Hot News

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DATE News (chronologically 4/5/01 to 4/10/01)
4/10/01 CART considers move to Las Vegas According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, CART is considering a move of their headquarters to Las Vegas, Nevada.  If this turns out to be the case, we now understand why rumors keep surfacing that CART will race in Las Vegas starting in 2002.  However, given Indy Car Racing's lake of success on ovals the last 35 years, we wonder how successful such a race would be.  The article starts by saying "The Indy Racing League is moving its annual awards banquet to Las Vegas in October, but CART, its rival open-wheel racing series, might move its headquarters and a race to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2002."  More
4/10/01
NASCAR.com Site News  Viant Corp. [Nasdaq: VIAN], a leading builder of digital businesses, and Turner Sports Interactive, Inc., an AOL Time  Warner Company, today announced their partnership which recently launched  NASCAR.com, the official site of The National Association of Stock Car Auto  Racing. NASCAR.com, launched in conjunction with the Daytona 500 this past  February, creates a rich, interactive community that provides race  enthusiasts with NASCAR information found nowhere else on the Web and the  chance for fans to be connected in both the on-line and off-line realms.   “We selected Viant based on their deep experience in the media and  entertainment arena,” said Drew Reifenberger, Executive Vice-President,  Turner Sports Interactive. “The NASCAR community demands and deserves the  latest in interactive technology for the most complete fan experience and  Viant was the partner of choice to help create that. The collaborative  spirit of the team has made for a successful engagement and we look forward  to additional opportunities to innovate together.”   Viant was selected by Turner to develop Nascar.com and Racecast, the  real-time and interactive component of Nascar.com, in time for the Daytona  500 on February 18, 2001. Viewers of NASCAR events can visit www.nascar.com and view live leader boards, real-time statistics,  streaming video content, and supplementary race information and expert  interactive commentary on current and future NASCAR events.   “The future is about providing an entertaining experience – no matter the  destination,,” noted Dave Winklbauer, the Viant client partner leading Viant  ’s efforts with Turner in Atlanta. “We are creating a vibrant  user-experience for NASCAR enthusiasts. The experience is about being  connected to the NASCAR community so that if you can’t be there physically,  you can be there virtually.”   “Working with Turner is right in the sweet spot of Viant’s capabilities --  because this is about leveraging our extensive knowledge in the Media and  Entertainment sector and our technology prowess to define and create a  powerful user experience,” noted Sue Jameson, Viant’s media and  entertainment practice leader.
4/10/01 Carpentier Update UPDATE A reader writes - "We hope the CART doctors don't let Patrick Carpentier drive at Texas in 3 weeks unless his wrist is 100%.  While Mr. Carpentier may be mad at me for saying he should sit out a race or two, we can't help but think back to Greg Moore who drove with a sore wrist the day he crashed at Fontana and was killed.  And while we may never know why Greg lost control of his car that day, we can't help but think his sore wrist might have prevented him from turning the wheel quick enough to correct his car.  Texas is a very high speed oval, much like Fontana.  We just pray that the CART doctors and Mr. Carpentier do the right thing and wait until the wrist is 100%." Earlier today Team Player’s driver Patrick Carpentier, who sustained a slight fracture of his left wrist at the Grand Prix of Long Beach last Sunday, underwent surgery today in Indianapolis under the supervision of Dr. Terry Trammell, Chief Orthopedic Surgeon for the CART series. After an extensive study of the x-rays that were taken following the accident involving Carpentier and Max Papis on lap 54 of the race, Dr. Trammell decided to insert a screw to reattach the bone fragment that was chipped on impact. This procedure usually accelerates the healing process. “This fracture is nothing like the one I had last year, because unlike that fracture I don’t have any problem moving my fingers and there is practically no swelling,” remarked Carpentier, who flew to Indianapolis on Monday morning from his Las Vegas home. “Besides, it’s not a bone that I would be putting a lot of stress on when I drive. I only hope the operation is a success and I can get back behind the wheel for the next race.” A decision on Carpentier’s return to action will be made in the next few days, once Dr. Trammell determines whether the bone is solid enough to withstand the rigors of high-speed driving. A release will be sent out as soon as this information is available. The next race in the CART series will be run on April 29 on the 1.5-mile oval at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
4/10/01
Indy Lights/IRL Specs  Finally after we have suggested repeatedly for almost two years (starting with this 1999 article), the idea of CART adopting the IRL Specs (both chassis and engine) for their new Indy Lights cars is at least getting some discussion within the CART community according to Jon Beekhius on RPM2Night.  While ultimately it may not happen, it certainly is worthy of serious consideration.  If Indy Lights were run to IRL specs, there could be some cross-pollination between Lights and IRL teams.  In addition, Champ car teams that buy equipment for the Indy 500 can then turn around and run that equipment as a Lights team, perhaps with a detuned version of the same engine making it good for 2,000 miles between rebuilds (current IRL engines are good for over 1,000 miles between rebuilds).  And if Champ Car teams field more lights teams, the equipment can be maintained under the same roof with the Champ cars eliminating redundant costs where possible.  It may also be a shot in the arm that the Indy Lights series needs, whereby some IRL teams run some Indy Lights races and vice versa.  Every Champ Car team should try to have a Lights team. Not only to give their sponsors more exposure, but also to give their teams a good training ground for new drivers, mechanics, crew chiefs, engineers, and managers. Imagine what Andretti and Tracy could do for Indy Lights if they ran an occasional race. Ditto for the other drivers. CART must have a minor league series that is strong enough to retain new talent until an opportunity opens up in the Champ Car series, or a place to go for drivers like Memo Gidley or Alex Barron, who can't find a fulltime ride, yet are still competitive. A place to go so they might get a second crack at Champ Cars, should the opportunity present itself. It has been suggested that the IRL could have been the ideal ‘Indy Lights’ series, but there is too much hate and ego clashing between the two camps for that to ever become reality. Quite unfortunate.
4/10/01
Independent report released on Earnhardt death  UPDATE Not surprisingly, NASCAR issued the following statement after Dr. Meyers report was released: "We have said before and re-iterated Monday we're conducting our own detailed review with a team of experts ranging from occupant safety-restraint analysis, and crash analysis to medical and biomechanical specialists," said NASCAR president Mike Helton. "This latest report will not change that.” "Contrary to several reports in the media, this report is not an opposing theory to anything NASCAR has presented. Since the Daytona 500, NASCAR has made clear that we will not suggest or speculate on the circumstances surrounding Dale Earnhardt's accident until our study is complete. No one from NASCAR has ever suggested what may have happened in this accident other than to say in our preliminary investigation we found issues of concern involving the occupant restraint system.” "As referenced in the report compiled by Dr. Barry Myers, better understanding can be achieved through biomechanical, sled and crash testing, which is consistent with the process we announced Monday.” "We respect the varied theories from the medical field and welcome their input as to what likely could have occurred and we remain committed to a thorough, comprehensive review." Earlier today - Barry Myers, M.D., Ph.D Duke University Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy has issued his independent findings of the Dale Earnhardt accident.  He concludes that the broken seat belt was not a factor in Earnhardt's death.  He died from a Basilar Skull Fracture, plain and simple.  Would the HANS Device have saved his life?  Probably, as that is exactly what it was designed to prevent.  You draw your own conclusions from Dr. Meyers report.  We call upon NASCAR to mandate the HANS Device as soon as possible just as CART has.  Five NASCAR drivers deaths in 11 months, all from the same injury, is five deaths too many, especially when there is an effective remedy available.  And we also advocate the introduction of Crumble Zones in all NASCAR cars as outlined in this article.
4/10/01

F1 vs. CART shootout scheduled at The Glen  Watkins Glen International announced today that the track will once again offer free camping with the purchase of two adult admissions on or before Sunday, May 6 for the Chemung Canal Trust Historic Races at Watkins Glen June 1-3. “Partnering with Chemung Canal Trust for this outstanding weekend of historic racing has allowed The Glen to offer this tremendous value to our guests,” said Karen Gauthier, director of communications for the track. “Camping is a great way to experience the action at The Glen and we believe this free offer will add to the enthusiasm surrounding the event.”  The weekend is sure to be rich in the history of racing and promises not only to be full of exotic sports car beauty, but also full of historic and vintage racing featuring hundreds of immaculately-restored race cars. Volvo is the featured marque throughout the entire weekend and Saturday night is highlighted by an exciting shootout between Formula One and CART cars. In addition to witnessing great racing, fans will also enjoy a variety of auto exhibits and motorsport vendors’ tents and displays. Tickets for the 2001 season at Watkins Glen are now available. For tickets, reserved camping, and additional information, please contact the Watkins Glen ticket office at 607-535-2481 or log on to the official Watkins Glen Web site at www.theglen.com
4/10/01
Virginia to host F1 delegation  A delegation of eight executives representing elite motorsports companies based in the United Kingdom will travel to Hampton, Virginia as part of a trade mission to the United States. The delegation, members of the Motorsports Industry Association (MIA), will be in Hampton April 10-12. Benetton Formula 1, Cosworth Racing, Williams Formula 1 and Alcon Components are among the companies represented. Events scheduled in Hampton include a reception attended by representatives from the automotive industry and local universities in the Hampton Roads region, a presentation and tour conducted by NASA Langley Research Center, a demonstration of the Langley Full-Scale Wind Tunnel- operated by Old Dominion University, and a briefing by Hampton’s Department of Economic Development focusing on technology assets and business opportunities within the community. “We are thrilled that these highly-influential executives from very successful motorsports businesses have chosen Hampton, Virginia as an integral part of their United States trade mission,” said Raymond K. White, Director of Economic Development for the City of Hampton. “Our community is rich in technology resources which has proven very valuable to automotive companies in our area including Federal-Mogul, Valeo Clutches, Siemens Automotive and Ford Motor Company. Our research and development resources along with excellent manufacturing capabilities are very attractive to the state-of-the-art motorsports industry, who spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on improvements in their racing machines,” White added. At NASA's Langley Research Center, the delegation will be introduced to aerospace technologies that may have automotive application, including motorsports and high-technology transportation. Technologies of interest include advanced aerodynamics, structures and materials, and human performance - research areas that Langley leads for NASA. "This exploratory visit supports Langley Research Center's goal of developing partnerships and alliances by working with industry, government and academic organizations to advance technology development and technology transfer to the private sector," said Sam Morello, director of Langley Research Center's Technology Commercialization Program Office. The delegates will also visit the Langley Full Scale Tunnel (LFST) and meet with members of the Old Dominion University staff. The LFST is a major Commonwealth technology resource that is operated by the University as an enterprise center of the College of Engineering and Technology. It is the largest university-operated wind tunnel in the world and is configured for aerodynamic tests of cars and heavy trucks. The primary use since 1998 has been for the test and evaluation, and performance development of racecars. Dr. Jim Cross, Manager of the facility said, “ Formula 1 racing is the premier auto racing activity in the world and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to meet with the UK trade delegation to explore the possibilities of a partnership for tunnel and racecar development with a Formula 1 team.” The Trade Mission representatives will also visit NASA facilities in Texas, an Air Force research laboratory in Ohio and other technology facilities while in the United States. End – Note: Photo opportunities are available during the visit, including the ODU wind tunnel and NASA labs. 
4/9/01
NASCAR issues Dale Earnhardt statement  Officials from the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing confirmed today that in addition to its on-going safety process it has commissioned a comprehensive accident-reconstruction review with highly specialized external resources being utilized as part of its current efforts.

"When we encounter situations that are new or unique, it is both appropriate and necessary to obtain additional perspectives," said Mike Helton, president of NASCAR. "This review is a result of just that -- given the circumstances surrounding the occupant restraint system in Dale Earnhardt's tragic accident on February 18th."

The accident-reconstruction review is being conducted by a team of experts from around the country with the cooperation of NASCAR officials, including an internationally-respected occupant-safety restraint analysis and research corporation; independent experts in crash investigation and data analysis from a nationally-recognized automobile crash analysis and research facility; and medical/biomechanical engineering specialists.

The review is well under way and will be comprised of numerous steps, including but not limited to crash model development and testing; crash model simulation; sled and real crash tests; impact barrier testing; data analysis and cross check; and bio mechanical/medical analysis.

Given the complexity and time-consuming nature of the process, the results are not expected to be available before August.

The review will require significant technical observations with each step being evaluated thoroughly and scientifically. Given the "building effect" of the data gathered from each stage in the process, the results of this review will be reserved until its completion.

"Safety has always been the top priority for NASCAR and all participants in NASCAR-sanctioned racing, and while we have confidence in the sport's historic investigative process and ongoing safety initiatives, it is important that we continue to develop new and better techniques, resources and information for the sport's safety effort," stated Helton. "We are confident this review will make a large contribution toward that goal. Along with this review, we continue to solicit and rely on input from our core group in the industry, including car owners, drivers, crew chiefs, crew members, officials, and manufacturers.

"No different than most other areas or aspects of our sport, safety has and will continue to be an evolving and the most important process," continued Helton. "If you look back over the last 53 years, we have not stood still with safety. In fact, there have been more than 200 safety-related improvements addressed in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book alone in just the last 10 years. Clearly, there have been significant advancements in the safety of this sport with many different individuals and groups playing key parts. NASCAR remains open to any legitimate resource to assist us in any investigative or ongoing safety process when deemed appropriate. This accident-reconstruction review does just that. 

"Everyone involved in this process is committed to a sense of urgency, but we must also move forward in a thorough, careful and complete manner," added Helton. "We feel that only through a complete review combining the disciplines of engineering, dynamics, kinematics and bio medical mechanics can we have a comprehensive understanding based on solid, factual information and data, even if it takes longer to obtain than we would like."
4/9/01
Has Scott Pruett found his niche?  We think so.  Not taking anything away from his driving, Scott Pruett's on-air presence and color commentary on RPM2Night is outstanding.  CART would be well served to get Scott Pruett in the announcing booth for CART races.  He might just be CART's equivalent of NASCAR's Benny Parsons.
4/9/01
Speedvision to air DRIVEN special  Speedvision will present an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the soon-to-be released feature film, Driven,Building A Better Race Picture: Making 'Driven', a half-hour special featuring original interviews with Stallone and the film's director, Renny Harlin, premieres Monday, April 23 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
4/9/01
Starts need major work  How unfair are CART's rolling starts on street and road courses?  We stood 17 floors above the Long Beach race course to witness the start of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach yesterday.  What a spectacular view.  However, we witnessed, to our dismay, that at the moment the green flag dropped, the tail end of the field was still halfway up Shoreline drive, nearly 3/4-mile behind in fact.  While the main straight at Long Beach may be too narrow for standing starts, we recommend they be implemented at selected races where the pit straight is wide enough (Portland and Cleveland for starters).  While NASCAR is willing to tweak its product and try new things to increase fan interest (examples are the non-points races, the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona and The Winston in Charlotte), CART seems more reluctant.
4/9/01
Long Beach attendance  The Long Beach Press Telegram reports that yesterday's attendance for the Toyota GP of Long Beach was 100,000.  This may be down slightly from a high of about 105,000, but quite stout nonetheless.  We had estimated 95,000.
4/9/01
Patrick Carpentier breaks wrist in LB accident  UPDATE  Scott Goodyear is also being considered as a fill-in for Carpentier since he has experience at TMS already.  4/8/01 - Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier suffered a broken left wrist following contact with Team Rahal driver Max Papis on Lap 53. Although this is the same wrist that he broke during a fall in his home last season, it was not broken in the same place. The full extent of the injury is not yet known, although it is not as severe as last year's break.  Don't be surprised to see Memo Gidley fill in for him again we hear.
4/8/01
Lights: Townsend Bell wins Long Beach  Townsend Bell (DirecPC Lola) grabbed a share of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship points lead with his first win of the season Sunday at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Bell, starting from sixth on the grid, passed Dan Wheldon (Gemstar Lola) on lap 34 of 38 and went on to take his third career win and the second in the past three seasons for Dorricott Racing at Long Beach. Wheldon finished second, 3.775 seconds behind the leader, while Monterrey winner Derek Higgins (Mexpro/StarlightDiamonds.com/PrecioBase.com Lola) crossed the finish line in third. Bell and Higgins are now tied for the Dayton Indy Lights Championship points lead with 36 points. Wheldon is third with 27 points. 
4/8/01
Winston Cup drivers try their hand at dirt racing A "hurricane" blew into town and then a "jet" landed as 10,846 fans cheered during the inaugural Eckerd 100 Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series event Saturday night at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway. Winston Cup regulars Dave Blaney, Jerry Nadeau and Tony Stewart tried their hand on dirt, with Stewart finishing best of the bunch, a 13th place finish in the second feature.. 
4/8/01
NASCAR preempted in Boston In the Boston area, the Boston Red Sox are on TV on two FOX TV stations and the NASCAR race will be shown on tape delay. 
4/8/01
Another NASCAR driver dies of Basilar Skull fracture Ed Hinton of the Orlando Sentinal reports that the latest NASCAR driver to die of a basilar skull fracture was eulogized Friday with about 60 people present. He was no Dale Earnhardt. Just an obscure rookie driver who died the same way as the NASCAR legend. Michael Roberts was a 50-year-old single parent who left behind a heartbroken daughter, Taylor--two years younger than Earnhardt's 12-year-old daughter, Taylor. Roberts died March 24 at I-44 Speedway near Lebanon, Mo. He was driving 80 mph on the short track--100 mph slower than Earnhardt was when he hit a concrete wall on the last lap of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. Roberts was the fifth NASCAR driver in 11 months to die of injuries caused by violent head movement and the fourth to die of basilar skull fracture. But he was different. He was one of the little guys, the weekend racers on America's grass-roots tracks. Thousands of them, like Roberts, hold NASCAR-issued licenses and drive at NASCAR-member tracks. Upon arriving at Roberts' crash scene, "My first thought was, 'These goddamned NASCAR cars,' " said Michael Loescher, a nationally renowned driving instructor who was coaching Roberts that day and was among the first to get to the wreck. "They're too rigid, and they don't have enough crush zone in them."  Full Story
4/7/01
Lights: Rain helps Dominguez win pole Rainy conditions sealed the first road course pole for Mario Dominguez (del Valle/Corona/Televisa Lola) Saturday after a wet Long Beach race course prevented any improved speeds in final qualifying for Sunday's race. Round Two of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship, Sunday's sprint will be telecast on ESPN2 in same-day coverage at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT).  Recent testing has helped Dominguez and PacWest gel as a team and it showed at Long Beach on Friday. The third-year driver from Mexico lapped the 1.968-mile Long Beach track at an average speed of 93.260 mph (75.968 seconds). Although he did go out late in the wet conditions Saturday, it was just a familiarization run and not for any laps under speed. No driver lapped within three seconds of the pole-winning time Saturday.  "I knew my time from yesterday would be faster because of the rain, but we went out there anyway to get a feel for the car on a wet track," said Dominguez. "I'm very happy to secure my first road course pole (second career pole) at such a prestigious race as Long Beach. This is a very challenging circuit, but I like it especially when I have such a great car that's capable of running very fast. My crew worked very hard all weekend to make sure things were just right, and it paid off. I'm looking forward to bringing PacWest to the podium tomorrow, and I'll be working very hard to secure my second win in a Lights car." Dorricott Racing's Jon Fogarty (Thomas Fogarty Winery &Vineyards Lola) will start second tomorrow despite a contact incident Friday with his teammate Damien Faulkner (Dorricott Racing Lola). He lapped at an average speed of 92.812 mph (76.335 seconds).
4/7/01
Rutledge completes sweep of LB David Rutledge (Lynx Racing Swift) regained the lead on the 13th lap of Round 1 of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and held on to win the series opener by 4.383 seconds.  Vancouver's Rutledge, who won from the pole last year at the Montreal Grand Prix, taking his first career win, repeated the accomplishment for the second time on the 1.968-mile street circuit. Rutledge lost the lead on the opening lap to rookie, Joey Hand, and fell to third place behind Hoover Orsi (Hylton Motorsports/U.S. Print Swift). Orsi later passed Hand on the sixth lap of the race only to relinquish the lead to a patient Rutledge, on lap 13. Story | Box Score
4/7/01
Scott Pruett wins Toyota Pro/Celebrity race Ten-year CART racing veteran Scott Pruett took the overall checkered flag at the 25th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race from a field of celebrity and professional drivers - just edging out last year's winner Josh Brolin. Toyota dealer Tom Rudnai barely won the celebrity category over Olympic Gold medalist swimmer Dara Torres - the best-ever female finisher in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race and the pole position winner. "This was one of the most exciting and memorable races in our 25-year history," said Les Unger national motorsports manager with Toyota Motor Sales. "We not only had our first-ever female pole position winner, but the fans saw the closest race ever with the most competitive and fierce fields ever. Josh Brolin making a incredibly strong showing for the second year in a row."  Pruett stole the show from the celebrity drivers, tapping into his vast experience as a racing professional. Pruett, a relative unknown before receiving his first big break in racing with a second place showing in the 1984 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, has successfully risen to the top of the open-wheel ranks with more than 145 career starts. In 2000, he parked his open-wheel driving career to try his hand at stock racing in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Brolin was one of two celebrity drivers that were barely inched out by Pruett - proving once again that celebrities are fierce competitors in the field of racing. An accomplished stage performer and actor, the 2000 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race winner Brolin follows in his father's winning footsteps as an outstanding driver and avid racing enthusiast. James Brolin was the winner of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in 1978. Torres, in a best-ever showing by a female driver, led the race for the first nine laps before being overpowered by Pruett in the last lap - finishing less than a half-second behind the winner. An Olympic swimming gold medalist with five medals and four Olympic games to her name, Torres is too familiar with competitive spirit. As a result of skill, fierce drive and determination, she is the highest finishing female racer in the celebrity category throughout the history of the race.
4/7/01
Chris McClure joins CART Radio Network CART has announced that veteran motorsports broadcaster Chris McClure has will be joining the CART Radio Network for the 2001 FedEx Championship Series season. McClure will serve as color commentator on seven CRN broadcasts, the first of which will be the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit on June 17. McClure began his broadcasting career in the mid-70s and has been behind the microphone for broadcasts of Michigan State football, basketball and hockey; University of Detroit basketball and the original CART radio network. McClure has also served as the lead announcer for the Dayton Indy Lights series for the past 12 years. His motorsports experience includes stints behind the microphone for CART, Formula 1, Dayton Indy Lights, Toyota Atlantic and Trans-Am events. He has won several regional broadcast awards for play-by-play and was part of a group that received an Edward R. Murrow Award in the early '80s. Michaels joins the current announcing team of Tom Michaels, Scott Pruett, Ned Wicker, Larry Henry and Jim Murphy.
4/7/01
CART would be well served if..... CART would be well served to ensure that Johnny Herbert and Mark Blundell get a ride in the Rockingham, England and Eurospeedway, Germany.  CART must not fail in Europe, as all eyes will be on CART's product how full the grandstands are.  The fans at those two venues must have someone to cheer for.  Herbert is slated to test for Sigma either just before or just after the Japan race with hopes of a fulltime ride in 2002.  Both he and Blundell have a huge following in Europe.  It would be good if CART and/or some of the team owners step forward, and bring some extra cars and crew to those two races for these two drivers as well as a topflight German driver.
4/7/01
Rahal and Rice look to the future  Three-time CART Champion and Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal announced today that Team Rahal has taken an option with 2000 Toyota Atlantic Champion Buddy Rice for the 2002 season.  The option allows Rice to race for another team this season but gives Team Rahal first rights on his services for the 2002 season.  "We have taken an option on Buddy Rice in hopes that we can run him for Team Rahal in 2002" said Rahal.  "We are searching for sponsorship and taking the necessary steps to make that happen.  Buddy had a brilliant season in 2000 in winning the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship and he has a bright future ahead of him in racing.  He will be around the track this season as an observer, shadowing our Engineers and learning the inner workings of a Champ Car team.  If the opportunity arises for Buddy to drive for another team this season, we will support him in those efforts."  Rice will be observing Team Rahal on various race weekends, working with both the Shell and Miller Lite teams and gaining valuable experience off the track. "This is a wonderful learning opportunity for me to be around the staff of Team Rahal," said Rice. "Bobby has always gone out of his way to help me and I appreciate the advice and suggestions he has given to me in the past. While I am obviously disappointed that I am not driving competitively at this point this year, the opportunity to work with Team Rahal and gain insight into the workings of a Champ Car team allows me to stay involved and continue my development as a driver. I am also working with Bobby and the team in an effort to secure sponsorship for next season and to make this opportunity a reality."   Buddy talks (0:26 sec.)
4/7/01
Denver not the only new CART race in the works  Speaking to Gordon Kirby of Autosport, Chris Pook had this to say about the new Denver race - ""It will definitely happen next year," says Pook. "I'm very excited about Denver. The location we have by the new Pepsi Center is a dynamite location. It's very similar to what we've got here in Long Beach. The center is not as large as the Long Beach convention center but it gives you all the infrastructure that you need – the kitchens and restaurants and bathrooms – all those important elements. And the racetrack's going to be a really exciting racetrack. I'm very excited about it because it's a great market, and a new one untouched by racing." Pook believes he's going to be successful in bringing street racing to at least one of the other seven cities CART has granted him the rights to: "There's considerable interest in Washington and considerable interest in New York and San Francisco. I think San Francisco would be an incredible place for a street race. 
4/6/01
Lights: Dominguez sits on provisional pole  Mario Dominguez (del Valle/Corona/Televisa Lola) joined the PacWest Lights team less than one month ago, but that didn't stop him from winning the provisional pole Friday in first round qualifying for Round Two of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship this Sunday at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.  Recent testing has helped Dominguez and PacWest gel as a team and it showed at Long Beach. The third-year driver from Mexico lapped the 1.968-mile Long Beach track at an average speed of 93.260 mph. In total, it was a good day for PacWest as the team's other driver Dan Wheldon (Gemstar Lola) qualified third at an average speed of 92.716 mph.  "My car has been good all day," Dominguez said. "I was second in the morning and the track improved a lot this afternoon with more rubber on the circuit, so I could really go for it. We made some good changes to the car between sessions, and our hard work paid off. I'm very confident with my car and team, and I think once we do a few more minor changes tonight, I can improve more tomorrow to stay on the pole. I'm ready to go."  The 30-minute session was slowed by two red flag periods, one for a hairpin tangle between Dorricott Racing teammates Jon Fogarty (Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Lola) and Damien Faulkner (Dorricott Racing Lola). Both drivers continued with Fogarty second and Faulkner in fourth.  "I was on a really fast lap and pushing hard," Fogarty said. "I came up on Damien and closed fast approaching the final left-hander before the hairpin. The data on my pi system registered that I was running faster than my best lap earlier in the session. Damien pulled wide so I thought he was going to let me pass. What Damien was actually doing was taking an extra wide line through the hairpin so he could come across the start-finish line with more speed. I didn't know he too was looking to make that lap his best counter. I went to the apex when Damien curled wide. He turned in but didn't know I was already there. It was a miscommunication on both of our parts. The car has more in it and I'm getting a good feel for the circuit. It's interesting that the provisional pole and the third fastest car are running on high downforce. It's hard to tell right now what direction to take but I think a low downforce may be the best route for the race. We make our final decisions after reviewing the data."  "We were headed to a good session," Faulkner said. "The car was sticking to 'P2' and 'P3' most of the time. I wasn't looking to take any risks. I was backing off a bit to save the car and tires. Everything ran smoothly until I took a wide turn coming out of the hairpin looking for a sweet run into the straightaway. I think Jon thought I saw him coming when he started to set up for a pass. However, I didn't see him coming and I wasn't planning on letting him pass. We touched and I spun around."  Another stoppage occurred when rookie Kristian Kolby (Conquest Racing Lola) was uninjured when he hit the wall in Turn 9. His race car is expected to be repaired by tomorrow.  Mexico winner Derek Higgins (Mexpro/StarlightDiamonds.com/PrecioBase.com) rounded out the top five while Townsend Bell (DirecPC Lola) capped an eventful session with the sixth fastest time despite an small engine compartment fire in mid-session.  "We were stung with bad timing," Bell said. "We had an oil fire that brought me back to pit lane. It looked more spectacular than it really was but it cost me time. Two cars also crashed in front of me during the session. One was at the start then later Kolby crashed. The lap Kolby crashed was going to be my good lap. I think it would have been a pole lap but we got caught out and never found a clean line at the end of the session. That's street race qualifying for you. We'll come back swinging tomorrow."  Final qualifying is Saturday.
4/6/01
Swimmer Dara Torres gets pole for LB Celebrity race Nine-time Olympic medalist swimmer Dara Torres, proving that she can "fly" in the pool and on the race track, turned in  the fastest lap (1:48.708) in today's qualifying session at the Silver  Anniversary Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. She is the first female to take the pole  position in the 25-year history of the fan-favorite event. The top professional  driver was 10-year CART veteran Scott Pruett, with a lap time of 1:46.003.  In addition to winning the coveted inside front-row position for the Toyota  Pro/Celebrity Race, Torres also was awarded the fourth annual "PEOPLE Pole  Award." Sponsored by PEOPLE Magazine, the award honors the top celebrity  qualifier for the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race with a $10,000 donation from PEOPLE  to the pole sitter's charity of choice. Torres designated the We Change  Foundation, a charitable organization in Boynton Beach, Fla., whose mission is  to motivate and educate troubled youth.  Other Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race participants include William Shatner, David Alan  Grier, Erik Palladino, Piper Perabo, Christopher McDonald, Jim Kelly, Billy  Blanks and Mark Consuelos.  The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race will begin at noon on Saturday, April 7 with a  field of 17 drivers. The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race will air on ESPN on  Saturday, April 28 at 3 p.m. ET.  PEOPLE is the most popular magazine in the world with a weekly readership of 35  million people. 
Celebrity Qualifying Times: 
1. Dara Torres 1:48.708 
2. Tom Rudnai 1:48.746 
3. Mark Steines 1:48.840 
4. Christopher McDonald 1:49.366 
5. Erik Palladino 1:49.971 
6. Mark Consuelos 1:49.984 
7. Dave Pasant 1:49.998 
8. William Shatner 1:51.144 
9. Billy Blanks 1:52.280 
10. Jim Kelly 1:52.380 
11. David Alan Grier 1:54.640 
12. Elisa Donovan 1:57.316 
13. Piper Perabo 1:59.294 
Professsionals: 
1. Scott Pruett 1:46.003 
2. Josh Brolin 1:46.665 
3. Sara Senske 1:47.765 
4. Robert Huffman 1:47.796 
4/6/01
Interesting observation Shigeaki Hattori  looks to have found a home in the IRL, running mid-field or better on many occasions.  He tried to run in CART one year, but his drivers license was eventually pulled by CART as he struggled terribly.
4/6/01
Corona Beer signs on with Jourdain Not to be outdone by Tecate,  Corona Extra, the world's best selling Mexican beer,  will partner with one of the fastest Mexican race car drivers as a new  sponsor of the Michel Jourdain, Jr. car on the CART circuit. Beginning this  month, the Corona Extra logo will be prominently featured on the #16 Herdez  Bettenhausen car in the CART FedEx Championship Series.  "We're extremely excited to partner with Michel Jourdain on the CART circuit  this year and look forward to generating exposure for Corona Extra with  millions of race fans worldwide," said Timm Amundson, Vice President of  Modelo Marketing for Barton Beers, Ltd.  The program brings the leading import a highly visible position at 21 race  venues in seven countries and generates exposure via race broadcasts. Plus,  Barton Beers, Corona's western U.S. importer, will leverage the deal with  in-store signage, on-site hospitality and driver appearances.  As part of the agreement with Herdez Bettenhausen, Corona will be the  exclusive beer served at the team's hospitality tent. "We are looking  forward to partnering with Corona Extra and I hope we can generate plenty of  exposure by running strong all season," said Jourdain. "This is a natural  partnership for me because, like Corona, I am from Mexico and have generated  a following in my home country and in the U.S. I'm looking forward to  celebrating our victories with a cold Corona in the winner's circle."  Corona Extra is brewed and bottled by Grupo Modelo and is imported into the  United States by Barton Beers, Ltd. and The Gambrinus Company in the western  and eastern states respectively. Corona Extra has been the number one import  into the United States since 1997 and is the fifth largest selling beer brand  in the world. 
4/6/01
Nilton Rossoni out at CONQUEST As a fallout from the spiraling economic climate, Nilton Rossoni has lost his ride with CONQUEST Racing for the 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Series Championship. Rossoni competed in the opening  round at Monterey, Mexico where he qualified on the front row as well as  participated in numerous preseason test days with the assistance Barber  Dodge Pro Series Career Enhancement Award that he earned as the season's  champion in 2000. Unfortunately, Rossoni was unable to procure the remaining  funds required by the time stipulated in his contract with CONQUEST Racing.  "Immediately after signing Rossoni, we received the required funds from the  Barber Dodge Pro Series," said Eric Bachelart owner of CONQUEST Racing.  "However there was still a significant sum of funds which Nilton was under  obligation to bring to the team in order to run the full season which he  failed to provide by the dates required in his contract. After exhausting  all efforts to reach a resolution, I have no choice but to not run him with  immediate effect."  Skip Barber, creator of the Barber-CART Scholarship Ladder and the Career  Enhancement Award, expressed his disappointment in the situation.  "It's an age old story in racing. A driver has just enough money to get  started and is pinning his hopes on the promise of future money when all of  sudden the well runs dry," said Barber. "Nilton raced with us for three  years and was always up to date in his payments with us. We were very  confident of his ability to come up with the balance of funds needed to  complete his rookie season in Indy Lights as I'm sure was he.  "In spite of this disappointing situation, in no way will it deter us from  promoting the Barber-CART Scholarship Ladder and dispersing the $1.3 million  in scholarships," added Barber.  
4/6/01
Is it Chevy Chase or isn't it? Seen at Long Beach today was Chevy Chase, or was it?  You decide.  With Long Beach being located fairly close to Hollywood and with the Celebrity Charity race scheduled for Saturday there are sure to be several celebrities in the crowd or maybe people who just want to look like them.  Who can forget Chevy and his notable performances in Caddyshack, National Lampoons Vacation,  Fletch and Saturday Night Live.   
4/6/01
Eccelstone says breakaway series could ruin F1 My what a surprise!  Formula 1 leader Bernie Ecclestone says the group of engine manufacturers threatening a breakaway F1-style racing series could destroy in just six months what he has spent 30 years building up. Sounds like the Manufacturers have Bernie just a tad bit worried.
4/6/01
Featherlite Trailers financial news The latest report from Dunn and Bradstreet is not good for Featherlite trailers, said to be having severe financial difficulties.  We hear they may have over extended themselves with advertising and series sponsorships. 
4/6/01
Seen at Long Beach So far we have seen sightings of Johnny Herbert, Bjorn Borg, Mark Blundell, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley pressing the flesh.  See the rumors page for some news about Johnny Herbert.  The Friday crowd looks larger than we can ever remember, but that's usually the case with CART's street and road circuits - larger crowds every year while the oval races continue to see a decrease, or perhaps if they are lucky, no change. 
4/6/01
Indy Lights news from Long Beach Five Californians - including a 2000 CART All-Star, a rookie from the Barber Dodge Pro Series ranks, a racing student from Pepperdine University, CART's only Native American competitor, and a driver making his professional debut - highlight the entry list Sunday's Dayton Indy Lights Championship race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.  Full Story (PDF)
4/6/01
Fittipaldi debuts new paint scheme Christian Fittipaldi debuted a special Kmart Blue Light Special powder blue paint scheme today in Long Beach.  The team is not sure how many races they will run with that paint scheme.  He was 11th fastest in the first practice, ahead of his teammate Cristiano da Matta.  Maybe the color are helping.  Only kidding. MC
4/6/01
Tagliani tops morning practice  Players Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani turned the fastest time in the morning practice session for the Toyota GP at Long Beach.  His time of 1:09.127 sec was just faster than 2nd quick Tony Kanaan at 1:09.466 sec.  Rounding out the top 10 were Carpentier, Franchitti, Herta, Andretti, Castroneves, Wilson, Moreno, and Brack Times
4/6/01
Audio from Long Beach (Real Audio Format Check back for updates all weekend)

Max Papis talks about Long Beach track (0:29 min)

Kenny Brack talks about Long Beach track (0:36 min)

4/6/01
Free tickets for Glen race  For a limited time only, fans of Watkins Glen International purchasing weekend general admission tickets to August's Global Crossing @ The Glen weekend will be given free upgrades to Tier C reserved grandstand seats. This offer of free grandstand seats will expire May 6. Fans having already purchased their general admission tickets for the weekend are also eligible for the free upgrade and should call The Glen's ticket office for more information. "Offering our fans free upgrades to a grandstand seat is just another way for us to give the fans more value for their money," said Bryan R. Sperber, track president. "We want to make sure our fans can enjoy all of the racing excitement The Glen has to offer." Weekend admission for the Global Crossing weekend, August 9-12, begins at just $59 and includes racing by the premier stock car drivers, including three-time winner Jeff Gordon and the reigning Global Crossing @ The Glen winner, Steve Park. Complementing the Winston Cup race is Saturday's "Little Trees" 150 presented by Pepsi Busch North Series' race and Friday night sports car racing with the Grand American 250. Sunday only admission for the Winston Cup race starts at $39. Time is also running out to get weekend tickets to the July 6-8 Festival of Speed and Sound. For just $39 fans receive three big races and a concert. The weekend offers a full schedule of racing, highlighted by feature races on both Saturday and Sunday. Fans will also enjoy live musical entertainment at the conclusion of the ARCA RE/MAX 150, followed by a Winston Cup Pepsi 400 viewing party on the jumbotrons live from Daytona International Speedway. Sunday only admission for the NASCAR Busch Series' race starts at $29. Tickets for the 2001 season at Watkins Glen are now available. For tickets, reserved camping, and additional information, please contact the Watkins Glen ticket office at 607-535-2481 or log on to the official Watkins Glen Web site at www.theglen.com. Advance ticket prices are available through May 6. 
4/6/01
CART 2001 Spotter's Guide  We have now added a CART 2001 Spotter's Guide to our CART page.  Similar to our F1 Spotter's Guide, at 2.5 MB it's a bit large to download so be patient. Whether you’re watching the action at the race track or at home on TV, use this reference guide to identify all the CART teams, drivers and official race flags. 
4/6/01

SpeedFreaks proves CART and NASCAR mix  The SpeedFreaks Will Again Prove That NASCAR And CART Do Mix As They Open Freakin' Pit Row To Target/Chip Ganassi Rookie Driver's Bruno Junqueira, "Nikko" Minassian and Winston Cup's Jeff Burton.  Following the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach this Sunday afternoon, The Mod Squad Of Motorsports will bring the Bash By The Beach back to their penthouse radio facility. High above the street walkin' she-males and party pimpin' winos will be Champ Car navigators, a Winston Cup high flyer and a mull skinner, uh, Lugg Nuttz. "Put another [burp!] shrimp on the barby...oh, Bruno's Brazilian, Nikko-boy is a Frenchy and Burton is a...hell, fire up the John Deere, I'm goin' in," says the excited but confused SpeedFreaks Pit Crew member Lugg Nuttz on the opportunity to talk with such royalty.  Luggs' co-worker, Crash Gladys, elaborates, "You think Lugg is flustered? Dag-gone-it, Los Angeles' ESPN and ABC radio affiliate won't even cover the damn race and the Long Beach tussle is on ABC TV. Now that is flat out wrong." More from the red faced Gladys, "No wonder we have the biggest names in all motor sports black flag ESPN, FOX, Sporting [Snooze] and ABC Radio only to pit with the SpeedFreaks. There's no question why we kick the hypocritical back sides of all four combined in the ratings." SpeedFreaks are part of SBN&P and can be heard every Sunday Night on Los Angeles' KLSX 97.1 FM, Dallas-Ft. Worth's KYNG 105.3 FM and everyday on the Speedvision Satellite Network and at www.speedfreaks.TV
4/6/01
Papis focused on LB success  Max Papis grew up watching racing on the historic road courses of Europe and as he approaches the Grand Prix of Long Beach (Sunday, 4:00 PM EDT on ABC) this weekend he knows he will be racing on one of the  historic street circuits in the United States. For Papis Long Beach  represents a challenge and a crown jewel he wants to claim for his racing  career.  "Long Beach represents the pinnacle of American street racing," said  Papis. "The course is a combination of a tight turns and fast  straight-aways which makes it an exciting street course to race on. I have  many goals and objectives that I wish to accomplish for my racing career and  to claim a victory at Long Beach would be a very special achievement."  In his last two trips to Long Beach as a driver for Team Rahal Papis  has secured a starting spot near the front of the field qualifying then a  career street course best fourth in 1999 and starting sixth in 2000.  Although neither of those efforts has translated into a podium result, Papis  knows that success is within his reach on the famed streets of Long Beach.  "We have had success in qualifying each of the last two years and  Team Rahal has amassed an impressive record through the years at Long Beach  so I know we have the knowledge and capability to run strong and finish up  front."  In 1999 Papis was just beginning to serve notice of his breakout  season when the personable Italian posted a ninth place finish at Long  Beach. It was his second top-ten result in three races and he parlayed that  quick start to a fifth place finish in the 1999 CART championship with a  career best 14 top-ten results.  Papis is coming off a points paying 12th place finish at Monterrey  in the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series opener. As important as that  championship point is, and more critical for this weekend at Long Beach, he  has secured a spot in the "fast" qualifying session on Saturday.  "It is a vicious cycle when you fall out of the fast session in  qualifying," said Papis. "Several times last season we had to battle our  way out of the "slow" group and so many elements conspire against you.  Everybody knows the track will improve over the course of the weekend and so  securing a spot in the second (fast) qualifying session gives us an  advantage to start the weekend. We just have to maximize that advantage and  keep ourselves focused on the job at hand."
4/6/01
Brack looks to build on Mexico momentum  2000 CART Rookie of the Year Kenny Brack is coming off an impressive season  opening performance at Monterrey in which he claimed his first Champ Car  pole and led 28 lap en route to a fifth place finish. Brack has posted ten  top-five results since the start of the 2000 season, the most of any driver  in the FedEx Championship Series.  In 2000 when Brack finished fourth in the CART championship, he didn't score  his first point until the season's third race (at Rio) and he didn't amass  his 11th point until the season's fourth race at Motegi. Therefore Brack is  already three races ahead of his point pace from 2000.  "Monterrey was a good way for us to start the season," said Brack.  "Heading into the race in Mexico I still felt we had a lot to learn from the  car having switched to the Lola chassis, but everyone was in the same  situation with a new track and we were able to find a successful set-up  pretty quickly. We still have a lot to learn from the chassis but I feel we  are making great strides and we know the Ford-Cosworth/Lola combination is  going to be competitive."  Brack qualified seventh last season at Long Beach claiming a spot in the  fourth row from the slow session on the second day of qualifying. This  season under the revamped qualifying rules Brack will be in the fast session  ready to make a run for a second pole position.  "Long Beach is a nice setting for a race and the weather is usually ideal  for a street party which is what the event is," said Brack. "The track  itself has a long history and a great tradition which is comprised the great  open wheel drivers who have raced on the streets of Long Beach. The course  itself is not spectacular but there is a very long front straight away so it  is critical to get off the hairpin [turn 11] quickly. The rest of the track  it is critical to just reduce your lap time, but the real key is the front  straight where most of the overtaking will take place. There will be some  passing opportunities on the back stretch but the real key is the front  straight." 
4/6/01
Gugelmin to debut revolutionary new driving suit at LB  Mauricio Gugelmin, driver of the #17 Nextel PacWest Toyota, will debut a new revolutionary three-layer Sparco firesuit during Friday mornings warm-up session at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The state-of-the-art Sparco suit has a new proprietary fabric that is 35% lighter and has more fire retardant material than the traditional nomex fabric. The firesuit, which took eight months of different weight configuration testing, is a much safer suit because of the third layer. So, when talks between Gugelmin and Sparco began in January, Mo was more than happy to test the firesuit during its development stage. “Of course when they asked me to demo one of their new products I was more than willing to help out,” said Gugelmin. “I know that before they even let a driver wear their gear, it has been tested for several months in the factory to ensure the quality is up to our safety standards. The suit is so light; I can’t wait to try it out. It’s white, with blazing red (Nextel) letters embroidered on it. It looks great.” While Mauricio will be the first CART driver to wear the new Sparco firesuit, it has already made its debut in Formula One. Both Mika Hakkinen and David Coultard of Mclaren began wearing the firesuit at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix. Sparco will continue the development of the new firesuit and is looking forward to getting more feedback from Gugelmin before they release the suit to other drivers as soon as June or July, 2001. They were pleased when Mauricio was willing to test the new fabric because they have had a great relationship with the Brazilian driver for more than 10 years. Sparco is proud to introduce our most revolutionary firesuit with Mauricio Gugelmin this weekend at Long Beach and we look forward to raising levels of safety in motorsports worldwide with the introduction of our new fabrics later in 2001,” said Scott Gladstone, President of Sparco USA..
4/6/01
Man bids $61,000 to drive in Toyota Pro-Celebrity race at Long Beach  $61,000 was the high bid at the annual Toyota Grand Prix Charity Ball for a seat in the 2002 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. For the second year in a row, Dave Pasant outbid the room for the opportunity to race with the stars. "The experience so far has been so exhilarating, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do it again next year," said Pasant, a retired insurance CEO currently residing in Rolling Hills, Calif. "The race training experience alone was addictive. Between the expertise of the trainers and Toyota's hospitality and the camaraderie that developed between all the drivers, I knew this was something I would have to do again." The amount bid benefits the Grand Prix Foundation charities, which include AIDS Walk of Greater Long Beach, Children's Dental Clinic, 
Conservation Corp. of Long Beach and Racing for Kids, a national fundraising program for children's hospitals across the country. Combined with other fundraising activities staged at the Charity Ball, more than $100,000 was raised to benefit Foundation charities. "It is such a testament to the allure of the event when a Charity Ball winner secures the seat two years in a row," said John Knauf, president of the Grand Prix Foundation. "In the 11 years that the coveted chance to participate in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race has been offered at the charity ball, on two other occasions drivers have returned after getting a taste of the experience." (Ze'ev Drori and Bob Fouts) The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is a 10-lap race run during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend in April. It pits today's hottest stars against professional drivers in identically prepared, race-ready Toyota Celicas. This year's race (April 7) features celebrities Josh Brolin, Jim Kelley, William Shater, Erik Palladino, Billy Blanks and Dara Torres, joined with professionals such as Scott Pruett and Sara Senske.
4/5/01
New program for CART fans  The FedEx Championship Series continues its commitment to providing unique and exciting fan experiences as it introduces the Championship Auto Racing Teams season-long FANatics program, beginning at this weekend’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The CART FANatics program allows more than two dozen lucky fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be immersed in the pre-race activities as CART’s Champ Car teams prepare for battle on race day in the most competitive racing series in the world. Each CART driver will be assigned a randomly selected fan, who will have the rare opportunity to become part of that team in the key moments leading up the to green flag. Each fan will have the opportunity to watch pre-race introductions and activities on the grid; meet the driver in a more personal 1-on-1 atmosphere; and get candid photographs as the team readies the car and the driver situates himself in the cockpit. Fans involved in CART FANatics are so close to the action they can smell the methanol and tire rubber as the stars of the series are released from the grid to begin the race. “You really want to do everything we can for the fans because they are the reason we are here,” said two-time FedEx Series champion Alex Zanardi, who drives the Pioneer WorldCom Honda Reynard for Mo Nunn Racing. “They will now get the ultimate opportunity to see us during one of the more dramatic times of the weekend. We get to share some of our private time with them, and that’s special.” “This gives the fans a real opportunity to get closer to the drivers and the pre-race excitement,” said Christian Fittipaldi, who drives the Kmart Toyota Lola for Newman Haas Racing. “This continues to prove that the FedEx Championship Series is the most accessible major series on the planet.” Lucky fans will each receive a package delivered by a FedEx courier containing a variety of special FANatics promotional items. Each large FedEx box will hold a bright orange CART FANatics T-shirt; an autographed ‘hero’ card from their FANatics driver; a collectible WorldCom pre-paid phone card; and other racing paraphernalia. Teams also may include specially autographed items or gifts for the fans as well. Motorola will provide a pair of Talkabout two-way radios so the FANatic paired with Team Motorola star Michael Andretti can communicate with friends and family back in the grandstands. “The mandatory all-driver autograph session CART implemented has been a huge success with the fans and we wanted to identify another avenue to further enhance the fans’ experience and interaction,” said Mike Zizzo, CART vice president of competition public relations. “What better way than being on the grid, meeting one of your favorite racing stars and being a special guest of the team on race day. It would be similar to being on the field for a major-league game or the NFL for pre-game introductions and in the locker room as the teams get ready to play. This program, however, would not be possible without the outstanding support of our drivers, teams, promoters and sponsors. It is a team effort to make this the best experience possible for each fan involved.” 
4/5/01

This week on Motor Sports Weekly  This week's edition of the Emmy-award winning Motor Sports Weekly features: BEHIND PIT WALL - An examination of the growing international look and feel of the CART FedEx Championship Series. MSW looks at the series' expansion into overseas markets and the globalization of American open wheel racing. INSIDE TRACK - Is Speedway Motorsports CEO and Chairman O. Bruton Smith really serious about buying Darlington Raceway and what is his involvement with a proposed new stock car series? MSWi CYBER SPEED - This week the stars of the NHRA - featuring John Force, answer viewer questions. Also featured is a profile of Joe Gibbs Racing by correspondent Brett McMillan. 
4/5/01
CART engine dilemma - food for thought  A reader writes "Since Champ Cars are overweight compared to F1 cars by some 400 pounds (with driver) or about 25% more, and since CART may be faced with an underpowered 650 HP IRL compatible engine, and since F1 cars make upwards of 800 HP,  perhaps it's time CART put the Champ cars on a diet and lower the weight some 200 pounds to compensate for the large drop in HP from 850 to something around 700.  It's probably cheaper to take weight off of the cars, than having to go through great pains to regain back some of the lost HP in an engine that has such a long piston stroke.  That will make the cars more nimble on the street and road circuits.  The CART teams will have to buy IRL cars anyway to compete at Indy, therefore, no need for the cars to weigh the same in both series.  It's only the engines that must be similar so the manufacturers can compete in both series."

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