beginning and wishes to land a job somewhere in the series. Secondly, this opened up a ride over at PDM Racing and Jeret Schroeder was selected to get back with the team. Jeret has started in 19 IRL races and finished in 20th spot at last year's Indy 500.
  • (3/22) - Well Budweiser decides to be a Indy 500 sponsor at last. They are going to be an associate sponsor for Andretti.
    A windy day at the Mile in the Desert, found Helio Castroneves on the pole, beside points leader Sam Hornish Jr. This race was sponsored by Bombardier ATV and they let one of these ATV's lead a 60 mph pace lap of the field, before the Corvette came in and took them on the real deal. That was different.

    25 cars started the race (as opposed to 20 at CART's last race), but only 12 would finish on this tight fast circuit.

    Shigeaki Hattori and his Epson sponsorship is back, moving into the ride at Bradley Motorsports that was vacated by the retiring Buzz Calkins. Shiggy managed to bring out the first yellow when he spun on lap 4. By lap 23, Sam passed Helio for the lead. Then Tomas Sheckter passed Ward for 3rd position. Unfortunately for Tomas (and Cheever Indy Racing), his Infiniti engine soon developed problems and he was out.

    I guess Shiggy likes yellow, because he brought out another caution period after he got up into the gray and smacked the wall. I wish Epson would give up sponsoring lame Japanese drivers and give the money to someone deserving. Oh well, at least Shiggy didn't hit Little Al this time and break his leg.

    Robbie Buhl was impressive as he worked his way up, finally passing Helio for 2nd place. Buhl would do well through out the day, but near the end, his Infiniti engine called it quits. How disapointing!

    Another yellow came out on lap 79 when de Vries spun in through the gate in the fence where the safety trucks come out and smacked the wall and fence from the wrong side! He was rather lucky to be ok.

    On the restart, a multi-car crash happened, collecting Giaffone, McGehee, George Mack, Ward and Boat. I thought that Shiggy was out, but I could have sworn I saw that Epson car spinning through the middle of it doing a 360. Whoever caused the accident got away scott free. Sam Hornish, still leading the race, came into the pits. He lost first gear and had trouble getting out of the pits. He would later lose 6th gear and would have to race in 5th, consequently hitting the rev-limiter frequently. (This limiter prevents over-revving and detonating the engine.)

    Little Al ended up leading at the half way point and ABC showed us a new trick: splitting the tv screen vertically and showing the image on the left from the in-car camera of Unser and putting Hornish's view on the right side. With about 60 laps to go, Eliseo Salazar passed Al for the lead. Eliseo would go on to finish in 4th which should make A.J. happy. By the way, this was Foyt's 500th race as a team owner!

    Lazzaro spun and collected Scott Sharp and Eddie Cheever Jr, removing them from the race for the remainder of the day. Cheever Indy Racing now has 3 wrecked cars in the first two races of the season. Lazzaro took a trip to the hospital to be checked out. He was complaining about back pain. He'd probably be complaining about nose pain if he had gotten around Eddie.

    On lap 142 there was another caution for debris on the track. During some pits stops, the two Penske cars moved into the lead. They would dual with each other, Helio winning. Meantime, Sam was forced to watch from 3rd place as he drove around in 5th gear. Unser finished in 5th, followed by the Lazier brothers and then Billy Boat.

    Helio, per his custom, climbed the fence after winning. A more somber Gil de Ferran and Roger Penske dedicated the race to the teammate they lost recently, Gary Buckner.

    It was a hot hazy day in Malaysia. At the start of the race, Montoya and Michael Schumacher went for the same corner and Michael ended up getting some front end damage that forced him to pit. The incident also sent Montoya off line and moved him back to the middle of the pack. Then race official made Montoya pull into the pits for a drive-through penalty. Although Montoya finished the race infront of Michael, Michael stated that he thought the penalty given to Montoya was a bit unfair when viewing other incidences where no penalty was given. Montoya said he was pissed off, even though he worked his way back through the field to finish 2nd, behind his Williams team-mate, Ralf Schumacher. Michael obviously worked his way back up through the field too, but due to some bizarre bad luck for Jenson Button in the Renault on the last lap, Michael got around him to finish on the podium.

    Nick Heidfeld and his Sauber teammate, Felipe Massa, both had a good day, finishing in the points.

    Extreme bad luck for Kimi Raikkonen and Rubens Barrichello, whom both were in 3rd place, and 2nd place respectively, when their engines blew. Jordan also suffered, when both of their cars contacted each other. Fisi was able to get his car repaired and re-enter the race.

  • (3/12) - IMS has added an advertising space to the top of the pagoda-style control tower. The space has been bought by Bombardier Aerospace (who make Learjets and Skidoo Jetskis and ATV's.) and the tower is now to be called Bombardier Pagoda! This company's name sounds French, and is pronounced like Bomb-Bar-Dee-Ay. So, don't forget. You don't want any confusion when you tell someone to meet you over by the tow... um, I mean.. the Bombardier Pagoda!

    But, please forgive me if I forget to call it that, I still call the RCA Dome the Hoosier dome and thats been changed for probably a decade.

    In addition to the naming of the tower and the sign, Bombardier has been named an Official Sponsor of the IRL and IMS. Bombardier Aerospace will sponsor the $50,000 IRL Rookie of the Year Award and contribute to the Indy 500 prize fund.

  • (3/12) - Cosworth, the engine tweaker under Ford, has said that they are going to build engines for CART next year, even if Ford is not in the series. I would think that would cement Toyotas continued involvement with CART. CART is switching to the non-turbo 3.5 liter V-8 engine style used by the IRL.
  • (3/12) - Roger Penske, the rich businessman/car owner than left CART for the IRL, predicts that all the CART teams will join him within three years.
  • (3/12) - Ok, Brayton Racing is a reality. They're entered into this year's Indy 500 again with driver John de Vries. One of their sponsors is PIT Bull Energy Drink. I had it confused with Cheever Indy Car's sponsor, RED Bull Energy drink when they announced this weeks ago. They also have sponsorship from Rhino Cleaning Products. I haven't heard anything futher on that Sprewell sponsor from the NBA.
  • I've been out of town, so a little lapse here in news...


    Weather at Homestead included temperature of 82 degrees and high winds of 23 mph with 10+ mph wind gusts. Unlike, practice the previous day, the wind didn?t seem to cause any accidents today. There were several Chevy engine failures during the race, perhaps caused by electronics, but the saddest malfunction happened to Robbie Buhl on lap 193 of 200 when his Infiniti let go while he was in 4th place.

    Eddie Cheever, Jr. was very angry when his new driver tried to pass him, and bumped him right into the wall on the 3rd lap! Tomas Scheckter would end up bringing the car home in 6th place anyway.

    Helio Castroneves managed to pass Hornish once during a restart, but Sam passed him back with in a lap. For awhile, it looked like the Penske cars might be giving the Panther Pennzoil cars some competition, but Sam totally dominated, even though his radio broke and the pits couldn't hear what he was saying. By ¾ point of the race, he had a lap up on the entire field!

    On lap 160, Billy Roe had contact with the wall bringing out a yellow. Everyone pitted except for the Penske team. This allowed his drivers to get back on the lead lap with Sam. Roger gambled that another yellow would come out, as his cars did not have enough fuel to make it to the end. He was right. On lap 170, Scott Sharp's car lost power and another yellow was thrown, allowing the Penske Marlboro's to get a splash of methanol.

    Jacque Lazier and Team Menard had a rough day. On the 2nd lap of the race, his shock cover blew off. Later his right rear tire began to deflate and that caused him to spin out. The team got him back out, only to have Billy Boat hit him. He managed to finish the race, but he was 14 laps down.

    Airton Dare did a great job filling in for Beechler, he was running in the top 5 early on and by the ¾ point, he had got up to 2nd place! By the end, he was in 6th and during a restart, he got up into the marbles and smacked the wall unfortunately.

    Sam Hornish, Jr. and the Panther Pennzoil team started on the pole and lead 166 laps and won the race under a caution with 9 lapped cars between him and 2nd place.

    Scott Goodyear began working in the booth for ABC and he did and EXCELLENT job! Sadly, the crowd at Homestead was very light. There was 9 cautions during the race, 5 cars did not finish and there were 7 lead changes.


    Michael Schumacher asked for his fellow drivers to take it easy into the first turn of the first lap of the race. The sharp right hander has caused a lot of accidents in race starts past. Ferrari has decided to use last year's car for the season opener at Melbourne. None the less, both Ferraris qualified on the front row, Rubens Barrichello winning the pole.

    Air Ralf Unfortunately for Rubens, Ralf Schumacher chose not to listen to his older brother and as Rubens blocked and braked for that first turn, Ralfie slammed right into the back of him and launched himself high into the air and he basically flew to the gravel trap and out of the race. This caused a slew of crashes which knocked 8 drivers out, including Rubens. The top 5 who made it through the chaos were:
    1 Coulthard
    2 Trulli
    3 Montoya
    4 M Schumacher
    5 Irvine

    Montoya had some type of problem right away on the restart and Michael got around him. Surprisinlgy, Michael was unable to get around Jarno Trulli. But then on lap 8, Trulli suddenly spun out of the race and the safetly car had to come back out.

    Then on lap 11, at the first turn, DC couldn't keep it on the track and Montoya passed Michael a moment later! A good battle began between MS and Montoya. By lap 16, Michael pulled a awesome outside pass back on Montoya! Kimi Raikkonen, the new McLaren driver, had worked his way up to 3rd behind Montoya by then. At the same time Heinz-Harald Frentzen got black flagged! The Ferrari began quickly pulling away from the Williams.

    At the half way point, only 10 cars were left in the race. Jacques Villeneuve had moved up to 6th, when his rear wing blew off which forced him to wreck. DC flew off into the grass again. He was having some engine trouble and eventually retired. Now only 8 cars left.

    Everyone pitted around lap 38 of 58. When Kimi slid into the grass when pulling out of the pit lane, but recovered. After all the pit stops, the standings were now:
    1 Michael Schumacher
    2 Juan Pablo Montoya
    3 Kimi Raikonnen
    4 Eddie Irvine
    5 Mark Webber
    6 Alex Yoong
    7 Mika Salo (down a lap)
    8 Pedro de la Rosa (down a lap)

    Michael kept pulling his lead out over the Williams. Michael would later say that his Bridgestone tires came up to temperature and helped him beat the Michelin-shod Williams and McLaren. Salo would soon unlap himself and pass Yoong to get into the points. This was a nice boost for Toyota, getting a World Championship point in their very first F1 race! Another big story was how Mark Webber finished in the points while driving for the traditionally worst team in F1, Minardi. Webber is an Australian and his home crowd went nuts cheering him on. Also, the new owner of the Minardi team, Paul Stoddard is also Australian.

    The 2002 Ferrari is supposed to be awesome. What must the other teams think now that last year's car just whupped up on all their new cars?!

  • (3/1) - High winds reportedly caused several accidents at Homestead today. During the IRL practice, Donnie Beechler hit the wall and ended up at the hospital with a concussion. This allowed Airton Dare a chance to hop into his ride and get A.J. another car qualified on the grid. New Cheever Indy Racing driver, Tomas Scheckter, also wrecked, however he came out in a back up car and qualified 3rd on the grid! Sam Hornish, Jr. qualified on the pole with a lap of 202.884 mph.

    Sadly, during a practice for the NASCAR Grand Am cars, the Archangel Motorsport entry flipped and crashed, killing their driver Jeff Clinton of St. Louis.

  • (3/1) - Arrows F1 chief, Tom Walkinshaw, managed to buy the liquidated Prost F1 team for some "mystery group" for only 2.5 million Euros. The team had had a debt of 30 million Euros ($27 million dollars) before it went bankrupt. Prost had been offered around 30-60 million before that happened, but he turned it down. doh! Minardi's chief, Paul Stoddard is raising hell about the purchase, but Tom says that Paul bidded on it also and simply didn't bid high enough. Prost has one of the valuable last spots on the F1 grid, what with Toyota joining this year, that is their main assett. If I recall, Toyota had to pay around $48 million to get admitted into the F1 fraternity; whomever owns Prost has already got that right!
  • April 2002

  • (4/30) - P.J. Jones,33, has been picked to replace injured Jacques Lazier for Team Menard. This will be Jone's first Indy 500. He raced in CART from '96-'99 and has since ran some Busch and USAC Silvercrown races. P.J.'s dad is Parnelli Jones.
  • (4/28) - FORMULA ONE - SPANISH GRAND PRIX Race Report
    The Minardi team didn't even get to start this race. They had kept losing their rear wings during testing and practice and had to withdrawal for safety reasons. Kimi Raikonnen lost the rear wing off of his McLaren during lap 3 of the race and although he was able to limp back to the pits, they were unable to fix it. He had qualified again in front of his teammate, David Coulthard. Also out early was Fisichella in the Jordan Honda and de la Rosa who spun out in front of his home crowd.

    While the Ferrari's were a second faster per lap than their closest competitors during testing, Ruben's luck continued. He was barely edged out for the pole by his teammate. Then, at race time, his Ferrari refused to budge from the grid for the warm up lap. They got his car back to the garage but could not get it fixed!

    Michael Schumacher's luck also continued. He pulled out the lead from the pole position and ran away from the rest of the crowd to finish in 1st place, 36 seconds ahead of the 2nd place car of Juan Pablo Montoya. Ralf Schumacher had held onto second place until he had a slight off that damaged the front end of his car and which haunted him the rest of the race. Montoya also had a tense moment when his Chief Mechanic waived him out of the pits before the fuel hose was disconnected. The Chief Mechanic then stepped in front of his tire and tried to stop him, but not before he got his foot ran over and was knocked to the ground. He would be alright.

    This was Schumy's 57th F1 win and he became the first person to win the Spanish GP 4 times. Villenueve was the only Honda-powered car to finish (7th) and Honda still has not scored a point this year.

  • (4/26) - Derrick Walker has completed the deal to purchase the primary elements of Reynard's North American operation!

    "We have successfully worked out an agreement with Adrian Reynard to buy the inventory, intellectual rights and assets of Reynard North America," Walker said.

  • (4/26) - Could Honda be thinking of supplying engines to the IRL? While American Honda states that they will not be providing any engine to any American series in 2003, how about 2004? CART sources said they believe that Tony George has struck a deal directly with Honda Japan, circumventing Honda's American operations.
  • (4/26) - Could the IRL be thinking of racing on the other side of the world? American Honda Executive Vice-President Tom Elliott said, "It's no secret that Tony (George) is talking to Motegi (Japan) about holding an IRL race here and that's no surprise. The track needs more races to become profitable." CART is racing at Motegi this weekend. CART president Chris Pook didn't sound very confident that CART would return next year, although he hopes so.
  • (4/26) - Cheever Indy Racing will announce they have filled their 3rd entry in the Indy 500 with CART driver Max Papis.
  • (4/25) - Greg Ray has found a IRL team, at least for awhile. He will be driving for A.J. Foyt, replacing the injured Eliseo Salizar who may be out of the car for the rest of the season.
  • (4/24) - Jacques Lazier has been told by the doc that he's out for the season to let his back mend. Bummer!! But some lucky driver will get to take over this great ride from Team Menard. Who will it be???
  • (4/24) - The IRL is instituting a new chassis for 2003-2005 to take advantage of new safety features:
    ·Side pods must maintain a minimum width of 60 inches along a greater distance.
    ·Energy-absorbent materials will be introduced for driver leg protection.
    ·Front suspension mounting points must have a bulkhead directly behind them.
    ·Aluminum honeycomb core used in chassis construction must conform to a minimum core density.
    ·Car weight will be reduced to lessen impact mass.
    ·A minimum chassis length will be established.
    ·Increase side load on nose push-off test.
    ·Increase energy on first nose impact test.
    ·Increase energy on second nose impact test.
    ·Chassis must not incur damage during nose impact tests.
    ·Increase applied load during roll hoop test.
    ·Increase side intrusion absorbsion levels.
    ·Introduce impact test and side load test on new rear crash structure.

    The IRL is also reviewing applications from car builders to add a third to compete with G-Force and Dallara. Today the IRL announced they turned down Penske's offer. Why turn down anyone? Why not have 6 chassis available?

    The reason is cost. There is a limited demand for cars and the figures work out that the chassis builders must be able to build x number of chassis at y cost to be able to make a profit (the IRL has a cap on Chassis and engine costs.) The supply, divided by 3 (the number of builders) keeps X high enough. 4 suppliers might mean that someone is not going to be making a profit. The teams in the IRL are growing in size and money. Maybe in a few years we'll see 4 builders. Penske and the other car builders that are not selected can re-apply next year, however, its likely that the IRL doesn't like a team being connected to a builder as it could result in cheating. The winning chassis builder should be announced by early May.

  • (4/22) - Injuries suffered in yesterday's race: Tomas Scheckter has a lunch contusion and a concussion and is expected to be released from the hospital tomorrow. Jacques Lazier suffered a lower spinal fracture and a concussion, but fortunately he has full movement of his extremities.
  • (4/21) - IRL RACE - NAZARETH PA. The IRL raced for the first time at the old Nazareth track on a cold day which was responsible for some of the accidents. The layout of this track seemed to discourage passing and encourage crashing. The track is thin and it didn't seem they could run two wide in a corner. The "straights" are too short to pass. They should move this race to a warmer time of year.

    This race war under yellow many times, especially the end when it rained a little. Sam Hornish ran Buddy Lazier into the wall early on. Jacques Lazier and Tomas Scheckter mixed it up and both got a helicopter ride to the hospital. If Gil, the pole sitter, had not ran out of gas on the last lap, then Scott Sharp would not have won. Sarah Fisher finished 4th in front of Castroneves. Cheever finished in 7th.

  • (4/19) - Jimmy Kite, who is entered as a one-off in the Indy 500 for 310 Racing, was one of the casualties of lack of sponsors this year in the IRL. He has been racing in the Silver Crown series this year and will be with them as the compete this weekend as a support race to the IRL in Nazareth.

    Kite began racing quarter-midgets at the age of eight and worked his way up through mini-sprints, USAC midgets, sprint cars and Silver Crown cars to the Indy Racing League. He is a five-time national champion in various open-wheel series with countless victories. He has a career total of 22 Indy Racing events and $1,232,000 in career IRL earnings. He will be attempting to make his fourth career Indianapolis 500 in May.

  • (4/19) - Eliseo Salazar was severely injured in a practice accident this week when he collided with the Turn 1 wall. He tore a vertebral artery and has had surgery. He will probably be sidelined the rest of the season. Richie Hearn has been tapped to fill in for him at the race this weekend at Nazareth.

    When you go out to lunch today, why not stop by the store and pick up a Get Well card and send it to the Chilean driver at:
    Indy Racing League
    Attention: Eliseo Salazar
    4565 W. 16th Street
    Indianapolis, IN 46222

  • (4/15) - John Barnes, from Pennsoil Panther Racing, was quoted as saying "I think that in the future you'll see IRL running on road courses, probably in 2004." Also, the Pennsoil company has been purchased by Shell Oil.
  • (4/15) - Sarah Fisher finally gets back into an Indy Racing car next weekend at the IRL race in Nazareth PA. She is going to fill in for the injured Robbie Buhl, who suffered a concussion after qualifying for Fontana.

    Sarah competed in the Toyota Pro/celebrity race in Long Beach this past weekend. While she did not win the race, neither did the favorite, Trans-am superstar, Tommy Kendall. The race will be aired April 28th on ESPN.

  • (4/15) - All 6 Indy 500 rookies passed their tests last week except Laurent Redon, who still had one more test to go. Rain caused a problem and shortened the time the rookies had.

    Laurent did say, "The track is very impressive. What can I say? Everything that's been said about the track, you're always surprised. I don't know, I don't have the word, but you don't have any place like this in the world. Even if you don't know all the history, you're still impressed by the track, and I'm sure when it's full of people it should be very impressive.

    Ex-Formula One racer Johnny Herbert, who is making his first 500 appearance, was naturally waived from any rookie testing. The rookies who are in so far: John de Vries, Anthony Lazzaro, George Mack, Tomas Scheckter and Rick Treadway. Tomas captured the fastest speed.

  • (4/15) - Judd and MG will be teaming up next year to provide a 3.5 liter v-8 engine for CART.
    The weather was fair and dry and the start of the race in Imola Italy was clean today. The race was rather boring. Michael Schumacher sat on the pole and lead the entire race, except during his 2 pit stops. While Ralf grabbed the initial 2nd place in his Williams BMW, Rubens Barrichello took it over during the first set of pit stops. The Ferraris would go on to finish 1-2, followed by the two Williams. It was obvious the new 2002 Ferraris was the best of the field as they pulled out big leads on their competition. Schumi actually lapped DC before it was over with!

    Jenson Button managed to finish in 5th spot, in front of Coulthard, the only McLaren to finish. Its rumored that the Mercedes-powered McLarens are giving up perhaps as much as 60 H.P. to the the Ferrari and BMW.

    One highlight of the race came near the end when 20 y/o Filipe Massa (Sauber) pulled an amazing pass on 27 y/o Jarno Trulli (Renault) for 8th spot. My man Jacques finished in 7th. The Hondas are horrible this year - zero points so far. While Minardi's Malaysian driver, Alex Yoong, brings big sponsorship dollars with him, he is not up to the competition. He failed to qualify within the 107% rule and was not allowed to start on race day.

  • (4/12) - It doesn't look like Newman-Haas learned anything from Team Rahal. Bobby Rahal, a staunch Indy/IRL hater, picked up 1999 Indy 500 Champion Kenny Brack with the promise that Brack could defend his title. Rahal went back on that promise and kept the hard chargin' Brack out of Indy for two years. That is until Brack told them good riddance and fled to Ganassi/Target Racing where he will finally return this year. Rather ironic (or spiteful?) that Rahal has now changed his mind and will be running a car in this years 500 with the driver he replaced Brack with. Although the CART schedule easily allows their drivers to cross over and run Indy, Newman-Haas is denying Christian Fittipaldi a release to run Indy now, even though he has been offered a ride (with Treadway)! How long till Newman-Haas returns? Will they wait until their top drivers leave them?
  • (4/11) - 1956 Indy 500 winner Pat Flaherty died yesteday. He was 76. Pat had competed in 6 Indys and his win came in a Watson roadster. Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; sons James and John; daughter Colleen of Oxnard, CA.
  • (4/11) - The Speedway is taking another look at the old PED system, an energy absorption material for the concrete walls surrounding the speedway. They are talking about maybe having them installed in all 4 corners by next month.

    This system was tested here a few years ago during the IROC race. As luck would have it, Arie Luyendyk crashed heavily into the barrier. While it probably helped ease his crash, the pads broke away and scattered around the track. It took 40 minutes to put them back. No news whether this has been remedied.

    The PED system was developed 10 years ago. A year ago, a company had came out with a revolutionary new material that sounded much better. I wonder why we haven't heard anything back from them? Did they go out of business? I wrote them last fall inquiring about any success for their company and I never heard anything back. Too bad.

  • (4/10) - The pace car driver has been selected for this year's Indy 500. Its some actor from the state of Washington named Jim Caviezel. I've never heard of him. You would think they would select someone more famous. Since Jay Leno has paced the Brickyard and David Letterman has a car in the race, you'd think they'd get Letterman to do it. Of course that might be a conflict of interest, he might try running some IRL car into the wall! Oh well, at least the pace car is a CAR this year! Yea! [Kate writes: Caviezel's credits include: Wyatt Earp, G.I. Jane, The Thin Red Line, Ride With The Devil, Frequency, Pay It Forward, The Count of Monte Cristo, and High Crimes, which is currently showing.] If you would like to know more about Jim Go Here.

    2003 Vette
    Anyway, here is a picture of the corvette after they put the stickers on it. Not much else to do to the Vette to get it ready for race day. I need a Vette.
  • (4/8) - Interesting new team to compete at the Indy 500 emerges - Duesenberg Brothers Racing. They competed in U.S. F3 last year, finishing 3rd, and are competing in the Toyota Atlantic Series. This year marks 75 years since a Duesenberg car won the Indy 500. The team will have car no. 32 which was the winning car number in 1927. They have retained Formula One driver, Johnny Herbert, to drive. Keith Duesenberg, president, is teaming with Beck Motorsports for their run at Indy. Keith is the great grandson of Henry Duesenberg, the oldest brother of Fred and Augie Duesenberg, who were the founders of Duesenberg Motor Company.
  • (4/8) - Walker Racing has reluctantly agreed to release Sarah Fisher from her contract, so that she could pursue other IRL opportunities. Walker Racing has a CART and a IRL team. However, they have not had any sponsorship to compete in the IRL in 2002 after Kroger bailed on them at the end of last season.
  • (4/4) - Joe Heitzler, ex-CART president, in addition to suing CART, is now also suing CART team owners Pat Patrick and Carl Haas for defamation of character, claiming they ran a smear campaign to get him fired as head of CART last December. He is wanting $20 million.
  • (4/2) - Davey Jones is returning to Indy car racing this May when he'll try to qualify for the Indy 500 for Team Colson. Davey has been out of racing for a year and a half after suffering a neck injury in 97.
  • (4/2) - Toyota will begin supplying engines to the IRL in 2003 to Penske and Kelley Racing teams
  • (4/2) - Tony Stewart wimps out and decides he will not attempt to qualify for the Indy 500. John Andretti wanted to, but unlike Stewart, he couldn't get his Winston Cup team to let him. So, the only ex-Indy car Winston Cup driver returning will be Robby Gordon. Robby will be driving one of John Menard's Dallaras.

    Oh, and Robin Miller, I guess you don't know Tony as well as you thought you did.

  • (4/2) - Mo Nunn Racing, who races in both CART and the IRL, say their CART driver, Tony Kanaan, will attempt to qualify for the Indy 500, along with their IRL driver, 2001 IRL Rookie of the Year, Felipe Giaffone. Felipe is currently in 7th position in the IRL. Kanaan was '97 Indy Lights Champ and '98 CART Rookie of the Year. He has won one 500-mile CART race (1999) and had two poles.
  • (4/1) - Joe Heitzler, previous CART president, is counter-suing CART in L.A. Joe says he was fired for angering some CART directors after he jumped on them for selling their CART stock after the new engine rules were decided, but before they were announced. He says these guys fired him without a majority concensus and that he did not receive the severance benefits in his contract. CART had just filed a suit against Joe for making contracts for the league without the board of directors permission (ie. acting like a president?).

  • May 2002

  • (5/29) - Jason Leffler won the Hoosier Hundred (Silver Crown race) at the Indiana Fairgrounds.
  • (5/29) - Eddie Cheever, Jr. bought out partner Clyde Perlee to become sole owner of Red Bull Cheever Racing.
  • (5/26) - Helio Castroneves won again! He only led 23 of the 200 laps. Rookie Tomas Scheckter led the most laps, at 85. Helio is the first person to win in both of his first two starts. This was Penske's 13th Indy 500 win. The 86th 500 was ran on a beautiful day and there were 5 cautions.
  • (5/24) - This has been a cold rainy May, but Carb Day was warm and sunny, if a little windy.
  • (5/24) - Honda announced they would compete in the Indy Racing League next year and has hired Ilmor Engineering to help supply engines.

    Toyota comes on board next year also. Both of these manufactures recently competed in CART and currently butt heads in F1. They'll join Infiniti in making three Japanese car companies competing against the General.

    Robert Clarke, who is the president of Honda Performance Development, was asked if any CART teams had talked to them about this move, "No, not really. We've tried to keep this whole program very secret. It seems as though we've done a fairly good job in keeping it secret. There's been a lot of speculation, I believe, but no one was able to really connect all the dots. But, no, because of that we have not been free to go out and discuss with our current CART teams or any other CART team. [see related story further down the page on 4/26]

    He was asked about Honda's rivalry with Toyota, "Basically we hate each other, I think; it's kind of in each other's culture. I've been with Honda 21 years, and it's basically driven into you that you're not supposed to like Toyota."

  • (5/24) - Tony George replied to the idea of the IRL racing at Motegi Japan, "But at this point there's nothing imminent to announce regarding Motegi. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see on that one."
  • (5/19) - Although there were rain delays and BUMP DAY ended early, We have a full field of 33!

    This race has the fastest slowest-qualifying speed in history.

    Andretti withdrew his entry and qualified his backup car faster, but lower on the grid.

    Boat survived his 3rd trip on the bubble.

    Who didn't make the show: Johnny Herbert, Donnie Beechler, Jimmy Kite, Robbie McGehee, Jon Herb, Orial Servia, John de Vries, Davy Jones, Billy Roe, Memo Gidley

  • (5/17) - Ha! Ha! Some old man landed his Cessna on the drag strip at Indianapolis Raceway Park yesterday, thinking it was a runway!

    He had never been to the Eagle Creek airport before which is about 5 miles from IRP.

  • (5/17) - Robbie Buhl, set fastest time in practice today. The temperature was in the low 50's, but Buhl cleared 228mph!
  • (5/17) - It appears that the second car 310 Racing had entered in the 500 for Jimmy Kite, has been withdrawn. Unfortunately for Anthony Lazzaro, Kite is now the driver of his No. 99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Racing Special.

    Wow, can you imagine the let down for Lazzaro?! Tis better to have raced and lost, than never to have raced at all.

  • (5/17) - Robby Gordon's Schedule
    May 17 - Practice, Lowe's Motor Speedway
    May 18 - The Winston, Lowe's Motor Speedway
    May 19 - Back to Indianapolis in morning, practice (tentative)
    May 20 - Back to Charlotte in morning
    May 21 - Charlotte
    May 22 - Charlotte, back to Indianapolis in afternoon
    May 23 - Coors Carb Day at Indianapolis, back to Charlotte in afternoon
    May 24 - Coca-Cola 600 qualifying, Lowe's Motor Speedway
    May 25 - Winston Cup Happy Hour, back to Indianapolis in evening
    May 26 - 86th Indianapolis 500, back to Charlotte for Coca-Cola 600 immediately after race
    May 27 - Back to Indianapolis in morning, Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration
  • (5/16) - In a windy practice day at the speedway today, Bruno Junqueira lost control of his pole-winning car when coming in toward the pits. His back end slid out and he dove right back onto the track and nearyl hit the inside retaining wall head-on. The car then slid across the track and had some light contact with the outside wall with the left side of his car. The car should be ok and Bruno is ok too.
  • (5/15) - Indy Racing League driver Eliseo Salazar was at the Speedway today. Salazar was injured in a testing accident in April at the Speedway. He thinks he'll be back on A.J. Foyt's race team by August or September.

    Eliseo said, "Feeling great. We came in last night, actually to spend my son's first birthday here. The center of our lives is Indianapolis, and what better place than to spend it here?" Remarking to whether he has considered retirement, since the accident, he said, "It (racing) has been my whole life, career. I've been competitive the last few years, and I don't want to waste it."

    Since Eliseo can't compete in this year's 500, he is going to broadcast the race to his countrymen in Chili!

  • (5/12) - Formula One: Austrian grand prix
    Rubens Barrichello continues impressing with his improved maturity and driving skill. He qualified for the pole position over Ralf; Michael was back on the 2nd row! I hoped Ruben's Ferrari wouldn't let him down for the start of this race.

    It didn't. He kept the lead at the start while his teammate, M. Schumacher grabbed 2nd. Kimi once again outqualified DC and Ralf outqualified Montoya.

    Jaques Villeneuve qualified poorly, but on race day his car seemed to be a contender. Although he had an incident in the beginning stages of the race (he ran Fretzen right off the track) he quickly worked his way all the way up to 4th. But after a pitstop shuffle (he had 3 pitstops) he was in 8th.

    This was a very exciting race. In the beginning of the race, Kimi again had car trouble, his engine blew. When Panis' BAR Honda engine blew, it locked up his rear wheels and gave him a scare. He handled the car beautifully, it stayed on the track and came to a stop in the middle toward a turn. This brought out the Safety Car.

    On the last lap, JV's engine blew and gave him a hot seat. He shot out of the cockpit fast and he hopped over the guardrail and got away from that smoking car.

    The end was disappointing as Ferrari issued the order at the end of the race to Ruben's to slow and let Schumacher take the win. It is sad that Barrichello will miss having his name in the record books after having such a good weekend. The crowd really booed the decision. UP ON THE PODIUM, SCHUMACHER PUSHED RUBENS UP TO THE TOP SPOT. This helped relieve the anger somewhat. He then joined him. Then he gave Rubens the trophy. Montoya drove a smart race, he ran the harder compound tires than his teammate, and ended up in 3rd.

  • (5/12) - Bernie said that Red Bull was trying to start a driver's academy to bring an American driver over to Europe and run them up through the Formula ranks to Formula One. I find that interesting since they pushed a South African on Cheever Indy Racing then, but I guess Scheckter Senior had some pull, not to take anything away from Tomas who has real potential.
  • (5/11) - Target/Chip Ganassi and driver Bruno Junqueira qualified for the pole position for the Indy 500. He is coming off a win at Motegi Japan. He was the first qualifier of the day. Although, it was expected to get rained out, the rain stayed away on this cool day in Indy where 24 drivers qualified.
  • (5/11) - Rubens Barrichello qualified for the pole position for tomorrow's Austrian G.P.
  • (5/10) - The IRL and Firestone Tire made an interesting statement. They are giving an extra five sets of tires to all entrants in the Indy 500 whom participated on a "full-time" basis during the first week of practice.

    This would up their number from 28 sets for the month of may to 33. Firestone will charge the teams the same price as they agreed to pay for the first 28 sets.

  • (5/10) - Oriol Servia a CART driver who was Indy Lights champ in 1999, has worked a deal with Walker Racing to drive in this year's Indy 500. Servia will be only the second driver from Spain to ever compete in the Indy 500 (Fermin Velez ran in the 1996 race).
  • (5/10) - Local man Mark Dismore hit the Turn 1 wall during practice, tearing up one of Sam Schmidt's cars. Mark went to the hospital with a concussion.
  • (5/8) - Raul Boesel will be trying for his 13th Indy 500! The Brazilian has just landed a ride in the #2 John Manville Dallara/Chevy for Team Menard. This was the entry that P.J. Jones had been planning to qualify before he wrecked.
  • (5/8) - After leaving Walker Racing, Sarah Fisher has picked up sponsorship from Allegra and gotten a ride on Robbie Buhl's team - Dreyer and Reinbolt Racing. This news will make her many fans happy!
  • (5/8) - P.J. Jones, who hit the wall late yesterday, has fractured his c-6 vertebrae and will be out 6-weeks. Team Menard will be looking to replace P.J. who had just stepped in this month to replace Jacques Lazier who injured his back at Nazareth two weeks ago. This is a brutal sport regardless of what safety innovations they develop. Rookie Tomas Scheckter, who caused Jacques' accident, will be released from his 3-day IRL suspension tomorrow and begin to turn some laps at Indy.
  • (5/8) - Cahill Racing is NOT out. They purchased another car yesterday and started putting it together last night!
  • (5/7) - Robby McGehee, who hit the wall Sunday, suffered small fractures in his upper spine and lower left leg and is on crutches and is wearing a soft cast on his left leg. My guess is he's out for the 500, but we'll see. Its pretty certain that his team, Cahill Racing, is out, as this totalled racer was their only car.
  • (5/6) - I saw the rookie Tomas Scheckter yesterday and he wasn't testing. He is still recovering from his wreck at Nazareth (concussion/back pain). He caused that wreck and it resulted in a broken back for Jacques Lazier making him miss the rest of the season. Tomas is going to be suspended by Barnhart when he returns to health for unsafe driving. Tomas has wrecked in 3 of 4 IRL races this year.
  • (5/5) - Thousands of fans came out to the Speedway for opening day. The sun was out and there was good breeze. The prediction of rain later in the week prompted many teams to get out and do some testing as 30 drivers tested 39 cars for a total of 1,006 laps. All went well until Robby McGehee smacked the turn 3 wall hard. He hit the new soft-wall that the speedway had just erected luckily. He climbed from his car, but complained of leg pain.
  • (5/3) - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is working on a plan to get Sarah Fisher in the 500. She filled in for Robby Buhl at the IRL race in Nazareth, where she finished 4th. Robby returns for May though and will definately be in the 500.
  • (5/3) - Sam Schmidt has decided on a joint effort with PDM Racing for rookie driver Anthony Lazzaro. PDM Racing will provide the car, equipment and crew. He will remain in the #99 car.
  • (5/2) - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the first super speedway to install an energy-absorbing system to the walls of the track. The system that IMS is employing consist of blocks of foam that stand inbetween the old concrete wall and new steel-tubular walls that are not attached to the ground. The idea is that these steel walls will move inward upon contact but then bounce back out into position so that a race could continue while still lessening the crash impact on the driver. IMS has put the barrier in the corners where impact is the most likely. This appears to reduce the width of the track by a few feet.

    energy absorption system
  • 86th Indy 500 News

    Total purse: $10,028,580

    1. Helio Castroneves$1,606,215
    2. Paul Tracy$489,315
    3. Felipe Giaffone$475,315
    4. Alex Barron$412,115
    5. Eddie Cheever$348,515
    6. Richie Hearn$330,815
    7. Michael Andretti$218,715
    8. Robby Gordon$204,000
    9. Jeff Ward$308,815
    10. Gil de Ferran$293,165
    11. Kenny Brack$188,315
    12. Al Unser Jr.$288,765
    13. Airton Dare$281,815
    14. Arie Luyendyk$313,815
    15. Buddy Lazier$277,615
    16. Robbie Buhl$288,315
    17. George Mack$283,565
    18. Billy Boat$283,315
    19. Dario Franchitti$153,565
    20. Shigeaki Hattori$161,565
    21. Raul Boesel$268,315
    22. Laurent Redon$256,565
    23. Max Papis$153,565
    24. Sarah Fisher$163,315
    25. Sam Hornish Jr.$253,815
    26. Tomas Scheckter$294,815
    27. Scott Sharp$255,655
    28. Tony Kanaan$167,665
    29. Rick Treadway$147,565
    30. Jimmy Vasser$151,315
    31. Bruno Junqueira$282,715
    32. Mark Dismore$145,315
    33. Greg Ray$245,315

    Rookies of the Year: Alex Barron (started 26th, finished 4th) shares the honor with Tomas Scheckter (led 85 laps, finished 26th)

    231.342 mph Bruno Junqueira
    231.033 mph Robbie Buhl
    230.613 mph Raul Boesel
    230.328 mph Felipe Giaffone
    230.253 mph Tony Kanaan
    229.788 mph Eddie Cheever, Jr.
    229.585 mph Sam Hornish, Jr.
    229.486 mph Scott Sharp
    229.439 mph Sarah Fisher
    229.210 mph Tomas Scheckter
    229.127 mph Robby Gordon
    229.058 mph Al Unser, Jr.
    229.052 mph Helio Castroneves
    228.871 mph Gil de Ferran
    228.557 mph Jeff Ward
    228.106 mph Laurant Redon
    228.039 mph Ricky Treadway
    227.941 mph Max Papis
    227.743 mph Jimmy Vasser
    227.495 mph Buddy Lazier
    227.240 mph Kenny Brack
    227.233 mph Richie Hearn
    226.780 mph Michael Andretti
    226.589 mph Billy Boat

    2nd day of qualifying was rained out.
    228.848 mph Arie Luyendyk
    228.713 mph Michael Andretti
    228.580 mph Alex Barron
    228.192 mph Shigeaki Hattori
    228.177 mph Dario Franchitti
    228.006 mph Paul Tracy
    227.760 mph Airton Dare
    227.155 mph Greg Ray
    227.150 mph George Mack
    227.096 mph Mark Dismore


    • Infield parking may require a parking pass. Getting your car into the infield is going to be much more difficult this year as security measures increase. Cars may be subject to inspection and drug and bomb sniffing dogs with cops may be at the car gates.
    • No big coolers (14"x14" max)
    • All coolers, backpacks and handbags will be subject to security inspection at the gates of the Speedway.
    A number of other measures will be employed on the grounds to tighten security. Fans attending on Race Day should plan to arrive as early as possible.

  • FASTEST LAP so far was made by Helio Castroneves who posted a lap of 232.087 mph in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone on May 10th (his birthday)!

    DateWhereWho WreckedWhat Happened
    4-15Turn 2Sam Hornishhit the inside wall with the left rear corner of his Dallara. He was not injured.
    4-16Turn 1Eliseo Salazarcrashed into the outside wall of Turn 1, extensive damage to the rear of the car, Salazar had to have surgery to repair a torn artery in his chest, he's out for the season
    5-5Turn 3Robby McGeheeHis back end gave way, hit SAFER-barrier, heavy damage to car, he suffered hairline fractures in back and left leg, not cleared to drive yet.
    5-7Turn 1Paul TracyBrushed outside retaining wall.
    5-7Turn 1PJ JonesSpun, hit SAFER-barrier with back of car and bounced across track and hit inside guardrail, heavy damage to rear and left side of car, Jones suffered back fracture, out for 6 weeks.
    5-9Turn 1Mark DismoreSpun, hit SAFER-barrier right-side and rear of car. He had a concussion, now cleared to drive.
    5-10Turn 1Max PapisSpun, hit outside retaining wall and part of SAFER barrier with left rear and left side of car. Heavy damage to left rear of car. Max was fine.
    5-10Turn 1Alex BarronSpun and front and rear of car hit SAFER barrier, Extensive damage to rear of car, but Alex is fine.
    5-11Turn 4Jon HerbContact with right side of car, broke suspension, Jon is fine.
    5-11Paul Tracy (again!)Backed into SAFER barrier, lots of damage, Paul is ok.
    5-15Turn 2George MackSpun, light contact with wall, minimal damage to car. George is fine.
    5-16front stretch wallBruno Junqeiralost control coming into pits, collided left side of car with wall, damage to pole car minimal, Bruno is fine.
    5-16Turn 2Jon Herb (again!)Spun out of 2, hit inside wall, Jon is ok.
    5-19Turn 2Billy BoatSpun out of 2, left side of car contact with SAFER barrier, Billy is ok.
    5-26Turn 1Greg RaySpun in Turn 1 and hit SAFER Barrier with rear of car. Heavy damage. Greg is ok.
    5-26Turn 4Rick TreadwaySlight damage to right of car and right wing gone. Rick is fine.
    5-26Turn 4Tony KanaanSpun in Turn 3,rear and left side of car hit wall. Tony was fine.
    5-26Turn 4Tomas ScheckterHit SAFER barrier with right side of car. Tomas is fine.
    5-26Turn 2Laurent Redon
    Buddy Lazier
    They tangled on last lap of race.

  • June 2002

  • (6/17) IMS makes U.S. Grand Prix tickets available on-line. Just go to IMStix.com
  • Formula One fine Ferrari, Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher 1 million dollars for their behavior on the podium after Michael gave the trophy to Rubens (since he really won the race in Austria.)

  • (6/1) - Barry Green continues arguing that his team won the Indy 500. He thinks Paul Tracy got around Helio Castroneves before the caution came out for the wreck of Laurent Redon.

  • July 2002

  • (7/29) - The IRL had a very exciting race at the two-mile Michigan speedway this weekend, especially the last 20 laps. We saw racing speeds break 220 mph. Although "my" driver continued to have problems, I was very happy to see his teammate and the only girl in the field, Sarah Fisher, charge to the front to lead part of the race. Wow! She's the read deal. If there are any disbelievers out there, her performance Sunday should stifle them.

    After spending the season griping at his protoge' for crashing, Eddie Cheever ironically crashes into the wall, while his young teammate, Tomas Scheckter, went on to win his first Indy Racing League race, leading most of the day. This was the 8th different IRL winner in the last 8 races!

  • (7/29) - Formula One raced in Germany Sunday. Poor Heinz-Harald Frentzen had his ride yanked out from under him last year at his home grand prix and this year, his car stalled on the grid and he didn't get to race a lap!

    The great and powerful Michael Schumacher led from flag to flag. There was a brief and furious battle between Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikonnen, a battle that JPM would win. He went on to finish 2nd and Kimi's Mercedes engine would blow up. All Honda engines would blow up too, but I did get to enjoy a pass by Jacques Villeneuve early on. He pulled off an impressive pass on Jenson Button in the hairpin. I think it was Jacques way of saying "Hi" to his new 2003 teammate.

  • (7/25) - Cheever Racing will be running a third car this weekend at Michigan, giving Buddy Rice his first chance at racing in the IRL. Buddy is 25 y/o and won the Toyota Atlantics championship in 2000.
  • (7/23) - Eddie Cheever is looking for a new driver. Scheckter is wrecking too many of his cars..... As rumored, Michael Andretti bought Team Green and will likely be heading to the IRL next year! .... Another CART team, Fernandez Racing, is considering running one of their drivers, Shinji Nakano, in the IRL next year.
  • (7/22) - Formula One team, BAR, announced that they have hired Jenson Button for 2003! Who will they now release? The inexpensive Panis, or the $15 million world champion, Jacques Villeneuve?
  • (7/21) - Michael Schumacher has clinched the 2002 World Drivers Championship early in the season when he won the French Grand Prix today. This is his 5th championship. Kimi had the French GP wrapped up, but ran off course a few laps from the end, handing the win to Michael, who had fought back after having received a stop-and-go penalty. Rubens, never even got off the starting grid in his Ferrari.
  • (7/19) - Little Al announced he is going to seek help at a drug rehab place as he may have a drinking problem. The Indy courts are not going to press charges against him as they do not have enough proof. The local prosecutor said that people that know him, know that he would prosecute his own mother for any offense he had evidence for. Yeah... nice guy. Anyway, lucky for Al, this guys' not on his back.

    Al may miss an IRL race or two and an IROC race. He hopes to be back in the car by August.

  • (7/19) - Attendance figures released by CART for their Chicago race - 25,000. Actual number of ticket stubs - 14,000
    Cart claimed 51,317 on race day and 111,438 for all three days at Cleveland Airport. Reality check - only 18,000 seats available.
  • (7/19) - Eliseo Salazar is returning to racing this weekend in Nashville. He was injured during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway back in April. Greg Ray will move to Foyt Racing's #41 car and Eliseo will slip into the #11. Welcome back Eliseo!
  • (7/19) - Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk has decided to drive a Treadway-Hubbard entry in the Michigan Indy 400 on July 28. It will be Luyendyk's first IRL start, other than the Indy 500, since October 1998, when he won the season-finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Since then, he has competed only in the 1999, 2001 and 2002 Indy 500s. He finished 14th in this year's 500.
  • (7/19) - Chevrolet and Pontiac Winston Cup teams tested at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway July 9-10 and July 15-16.
  • (7/17) - Germany has cancelled its CART race. This leaves CART with 19 races.
  • (7/13) - IRL drivers finished in the top 3 positions in the IROC (International Race of Champions) race near Chicago. Buddy Lazier won, leading flag to flag. He was followed by Al Unser, Jr and Helio Castroneves. Tony Steward had to quit on the 19th lap due to engine problems. This is the first time the IRL has grabbed the top 3 positions in an IROC race since 1996.
  • Little Al has gotten himself some bad publicity starting with a hassle with his girlfriend while he may have been drunk. And now some guy in Canada is telling people that he used to smoke pot. The next you thing you know, his 5th grade teacher will be telling us how he cheated on a spelling test in 1975.
  • (7/7) - Foyt Racing wins inaugral IPS race at Kansas as well as the IRL race.

  • August 2002

  • (8/30 - Toyota has held two engine tests this month for its upcoming entry into Indy racing. They are testing with Team Kelley and have tested at Kentucky and Gateway.
  • (8/30) - Greg Ray clarified the situation with his quitting Foyt Racing. He is under contract with them through 2003. He is stepping out of the car to try and build up the team. He says they are trying to stretch their resources too far with a 3-car team. He said "A.J. Foyt made a commitment to me for this year and for next season regardless of the sponsorship situation. A.J. is a man of his word, and in his heart of hearts, he keeps the commitments he makes. But I believe it?s in no one?s best interest for me to run a third car at Chicago and Texas."
  • (8/30) - Have you been wondering "Who is this Vitor Meira who appeared out of nowhere and is driving for Team Menard?"

    The 25-year-old Meira is no stranger to racing. A native of Brazil, he started racing go-karts in 1990 and has worked his way up through Formula series in Europe and South America. He was the South American F3 champion two years ago, when he won eight races, and was fifth in the European F3 series in 2001.

    But like fellow Brazilians Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, Felipe Giaffone and Airton Dare, he wanted to race in the United States. And he wanted to race in the IRL.

    "It's the higher level of everything," he said. "Drivers, teams, investors -- everything is higher level. Everyone is competitive. Even without a big budget, you can be there and win the race."

    When Jaques Lazier was injured this year, Team Menard had a seat to fill. Vitor got ahold of them and ran a test and they were very impressed. Vitor has since ran in two IRL races. He says "I'm still learning. It's completely different than Europe. You've got the pit-stop rules, the oval courses, the warm-up lanes. But I'm learning."

  • (8/30) - Team Penske says that Helio Castroneves will have an F1 test for Toyota after the IRL season ends.
  • (8/30) - Continuing sagas...
    Villeneuve and manager Pollock, said they never received any $50 million offer to decline. (That sounded too unbelievable to be true.)
    Scheckter's manager says Cheever has no control over his contract and that Scheckter will be joining another IRL team. Yeah right. They must do contracts different in Italy (where his manager is from.)
    I've always said that a driver who doesn't want to return to racing after a crash is not a racer. Jason Priestley ain't returning to open-wheel...
  • (8/30) - Craig Pollock has denied any involvement in the purchase of the Arrows F1 team and believes another party stepped in at the last minute. When Arrows announced it was heading to Belgium this weekend with an American investor on the brink of signing a deal, it was speculated that Pollock, who is backed by Canadians, was involved.

    "Absolutely not, it's nothing to do with me," Pollock told Reuters at the Belgian Grand Prix. "My interest in Arrows is officially finished. That's it." The former BAR boss said he was close to buying Arrows but: "Obviously not close enough. I'd say just at the very last minute somebody else came in."

    Dieter Mateschitz, the Red Bull boss who is aiming to set up an American F1 team, was also linked with Arrows but he reportedly has no part in the recent deal. Enrique Bernoldi, Arrows' sole driver as of the moment, was present at the Spa circuit today but said he did not know who his team mate would be.

  • (8/29) - Word is, Heinz-Harald Frentzen has joined Sauber and a mysterious American has coughed up the dough to help the Arrows team get to Belgium for this weekends Grand Prix.
  • (8/28) - Olivier Panis will be leaving BAR next year and joining the Toyota Formula One team. This makes room for BAR's newly acquired Jenson Button who will team with Jacques Villeneuve for 2003. 2002 was the first year for the Toyota team. They are releasing both of their 2002 drivers, Allan McNish and Mika Salo, for 2003. They have not announced who will team with Panis next year. Hmm, how 'bout H-H Frentzen?
  • (8/28) - Greg Ray is again leaving A.J. Foyt's Indycar racing team. He joined the team this year to replace the injured Eliseo Salazar. I think its a mutual arrangement. Greg hasn't liked A.J.'s cars this year and A.J hasn't like Greg's lack of results.
  • (8/28) - Jacques Villeneuve has a contract with BAR for next year and a salary of $20 million. Rumors of him leaving for CART has been ridiculous, or so I thought. Now there's a rumor that his team from his CART days has offered him a 3-year deal for $50 million. Fifty Million?! Where in the world does Gerry Forsythe hope to come up with that from??? Well the rumor says BAT, which own BAR, and evidently Players, was offering it. The deal was that JV go to CART in 2003, then return to BAR for '04-05. Their sponsorship in CART must end soon and they wanted a championship. This mega offer should certainly help current driver Patrick Carpentier re-negotiate.
  • (8/28) - Going down with the ship... Mario Andretti has joined the CART board.
  • (8/25) - In an exciting IRL race at St Louis's oval track, The two Penske cars fought at the front mainly with Sam Hornish, Jr., Vitor Meira (new rookie on Team Menard), Alex Barron, and Felipe Giaffone before bringing them home 1-2. Gil de Ferran was the winner. Buddy Lazier had a miserable car all day.
  • (8/25) - Tomas Scheckter, who won his first race at Michigan last month, decided he didn't want to race at St Louis! He murmored something about race safety. Race Safety?! If anyone should be a poster-child for how safe the IRL cars are, its Tomas! After all, he's crashed in six races this year and has come away relatively unscathed. After Buddy finished in 4th place at Gateway today, team-owner, Eddie Cheever commented, "Buddy did a phenomenal job! I was watching him in the race. He took a car that should have finished eighth and finished fourth. Three races, and three finishes. That is a new record for Red Bull Cheever Racing. We are pleasantly surprised with Buddy."

    Cheever also stated that any team interested in buying out Scheckter's contract, which runs through 2003, can.

  • (8/24) - Jeff Gordon finally won a race this year - Bristol!
  • big wreck (8/23) - In what could be the worst damage a Nascar car could see, Mike Harmon had his car ripped in half when he crashed during practice for a Busch series race at Bristol. The wall that Mike hit was some type of gate that wasnt' locked. It flew open and his car met the edge of concrete. The concrete won. If that wasn't bad enough, along came Johnny Sauter in the blue #2 car and T-boned him! Luckily, Mike was ok and walked away.
  • (8/22) - Finally! A sponsor has stepped up for Sarah Fisher. Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer has signed to a longterm endorsement contract. Currently a sponsor in Formula One, TAG Heuer's president and CEO stated, "If one woman will ever make it to Formula One, it will be Sarah Fisher. She's so talented, determined and young but still so experienced that, without a doubt, she will grow to become a great champion."

    Congratulations Sarah!

  • (8/19) - No big surprise considering they've won every race this year except for two - Ferrari clinched the Formula One Constructor's Championship yesterday with their 1-2 finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
  • (8/18) - Craig Pollock, who is one of the bidders for the Arrows team: "At the moment there is nothing signed," he said. "We are probably closest (to a deal) but it's getting further away; there's no team here (Hungary) this weekend."
  • (8/16) - People who have purchased four or more tickets to the U.S. Grand Prix can drive a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2.6-mile road course Sunday from 1-4 p.m. The event includes a photo to be taken of the lap between turns eight and nine along with a chance to be photographed with a Formula One car along the front straightaway.
  • (8/15) - Sarah Fisher was fastest yesterday in testing at St Louis.
  • (8/15) - Richie Hearn has had surgery on his ankle. He is out for the remainder of the IRL season.
  • (8/13) - CART has scheduled their Chicago race next year for May 18th which may interfere with those teams wishing to compete in the Indy 500.
  • (8/11) - The new team principal at BAR suggests the 1997 World Drivers Champion leave his team to free up money that the team can spend elsewhere. Of course he doesn't mention taking a pay cut himself, nor does he mention Jacques Villeneuve going on to another F1 team.
    "The decision is Jacques', but his move to CART would allow us to focus on chassis development," said David Richards. "I would like the move to happen, but Jacques has a contract with us for the 2003 season. I hope to be able to discuss the matter with him in Hungary."
    I'll bet JV would like Richards to move to CART instead!
    BAR did sign Jenson Button for next year.

    Heinz-Harald Frentzen quit Arrows (and maybe F1).

  • (8/11) - Sarah Fisher started on pole at today's IRL race in Kentucky (221.390 mph)! Felipe Giaffone battled off Lazier and Hornish to win. He was the 9th different race winner in a row in the IRL (Sarah was the 9th different pole sitter too.)

    Kelley Racing took some hits. Earlier in the day, their Infiniti Pro Series driver was seriously injured in a crash. Then during the IRL race, rookie Tony Renna hit some of his pit crew - Bernie Hallisky, Rusty Hurford and Jeff Horton were injured when Renna came down pit road for service, the car striking Hallisky. Hallisky sustained a compound fracture of the right leg and possible hip injuries. He was transported to Indianapolis' Methodist Hospital where surgery was performed to stabilize his injured leg and he was evaluated for further possible injuries. Hurford was transported to a local hospital for precautionary x-rays of the head, neck and back. He suffered a strained neck, was treated and released. Horton suffered a deep bruise to his hip area, was treated in the infield care center and released back to his duties as the fueler for the #78 car. He completed the remaining pit stops of the race.

    Richie Hearn had to go to the hospital. Hearn broke his ankle in a Turn 2 crash on Lap 24.

    Tomas Scheckter, who won the last race, lost control of his back end and hit the wall, collecting Airton Dare' and sending him into the wall.

  • (8/6) - Jim Crawford, 54, died today. A Scotsman, he raced briefly in F1 in 1975. He competed in the Indy 500 from 1985-1993, his best finish being 6th. He retired to become a fishing boat captain in Florida. Survivors include his wife, Annie, and son, Geoffrey.
  • (8/6) - NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Tony Stewart has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31 as a result of an altercation with a media member following Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today.

    Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Pontiac, was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book:"Actions detrimental to stock car racing."

    In addition to the fine and probation, NASCAR will require Stewart to make a formal apology to the media member.

    The penalties were assessed after NASCAR officials conducted a thorough investigation of the incident.

    "It is imperative that we protect the integrity of our sport," NASCAR President Mike Helton said."This type of behavior cannot be tolerated and is in no way indicative of the manner in which our drivers, teams, tracks and sponsors interact with the media. We take pride in our accessibility and interaction with the media and we intend to protect that relationship."

  • (8/6) - They say Little Al will be returning to his race car for this weekends IRL race in Kentucky. Tony Renna was filling in for him for the two races he missed in July. Kelley Racing is going to keep Tony on the team and will expand to a 3-car team. At least for the time being.
  • Brickyard 400!

  • Bill Elliott (8/4) - Bill Elliott won the 9th Brickyard 400 in his red #9 car! His car was fast and the only other person who looked to have a chance of beating him was Dale Jarrett. But after Jarrett left the pits with a gas can hanging off the back of his car, he was accessed a stop-and-go penalty that dropped him out of contention. Tony Stewart was charging hard once more to try and win his first race at the speedway and while he led for over 40 laps of the 160 lap race, he fell back at the end. Once more his hot temper caused some gossip in the local media as he shoved a photographer who was in his way after the race was over. Kurt Busch made a spectacle of himself as he climbed from his crashed car walked out in the middle of the track and gestured at the Jimmy Spencer who put him in the wall.

    Jeff Gordon started midpack and worked his way up to second place for awhile.

    Some stats:
    Average speed: 125.033 mph
    Time of race: 3 hours, 11 minutes, 57 seconds
    Margin of victory: 1.269 seconds
    Cauton flags: 8 for 36 laps
    Lead changes: 16 among 10 drivers
    Top 10 Finishers:
    1. Bill Elliott
    2. Rusty Wallace
    3. Matt Kenseth
    4. Ryan Newman
    5. Kevin Harvick
    6. Jeff Gordon
    7. Steve Park
    8. Robby Gordon
    9. Jimmie Johnson
    10. Dale Jarrett

  • INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2002 -- Bill Elliott finally broke through for his first Brickyard 400 victory, passing Rusty Wallace with 12 laps remaining to take the lead for good Aug. 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    The victory ended a string of near misses in this event for Elliott, who had five top-eight finishes entering the ninth annual NASCAR Winston Cup Series at the historic 2.5-mile oval, including two third-place finishes.

    "It's the greatest," Elliott said. "Man, it's the greatest."

    Elliott, from Dawsonville, Ga., beat Wallace to the finish by 1.269 seconds in his No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge. He averaged 125.033 mph, and it was the first win by a Dodge in this event.

    Matt Kenseth finished third in the No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford. Indiana native Ryan Newman was fourth and the top-finishing rookie in the No. 12 ALLTEL Ford, and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five in the No. 29 GM Goodwre! nch Service Chevrolet.

    Elliott, 46, became the oldest driver to win the Brickyard 400. He dominated most of the race after starting second, leading 93 of 160 laps and holding a lead as large as 4.64 seconds on Lap 121.

    But it appeared late in the race that Wallace, now a three-time runner-up in this event, might be the driver breaking through for the elusive first win, not Elliott.

    Mark Martin led a restart on Lap 134 in his No. 6 Pfizer/Viagra Ford, but pole sitter Tony Stewart wasted little time passing Martin for the lead on that lap, easing his No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac in the short chute between Turns 1 and 2. Elliott was fifth on the restart.

    Wallace took the lead on Lap 137, pushing his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford under Stewart entering Turn 3. Elliott passed Stewart for second entering Turn 3 on Lap 139 and then began stalking Wallace.

    Elliott trailed Wallace by .749 of a second on Lap 139 but closed the gap to! .215 of a second by Lap 147. Wallace pushed his car too deep into Turn 2 on Lap 149, letting Elliott pull even on the inside on the back straightaway. Elliott nosed under Wallace entering Turn 3 and took the lead for good.

    "When Bill (Elliott) passed me, I was just getting too loose," Wallace said. "I was tight all day long. The last stop, we took a bunch of wedge out, put a bunch of air in the right-rear tire. We were smoking down the straightaway, big horsepower, and I said, 'Man, I don't think he can catch me.'

    "Then with 10 laps to go, I got up off of Turn 2, and I got loose. He stuck his nose underneath, and the aero push kicked in, and I couldn't do nothing." Said Elliott: "I kept working on him, working on him, and I felt like if I could ever get to him, I'd be OK. I finally got to him and got him a little loose and was able to power under him."

    Wallace had one final chance on a restart on Lap 157 after the final caution pe! riod, but Elliott pulled away easily for the win.

    Stewart ended up 12th. Defending event champion Jeff Gordon finished sixth in the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet.

    Points leader Sterling Marlin finished 27th in the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge, one of an event-record 30 cars on the lead lap at the finish. Rookie Jimmie Johnson climbed to second in the Winston Cup point standings with his ninth-place finish in the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet.

    Mike Wallace, Brett Bodine, Kurt Busch, Geoffrey Bodine, Casey Atwood and Elliott Sadler were unhurt in accidents. All were separate accidents except for an early crash between Wallace and Brett Bodine.

    Wallace and Bodine collided in Turn 2 on Lap 11, as Wallace's No. 14 Conseco Pontiac owned by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt became the first stock car to hit the SAFER Barrier.

    "If I did hit the barrier -- I wasn't sure if I hit the barrier or the concrete wall -- I guess I'm glad I h! it that because it hit a ton just then," Wallace said. "So I'm glad it was there."

    September 2002

  • (9/30) - As we all know, Michael Schumacher really won the U.S. Grand Prix. I have heard some people moaning over the situation. The local newspaper referred to these discontented ones as "racing purists". Frankly, if you have been following Formula One all year (or all decade), then you should realize that Herr Schumacher performed a noble act. This action rises above any sporting behavior that I've witnessed in this country in any sport. If you don't understand this, then what kind of purist are you? Probably one who doesn't watch the entire season of racing!

    In Austria this year, Rubens dominated the race. While Schumi had a good lead in the points battle, Ferrari wanted a larger cushion and asked Rubens to move over. Rubens didn't have to do it. Afterall, they couldn't force him to relinquish the lead, but Rubens is a team player. He swallowed his pride and slowed down and let Michael pass.

    Afterward, on the winner's podium, Michael obviously felt bad about what had happened. It certainly wasn't his decision. He cheered Rubens and had him join him on the winners block. He gave him the winners trophy. (Both were fined hugely for this days later.) Many in the racing world were wroth. While Rubens was hailed as a decent chap for the act, Ferrari and Schumi were vilified.

    Now, five months later, when Schumacher, on his own initiative, returned the favor, he is again rebuked and reviled. Rubens had just won the previous race and had a pretty decent lead for 2nd place. Ferrari did not order Michael to slow, but Michael showed he is a man of honor. (Some of you may have heard me gripe about Schumi for Jerez in '97, when he tried to wreck Villeneuve. I recently heard Michael say that that is the one act he most wished he could reverse. That has improved my opinion of him.) While personally, I would have preferred for him to stay on the gas at the end of the U.S. Grand Prix, I can understand that this may remove the asterisk next to his race win total.

    Did any of you notice that on the McLaren team in 1998, after David Coulthard slowed to give his teammate the win in the first race of the season, that Mika Hakkinen never returned the favor while he went on to capture two world championships?

    As an aside, I also thought that having a tight side-by-side finish was more exciting and photogenic. Also it was impressive how Michael Schumacher could have orchestrated such a CLOSE finish - just behind Barrichello by 1/100th of a second at over 200 mph! Awesome!

    You must also realize that this behavior is legal. If you don't like it, then let the FIA know you want a rule change, but don't hammer Michael Schumacher for it.

    What I'd like to ask you Nascar fans that are upset about teammates cooperating, what exactly do these Winston Cup guys do when they "team-up" with a driver on some other team, to help each other draft?

    2002 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix Results
    Rk.  Driver  Country  Team  Time 
    1.  Rubens Barrichello  Brazil  Ferrari  1 h., 31 m., 7.934 s  
    2.  Michael Schumacher  Germany  Ferrari  0.011 second back  
    3.  David Coulthard  Britain  McLaren  7.799 
    4.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Colombia  Williams  9.911 
    5.  Jarno Trulli  Italy  Renault  56.847 
    6.  Jacques Villeneuve  Canada  BAR  58.211 
    7.  Giancarlo Fisichella  Italy  Jordan  1 lap 
    8.  Jenson Button  England  Renault  1 lap 
    9.  Nick Heidfeld  Germany  Sauber  1 lap 
    10.  Eddie Irvine  Britain  Jaguar  1 lap 
    11.  Takuma Sato  Japan  Jordan  1 lap 
    12.  Olivier Panis  France  BAR  1 lap 
    13.  Heinz-Harald Frentzen  Germany  Sauber  2 laps 
    14.  Mika Salo  Finland  Toyota  2 laps 
    15.  Allan McNish  Britain  Toyota  2 laps 
    16.  Ralf Schumacher  Germany  Williams  2 laps 
    Not Classified
       Kimi Raikkonen  Finland  McLaren  50 laps completed 
       Alex Yoong  Malaysia  Minardi  46 laps 
       Mark Webber  Australia  Minardi  38 laps 
       Pedro de la Rosa  Spain  Jaguar  27 laps 

  • (9/24) - The Arrows F1 team will not be coming to Indy. They have missed the last several races as they are out of money. So, there will only be 20 cars on the grid this weekend.
  • (9/23) - As announced earlier, Heinz-Harald Frentzen will be driving for the Sauber F1 team next year. Its now been decided that he will join now, replacing Felipe Massa at the U.S. Grand Prix.
  • (9/23) - I found this quote from Chris Pook amusing, "CART is taking a leadership position as it pertains to providing a sports marketing environment that is conducive to the creation of new business opportunities."
    Perhaps the formation of new IRL teams as they switch over?!
  • (9/23) - While Helio Castroneves had a F1 test with the Toyota team in France this weekend, he stated he was signed with Penske and planned on racing in the IRL next year. Besides, it looks like Toyota will replace McNish with Cristiano Da Matta. In his only session, Helio ran laps nearly 2 seconds faster than team test driver Stephane Sarrazin and 1 second faster than the team's No. 2 driver, Allan McNish.
  • (9/19) - Sarah Fisher, who will be at the U.S. Grand Prix to introduce her new sponsor's (Tag Heuer) F1 watch, will get to test drive a McLaren Mercedes F1 car on Friday (Sept 27). Fisher visited Woking yesterday for a seat fitting. She will be driving the team's spare MP4-17. She will be the first woman to get behind the wheel of a McLaren F1 car.
  • (9/19) - IRL officials are talking to ABC executives about the possibility of televising a Monday night race in 2004. If it happens, Texas Motor Speedway general manager Eddie Gossage said he believes the June IRL race in Fort Worth would be the host for the prime-time event.

    "I think it would be great for the league, and we would love to have it here," Gossage said. "Some people may think the idea is a little crazy, but a lot of people thought the idea of Monday Night Football was crazy when it first started."

    IRL and ABC officials believe the prime-time race would expose people who haven't seen an IRL event to the excitement of the IRL races, which could boost the ratings for the Sunday afternoon events.

  • (9/17) - As expected, Michael Andretti will be abandoning CART and bringing his Motorola Team to the IRL next year. In addition, the entire Team Green will also be switching. This means two other CART drivers will be joining - Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan. All three will be powered by the new Honda engine.

  • 2002 IRL Season Recap

    Sam really turned up the burners towards the end of the season to capture the championship from the Penske Marlboro team.

    The IRL this year has certainly backed up their brag as the most exciting racing on the planet. Their formula and great American speedways have provided the fans with thrilling wheel to wheel action inches apart at speeds around 215-225 mph! The closest finish in Indycar history has been broken three times this year!

    Closest Finishes in IRL History
    Race Date Margin of Victory
    Chicago Sept 2002 .0024 seconds
    Texas Sept 2002 .0096 seconds
    Texas June 2002 .0111 seconds
    Texas Oct 2001 .0188 seconds
    Fontana Mar 2001 .0281 seconds
    Louden Aug 1997 .064 seconds
    Pikes Peak June 1999 .120 seconds

  • October 2002

  • (10/30) - Here's an interesting twist, remember how the IRL was providing room for underfunded race teams in the past? Now the competition and money pouring into the IRL is squeezing out the little guys. Meanwhile, CART, faced with loss of tracks, tv coverage and loss of teams, is struggling to find enough drivers to field a race. It appears that becoming a spec series will be lowering costs in CART. You may be seeing the smaller underfunded IRL teams moving to CART while the big CART teams switch to the IRL. Take Dr. Jack Miller, the racing dentist as an example. He was injured in an IRL race over a year ago and hasn't raced open-wheeler since. He now says he has a CART car and will be moving in that direction for 2003.
  • (10/29) - BIG CHANGES IN STORE FOR F1 IN 2003!

    1) Qualifying has been redesigned. Instead of an hour of qualifying on Saturday, where a bunch of drivers are on the track at once, they will begin the qualifying process on Friday. Each driver will get 1 flying lap with the track all to themselves, as we do it in the IRL. None of these times count towards race day, but instead determine the qualifying order for Saturday. On Saturday, each driver will again get 1 flying lap, alone on the track, to qualify for the race. The slowest cars from Friday will be the first to get to qualify on Saturday. Conversley, the fastest cars from Friday will have to qualify last on Saturday.

    The only reason I can figure out why they are doing this is that it reduces the chances of a good team qualifying high on the grid, since they only get 1 chance at qualifying and there is a higher probability that they will not get a great lap in one try, as opposed to running around for an hour. However, this same thing applies to the lesser teams...

    2) The points system, currently 10,6,4,3,2,1 for the top six, will be changed so that the top eight finishers will benefit. The race winner will still score ten points but from second place on down will be 8,6,5,4,3,2,1 -- they think the new system should keep the championship closer.

    I have reviewed all the races this year and present for you the difference this point system would have made over what it actually was:
    Actual 2002 Standings 2003 Point System
    Pl Driver Pts Pl Driver Pts
    1 Schumacher M 144 1 Schumacher M 158
    2 Barrichello 77 2 Barrichello 91
    3 Montoya 50 3 Montoya 75
    4 Schumacher R 42 4 Schumacher R 68
    5 Coulthard 41 5 Coulthard 61
    6 Raikkonen 24 6 Raikkonen 39
    7 Button 14 7 Button 32
    8 Trulli 9 8 Fisichella 18
    9 Irvine 8 9 Irvine 16
    10 Heidfeld 7 10 Trulli 16
    11 Fisichella 7 11 Massa 15
    12 Villeneuve 4 12 Villeneuve 11
    13 Massa 4 13 Sato 10
    14 Panis 3 14 Panis 8
    15 Sato 2 15 Frentzen 6
    15 Webber 2 15 Heidfeld 6
    17 Salo 2 17 Sato 5
    17 Frentzen 2 17 Webber 5
    19 McNish 0 19 McNish 3
    20 Yoong 0 20 Yoong 2
    21 de la Rosa 0 21 de la Rosa 2
    21 Bernoldi 0 21 Bernoldi 0
    21 Davidson 0 21 Davidson 0

    Not much difference, eh?

    3) They say that Team orders will also be banned... as much as they can be.

    4) The other decision was that the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps has been removed from the 2003 calendar due to Belgian's new anti-tobacco advertising laws. This will make room for China in 2004 anyway.

  • (10/28) - Did you stay up till midnight Saturday to watch the CART race? I did. What a horrible wet mess it was. Adrian Fernandez broke his neck and Tora Takagi broke his hip in a wild crash on the opening lap. An hour and a half later when they restarted, some drivers in their backup cars, it was raining so hard that they went to caution after 5 laps and just drove around the streets in Australia under the yellow flag for an hour until they stopped the race at the mandatory two hour mark. If CART didn't have bad luck, they'd have no luck at all. Rookie Mario Dominguez took the checkered flag giving his team, Herdez, its first win (in seventeen years!)
  • (10/23) - Target Chip Ganassi Racing announced today their plans to run two cars next year in the IRL. Signed to drive next year for the team are current Team Target pilot Scott Dixon and second-year IRL driver Tomas Scheckter. I think both of these guys are 22. I guess this means that Jeff Ward, who captured his first IRL win this year, will be looking for a new ride. TCGR will be using Toyota engines and G-force chassis in 2003.

    As for CART, TCGR is leaving it, which frees up two CART drivers. Bruno Junqueira may join Newman-Haas. There is no word yet what will become of Kenny Brack, the 2000 Indy 500 winner.

  • (10/22) Allen McNish, who drove for Toyota in Formula One this year, ran a 350-mile test at Fontana for Penske Racing in an IRL car today.
  • (10/22) - Roberto Guerrero makes his debut in the Busch Series this weekend in the first all Hispanic Nascar team.
  • (10/22) - One of the current 17 Grand Prix tracks will be dropped from the international circuit to make way for Shanghai in 2004, Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone said today. The $240 million track's construction began this week. China had built a track in Zhuhai for a 1998 F1 date, but it failed to pass inspection. Shanghai's population is 16 million. None the less, the ticket prices will be lowered from normal F1 races to try and attract more Chinese to attend.

    Meanwhile, the project to bring F1 to Moscow has died out as the Ruskies were not willing to sign over all ticketing, television, and advertising rights to Bernie. Moscow's mayor said that the only thing they were going to be left with was engine smoke!

  • (10/18) - Speaking of Target Team Ganassi, they currently have 4 open-wheel drivers: Jeff Ward (IRL) and Bruno Junqueira, Kenny Brack and Scott Dixon (CART). Yesterday, they were testing Toyota's new engine at IMS and who was driving? Tomas Scheckter! While Ward won his first IRL race this year (out of 51 tries), Scheckter also won his first IRL race (for Team Cheever) this year in his rookie season. However, he also did a whole lot of wrecking. None the less, Chip must be considering running Tomas next year hence the test.
  • (10/16) - I saw an interview with Scott Dixon who drives in CART for Ganassi. Here is an excerpt I found amusing:

    "I think the ovals probably don't play a big part in CART's future. They need to take the more downtown cities and overseas, I think -- like you go to Australia or even in the other overseas, the Canadian ones, are just huge. They make it more of a carnival; the atmosphere is a lot nicer. And, you know, you go to some circuits, some of the ovals, like Milwaukee, nobody really turns out. They don't really know what is going on.

    I think Toronto, Vancouver and Australia are pretty similar. They make a big party of it, a lot of action going on. But maybe the enthusiasm could be coming because they probably drink a lot."

  • (10/16) - Next year's 500 Festival Parade will be broadcast live on ESPN.
  • (10/14) - Jaques Lazier got back in a IRL car after sitting out most of the season after breaking his back in April. He ran 77 laps at Kentucky Speedway. His testing went well and he suffered no pain. He should be back for the first race of next year for Team Menard.
  • (10/14) - For months Jacques Villeneuve has been denying stories that he plans to return to race in CART. "The story does not bother me, but what bothers me is how the story started," he said. "It came internally, trying to devalue me, to make me feel bad and eventually to push me out of the team. After all the hard work I put into the team, I found that very annoying. Very difficult.

    "It doesn't bother me too much, it just lacks respect, that is all. Respect, for me, is important. I'm not angry but it is very annoying and disappointing. It just takes a lot of energy.

    "You don't want people not to like you. If you feel not wanted somewhere, you don't work well anymore. I think it had a negative effect on a few races during the season because lots of energy was spent where it should not be. We spent it arguing and it affected on the team too. Then they don't work well either."

    He thinks next year's car will be better and that since his contract will be up, they won't spend any energy trying to get rid of him (due to his high salary), but he did say they wanted the team to be British and that Jenson Button, his new teammate, "will be the little darling of the team."

  • (10/14) - 26 y/o Jamie McMurray, subbing for Sterling Marlin in his 2nd ever Winston Cup race, won in Charlotte!
  • (10/14) - Takuma Sato scored his first points of the year in the last race of the year at his home grand prix in Japan. As every Honda-powered engine in the field blew up, the tension mounted as the race wore on. With a few laps to go, Ralph Schumacher's BMW engine blew, moving Takuma into 5th position where he finished to cheering crowds. Michael Schumacher easily captured his 11th race win of 2002.
  • (10/10) - Everyone in the F1 community is concerned about the advantage that Ferrari has demonstrated the last few seasons. They are afraid that Ferrari's superiority is damaging the sport, afraid fans will go away if they keep on winning nearly every race.

    There are usually dominant teams in any racing series. I believe this year in Supercross, the same guy won EVERY race.

    We see many racing series that try to keep competition tight and also slow down the cars. Restictor Plates, grooved tires, boost pressure, ballast, etc. Then there are the spec series, such as IROC, where the cars are equal and it is all up to the driver.

    Many rule changes have been suggested for F1 recently. What I think they might consider is getting rid of the tire war and go with just one spec tire. Right now, Ferrari has an advantage with their close relationship with Bridgestone. Their closest competitors use Michelins.

    I would love to see them remove all driver aids (powersteering, traction control, ABS, Automatic transmissions, etc.) This would certainly do more to separate the great drivers from the merely good. It might even make things worse, but as a race fan, I would be more interested in the races if the driver had to do more than floor it and steer.

    Another idea would be to change the qualifying and make it more like sprint car racing. Make the fastest cars start last and the slowest cars start first! That would make things more intersting.

    Adding weight penalties or other handicaps to just one team, because they have done such a good job, is simply unfair and unsportsmanlike.

  • (10/10) - Toyota had its first engine test in an Indycar at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gil de Ferran ran the car for 250 miles.
  • (10/9) - Bernie Hallisky, the Kelley Racing pit-crewman who was seriously injured at the Kentucky IRL race, has returned home to recuperate and is currently in a wheelchair.
  • (10/7) - After capturing his 7th win of the year, Brazilian Cristiano da Matta clinched the CART championship, giving Newman-Haas their fourth CART title as team owners and Toyota its first Champ Car championship. This was the third year in a row that a Brazilian has won the title. Two races remain on the CART schedule.
  • (10/3) - Ex-Formula One driver, Gaston Mazzacane, passed his IRL rookie test along with Infiniti Pro Series driver, Arie Luyendyk, Jr.. But don't look for the young Luyendyk to race in the Indy Racing League next year as he will run one more season in the IPS.
  • November 2002

  • 11/26) - Niki Lauda, 3-time F1 champion, has been axed by the Jaguar F1 team. Two years ago he was hired as head of Ford's Premium Performance Group. He soon fired Bobby Rahal and took over as team principal of Jaguar Racing. Ford owns Jag and has tired of blowing millions of dollars on a team that can't seem to improve. Jag also fired both of their drivers from this year including Eddie Irvine.
  • (11/25) - I'm comptemplating going to Germany next year. I looked forward to experiencing their digital pay tv for Formula One. However, Bernie Ecclestone has announced that he is shutting it down. Evidently, not enough people subscribed to make it profitable (in Germany, France and England).
  • (11/25) - The new American chassis manufacturer for the IRL, Falcon, has released a picture of the new 2003 IRL Falcon Indy 01-A. It appears to me to have a sharper nose than the other two cars (Dallara and G-Force).

    Falcon Indy 01-A

  • (11/22) - There is a tv show on the Learning Channel called "Junkyard Wars". They set teams loose in a junkyard with a mission to build something. They are filming a show now that pits the Penske IRL team against Don Prudhomme's NHRA team. Also, a Penske Winston Cup team will compete. They will have 10 hours to scavenge parts and build a racer that will compete on an oval, a dragstrip and a road course! Look for it in the Spring of 2003.
  • (11/18) - Mexico City hosted a race for the first time in a long time at the Hermanos Rodriguez track. F1 raced there in the 60's & 80's. CART raced their back in 1980 and they returned this year to the refurbished track for their last race of the season. 200,000 people showed up to see Kenny Brack, 1999 Indy 500 Champion, take the win. As things look now, Kenny doesn't have a ride for next year. We may see the Swede show up back in the IRL next year.
  • (11/18) - Tony Stewart won his first Winston Cup Championship. Mark Martin finished 38 points behind. Tony won the national USAC midget title in 1994 and followed that up winning USAC's triple crown in '95. By '97, Tony had won the IRL championship.

    This is the third NASCAR title for crew chief Greg Zipadelli and the second Winston Cup title in three years for team owner Joe Gibbs.

    Besides Stewart, another Hoosier won a Nascar title this year - Ryan Newman. The 24 y/o was named Winston Cup Rookie of the Year.

  • (11/15) - Carl Haas has signed CART driver Bruno Junqueira for 2003 but has not said if he'll stay in CART. Word is he's ordered some IRL Dallara chassis.
  • (11/15) - Roger Penske has taken 41 acres in Scottsdale Arizona and placed 10 car dealerships, a huge service center, two test tracks and a racing museum where he will store his Indy 500 winning cars.
  • (11/01) - Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa have been released from Jaguar's F1 team. Jag has replaced them with Australian Mark Webber and Brazilian rookie, Antonio Pizzonia.

  • December 2002

  • (12/28) - Mark Dismore has announced that though it doesn't look like he'll have a job in the Indy Racing League next year, he is not considering any offers from Formula One or Nascar.

    Ok, maybe he didn't say that. But he did say he's received approval to open an outdoor kart track east of Indy in New Castle!

    New Castle?! What's up with that? Not only is it 50 miles away from Indy, there's probably only 50 people in that whole town! I wish it was going to be closer!

    Local karting news in the past year:
    Indianapolis lost one of its indoor kart tracks this year when Racers closed in downtown Indianapolis. It had been in the Union Station for around 3 years.

    The indoor track that's been around a long time on the west side of Indianapolis is now called Prodrive Karting Center.

  • (12/26) - As I mentioned earlier, keep an eye out for lower-funded IRL teams to be switching to CART. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing has announced they are switching over this year. They will be running rookie Brazilian driver Mario Haberfeld.
  • (12/24) - Eliseo Salizar is looking for a ride for next year. He certainly deserves one after his brave comeback this year.
  • (12/20) - Sarah Fisher remains popular as ever. She traveled to Italy to receive the Caschi D'Oro (golden helmet) award as Fastest Female Driver on the Planet. Juan Pablo won it for the boys. In October, Sarah won the IRL's most popular driver award for the second time.
  • (12/20) - Robbie McGehee got engaged last weekend to Norma Oteham, who is from Bloomington Indiana.
  • (12/17) - Jacques Villeneuve's contract ends with BAR after next season. Its rather evident that the new management may cut him regardless of his success because of his huge salary. Jacque revealed this week that he will sit out in 2004 before he joins another team that can't compete. Neither cockpit at Ferrari will be available to Villeneuve at the end of 2003. There are possible spots at McLaren and Renault where all four drivers' contracts expire at the same time as Villeneuve's ends with BAR.

    But the hottest rumour has Villeneuve, 31, returning to Williams where he scored all of his 11 wins and won his world championship. It's no secret that Williams technical director Patrick Head is unhappy with Ralf Schumacher after a number of crashes and costly tangles with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.

    Jacque's manager, Craig Pollock, said "He has to get the right drive and he is literally the only driver who has beaten Michael Schumacher in Michael Schumacher's career and he merits good equipment round about him. If he can't find the right team that's a decision he'll have to make. He will be there in 2004 and that's my objective and my job. If he's not, then I've done a bad job."

  • So! That's how they do that! - Ever wonder what is involved with a race car driver's seat fitting? Penske Racing tells us the fitting process for Indy car seats stems from technology borrowed from the NASA space program. The seat is constructed by having the driver sit in a bag of soft plastic beads, which are mixed with a resin. The air is withdrawn from the bag and the beads weld together in the form of the driver in the seated position. The driver's comfort in the car is paramount so it may take several sittings before the right design/mold is constructed into the actual seat. The entire process takes about a day and a half and once completed, the Team will prepare three seats for each driver.
  • (12/12) - Here is a picture of the new 2003 Panoz G-force IRL chassis. (a picture of the new Falcon chassis can be found below in November news.)
  • (12/11) - A month ago, I saw Tomas Scheckter in a Target Chip Ganassi Racing uniform. How was he going to get out of his contract with Cheever? Eddie now says that TWR Group had the contract with Tomas and that they are dropping the matter.

    So, look forward to watching the young South African see how far he can push Chip. My guess? Not far!

  • (12/11) - CART's Fernandez Racing is starting an IRL team for next season. They are partnering with a Japanese company and will be using Honda engines. The Panasonic-sponsored Dallara will be driven by Toyota Atlantic driver Roger Yasukawa. They have secured the services of John Dick, the race engineer who helped the new Blair Racing team in 2002. Adrian Fernandez, CART's only driver/owner, will remain racing in CART.
  • (12/10) - Good tires are expensive. I have to replace my four tires every few years. Not surprisingly, a race car goes through more tires than my passenger car. In the IRL, everyone races on Firestone tires. The IRL strictly allocate the number of tires that a driver is allowed in a season. This is not only for a cost-cutting purpose, but to help create a level playing ground.

    None the less, I did a little calculating and was surprised at how many tires that an IRL driver is "restricted" to - seven hundred and ninety-two tires a season! Now that's burning rubber.

  • (12/9) - Ralf Schumacher was ticketed in Austria for driving 80 mph in a 50. This might cost him his license! A bit stricter are they over the pond...
  • (12/9) - The CART series next year is to be called the "2003 Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford." That would be 2BPTCCWSPBF for short.
  • (12/6) - Bobby Rahal and David Letterman, in addition to their CART team, are going to start an IRL team in 2003. Kenny Brack is returning to the IRL to drive for them in a Honda-powered car with Pioneer and Miller Lite as sponsors!
  • (12/5) - Mo Nunn Racing has filled their 2nd IRL driver slot with Tora Takagi.
  • (12/4) - Tony George and Dr. Dean Sicking won the 2002 SEMA Motorsports Engineering Award in recognition of their leadership in creating the groundbreaking SAFER Barrier energy-absorbing system.

    Tony George has been instrumental in providing overall leadership for the SAFER Barrier project from initial concept, through the development process and to actual application. Dr. Dean Sicking, director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, led the team of researchers and engineers that created the barrier.

    The SEMA Motorsports Engineering Award is presented only once every two years, and its recipients must represent "the advancement of the state of the art in engineering," according to SEMA's nomination criteria.

    Previous SEMA Motorsports Engineering Awards were:
    2000 - for the HANS Device.
    1998 - for the Formula One extractable seat system
    1996 - computerized tire monitoring devices
    1994 - the creation of NASCAR roof flaps

  • (12/4) - Eddie Cheever Jr. and John Menard have formed a new partnership between their organizations for engineering, strategy and development, called MCT. They expect to test the new Chevrolet engine in early January after the arrival of the 2003 Dallara chassis. Each team will continue to operate as separate entities.

    "Compared to years past, everything is stepping up in the Indy Racing League," Menard said. "We need to step it up, too. MCT will bring more resources and input to our team to improve our technical abilities for the 2003 championship.

    MCT will be headed up by Bernard Dudot, who excelled as the technical director of Renault Sport from 1980 to 1997, winning six constructor's titles and four driver's titles in Formula One.

    Also, Eddie Cheever is saying he is not going to drive the entire IRL season next year. Look for him to retire driving Indy cars after the next Indy 500.

  • (12/3) - CART's English oval race has been dropped from their schedule. The Rockingham 500, run the last two seasons in central England, has drawn small crowds. Ashley Pover, chief operating officer of the track, called the 2003 race "fiscally unviable". I believe this drops the number of oval tracks to three for CART (Chicago, Milwaukee, Fontana). Frankly, I thought they lost 1-mile Chicago oval event but they have it on their 2003 schedule.
  • (12/1) - Sarah Fisher will be grand marshal at the Christmas parade in Richmond VA.
    Team Penske will have a float in the Christmas parade in Reading PA -- a race car pulling a sled.
    Sam Hornish will be in the parade in Toledo OH for the Shriners.