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 7/19/01 to 7/26/01)
BAR re-signs Villeneuve & Panis  Following speculation that both Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis could possibly be leaving BAR-Honda, the team confirmed today that both would stay with the team for another year.
Miami Council unanimously approves race  Following a lively 3-hour discussion, the Miami Council voted unanimously to run an ALMS race in downtown Miami the week of April 5-7, 2002.  So far the battle is being won against the undermining tactics of ISC, however, a final vote won't come until August 9th.  This Speedvision article gives more details. According to the article, ISC's undermining tactics backfired in their face.  The one council member who originally questioned the race, turned around and made it a 5-0 vote in favor of the race and against ISC.  While the article makes no mention of a CART race, just an ALMS race, we understand it will likely be a CART/ALMS doubleheader if all the financial arrangements can be worked out.  This link to the tentative agreement talks about two races, not one.  See below for more details.
Industry News
More info on California Speedways new Road Course 

Exclusive Fontana Road Course track layout diagrams received by AR1.  
The 2.88 mile version (left) and the 2.36 mile version (right)

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. 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.”  See rumors page on the fact CART won't be racing on these road courses anytime soon.

Forsythe speaks out against deliberate character assassination of Joe Heitzler  Over the past several months Steve Mayer has penned numerous articles for NSSN that portray CART in a negative light.  In the July 25th edition,  Mayer reports Joe Heitzler has been involved in 19 lawsuits prior to coming to CART.  The article also asserts that Heitzler may not have won an SCCA championship that he claims to have won in 1968.  In the Mayer article, Gerry Forsythe vigorously comes to Heitzler's defense and calls all the negative Joe Heitzler press a deliberate attempt to undermine Heitzler and CART by assassinating Heitzler's character.  "Joe Heitzler is the  best thing which has happened to CART.  I think people are afraid that he will succeed."  "Talk to the team owners, drivers and sponsors, and you'll find they believe in Joe," stated Forsythe.  The Mayer article talks about an "anonymously submitted dossier" that NSSN received that tipped them off about Heitzler's past dealings. The article states, "The largest individual holder of CART stock views the anonymous fax received by NSSN as little more than a deliberate attempt at character assassination of the seven month CART CEO."  Many within the CART community have received numerous anonymous e-mails with anti-CART/Heitzler rhetoric in it.  And they believe that there appears to be a concerted effort by certain individuals  to dig up whatever dirt they can on Heitzler, to undermine him and CART.  While we have no proof of how organized or widespread this effort may be, we believe Forsythe's accusations may be correct.  We asked Heitzler about the article and he told us, "sure they can dig up dirt on Joe Heitzler, I was no perfect angel, but the Board hired me to turn this company around, and that's what I am here to do."
Triple sports bonanza in store if CART races in Miami  If CART races in Miami on April 7th, 2002, race fans will get a triple sports bonanza - an ALMS race on Saturday, the CART race on Sunday and at the American Airlines arena 6 blocks from the proposed race course, the L.A. Lakers/Miami heat Game will take place late that afternoon live on NBC Sports.  With 100,000 in town for the race, plus 20,000 for the basketball game, the town should be jumping.
Surprises holdup CART TV and Schedule announcement  There are some pleasant developments that are holding up announcements for CART's 2002 TV and race schedules.  Both go hand-in-hand.  Contract details must be worked out before any announcements can be made.  CART is a publicly traded company now.  The SEC does not look favorably on premature announcements that could affect stock prices.  We find it shocking that more people don't understand this.  Some view CART's delay in TV and schedule announcements as incompetence in the front office.  Quite the contrary.
Advertising picks up for German 500  A reader from Europe writes, In Europe on Eurosport and Premier World (Germany) you cannot go a day without seeing an advertisement for the German 500 on TV. The ad itself is quite kind of different actually, with lots of moody shots of drivers getting into cars. Then 15 seconds of cars crashing and passing back and forth before a very spooky voice utters "German 500 the fastest racing on earth" with a large picture of the CART logo on screen and an international phone number for getting tickets.

NASCAR tries to bully ALMS and CART out of Miami streets  5th UPDATE This link shows the proposed agreement between the City of Miami and the promoter, Raceworks. Note that the first race is slated for the weekend of April 5, 6, 7, 2002. We were aware of that date previously, but was asked to not show dates on the rumored 2002 CART schedule on our Rumors Page.  We guess this is one date that is not secret anymore.  The race will be one month after the IRL race at Homestead and right before CART's annual trek to Long Beach.  People keep asking when will CART's 2002 schedule and TV deal be released.  Just wait folks, contracts like this must first be ironed out.  Remember, this is not the only new race slated for CART for 2002.  CART does not need anymore cancelled races.  Better to wait and do it right, than rush an announcement and then have to backpedal. This article on Speedvision says that ISC did indeed file a lawsuit today to try and stop the race.  A positive vote is still anticipated. One thing is certain, ISC is making enemies with all the CART and ALMS fans.  We have received a lot of anti-ISC e-mail lately. 7/25/01 - A reader  from Miami writes - WPLG TV in Miami is reporting the City Council is going to take up the issue of a street race again tomorrow - but late-breaking news is that ISC is suing the City of Miami for violating the state's "Sunshine Laws" - which prevent the city commission from holding private negotiations. The report was long - but at one point the president of Homestead stated "Street races don't work." Our position is that CART should fight to make Miami happen because it will be a very big success and ISC knows it that is why they are fighting it.  One reader wrote - "why should CART care if they get ISC mad, after how poorly ISC promotes CART's races in Michigan, Nazareth and Homestead, with friends like that, who needs enemies." 7/13/01 - We understand from people connected with Ralph Sanchez in Miami that ISC has hired a PR firm and is distributing pamphlets against a CART or ALMS race in downtown Miami.  This we hear, has infuriated Don Panoz and he will likely start his own campaign.  There is no love lost between Panoz and ISC, after the ISC started the Grand Am series in an effort to kill the ALMS. Perhaps this will get very ugly before it's over, with Panoz starting an anti-Homestead campaign to have a negative impact on their races as well. Don Panoz has a lot of money, don't expect him to roll over easily.  We expect CART to stay somewhat in the background as they still have business ties with ISC. ISC can throw their weight around north of Ft. Lauderdale, but it remains to see who is more powerful in Miami.  7/11/01 - According to this article, which only mentions an ALMS race and not a CART race, City of Miami commissioners yesterday "slowed their run toward hosting" an American Le Mans Series race downtown, "cautious in the face of uncertainty over the financial implications," according to Sara Olkon of the Miami Herald. The commission voted to defer until July 16 a decision on a race. Raceworks LLC, which is attempting to bring the race to Miami, agreed to pay the city 1 percent of its gross revenues for the first two years of the race, with the percentage increasing to 3 percent in the fifth year and thereafter.  City Manager Carlos Gimenez said that the deal was expected to bring in $2 million to the city over 10 years. In turn, Gimenez said that the city "would provide about $850,000 in initial street improvements and $320,000 annually for fire, police and solid waste expenses, among other provisions."  Under that estimate, the city "would lose a total of more than" $2 million over the 10 years. The race is scheduled to run April 5-7 next year.  Sarah Talalay writes in the Sun-Sentinel that Miami commissioners instructed Gimenez "to negotiate an agreement that will bring" the race to downtown Miami "and will also ensure the city benefits financially." Raceworks Principal and Course Designer Willy Bermello estimated the race could attract 70,000 spectators [Editor's Note - a CART race would likely draw over 100,000 given they drew 90,000 the one year they were downtown in 1995] and bring about $20 million into the local economy.  Since there is no mention of CART, we are beginning to think maybe CART is really negotiating with Miami 'Beach' rather than the City of Miami.  7/10/01 - We have added an image of the proposed Miami street course that CART and ALMS would use to the right. We can also tell you that Don Panoz and Joe Heitzler are testifying today in favor of the track.  Stay tuned...Chopin Plaza is where the Hotel Intercontinental is located. Very nice, large, upscale, high rise hotel. At the top, between the track and the marina is the Bayside open air market place. Good restaurants, great for hospitality events. The area in between along the water is a smooth concourse paved with concrete.  Remember, you read it at first!  Earlier -Are you surprised?  Now that NASCAR has found out that ALMS and/or CART may race in the streets of Miami (see rumors page), ISC is putting a full court press to stop it, to protect their Miami Homestead oval.  The Miami ABC affiliate had a story last night showing the Homestead Speedway Owned by ISC, read that NASCAR) general manager making the rounds at Miami City Hall, lobbying commissioners against the race.  See this related article and this related article. Even NASCAR realizes how big a downtown street race in Miami will be. NASCAR is quickly becoming a monopoly.   The FIA banned CART from racing on road courses outside of North America.  They exhibited all the same monopolistic characteristics that we see with NASCAR.  The European Union eventually stepped in, charged the FIA with being a monopoly and the FIA has now backed down and CART can race anywhere.  If the EU stepped in against the FIA, we wonder if the US government will step in and break up NASCAR or put a stop to their monopolistic ways.  We would not be surprised if one or more of the wealthy CART or ALMS team owners are not already on the phone to their Congressmen.
This week in TV - NASCAR wins USA. CART wins world. IRL flounders  As can be expected, NASCAR Winston Cup drew the highest USA TV rating last weekend with a 5.2/12.5 share.  CART finished 2nd in the USA with a relatively high 1.9/5 share, a good number considering it was head-to-head with Winston Cup.  ALMS came in 3rd at a 1.1/3 share.  The IRL's TV ratings continued to flounder, almost no one watched the ESPN broadcast of their Nashville race which garnered only a 0.55/1 share in 7th place behind Busch, Winston Cup Happy Hour and TransAm.  It seems strange that the IRL had two sold out races in a row, which were advertised as an indication of its growing popularity, yet its TV ratings continue to slide.  Once again CART far outdistanced all other USA-based racing series with a worldwide audience estimated at over 10 million households and over 40 million viewers.
Ireland fan enjoys CART  A reader writes - my nephew who lives in Ireland called to say the Michigan 500 was an incredible race.  He said he watched it on Digital TV.
Hamilton has more successful surgery  Davey Hamilton underwent additional successful surgery on his right foot and ankle June 25 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Hamilton, from Eagle, Idaho, suffered severe injuries to his legs and feet in a crash during the Casino Magic 500 on June 9 at Texas Motor Speedway. He has undergone numerous surgeries since then at Methodist Hospital. The surgery, which lasted all of the morning, consisted of bone reconstruction, said Dr. Kevin Scheid, leader of a team of specialist physicians caring for Hamilton. If there are no further developments, this will be the final surgery on the right foot and leg, Scheid said. Hamilton plans to return to his Indianapolis apartment early next week, where he will continue the recovery process for several months.
Jordan fires Frentzen  Eddie Jordan has fired his German driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen.  He was fired by Jordan Grand Prix today only days prior to the start of practice for his home German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. The decision comes after a shouting match between him and Eddie Jordan after Frentzen finished seventh in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The 34-year-old German driver, who has won two races for Jordan since joining the team in 1999, was re-signed for 2002 a few weeks ago. Frentzen will not race at Hockenheim and his place for the balance of the season will be taken by Ricardo Zonta, the Jordan team's test driver.  See rumors page for more.
Work starts on Martinsville tunnel  It may not be a tunnel of love, but it' s a tunnel everyone will love. Martinsville Speedway officials unveiled plans this morning for a 160-foot pedestrian tunnel under the racing surface in the fourth turn of the .526-mile oval. Work has already begun on the project, which is expected to be completed in two weeks. The addition of the tunnel will allow pedestrian traffic in and out of the infield regardless of what is happening on the racing surface. "We have always tried to keep our facility up to the level the competitors and fans have come to expect from us over the years," said Martinsville president Clay Campbell. "Although Martinsville Speedway was built in 1947, we feel with the addition of the tunnel we will have practically everything a new speedway would have." The tunnel will consist of 26 precast reinforced concrete boxes that are eight feet wide and eight feet high. The 160-foot long tunnel will be 15 feet underground in its lowest point. "My hat's off to Clay and the staff at Martinsville for adding the tunnel," Winston Cup driver Rusty Wallace said Monday morning. "I think that it should be some kind of rule that all tracks have continuous access from the inside to the outside. "The thing is that with Martinsville being a great short track, Clay and his guys wanted to get the job done and do it so that the fans' view of all the action wouldn't be affected at all. It's another super move by Clay and the Martinsville staff." 
CART statistics at Michigan  My name is Scott Peper.  I have been attending MIS since 1978 and have been a lap sponsor since 1985. It has always been my favorite race of the year. I do attend 7-8 CART races per year. I have some numbers from the last 4 races at MIS that are truly amazing. 
1. Margin of victory. 1998- 0.259 seconds, 1999 0.032 seconds, 2000- 0.040 seconds, 2001 0.243 seconds. That is a total MOV of 0.574 seconds after 2000 miles of racing. The average MOV is 0.1435 seconds. All other series would kill for a 0.574 second MOV for 1 race let alone 4 put together. 
2. Lead changes. 1998-63, 1999-30, 2000-52, 2001-61. That is a total of 206 lead changes in 1000 laps, the average is 51.5 lead changes per race. That is also a lead change every 4.85 laps, who else can claim that? That is amazing. [Editors Note: If you add in the intra-lap lead changes, the total is just over 600 lead changes in four years]
3. Lap leaders. 1998-9, 1999-7, 2000-10, 2001-11. That is 9.25 leaders per race. It is also 35% of the field led a lap during the race. 
4. The average speed of the 4 races was 176.051 mph.
I can't believe that someone could not take these numbers and use them to their advantage and promote the race. How hard can it be. I really love champ car racing and I hate to see us lose the best race on the schedule. Maybe some of us can make a difference. Thanks. Scott Peper
Redback woes continue UPDATE A reader writes - To my knowledge, Larry Blair has not been named in any of the class action lawsuits. I've read only 3 of the 8 filings, and have also been told this by others involved. (It's possible he is, and I don't know it.) At the very least, he's not named in the one you linked to.  Earlier - The 8th class action lawsuit was filed against REDBACK Networks, additionally the stock has gone from $180 in Oct 2000 and closed today 07-24-01 at $4.99. Redback stocks on margin will have the margin called, since the stock fell below $5.00. Redback networks is the primary sponsor for #25 champcar of Blair-Racing, as co-founder, former officer and VP of Redback Larry Blair will likely be a defendant to the Class Action lawsuits filed. 
Memo Gidley puts up some impressive numbers for Ganassi already  After being taken out on the first lap of his first race with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Memo Gidley evidently has decided that if you lead the race, you're much more unlikely to get caught up in others incidents…or maybe he's just decided to take the best opportunity and make the most of it by running up front. Either way, in the three races since Portland, Gidley has led an amazing 49 percent more laps than any other driver in CART competition. In fact, the personable Californian has led more laps in the last three races than any other two-car team in the field, except for Team Rahal, where Kenny Brack and Max Papis have combined to lead just 15 more than Gidley. Individually, Gidley's total of 124 laps led in the past three races far surpasses the totals of his closest rivals - Papis (83), Brack (56) and Gil de Ferran (49). For the season, Gidley ranks fourth overall in laps led, despite competing in only four of 10 events. Even more impressive is that before joining the Target Toyota team, he had led only one lap in his CART career - during a pit cycling at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach a year ago.
Dear Michigan International Speedway, Take II 
I just wanted to drop you a short note as to how much I have enjoyed going to Michigan International Speedway over the years. I was in attendance for the '89, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95 and 2001 events. Great racing, just unreal the speed and skill required to tame the "high banks" of this beautiful speedway. I would also ask that you not shut the door on CART. It is My opinion that this series is the most diverse, exciting and competitive racing on planet earth, bar none. I will also say that I will not be attending any second rate "Formula Grandson" IRL events. The power play that Mr. George has executed on American open wheel Speedway racing is, I feel, the biggest single factor in the sports decline. Keep the choppers in good condition, for as sure as the sun rises, You will need them to haul the "inferior racing league" hero's off to Foote Hospital. 
Kevin Huber 
Speedway, Indiana
(Editors: This fan asked us to print this letter he sent to Michigan International Raceway today)
Dear Michigan International Speedway 
I realize that I am not important to ISC.  I am just a CART fan.  I live In Los Angeles, California.  I have attended the Michigan 500 in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995,1996,1997, 1999 and 2001. I have seen unbelievable and exciting racing by drivers with enormous courage and tremendous driving skill. But, I will NEVER RETURN TO MIS. You could not possibly give me free tickets to attend an IRL event with 3rd rate drivers and 4th rate cars.  Sorry, the "BAIT and SWITCH" will not work.  Last Sunday,  I spoke with numerous fans attending the "Greatest Race Ever" and they will not buy tickets to an Indy Racing League event with CART rejects.  For the CART race at Fontana, I have guests from Japan and China, and I will purchase tickets in excess of $300.  I would not do this for an IRL event. Nor would the 40,000 Hispanics in the LA area, and those who travel from Mexico who will be at Fontana.   I spend a fortune to come to Michigan. But my love affair has ended.  Thanks for last Sunday. I WILL NEVER RETURN, until you bring back real racing.  Not the contrived boring monotony of NASCAR (a Country and Western Soap Opera") nor IRL..."FAUX INDY CAR RACING". 
Steven N. Levinson 
Studio City, California 
(Editors: This fan asked us to print this letter he sent to Michigan International Raceway today)
NASCAR's USA TV ratings remain high  TNT posted a solid 5.2 rating/12.5 share for NASCAR's New England 300 (Sunday, July 22, from 2:03 to 5:38 p.m.). The race, from the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H., delivered 4,248,000 households, the second-most watched NASCAR race in basic cable history. Among the weekly highlights for TNT: NASCAR's New England 300 was the top-rated sports program on cable for the week, the #1 sports program in delivery of adults 18-49 (3,897,000) and the top program overall in delivery of adults 25-54 (4,223,000). TNT's 5.2 rating for the New England 300 was a 24 percent increase vs. the same race in 2000 (4.2 rating). For NASCAR, the race was #1 in delivery of adults 18-49 (3,897,000) in basic cable history. The race tied for all-time best delivery of adults 25-54 (The Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, 1998 on TBS Superstation also delivered 4,223,000). 
* The race was the second most-watched ever in basic cable history (TNN's NASCAR Winston Cup Series delivered 4,524,000 households on Feb. 21, 1999)
Rahal blasts back at ISC, Penske sings different tune UPDATE A reader let us know about some Roger Penske comments regarding CART leaving Michigan.  They are contained in this Autoweek article.  We have the most respect for Roger Penske.  We even recommended he be the Commissioner of a joint CART/IRL series in this article.  However, when you read it understand that Penske made similar comments when CART dropped Nazareth and Homestead, two other failed CART races promoted by ISC (see the pattern?).  Being on ISC's board, and not on CART's, it's quite evident Roger understands which side of his bread is buttered. So take that into account when deciding your opinion on this whole matter.  7/23/01 -  In this article by Tim May, Bobby Rahal states - "They told me a year ago [when he was acting CEO] that they [ISC] were not going to do any more ovals with CART,'' Rahal said. "So all of this bull that's going on now is just that. They want Tony (George's IRL) on their ovals and us on their road courses. That's why they're going to build a road course at California Speedway in Fontana. That's why they want us at Watkins Glen.''  Editor's Note - so now you have the REAL story, and it pretty much agrees with what Joe Heitzler stated - "we were given no option to renew at MIS."
Mario Andretti to be on Jim Rome show  Mario Andretti will be on the Jim Rome radio show tomorrow July 25th.  You can access the Jim Rome website here.  You can listen live with Windows Media Player or Real Player.
Did you know?  Did you that when groups of cars were running together in last weekends Michigan 500 there was such a vacuum being created by the Handford Device that the drivers were having a hard time getting enough fresh air on the very hot day?  Also, because the track temperatures were over 130 degrees, the drivers feet were burning on the bottom of the car.  One has to wonder if the bottom of the tubs get extra hot from scrapping the track surface.  That's how low to the ground the cars are set, to optimize underbody downforce. 
Hockenheim gets 7-year extension The German Grand Prix organizers have secured a seven-year extension to hold the event at the Hockenheim circuit. Bernie Ecclestone's company - Formula One Holdings - and the Hockenheim track will sign the new agreement on Sunday, the day of the Grand Prix. The agreement includes an option for a further five years beyond 2008. Under the new deal the circuit is set to undergo a $50 million re-development program which will see the length of the track reduced from 6.8 km to 4.5 km.
Pruett to drive at Watkins Glen for Ganassi As announced on RPM2Nite, Scott Pruett will be behind the wheel of a Ganassi Dodge sponsored by Cingular for the Global Crossing @ The Glen. Pruett will test for Ganassi next week in preparation for the road course race in Watkins Glen. 
Mayfield crew member injured UPDATE Derek White, 38, of Penske Racing remains in Concord (N.H.) Hospital this morning. He is listed in fair condition with a fractured left scapula, fractured left clavicle, fractured rib, skull fracture and sub-arachnoid hemorrhage. White was apparently injured when he fell from the team's transporter during the loading of the Jeremy Mayfield car following Sunday's race at Loudon, N.H. Further updates regarding White should be directed to Jennifer Dearborn, public relations for Concord Hospital, at (603) 225-2711 - extension 4215.  7/22/01 -  Derek White, mechanical member for the #12 Penske team was injured today in Louden. White 38, was airlifted to Concord Hospital after he fell from the teams transporter life gate while trying to load in the car.  The lift gate stands about 8-10 Feet tall. After being brought by ambulance to the infield care center, White was airlifted to Concord Hospital. He was scheduled to undergo a CT scan of his head, neck and possibly his abdomen. NASCAR spokesperson Danielle Humphrey also announced he suffered a two-and-a-half-inch cut above his left ear as well as a possible left shoulder separation. It was said that he is going to stay a few days in Concord Hospital for observation, and that he is speaking, and moving his toes ok. More info coming soon on Derek White. Karen Courcey
CART overnight TV ratings  CART got a season-best overnight TV rating of 1.9, which is down from last year and will probably fall to 1.7 or 1.8.  The 5 share was impressive though.  What's more impressive is that we hear Mexican TV got a very high overnight rating for the CART race.
ISC, CART friend or CART foe?  A reader writes - "I have a little information to add to the IRL race at Michigan. I live in the Detroit area and was listening to a local AM radio station (WJR, 760 AM) as I was driving to the race yesterday. During that time, the station did an interview with Brett Shelton, the head of MIS.  During the interview, Shelton's attitude was very anti-CART and pro-IRL, stating things like, "the current race has lost contact with the fans" and that the IRL is going in the direction that ISC agrees with.  The most interesting part of the interview is that he said that they are going to start a big marketing campaign for the open wheel race, that prices will be considerably lower (less than half of the current price), kids will get in free, and there will be special family packages like you see at baseball games. He said to expect this all for next year. What about this year? I lived near Detroit and listen to a lot of radio and didn't hear a single commercial for the race this year."  Another reader writes - "given ISC's lack of promotion of all its CART races (I don't know about Fontana), are they a CART friend or CART foe?  It seems to me they would just as soon see CART die.  They even want to kill CART's chances in downtown Miami because they own the track in nearby Homestead"  Editor's Note: the opinions expressed herein are that of our readers, not necessarily AR1.  We leave it up to you decide whether ISC is a friend or foe of CART.
Promotion for Target GP of Chicago heavy We hear people in the Chicago area that promotion of this coming weekend's Target GP in Chicago is very heavy and that ticket sales are up significantly (a sellout is even possible if the weather is good).  It's amazing what good promotion will do.  Too bad ISC does not see fit to properly promote a CART race like Molstar does, like we see in Chicago, and Australia and wherever the Champ Cars get s big crowd.  We heard one person say this weekend, "too bad CART team owner Carl Haas doesn't promote his two CART races as heavily as some of the other promoters, you would think he should know better after watching ISC fall flat on their face with their CART races, as well as Milwaukee, Gateway and others, all because of lack of heavy promotion.  CART needs to stick with the good promoters and dump the ones who don't realize you must first invest to realize a return.  It's not like Winston Cup where it now sells itself"

Will Kristensen get a test drive in a Champ Car? 2nd UPDATE  Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen maintained their perfect record in the American Le Mans Series, fending off Joest Audi team-mates Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro to take victory in the X-Factor ALMS Grand Prix of Sonoma. Just over six seconds separated the two silver Audi R8s at the flag, but it was the pole-sitters - and championship leaders - who came out on top after a typically intriguing battle. The victory marked Audi's eleventh consecutive win in ALMS competition, and extended Capello's lead at the top of the standings.  7/19/01 - Tom presented himself very well on RPM2Night. He may be from Denmark where English is not the native language, but he was well spoken, and his good looks would likely be a big hit with the ladies and the sponsors.  Not to be redundant, but this guy should be given a shot at F1 or CART.  He has all the ingredients to be successful.  7/19/01 - Three time 24 Hours of Lemans and twice 12 Hours of Sebring champion Tom Kristensen will be interviewed on the ESPN-2 program "RPM 2 Night" this evening at 7PM EST. Tom will be promoting this weekend's ALMS event at Sears Point where he will be driving the Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R8 with teammate Rinaldo Capello which will be broadcast Sunday on NBC (4PM EST) and over the Internet in the American LeMans Series Radio Web Radio LeMans".  What amazes us is the fact Kristensen has tested well in F1, is considered potential F1 material, has excelled in sports car racing, would give CART additional name recognition when they race in Europe, and yet no one in CART has given him a proper test.  He is in the USA now running in the ALMS series and while CART bans in-season testing, exceptions should be made when a team wants to evaluate a new driver for next year.  Ditto for Johnny Herbert - CART must find a way to allow new talent to be tested for the following year at any time.
Work begins on Russian F1 track  According to a report in Nacional newspaper work has begun at Nagatino Island and a Russian F1 race in 2003 is feasible. They quoted Bernie Ecclestone saying: "Moscow is ready now for Formula One. I am convinced that the first race there will be held within the next two years. My last visit to Moscow was 10 years ago, now I barely recognize the city - the changes are enormous. This, of course, is good for Russia, and even better for the Formula One organization. It will be a great show." 

Winston Cup sucking Homestead dry  ISC and NASCAR are trying to kill any CART/ALMS street race plans in Miami.  According to this Miami newspaper report, it's killing Homestead too.  To attract the coveted NASCAR series to the Homestead-Miami Speedway, elected officials made concessions to the track's private operators in 1997 that cost the city tens of millions of dollars. It's money the city could use as it struggles to overcome a financial crisis that may end in a state financial takeover, even bankruptcy. Mayor Roscoe Warren this month announced layoffs after a briefing by a special task force of auditors. The city is going broke, auditors told town officials.
CART outdraws IRL in attendance again  Although no official attendance figures were announced for yesterday's Harrah's 500 at Michigan, the attendance was estimated at about 40,000.  The attendance looked very bad with the fans spread out in a 140,000 capacity grandstand.  It certainly was bad for CART's image to see them racing in front of hardly anyone, yet 40,000 is still more than the 31,000 sold out crowd in Nashville for the IRL race.  The IRL made it known loud and clear that it was racing before another sellout crowd, and although it was smaller than CART's image-killing one at Michigan, it certainly gave a better appearance.  It's similar to NASCAR's big USA TV numbers....CART races are actually watched by far more people worldwide than NASCAR (see attendance Hot News item below), yet NASCAR gets all the positive PR from it, while CART sits quietly taking its lumps.  We do hear that a firm has been commissioned to determine CART's actual worldwide TV ratings and that report will commence after this season is over.  It should open a few eyes.
Players Team Re-signs Carpentier for 2002  UPDATE Carpentier's new contract is for a reported $1.3 million plus a piece of the purse per year for 2002, and perhaps $1.5 million in 2003. 7/19/01 - Patrick Carpentier will be returning for his fifth straight season as a Team Player’s driver in 2002, after management of the CART series team announced today that it has picked up the option on his contract for next year." We are thrilled to continue our association with Patrick, a seasoned driver whose professionalism and combativeness make him one of the top performers in his field," said Neil Micklewright, Vice-president of Operations for Team Player’s. Carpentier said he is pleased he will continue to be a part of a team that he believes is a rising force in the CART series. "We went through some tough times early in the season, but everyone stayed focused because we knew that we had all the ingredients to be successful," remarked Carpentier. I know that things are starting to turn around and I expect great things for the second half of the season."
Audio from Michigan (Real Player)
John Hammer wraps up Sunday at Michigan

Tom Michaels Wrap-up report

Patrick Carpentier
on getting his first win

Dario Franchitti
on his race

Michel Jourdain on the first podium finish of his career
Kenny Brack On his race and crashing out with Papis
Max Papis on his race
John Hammer
wraps up Saturday at Michigan
Tom Michaels Wrap-up report
Kenny Brack claiming his fourth pole of the season 
Kenny Brack on winning the pole in the unconventional manner
Max Papis starts along the front row next to his teammate Brack tomorrow

Bobby Rahal Kenny Brack, Max Papis and Tora Takagi (some static)
Tom Michaels of the CART Radio Network does days wrap-up
Kenny Brack of Team Rahal, who was quickest in practice on Friday
Kenny Brack on the changing track conditions from the morning session
Max Papis on his car's performance
Patrick Carpentier on new Handford Device
Alex Tagliani on how well his team is doing
Helio Castroneves on MIS challenges
Tom Michaels of the CART Radio Network previews the race
Kenny Brack on racing at Michigan 
Dario Franchitti talks about racing on the two-mile, high-banked oval at Michigan 
Max Papis on the excitement of driving at Michigan at speeds in excess of 230 mph 
Off the track news from Michigan  There was a small plane pulling a banner over MIS today. The pilot noticed fuel leaking from the plane and had to make an emergency landing. This occurred around 4:PM. The driver is listed in serious condition at Jackson's Foote Hospital.
CART engine manufacturers to meet this week  CART's engine manufacturers will get together this week to discuss the new normally aspirated engine formula.  From discussions we have had in Michigan this weekend, it sounds to us a formula will be agreed upon that all three can be happy with.  We asked Tom Elliott of Honda what he thought about the new normally aspirated engine formula and the possibility of Audi and Maserati coming into the series.  He stated although he would have preferred to see a turbo formula, he said a normally aspirated formula certainly will open up the series to a bunch more engine manufacturers.
TNT honors fallen heroes with silent laps  TNT race coverage had a "silent lap" on lap 3, and also had "silent laps" on laps 42 for Kenny Irwin and also 45 for Adam Petty. Kudos to the network for that touch of class at New Hampshire International Speedway.
Mexico TV expecting 6 million for Michigan 500  One Mexican TV Azteca person told us that because there is no competing soccer game today on TV, and Adrian Fernandez usually runs well at Michigan, they expect 6 million viewers for today's CART race.
Interesting Michigan Tidbit  This mornings Toledo, Ohio Blade had an interesting observation in their MIS souvenir edition - "The growth of open-wheel racing at Michigan has been stagnate, with the exception of 1996, when CART initiated the first and last US 500 to compete against the Indy 500 on the same day.  That crowd was announced at 110,879.  According to CART car owners and other devotees, it was the only Indy car race at Michigan that was properly promoted.  Crowds since have averaged in the 50,000 to 60,000 range."
Some CART engines turning 17,000 RPM  We learned today that Toyota, and we believe Honda, are turning 17,000+ RPM in qualifying trim, with Ford Cosworth about 1,000 RPM less, but making as much or more HP.  We also learned that last year Juan Montoya accidentally turned his Toyota over 18,000 RPM and no damage resulted.

CART tops NASCAR TV ratings again! 5th UPDATE We talked to Mexican TV Azteca personnel here in Michigan who stated "we get a minimum of 3.5 to 4.0 million viewers for each CART race and we had 9 million for the Monterrey, Mexico race. ESPN International in Mexico gets another 1.0 million viewers per race. So far, for just three countries (Mexico, Brazil, Argentina) we have a total of 17.7 million viewers for each CART race, add 1 million for the USA, 1 million for Europe and that is a total of about 20 million viewers.  Add in the other 170 or so countries and we are looking at a number far greater than NASCAR.   7/20/01 - Well it appears our estimates were too low.  Are you sitting down?  Here at Michigan we spoke to Celso Miranda from Rederecord Brazilian TV in Brazil.  He stated "for each CART race we have 10 million people watching and that is down slightly this year because we lost our race."  He also told us to track down the Argentina TV people as he said they get at least 3.5 million viewers per race (and there is no Argentina driver in the series).  It appears our 50,000 household per country is low (as we expected it might be).  CART is more popular outside the USA than in and we now are sure a lot more people watch each CART race than each NASCAR race.  Now the only question is how many more times greater it is.  We suspect CART outdraws NASCAR by as much as 3 to 1 or 4 to 1.  Stay tuned.... Earlier - We have some additional data to support our estimates of 50,000 average households per country for CART. On Eurosport CART scores around 380,000 viewers each 15 min. and that is with commercials every 7 to 10 minutes.  The total number of viewers on Eurosport for each CART race is 870,000 to 1 million and CART always scores in the top 10 for the week for Eurosport. In essence, CART gets as many or more viewers in Europe as in the USA.  Remember, this is CART's first year on Eurosport.  That number will grow in coming years and after CART races in Europe.  We will have more data to follow, but we are told Mexico alone gets millions of viewers for each race.  Ditto for Brazil.  These big numbers help to bring the average up and we are beginning to feel more confident that a 50,000 average (minimum) can be supported.  Stay tuned as we gather more data.  7/19/01 - n the forums there has been a lot of discussions of how we arrived at our 50,000 households per country for CART TV.  We spoke to someone in TV who has some understanding of international TV. He told us that if a show is even broadcast at all, you can expect at least a 50,000 household average in most countries. Here in the USA, if a race is broadcast you can expect at least 500,000, 10 times higher than the worldwide average. Some countries get a lot more viewers for each CART race than in the USA. Brazil and Mexico were countries he cited as getting millions per broadcast. An example used of CART's TV popularity outside the USA - At Monterrey, Mexico the President of Televisa, the largest TV Network in Mexico (population 100+ million) came to the race!  He was there because it was a major TV product in Mexico!  Our source stands by his numbers of a low average estimate of 50,000 per country, and with CART being broadcast in 200 countries, you do the math.  The number may actually be higher, but there is no scientific data to back it up, so for now we will continue to use the 10 million household per race figure for CART.  The question we have is how come NASCAR can leverage it's USA TV ratings that are 5 times greater than CART's, into a TV contract worth 85 times more, and we're talking just USA numbers and not taking into account that more eyeballs actually watch each CART race than each NASCAR race.  It's apparent NASCAR has some pretty keen negotiators. Our hat's off to them.  7/18/01 - To respond to two e-mails we received - For you NASCAR fans, this is not meant as a put down of NASCAR, but an attempt to open the eyes of the myopic folks who only look at USA TV ratings when in fact there are a lot of people worldwide who long for anything American, especially movies and sports because the TV stations in their countries sometimes produce very little of their own. F1 uses the same 4X factor when putting out their TV viewership.  While we think 4X is a bit high in our opinion, it seems that is what NASCAR and F1 are hanging their hat on in their press releases, so we applied a similar factor to CART.  7/17/01 -  NASCAR wins the battle, CART wins the TV war once again.  In the USA NASCAR's Chicagoland race received a 5.6 rating/14 share/5.723 million households.  In the USA CART received its usual cable TV rating of 0.88/2 Share/0.726 million households.  NASCAR claims that in its 5.723 million households, 21 million people watched, or almost 4 people per household caught at least a glimpse of the NASCAR race at some point during the telecast.  If on average 4 people watch per household, than CART had 2.9 million viewers in the USA.  With CART averaging 50,000 households per country x 200 countries x 4 people per household, than 40 million people worldwide watch the CART telecast from Toronto at some point during the broadcast.  Of course the worldwide TV numbers are difficult to determine scientifically, but if 726,000 households watched in the USA, a 50,000 household estimate in each of the 200 countries that broadcast CART races is conservative.  
Max Wilson crashes, possible broken ribs  UPDATE An update on Wilson's condition - he only has bruised ribs and was released from the hospital.  However, we spoke with the team and the car's tub is cracked.  They have withdrawn for the weekend. Earlier - Max Wilson spun in turn 2 this morning at Michigan and crashed into the outside turn 2 wall.  He was awake and alert but complaining of pain in his ribs.  He was airlifted to the nearby hospital for X-Rays and treatment if needed.
MIS President speaks out against CART, Andretti  UPDATE Joe Heitzler held a small press conference today and stated "certainly Sheldon would say I never spoke to him about renting the track, that's because I didn't, I spoke to John Saunders about it."  Afterward John Saunders put out this statement - "We continue to have productive conversations with CART, including one this morning with CEO Joe Heitzler.  CART continues to be healthy, viable, and competitive series that will fit well at ISC facilities in the future (read that Watkins Glen?).  ISC is proud of the season-ending CART race at our facility in Fontana, California, and we will continue to explore opportunities to partner with CART in 2002 and beyond."  Brett Shelton put out this statement - MIS has enjoyed a long, productive relationship with CART, and as I have said, we will leave the door open to CART for any future opportunities.  This morning, Joe Heitzler, John Saunders and I had a good conversation.  As we said in the joint release, the respective business plans for MIS and CART do not call for a race here at this time.  However, the relationship between MIS and CART still has deep roots."  Earlier today - Michael Andretti has stated that from a safety standpoint he won't miss the Michigan track.  MIS President Brett Shelton said yesterday "when you read Michael Andretti's comments, he's sort of reiterating my point (about CART not realizing how important MIS is to CART).  What he has failed to realize is that CART's premier event at the end of the year is on our sister track in Fontana.  Where does that leave him?"  Shelton also said that CART could not present a viable plan for its future oval track racing.  "After looking at what happened at Homestead and Nazareth (CART not renewing their contracts at those venues), I didn't want to get caught like that either.  I don't want to say that in a derogatory way, but Homestead and Nazareth were treated in a certain way and I didn't want to be sitting here three years from now and get an e-mail saying, 'Brett, we've decided to go elsewhere and do something else."  While CART President Joe Heitzler stated that CART talked about leasing the track, Shelton denied that was ever discussed.  Heitzler said the discussions were with ISC Senior VP John Saunders.  Heitzler and Saunders will reportedly hold a joint press conference today, hopefully to clear the air and put this issue to bed.
Team Rahal leads Saturday morning warm-ups  Once again Team Rahal and their Ford powered cars were atop the charts at Michigan.  Because of the draft, the speeds are meaningless, but Kenny Brack turned a 229.812 mph and Max Papis was second at 228.695 mph.  Rookie Toyota driver Tora Takagi was third at 227.913 mph.
Moreno credits HANS Device with saving his life  Roberto Moreno walked away from yesterday's crash at Michigan Speedway thankful he was still alive.  Moreno said "Drivers in other series have to look at this, it should make them realize how important this HANS Device is"  Not only does the HANS Device work in the forward direction, it also prevents the head from being whipped violently backwards too.  "I had a unique situation here, almost like the one that killed Ayrton Senna at Imola Italy in 1994 where a tire hit me very hard in the head and split my helmet inside.  The HANS stopped my neck from being twisted and that saved me.  If you see what happened to Senna, what hit him (a suspension part) knocked his head back and cracked his spine.  This HANS Device stopped me from any of that."
Michigan ticket sales  We asked what the expected attendance will be for this Sunday's Michigan 500 but the MIS worker we quizzed said he did not know, only that they were not good.  Our Dan Maldonado, who lives in the Detroit area, says he has seen no promotion, whereas for the Detroit GP he saw at least an effort being made.  This has been the position of many people in the CART paddock - why stay at MIS when ISC does not properly promote the race?  The one year CART promoted the race themselves when it was the US 500 and run against the Indy 500, over 100,000 were in attendance.
Ray beats Hornish for Nashville pole Greg Ray edged Sam Hornish Jr. to win the MBNA Pole for the Harrah's Indy 200 with a lap of 199.922 mph July 20 at Nashville Superspeedway. Ray was one of five drivers to break the 200-mph barrier in the final practice this afternoon on the 1.33-mile concrete oval, but light rain that delayed the start of qualifying by 40 minutes changed conditions. "The track didn't have quite the same grip," Ray said. "The air's a little muggier. We never got to top gear. We had a pretty good lap there at the end, but we could never get up to top gear. "We thought we could do exactly what we did in practice if not a little better. The rain definitely changed things for us." Hornish was second at 199.750 in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, tying his career-best starting spot. Hornish led the afternoon practice at 201.037
1. (2) Greg Ray, Dallara-Oldsmobile, 199.922 
2. (4) Sam Hornish Jr., Dallara-Oldsmobile, 199.750 
3. (28) Mark Dismore, Dallara-Oldsmobile, 199.239 
4. (98) Billy Boat, Dallara-Oldsmobile, 199.175 
5. (51) Eddie Cheever Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 199.100 
6. (91) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Oldsmobile, 198.681 
7. (24) Robbie Buhl, G Force-Infiniti, 198.531 
8. (35) Jeff Ward, G Force-Oldsmobile, 198.497 
9. (21) Felipe Giaffone, G Force-Oldsmobile, 197.758 
10. (11) Donnie Beechler, Dallara-Oldsmobile, 197.697  IRL
Salvador Brazil Feedback  Celso Miranda from Rederecord Brazilian TV says that there would be more national interest in the event if the race were moved to Salvador. He also notes that the party would be bigger. He says Salvador is a big city and visitors will like it much more than RIO.  Dan Maldonado
Michigan 500 perspective This year's Michigan 500 will be the last time CART visits Michigan Speedway. Speedway officials have cut a deal for Tony George to bring his Indy Racing League. How well the IRL will do remains to be seen. Perhaps that is why it's a one-year deal. One thing for sure is that Michigan Speedway is finished marketing the CART product even for this year!  If you live in the Detroit area and don't follow CART, you would never know that there is a race this weekend. Even this year's Detroit race enjoyed a lot of TV and radio exposure, and we knew that it was going to be the last race too. One would think that this being the last hurrah (or Harrah) at Michigan, people on both sides would try to squeeze everything out of this race.  I asked Kenny Brack about the effect of running with ARCA. He says that at first their rubber is noticeable but after about 20 minutes of running there is enough Firestone rubber down to compensate.  Dan Maldonado (who lives in Detroit)
Team Kool Green playing with trick aero pieces  I've seen a number of crew members moving different pieces of bodywork from the garage area to the pits. I remember from the CART test here in June that Franchitti's car was sporting some unpainted body pieces. In particular, the pieces that are coming are rear bodywork pieces. the teams are trying to smooth the airflow around the rear tires and help to stabilize the rear end.  Dan Maldonado
Martinsville announces 2002 dates  Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell Friday morning announced the historic track's two NASCAR Winston Cup dates for 2002. The .526-mile track will host the NASCAR Winston Cup Series on Sunday, April 14 for the Virginia 500 and Sunday, October 20 for the Old Dominion 500. "The NASCAR Winston Cup Series has been a part of Martinsville Speedway since the start and we are proud of that association," said Campbell. Next year - 2002 - will be the 54th season the Winston Cup Series has visited Martinsville Speedway. The track has been hosting Winston Cup races longer than any other track on the circuit. Next year's dates, April 14 and October 20, are each a week later than in 2001, but they are dates that suit Campbell perfectly. "By moving a week further into April, we get away from the chance of cooler temperatures," said Campbell. "And by going a week later in October, we'll be away from the iffy weather brought about by hurricane season. We'll also be away from some of the really hot fall days." Tickets for the 2002 Virginia 500 go on sale on August 8 while tickets for the 2002 Old Dominion 500 will go on sale March 6, 2002.
Moreno crashes at Michigan  3rd UPDATE Doctor Steve Olvey said he never saw so much damage to a helmet (cracked helmet and visor) and the driver not lose consciousness.  Earlier - Moreno was released and is OK to drive this weekend. The soft wall and HANS Device did their job.  Earlier - We heard the safety crew reported a code 3 out of 5 but the official report is that Moreno is awake, alert and joking around.  The session has ended early while crews fix the tire wall.  Stay tuned.....  Earlier - Roberto Moreno just lost control coming out of turn 2 after getting into some dirty air from a car in front and slide down the back straight before hitting an inside wall tire barrier. at very high speed and coming to stop very violently because his car dug deep into the wall rather than glancing off of it.  Moreno is on a stretcher and headed to the infield care center.  We did see some movement in the cockpit.  More later.
Brack leads Ford sweep of opening practice  Kenny Brack was fastest in the first practice session for the Champ Cars this morning with a speed of 226.351 mph.  He was followed by Patrick Carpentier at 225.585 mph and Alex Tagliani at 225..341 mph to lead a Ford 1-2-3 sweep so far.  Although he crashed to end the session, Roberto Moreno was 4th fastest and Cristiano da Matta rounded out the top 5.  A total of 45 cars were on the track, many backup cars.
Could CART race on the Indy Road Course  A reader writes - I was wondering if CART could strike a deal with Tony George where CART would leave the American ovals, if in return CART was given a date to run a road course at Indianapolis. Bernie Ecclestone would probably not be very keen on sharing the F1 road course with CART, so CART could run on a different configuration, like the one I have attached. I personally think this one would be better for CART anyway as it features more passing places.
Petty decides to run New Hampshire A statement from Kyle Petty - This is going to be a pretty tough week for our family, the 45 team and for everyone at Petty Enterprises. We're anxious to race and we're anxious to do well but we are in New Hampshire with mixed emotions. Bob and Gary Bahre are the greatest people in the world. We feel as badly for them as we do anyone. The fans in New England are fantastic and are some of our favorite people. It's hard to find better and more dedicated fans anywhere. The Bahres and the fans up here are a large part of the reason we're racing this weekend. But we have one more very big reason. Adam would want me and the 45 team to come here and race. As a tribute to Adam, we've repainted his race car. We wanted to do something special. We wanted an on-track memorial to him and to those who love him. This isn't a Sprint car or a Petty Enterprises car or anything like that. For this weekend, this is an Adam car. I want this car to speak for itself. Adam's car and this statement will be all we have to say this weekend. Pattie and I, my mother and father, our entire family and the members of the 45 team would just rather not do any interviews at all this weekend, and we appreciate the media's understanding. The guys at the #43 and #44 have said they would be glad to talk about their race cars but they, too, want to join us in honoring Adam by letting the race car speak for itself. I love Adam, we all love Adam, and miss him terribly. Thank you for letting us come back to New Hampshire with such an understanding and loving manner. 
Cleveland airport to eventually be no more? We doubt it will happen, but this article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer talks about turning Burke lakefront airport into a park.  Hopefully it would still include a race track.
Buhl fastest in Nashville Robbie Buhl saved his best for last by turning the fastest lap of the day, 199.933 mph, with five minutes remaining in the evening practice July 19 for the Harrah's Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Buhl, from Cleveland, was 11th overall after the afternoon practice, turning a top lap of 195.915 in the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone. But he found more speed in the evening session on the unique, 1.33-mile concrete oval. This is only the third Indy Racing event on a concrete track. The series competed on the 1-mile concrete oval at Dover (Del.) Downs International Speedway in 1998-99. "We just improved on a couple of things today in terms of aerodynamic packages in the car," Buhl said. "We're really focusing on our tire wear now. It's a race of surface, and we need our tires to last. If we only go 30 laps on a set of tires, we're cooked. We knew we had a good balance in the car, and we went with fresher tires, and this is what we get. It's rewarding.  Sam Hornish Jr. was second fastest overall at 199.832 in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. He also turned his top lap during the cooler evening session. Billy Boat was third fastest overall at 199.622 in the No. 98T CURB Records Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, but his best lap was turned during the afternoon session. Boat also turned a lap of 199.469 in the evening practice in his backup car. IRL
Something you won't see in a F1 or CART Infield This photo taken by our Mark Scheuern at last weekends Chicagoland Winston Cup race exemplifies the type of loyal following that NASCAR has.  It's very common to see NASCAR fans proudly display their favorite driver's number on their car, their bus, or even their shirt back.  Somehow we don't see Joe White Collar decking out his Ferrari in such attire.  We especially like the colored coordinated curtains.
John Andretti to be featured in Newsweek  The July 23rd edition of Newsweek has a feature on NASCAR families with John and Nancy Andretti and their children Jarett, Olivia and Amelia as the focal point of the article. The article talks about how a racing family deals with the stress of a demanding race schedule and the constant worry of danger.

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