Hot News

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DATE News (chronologically 6/18/01 to 6/26/01)
6/26/01

Zandvoort is another F1 circuit CART can consider A reader writes - "They hold a F3 and sports car races at Zandvoort every year that gets over 80,000 people (yes, you read that right)".  So perhaps if CART comes they will get 100,000 people.   6/25/01 Bernie Ecclestone will be visiting the refurbished Zandvoort GP circuit in Holland prior to this years Belgian GP at Spa to see if the circuit could stage a F1 race again.  Zandvoort last staged an F1 race back in 1985, but the Zandvoort owners are reportedly confident that they have carried out all the changes requested by the FIA, and have asked for local government support in raising the funds needed to host another GP. FIA President Max Mosley was also said to be impressed by changes to the Dutch circuit, and it is now up to Ecclestone to decide whether the Dutch GP will return at any point in the near future.  The track has been lengthened from the old 2.900 km 'under a minute lap' to a modern 4.250 km circuit. This is the reason the FIA have granted a T1 license, this means Formula One teams are allowed to use the track for testing.  With the F1 schedule being fairly full, we would be surprised if the track gets a F1 date.  With that said, now that they have spent all the money to fix the track up, perhaps CART can bring their circus to town instead. [Track image courtesy of Zandvoort Park Circuit]
6/26/01
One Lap For Kids charity Elf Race Fuel, the official fuel supplier of the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) FedEx Championship Racing Series, through their "One Lap For Kids" charity, is donating a "Kid Racer" -- a child's electric open wheel racecar, to the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital. Representatives from Elf Race Fuel and CART driver Max Wilson along with Trans-AM driver Brian Simo will present the "Kid Racer" to the hospital, visit with patients, and sign autographs. 
WHEN: Thursday, June 28, 2001 2:30pm 
WHERE: Cleveland Clinic Children's `Hospital 3rd Floor Playroom - M33 Cleveland, Ohio 
WHY: The donation and visit are part of events surrounding the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Driver Max Wilson will compete in the CART race at Burke Lakefront Airport on July 1, 2001. Wilson is driving the Ford-powered number 25 WinnerB2B Lola for Arciero-Blair Racing. Brian Simo will compete in the Trans-Am Series race on June 30 and is driving the Tommy Bahama Mangusta Ford for Tom Gloy Racing. 
CONTACT: Elf Race Fuel/Competition Fuel, Inc. 
Vice President of Special Events 
Gary Milstein Phone 440-349-4494 Cell 216-470-9001 
Arciero-Blair Racing 
Robbin Herring Cell 775-846-1392 
Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital 
Gary Kitaoka Phone 216-4446854
6/26/01
Traction Control!  What Traction Control?  If the Champ Car engine manufacturers are cheating the rules and have implemented Traction Control as rumored, you would never know it by the results of Sunday's wet race at Portland.  The drivers were having a hard time getting the 900 HP down onto the track leading one to conclude, if they do have Traction Control, it's not very good.  So the rules do work to some extent.  It's been said in F1 that a driver can use full throttle exiting a turn and not get wheel spin.  That folks, is Traction Control.  Mark Cipolloni
6/25/01
Dropping of Michigan hopefully means Watkins Glen will happen  How can anyone forget all the great races that CART put on at Michigan -- Mario Andretti/Tom Sneva, Scott Pruett/Al Unser Jr., Michael Andretti/Juan Montoya, the list is long and the memories forever etched in our minds. Last years Michigan 500 battle between Andretti and Montoya was the greatest open wheel race of all time. What more could CART do?  Not much.   It appears, based on attendance that open wheel oval track racing is standing on its last leg, and while it's easy to point fingers of blame at CART or the IRL, the real culprit is the meteoric rise of NASCAR.  They have, as they say, sucked the well dry.  Race fans can't afford to buy tickets for NASCAR races (38 per year) and still afford open wheel racing on the ovals.  When CART and ISC management look up and see the grandstands nearly empty, the only logical conclusion is that the well won't support a third healthy race in that geographic area.  Sure the IRL will come in with a lower sanctioning fee and try to have a go of it, but just like other times where they followed CART into a lackluster market, there's a good chance they too will eventually strike out.  However, we believe (our words) ISC has told CART with the number of fans we get here at MIS, we can only afford the lower IRL fees, so let them have this race and we'll give you a try at our Watkins Glen facility which only has one Winston Cup race per year and really needs a second big weekend.  Certainly Watkins Glen needs safety upgrades for CART, but there is little doubt that a CART race in the early autumn will attract a lot of race fans, even many students from the numerous colleges in the area.  We remember going to Watkins Glen in the 1970's for the F1 races when the autumn foliage was at its best in the Finger Lakes region of NY State. The memories of the early morning autumn mist hanging low over Lake Seneca, and the vibrant colors of the trees seem like just yesterday. Hoards of people would camp out in the woods surrounding the track and the smell of campfires, barbeques and the scream of race cars up and down the hills around The Glen is also etched forever in our minds.  So while we will miss Michigan for what it was, we look forward to the day when we awaken to the smell of Methanol in the morning at Watkins Glen.  For those of you who enjoy CART's Road America race, The Glen in early autumn will likely be even more unforgettable. As Charles Kettering once said, "my interest is in the future because I'm going to spend the rest of my life there."  To which we say, "good-bye Michigan, it's been a blast.....hello Watkins Glen, MIS is now just a thing of the past."  Mark Cipolloni
6/25/01
CART, Michigan Speedway part ways  Championship Auto Racing Teams and Michigan International Speedway (MIS) today jointly announced that the CART FedEx Championship Series will not return to race at the 2-mile oval during the 2002 racing season. The announcement was made by CART Chairman/CEO Joseph Heitzler and MIS President Brett Shelton.  "The future holds many exciting opportunities for CART and we look forward to the continued growth of our racing, both domestically and around the world," said Heitzler. "Each race we consider must make business sense for us, our shareholders and investors and our race promoter. In this instance, it was determined that it is in the best interest of our race series to look at other alternatives."   CART also runs its Champ Cars at California Speedway, which, like MIS, is owned by International Speedway Corporation.   "ISC is a very important CART partner and we are committed to extending our relationship to conduct our race events at ISC tracks where we believe we can achieve mutual success," said Heitzler of the motor racing organization that owns 12 major motorsports facilities throughout the U.S. "We have a terrific event at California Speedway which we are committed to through 2004 and look to take our racing to other ISC facilities in the future." Shelton said the Speedway and ISC have examined the options and believe it is in their best interest to pursue other alternatives. "The CART races at Michigan International Speedway have provided our fans with some terrific racing over the years," said Shelton. "And although this is a difficult decision, we believe it is in the best interest of both CART and ISC's long-term growth strategies." The Michigan 500 Presented by Toyota this coming July 22 marks the 33rd CART event at Michigan International Speedway. "CART is an important partner of ISC's and we will continue to work together on the event at California Speedway," said ISC Sr. Vice President John Saunders. "In addition, we look forward to pursuing other significant opportunities with CART that are consistent with our long term business philosophies." 
6/25/01
Robbie McGehee update  Indy Racing driver Robby McGehee is continuing his speedy recovery from a broken lower left leg suffered during the Casino Magic 500 on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway and hopes to return to racing in July. McGehee, from St. Louis, was injured in a three-car accident on Lap 196 of the 200-lap Indy Racing Northern Light Series race won by Scott Sharp. "Everything is healing well," McGehee said. "I just got a new brace, one that will fit under my (driving) suit." McGehee wants to return to the cockpit of the No. 10 Cahill Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone at the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 on July 8 at Kansas Speedway, pending approval from Indy Racing League officials and Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services. 1999 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year McGehee continues an aggressive rehabilitation program that includes stretching, leg lifts, strengthening, and exercises in a swimming pool. "I'm just trying to get out and move around every day," McGehee said. "I'm trying to exercise my quads (quadriceps) to make sure I don't wither away." McGehee said he has received many get-well wishes from drivers, teams and fans, including cards, e-mail and flowers. "The support is unbelievable," he said. "I haven't figured out how I'm going to thank everyone. I didn't know I had this many friends."
6/24/01
Portland audio UPDATE

Tom Michaels - Race wrap-up

Top-3 - Post-Race Press Conference

Helio Castroneves - Our Julie Andre interviews Helio and talks about Portland

Tom Michaels - Friday wrap-up 

Helio Castroneves on the good start to the weekend 

Helio Castroneves on finding a good balance in the car 

Gil de Ferran who finished eighth in practice despite going of course a few times 

Gil de Ferran on how the changing weather affected track activity on Friday 

Michael Andretti talks about his handling woes, Portland strategy and N/A engines

Max Papis talks about the Portland track

Kenny Brack talks about Portland area and the Portland track

Preview voiced by Tom Michaels of the CART Radio Network 

Gil de Ferran who has won back-to-back races at Portland, on his victory last season 
Gil de Ferran on his remarkable track record at Portland International Raceway 
Gil de Ferran on racing on three consecutive weekends 
Michael Andretti on his memories of 1986 at Portland when he finished second his father Mario by .07 seconds on Father's Day 
Michael Andretti on the Portland circuit 
2001 Indy 500 Champion Helio Castroneves on starting on the pole last year

6/24/01
Faulkner wins Lights race in Portland  Damien Faulkner (Dorricott Racing Lola) survived an opening lap spin and another off-course excursion to win the rain-soaked Spirit Mountain Casino Challenge Dayton Indy Lights Championship race Sunday at Portland International Raceway. Faulkner, a rookie who won earlier this season in his oval debut at Texas Motor Speedway, gave Dorricott Racing its fourth consecutive series win and third straight victory at Portland following Jason Bright (2000) and Philipp Peter (1999). Faulkner averaged 76.116 mph for the 38-lap race, a winning speed that was slowed by three full course caution periods. Faulkner led runner-up Rudy Junco (Mexpro/StarlightDiamonds.com/PrecioBase.com Lola) across the finish line by 16.134 seconds while Derek Higgins (Mexpro/StarlightDiamonds.com/PrecioBase.com Lola) recovered from two spins of his own to finish third. The second-place finish was Junco's best in two seasons of Indy Lights competition and it was the first time that Mexpro placed both of its race cars in the top three. Faulkner was one of four front runners involved in a multi-car contact incident at the race start in Portland's notorious Festival Curves. As his teammate and polesitter Townsend Bell (DirecPC Lola) - who set a new track record in qualifying on Saturday of 109.067 mph (64.991 seconds) - led the field into the turn, he, Faulkner, outside front row starter Dan Wheldon (Gemstar Communications/PacWest Lights Lola) and his PacWest teammate Mario Dominguez (Del Valle/Corona/Televisa Lola) tangled and spun. Of the group, Faulkner fared the best and continued in third place behind race leader Kristian Kolby (Conquest Racing Lola), up all the way from sixth on the grid, and Luis Diaz (Telmex Lola) who moved to second after starting fourth. Dominguez retired on the spot while Bell and Wheldon each rejoined the race at least one lap down after pit stops for repairs.
6/24/01
More cranes needed  The Portland race was another example of where cranes would have helped the 'show' for the fans.  The race was interrupted by numerous spins in the wet conditions and each time a full course yellow was needed.  CART must employ more cranes to lift the cars out of harms way ASAP so the race does not have to go full course caution.  If the rules need to be such that a car can restart the race after the crane places it in a safe position, so be it.  The cars should be lifted, set down out of harms way, and a starter should be used to attempt to start the car (assuming it is not damaged).  If the car won't start within 30 seconds of spinning the engines, the car should be out of the race.
6/24/01
Gomide wins Mosport F3 race  Luciano Gomide (Eurointernational Dallara F300VW) knew going into Sunday's Round 2 USF3 Championship race, that if he made no mistakes, it was his race to lose. The Brazilian made no mistakes on his way to his second straight victory at the 2.459 miles Mosport Motorsport Part, Ontario , Canada. Starting from the pole, Gomide jumped in front into the first turn and never relinquished the lead, despite being constantly hounded by his teammate, John C. Antonino,  (Eurointernational Dallara F301 VW), who was competing in only his second F3 race. The Eurointernational duo distanced themselves from the rest of the field and went on to finish just under one minute ahead of the third place car of B.J. Zacharias (Olsen Engineering Dallara F301 VW). " We were in control of the race since the beginning , and we knew could step up the pace any time we wanted" said race winner ,Luciano Gomide.   "The car has been just perfect, as always, and Johnny was (J.C. Antonino) pushing very hard behind me for the first half of the race. After his two small mistakes, I was cruising to the end". Gomide's win extended his incredible streak of nine wins in a row in USF3. The streak began with Gomide double win at Quebec City on August 2000. Antonino finished only 5".230 from Gomide and was happy with his result:" The new engine on the car make my race more close to Luciano, but when I was close to him I did two small mistakes and he was just flying today."
6/24/01
Wet morning in Portland  It rained during practice this morning, rain tires were on.  Tony Kanaan had an accident ran his car into the tire barriers.   Gil de Ferran only had an opportunity to run a few laps due to an engine fire. We thought we heard the engineer say that a back up of fuel went through the vent and ignited.  The engineer was going to figure out why it was doing  that.
6/24/01
Lights Portland:  Bell continues dominance UPDATE Townsend Bell continued his torrid pace in Indy Lights competition by winning the pole position for Sunday’s fifth round of the 12-race Dayton Indy Lights Championship at Portland International Raceway. Bell started fastest and never wavered from the top spot during the 30-minute final qualifying session. Bell’s qualifying time of 1:04.991 = 109.067 mph established a new track record - a record Bell initially set during Friday’s provisional qualifying. "This is only my third time racing at Portland but the track has been good to me," said Bell. "This is my third pole in three races so Portland rates as one of my favorites. I ran here in Barber Dodge and won the Indy Lights pole last year. Portland was my first pole in Barber Dodge. It’s a fairly straight forward track. The left-right off the back straight-away is probably one of my favorite corners anywhere because its really fast and you can jump over the curbs to pick up time."  6/22/01  Bell broke the track qualifying record he set here last year when he drove one lap around the 1.969-mile road course at an average speed of 108.795 mph (65.154 seconds). Last year's lap clocked in at 108.593 mph (65.275 seconds) which was good enough for his first career Dayton Indy Lights pole. He is the favorite to win the pole again in Saturday's final qualifying and believes he has the race car to do it. "Just like at Milwaukee, I have to thank my engineer, Gerald Tyler, and the entire Dorricott crew for helping put together a great set-up," Bell said. "The car was really hooked up all around the track. We put 'sticker' tires on and the times came easy. We ran several quick laps that brought us the pole and a new track record. I'm pretty happy going into final qualifying. I think we could go a tick quicker then it's a matter of figuring how to stay fast throughout the race." Rookie Dan Wheldon (Gemstar Communications/PacWest Lights Lola) was second fastest Friday but was more than a half second off of Bell's leading pace. Wheldon, celebrating his 22nd birthday today, lapped at an average speed of 107.610 mph (65.871 seconds). "The car was good and overall it was a good session for us," Wheldon said. "I made a little mistake on my first set of tires - I went off on the grass and then it took awhile for the safety crew to clean up. Hopefully we'll do better tomorrow, but being in the front row is pretty good. We'll work on the set-up some more tonight and I'm confident we can close the gap going into second round of qualifying tomorrow." Bell's teammate Damien Faulkner (Dorricott Racing Lola) was third fastest at an average speed of 107.345 mph (66.034 seconds). He was second fastest behind Bell in this morning's opening practice session. "It's nice to be back on a road course because that's what I'm used too from racing in Europe," said Faulkner, who won in his oval track racing debut at Texas in April. "We've been quick all day but we have something to aim for since we weren't fastest in the first practice. We made a few changes and tried a different set of rear shock absorbers hoping they would give us what we need for faster laps. Unfortunately, we may have misread our telemetry and that hurt us in qualifying. It's good to be third in provisional qualifying but there are still two spots ahead I feel I should be better able to catch. That's our aim so we may go back to the set-up we had in the first practice with a few minor adjustments. It seems logical to go in that direction." Dorricott Racing's third driver Jon Fogarty (Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Lola) never made it on to the track Friday. He has withdrawn from the weekend due to a suspected herniated disc in his cervical vertebrae.
6/24/01
Jenson Button over hyped UPDATE One reader reminded us that Fisichella is the only one to have scored points for the Benetton team (1) but Button has finished more races. 6/23/01 -  Throughout this season British driver Jenson Button has been easily outpaced by his Italian Benetton teammate Giancarlo Fisichella.  This weekend at Nurburgring is no different.  In fact Button qualified just ahead of the two Minardi cars at the back of the grid, only 0.063 min. ahead of Tarso Marques, who some questioned didn't belong in F1.  It looks like the British press who hyped him up have had to backpedal in recent months.
6/23/01
Jim Russell driver earns CART Atlantic Series  Ross Fonferko has a flight to catch. But he has a race to finish first. This weekend Russell Racing's 2000 Rookie of the Year is off-pole in the second round of the Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series presented by Yokohama at Sears Point Raceway. Immediately after the race, he will catch a flight to take his first professional start in the CART Toyota Atlantic series during the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. "My schedule has gotten pretty busy in recent weeks," said the 20-year-old Dupage College sophomore. "After today's race, I'm on a plane to Mid Ohio for one day of testing with the team, and then it's off to Cleveland for the race. Plus, I'm going to summer school and working a part-time job." Based upon his racing stats at Russell, Fonferko was courted by several teams before deciding on BBGP Racing. "I talked with about 5 teams, but this seemed to be the best match for me. This is a great team and I am very excited about the race," said Fonferko. While this is just a one-race deal for him, he hopes to impress his sponsors Jafco Ventures and Port-a-Kool with a strong finish so that he can continue in the series with BBGP Racing. "I need to do well but they understand that this is my first race in Atlantic," he said. Fonferko won the first race from the pole of the Triple Crown with a flag to flag victory at Mesa Marin in May. Today is off pole by .431 seconds. At stake is a championship purse of $10,000 and a two-race ride with Cape Motorsports in the US F2000 Championship race at Daytona in September. 
6/23/01
Jim Russell
New Jim Russell Racing karting school at Sears Point  The Jim Russell Racing Drivers School will be the principal operator of programs at the new Sears Point Karting Center, which is scheduled to open in early 2002. The Russell organization will offer a diverse menu of activities ranging from schools and corporate programs to club and league racing. The new Sears Point Karting Center will begin construction this fall as part of the raceway's overall $35 million modernization project. "This new karting center will be a world-class, state of the art facility and we could not have a more creative and professional organization than the Russell group to oversee the karting programs," said Steve Page, Sears Point president and general manager. "This is a natural extension of an already thriving business relationship." The Russell School has been a primary tenant at Sears Point since 1996, offering racing and performance driving instruction and competition programs at the existing raceway facilities.  The Karting Center is currently being designed and is scheduled to open in early 2002. It is planned to be an internationally recognized karting facility. "We plan to make this track and center a showcase," said Ken Ude, president of Jim Russell. "It will have a state-of-the-art track, a full karting center, a wide variety of schools and courses, an arrive-and-drive racing series and a very active Group and Corporate Karting Adventure program. While we need to wait for the track to be built to conduct the full racing series, our Group and Corporate Karting Adventure Program is open now in the new Turn 7 complex." Lisa Caceres has joined Jim Russell as general manager of the karting operation. Lisa has over 15 years experience in karting in Northern California and has had an active racing career. Also joining Jim Russell in an advisory role will be Memo Gidley. Memo is a graduate of the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School mechanics training and racing series. He is currently an active Champ Car driver driving for Target / Chip Ganassi Racing Team and has been involved in the TrackMagic factory kart racing team. 
6/22/01
More evidence why CART must expand overseas  In this wonderful article by Ben Blake on Speedvision.com, he laments about how race fans have turned their back on just about everything except Winston Cup in the USA, even when other series put on far better racing (look at Michigan, Winston Cup is a total bore compared to CART, yet the fans turn out in droves for the Cup race).  He uses many example of where short track oval racing is dying a slow death.  Essentially Winston Cup has sucked the life out of all other forms of motorsports in the USA.  It's not just CART that's suffering, it's the entire motorsports industry.  The USA over saturation saga continues....while countries/cities around the world beg for a product CART offers. 
6/22/01
USA's road courses pale in comparison  Few if any road courses in the USA even come close to standards set forth by many road courses around the world.  The picture to the right was taken at the Nurburgring in Germany today (courtesy Honda).  Note the track width, safety, elevation changes, cleanliness, etc., not to mention the beautiful mountains in the background.  It is rumored that the Nurburgring may possibly lose its F1 race as F1 expands into places like Russia and China.  Imola is another.  It's likely no country will get more than one F1 race per year.  Nurburgring, Imola, Paul Ricard, Le Mans, Estoril, Zhuhai, Watkins Glen, Sebring, etc.  The list is numerous.  There are plenty of first class road courses around the world that CART can race on. It's time to abandon the narrow, unsafe, substandard race tracks CART races on for world class facilities where the race fan that attends feels like they have been part of something special, an 'event', rather than a Mickey Mouse layout where no one can pass and the race fan falls asleep from utter boredom.  A world class road course has not been built in the USA in many years, while many world class oval tracks have been built.  Many of the existing USA road courses are neglected with little money pumped back into them.  As an example, they are going to spend over $100 million just to upgrade Silverstone and Nurburgring (see news from 6/20/01 below).  In the USA they don't even spend that much money to build an entire new road course.  As much as we like Mid-Ohio, Road America, Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta (considered the USA's best road courses), they all pale in comparison to even the worst F1 circuits.  Each should be at least 50% wider (you read that right, 50%...that's how narrow they are), have proper garages and suites built, safety improvements, and better press facilities.
6/22/01
Kendall Oil renews sponsorship at The Glen  Watkins Glen International President, Bryan R. Sperber, announced that Kendall Motor Oil has renewed its marketing partnership as the Official Motor Oil of the historic road course. "From Kendall's earliest involvement with Watkins Glen, when races were run through the village streets 1948-1951, to our current status as the official motor oil of WGI, we have enjoyed nothing but success in everything we've done at The Glen," stated Susan Tate, General Sales Manager for Kendall Motor Oil. Kendall has had an association with racing at The Glen dating back to 1957, just nine years after road racing began there. The company has participated in several activities, such as the track's 50th Anniversary celebration and has sponsored Pole Qualifying Day as part of the Winston Cup event weekend with the "Throw the Green at The Glen" promotional sweepstakes in which 10 people were chosen to be honorary starters for the Pole Qualifying day since 1998. "We are delighted that Kendall will be continuing its marketing partnership with Watkins Glen," said Sperber. "Having a world class brand and company like Kendall involved with The Glen for so many years speaks favorably about the enduring marketing value of an association with auto racing and our facility. 
6/22/01
Photos and News from Portland  Jimmy Vasser still has Visteon sponsorship on the sidepods of his car.  Michael Andretti is on tire saving mode, saving his allotment for tomorrow and the race.  An interesting strategy.

(L to R) Cristiano da Matta, Gil de Ferran, Memo Gidley in Target colors being interviewed by Julie Andre of AutoRacing1.com, Michael Andretti being interviewed by Julie Andre.
Photos Copyright 2001 AutoRacing1.com and Michele Saunders

6/22/01
Ralf Schumacher re-signs with Williams thru 2004  Ralf Schumacher has extended his contract with Williams until the end of the 2004 season. The 25-year-old German joined Williams in 1999. He has won his first two races this year, most recently at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal two weeks ago. His previous contract ran until the end of next season. "I am very happy that we have reached an agreement to extend our relationship until 2004," he said. "I am looking forward to the continuation of our successful partnership with Williams BMW and believe we will meet our targets together." Team owner Frank Williams said the move to extend the contract was a "very sound decision by the team which we are confident will be proven to be correct time and time again in the future."
6/22/01
NASCAR TV Ratings stay strong  FOX's NASCAR Winston Cup race on Sunday (7/17) from Pocono Raceway drew a 4.4/12 national rating and share, and was by far the highest-rated event to air opposite the US Open. FOX's 4.4/12 more than triples the delivery of the same race last year on cable (1.3/5 airing on a Monday on TNN), and the +238% year-to-year growth for the Pocono race is the highest of any FOX race this year. Season to date, the NASCAR on FOX/FX NASCAR Winston Cup average stands at 5.3/13, a +29% increase over last year's 4.1/11. FX RATINGS HIGHLIGHTS -- FX has televised 88.4 hours of NASCAR programming since February (NASCAR Winston Cup, NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Winston Cup Qualifying and Happy Hour), with an overall average of 1.6 household rating, 1 million homes and 1.5 million viewers per hour. All three NASCAR Winston Cup Races on FX; Richmond 400, The NASCAR Winston and Michigan 400; were the highest rated, most watched programs on basic cable television on the respective days in which they aired. In addition, they were the No. 1 programs (respective airdate) in basic cable among Adults 18-49, Adults 25-54, Men 18-49 and Men 25-54. All three NASCAR Winston Cup races were among the top five programs in all basic cable for the week in which they aired in Household rating and household delivery, as well as Adults 18-49, Adults 25-54, Men 18-49 and Men 25-54 ratings. FX averaged a 4.1 HH Rating for its three NASCAR Winston Cup races (coverage area), 2.7 million homes and 4.4 million viewers. FX's telecast of the Michigan 400 (June 10, 1:13-4:30 PM) was the highest rated, most-watched program in the network's seven-year history, recording a 4.8 household rating, 3.2 million homes and 4.9 million viewers. 
6/22/01

TV Ratings for last weekend UPDATE The final TV numbers (Source: Speedvision) are out for last weekend and CART and the IRL finished in a virtual statistical tie, separated by only 20,000 viewers.  Like we have been saying, the same people watch both series, unfortunately there certainly isn't enough of them.
IRNLS Race (ABC, 6/17) 0.7 rating / 2 share / 0.710m hh
CART Race (ABC, 6/17) 0.7 rating / 2 share / 0.690m hh
CART Qualifying (espn2, 6/16*) 0.18 rating / 0 share / 0.141m hh
IRNLS Qualifying (espn2, 6/16*) 0.14 rating / 0 share / 0.108m hh
 6/20/01 -  CART and IRL pulled a pathetic 0.7 and 0.8 overnight ratings (90% of the same people watched both) on ABC while NASCAR continued to pull stout numbers with a 4.3 rating (Source: Speedvision).  The Trans Am race outdrew both CART and the IRL with a 1.0 rating prompting one reader to write "is someone paying off the people who do these ratings to kill Indy Car racing?  I know CART and the IRL have been hurt by the split, but c'mon, CART (and even the IRL) is far more popular than Trans Am no matter how you measure it. When Trans Am runs a race by themselves, hardly anyone shows up to watch.  I smell a dirty rat!  Someone is cooking the numbers!  Could one sanctioning body, who I won't mention, be paying someone off?"  [Editors Note - Trans Am drivers run some NASCAR races that help their popularity.  CART drivers wouldn't dream of driving a 'stock' car, hence won't benefit from the exposure.  Also, Trans Am has the Ford vs. Chevy rivalry going.]
6/22/01
Jourdain visits Children's Hospital  Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain Jr. took some time from his busy race weekend schedule today to visit with patients at Shriner's Hospital for Children in Portland. The visit was made in association with Elf Racing Fuels and "One Lap for Kids", a charitable organization devoted exclusively to the care of children with cancer. Jourdain joined Elf Racing Fuels representative Gary Milstein in touring the outpatient waiting area, the schoolroom, and treatment rooms throughout the hospital. Jourdain visited with patients, family members and staff, signing autographs, taking pictures, and sharing stories. "It is really a moving experience," Jourdain said. "We get so busy with our racing schedule that we forget a little bit what is happening with other people outside our sport. Some of these kids are really struggling but they are so strong. I feel really lucky to be able to visit with them and bring a smile to their day." Jourdain and Milstein also represented "One Lap for Kids" in its donation to Shriner's Hospital of a "Kid Racer" electric-powered racecar. The hospital plans to use the car in its recreational therapy area. 

(Left) "Group Shot": Shriner's Hospital staffer Kay Weber, Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain, Jr., Elf Racing Fuels representative Gary Milstein and Pat Grennin of Shriner's Hospital join excited patients ready to test drive the "Kid Racer" electric racecar donated by "One Lap for Kids" charity. (Right) "MJ and Fan": Michel Jourdain, Jr. visits with a young race fan

6/21/01

Tony George agrees, now will CART? UPDATE We are hearing that an agreement between CART and IRL appears to be much further along than what has become public.  Steps have already been taken to take CART out of oval racing (in the USA) - Milwaukee and Chicago withstanding. It's believed that CART put little effort into renewing Michigan and may now be looking toward running at Fontana's new road course and leaving the oval for the IRL. In addition, it's believed that CART and the IRL have already agreed, as suggested, to no longer have conflicting race dates in the future. If, as previously reported by Jon Beekhuis on RPM 2Night, that CART's board of directors favor the IRL engine without a rev limiter, then CART's teams will simply have to add IRL chassis' and they'll be able to mold their own schedules to include key IRL markets including Indy (read that the Triple Crown Indy 500, Michigan 500 and Fontana 500), as well as their CART schedule. We feel there is going to have to be a compromise on the chassis.  Both are somewhat close, but the IRL transmission really should be moved in front of the rear axle centerline to get that heavy component moved closer to the cars center of gravity for better handling (i.e. the IRL cars are too tail heavy). We also believe the two series will eventually have a schedule similar to what is proposed here.  CART, did you negotiate the contract with Watkins Glen yet to run a doubleheader weekend with Winston Cup yet?  Ditto at Road Atlanta and Sebring with ALMS?  What are you waiting for, it's all spelled out here?  That would give CART six joint races out of 24 or 25.  Indy, Michigan and Fontana with the IRL in IRL equipment, The Glen with Winston Cup (Cup on short course, CART on long) and Sebring (day after 12-hours) and Road Atlanta with ALMS.   Earlier today  In our CART/IRL peace proposal we recommended that the IRL be the exclusive open wheel oval track racing series in the USA ,and CART the premier road racing series, each focusing on their niche and making it the best they can.  Both existing in harmony without stepping on each others toes.  We sent the article to both Tony George and Joe Heitzler for consideration.  Did Tony George like the idea?  In an interview in the June 14th edition of Autosport Magazine, George says, "If CART were not a public company, we would probably already be united as one series.....but we would want to control the series and that would be an awfully big adjustment for the CART organization and I don't think they are willing to make that positive commitment to open wheel racing.  They are just too concerned with their own company right now.  There needs to be some differentiation between CART and the IRL if we continue to run alongside each other.  If there was a way for CART to become an American road racing series and us be the American oval series, that would be something, instead of them trying to be all things to all people.  We would like to be running at places like Fontana and Michigan, and CART does not really want to race on ovals.  They are just doing it either for the money or to keep us out.  But we'll see.  The main thing is that we are in this for the long haul, we are not going anywhere.  Our jobs can be made easier or harder, based on the decisions they (CART) make.  We know the direction we are taking. They need to come to the right conclusions on their own."  Editors Note - as you might expect, this time we agree with Tony, with one exception, CART must not only be the premier American road racing series, but must run about 50% of its races outside the USA (12 in USA, 12 outside) to attract the big companies who want to reach a worldwide audience, an audience F1 can't fully satisfy.
6/21/01
Feedback on CART grassroots article  A reader writes in reaction to this article - I live in Raleigh, NC which is in essence NASCAR country. I am also a graduate of NC State University and they have done some car related projects through their engineering programs. I would challenge all of the universities that have a very strong engineering program to participate and allow the students to be creative (I suppose they could be allowed to design vehicles F1 style) based on some formula given to them. I believe that these universities then could get grant money from corporations to develop their vehicles. It seems to me that by running these vehicles either in the Fall or Spring could count as some kind of credit towards graduation for the student designers. 
6/21/01
Davey Hamilton statement  "I just want to thank my fellow racers, fans, friends and my family for all the kind cards and letters I have received. The entire racing community has given me so much support, and it has helped me more than anyone can know. The doctors have assured me that everything is on track with my recovery, and updates on my progress will continue. My full recovery will not happen overnight, but I am confident in the care I'm receiving, and everyday gets better." Hamilton is at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and is under the care of a team of specialist physicians led by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Scheid. He is still requesting no visitors, but cards and letters should be directed to:
Davey Hamilton 
Methodist Hospital 
1701 N. Senate 
Indianapolis, IN 46202 
davey@samschmidt.org 
Further updates of Hamilton's condition will be provided when available
6/20/01
Industry News
Permanent road course being added to Fontana  California Speedway has broken ground on a permanent road course as the speedway looks to increase the number of events hosted at the Southern California motorsports facility, it was announced today by speedway President Bill Miller. Development of the course, which is scheduled for completion in early fall, has three configurations: an Infield Road Course, which can be 1.45 miles (13 turns) or 1.5 miles (17 turns); an Auto Competition Course, which utilizes part of the oval at 2.88 miles (21 turns) and a Motorcycle Competition Course, which also uses part of the oval at 2.36 miles (21 turns). The course is being designed by Associated Engineers, who played an integral role in the design of California Speedway, which opened in 1997. Yeager Construction, the company that built the speedway, is overseeing the construction of the course. “This is an exciting time for California Speedway as we take the next step in our continuation as a premier motorsports facility. The development of this road course increases the opportunities for us to host additional events that motorsports fans in Southern California will want to experience,” said Miller. “We’ve had preliminary discussions with AMA and Grand AM,” continued Miller. “Now that we’ve broken ground and are proceeding with the course, we look forward to intensifying those discussions and seeing what makes sense from an entertainment and business standpoint.”
6/20/01
Should the Michigan 500 be saved?  Should CART run a doubleheader at Michigan with Winston Cup to save the race?  Or perhaps with the IRL?  Cast your vote on our home page now.  The poll is along the right-hand side.
6/20/01
Casino to sponsor IRL race in Kansas  Ameristar Casino Hotel will be the primary sponsor of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series event at the new Kansas Speedway for the next two years, Ameristar and track officials announced June 20. The Ameristar Casino Indy 200 is a 200-lap event July 8 on the new 1.5-mile oval. "Ameristar Casinos is proud to sponsor the Ameristar 200 at Kansas Speedway," said Thomas P. Burke, senior vice president and general manager of Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City. "We're extremely excited to partner with the speedway in support of the community and tourism in the Kansas City metro area." Ameristar Casinos, Inc. is a Las Vegas-based entertainment company. The publicly held company operates six properties across the United States, including a gaming/entertainment complex in Kansas City, Mo.
6/20/01
Castroneves on Letterman tonight  Tonight, Wednesday, June 20th "Biff at the Detroit Grand Prix" will air during The Late Show with David Letterman (on CBS). It is scheduled to air in the first segment of the show. Helio Castroneves dumped a lot of champagne over Biff's head so there should be some great footage on the show tonight. Word from the Letterman office is that editing is in the final stages as we speak so they think that it will make air tonight--earlier than they had thought.  The first segment of tonight's program will feature Late Show stage manager/correspondent Biff Henderson's visit to the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit last weekend. The segment, which is expected to last three-and-a-half minutes, will feature Henderson interacting with many of the drivers and teams in the FedEx Championship Series. "This is an ongoing effort by our CART Entertainment office to gain exposure for our series, teams, sponsors and drivers in all the different entities that make up the entertainment industry," said CART Senior Vice President of Entertainment Jay Lucas. "I honestly believe Biff and The Late Show crew had a great time spending the weekend within our community. We are grateful to Team Rahal and The Late Show staff in working with CART and helping us gain exposure for our series." Tonight's segment comes on the heels of FedEx Championship Series points leader Kenny Brack's visit to The Late Show with David Letterman, when the driver played guitar along with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra, which aired Tuesday night. The program has also aired highlights of Brack's first two Champ Car victories, in the Firestone Firehawk 500 at Twin Ring Motegi last month, and the Miller Lite 225 at The Milwaukee Mile earlier this month. FedEx Championship Series competitor Helio Castroneves - who stands second in the 2001 championship on the strength of victories in April's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and Sunday's Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit - was also a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman after the Brazilian won the 85th Indianapolis 500 on May 27. Letterman is a co-owner of Team Rahal along with three-time FedEx Championship Series champion Bobby Rahal, and the team fields the #8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola for Brack, and the #7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth/Lola for Max Papis.
6/20/01
Chicagoland puts final touches on facility  With one month to go, Chicagoland Speedway has secured the certificate of occupancy for the brand new $130 million racing facility. The final touches are being put on the speedway as it awaits the 75,000 race fans that will attend the opening event July 14-15. One month remains before the green flag drops at Chicagoland Speedway for its inaugural season, but the action and excitement have already begun. Since April, the track has been used for a series of test sessions and driving schools. Jeff Gordon, three-time Winston Cup points champion and driver of the No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet Monte, shared his thoughts about Chicagoland Speedway after the Goodyear tire test May 8. “They really have a great race track here. It is definitely unique and unlike any other track on the circuit today. I can't find anything I don't like about it." Rusty Wallace, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Taurus, who is scheduled to battle Gordon in the Tropicana 400, took part in a Ford test session at Chicagoland Speedway June 12-13. “The track is real fast-it's lightening fast and it has a lot of grip to it. The track is a success and I think it is going to be a fun track to race on. With the bowed backstretch, it gives it its own unique character, which I think is really special," said Wallace after running his first laps at Chicagoland Speedway. “This is an exciting time for everyone in motorsports. The landscaping, sponsor grandstand banners and other cosmetic features add to the festival atmosphere of the speedway. The entire project has come together nicely with only a few minor details left to be finished. The fans are in for a treat,” said Joie Chitwood, vice president and general manager of Chicagoland Speedway. The facility offers grandstand seating for 75,000 spectators, 32 corporate suites, 250 RV spots on the infield and 78 prime RV spots located outside the track along the backstretch. There are still some tickets available for Chicagoland Speedway events, but they are going fast. Tickets to Chicagoland Speedway events are sold in Track Packs, a four-race ticket package. Fans interested in purchasing tickets should call 815-727-RACE. 
6/20/01
Fittipaldi to voted Motorsportsman of the Year  Newman/Haas Racing driver Christian Fittipaldi, the man behind the wheel of the No. 11 Kmart Toyota/Lola "Blue Light Special," is to be declared the 2001 "Motorsportsman of the Year" by the Cascade Pacific Council, Boy Scouts of America. Set to receive the award at the 12th Annual Motorsports Breakfast, Thursday, June 21st, an event attended by Portland-area Boy Scouts and racing fans, Fittipaldi is humbled by the distinction. He said, "I'm really honored to be taking part of the Boy Scout breakfast on Thursday morning." Fittipaldi will be speaking to the group about his racing experiences combined with a brief motivational message. "I think every kid has a role model," Fittipaldi said. "Every kid has someone they admire or not admire so that they can either try to be like that person or try to improve themselves after this person, or not copy the person at all if they don't want to be like them. I remember when I was growing up I always admired people who had success and people that were doing well. It really didn't matter if it was in motor racing. It could be in motor cycle racing or it could be in any other area, even politics or business. I'm proud to be considered a role model and have kids look up to me. It's a big responsibility when you think about it. Every kid should have someone they can mirror themselves after. Even adults have people they admire that can help them be a better person." The Motorsports Breakfast, held at the Oregon Convention center, is an official Rose Festival event that marks the opening of the Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 presented by Texaco. Proceeds from this event have provided more than $250,000 to the council over the past 12 years. Richard Alexander, former President of the Cascade Pacific Council, says, "Approximately 5,000 kids in this city have the advantage of Scouting each year because of this breakfast." Since the first breakfast's crowd of 1000 fans in 1990, race weekend events in the Rose City currently draw some 150,000 fans, the largest sporting event crowds in Oregon. 
6/20/01
Major upgrades planned for Silverstone  According to this Autosport article, Silverstone has announced a radical raft of plans that are set to revamp the venue into a world-leading race track and secure the long-term future of the British Grand Prix. The facelift, revealed in this week's Autosport magazine, is due to be completed by 2003 and constitutes the biggest change to the home of British motor racing in 52 years. The plans include moving the pit complex and start/finish line from Woodcote to the straight that links Abbey and Club corners, as well as an infield section using the international circuit that incorporates a new hairpin. The final corner will be Club, which will be turned into a high-speed banked curve.  Full Story
6/20/01
Major upgrades planned for Nurburgring  A face-lift for the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit will see the infamous Castrol Esses, scene of many a first corner pile-up, replaced by a purpose-built stadium section in time for next year's European Grand Prix. The existing right-left section, which will be in use for this weekend's GP, funnels cars immediately after the start and has a reputation for causing opening lap carnage. Its replacement will be a section that doubles back on itself before rejoining the existing track after the Esses. Track representatives say the new section, to be called the Mercedes Stadium, will include an extra 10,000 grandstand seats and provide an additional overtaking opportunity. It has been described as similar in concept to German GP circuit Hockenheim's stadium. Full Story
6/20/01
NASCAR grounds Fuge, docks McSwain  NASCAR officials announced today they have penalized NASCAR Busch Series crew chief Dave Fuge for rules violations (unapproved roll bars) discovered in inspection following the Outback Steakhouse 300 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.  Fuge, crew chief of the No. 61 NASCAR Busch Series team, was fined $30,000 and placed on indefinite suspension from NASCAR. He was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series rule book: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform… or have not been approved by NASCAR…”  Stephen Coulter, owner of the No. 61 NASCAR Busch Series team, was penalized 60 car owner points. The car was also relegated to a last place finish, resulting in a loss of an additional 39 car owner points.  A reduction of 60 driver points has been levied against Tim Sauter, driver of the No. 61 car.  NASCAR officials announced today they have penalized NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Michael McSwain for rules violations (pinion retainer) discovered in inspection prior to the Kmart 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. McSwain, crew chief of the No. 28 NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, was fined $250 and penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform… or have not been approved by NASCAR…”
6/20/01
Rick Mast wins 2nd quarter voting for Man of the Year  Rick Mast enjoys lending a helping hand to his neighbors in Rockbridge Baths, Va. In 1994, he took on the task of organizing the Rick Mast Classic, a golf tournament and country music concert fundraiser for the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic. It is because of his continued commitment to his community and the clinic that Mast received True Value’s Man of the Year second quarter nomination. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, is once again sponsoring the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year. The award is designed to honor a driver not only for their accomplishments on the track but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. Mark Martin, driver of the No. 6 Pfizer/Viagra Ford, was the recipient of the first quarter nomination.
6/19/01
CART Name The Band Contest  The rock n' roll band formed by Team Rahal driver and current FedEx Championship Series points leader Kenny Brack and Player's/Forsythe Racing driver Patrick Carpentier is soon to have a name. CART.com, the official web site of the FedEx Championship Series, launched a contest at 7 p.m. EDT Monday night in which race fans from the continental United States and every Canadian province with the exception of Quebec have been asked to send in band names. In fewer than 18 hours, the contest drew over 700 potential names for the band. Brack and Carpentier will go through the submissions and choose one, which will be announced in conjunction with the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar on June 29. Along with unveiling the name of the band, Brack and Carpentier will announce when the band will make its public debut, and what other musicians will be joining them onstage. The fan that submits the name chosen by Brack and Carpentier will receive a one-of-a-kind, custom-designed Fender guitar, which will be autographed by members of the band. 
6/19/01
Insurance alarm in F1  According to this article in the London Times, the collapse of a major insurance company, Independent Insurance, has caused several F1 teams to scramble to find a new insurance company.  The article mentions the McLaren team, but we are told by people in the insurance industry that more teams are affected.
6/19/01
Pop-Off valve issue - food for thought  If memory serves us correctly, Honda and Ford both were against the idea of the single-sided turbo that Toyota was the first to implement.  Although Honda eventually built one of their own, they still call for its elimination.  Interestingly, Toyota, whether by plan or by coincidence, sort of got back at Honda and Ford by speaking out and getting the 3/4" pop-off valve spacer introduced, taking away from gains Ford and Honda may have made with their plenum design.  It was also Toyota that broke ranks from Ford and Honda and decided to build an IRL engine.  Toyota has lobbied CART to produce engine specs very similar to the IRL, while Ford and Honda are against it.  It seems, at least from where we sit, there's a little Toyota vs. Ford/Honda battle that's brewing.  In some respects CART is becoming more and more like F1 all the time - lawsuits everywhere, in-fighting and political maneuvering, as much press about the politics as the races themselves, perhaps more.  Now if CART would become an all-road racing series like F1, perhaps will can grow to be as successful worldwide as F1 someday.
6/19/01
Team Kool Green supports Black men of America UPDATE Team KOOL Green (TKG) will donate $16,683.81 to 100 Black Men of America as a result of on-track performances by drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy in Sunday's CART FedEx Championship Series race at the Detroit Grand Prix. Franchitti earned his best finish of the season with a second-place finish yesterday while his teammate Tracy who was running fifth, finished 14th after running out of fuel on the last lap. "It was great to get the maximum lap donation for 100 Black Men of America," said Franchitti, "and I was so close to earning the $10,000 bonus for the win. We want to give the 100 as much money as we can to work with and we're going to push hard at Cleveland to get it." "While we didn't get a 1-2 finish for the big bucks, the one consolation is that we raised a good amount of money this weekend," said Tracy. "We'll both be going for it in Cleveland, but I'd sure like to be the one to bring the first $10,000 bonus for a win to the 100 Black Men of America program." In addition to an amount donated by TKG for each lap completed by Franchitti and Tracy, the team will also donate a $10,000 bonus for a race win and $20,000 for a 1-2 TKG finish. The program, which kicked off yesterday in Detroit, will be repeated at four additional races this season - Cleveland, Chicago, Houston and Fontana, which is located just outside Los Angeles.  6/15/01 - Team KOOL Green (TKG) and 100 Black Men of America, Inc., jointly announced today they would participate in a program designed to increase access to computers, technology and training in urban communities.  Full story
6/18/01
Bodine to remain in #66 car  Despite rumors to the contrary, Geoffrey Bodine will remain in the No. 66 NASCAR Busch Series entry, according to Cicci-Welliver Racing team co-owner Frank Cicci. Cicci said Bodine and the No. 66 team are traveling today to the new Chicagoland Speedway for a two-day test session. “It was an unfortunate situation this weekend not only for us but for a lot of other car owners,” Cicci said. “Althought the Kentucky Speedway is a premier facility, the track surface needs some work, especially if they are going to get a Winston Cup date.  “Geoffrey had trouble in a spot where 10 other guys had problems, including Mike Bliss in the No. 2 car,” Cicci said of the accidents that occurred in turn three of the track. “I am confident in Geoffrey and I think things will work out.”
6/18/01
Sigma team signs new sponsor  Niles Audio Corporation, one of America's largest manufacturers of whole-home entertainment products and systems, has signed on as a sponsor of Sigma Autosport of the FedEx CART Championship Series beginning at the Freightliner/G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland, Ore. "We are excited to participate in this sponsorship of Sigma Autosport," said Ivan Zuckerman, President of Niles. "We look forward to introducing the Niles brand to the racing community." "We are pleased to have Niles Audio Corporation join us as a sponsor," said Paul Cherry, Managing Director of Sigma Autosport. "They have an excellent reputation and we at Sigma Autosport hope to enhance that on the track with some outstanding performances." Niles Audio, based in Miami, offers a line of custom installation products engineered to meet the needs of consumers, system designers and professional custom installers. Products include the in-wall and ceiling-mount loudspeakers, weather resistant indoor-outdoor cabinet speakers, Systems Integration Amplifiers, speaker selection and volume control systems, source switching systems, and other custom installation products.
6/18/01

Texas Motor Speedway getting a facelift  Maintenance is underway on the 1.5-mile racing surface of Texas Motor Speedway. The project, which began following the June 9 Casino Magic 500, is scheduled to continue through the summer.  The speedway will be re-paved with a granite-based asphalt compound that dries much more quickly than the current limestone-based asphalt. The granite-based compound was used to pave the speedway's infield road course last year.  "Our Director of Development Jim Stufflebeam has hit upon just the right compound for our racing surface," said speedway general manager Eddie Gossage. "It took some research to find just the right mixture, but this seems to really work. I understand we've been contacted by two other speedways that want to use Jim's 'recipe' for their venues.  "The ground tends to settle over time which can lead to dips in the racing surface, something you see at many speedways," said Gossage.  "We consider this to be routine maintenance and fully expect to be doing this type of work from time to time to ensure the smoothest possible racing surface."  The racing surface has already been removed between turns 3 and 4 and preliminary work has now started on turns 1 and 2. Crews will then move to the backstretch and then finally, to the frontstretch of the speedway.  The project is scheduled to wrap up late summer in time for the Sept. 13-16 RPM Week Texas events including the Sept. 14 Dallas Morning News Pole, the Sept. 15 Silverado 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and the Sept. 16 Chevy 500 Indy Racing Northern Light Series event.  We were hoping that TMS might be redoing their banking to get rid of the two different banked surfaces and make one wide consistent slope surface with less banking so even the Champ Cars could run on it.  Here is what we would propose if we had a say........which we don't.
6/18/01

More signs of over saturation in the USA Motorsports market  ISC and Daytona Speedway are offering a buy 1, get 2 free ticket offer for the night Pepsi 400 Winston Cup race in July.  That's not buy 1, get 1 free, that's get 2 free!  And on top of that, you get a free frontstretch ticket for Bud Pole qualifying on Thursday night and a free frontstretch ticket for the Goody's Dash race on Friday night.  We have maintained for awhile now that the USA motorsports marketplace has reached over saturation and why we maintain that CART must look outside its borders for future expansion.
6/18/01
Solution for CART at Michigan Speedway  If CART really wants to keep a race at Michigan Speedway, there really is a VERY easy solution, and one that will ensure the race is a big success.  The IRL's Bob Reif stated that when they go to Fontana, they want to be the Saturday race the day before the Winston Cup race in April.  If CART wants to stay at Michigan and race in front a full grandstands (you read that right, full grandstands) they should run as the Saturday race before one of the two Winston Cup races at Michigan Speedway.  In this article we suggested that CART run a doubleheader with Winston Cup at Watkins Glen. It makes so much sense, one fan wrote and asked "hello, is anyone home at CART?" If CART doesn't do it, they will have committed another major blunder.  Well why not do the same thing at Michigan Speedway?  The only issue that is of concern is the different rubber and groove that the Cup cars run than the Champ cars.  It unsettles the Champ cars.  The reason it affects the Champ cars so much is because the Champ cars run such low downforce they are already somewhat like driving on ice.  With CART moving to lower HP, they can afford to put more downforce into the cars like the IRL does.  In this article we recommended CART generate more downforce from their underbody so the cars are more stable.  Has CART done any research to investigate this possibility?  All of this of course is assuming that CART wants to stay in the oval track racing business.  We have stated on numerous occasions that CART should become the premier road racing series in North America and 2nd best (someday best if CART understood how to market properly on a global basis) road racing series only to F1 elsewhere in the world.
6/18/01
Greg Moore Video available  The Greg Moore Foundation is pleased to announce the introduction of the TV documentary and video "Greg Moore – A Racer’s Story". "A Racer’s Story" chronicles Greg’s rise through go-karts, Formula 1600 and Formula 2000 to record setting seasons in Indy Lights and on to his five career Champ car victories. Hosted and narrated by actress and friend Ashley Judd, this documentary, through personal interviews, rare photographs as well as race footage and victory highlights, follows Greg on his quest to climb motorsport’s championship mountain. This production co-written and produced by Ed Milliken was made possible through the sponsorship of Firestone Canada and the generous support of Molstar Sports and Entertainment, TSN and CART. TSN will premiere the documentary nationally in Canada in a one-hour television special on June 24th at 6pm (eastern time) immediately following their coverage of the Portland CART race. That special sponsored by Firestone, Mercedes-Benz, and Molson will be repeated during the weeks of the Molson Indy Toronto and the Molson Indy Vancouver at specific times to be announced. The Greg Moore Foundation is currently pursuing placement of the TV documentary in the USA and other international markets. Details on these placements and airings will be announced as available. The video version of the documentary "Greg Moore – A Racer’s Story" is now on sale and may be purchased throughout North America via a toll-free phone number (1-877-879-4567 and world-wide on-line.

Order your Die-cast CART and Formula One Transporters
AutoRacing1.com is pleased to announce that we now offer very high quality, detailed 1/43rd scale die-cast CART and Formula One Race Car Transporters for sale. We offer a wide variety of Transporters and it's easy to order online with VISA or MasterCard.  A perfect gift for the holidays or as a showpiece on your office desk.  Each transporter measures about 15" long.  More details


Jordan F1 Transporter (L) and Renault 6 Time F1 Champ Transporter (R)

   

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