Hot News

Thanks for visiting our Hot News page - news snippets from the world of Auto Racing.  Please visit our Rumors page for all the scuttlebutt.  If you have some news, or can supply more information about one listed here, e-mail us with as much supporting information as possible and we may post it.  User agreement & disclaimer. Newer rumors supercede older ones of the same topic.  Go to our forums to discuss any hot news.  

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DATE News (chronologically 5/10/01 to 5/19/01)
Recent CART stock sale news  We thought you might find this link interesting.  It gives an update on the latest stock sales by CART insiders.  Since the cancelled Texas fiasco, only Derrick Walker has sold shares.  It's interesting to see that Bobby Rahal continues to sell shares and Forsythe continues to buy shares.  At the rate he is going, Forsythe will eventually own CART.  The last time we spoke with him, he shared our view that CART must look toward street and road races and overseas venues, markets where CART excels.  Therefore, perhaps that would be a good thing for CART.
Audio from Japan UPDATED (Real Media format)
Tom Michaels Race wrap-up report  (0:46 min.)
Kenny Brack post-race after winning his first CART Race Saturday (0:17 min.)
Helio Castroneves post-race comments after his 2nd place finish (0:18 min.)
Tony Kanaan
post-race comments after his 3rd place finish (0:24 min.)
Helio Castroneves talks about how everything went well all weekend (0:12 min.)
Dario Franchitti talks about changing car during race (0:17 min.)
Tom Michaels Friday wrap-up report (0:48 min.)
Helio Castroneves
talks about car being good right out of the box (0:13 min.)
Kenny Brack talks about how tough it is to pass at Motegi (0:17 min.)
Max Papis talks about the green track and the lack of grip on Thursday (0:54 min.)
Tom Michaels of the CART radio network summarizes the first day of practice (0:48 min.)
Tony Kanaan
fastest on the first day, talks about how his day went (0:24 min.)
Tom Michaels
of the CART radio network previews Motegi (0:41 min.)
Dario Franchitti
talks about high speeds at Motegi and HP gains (0:22 min.)
Max Papis
talks about how unique and spectacular Motegi is, and HP (0:50 min.)
Kenny Brack
Likes Motegi, difficulties of setup, describes Japanese fans (0:52 min.)
Paul Edwards interview  Thought you would like to listen to a radio interview of Paul Edwards on the syndicated radio program "AMERICA ON THE ROAD" (AOTR) which is being broadcast this weekend from over 300 radio stations in the United States. To hear this interview in Real Player audio, click here. There is a brief introduction at the beginning of the program and the interview starts at the 24 minute mark. AOTR liked the interview session and will have Paul on again during his British Formula 3 Championship racing season. Paul's interview takes place on the twelfth-year anniversary of "AMERICA ON THE ROAD", this being their 600th show.
Record attendance for CART race in Japan Even though attendance at Motegi continues to be limited due to a lack of good roads getting into the circuit at the top of the mountain, this years attendance is a new record.  There is more people in the grandstands than ever before and our best estimates put the attendance at close to 75,000.  This race underscores how large the world's thirst is for top-level open wheel racing like CART and F1.  F1 can't satisfy the world's demand.  CART must look overseas for its future by filling the void left by F1.
Skip Barber launches  motorsports marketing seminars  After more than 25 years of instructing drivers on the art and science of driving a racecar, and offering a wealth of scholarships to help talented drivers advance their careers, Skip Barber, Inc. will come full circle with creating the curriculum to build the 'complete' racecar driver. On October 1, 2001 in Indianapolis, Ind., the day following the United States Grand Prix, Skip Barber will host an all day seminar on motorsports marketing and public relations as a part of it's overall retail instruction programs. "Skip Barber has dedicated a lot of time and effort towards helping drivers 
inside the cockpit and giving them the opportunities to further their careers with a multitude of scholarships," said Jim Bowie, Marketing Director for Skip Barber, Inc. "With our first ever motorsports marketing seminar available to the general public, we hope to bring the kind of thought provoking insight and information that only marketing professionals have been privy to." "We will comprehensively cover the major points about sponsorship development and public relations with the help of keynote speakers from the ranks of CART, NASCAR, and major corporations involved in motorsports," added Bowie. "Motorsports is one of the few sports that requires its athletes to have a business acumen that is as well developed as their proficiency in the sport they practice. The goal is to answer the wealth of questions that so many young drivers and their parents and supporters have about the business side of motorsports. At the same time we will address the higher level issues that some already established drivers have about taking their marketing to the next level in a what will be a truly dynamic, interactive and innovative seminar." Details on the venue and speakers will be announced shortly. The price of the seminar is expected to be less than $200 per person. To learn more, send an email with your contact information to
Indy Day 10 - What's new, Ray stays fastest  Greg Ray reigned supreme for the sixth time in eight Indianapolis 500 practices this month, topping the daily speed chart May 17 at 222.283 mph.  It was the second consecutive day that Ray led in his No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone as he prepares to start from the middle of the front row on Race Day, May 27. Former Indy Racing champion Ray led Wednesday at 222.266.  Story
SuperKarts to race at Irwindale On Sunday, May 27, Irwindale Speedway's infield and sections of its 1/2-mile oval will once again be transformed into a sweeping "mini-grand prix" course as round four of the SuperKarts USA Mission Region professional road racing championship tour makes its annual stop at "LA's ½-Mile Super Speedway". "This is a tremendously important event venue for us," said J.R. Clasen, the west coast administrator for the national SK-USA organization. "Although we stage SuperKart events all over the country, this event is located closest to a major metro area. That fact is not lost on our sponsors and competitors, they know that in order to be successful the public needs to be able to see them compete … Racing at Irwindale Speedway gives them that opportunity." SuperKarts are high-horsepower, 6-speed, slammed-to-the-ground, fat-tired karts that look, sound and run like no "go-kart" most people have ever seen. Blindingly fast, these 80, 100, and 125cc machines often seem to defy the laws of physics as they rip through the turns and blast down the straights at eye-popping speeds. "These machines develop almost the same amount of cornering thrust that Formula One cars do … They're "scale models", so to speak, of the dynamics that go on in a road racing Champ Car. That's why so many top drivers from Tony Stewart to Michael Schumacher have come out of karts." More commonly know as "shifter karts", there will be eight individual classes of SuperKarts (from Juniors to the top pros) racing at Irwindale Speedway on Sunday, May 27.
Raul Boesel to qualify Luyendyk's backup car  Raul Boesel will practice with Arie Luyendyk's backup car out of the Threadway stable today.  The plan is for Boesel to qualify the car on Sunday, assuming he gets up to speed, which he should.  It will be interesting to see if Penske puts anyone in one of his two backup cars on Sunday, such as American's Memo Gidley or Alex Barron.  The team is in Japan right now for Saturday's CART race at Motegi.
Paul Newman talks about 300th race for Newman Haas "Well, 18 years, so many highlights that it's hard to single out any one special, but certainly amongst them: Mario's first win in 1983; our first championship in 1984; creating the first father/son team with Mario and Michael; Michael's first championship; at Portland Mario and Michael side by side at the finish with Michael winning by a hair; enlisting Formula One champion, Nigel Mansell to drive for us; Christian Fittipaldi's first win; Cristiano da Matta's first win.....they're all memorable moments and in total an accomplishment equaled by very few teams. "The cohesiveness of the Newman/Haas group and the loyalty of everyone to the team has been touching and rewarding. The fact that Carl actually gave me a cigar once is probably the highlight of all those years. Of course, he took it back before I smoked it, but still it did not completely eliminate the exhilaration of that moment."
Crumple Zones - NASCAR update We like to think that our article that we posted right after Dale Earnhardt was killed regarding the lack of crumple Zones in Winston Cup cars has touched off the latest testing being done, or so we are told.  This article by Ed Hinton talks about the very idea we proposed back on February 26th of this year, a Crumple Zone in the nose of a Winston Cup car.  By the sounds of Hinton's article, they are on the right track. Mark C.
Indy Day 9 - Ray stays fastest  Greg Ray posted the two fastest speeds during practice May 16 for the 85th Indianapolis 500, while Billy Boat was the fastest non-qualified driver as track activity resumed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after a two-day break.  Ray, who qualified second on MBNA Pole Day May 12, was fastest today at 222.266 mph in the No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone earlier in the practice. He posted the second-fastest speed, 221.085, in the last hour of practice in his No. 22 backup car.  Story
Dover Downs to name grandstand after Earnhardt - Even in death, Dale Earnhardt remains a powerful figure in the world of NASCAR racing. He was the essence of the great Winston Cup driver -a seven-time series champion as well as an aggressive racer who was a crowd pleaser. He was a hugely popular driver at Dover Downs International Speedway, having posted three victories and earned more money at the Monster Mile than any other racer in Dover Downs history. On June 3, Dover Downs will do its part to permanently etch Dale Earnhardt into its landscape by naming a section of its grandstands after The Intimidator. As of June 3, the East and Northeast sections on the front straightaway leading up to Turn One will now officially be called the Earnhardt Grandstands. The ceremony to honor Earnhardt will take place on June 3 just after Dover Downs president and CEO Denis McGlynn makes his introductory comments to the crowd leading up to the MBNA Platinum 400 Winston Cup Series race. The estimated time of the ceremony is just after 12 noon. At that time, the new banner honoring Earnhardt will be unfurled, and a black flag with the number 3 will also be raised in Victory Lane. A plane trailing the No.3 banner also will be flying overhead. McGlynn will oversee the presentation, which will honor the spirit of a great racer in a simple and straightforward manner - just like Earnhardt himself. "Dale Earnhardt meant so much to so many people in our sport," said McGlynn. "We felt it only right to permanently honor him here at our track. From now on, whenever race fans come to Dover Downs, they'll see his name honored at our track. We miss Dale so much, but we also will hold on to so many positive memories of him and hope that by naming part of our track after him, we'll help others remember him fondly as well. And it only seems appropriate that Dale Earnhardt's section of grandstands will look right into the Winston Cup garage area." Earnhardt will become only the third driver so honored by Dover Downs International Speedway. Previously honored with sections of the grandstand named after them were Richard Petty and Bobby Allison. Their sections also are located on the front stretch. The naming of the grandstands in Dale Earnhardt's honor will be part of a very full weekend of racing that starts on June 1 with the MBNA e-commerce 200 Craftsman Truck Series race, is followed on June 2 with the MBNA Platinum 200 Busch series race, then concludes on June 3 with the MBNA Platinum 400 Winston Cup Series race. 
Nemechek injured in Dover testing, to miss Winston - 2nd UPDATE Bobby Hamilton, Jr. will be doing everything he can to race alongside his father in Saturday night’s The Winston at the 1.5-mile Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Hamilton, Jr. will drive the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet for Andy Petree Racing in the Winston Open events that same evening. The 24-year-old son of Bobby Hamilton, who drives Petree’s #55 Square D Chevrolet, will be sitting in for Joe Nemechek, who was injured during a testing crash at Dover Downs (Del.) International Speedway Monday morning. "We felt someone sitting in for Joe this weekend, especially since it’s not a points race, is just a smart thing to do. We’re concerned about his health and having him ready to go next week more than anything else," said Petree. "Little Bobby has a little bit of Winston Cup experience, got that on a track that’s close to Charlotte and has done pretty well in the Busch races at places like Charlotte, Atlanta and Michigan. We think he’s a great fit with our guys and the people at Oakwood Homes love him already." Hamilton, Jr. ran for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NASCAR Winston Cup season finale at Atlanta last season, finishing 31st. Nemechek, who suffered a broken right scapula in the crash, is expected to be back behind the wheel of the Oakwood Homes Chevrolet by the Coca-Cola 600 next week. "I hate to be getting in anybody’s car under these circumstances but I’m glad I can help Andy and the guys out," said Hamilton Jr. "I have seen what a strong team concept they have between the two cars, how closely they work together and how hard they pull for each other. Even though it’s only going to be one race, I’m glad to be a part of that. "My dad is in The Winston and I’d love to run in that too. Who wouldn’t?" Hamilton, Jr. said. "What we’re going to try to do is everything we can to get up front in the Winston Open and the No Bull Sprint. Win one of those, and there we are. "My main goal is to be competitive and to bring the car back. There isn’t anything to prove in one race and I know that," he added. "The track time is important to me, and taking care of the equipment is important to everybody. I’m not going to try to be a hero, just be real solid in what I am doing. If the opportunity does come up, well, I’ll do the best I can."  5/16/01 - He will remain at the hospital overnight for observation. He is expected to be released Wednesday morning. "I'm not sure exactly what happened, but the right front tire went down and I had a ferocious hit at turn three," said Nemechek from his hospital room at Kent General. "I may have run over something and cut the tire, or the tread came loose, but it was definitely one of the hardest hits I've ever had. Still, I feel fortunate that it wasn't worse. Now I've just got to heal this shoulder." Nemechek was one of a group of racers testing at Dover Downs on May 14 & 15. Also on the track were Ken Schrader, Tony Stewart, Jeff Green, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Purvis and Scott Wimmer.  Earlier - Joe Nemechek was injured in a crash during testing Tuesday morning at the one-mile, high-banked Dover Downs International Speedway. Nemechek, who was testing his NASCAR Busch Grand National car, has a broken right scapula. He apparently cut a right front tire between turns three and four at Dover, the car sliding up into the wall. No other cars were involved and Nemechek had no other serious injuries. Andy Petree Racing, which fields Nemechek's #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, was still evaluating the situation Tuesday morning, and had made no decisions regarding Nemechek's status for The Winston weekend at Concord, N.C., which begins Friday. "Our main concern right now is Joe's health," Petree said. "We're still putting information together and will make any decisions from there." 
Tax Bill passes Senate.  Forsythe moving his CART team to Las Vegas?  That's what it sounds like in this article and this article in the Las Vegas Journal.  The Senate passed the Bill.  It now goes to the Governor for signature.  He is expected to sign it.  What's interesting is that it appears Forsythe, CART's biggest shareholder, and Bruton Smith are doing business as though there is no lawsuit against CART.  Key quotes from the articles - Gerald Forsythe, the largest CART stockholder, said he'd like to move his teams, which are based in central Ohio and Indianapolis, to Southern Nevada. He said he unsuccessfully tried to buy land from the original owners of Las Vegas Motor Speedway about six years ago. He also said he believes CART will follow through on a commitment by Joseph Heitzler, the group's president and chief executive, to move its headquarters to Las Vegas from Troy, Mich. Forsythe said the headquarters complex could include an area for race teams and a permanent road-racing course capable of being host to events. "I have never been to an area that was so enthusiastic about bringing business to their community and their state," he said of meetings on April 9 with various government officials including Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Gov. Kenny Guinn. "With the developments that surrounded our meetings out there, our interest (in moving to Las Vegas) was renewed," Forsythe said. Forsythe is chairman and chief executive of the Indeck Group of Cos. and Indeck Power Equipment. "For a number of months we've been looking to where we could move the CART headquarters," he said. "Chicago was first and foremost in my mind because it's centrally located in the United States and has a lot to offer. But having met with the people in Las Vegas and all the advantages we would have in Las Vegas from tax incentives and many more, I changed my mind. I would certainly vote for Las Vegas." While Forsythe said he is only speaking as one board member, he believes CART will land in Las Vegas. He also believes it to be imperative that a race track become part of the complex. "CART has to get into the area of owning racing venues to grow this organization," he said. He quickly added, however, that he wants to see CART stage a race on the 1.5-mile oval track at the speedway as soon as possible and if CART builds its own road course it would not impede a relationship with the speedway. 
CART Charities to help EMRA  terest in club racing, and has become one of the premier sanctioning bodies in the Northeast. EMRA events are held at tracks such as Nazareth Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Lime Rock Park, Watkins Glen International Speedway, and Summit Point Raceway. In 1974, EMRA received permission from the Vanderbilt family to revive the tradition of the Vanderbilt Cup as its trophy for winning the annual Vanderbilt Cup race at Bridgehampton Raceway on Long Island in New York. Previously, the Vanderbilt Cup was the prize for the most prestigious street races on Long Island between 1904 and 1937. With the closing of Bridgehampton Raceway, EMRA continues to uphold the annual Vanderbilt Cup tradition at several other race venues. EMRA has allowed CART to use the Vanderbilt Cup as its trophy for the FedEx Championship Series. More information about EMRA is available at
Franchitti and Tracy like their Honda's  Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti are excited to be heading back to Honda's home race. The TKG drivers are Honda connoisseurs, Franchitti's stable of cars includes a sporty S2000, a Honda Accord Type-R and an Acura RL; while Tracy has an Acura RL and custom modified Acura NSX. Paul didn't waste any time in adding a few bells and whistles to his NSX. Now with 430 hp @ 7800 rpm, the modifications make it the coolest NSX around. Here's the lowdown. 
  • Supercharger with a high-boost kit 
  • Carbon fiber air box and cover 
  • Stainless steel headers and muffler 
  • Adjustable sports suspension, shocks, sway bars 
  • Power Grip 2 clutch and flywheel 
  • Non-compliance beam toe link kit 
  • 4 wheel Brembo brake kit with Indy calipers 
  • Aluminum engine compartment brace & custom engine cover 
Race Odds  We thought you might find this link interesting.  It gives races odds on all the major racing series, and includes the Indy 500 next weekend.  They pick Tony Stewart to win with Vasser, Andretti and Ray tied for second.  Oddly, they don't rank polesitter Scott Sharp as high as we would have thought.
Japan starts sooner than you think  Here is schedule for Japan (EST).  Live timing on
Day 1 CART Practice 8:45 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Wed) 
Day 1 CART Practice 12:45 a.m. to  2:15 a.m. (Thurs)
Day 2 CART Practice  8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. (Thurs)
Day 2 CART Practice  9:30 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. (Thurs)
Day 2 CART Qualifying 12:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. (Fri)
Day 3 CART Warm Up 8:00 p.m. to  8:30 p.m. (Fri)
Day 3 CART Race 11:30 p.m. (Fri) (Tape delayed Saturday 1:00 PM on ABC)
CART could learn a lesson from NASCAR  While F1 and CART Champ car drivers may think it's below them to step down into a lower formula to race, in NASCAR that's not the case.  A story on our main page talks about Winston Cup drivers racing in this weekend's Busch race at Nazareth.  This is quite common in NASCAR.  These guys don't really have the time to run the Busch races because their Winston Cup schedule is so grueling.  However, they do it to help NASCAR make their Busch and Truck series, both support to Winston Cup, successful.  This is one of the prime reasons why CART finds its Lights and Atlantics series floundering.  With no big name drivers to promote from time to time, what do they have to sell to sponsors and TV?  Sure, a big name driver might win a race or two and steal some of the younger guys thunder, but what a great way to measure a young driver against the more experienced veterans.  Indy Lights and Atlantics could use at least one Champ car driver in every one of their races.  Perhaps if Indy Lights were run with IRL cars, the veterans would not feel it's such a step down to help out the support series.  Last time we checked, Busch cars were the same size as Cup cars, not some miniaturized version.  How long do we have to beat this dead horse before someone at CART listens?  See our 'Indy Lights to support IRL' rumor on our rumors page for more insight into how IRL cars with smaller IRL engines would give teams the opportunity to run the cars in Lights and the Indy 500.  Why are there so many different open wheel car sizes.  Stock cars are all the same size.  So many sizes drives up costs too.  One size fits all means manufacturers gain from economy of scale.  CART, Are you listening?  Mark Cipolloni
NASCAR names Pollack to new media position - The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, which in November opened a Los Angeles office with the focus being on broadcasting and new media, today announced that Jeffrey Pollack - the founder and first publisher of The Sports Business Daily - has joined the sanctioning body as managing director of new media. In his new role with NASCAR, Pollack will provide day-to-day management of NASCAR's new media business initiatives and business development for new technologies and interactive opportunities as well as Previously, Pollack was with the National Basketball Association, where he was responsible for helping devise and manage the NBA's global branding, marketing, and promotional strategies, and for directing the league's corporate communications. Before joining the NBA, Pollack founded The Sports Business Daily in 1994. Under his management, The Sports Business Daily -- the first daily trade publication for the sports industry - pioneered a new genre of sports journalism and became widely-recognized as a "must-read" for leading decision-makers in sports, entertainment, and television. "We are truly excited about Jeffrey joining the NASCAR team," said Paul Brooks, vice president of broadcasting for NASCAR. "His sports, media, emerging technology and new media experience will benefit our ongoing efforts within broadcasting and I am confident he will be a true asset for our entire industry, including the drivers, team and track operators. Jeffrey has a great track record and brings a wealth of business and strategic planning strengths to our group as we continue to manage, develop and grow NASCAR's new media and ancillary businesses." Pollack also served as vice president of new media publishing at Broadband Sports, where he directed all of the company's online publishing efforts and served as the executive in charge of SportsWritersDirect -- the nation's largest network of professional sports writers. Prior to starting The Sports Business Daily, Pollack was with Winner/Wagner & Associates, one of the nation's leading strategic communications and public affairs consulting firms. Pollack, 36, received a B.S. in Journalism, with Honors, from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1986, and an M.P.S. from The Graduate School of Political Management in 1988.
New stock car series in the works  - UPDATE This article on Speedvision gives more details about the new series. One striking difference - their cars won't be 1950's technology like NASCAR who still uses carburetors and no sophisticated electronics to record crash data.  Instead they will use fuel injection and black boxes, among other 21st Century technology. Earlier - A stock-car racing series that would compete with NASCAR is being planned.  The founders of the Team Racing Auto Circuit, or TRAC, said they plan to position the series alongside, not as a replacement, to NASCAR's Winston Cup. The new circuit hopes to attract a national television package and plans to race on at least some of the tracks at which the Winston Cup cars compete. Full story AP 
Rusty Wallace and Robin Pemberton interview  - Rusty Wallace, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Taurus, won the 1989 version of The Winston and is considered one of the favorites this year. Wallace, who is currently 62 points out of the lead and third in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings, along with crew chief Robin Pemberton, were this week's guests on the NASCAR Winston Cup teleconference. Interview 
Conseco sweetens Skip Barber Dodge Pro Series pot  - If it isn't enough that there is over $1 million dollars up for grabs to the drivers of the Barber Dodge Pro Series, in addition to the $300,000 allotted to the series champion, Conseco Risk Management has stepped up to offer another $20,000. The Barber Dodge Triple Crown Challenge offers to do just that. Should the same Barber Dodge driver win the Pro Series events at the Molson Indy Toronto, the Target Grand Prix of Chicago and the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey, that driver will earn an additional $20,000. .
IRL News from Indy  - "Keeping in touch" is not something done through e-mail in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. At Indy, it means staying in contention through the first 150 laps of the race, and that's what MBNA Pole winner Scott Sharp said will be imperative on Race Day, May 27. Leading up to that point, he added, is not a priority. But like any racer, he wants to be in front as much as possible.  For this and other news see Full story 
5/14/01 CART Stars of Tomorrow - Young Californians Headline Series Opener  It was green flag racing all the way for the opening round of the Stars of Tomorrow championship today at the Las Vegas Karting Center, in Las Vegas, Nev., with young Californians Scott Speed and Chris Carmody taking top positions on the podium in the MOMO Grand Prix. Speed claimed the pole for the 30-lap Pro 125 Shifter class in convincing fashion, and the 18-year-old from Manteca followed through on race day. When the green flag fell, the JM Racing/Swedetech driver never looked back, leading flag-to-flag in a dominant run that closed the door on the competition. Canyon County, Calif., driver Darren Elliott moved up a spot from his third-place qualifying effort to finish second, and local favorite Matt Jaskol, 17, of Paul Tracy Karting, claimed third. In the Rotax-Max 125 (non-shifter) class, 17-year-old Chris Carmody battled from a fourth-place starting position to clinch top honors. The Valencia native, who is out of the Pitts/SSC Racing stable, mounted an impressive charge to overtake polesitter and fellow Pitts/SSC driver Colin Fleming, who finished third, and Matt Jaskol, who finished second. Buddy Rice, the 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic champion, finished fifth. “The event was a complete success,” said Hollis Brown, co-founder of the Stars of Tomorrow Championship alongside Champ Car veteran driver Bryan Herta. “All of the races went green to the checkered flag with no yellows and very few disabled karts. This shows the high caliber of the drivers and teams that were here.” Herta, who was traveling to Japan today for the CART FedEx Championship Series race at Twin Ring Motegi next weekend – the Firestone Firehawk 500 – was happy with the post-race report: “I’m pleased to hear the event went well. When I was there on Friday and Saturday, it looked like we would be in for some great racing. I congratulate Scott and Chris on their performances.” The Stars of Tomorrow Championship awards points based on the CART scoring system, including a point for the pole position and for leading the most laps. The next round of the four-race series will be held July 6 – 8 at the US Shifter Nationals in Norman, Okla., at the Oklahoma Motorsports Complex. In addition to $40,000 in cash prizes, the first and second-place drivers in the Pro 125 Shifter and Rotax-Max classes at the conclusion of the championship will receive a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School and a test in the Team Rahal Champ Car. The winner of the Pro 125 Shifter class also will receive a full season of competition in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Series presented by Racer in 2002 – the Official National Amateur Championship of CART. Founded to identify and showcase the future stars of CART, the Stars of Tomorrow Championship helps to bridge the gap between karting and CART through the support of CART, Skip Barber, Inc., MOMO, Team Rahal, Firestone, Honda, Bosch and SSC Racing.
Armed Services Day is Bump day at Indy - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway's annual Armed Forces Day salute to the United States military is scheduled for May 20. The day is also Bump Day for Indianapolis 500 competitors - the final day of qualifying for the 85th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." It is a day of reckoning for drivers and teams who either have not qualified for the race or are perilously close to being "bumped" from the 33-car field for the 85th Indianapolis 500, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. (EST) May 27. Armed Forces Day ceremonies get underway at 11:16 a.m. near the start/finish line. This follows morning practice from 10-11:15 a.m. Ceremonies will include the playing of the national anthem, a fly-over by military jet fighter planes, a medley of music from the various U.S. military branches, a rappel demonstration and a parachute jump courtesy of the Army's Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division. U.S. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana will conduct an honorary swearing-in ceremony for inductees from all five branches of the U.S. military (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy). The public will have a rare opportunity to get an up-close look at military air and ground equipment. Various examples of military air equipment will be on display on a portion of the Speedway's infield road course located directly behind the Hall of Fame Museum. Ground equipment will be on display in the museum's east parking lot. All military service personnel wearing an official U.S. military uniform will be admitted to the Speedway grounds for free on Armed Forces Day. Personnel in uniform also are welcome to tour the Speedway's famous Gasoline Alley garage area, provided they sign a waiver at the gate. The complete schedule for Armed Forces Day/Bump Day: 
·8 a.m.: Public gates open 
·10-11:15 a.m.: Indianapolis 500 practice 
·11:16 a.m.: Armed Forces Day Ceremonies 
·Noon-6 p.m.: Indianapolis 500 Bump Day Qualifications 
·6 p.m.: Track closed for the day
Lowes Motor Speedway to Debut Safety System - H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, and representatives of Lew Composites are planning to unveil a new safety concept Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The new safety concept, which can be adapted to virtually any type of full-bodied racing car, is designed to absorb energy during a frontal impact, thus reducing the G forces a driver sustains. Lew Composites have been heavily involved with the design and manufacturing process of graphite fiber based products.

CART influence runs deep in Indy grid - Examining the grid for this years Indy 500, we take a look at which drivers come from the CART series (Champ cars or Support series), past or present. Listed by order of qualifying speed.  Over 80% are from CART!
1 Sharp - Past
2 Ray - Past (Atlantics/Lights)
3 Gordon - Past
4 Dismore - Past
5 De Ferran - Present
6 Luyendyk - Past
7 Stewart - Never
8 Ward - Past (Lights)
9 Buhl - Past
10 Junqueira - Present
11 Lazier, B - Past
12 Castroneves - Present
13 Vasser - Present
14 Andretti - Present
15 Hornish - Past (Atlantics)
16 Minassian - Present
17 Schroeder - Past (Atlantics)
18 Mc Gehee - Never
19 Fisher - Never
20 Goodyear - Past
21 Calkins - Past (Lights)
22 Cheever - Past
23 Lazier, J - Past (Lights)
24 Herb - Never
25 Hamilton - Past (Lights)
26 Unser - Past
27 Giaffone - Present (Lights)
28 Hattori - Past
29 André - Past (Lights)
30 Daré - Past (Lights)
31 Carlson - Never
32 Guerrero - Past
33 Open 
Funny bloopers from Indy this weekend  
1. After Eliseo Salazar's engine blow-up coming out of turn four yesterday, the camera was on AJ Foyt when all of a sudden we hear him say, "Mother f_____!" On international TV, no less! 
2. Then, on Saturday, there was Jack Arute calling Greg Ray the Tiger Woods of auto racing.  Tiger Woods of auto racing, can you imagine that.  First off, Greg does not appear to be a black man to us.  Second, if there is a Tiger Woods of auto racing, we think the clear favorite is Michael Schumacher, the only person to out-gross Tiger last year. 
Barrichello not happy he was ordered to let Schumacher past  Transcripts of the pit-car radio transmissions between Ferrari and their drivers reveal that Rubens Barrichello was asked to move over to teammate Michael Schumacher three laps before the race ended. However, Barrichello initially ignored the request. Reports in the Brazilian press state that Ferrari's sporting director, Jean Todt, went on the radio with Barrichello on lap 69, three laps to the end, saying: "Rubens, please let him pass." At the same time, the team's technical director, Ross Brawn, told Michael Schumacher on the radio, "OK, Michael, we had already told Rubens to move". Barrichello ignored the request and continued driving in second. A lap later, driving by the pitlane, Todt is heard yet again order Barrichello to move over for Schumacher, this time in a high pitched voice. Todt is heard repeating the order, "let him pass, let him pass", several times, in greater intensity. Asked after the race whether him letting Schumacher pass only on the very last corner was a form of protest against the team's orders, Barrichello replied: "Perhaps, yes." 
AJ Foyt not too happy  We wonder what AJ Foyt thinks about CART's engine lease plan now.  His driver, Eliseo Salazar blew two engines in two days at Indy, the first one wiping out the car too.  Today with a good qualifying run going, Salazar popped another engine just two corners from the finish.  This time he was able to keep the car off the wall.  Yesterdays blow up was so bad it nearly cut the engine in half.  Today's didn't look much better, with oil spewing out the engine like a fire hose.  With the CART teams upping the ante at Indy, many of the teams are asking their engine builders to get them more HP.  The result has been a rash of blown engines this week.  As always - the cost of racing is driven by competition.  For some teams, the month at Indy has broken their bank account, and there is still two weeks to go.
Anthony Edwards helping Memo Gidley

"Helping the Team:" Anthony Edwards, star of NBC's prime-time series "ER" and 
longtime spokesman for the Cure Autism Now Foundation, spent the early 
morning hours of Saturday, May 12th in the Team CAN Garage applying decals to 
Memo Gidley's #61 car, in preparation for Pole Day.   Photo Credit: Earl Ma

Montoya playing with Schumacher's head  Juan Montoya has openly stated that he would respect Ayrton Senna if he were still alive, but he feels Michael Schumacher is a bit overrated.  In Brazil he pushed his way past Schumacher and in Austria today they came together again.  Montoya may be a rookie, but his actions and his words are quite clear - he's here to become the new superstar of F1.  Montoya shrugs off Schumacher's comments as whining.  The man is calm, cool and collected.  He made his presence known when he came into CART, and he's doing the same thing in F1.  He came together with Andretti in Japan early in his first season, and he's doing the same thing with Schumacher.  He goes after the king in every series and intimidates them right away.  Earnhardt was known as the Intimidator in NASCAR.  Montoya is open wheels version of the Intimidator.
Schumacher mad at Montoya UPDATE McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz has defended Montoya’s controversial move on Schumacher. While Schumacher says Montoya’s move was "silly", the Colombian put it down as a racing incident. But the former Benetton racer, who was working for ITV television, said: " For Michael to say Montoya would not have made it is a bit strange because he would not have made the corner either."   5/13/01 -  Michael Schumacher was steaming mad at the way in which his hopes of winning the Austrian Grand Prix were ended by Juan Montoya. Speaking at the post-race press conference, the German blamed Montoya for causing an avoidable accident, when the Williams driver attempted to out brake the Ferrari in order to order to hand onto his lead with quickly deteriorating tires.  Montoya had been in front of the race since the start, but was being rapidly caught by the next five cars when the incident occurred. As Schumacher, who had made a couple of previous attempts to get by, pushed the nose of his Ferrari around the outside into turn two, Montoya left his braking incredibly late, but locked up and slid towards the German.  Although little contact, if any, was made, the incident was enough to delay both drivers, relegating Schumacher to sixth and Montoya to seventh. The Colombian eventually retired when his hydraulics failed, but the delay was enough to prevent Schumacher from challenging David Coulthard for the win.  "I was a little bit upset, obviously, because there was no way he could make that corner and all he was trying to do was take me with him out of the circuit," Schumacher said, "He was lost anyway. To do something to me then, I thought, wasn't really what he should have done, because I had to go into the grass, I couldn't turn in, I nearly hit him, so it wasn't ideal, but that's the way it has gone and, be sure, I will have a word with him.  "That meant that I was in sixth or seventh position and I had to work my way through the traffic, which wasn't easy. The Michelin drivers had problems with their tires and, sooner or later, I would have passed Juan Pablo, but the other guys were on Bridgestone's and that was much more difficult. I had to wait until they did a few mistakes and then I took my chance with Panis and to Raikkonen, who behaved very accurately, and that allowed me to come back into the race and pick up the two guys in front."  Montoya was also criticized by Ferrari race director Ross Brawn, who claimed the Colombian had 'screwed Michael's race'.
Di Leo wins round 4  Second year driver Dan Di Leo recorded his first win in Skip Barber Race Series competition with a victory in Round 4 of the Formula Dodge National Championship at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Di Leo took advantage of a rare miscue by Scott Presti to assume the point on lap 16 en route to the checkered flag. For Di Leo, who started from third, the win marks the Canadian's second trip to the podium in series play. Presti, who finished in tenth, led 16 of 18 laps and appeared to be the lock before a wide sweep in traffic caused him to lose positions. Dan Kraus earns a hard fought second place result ahead of Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner A.J. Allmendinger, who finished third for the second time in two days. Today's race action was remarkably close as over half the field was tripping within one second of the fastest lap time of 1:40.527 sec, set by Warwick, New York's Dan Kraus. Kraus had his best showing ever in National Championship competition, advancing from 11th at the start to take the second place bounty. A.J. Allmendinger continues to shine, as he earns his third podium in his first four car races. The Californian karting champion is now the early season points leader. "I'm really pleased with how things have gone," said Allmendinger. "The series is all about consistency and I'm really happy to be where I am. I'm learning more every round and it's paying off." For Di Leo, the win couldn't come at a better time. "I guess I could say that this win is overdue, but I'm just happy to have gotten it," said a pleased and relieved Di Leo. "It was a hard fought race. I tailed Presti for most of it and when he left an opening late, I knew I had to take it. The win definitely helps my confidence going onto Grattan." For Julio Campos, who started sixth, today was a lesson in hard luck. The Brazilian crashed into the wall on lap 6, bringing about a full course yellow for two laps as the field ran under the safety car. At the restart, Presti re-established the lead followed by Di Leo, Kraus and Allmendinger in extremely tight formation. The quartet would engage in nose-to-tail action for the majority of the race. Early on, Juan Manuel Polar went off track on the first lap in the Carousel causing him to drop back to 16th. The wily Peruvian rebounded smartly, picking his way back to fourth place with an amazing drive through the field. Barber-CART Karting Scholarship winner Tommy Contino also drove a strong race. Though he started in fourth and would finish sixth, Contino was running consistently swift lap times. Californian Landon Yee, who started way back in 18th, also cherry-picked positions, advancing to fifth before scaling back to an eighth place result. The Formula Dodge National Championship resumes for Rounds 5 and 6 at Grattan Raceway on June 29 - July 1.
Good chance Andretti might get bumped from Indy field  4th UPDATE Team Motorola withdrew Michael Andretti's primary car after an overheating engine caused him to qualify poorly on the first day and Michael Andretti put his backup car in the race at almost 3 mph faster, this time comfortably in the field at 223.441 MPH.  5/13/01 - Andretti revealed today that his engine was overheating and losing power on his last two laps.  He said his dash was lit up like a Christmas tree with all the warning lights.  Contrary to the teams initial press release yesterday saying they were happy to be in the field easily, it now looks like the team agrees with our observation from yesterday, as Andretti will likely attempt to requalify in his backup car this afternoon. 5/13/01 - Looking at practice speeds so far today, there are nine drivers already faster than what Andretti qualified at.  The possibility exists Andretti will not be bumped on Bump Day next Sunday, but he may be bumped before today is over.  Surprisingly, the team was not out this morning shaking down the backup car.  Gil de Ferran was out this morning on full tanks and race day setup and his speed was about what Andretti qualified at.  His teammate, Castroneves was not far behind.  We would be very surprised to not see the Panther Team withdraw Andretti's car today and try to requalify the backup car before going to Japan.  5/12/01 - Andretti may be talking to Ganassi to run one of his cars - see rumors page.  Earlier - His face says it all (right).  Michael Andretti has struggled all week trying to get his IRL car up to speed at Indy.  His 220.7 MPH qualifying speed is the third slowest in the field so far and has been easily eclipsed by much lesser teams.  With Ganassi giving a Junqueira and Minassian a good shot at qualifying tomorrow and taking two more spots, and with other faster teams possibly putting their backup cars in the field as well, the number of cars that can qualify above Andretti's speed is significant.  With two full days and another whole week for teams to find more speed, it looks like Andretti may very well have to fly overnight from Japan next weekend after the CART race (if it does not rain out on Saturday again) to make it to Indy in time for next Sunday, Bump Day.  Andretti's teammate Sam Hornish is comfortably in the field at over 223 MPH, so Andretti's lack of speed has the team baffled, and their lack of much pre-season testing is haunting them.  If Andretti can't find more speed next Sunday, the real possibility exists he'll watch the Indy 500 on TV.  It's going to be a long week for Andretti.  If he does squeak into the race, he feels he has a good race day setup, but with no track time next week (he's off to Japan for the CART race), he may find what he thinks is a good race day setup, actually may not be as good as he thinks, meaning the fast guys will put him a lap down quickly on race day.  Andretti has been turning into the corners much sooner (one of his trademarks) than the fast guys all week, and it appears that with these cars, that is not the fast way around the race track.  With IRL cars, momentum is everything, and Andretti's early turn-in may be scrubbing off too much speed in the turns.  How bad was Andretti's qualifying run?  Shigeaki Hattori easily outpaced him.
Americans in Europe  American Derek Hill finished 13th in the F3000 race at Austria on Saturday. While 13th is not that impressive, Consider this: He started dead last on the grid and moved up all race, maybe his best performance yet. 
Ilmor engines blister Indy  Paul Morgan died (see report below) before he could see his engines conquer Indy.  It is Ilmor's first year in the IRL and already Scott Sharp stormed to a stout pole run of 226 MPH and his teammate Mark Dismore was not far behind, nor were the Penske teammates....all with Ilmor powerplants.  The Penske team is running 220 MPH full tanks laps simulating race conditions this morning.  That has to have the other teams worried.
5/13/01 CART Stars of Tomorrow Championship starts  UPDATE Close competition and a deep talent pool underscored qualifying for the opening round of the Stars of Tomorrow Championship at the Las Vegas Karting Center, in Las Vegas, Nev., today, as the grid was set for the third annual MOMO Grand Prix. Scott Speed’s impressive drive in the Pro 125 Shifter class earned the 18-year-old native of Manteca, Calif., the pole for Sunday’s 30-lap challenge. Driving for the JM Racing/Swedetech team, Speed edged out 17-year-old local Matt Jaskol, of the Paul Tracy Karting stable, and Darren Elliott of Canyon County, Calif.  The Rotax-Max 125 (non-shifter) class was lead by 17-year-old Colin Fleming, of North Hills, Calif. Separated by 0.048 seconds, the Pitts/SSC Racing driver squeezed past Jaskol – who will compete in both events – to claim pole for the 30-lap race. Rounding out the top three was 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic champion Buddy Rice. The Phoenix native mounted a strong challenge to claim the third starting position, just 0.092 seconds behind Jaskol.  Drivers in the Stars of Tomorrow four-race championship founded by Champ Car veteran driver Bryan Herta and partner Hollis Brown, are vying for an unprecedented prize package which includes a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School; a test in the Team Rahal Champ Car; a full season of competition in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship for the Pro 125 Shifter class winner; and $40,000 in cash prizes.  Joe Heitzler, CART President and CEO, was on hand to witness the close competition in person. “I really appreciate Joe coming out to see the event and take a first-hand look at karting,” said Herta. “This shows CART’s commitment to growing karting as a ladder system to Champ Cars. I am confident that CART is going to take a more visible role in the feeder systems into the series.”  The one-hour Speedvision feature on the inaugural Stars of Tomorrow challenge which aired this weekend can also be seen at 3:00 pm ET on May 14 and 1:00 pm ET on May 28.  5/11/01 - The Championship Auto Racing Teams Stars of Tomorrow, a premier karting challenge founded last season by veteran Champ Car driver Bryan Herta and partner Hollis Brown to identify and showcase future stars of CART, begins its four-race series this weekend at the Las Vegas Karting Center in Las Vegas, Nev., with the third annual MOMO Grand Prix.  Young karters from across the country will converge on the 13-turn, 7/8-mile road course to compete in Round One of the newly-formed championship, which features top young drivers from the ages of 16 and up competing in two classes - Pro 125 Shifter and Rotax-Max 125 (non-shifter).  "As a one-off event last year, Stars of Tomorrow more than exceeded Hollis' and my expectations," said Herta, who began his career in karts. "We are proud to see the series take the next step to become a four-race championship, and we hope that it will continue to grow in prestige and notoriety."  Through the support of CART, Skip Barber, Inc., MOMO, Team Rahal, Firestone, Honda, Bosch and SSC Racing, the Stars of Tomorrow program once again offers an unprecedented prize package.  In addition to $40,000 in cash prizes, the first and second-place drivers in the Pro 125 Shifter and Rotax-Max classes at the conclusion of the championship will receive a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School and a test in the Team Rahal Champ Car. The winner of the Pro 125 Shifter class also will receive a full season of competition in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Series presented by Racer in 2002 - the Official National Amateur Championship of CART.  Rounds Two through Four of the Stars of Tomorrow Championship will be held as part of the US Shifter Nationals in Norman, Okla., on July 6-8; the SKUSA World Finals again in Norman, Okla., on September 21-23; and the SKUSA Super Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev., on November 9-11.  In furthering to help bridge the gap between karting and CART, the Las Vegas Karting Center will be coordinating support races to be held during the CART FedEx Championship Series events at Portland, Ore. (June 22 - 24), Cleveland, Ohio (June 29 - July 1), and Laguna Seca, Calif. (October 12 - 14).  "I want to thank CART for giving us an opportunity to expose karting to the public," said Herta. "I think everyone is really going to enjoy seeing just how high-performance these machines really are."  Last year, five karters - Kevin Christensen, Jason Bowles, Jonathan Bomarito, AJ Allmendinger and Brett Buckwalter - edged out stiff competition to earn the Stars of Tomorrow title. The quintet capped off a three-day visit to the Skip Barber Racing School with the opportunity of a lifetime - a test in the Team Rahal Champ Car on the California Speedway road course in Fontana, Calif., last November.  "This is one of the biggest events I have been involved with," said 20-year-old Star of Tomorrow  Kevin Christensen. The 2000 Stars of Tomorrow challenge can be seen on Speedvision beginning this weekend. The one-hour feature will air on May 12 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET, as well as 3:00 pm ET on May 14 and 1:00 pm ET on May 28.
Ilmor's Paul Morgan dies in plane crash  2nd UPDATE According to reports Paul Morgan  was killed yesterday afternoon when the vintage plane he was piloting crashed on landing at the Sywell Airport just north of London.   Police reports confirmed that Morgan, in his forties and the managing director of Ilmor Engineering, was flying a World War two propeller driven Naval Fury plane that flipped on landing trapping him inside. He was certified as dead on the scene by a police surgeon. 5/12/01 - Roger Penske said, "All of us at Penske Racing are deeply saddened by the loss of Paul. He and Mario were the driving force at Ilmor, and Paul will be greatly missed by all of his colleagues and friends. I greatly respected Paul as an astute businessman, who became a close personal friend. My wife Kathryn and I extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Liz and children Lucy and Patrick." Earlier - Paul Morgan, co-founder of Ilmor Engineering which builds the Mercedes F1 engine for McLaren, has died in a plane crash today.  He was piloting the plane when it crashed on landing.  Morgan, 52, is thought to have died in an accident in England but the team was unable to release any further details.  A McLaren statement read: "All members of the team were deeply shocked to learn of the tragic death of Paul. Whilst the team are unaware of any of the specific details of the flying accident in which Paul lost his life, it is clear that everyone’s first thoughts are with Paul’s friends and family.  "Paul’s friendship and contribution to our program will be greatly missed by everybody in the team." Morgan joined Cosworth straight from university where he worked on the Cosworth DFX engine which dominated Indy Racing in the United States, and also met Mario Illien, with whom he later founded Ilmor. To Paul’s widow Liz, and his two children, and its readers offers its sincere condolences.
New NASCAR, Busch Grand National Team, Launched on the internet, becomes a Success. On January16th, 2001, after months of preparation and testing, a father and son team launched Big Fan Racing, and, on the internet. Mark and Josh Watkins of Easley, SC, had decided in 2000 to try and develop a NASCAR Busch Grand National team, from the ground up, by reaching the millions of racing fans on the internet, and asking them to help sponsor the team with their funds, while also allowing the fans who did contribute to the team, a chance for interaction with the team. For the first few days after launching, a few interested fans joined the team. Gradually, over the next week, more and more fans joined. Several weeks into the team's start-up it became apparent that there were many fans interested in becoming a part of Big Fan Racing. The weeks that have followed have become even more successful than Mark and Josh could have ever imagined. Only three weeks after launch of the team, enough funds were available to purchase the team's first car, a 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and then things really began to take off. Even without any major advertising effort, fans continued to join daily. After 12 weeks, Big Fan Racing had hundreds of members in 47 states and Canada. During the first 12 weeks a number of relationships were formed, making Big Fan Racing not only more stable, but also lending a lot of credibility to the team. The first major step was taken when a deal was made between Big Fan Racing, and Mardy Lindley,who will become the team's first driver. Mardy is the son of the late NASCAR legend, Butch Lindley, a two time Grand National Champion, who many NASCAR insiders consider to be the greatest Grand National driver ever. The affiliation with Mardy Lindley and his current USAR Pro Cup team also led to a relationship with Former NFL great and Heisman Trophy winner, Herschel Walker, who has now taken an active role in helping develop Big Fan Racing. Herschel and His Aloe Lu-Ya racing team have combined with Big Fan Racing in a joint effort to develop the team and give Mardy a chance to run the Busch series. An alliance was also established with George Mappin and Bob Drinkard, Owners of Mappin-Drinkard Motorsports, who own the cars currently being driven by Mardy in the Pro Cup series. These affiliations have made Big Fan Racing stronger in the area of finding sponsorship for the team. Fans, however, are, and always will be the main focus of developing and funding the team's growth. Fans can join the team's effort by becoming a member of Big Fan Racing's Fan Associate Sponsor Team, or F.A.S.T., For only $50.00 per year. The team is relying on the volume of fans who join to carry the effort, and volume so far has not been a problem, since fans continue to join daily. A fan joining F.A.S.T receives a team t-shirt, and membership card allowing access to special hospitality areas at races the team competes in. One of the most popular reasons, however, for joining is the fact that the team is giving away thousands of dollars worth of memorabilia and prizes to its members. This includes many items from the team as well as items from other NASCAR teams. The team is also giving away race tickets, weekends with the team, and many other items that fans only dream about. The team's first scheduled race is later this year at Indianapolis Raceway Park, in the Kroger 200. The first race is being sponsored by Herschel Walker and Aloe Lu-Ya sports beverage. Associate sponsorships are also available and information is available by contacting the team. For more information about Big Fan Racing, go to You may also write them at Big Fan Racing, 203 Lida Falls Rd., Easley, SC 29640, or contact them via email at 
Memo Gidley still searching for speed  American driver Memo Gidley continued to work on a qualifying setup today, running a fast lap of 218.402 miles per hour in the morning practice. Gidley has not yet made a qualifying attempt. Gidley and the Brayton Racing team will evaluate the #61 Cure Autism Now car in the Sunday morning practice session before making a decision as to whether they are ready to make a qualifying attempt this weekend.  Cure Autism Now spokesman Anthony Edwards joined in the team effort last evening immediately upon his arrival in Indianapolis. Edwards, star of the hit NBC prime-time series "ER," arrived at the airport after midnight and went directly to the Brayton garage. Edwards helped the team apply new decals to the #61 car from 1:00 am to 3:00 am before heading to his hotel. Memo Gidley: This morning the car felt the best it had all week. We made one change to the setup for out second run, and it got a bit better. Right now were going to be fighting for positions to get in the show. I think we'll run it tomorrow morning, and if it feels OK then we will make a qualifying attempt. It has been great having Anthony Edwards with us today. He is always really positive and has a calming effect on people. Anthony Edwards (star of NBC's hit prime-time show "ER") Slow and steady is going to get us into this race. We're going to keep at it until we're ready to go qualifying. The people I deal with at the CAN Foundation experience frustration every single day, and only through focus and team effort do things get accomplished. This race team first turned a wheel on Tuesday, so we're going 218 mph faster than we were on Tuesday morning. Last year was my first time at the Speedway, so it was amazing and a bit overwhelming. My experience this year reinforces just how friendly this place is. A lot of other teams are coming up to us and saying how glad they are that Team CAN is back at the Indy 500. They know it's a great idea to mix auto racing with a good cause. We're giving a voice to kids who can't speak, and autistic kids love things that go around in circles really fast. (Photo Credit: Greg Spotts)
Rockingham construction update  

Panoramic view from the main grandstand.  Note, the kinks you see in the front 
straight are not really there.  It's the seams where the pictures were merged together

Fourth turn looking toward pit lane.  All photos courtesy of Rockingham Speedway

Servia scopes out Indy scene  Seen frequently in Sarah Fisher's pits and garage throughout the afternoon, sporting a new IRL hard card, was......Oriol Servia. Do you suppose he wants Derrick to activate that second car?
CART to replace two board members  CART will be replacing two of its board members, Bobby Rahal and Bruce McCaw.  Rahal because of his F1 commitments and McCaw because he cites family commitments.
TV Ratings for last week

• NASCAR Cup Richmond (FX, 5/5) 4.03 rating / 2.623m households
• CART (ABC, 5/6) 1.1 rating / 3 share / 1.124m hh
• NASCAR Busch Richmond (FX, 5/4) 1.17 rating / 0.762m hh
• NHRA Finals Atlanta (espn2, 5/6) 0.70 rating / 1 share / 0.536m hh
• NASCAR Cup Qualifying (FX, 5/4) 0.65 rating / 0.423m hh
• NASCAR Cup Happy Hour (FX, 5/4) 0.57 rating / 0.369m hh
• NHRA Qual. Atlanta (espn2, 5/5) 0.39 rating / 1 share / 0.303m hh
• NASCAR Trucks Gateway (ESPN, 5/7*) 0.30 rating / 1 share / 0.248mhh
• CART Qualifying Nazareth (espn2, 5/6*) 0.10 rating / 0 share / 0.078m hh Speedvision

Gidley shares car with Knapp  American driver Memo Gidley loaned his racecar to  Brayton Racing teammate Steve Knapp today, in an effort to give Knapp some  initial seat-time and obtain a second-opinion on the setup of the #61  Cure-Autism-Now Oldsmobile G-Force Firestone.  Knapp spent the day on a series of practice runs, completing 67 laps and  comparing notes with Gidley during each visit to the pits. Knapp's best lap  time of the day was 41.26 seconds, a three-tenth of a second improvement on  Gidley's best lap from Thursday. Upon analyzing both driver's throttle  tracings, the team has determined that the carbon-fiber gas pedal has been  flexing in the turns, causing a "lifting" effect even when the pedal is fully  depressed.  Steve Knapp: "I'm not going a whole lot faster than Memo was going," remarked  Knapp after his first track day of the month. "I've got the car good and  balanced and trimmed out and safe, but this throttle pedal situation is  definitely costing us some speed."  Gidley agreed with Knapp's assessment. "The team made some steady progress  today, but we're still quite a ways off. We're not really in the ballpark  right now."  According to Gidley, the decision to loan his car to Knapp for the day played  out in a constructive and mutually beneficial manner. "We helped each other  today. Steve's car is not ready yet, so it seemed like a good idea to give  him an opportunity to run some laps. He's been around Indy quite a bit, so  it killed two birds with one stone to get him out there and see if he could  make the car a little bit better. Steve is a very smart driver, you can  learn from working with him."  "I have a lot of respect for Gidley," said Knapp after his final run of the  day. "I raced with Memo a little bit in Atlantics in 1997. The race that  sticks out in my mind was the Vancouver street race, when he won and I  finished second. I really really enjoyed that race, because I was giving it  everything I had to stay with him. We're both going to get in this event  solid and have a great race."  Associate sponsor Marsh Supermarkets is building on the teamwork showed by  Gidley and Knapp with s special monthlong promotion called "Teaming Up For A  Cure." Shoppers at seventy-two Marsh supermarkets are being given the  opportunity to donate $1 to autism research during the checkout process, and  the contributions have accelerated to a rate of approximately $1300 per day.  The store expects to break the $10,000 mark by the end of the weekend, and  will continue the promotion through the end of May.
5/11/01 Andretti to make record breaking 274th Champ Car start  If all goes well, next Saturday will mark a historic milestone for Champ Car veteran Michael Andretti as he makes his 274th start. This feat will move Andretti to the top of the list as the record holder for most starts of an active Champ Car driver in the CART FedEx Championship Series. “Of course it’s an honor but it reminds me that I’ve been doing this for a long time!” said Andretti. “From the standpoint that I’ve been healthy during the majority of my career it’s great to lead this category, on the other hand it makes me realize how long I’ve been racing!”  Andretti is showing no signs of slowing down as he returns to Twin Ring Motegi to defend his 2000 victory on the 1.5-mile oval. Driving for the first year Team Motorola entry that is powered by Honda, a win in Japan is more important than ever. Andretti explained the importance of a repeat performance at Motegi. “I’m hoping that we have the same result this year because a victory at Motegi would be twice as big now that I’m driving a Honda powered entry.”  Andretti and Team Motorola have come from a sixth place finish in Nazareth, Pennsylvania and are holding solid in the top ten in championship points, tied for eighth place. “We’re hoping to duplicate Michael’s result from last year,” said Tony Cotman, team manager. “It’s been a very busy couple of weeks for Team Motorola but we can’t lose sight of our focus which is the CART FedEx Championship. We’re looking for a strong showing in Motegi and it would be nice to bring Honda their first victory there and build momentum for Team Motorola.” Page 2/Team Motorola Japan This year will be the fourth year that CART races at Twin Ring Motegi and Andretti is looking forward to returning. “I like Motegi, it’s very unique,” Andretti said. “I think it’s a good race track and it’s fun to drive.” In the past three visits to Motegi, Andretti has scored a victory (2000), fifth (1999) and 14th (1998). Team Motorola and Andretti begin practice on Thursday, May 17 at 9:45 a.m. The Firestone Firehawk 500 will be shown on ABC on Saturday, May 18 beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST. 
5/11/01 Fans Can help decide who wins The Winston  WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - For the first time in the history of The Winston, fans from around the world will be an integral part of NASCAR's all-star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 19. Through, NASCAR Winston Cup Series fans will determine through an online poll the number of positions, between six and 12, which will be inverted following the first 30-lap segment. The Pick the Pack poll can be accessed at the home page and will be available Tuesday, May 15 through Friday, May 18. The decision of the fans participating in the Pick the Pack poll on will be revealed following the first 30-lap segment. The Winston field will be inverted accordingly for the second 30-lap segment. The final segment is a 10-lap shootout. "That makes perfect sense to me," 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte said. "The Winston is all about the fans. This is their race, so I think it's only fitting that they get to decide how many positions we invert. I think it's a great idea."
5/11/01 F1 eyes Moscow  Formula One hopes to hold a Grand Prix race in Moscow after a proposed track is completed in about two years. It would be the first time the racing circuit has come to Russia.  ``We're very, very happy with the venue,'' Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone said Friday. ``I'm quite sure that a really super Formula One circuit can be constructed.''  The project comes at a time when the Russian economy is ailing. Ecclestone said he did not know how much it would cost to build the track but said investors would raise the money.  A joint stock company has been set up to finance and manage construction. About $100 million will be invested in the first stage of the project, the Interfax news agency reported.  The proposed site is on the outskirts of Moscow. As soon as the circuit is ready, Ecclestone said, ``we'll be here.'' He said at a news conference that eight venues are seeking Formula One rights, ``but I believe that this is where the next event should be.''  He said no more races would be added to the 17-race Grand Prix season, but gave no indication which race might be replaced by a Moscow event.  Tom Walkinshaw, head of the TWR company that will build the track, said the project should be completed within two years. Grigory Antyufeyev, chairman of Moscow's tourism committee, said Formula One races would draw hundreds of thousands of tourists to the Russian capital. AP
5/10/01 Help Wanted  TRD is looking for a recent CS graduate with strong TCP/IP network background. In this position you will be required to travel 175-200 days a year to races all over the world, to track tests and to the TRD supported team facilities. The position will involve supporting a very complex wireless network and the IT needs of 20-30 engineers.  See our Classified Ad page
New flag stand at Indy  A new flag stand at the start-finish line of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will improve sight lines for fans sitting across from pit road at the three largest motorsports events in the world. The new stand, designed by the Speedway's Engineering Department and constructed by Jack K. Elrod Construction of Indianapolis, has a smaller base and uses less space than the old stand. "The flag stand is one of the more notable structures at the Speedway being that it is right at the start-finish line, and it draws a lot of attention at the beginning of the race and at the finish," said Kevin Forbes, director of engineering and construction for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We didn't feel that the old stand reflected the direction the Speedway was going with reestablishing the values in upgrading our facilities." The old stand, which had been used by flagmen such as Pat Vidan, Duane Sweeney, Doyle Ford and current Indy Racing League starter Bryan Howard, was constructed in 1974 and had been modified several times since. The new stand, unlike any other flag stand in the world, weighs approximately 10,000 pounds and is made of heavy structural galvanized steel shapes used in buildings, aluminum flooring and galvanized steel cables. The height of the starter's platform is 20 feet, 6 inches, and the total height of the stand is 30 feet. The new structure took three weeks to fabricate and one day to erect. "We had no preconceived notions," Forbes said. "We tried to think out of the box a little bit, and we thought Indy ought to have something unique. We tried to blend the architectural style of the Pagoda with the grace of a cable-stayed bridge. "The benefit of all of this is that we minimized structures, and this improves the view for the fans." Even at 220 mph, Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers notice the new stand. "It looks very modern," said Buddy Lazier, defending Northern Light Series champion and 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner. "I think it goes well with the pagoda. I wouldn't mind standing up on the deck."

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