Hot News

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DATE News (chronologically 7/27/01 to 8/2/01)
8/2/01

Tony Stewart wants to try a F1 car  In Indy for the Brickyard 400, Tony Stewart stated - "Trust me, it wouldn't hurt my feelings if I got the opportunity to test an F1 car," he grinned, "Just to have the opportunity to drive one of those cars is something I'd really like to do. But you never know. If a test came about, I'd definitely work on a way to make it happen."
8/2/01
Thinking globally  Perhaps the basis for a future editorial -  If CART truly wants to become a global powerhouse someday, not only must it market itself globally, it must prepare itself to be one. That starts with building global brand leadership and developing a brand manual that clearly articulates the market position of the 'CART' brand and any secondary brands they choose to develop (such as CART Toyota Atlantic). CART must link 'brand' and 'customer relationships 'to ensure full client/constituent satisfaction. CART must put into place the organizational framework that facilitates CART's transition into a truly global company and it must develop a pool of world class management and technical resources that are treated as global assets to be strategically developed for maximum advantage of CART - - establish a 'global leader of tomorrow'. It must put into place the global marketing, finance, risk management, information and knowledge based infrastructure required and last, but certainly not least, it must evolve their business model into one structured for profitability in the markets they serve.
8/2/01
Industry News
SpeedRing and Jim Russell Racing Form Racing Relationship  SpeedRing Indoor Kart Racing and the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School have announced a relationship designed to introduce more people to racing and to allow them to reach their full racing potential by progressing from indoor karting, to outdoor karting and open wheel formula car racing. "This new racing relationship builds on the strengths of both companies," says Ed Jung, vice president of marketing and sales for SpeedRing. "SpeedRing makes it easy for people to get into racing, since we are a day and night, 7 day-a-week, kart practice and racing facility. We provide a wide array of individual and group race formats and a number of racing opportunities. Jim Russell is the expert in training professional racecar and karting drivers. We now have a way to offer our clients the means to take the next step in motorsports." "As the 'Official Racing School of SpeedRing', Jim Russell will provide their top racers a chance to win a free 3-day Techniques of Racing Course," said Ken Ude, president of Jim Russell. "From there, SpeedRing drivers are eligible to enter our Graduate Runoffs scholarship program in December where they can potentially win a free season of racing in the USAC Formula Russell Championship. We will also offer SpeedRing customers special discounts on select Jim Russell schools." As a part of the agreement, Jim Russell instructors will conduct a series of kart racing and kart control clinics at the SpeedRing facility in Santa Clara.
8/2/01
Ward Burton & Drive to Read @ your library program NASCAR drive Ward Burton is igniting interest in reading among teenagers through the Drive to Read @ your library program. Burton is teaming up with HersheyÒ's Milk and the American Library Association (ALA) for this program. The Drive to Read @ your library program is an opportunity for teens ages 13-17 to flex their mental muscle by reading a book and writing a short essay (1,000 words or less) about why the book is important to today's teens. The Grand Prize Winner will get to go to Miami to meet Ward Burton and attend the day's race at the Homestead Miami Speedway on November 11!  Complete info is available on the Hershey website.
8/2/01
Brack heads to Indy for final IROC race  Kenny Brack does not get any rest this week though as he heads to Indianapolis for Saturday's International Race Of Champions (IROC) contest. Kenny will compete in an identically prepared Pontiac Firebird in the final race in the four-event IROC series. Brack trails leader NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte, who also won Sunday at Pocono, by just one point entering the final IROC contest. Brack, who makes his first Indy appearance on the famed Brickyard since his 1999 Indy 500 victory Saturday, has placed fourth (Daytona), second (Talladega) and third (Michigan) in his first three IROC races this year. Kenny Brack On the IROC race at Indy: “Now I can go to Indy for the IROC. I'm only one point out of the lead from Bobby Labonte. I'll get there Tuesday and start testing those cars again. I haven't raced at Indy since I won the 500 in 1999. So I am very anxious for this week. Winning the IROC championship would be a great honor. Especially racing stock cars against the NASCAR boys. No open-wheel driver has won that series since Al Unser Jr. in 1988. That shows how tough it is against the NASCAR guys. But I think we have a good chance this week.” 
8/1/01
Atlantics: Going for four at Trois Rivieres  Canadian driver David Rutledge has won three races from the pole with Lynx Racing so far this season, and he'll be going for four at this weekend's Grand Prix du Trois Rivieres. He won the season-opener at Long Beach, repeated his 2000 win from the pole at Montreal, and dominated through the streets of Toronto. More (PDF)
8/1/01
Brock Yates to be Grand Marshall  Watkins Glen International President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that Brock Yates, one of the most well-known and respected automotive journalists, will serve as Grand Marshal for the upcoming Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. Yates, a resident of Wyoming, NY, will recite the four most famous words in motorsports, "Drivers, start your engines," to the 43 participating drivers during pre-race ceremonies on August 12. "Brock is one of the premier commentators on the sport of motor racing, as well as local resident and long-time supporter of The Glen," said Sperber. "We are absolutely thrilled that Brock Yates has agreed to serve as the Grand Marshal of the Global Crossing @ The Glen." Yates is currently a featured columnist for "Car and Driver" magazine and a commentator for the "Speedvision" Motorsports Cable Network and has achieved recognition in the fields of magazine writing, books, screenwriting and television commentary. "Watkins Glen International has been part of my life for almost half a century," commented Yates. "Not only have I witnessed many of the greatest drivers of all time compete here, but I've had the privilege of racing at The Glen. To be chosen as the Grand Marshal for this world class Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup race is a great privilege and I am humbly honored to serve in that role."
8/1/01
Penske and Newman drive at Lime Rock  Both Roger Penske and Paul Newman were at Lime Rock Park this past weekend for the Porsche Rennsport Reunion. Newman competed in a vintage race in his old Brumos sponsored Porsche 914. Penske was driving Mark Donohue's Sunoco sponsored Porsche 917/30 Can Am car. This was the Porsche Museum car. Roger did several laps on Friday and Saturday. Roger was wearing a red Sparco driving suit with a Porsche crest on it. He was also wearing a helmet with Gil de Ferran's design on it, but with Roger's name on it. Joe Kunecki


Paul Newman

 Roger Penske

8/1/01
Legg Mason downgrades CART stock  UPDATE Hold the presses.  Although this link says the stock was downgraded to 'sell', we have received a fax on saying it was downgraded to underperform by Legg mason.  Either way, it was downgraded, but last we checked the stock was up slightly.  Also, the Bear Stearns report out today rates the stock as 'attractive."  8/1/01 - CART's stock has downgraded to ``sell'' from ``underperform'' by analyst E. Breck Wheeler at Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc..  So far there has been little reaction.  It's down 1/2 point from the opening price at this time.
8/1/01
Jeremy Shaw - Accentuate the positives  We at AutoRacing1.com are often criticized for accentuating CART's positives while the rest of the media seems hell bent on tearing it down until nothing is left (here's the latest in a long string of Autoweek anti-CART articles).  It was refreshing to see Jeremy Shaw's article on Speedvision.com today, saying exactly the same thing.  While Mr. Shaw was a bit more diplomatic, we will be right to the point - If the media continues to only write about the negatives, while the many positives that go unspoken, and CART ceases to exist someday, perhaps they will be out of a job.  Talk about cutting off one's nose to spite ones face. While neither Mr. Shaw nor AR1 are suggesting the negatives be swept under the rug (example - see Legg Mason Stock downgrade above), but the fact is that the positives are not getting the coverage they should be.  And as Mr. Shaw enumerates, the media is not the only ones to blame.  CART could do a better job of promotion as well. 
8/1/01
Herbert shines in first Champ Car test  UPDATE In this Autosport interview, Herbert has some interesting things to say, but what is most is the fact he feels he can do ovals with no problem (most road racers learn ovals quickly, we have known that for years) and he's determined to get a ride next year, but he wants it to include the Indy 500.  Although Herbert says he's not ready for Rockingham, Dale Coyne stated that if he could find the sponsorship he would like to run him.  7/31/01 -  In this Autosport article, three-time Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert says ovals aren't as scary as people have told him after setting a scorching, near-200mph pace on his first ever run in a Champ Car on an oval. Herbert ran a 2000-spec Dale Coyne Racing Lola-Ford on the 1.5-mile Northamptonshire track. After limited lapping, he set times quicker than Champ Car regular Alex Barron had run in the early part of the day. Running the same configuration as Barron, including the mandatory oval-spec Handford Device rear wing, Herbert posted a 198.5mph (27.242s) lap, compared to Barron's 195mph (27.690s) benchmark. Barron set his time on a dirtier track, running data accumulation laps, but is confident that speeds in the region of 203mph will be possible in September.
8/1/01
Michener sues Brant Motorsports  Yesterday's Indy Star newspaper reported that "IRL driver Andrew Michener has filed suit against Brant Motorsports in US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, in attempt to collect $104,334 in damages he was awarded in an arbitration case for breach of contract in February. Michener had been under contract to drive Brant's IRL car from 1999-2001."  We have no other details.
8/1/01
Fittipaldi visits Green Bay Packers camp  Excerpts from AP article on CART driver Christian Fittipaldi visiting the Green Bay Packers football camp yesterday - Christian Fittipaldi figures that Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre is the only NFL player the diminutive race car driver 
has anything in common with. ``Brett is involved with NASCAR, so I would say if there is one of them who has a little bit of a link to what I do, it would be him,'' said Fittipaldi, who races in the CART FedEx Series in the Kmart/Lola/Toyota. ``Apart from that, I just want to run away from all the other ones, because if they grab me .   Fittipaldi was in town to promote the Motorola 220 at Elkhart Lake on Aug. 19, and he was eager to get a close-up look at the Packers at training camp.  ``One thing I'm going to tell you is. I'm never going to pick a fight against these guys,'' Fittipaldi said. ``They are huge. I was pretty impressed. They're all big. You don't see a small guy out there. ``Even the small guys are bigger than average.'' Favre concurred, telling Fittipaldi: ``Now, 6-2, 225 pounds for a fullback is small.'' 

                         
(L) Watching the action (R) Meeting Packer Head Coach Mike Sherman (white shirt)
Photos courtesy of Green Bay Pckers

7/31/01
CART to change oval wing package  Dale Coyne Racing is trying several different rear wing configurations at the request of CART during their Rockingham and Eurospeedway tests this week.  CART's technical committee met in Chicago this past Monday and agreed to try and remove the vertical rear plate of the Handford Device so there is less turbulence and hence better races on the short and medium ovals. Less turbulence means the car following can get up closer to the car in front.  That's one of the reasons why we may have seen speeds approach 200 mph already in just one day at the 1.5-mile Rockingham track.  Without the vertical plate the car has a lot less drag.  If that's the case, we may see speeds between 220 and 230 mph at the larger 2.0 mile Eurospeedway.  The tests later this week or next by Alex Barron will tell the story.
7/31/01
Sweden's Kenny Brack has new hometown track to look forward to  Viking Motor Park will be a 21st century, world class racing/exhibition facility against which all other circuits will be measured for decades to come. Located in Enköping, Sweden, just 30 minutes outside the greater Stockholm area (population 1.6 million), Viking Motor Park will accommodate a 1.5 mile/2.4 kilometer oval, a 3 mile/4.8 kilometer racing circuit, a state-of-the-art drag racing strip, an international drivers' school and the largest outdoor exhibition site in Scandinavia.  They say they would like to get a CART race, but chances are places such as China would get a race first.
7/31/01
Hornish leads testing at Gateway  It doesn't provide any points, but Sam Hornish Jr. said leading the speed chart in the Indy Racing League Open Test on July 31 at Gateway International Raceway takes him one step closer to clinching his first Indy Racing championship. Hornish, who has a 40-point lead over reigning Northern Light Series champion Buddy Lazier, topped the overall speeds with an afternoon lap of 26.6033 seconds, 169.152 mph in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. "It makes us happy because we know that we have a pretty competitive car right now, and we are fast," Hornish said. "It is better than being slowest. "It does give us quite a bit more confidence. To know that you are going to be able to be fast and probably run up front gives us a lot of confidence. Buddy is not faster than us, too, so that makes us happy. I know Buddy tends to be tough to beat. It is going to be tough, but I think we are capable of doing it." Rookie Felipe Giaffone was second fastest at 26.7713, 168.090 on the 1.25-mile oval just east of St. Louis. Billy Boat, Eddie Cheever Jr. and Al Unser Jr followed him. Top five laps with time and speed: 
Pos. Driver Time Speed Laps 
1. Sam Hornish Jr. 26.6033 169.152 130 
2. Felipe Giaffone 26.7713 168.090 130 
3. Billy Boat 26.8748 167.443 102 
4. Eddie Cheever Jr. 26.9987 166.675 136 
5. Al Unser Jr. 27.0045 166.639 125 
7/31/01
CART stock drops 12% in one day, but gains most back the next  UPDATE CART's stock made a nice rebound today, up 10.69% to make up most of the 12.46% loss from yesterday. 7/30/01 - CART's stock price took a 12.46% hit today on Wall Street, down from $16.80 to $14.68. Experts may attribute it to tomorrow's earnings report due out, while others may attribute it to several reports published late last week and this past weekend which raised some serious doubts about CART's leadership and CART's poor attendance record on ovals tracks.  It appears some media outlets are going right for the jugular.  An abundance of negative press is a sure way to scare off sponsors and investors.  Are the Conspiracy Theorists right?  Is there a concerted effort to do away with CART, or is CART its own worst enemy?  That's an argument for another day, but CART had better crank up the PR machine ala NASCAR, because the negative press is beginning to influence many people's thinking, rightly or wrongly so.  As one wag said, "if they kick CART hard and long enough, they soon won't have it to kick around much longer."  Ain't that the truth.  And talk about timing, Ed Hinton's article this past weekend talking about the woes of CART, was published in the Miami area newspapers just when CART is negotiating a possible deal to race there.
7/31/01
Boris Said fastest on 2nd day of testing at The Glen  Qualifying and race setups were tested throughout the day at Watkins Glen International in the final test session in preparation for the Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend August 9-12. Topping the time charts was the No. 77 Jasper Engines Ford of Boris Said. The road-course regular timed in at a fast 1:11.40 early on in the day. Ron Fellows, always consistent, stayed true to form with another 1:12.00 day in his No. 87 Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet. Scott Pruett's No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge picked up a full second on yesterday's run, timing in identical to Fellows with a 1:12.00. The No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet of Robby Gordon wasn't far behind with a quick lap of 1:12.20, a bit slower than yesterday's speed. Championship contender Dale Jarrett picked up his speed and was able to take the trip around the 2.45-mile road course in 1:12.42. John Andretti, who will attempt to run both the Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup race and the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series events next weekend, was fast with a time of 1:12.34. Joe Nemechek's No. 33 Oakwood Homes took a lot of laps around the track today and came away with a fast time of 1:12.90. Anthony Lazzaro once again timed in as the slowest of the eight participating cars, but did improve dramatically with a time today of 1:13.01 in his TWC Motorsports Chevrolet. 
7/31/01
Double dipping at The Glen   Kyle Petty and John Andretti are stepping out of their Dodge Intrepid R/Ts at Watkins Glen International and into something a little bit sportier - a Porsche GT3R. They will team up with Orbit Racing and compete in the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race Friday night, August 10, one of three races slated during the Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend August 9-12. Their No. 45 Porsche GT3R will be the third entry for Orbit Racing, the Jupiter, FL, team involved in both professional and vintage Porsche racing. It's a team that Petty is familiar with, having competed in the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year in the No. 43 Orbit Racing entry. Petty and co-drivers Leo Hindery, Gian Luigi Buitoni and Peter Baron took home a top ten finish overall, coming across the line seventh and fourth in the GT class. Andretti is a Rolex 24 Champion, having won the event in 1989 in his Miller High Life/BF Goodrich Porsche 962 with Bob Wollek and Derek Bel. That same year, Andretti was crowned the Porsche Cup Champion, a worldwide driver points championship that carries much prestige with it. "Kyle came up to me and said 'hey, do you want to drive' and I said yes," explained Andretti. "Kyle had a great time in Daytona with the team and he really likes them. We'll come out, have a good time and hopefully do well." Both drivers have run well at The Glen and while the cars aren't the same, the course is with the Rolex Series running the 2.45-mile course instead of the usual 3.377-mile course. The added seat time definitely can't hurt when visiting one of only two road courses on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. Petty won this event in 1992 after he started on the outside of the front row and Andretti has two top ten finishes in his six starts at The Glen.
7/31/01
Mast in at Eel River the rest of year   Rick Mast has officially signed on as driver for Eel River Racing for the remainder of the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season, the Mooresville, North Carolina, based team announced Monday. Mast and the team will compete in all 16 remaining races this season in cars sponsored by The C.F. Sauer Company and Duke's Mayonnaise brand. "Rick is the driver for the number 27 Eel River Racing Pontiac and The C.F. Sauer Company and Duke's Mayonnaise for the rest of the year," said Devin Birmingham, Vice President of Eel River Racing. "We are looking forward to being competitive week in and week out. Rick is fired up about it, we're fired up, and so is The C. F. Sauer Company." Crew Chief and Co-Owner Barry Dodson said that the team was so enthusiastic about Mast joining the team that crew members were hard at work in the shop after Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. "We're thrilled to have Rick in the car," Dodson said. "As a matter of fact today (Monday) is a day off for the road crew and everyone is here at the shop is working because we want a good effort at Indy. He deserves that and we know now that we've got somebody that will really give us a solid effort." "I'm real excited about this opportunity," Mast said. "All the way around, it seems to be a neat situation. The owners are committed to do whatever is necessary to make this team competitive. Eel River Racing has a first rate shop facility in Mooresville, North Carolina that's second to none. They've got some good equipment and good racecars sitting in the shop. We've got to figure out what's wrong with everything and fix it. It's not rocket science, but it is a situation where you have to identify the problem. Once you identify them then you fix them. It's going to take a little time and everybody knows that."
7/31/01
Alex Barron predicts speeds will top 200 mph at Rockingham   In this Autosport article, Alex Barron predicts average speeds at Rockingham when the Champ Cars arrive in September will top 200 mph.  Barron turned a lap of 195 mph in his short CART sanctioned test yesterday.  He also states the track is nothing like anything we have seen in the USA.
7/31/01

NY Times article explains why sports TV ratings down in general, CART is no different   This link came from the Sunday New York Times (you may have to register first - it's free) and talks about some of the reasons why ratings for major sports are down. It not only explains a lot but also gives reason for hope and fear for CART as it moves forward. In particular, it indicated that people are looking for people and events they can identify with. Well, it is hard for the normal person to identify with driving an open-wheel single seater, but it isn't hard for people to identify with the drivers and the mechanics, if they are given proper access to them. NASCAR, on the other hand, has vehicles that people can identify with - however falsely - driving on tracks that they cannot. They make up for it by showcasing people that are identifiable.
7/31/01
Herbert dismisses notion he will run at Rockingham this year   In this Autosport article, Herbert rules out running at Rockingham this year, as he feels he is not ready.  This of course is quite unfortunate, as Herbert certainly would have helped the gate in England.  However, we now hear mark Blundell may race instead.  See rumors page.
7/31/01
CART announces lower earnings  CART today announced revenues, expenses, net income and earnings per share for the second quarter ended June 30, 2001. Total revenues for the second quarter of 2001 were $19.8 million, a decrease of $5.1 million, or 21%, from the comparable quarter of 2000. "Running one less CART FedEx Championship Series race in 2001, when compared to 2000, and lower sponsorship revenue and membership and entry fees in the two CART development series were the main reasons for the decrease in revenue."  Although revenues and profits were down, CART still made a profit and that's more than can be said for many companies these days. Full Report (PDF)
7/31/01
China/USA relations improve, is CART ready to capitalize?  In recent days Secretary of State Colin Powell has made a point of saying that China/USA relations are improving.....rapidly.  China has been awarded the 2008 Olympics, so China will be getting a lot of worldwide attention henceforth.  China's rapid economic growth, as ranked by the World Bank, is TEN TIMES FASTER than the world economy. Many companies are looking seriously at the China market, a market many predict will someday outpace the USA. The growth potential in China at this very minute is like the United States at the start of the 20th century -- perhaps even greater.  Is CART ready to pounce on their opportunity in China where 300,000 in attendance is well within reach, or will they continue to ponder whether last weekends race in Chicago had 20,000, 30,000 or 40,000 spectators?  You decide.
7/31/01
What American's don't understand about racings international popularity  There has been a lot of discussion about TV ratings ever since we started to point out that CART gets far more TV viewers worldwide than NASCAR.  Just how popular is motorsports outside the USA?  Here is a tidbit of information for you to digest.  Germany,  a country that has far less people than the USA, had 11.34 million viewers tune in to last weekends German GP on German TV RTL, a 63.2% share.  Of course far less German's tuned into last weekends CART race from Chicago, the point being outside the USA's borders there's soccer and motorsports and that's about it.  So when CART goes to places like Mexico, Canada, Australia, etc, it draws far bigger crowds than in the USA.  Motorsports is a very big sport outside the USA, far bigger than most Americans realize.  So when we post international TV numbers for CART, don't be surprised when the numbers look big, they are.  CART has hired a firm that specializes in international TV ratings to gather all TV data worldwide at the end of the season.  We will have more reliable international TV numbers during the off season.
7/30/01
Robby Gordon leads testing at The Glen  Watkins Glen International hosted the first of two days of NASCAR Winston Cup Series testing for the August 12 Global Crossing @ The Glen today. Several drivers were on hand to take a trip around the 2.45-mile road course, including championship contender Dale Jarrett. Teams will wrap up the test session tomorrow. Jarrett came to The Glen today knowing that he needs a strong finish at the historic road course to remain in the points chase. At the end of the day, he was posting times of 1:13.30 in his No. 88 UPS Ford. Robby Gordon is back for a second time this year and will be running the No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet for the injured Mike Skinner. Gordon has run strong at both road courses already this year and kept up the pace, posting the fastest time of the day at 1:11.94. Ron Fellows was not far behind in his No. 87 Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet. Fellows, already a winner at The Glen in 2001 when he captured Steuben's Empire Cup earlier this month, posted a fast lap of 1:12.00. Road course specialist Boris Said came to The Glen after a solid fourth place finish in the GNC Live Well 200 earlier this month. Said is behind the wheel of Robert Pressley's No. 77 Jasper Engines Ford and clocked in at 1:12.19 on his last run of the day. Winston Cup regulars John Andretti and Joe Nemechek took to the course and posted solid times. Andretti timed in at 1:12.68 in his No. 43 Cheerios Dodge, followed closely by the No.33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet of Nemechek with 1:12.70. Scott Pruett got acquainted to his new ride, the No. 01 Cingular Wireless Dodge usually driven by Jason Leffler, and clocked in at 1:13.00. Anthony Lazarro rounded out the list of test day entrants with a time of 1:14.30 in his TWC Motorsports Chevrolet. 
7/30/01
Observations from Chicago  We believe the reported 40,000 attendance estimates are a bit high.  While the attendance in Chicago was nothing to brag about, here are two observations from a fan - The Chicago Motor Speedway has a really large indoor facility under the grandstand that is air conditioned and packed with TV showing the on track footage AND live timing. In the shaded areas of the stands (which weren't viewable to the cameras) the grandstands were packed - that's where I was in the upper deck. But, I am sure a lot of people took breaks from the heat in the AC and watched parts or all of the race on the closed circuit TVs.  I don't totally blame the aero package on the difficult passing conditions on the track - although the aero package is probably 67% of the problem. The other third of the problem is that there are no back markers in CART anymore. Think about it, 4 years ago you had the Hiros, Salazars (current IRL star), Vitolos, etc. running around at the back of the fields creating log jams and lots of passing set-ups. Who were the so called "back-markers" in Chicago? Jourdain, Christian, Max Papis, etc. These guys are far above the quality of drivers you used to find at the back of the pack a few years back. Combined with the lower down force wings and the turbulent Handford Device on the short ovals, lapping traffic is extremely difficult. 
7/30/01
CART announces special England and Germany tests Championship Auto Racing Teams, in conjunction with Dale Coyne Racing and Firestone, will conduct special one-day tests at England’s Rockingham Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Germany’s Eurospeedway next Monday in preparation for inaugural FedEx Championship Series events scheduled in September at the new oval venues.  Full Story
7/29/01
Strike three, they're out  UPDATE Regarding your reader who was complaining about Autoweek, I too had the same problem. I have been a subscriber for 10 years and considered myself a LIFETIME subscriber. Hell, I even prepaid for years in advance. No more. I canceled my subscription and the last one is days away. It's not that I only want to hear the good news about CART. I want unbiased journalism about the cars and sport we all love. It is obvious that someone has an ax to grind and I'm sick of it. It's revolting and I hope others follow suit. 
Benjamin Quinby  7/29/01 - A reader writes, I sent this to Autoweek, please publish it on your website too -  A month or so ago when Autoweek's Leon Mandel wrote a largely undecipherable anti-CART pro-IRL column, I was angry and perplexed.  Did Mr. Mandel herald in a new attitude towards the best racing series on the planet?  Was he, unbelievably enough, siding with Crazed Tony "The Tire" George?  Backing B-team hacks in a boring, and according to an excellent Autoweek article of a year ago, "dangerous" and anti-driver series? I decided to wait.  Sure enough a few weeks later in their middle of the year racing assessment their CART review ends by comparing CART to Can-Am and clearly implying that, like that wonderful series, CART would go the way of the dinosaur. I was mad. Strike Two. I then start reading on your wonderful web site, AUTORACING 1.com, that a lot of nasty E-mails are circulating about Joe Heitzler. Hmmmm. Then, strike three.  In their latest Autoweek issue, the BWTM section once again mocks Heitzler with a Body Double item that shows Heitzler being compared to an ostrich with it's head stuck in the ground. Strike Three, they're out. I have been reading Autoweek since I was a kid in the 1960's when they were Competition Press. I have stayed and subscribed throughout. No more. Their silly, boorish and shortsighted attitude repels me. CART is having troubles but they are still the best racing on earth. They should be ashamed of yourselves. Thank God for AutoRacing1.com!  Adam Friedman
7/29/01
Zanardi Upset with CART  After today's race in Chicago, Alex Zanardi had this to say - "I'd like to say it was fun, but it was far from it. It was a good workout. That's about it. These races are terrible for two reasons: first, these (Handford) wings are not conducive to good racing on a track like this because they make the cars so nervous in traffic that it's impossible to pass; and second, I think it's ridiculous that they allow somebody in a lapped car to hold me up. It's a fact that (the lapped car of) Michel Jourdain held me up altogether for at least 50 laps today on two different stints. We asked CART repeatedly to have him let us by, just like we all agreed to do in the driver's meeting. My lap times were 25.3 seconds before I caught up to him. And then I was running no better than 26.3s when I got behind him. He refused to let me by, and CART didn't do anything about it. If that's how it's going to be, then I'm not taking any more time out of my schedule to do CART promotional appearances."
7/29/01
Pedro Diniz' brother survives helicopter crash  We hear Ex-F1 driver Pedro Diniz'  brother, Juan Paolo, survived a terrifying helicopter crash in Brazil.  Juan Paolo competes in the Ironman competition in Hawaii each year and this physical conditioning enabled him to swim 3 km in cold water to safety after the copter went down.  The pilot also survived, but Juan Paolo's girlfriend, a Brazilian fashion model, and the co-pilot have not been found.  The Diniz family is very wealthy from an empire of supermarkets in Brazil.
7/29/01
Gonzalo Rodriguez lawsuit update  Last year AR1's Mark Cipolloni wrote an article titled Will Greg Moore's final legacy to racing be more than one of "spirit"?.  The article presented what, in his opinion,  the Greg Moore and Gonzalo Rodriguez lawsuits would eventually come down to.  Last Friday the firm of Girardi & Keese went before the judge with their case.  CART and SCRAAMP (the track owners) asked to have the case dismissed on the grounds Rodriguez signed a waiver knowing what the risks were and saying, in essence, he or his estate could not sue.  From what AutoRacing1.com has learned, the judge ruled against CART's request because all tracks that CART races on are supposed to meet FIA standards and the plaintiffs argued that Laguna Seca did not meet those standards.  The argument made, and one that was addressed in the Cipolloni article, was, yes Rodriguez did sign the waiver, but did he do so assuming the track met the required safety standards.  The judged has now asked fror briefs from both sides, and he will make a ruling in September as to whether the case has merit to go to trial.  If he rules yes, we assume CART and the track owners will immediately move to have the case settled out of court.  As stated in the Cipolloni article, these cases will be settled out of court and never go to trial because the insurers, sanctioning bodies, and track operators do not want to have any legal precedents set in cases such as this.  From where we sit, track owners in the USA had better stand up and take notice where this case is leading.  The requirements for track safety in the USA are about to get stepped up a notch or two....finally!  To our knowledge, the only soft-wall barrier approved for road courses by the FIA is still the IPS Barrier, manufactured by Eurointernational out of Indianapolis.  We wonder if this case will force the tracks to replace tire walls with the IPS Barrier in order to say they meet FIA standards.  This should get interesting in the next several months.
7/29/01
Atlantics:  Orsi wins in Chicago  For the fifth time this season, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship points lead has changed hands. Hoover Orsi (Hylton Motorsports/U.S. Print Swift) grabbed the lead from the drop of the green flag and went on to his third victory of the season. The Brazilian driver had been one of the fastest cars all weekend along with Tony Ave (P-1 Racing/Miller Genuine Draft Swift). From the drop of the green flag, Ave seemed to be the only car that had a chance to stay with Orsi. Ave set the fastest race lap late in the race winning the $1000 WorldCom Fast Pace Award but it was not enough to chase down Orsi who went on to win the race by 3.454 seconds. Orsi collected 22 points this weekend with his win, most laps led, and the $1000 Toyota Pole Award.
7/29/01
Audio from Chicago (Real Media format)
Top-3 Post-Race Pres Conference
Tom Michaels race wrap-up
Kenny Brack who won his third race of the season
Kenny Brack on how his car handled on the Chicago Motor Speedway track
Patrick Carpentier on finishing second after posting his first win
Gil de Ferran on his third-place finish (fireworks in background)
Top 3
Saturday Press Conference
Roberto Moreno interview with AR1's Julie Andre
Jimmy Vasser interview with AR1's Julie Andre
Top 3
Friday Press Conference
Michael Andretti interview with AR1's Julie Andre
Memo Gidley interview with AR1's Julie Andre
Gil de Ferran
interview with AR1's Julie Andre
Helio Castroneves
interview with AR1's Julie Andre
Tom Michaels
wrap-up report
Kenny Brack on first day of practice. 
Kenny Brack on the competitiveness of CART. 
Bruno Junqueira having to go to his backup car
Bruno Junqueira on how he likes driving the Chicago track
Kenny Brack on his day after finishing second in Friday practice. 
Paul Tracy
interview with AR1's Julie Andre
Dario Franchitti interview with AR1's Julie Andre
Tom Michaels Race Preview
Cristiano da Matta recalling how he felt after last year's win, his first in CART 
Cristiano da Matta with a little slogan for his return to Chicago 
Michael Andretti when asked if he thinks the Chicago track will drive differently
7/29/01
Watkins Glen near-ready for Champ Cars?  We spoke with someone involved with one of the USF3 teams that ran at Watkins Glen this past weekend on the long course.  They told us the track is quite smooth, except in the few turns where they added concrete because the Winston Cup cars were tearing up the asphalt.  As far as safety, it was this persons opinion that the track probably needs about $400,000 worth of FIA approved soft wall material to bring it up to FIA standards.  We have heard estimates that somewhere near $20 million worth of improvements are needed to run the Champ Cars at The Glen.  We can only assume a big chunk of that was to replace the guide rail with concrete barrier, but we have not seen the engineering report.
7/29/01
Gomide wins 10th straight USF3 race  Luciano Gomide has continued his domination of the United States Formula 3 Championship winning his tenth race in a row at Watkins Glen International with his teammate John C. Antonino 0.761"behind. The Brazilian blistered his own F3 track record (1'48"141 Aug.26-2000) with an incredible 1'46"212, a new open wheel track record for the 3.4 mile course. Michael Brooks qualified third in front of Scott Brickey , Kyle Herder and Bruce Kafenbau. "Was just a great, fantastic battle between Luciano and Johnny" said Eurointernational's owner Arturo Antonio Ferrari" The lap times speak for themselves and the Dallara USF3 VW have really showed their incredible performance. "This is… a perfect 10…for me" said a delighted Gomide" I was at the limit for all race and Johnny was just superb; he will have a great future. He is very fast but also absolutely correct on the track. What a show." USF3 will run round 4 at Mosport on August 19 on the ALMS weekend.


(Left) Cars lineup before start of race.  (Right) Winner Luciano Gomide

7/29/01
Pocono - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly  Fun facts on today's Winston Cup Pennsylvania 500 being run at Pocono Raceway.
The Good… 
Dale Jarrett has finished fifth or better, including two victories, in 11 of the last 12 races at Pocono Raceway.
Mark Martin (15 of 29) and Jeff Gordon (9 of 17) are the only active drivers to score top five finishes in at least half of their Pocono starts.
Jeremy Mayfield has finished in the top 10, including two victories, in six of his last nine races at Pocono.
The Bad…
Five of the last 13 races at Pocono have been won from outside the top 10, but seven of the last eight races have been won from a starting position of fourth or better.
The farthest back that a race winner at Pocono has started was 27th by Terry Labonte in the 1995 Pocono 500.
Nobody has won more that four races at Pocono Raceway. Among active drivers, Bill Elliott and Rusty Wallace each have four wins; Darrell Waltrip and the late Tim Richmond also have four wins at the triangular facility.
The Ugly…
John Andretti (15) and Robert Pressley (11) are the only active drivers with 10 or more starts at Pocono that have never finished in the top 10. Andretti's best finish is a 12th, while Pressley posted an 11th last year.
Dave Marcis has more DNF's than any other driver at Pocono with 11 casualties.
Michael Waltrip has posted only three top 10 finishes in 31 starts at Pocono.
7/29/01
Papis sees the obvious, too bad CART can't  From the Chicago Tribune on Friday - "It's very difficult in the U.S. market. The U.S. is not Europe, you know," says driver Max Papis, who's from Italy. "In Europe, CART would have had its success. People understand motor racing a lot more, it's more part of their lifestyle. So CART faces a big task in the USA. For us in Europe, we have soccer, motor racing, soccer, motor racing. Here you have many, many sports, so it's difficult to compete against traditional games."  We agree with Papis, and the sooner CART realizes it has to redefine itself into a world series, the sooner it will break out of the shadows of NASCAR.  We await to see the attendance for today's heavily marketed Target GP of Chicago.  Can an oval race that is marketed heavily, succeed without 2 for 1 NASCAR ticket gimmicks employed by the IRL?  Time will tell.  We certainly hope so.  Here's a link to the full Tribune article.  It's interesting reading. The key point - can CART redefine itself fast enough, or will it roll along, slow to react, into oblivion?
7/28/01
Michael Andretti pays a visit to Chicago Cubs   On Thursday Michael Andretti paid a visit to the historic Wrigley Field to take in a Chicago Cubs baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals.  Below is a report on his visit in pictures


(L to R) Andretti with Cubs Manager Don Baylor, center - two photos 
with Cubs Superstar Sammy Sosa, singing, right -  "Take Me Out to 
the Ballgame" to the crowd during the seventh inning stretch in the game.
All Photos by Jonathan Ferrey/Allsport

7/28/01
Frenchman wins Chicago, but don't confuse this Sara with that Sarah   Nicolas Rondet of Melle France scored his second victory of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series in the same fashion as the first, wire-to-wire from the pole. Like a metronome keeping the beat, Rondet never missed in his Mini Vacations Dodge Reynard as from turn-1 he would lead from a history making Sara Senske and Jon Morley. With her second-place finish Sara Senske becomes the first woman in the history of CART sanctioned races to stand on the podium. It was a career best finish for both Senske and Morley who previously had never scored higher than sixth and fourth respectively. With the win Rondet extends his championship lead over Matt Plumb by 15-points. "It might have looked easy but a win seldom is. Sara was right there most of the race and I had to keep focused and push all the time," said Rondet. "But this win is good for me. I'm happy for Sara and Jon being their first podium and that my closest competitors in the championship are not here (on the podium). Other than Vancouver, we have three of the four rounds remaining on courses that I expect to perform very well on."  Sara Senske is not to be confused with Sarah Fisher who is strictly an oval track driver.  Like all drivers in CART and its ladder series, Senske hopes to conquer all types of tracks, - streets, road courses, short ovals and high-speed ovals.  David Wieringa, son of CART Team owner Tom Wieringa, finished 4th, his best showing to date.  You should know that David's goals are ultimately Champ Cars.  Father Tom is making sure he gets the right training before letting him ring out one of his 900 HP Lola Ford's.
7/28/01
Pocono Happy Hour Notes  Jeff Gordon missed the pole yesterday with his 8th place qualifying effort, but he was fastest in Happy Hour today posting a speed of 164.057 mph. Ricky Rudd was second quick in the final practice, equaling his performance in Bud Pole qualifying. Dave Blaney was the fastest Dodge in practice, turning in the fifth fastest time with a Chevrolet, two Fords and a Pontiac posting better times in Happy Hour. Pole sitter Todd Bodine was the 33rd fastest of the 43 cars to qualify for the event. Bodine has three top 15 finishes in the last three races and looks to continue the streak this weekend. Prior to this weekend, Bodine has started in the top 10 no less than eight times, but has finished a race in the top 10 only twice. Say what? Todd Bodine was asked about the pronunciation of his last name. It seems that some people pronounce it BO-dine and others say Bo-DINE. While not wanting to take sides himself, Todd referred the question to an authority in the matter. "My mom says it Bo-DINE, so I guess that's how we better say it".  Frank Ryan
7/28/01
Atlantics: Orsi takes Chicago pole   After being edged out four times this season, relegated to starting second, Hoover Orsi got the monkey off of his back winning his first career CART Toyota Atlantic Championship pole. Orsi posted a lap of 138.229 mph (26.799 seconds) around the 1.029-mile Chicago Motor Speedway, under overcast conditions. Tony Ave who held the fastest practice speed of the weekend, was narrowly edged out for the pole by Orsi. “The track had more understeer and I couldn’t get it out with the sway bars,” said Ave. “Otherwise the track was good and we got everything out of the car we could. The team is looking for good day tomorrow with three cars starting up front.” Rocky Moran Jr. turned in his best career Atlantic qualifying effort with a speed of 135.281 mph (27.383 seconds), good for third in tomorrow’s race. Moran is only driving in his second race for Cobb Racing after being voted on the inaugural CART Toyota Atlantic All-Start team after last year’s effort driving for P-1 Racing. 
7/28/01
USDOT and CART announce safety program   Building on their successful three-year partnership, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) announced today their new campaign, Safety - the Ultimate Rush, a new effort to drive home lifesaving traffic and vehicle safety information to race fans. "I applaud CART for its leadership in promoting safety on and off the track and am pleased that CART continues to help to make our highways safer," U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said. "Together we are reaching race fans and their families across the nation with valuable information about the importance of safety, which is the Bush administration's highest transportation priority."  Full Story (PDF)
7/28/01
Barber Dodge Pro-Series mandates HANS Device   The Barber Dodge Pro Series is the first entry-level professional race series in the world to make use of the HANS Device compulsory. Following the lead of the CART FedEx Series, all Barber Dodge drivers will be required to wear the HANS Device when the green flag drops this afternoon for round 8 of the 2001 series at the Chicago Motor Speedway. The rule is in effect for 2001 for oval races only while consideration is being given to mandate its use at all rounds in 2002. "Rhonda Trammell and a few other drivers voluntarily used a HANS device in several races last year in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and had no problems with fit and comfort," said Barber Dodge Pro Series Managing Director Jeremy Dale. "We've been very proactive along with Dr. Terry Trammell in supporting the use of the HANS amongst our drivers since last year. CART took the lead and we decided that the time was right for us to do the same. Hopefully capturing drivers this early in their careers will lead to a wide spread use of the HANS Device in the years to follow." Because HANS is now mandatory in the series its inventors Jim Downing and Dr. Robert Hubbard were extraordinarily helpful and accommodating in putting all of the Barber Dodge drivers at the top of the wait list ahead of several motorsports luminaries. Dr. Trammell of the CART Simple Green Safety Team has been instrumental in the fitting of the device and among its greatest proponents. "Basal Skull fractures, which occur when the head accelerates faster than the torso and thus sever the cluster of nerves at the base of the skull, almost always lead to death or permanent neurological damage. Basal Skull Fractures can be prevented relatively easily by ensuring that the head and torso accelerate or decelerate at the same speed. That is what the HANS Device is designed to do," according to Dr. Trammell. "You have to remember that while racing has the stigma of danger, it's always actually been at the forefront of safety. Up until the mid-60's seatbelts weren't commonly used. What it will take is a sanctioning body to require its use and it will one day be as commonplace as the helmet itself." Barber Dodge Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marc Breuers, and Jay Ricci have worn the HANS device at every round of the 2001 series. 
7/28/01
Big Mo breaks HANS Device after 123 G hit   2nd UPDATE Associates of Autoracing1.com had lunch with Dr. Terry Trammel in Chicago today. Dr. Trammel said Big Mo would have been killed had he not worn the HANS Device during his crash yesterday.  Earlier today - We have added pictures courtesy of Toyota, of Big Mo's accident scene.  

7/27/01 - Mauricio Gugelmin broke his HANS Device and steering wheel today in a crash at Chicago Motor Speedway today that left him with a slightly bruised shoulder.  The HANS Device is designed to snap when a certain level of force is reached.  Better for it to break than the drivers neck.  I'll have to do a lot of icing tonight on my shoulders," Gugelmin said. "The doctors said I have been cleared to drive tomorrow, so I'll do some work tonight with a trainer and then report to CART medical [CART Mobile Medical Facility] in the morning for some physical therapy. The hit registered 123 Gs in just .03 seconds, so I anticipate quite a bit of soreness tonight and tomorrow. Really, I walk away with just a few minor cuts and bruises, so I'm very fortunate to have been wearing the HANS [head and neck support] device and thankful that these cars are so safe today. We will reevaluate things in the morning, but I'll be all right."  "The impact was larger than his crash at Texas, and it completely used up his headrest and cracked the HANS device," said CART Medical Director Dr. Steve Olvey." That's better than his neck cracking. Instead of being knocked out, or finding himself in the hospital overnight, he's still got a chance to drive this weekend. It makes a big difference." Gugelmin's Texas crash was a 66.2-G impact into the inside wall and a 113.1-G impact backing into the outside wall. 

7/28/01
Vasser paces Chicago Saturday AM practice  Jimmy Vasser paced Saturday morning practice for Sunday's Target Grand Prix. Vasser, the 1996 CART Champion, toured the 1.029-mile oval in 23.201 seconds, good for an average speed of 159.666 mph. Memo Gidley was second at 23.224 seconds (159.507 mph) in the Target Toyota/Lola. Third quickest was points leader Kenny Brack at 23.233 seconds (159.446 mph) in the Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola. Practice was divided into two 45-minute segments and Gidley's time paced the first group. Rounding out the top five were Adrian Fernandez at 23.286 seconds (159.083 mph) and Tony Kanaan at 23.309 seconds (158.926 mph). Less than seven-10ths of a second separated the 25-car field.
7/28/01
Arrows gets Ford Cosworth power in 2002  The Orange Arrows team has confirmed speculation that its cars will be powered by Cosworth V10 engines in 2002. The announcement was made at a press conference held at Hockenheim. "We're delighted to have forged a partnership with the Premier Performance Division and its core companies, namely, Cosworth Racing and Pi Group", said Orange Arrows team principal, Tom Walkinshaw.  Also commenting on the deal was Jaguar PPD CEO Niki Lauda. "This deal with Orange Arrows is the first real product of what the Premier Performance Division is all about," said Lauda. "In addition to Jaguar Racing, my responsibilities with the Premier Performance Division involve putting in place the building blocks to enable Cosworth Racing and Pi Group to realize their full potential and to work together to best effect. Some people might question whether we should be supplying engines to another team until Jaguar Racing starts winning races, but you mustn't forget the fact that Cosworth Racing does nothing else but racing - that is its sole business - unlike other engine manufacturers in Formula 1 who have not always specialized in the art of engineering F1 engines. This goes quite some way to explaining why these companies are reluctant to supply more than one team. In this case, I firmly believe that it's a way to move forward at a greater pace. In 1993, for example, Cosworth Racing supplied both Benetton and McLaren and I believe that the performance level of both the engine and the teams improved dramatically, culminating in Benetton winning the 1994 Formula One World Championship." 
7/27/01
Atlantics: Orsi Ave share top times in Chicago   Hoover Orsi (Hylton Motorsports/U.S. Print Swift) and Tony Ave (P-1 Racing/Miller Genuine Draft Swift) continued their flip flop of the top spot during Friday's practice at the Chicago Motor Speedway. Thursday testing showed Ave quickest in the morning and Orsi in the afternoon. Friday's practice was a repeat performance with Orsi's car performing better in the afternoon heat.  Times from the morning session slowed as the track temperature warmed by 11 degrees to 94. In addition to the heat, the head wind blowing in the driver's face on the back straight picked up strength. Orsi turned in the fastest speed of the afternoon session at 136.412 mph (27.156 seconds). Ave, who was fastest in the morning session, was third quickest in the afternoon with a speed of 135.573 mph (27.324 seconds). Ave still holds the overall fastest lap with his morning speed of 137.961 mph (26.851 seconds).
7/27/01
Rondet on Chicago Pole, Sara Senske 2nd fastest   He was quickest in practice and Frenchman Nicolas Rondet's form held true for qualifying to capture his fourth career pole for round 8 of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series. The biggest splash however was made by Lynx Racing's Sara Senske who had held onto the pole for most of the single-car qualifying session. In the end only Rondet, who went second to last in the order could unseat her. She is now the first female driver to start on the front row of a CART sanctioned event. American Ryan Hunter-Reay will start on the inside of row-2 in third place. Rondet captured the pole with a quick lap of 00:31.461 sec for an average speed of 117.746 mph around the Chicago Motor Speedway's 1-mile oval. 
7/27/01
Heitzler gets another vote of confidence from board We hear that yesterday's CART board meeting was a 7.5 hour marathon, with the usual strong willed team owners jockeying to have their say.  We hear from one attendee that Heitzler handled the meeting as well as any before him, and got another vote of confidence by most of the votes going per his recommendations.  We asked if there was any talk about the stories of previous lawsuits Heitzler's company's were involved in.  The answer was "absolutely not - the owners know what Joe is about, he is gaining momentum, and besides, everyone knows there are always lawsuits in the corporate world.  In the end they make you stronger."
7/27/01
Long and Hillenburg Compete at Pocono  “Indiana” Andy Hillenburg and Carl Long are both on hand at Pocono in an attempt to qualify for Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500. Unfortunately, both were among the slowest cars during Friday’s practice. Carl Long is attempting to qualify the same car he brought to Pocono last year, but his 160.428 practice speed was nearly 10 mph slower than pace setter Ricky Rudd..  Frank Ryan
7/27/01
NASCAR announces rules change  NASCAR officials announced today that modifications to the front air dam for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series 2001 Dodge Intrepid will go into effect beginning with next weekend’s NASCAR Winston Cup event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This modification will allow Intrepid teams to extend their front air dam two inches forward below the bumper from the current measurement. The front air dam is described as the area below the front bumper. The bumper will remain in its standard position.  Frank Ryan
7/27/01
New paint for Sterling Marlin  Sterling Marlin was 15th quick in practice Friday is looking to make his 523rd career start in Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500. Marlin’s Dodge appeared heavy when it was taken of the hauler Friday morning. Instead of the silver Coors Light paint design; the Dodge Intrepid was painted in a dark blue and black color scheme.  Frank Ryan


Photos by Michael Marue.  Copyright 2001 Autoracing1.com

7/27/01
Update from Pocono  The first practice session at Pocono Raceway is over. After winning the Pocono 500 here in June, Ricky Rudd continued where he left off by pacing the field during the first practice session with a top speed of 169.291 mph. Rudd’s quick lap came on his second circuit of Pocono’s 2.5 mile superspeedway. Rudd parked the car after only 9 laps; confident the car was set up well for qualifying. Buckshot Jones was involved in the only incident during Friday’s practice. The accident occurred on the 14 degree banking of the first turn, on the 8th lap Jones’ practice. After accelerating down the nearly mile long front stretch at Pocono, Jones absolutely destroyed his Petty Enterprises ride as he lost control of his Georgia Pacific Dodge and backed it into the outside wall. Jones was taken to the infield care center, but was released in good health after the precursory check over. After the wreck, team members from Petty Enterprises scrambled into action to prepare the backup car for Jones. A generic Petty Blue Dodge Intrepid was quickly taken off the hauler and pushed to the garage in preparation for inspection and qualifying. Kyle Petty cut short his practice laps to assist in the effort, King Richard walked intently circled around the cars, and at one point, even team consultant Larry McReynolds was working on the car, installing air dam on the front of the car. While Buckshot Jones was uninjured in a crash during morning qualifying, the wreck put a pinch on the wallets of Petty Enterprises. The Georgia Pacific Dodge was a brand new race car, prepared especially for Pocono under the guidance of Larry McReynolds.  Frank Ryan


Photos by Michael Marue.  Copyright 2001 Autoracing1.com

7/27/01
Look at my ring mom! CART driver and Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves recently received his Indy 500 winners ring and he was proud to show it off for AutoRacing1's cameras today in Chicago. Perhaps the ring will bring him good luck this weekend.  So far he is fastest...barely. Photo by Michele Saunders, copyright AutoRacing1.com 
7/27/01
Irvine and Jaguar fastest so far in Germany  Jaguar’s Eddie Irvine set the fastest time in today’s practice for Sunday’s German Grand Prix, driving his Jaguar/Cosworth around the ultra-fast 4.24mi Hockenheimring at a record-shattering 1:41.424/150.527mph, some 3 seconds faster than last years pole time. Don't you just love a tire war. Look for lap times to tumble some 5 seconds before the weekend is out. Juan Pablo Montoya was 2nd fastest in his Williams BMW, just a tick of the watch slower. Both Irvine and Montoya were a full 1/2 second faster than third fastest Mika Hakkinen.  Results
7/27/01
Castroneves leads opening practice in Chicago Updated We have added the AM Friday times/Speeds Results Earlier - Helio Castroneves nipped Kenny Brack for fast time in the opening practice for the Target GP of Chicago by just 0.013 sec. Brack also had the 3rd fastest time in the session in his backup car.  Mo Gugelmin, Memo Gidley, Tony Kanaan, Tora Takagi, Gil de Ferran, Alex Zanardi and Cristiano da Matta followed, all within an amazing 0.202 sec. The top 33 cars were within 1 second of Castroneves. 
7/27/01
Scenes from Chicago The pictures below are from Chicago Motor Speedway taken during Friday mornings activities by Michele Saunders (Copyright 2001 AutoRacing1.com)

7/27/01
CART tops TV ratings in LA market Believe it or not, CART is more popular in certain parts of the USA than Winston Cup.  Don't believe us?  Here are some LA ratings from last weekend:
1. CART Michigan 500 2.7(ABC) 
2. NASCAR LOUDON 1.7(TNT) 
3. ALMS Sears Point 1.3(NBC) 
7/27/01
IRL announcer Jason Priestley completes alcohol rehab UPDATE Some have asked why we published this dirt on someone related to the IRL.  While we don't go around digging up dirt, it seems that since publications like NSSN and Autoweek have chosen to publish numerous articles that paint CART and Joe Heitzler in a negative light, CART fans are now going out of their way to send us information that paints the IRL in a negative light.  We received some very potentially damaging Tony George (and his family) information from the past, however, we decided to take the high road and discontinue any further 'dirt' articles.  We hope other publications will see fit to do the same.  In the end, it's the racing that counts. Earlier -  IRL announcer and actor, Jason Priestley has completed a 3-month alcohol counseling program after pleading no contest to a drunken driving charge in 1999.  In December 1999 he totaled his Porsche and a passenger broke both arms.  Priestley first denied the charges by pleading not guilty, saying he swerved to miss a deer.  However, the governments case was too solid and he was forced to eventually plead guilty or risk possible further penalty.  We are not certain if that would have included spending time in the slammer like IRL team owner Larry Curry will be doing for his unethical business dealings with John Menard..
7/27/01
Dallas Cowboys to invest in NASCAR team  According to today's Dallas Morning news, The Cowboys are discussing a deal to invest between $9 million and $12 million per year in one of the most successful race teams in NASCAR, officials of the football team said Thursday. Cowboys vice president Jerry Jones Jr. and owner Jerry Jones said franchise officials are discussing the possibility of investing in Richard Childress' Winston Cup race team, the team for which Dale Earnhardt drove during six of his seven Winston Cup points championships. The largest primary sponsor in Winston Cup is the United Parcel Service, which spends about $16 million per season on Dale Jarrett's team. The Cowboys want to be the first sports franchise to be a primary sponsor for a major Winston Cup car. The younger Mr. Jones declined to divulge whether the Cowboys had targeted potential drivers. Mr. Childress could not be reached for comment. ""This will be a huge deal, and we want it done the right way," Mr. Jones Jr. said. "It's an issue of timing and getting everything accomplished that we're trying to get done." 
7/27/01
The road to Indy goes through F2000, or does it?  The "Road to Indy" goes thru F2000 and now comes word they have canceled two of their four oval races (out of 15 race total).  Chicago this weekend has been canceled, as well as the race at IRP, giving the Oval Crown to Billy Asaro, a 19 year old from Ontario, Canada.  Bad enough the Road to Indy is won by a Canadian, next thing you know he'll be driving a Williams. Where are the American drivers?

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