Hot News

Thanks for visiting our Hot News page  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.  

Go to our forums to discuss this news.

DATE

News (chronologically 2/26/02 to 3/2/02)

3/2/02

IRL race pre-empted in Target's hometown  The IRL race was also preempted in Minneapolis today, the 14th largest market in the country. It will be shown tape delayed at 11:30 PM. That's 3 million people who won't have a chance to watch the race live. The IRL TV contract with ABC deal isn't all it's made up to be. Target is not on the Ganassi car in the IRL, however, we wonder how Target would feel about the IRL race not being shown in their home city? You would think this would pour a little cold water on the idea that Target wants to jump ship, though from what we understand, Target is very happy with CART.

3/2/02

Treadway welcomes now co-owner who brings money to team  Airlink Enterprises, a New York-based commercial real estate developer and wireless telecommunications contractor and consolidator, will be the primary sponsor for the Treadway Racing/Spade Motorsports Indy Racing League co-entry driven by rookie Rick Treadway. Treadway drives the team's No. 55 G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone entry. He will start 12th in the season-opening 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami today at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "We are excited to be partnering with a successful team like Treadway Racing," Airlink President Guy Winter said. "And we are confident that our sponsorship will assist in executing our primary business strategies for years to come." Airlink's introduction to Treadway came by way of new team co-owner, John Spade, co-founder, president and CEO of Cincinnati, Ohio-based Did You Sports Marketing and Griffey International Baseball and Softball schools.

3/2/02

Motegi race renamed  The CART race in Motegi Japan will now be called the Bridgestone Potenza 500, the name changed to correspond to the CART series switch from Firestone tires to Bridgestone tires.

3/2/02

Road racers dominate IRL grid  UPDATE It turns out we missed a few road racers.  It appears, except for two, the entire IRL field comes from a road racing background. 3/1/02 - A reader writes - I was looking at the IRL grid for Homestead.  It looks like a lot of CART drivers and road racers dominate.  I thought the IRL was an oval series?  Joni Smith [Editor's Note: we have long maintained that road racing is the best training ground for any type of auto racing.  Dirt track oval racing is no longer the best training ground for a driver who has aspirations to be an open wheel racer in the big leagues.  Results over the last ten years pretty much put to rest this argument, and is probably the reason why interest in dirt track racing has waned.]
1-Hornish Jr, Sam - CART ladder system training
2-Castroneves, Helio  - CART road racer
3-Scheckter, Tomas - Europe road racing
4-Cheever Jr, Eddie - F1 and CART road racer
5-Lazier, Jacques - CART ladder system
6-de Ferran, Gil - CART road racer
7-Buhl, Robbie - CART ladder system
8-Boat, Billy - CART Indy Lights season in 1986, finishing 6th in points
9-Redon, Laurent - Europe road racing
10-Ward, Jeff - CART ladder system
11-Sharp, Scott - CART road racing
12-Treadway, Rick - Oval racer
13-Unser Jr, Al - CART road racer
14-McGehee, Robby - Started on Barber Dodge and F2000 road courses
15-Salazar, Eliseo - CART road racing
16-Lazier, Buddy - CART
17-Giaffone, Felipe - CART ladder system
18-de Vries, John - Formula Holden road racing
19-Barron, Alex - CART ladder system
20-Lazzaro, Anthony - CART ladder system
21-Dare, Airton - CART ladder system
22-Carlson, Tyce - Oval racer
23-Noda, Hideki - CART ladder system, Japanese road racing
And in fairness the list should include Beechler, Herb, Mack and Roe. Herb has a smattering of ARCA and USF2000 experience. Mack, to my knowledge, had driven absolutely nothing except karts before his rookie test (and despite 300 or so karting wins in his resume, nobody we've talked to in the karting community seems to know all that much about him). Roe dabbled in Formula Fords and Continentals, but all his handful of Atlantic events over a five year span appear to have been on ovals.

3/2/02

F1 cars approach 900 HP  Word in Melbourne is that BMW is now getting 900 HP from their 2002 engine, in a car that weighs 400 lbs less than a CART Champ Car.  Watching qualifying from Australia the F1 cars are now blindingly fast.  We expect that when CART arrives in Montreal this year, they will find themselves close to 10 seconds per lap slower than the F1 times on the same track.  And in 2003, when the Champ cars are reduced to only 700 HP vs. F1's 900 HP, in cars that weigh 400 lbs more, the difference in lap times may approach 15 seconds.  That should bring a smile to Bernie's face.  However, F1's runaway speeds are resulting in runaway costs, and while CART has many restrictions on technology to control costs and speeds, F1's out of control speeds are about to bite them in the posterior as more teams are on the verge of folding.  We hear the executives in Dearborn, faced with huge losses, have gotten wind of the fact their Jaguar company is having its image tarnished by the F1 teams poor performance.  It doesn't sit too well with them that they are spending $100 million per year to tarnish their own name.  Can you say "time to pull the plug" three times fast?

3/2/02

Prost liquidators issue statement  The official liquidator appointed by the Versailles Court of Commerce in France has released the following statement. "Maître Cosme Rogeau, court appointed liquidator of the Prost Grand Prix company, wishes to explain that he had set a deadline on February, 28th at 11:00 am for buy out offers of the Prost Grand Prix production unit to be delivered. This time limit had been established in order to allow a potential buyer to comply with the deadline imposed by the FIA regarding the drivers registration on the 2002 entry list, deadline set on February 28th at 4pm. Maître Rogeau points out that no buy out offer of the Prost Grand Prix production unit was delivered before the expiration of the deadline. He wishes to inform the media that the Commercial Court of Versailles received a proposal for a partial offer dealing with:
1 - the acquisition of the AP04 and AP05 chassis intellectual property
2 - the acquisition of the AP05 pieces and elements
3 - the acquisition of the rights related to the Concorde Agreement
4 - the hiring of some AP04 chassis elements and related parts
The Commercial Court of Versailles, by judgment given on February, 28th at 3:10pm Paris time, ordained the assignment of the above-mentioned elements and the transfer of property to the company Phoenix Finance Ltd, represented by Mr Charles J. NIickerson. The adjustment of the legal acts is now in process. Maître Cosme Rogeau wishes to draw attention on the fact that this is not in any case an assignment of the Prost Grand Prix company. He indicates that the working plant elements will be auctioned in the coming weeks, in accordance with the order of the "Juge Commissaire" edicted on February 19th 2002. He confirms that the name "Prost Grand Prix " is not included in the assignment. Finally, he reminds the fact that he is still looking for bidders for the acquisition of the Guyancourt facilities and the Magny-Cours wind tunnel."  Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has announced his intention to take an injunction out against Tom Walkinshaw following the Scot's announcement that his TWR group will provide engineering support to the company that has bought Prost Grand Prix.
"I will be taking it to court, probably before Malaysia, and I will be seeking an injunction to stop, if someone else doesn't do it, this from happening," the Australian said in Friday's press conference. The Australian believes that he has a legal case stating Walkinshaw's actions are outside the Concorde Agreement. "I think what he has done - and I have had five legal opinions, three in the UK, one QC, two barristers, and two in France - to say what he has done is outside of the governing document of Formula One, the Concorde Agreement," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, liquidation is a virtue of its word, it's the final state, and there is only one way you can pull something out of liquidation under any law, and that is to simply pay all the creditors. Pay all the creditors, pay all the staff, take the company over."

3/2/02

Beechler crashes at Homestead UPDATE Tests on Beechler were negative, although he suffered a concussion, was held overnight and will not be cleared to drive this weekend.  3/1/02 -  Donnie Beechler and rookie Tomas Scheckter crashed Friday during practice for the IRL race in Homestead. Beechler, driving for A.J. Foyt, spun in Turn 4, hit the wall and damaged the rear of his car. Beechler got out of the car without assistance but was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami for X-rays after complaining of back and neck pain. Scheckter, also spun in Turn 4 and damaged the rear of his car. He was not injured.  Foyt was looking to put foreign driver Airton Daire in Beechlers backup car, rather than an American driver such as Sarah Fisher.  We find that quite ironic since Foyt always badmouthed CART about all the foreign drivers in their series.

3/1/02

Saturday AM - Ferrari on top again  A familiar order returned to the top of the timesheets on Saturday as Ferrari, Williams and McLaren filled the top six places in final practice ahead of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher was fastest around the Albert Park circuit, closely followed by team-mate Rubens Barrichello. McLaren made up for their disappointing Friday form with David Coulthard finishing fifth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in sixth. The Williams pair of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher finished third and fourth to keep the pressure on Ferrari, but were unable to get within a second of the Italian team.

3/1/02

Hendrick wins award  The Charlotte, N.C.-based Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal recently named Rick Hendrick as their 2002 recipient of the Bill France Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, as chosen by a committee of editors. Given since 2001, the honor is designed to recognize an individual whose contributions have had a substantial long-term impact on NASCAR. Hendrick won his 100th Winston Cup race last season, along with a third Craftsman Truck Series championship, both firsts for an owner. He also pioneered the multi-team approach to stock car racing, a strategy that now dominates the sport. After humble beginnings, Hendrick Motorsports has grown into a $50 million industry leader, headquartered at a 62-acre, 400,000 square-foot facility in Charlotte and employing more than 300 people..

3/1/02

CART to announce Chicago race Monday  AR1 has learned that CART and Chicago Motor Speedway will have a press conference Monday in Chicago to announce that the Chicago race is back on the 2002 schedule.  We hear it will be at the Harry Caray Restaurant. Representatives from Championship Auto Racing Teams as well as Bobby Rahal, Owner of Team Rahal and Jimmy Vasser, Driver of the #8 Shell Ford Lola for Team Rahal will participate in the conference MC.

3/1/02

Servia confident following pre-season testing  Oriol Servia and PWR Championship Racing concluded pre-season testing this week at Homestead, Miami, and are pleased with the progress made as the team prepares for the start of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series. Servia, in his #17 Toyota Lola, logged 41 laps on his first day and 81 laps on day two at the 2.2-mile road course, posting a best time of 1:07.5. The off-season has presented changes for the native of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, but Servia is optimistic as he heads into his third year of CART FedEx competition. “Considering all the changes during the off-season, I’ve had a fantastic testing season,” said Servia. “I was presented with more testing opportunities than I have had in the past. We completed a race simulation on day two at Homestead, which I’ve never done before. It was good for me to see how the car will actually react during a race before I head to Monterrey.” Before Servia and his PWR team headed to Homestead, the 27-year old also had the opportunity to test during CART Sneak Preview at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. Servia, who was fourth quickest, clocked a time of 1:09.700 (115.593 mph) on the 2.238-mile road course. Cristiano da Matta was the quickest putting in a lap of 1:08:981 (116.797 mph). “Overall we had a very good test at Laguna Seca,” added Servia. “Over the two days of testing we definitely picked up the pace and by the end of the weekend, I was very pleased with the car. The entire pre-season testing has been very useful and productive for me.” The #17 PWR crew is back in Indianapolis finalizing preparations for the CART FedEx Championship Series opener in Monterrey, Mexico, on March 10, 2002, which will be broadcast live on Speed Channel at 4:00 p.m. EST.

3/1/02

Miami Heat to sponsor Ganassi car at Homestead  Chip Ganassi Racing announced today that the NBA’s Miami Heat Basketball team will sponsor the No. 9 Chevrolet/G Force piloted by veteran driver Jeff Ward. The one-race deal was agreed upon today at the Homestead-Miami International Speedway. Team owner Chip Ganassi feels that the cross-promotion will benefit both parties involved. "This is a mutually beneficial relationship for both Chip Ganassi Racing and the Miami Heat,” Ganassi said. “This allows both parties to benefit from the exposure that the Indy Racing League and the National Basketball Association provide. We are honored to carry the colors of the Miami Heat this weekend as we pursue a victory in the season-opening race in Homestead.” Jeff Ward, last year’s pole-winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway is happy to don the logo of the Miami Heat franchise. “I’m excited to have the Miami Heat on the car this weekend,” Ward explained. “They’re a winning organization with great athletes. We’re hoping to get the Heat in Victory Lane.”

3/1/02

Start of qualifying postponed indefinitely  UPDATE The driver was Jeff Clinton. He was driving the Archangel Lola in SRPII. Reports are that he spun going into turn one, went backwards, lifted off the ground, and flipped repeatedly before landing upside down in a gravel trap. He died at the scene.  Our condolences go out to his family and friends. 3/1/02 - The start of MBNA Pole Qualifying for the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami has been delayed indefinitely due to a fatal accident at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series practice. That series also is competing at the track this weekend.

3/1/02

Guy Smith heads to Sebring for a fight  Briton Guy Smith heads to America on Monday to begin testing for the Sebring 12 Hours, knowing he has a struggle on his hands to repeat the runner-up spot he achieved at Daytona last month. The 27 year-old from Hull will again partner team owner Jim Matthews in the Riley & Scott MkIII C but will face tough opposition from the factory Audis, Panoz and Cadillacs as well as the Dallara of Daytona winner Max Papis. “We had a great run at Daytona and second place was a fantastic result,” said Guy. “But at Sebring we’re up against all the top teams whose cars are all very much quicker than us. Engine-wise we’ve got the pace to match them, but as with every championship, the factory-run cars with far more budget enables much more development to take place so we know we’ve got a real fight on our hands.” “One thing I’ve learned from sportscar racing though is that although outright speed is undoubtedly a major factor, strength and durability is equally important and that’s an area that the Riley & Scott excels in. We also run Goodyear tyres, and the three main teams all run Michelins, which are worth about a second a lap over the Goodyears.” “Our car is very strong, the others may be quicker, but some of them remain relatively fragile in comparison. It’s going to be a very tough week in the build up to the race. We head out to Putnam Park, Indianapolis for two days shakedown next week, prior to the official testing at Sebring on the 11th. The Sebring circuit itself is very demanding to drive and with the level of competition being so high, the whole week will be a hard test. If we can qualify in the top ten I think we’ll be reasonably happy and realistically a top five position in the race would be a very good result.”

3/1/02

Mexican drivers announce CART Barber Dodge entry's  Mexican drivers Piero Rodarte and Guillermo "Memo" Rojas announced their entry in the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series with support from Mexican telecom giant Telmex. Additionally, Luis Javier Pelayo will contest the 2002 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER as a part of the Team Telmex effort to propel drivers up the Barber-CART ladder. "We feel very satisfied with the organization of the Barber Dodge Pro Series and we are sure that we have made the right decision in choosing the series as the starting point for our Team Telmex drivers," said Andres Ortiz Lavin, Communications Coordinator for Team Telmex. "Our drivers (Rodarte and Rojas) will have the opportunity to demonstrate their caliber as drivers in this very competitive series. At Telmex we are accustomed to competing against the largest telecommunications companies. Our philosophy is to always take on the best and succeed, and we wish to pass on this desire to our drivers because they have grand future. We will strive together to reach our common goals, to be the best." Rojas, 22, returns to Barber Dodge after limited runs in 1998 and '99. In 2000-01 Rojas contested the USF2000 series where he garnered a pole and nine Top-5 finishes. In '97 he was a runner-up in the Skip Barber Race Series. Rodarte, 18, also comes to Barber Dodge with USF2000 experience that includes a win in '01. In both 1997 and '98, Rodarte claimed Mexican karting titles and then backed those up the following year with a Formula Reynard title in '99. "The Team Telmex program has risen to the forefront of corporate support for driver development, and in doing so they are really protecting their current and long-term investments at the top levels of the sport. In Piero, Memo and Luis, they are cultivating drivers who will be able to step up when Adrian Fernandez moves on, ensuring the continuity and longevity of their motorsports marketing platform," said Jeremy Dale, Managing Director of the Barber Dodge Pro Series. "We're honored that they have chosen the Barber Dodge Pro Series and the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship to achieve their goals." The final driver in the mix is Pelayo, who began karting at age 7 and by 12 years old had won every karting title possible in Mexico. His transition to racecars has only been deterred by his age as not until recently was he eligible for a license. He comes to the National Championship series with limited experience in both Formula Ford and Mexican Formula 3.

3/1/02

A bidder emerges for the bankrupt Prost team  A consortium has apparently come forward with a bid to takeover the defunct Prost team, though Alain Prost himself would likely not be involved.  Adding weight to the rumors, on Friday morning Arrows chief and motorsport entrepreneur Tom Walkinshaw stated that his TWR group had agreed to assist the new team with its engineering interests. ‘TWR is going to be supporting the engineering side of it but the principals behind it will announce the whole thing when they're ready,’ the Scotsman told the Reuters news agency. ‘We're supporting them with a whole load of the engineering back-up from TWR to get it up and running and do it properly.’

3/1/02

Homestead attendance sparse  As can be seen from the photo to the right, oval track open wheel racing continues to suffer from lack of interest during the weekdays.  While thousands will take off from work to attend F1's and CART's road and street races on Friday's, people just don't seem interested enough to take a day off from work to watch cars drone around an oval track. Look at the photo at left from Australia taken today.  Many people around the circuit who took off from work to see the F1 machines.  The other significant factor in all this is the fact that a road and street course race promoter makes money from ticket sales and concessions on weekdays, whereas an oval track promoter makes almost nothing.   Hopefully on race day the grandstands at Homestead will be sold out, as Marlboro would not have insisted Team Penske move to the IRL to show its colors to an empty house.  It will be interesting to see if Team Penske's move to the IRL will help attendance in 2002. IMS Photo Ron McQueeney

2/28/02 Ticket sales move downtown for Long Beach  Tickets for the 28th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which takes place April 12-14, will be available for purchase in downtown Long Beach beginning Monday. The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach's downtown ticket office, located at 430 East First Street in Long Beach, between Elm and Linden Streets, will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. This year's edition of the Grand Prix will again feature the stars of the CART FedEx Championship Series, led by two-time Long Beach winner Paul Tracy, Michael Andretti, Dario Franchitti, Adrian Fernandez, and Jimmy Vasser. The action-packed weekend also includes the popular Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, now in its 26th year. CART's highly competitive development racing series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, returns to showcase the future stars of Champ Car racing. North America's longest-running race series, the Trans-Am Series for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup, is back to feature racing's top "muscle cars" and their slam-bang style. In addition to top-notch racing, spectators can take part in a variety of family-oriented activities and enjoy live music performances throughout the weekend. Fans can visit the popular Automobile Club of Southern California Lifestyle Expo, an exhibition that includes the latest high-tech products and services, racecars, games and simulators, as well as a photo retrospective of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. GPALB
2/28/02 CART NY City venue UPDATE Randalls Island now offers ball fields, cross-country trails and a golf driving range. A $200 million master plan unveiled by the Randalls Island Sports Foundation envisions a marina, restored ball fields, bicycle paths, a water park, a field house and new Festival and Concert Grounds. In his first State of the City address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Randalls Island will be renovated with an entertainment center and improved athletic facilities. Despite the budget troubles, Bloomberg said the city would push forward on several development fronts: expanding the Javits Convention Center; wooing the 2012 Olympics; extending the No. 7 subway line; and renovating Randalls Island.  AR1 has learned today that with NY City going after the 2012 Summer Olympics, and Randalls Island could factor into the games, even though their Olympic website does not currently show that.  (Trivia - Did you know that Jesse Owen qualified for the 1939 Olympics in trials held on Randalls Island?) Therefore, one can assume that this now quiet, somewhat rundown piece of valuable real estate in NY City can, and will be, turned into a site suitable for the NY City GP, perhaps someday the most prestigious on the CART circuit. It would fit in with Long Beach and St. Petersburg with boats and yachts parked adjacent to the circuit, and the rich and famous wining and dining in some of the best restaurants in the world. Talks that were put on hold due to the September 11th terrorist attacks on NY City, have resumed recently. While there's still a long way to go before this race can ever become a reality, the wheels are once again in motion and the race would happen well before 2012, in the 2004/2005 timeframe we suppose.  8/9/01 -  If CART is to race in NY City, we reported earlier it will likely be on Randalls Island.  Here is a link to a GeoXplorer aerial view.   It is in the East River off the NE edge of Manhattan.  The City has big plans for this somewhat rundown locale, but the race may figure strongly in those plans.  We apologize for the two shades of the image, but we didn't take them.  Notice the footbridge across the East River from Manhattan to the Island.  Also notice Downing Stadium that is being torn down as part of the major reconstruction soon to take place.  While part of the island leaves a lot to be desired, some parts are very park like.  It's hard to envision a race track there right now, but we suppose if it was built totally new from scratch with a very wide (Adelaide-like) track width, one might be able to construct a reasonable track layout.  It somewhat depends on how much the City is willing to tear up the island.

2/28/02

Schumacher draws first blood in Australia  Using his 2001 car, Michael Schumacher topped the charts in Melbourne in Friday morning practice on a damp track.  The top six were M. Schumacher, Barrichello, Fisichella, R. Schumacher, Massa, de la Rosa.  Juan Montoya was 10th, but he never shows his hand on Friday.

2/28/02

Indy Racing League notebook  The fourth annual Indy Racing Season Opener Party will take place Saturday, March 2, in the Flag Room at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort & Inn on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indy Racing League fans from www.trackforum.com have organized a non-profit gathering for people who can't attend the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway in person and would like to watch the season opener with other Indy Racing fans. More

2/28/02

Friday quotes  Team Cheever topped the charts today at Homestead.  Here's what the drivers had to say:
Tomas Scheckter on Setting the Pace in Practice: "Today we spent time on both qualifying and race setups. We learned a lot in both areas. We just need to stay in form, maintaining our pace tomorrow as well. The crew of the Red Bull Cheever Racing team is working very hard and everything is coming together. We also spent some time working on coming in and out of the pits. The yellow flags and pit stops will be something new for me in this race. This is a good beginning in my relationship with Red Bull Cheever Racing."
Eddie Cheever Jr. on Friday Practice Sessions: "We worked on our qualifying runs this morning, with two different setups on each of the Infiniti-powered Red Bull Cheever Racing cars. We'll decide which way to go tomorrow based on our debriefings today. This afternoon we did full-tanks, using setups that were a continuation of what we had when we tested here. It was much warmer then, so it's going to be very tricky. The hardest job for the engineers this weekend is to stay on top of the temperature because it dramatically changes the setup of the car. If you get that wrong then you'll be in trouble."
Eddie Cheever Jr. on the Red Bull Cheever Racing's 2002 Preparations: "The night before the first practice session, at the start of the season, is always difficult because you don't know what you have. After today I would say that we did our work well, although we still have a lot of work remaining. It looks like we made the right decision on our second driver, Tomas, and that we will have a competitive package with the Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara-Infiniti-Firestone car."
Eddie Cheever Jr. on the Infiniti Indy V8 Engine Package: "I would have to say that the Nissan/Infiniti engineers are a quarter-step ahead of the competition right now. They are going to have to keep up the work though, because I am sure the pressure is going to be strong heading into Indianapolis."  More quotes

2/28/02

Road racing rookie leads Homestead practice  Proving once again that road racing trained drivers, can adapt to oval racing far easier that the reverse, a rookie from Europe led all the so-called oval specialists at Homestead today.  Most successful IRL and CART drivers today come up through the road racing ranks, and many through CART's and Europe's ladder system.  It was only his fifth day on an oval track, but rookie Tomas Scheckter was the fastest driver during the first day of practice for the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami on Feb. 28 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the season opener for the Indy Racing League. Scheckter, 21, led the morning practice at 26.4063 seconds, 204.497 mph in the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. He was ninth fastest at 27.0447, 199.669 in the afternoon practice, which was led by defending Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. at 26.6259, 202.810 in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. "Today we spent time on both qualifying and race setups," Scheckter said. "We learned a lot in both areas. We just need to stay in form, maintaining our pace tomorrow, as well. The crew of the Red Bull Cheever Racing team is working very hard and everything is coming together." 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., owner-driver of Red Bull Cheever Racing, hired Scheckter as his teammate just two days ago. Scheckter, son of 1979 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter was impressive during four days of testing with the team in January and earlier this month, his first experience on an oval after starting his career in European road racing. Scheckter admits that the race, which starts at 1 p.m. (EST) Saturday and will be televised live on ABC, will be an entirely different experience than testing or practice. "We also spent some time working on coming in and out of the pits," Scheckter said. "The yellow flags and pit stops will be something new for me in this race. We did some work in the pits today, and I managed to do them with no mistakes." Cheever was second fastest overall for the day with his lap of 26.5515, 203.378 in the morning in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. "We worked on our qualifying runs this morning, with two different setups on each of the Infiniti-powered Red Bull Cheever Racing cars," Cheever said. "We'll decide which way to go tomorrow based on our debriefings today. This afternoon we did full tanks, using setups that were a continuation of what we had when we tested here. It was much warmer then, so it's going to be very tricky." 2001 Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves was third fastest overall at 26.6151, 202.892 in the morning in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Hornish was fourth overall with his session-leading lap from the afternoon, followed by Jaques Lazier at 26.6464, 202.654 from the morning in the No. 2 Johns Manville/Menards Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. "The car has been very consistent," said Castroneves, making his full-time IRL debut with teammate Gil de Ferran. "We got to work on the race setup. I'm happy with today's practice, and hopefully that'll carry over to race day. At least race day is still far away. So we'll look to keep this momentum for tomorrow and Saturday for Marlboro Team Penske." Twenty-six drivers combined to turn 1,883 incident-free laps during the opening day of practice for the 2002 Indy Racing League season. Practice resumes at 9:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, with MBNA Pole Qualifying taking place at 12:30 p.m. Final practice starts at 4:30 p.m. IRL

2/28/02

IRL races to be shown in more than 140 countries, 300 million households  ESPN International, which was appointed the exclusive worldwide television representative for the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis 500, has secured greater international distribution for all IRL events for the upcoming season, said Mark Reilly, ESPN's vice president and general manager of international sales. ESPN International networks, which reach more than 110 million homes outside of the United States, will televise all IRL races to more than 140 countries. ESPN International's distribution of the IRL also includes syndication agreements with terrestrial broadcasters in such countries as Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Mexico, among others. In addition, Eurosport, the most widely distributed channel in Europe, serving more than 54 countries and 90 million households, will televise IRL events during its "American Zone" programming block on Sunday evenings. ESPN International's distribution efforts, coupled with the extensive coverage the IRL will receive in the United States on ABC and ESPN, means each of this season's IRL events will be televised to more than 200 countries and more than 300 million households worldwide. Supplemental news highlights and sport anthology programs will take these figures even higher. "The Indy Racing League is a dynamic property that offers great excitement for auto racing fans," Reilly said. "With the unprecedented worldwide coverage ESPN has secured for the for Indy Racing League and Indianapolis 500 this season, more viewers than ever will be able see these thrilling races." Said Tony George, Indy Racing League president and CEO: "We are very pleased that the Indy Racing League, through ESPN International's distribution, will reach more viewers worldwide than any other American-based racing series. Our continued growth is another step toward our vision of international leadership in motorsports entertainment." In 2001, the Indy Racing League, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ESPN International reached an agreement that granted ESPN International exclusive worldwide television rights to Indy Racing League events - including the Indianapolis 500 - through 2004. This deal was struck shortly after the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy Racing League, ABC and ESPN, Inc. agreed to extend their partnership for U.S. rights through 2007. In 2002, the Indy Racing League will consist of 15 races, including the Indianapolis 500, which is the largest single-day sporting event in the world. Top international drivers on the Indy Racing League circuit include Brazil's Felipe Giaffone, Gil de Ferran, and Helio Castroneves. de Ferran is the two-time defending CART champion, and Castroneves is the 2001 Indianapolis 500 winner. Other top international drivers include Chile's Eliseo Salazar, France's Laurent Redon and South Africa's Tomas Scheckter, son of 1979 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter. The season's first race, the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami, is scheduled for Saturday, March 2 and will be broadcast in the United States on ABC at 1 p.m. (EST). IRL

2/28/02

Sebring draws record entries  The prestige and honor of competing in the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, and the ever-growing popularity of the American Le Mans Series have created a pleasant "problem" for officials of IMSA, the sanctioning organization for the race and the series. By the February 25 entry deadline, IMSA officials received a modern-day record 67 official entries for the March 16 event at Sebring International Raceway, forcing the IMSA Selection Committee to choose the 60 cars that would be invited to participate in the race. The pit road at the 3.7-mile Sebring track can accommodate a maximum of 60 cars. "The Selection Committee has a very difficult job," said Dennis Huth, IMSA President and a member of the committee. "Every entered car is a top-quality machine that meets or exceeds the very strict safety and modern-day technology requirements of the ACO and the American Le Mans Series. There are no grid-fillers or ghost entries; it is a field of outstanding sports cars and racing teams." The Selection Committee has alternate teams on its docket and invited teams have until 12:01 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, February 28, to accept the invitation. "This comes under the heading of 'be careful what you wish for because you may get it,' and that's good," said Huth, indicating that series officials have been hearing from sports car racing teams around the world interested in competing in series events this season. "This is obviously a good problem to have, and bodes well for the future of the American Le Mans Series," said Huth. "It's a perfect way to launch the 2002 season." 

2/28/02

CART and IMG to co-promote Cleveland race Launching a new way of doing business that will see CART co-promote new and existing race weekend events, representatives of CART and IMG announced today a partnership to co-promote the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar, CART’s oldest temporary circuit event and a premier race on the FedEx Championship Series schedule. The announcement was made at City Hall at the office of Cleveland Mayor Jane L. Campbell who participated in the press conference along with Italian CART FedEx Championship Series driver Max Papis, a five time participant in the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland.  Story

2/28/02
Industry News

SPEED Channel ratings soar  From Racin.com - The first week of SPEED Channel's re-launch witnessed average ratings 74% higher. Households watching SPEED Channel increased by 120%. SPEED Channel's Speedweeks block, from 8:00-11:00 PM ET, averaged an even more impressive .46 rating (216,000 households). "Given the enormous popularity of NASCAR, we expected ratings and growth, however I'm not sure any of us expected results like this so quickly," said SPEED Channel President Jim Liberatore. "We've always felt that combining Fox's NASCAR relationship with SPEED's exclusive cable coverage of CART, F1, World Rally Championship, ALMS and many other auto and motorcycle racing series, would make SPEED Channel a dynamic and essential place on the cable dial for all motorsports enthusiasts

2/28/02

25,000 tickets still unsold for Monterrey UPDATE It looks like ticket sales are picking up quickly now.  Today they report only 15,000 left to sell.  That means they sold 10,000 tickets in the last day or two.  Will they sellout again?  2/28/02 -  El Norte is reporting that there are still 25,000 tickets left for this years Monterrey GP, whereas last year they sold out within weeks of going on sale.  However, now there is a full court press on in the Mexican media featuring the Mexican drivers to try and make up for lost ground.  One thing working against the ticket sales is the second race in Mexico City and the Mickey Mouse nature of the track which saw passing almost impossible last year.  One or two the chicanes should have been removed so the Champ Cars could stretch their legs a bit, but instead the fans will be treated to the same exact layout as last year in the interest of extreme safety.  Hopefully CART's new Director of Circuits, Martin Thake, will have time to effect some change before the 2003 event.

2/28/02

Shots fired at Albert Park  An intruder at the Australian Grand Prix race track wearing a balaclava shot at a security guard Thursday, police said. The female guard was fired at about 3 am. The intruder escaped across the track. Nobody was injured in the incident and police have searched the compound. Grand Prix police commander Superintendent Ian Winn said the intruder was lying on top of an ambulance at the medical centre. "We are in the process of confirming what was said and carrying out an investigation," he said. "There were people here through the night," Goeff Harris, track spokesperson, said. "There were obviously some security people and at least one of the teams were working through the night and there were workers here doing the finishing touches. "We're trying to get a handle on what's going on."

2/28/02

F1 plans to cut costs  AUTOSPORT magazine reports that FIA president Max Mosley outlines his blueprint to cut F1 costs and prevent more bankruptcy's in a letter to all 11 teams. There are three key elements to the plan which are as follows: 1) A limit of one engine per car per grand prix weekend. Any engine change or use of the spare before the race would mean a driver starting 12 places further back on the grid from their qualifying position. 2) Manufacturers being forced to sell engine to a second team. 3) The reduction of GP weekends to two days, with Friday becoming an obligatory promotion day without any on-track activity.

2/28/02

Will NBA follow CART's lead into Mexico? UPDATE A reader writes - Chinese basketball star Zhi-Zhi Wang plays for the Dallas "MAVS".  How many Chinese would that draw to the NBA if they went to China? Strong move by the NBA, to follow in CART's footsteps. The Chinese are crazy about the NBA anyway, and now this! [Editor's Note - but CART is still procrastinating about China, and the article talks about Mexico first].  2/27/02 -  We found this article (click on image to right) interesting from the perspective of those of us in CART. All of the positives about international expansion (Mexico being specific). And now the NBA joins the hunt.  One would have hoped that USA Today would have recognized the fact that a major US-based sports series has traveled down that road. Successfully!  Anyway, it is interesting to note that CART not only expanded to Mexico BUT expanded within that marketplace, well ahead of the so-called stick and ball sports. MC

2/27/02

Telmex making big push in CART ladder system   Not only is Telmex, the big Mexican telecommunications giant, involved in Champ Cars, they are making a big push to support Mexican drivers in the CART ladder system, namely the CART Toyota Atlantic and the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series.  They want to feed the CART pipeline with Mexican talent for an eventual push into a Champ cars, we hear with a possible Telmex sponsored Champ car team. Yesterday Telmex, had a public launch (photo by Joel Zamora), where it presented all of the Cars it sponsors, including Fernandez Racings CART entries, as well as the Atlantic Cars of Luis Diaz. The Mexico City Event was held at a Race Track, and was packed with media, celebrities, and fans. Adrian delighted the crowd by signing autographs for fans for an hour, together with other drivers Here are the drivers they are supporting this year in addition to Adrian Fernandez - Luis 'Chapulín' Díaz (Toyota Atlantic), Luis Javier Pelayo (Barber Dodge Pro), Piero Rodarte (Barber Dodge Pro), and Guillermo Rojas (Barber Dodge Pro).  Check out this link for more. MC

2/27/02

Jon Vannini to compete in 12-Hours of Sebring UPDATE We spoke to Jon Vannini today and he sounded pretty excited about his chances in the 12-Hours of Sebring.  He said the deal came together pretty late, but the team won the FIA GT Championship, so they certainly will come out with guns ablaze. His teammates still have not been announced; those talks are ongoing.  2/26/02 -  Major CART stockholder Jonathan Vannini will compete in this years 12-Hours of Sebring race driving the #32 Ferrari 360 Modena JMB Racing entry.  His teammates have yet to be named.  Entry List

2/27/02

Hackers threat to F1 cars and drivers  As this Silicon.com article points out, Formula 1 drivers could come under attack from malicious hackers while at the wheel following a decision to allow teams to make changes to cars remotely during a race. The technology allows trackside technicians to tweak the car electronically and send remote commands via a microwave link to the car, reports French F1 magazine Sport Auto Moto. The driver then chooses to acknowledge the changes, which can affect traction control and fuel consumption, by pressing a button on his steering wheel. However, some team chiefs are concerned that malicious hackers could sabotage cars while they are racing at speeds of over 200mph. Williams team chief operations engineer Sam Michael told Sport Auto Moto: "If your system isn't coded properly, you could potentially have a situation where it receives false messages. "If that happens, the biggest danger you face is a change on the engine side - detonating the engine."

2/27/02

IRL announces 24 cars in Leader Circle program  Teams representing 24 car-and-driver combinations have been selected to participate in the 2002 Indy Racing League Leaders Circle incentive program, Indy Racing League Vice President of Operations Brian Barnhart announced Feb. 27. Each of the 24 teams made a commitment to compete in the entire 15-race schedule, which starts Saturday, March 2 with the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Thirty-three teams requested to be part of the 2002 Leaders Circle, Barnhart said. "It is extremely encouraging to see that there are 33 teams attempting to put full programs together for the 2002 Indy Racing League season," Barnhart said. "Each of the teams selected displayed the package the league looks for in teams, which includes solid staffing, competitive equipment and proper funding." The teams selected for the 2002 program:
Car No. Team (Driver)
#2 Team Menard (Jaques Lazier)
#3 Marlboro Team Penske (Helio Castroneves)
#4 Pennzoil Panther Racing (Sam Hornish Jr.)
#6 Marlboro Team Penske (Gil de Ferran)
#7 Kelley Racing (Al Unser Jr.)
#8 Kelley Racing (Scott Sharp)
#9 Chip Ganassi Racing (Jeff Ward)
#10 Cahill Racing (Robby McGehee)
#11 A.J. Foyt Enterprises (Eliseo Salazar)
#14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises (Donnie Beechler)
#16 Racing Professionals (Jon Herb)
#18 PDM Racing (Tyce Carlson)
#21 Hollywood Mo Nunn Racing (Felipe Giaffone)
#24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (Robbie Buhl)
#31 310 Racing (George Mack)
#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing (Laurent Redon)
#37 Brayton Racing (John de Vries)
#44 Blair Racing (Alex Barron)
#51 Red Bull Cheever Racing (Eddie Cheever Jr.)
#52 Red Bull Cheever Racing (Tomas Scheckter)
#55 Treadway and Associates Racing (Rick Treadway)
#91 Hemelgarn Racing (Buddy Lazier)
#98 CURB/Agajanian/Boat Indy Racing (Billy Boat)
#99 Sam Schmidt Motorsports (Anthony Lazzaro)

2/27/02

Mario Andretti lays blame squarely on Tony George  During today's CART media teleconference racing great Mario Andretti laid the blame squarely on Tony George for the current state of Indy Car racing. You can read his exact words in today's transcript, but suffice it to say that Mario thinks Indy Car racing was booming at the time and the split did far more harm than good.  He even said that "if CART was an all-oval series at the time, he would have ended his career in Formula One rather than continuing in the USA.  The addition of road racing to the sport was a natural progression that brought a lot of new people into the sport that would otherwise not have participated. MC

2/27/02

Pook - Discussions have heated up with another manufacturer  Chris Pook stated today that discussions between CART and another car manufacturer to supply engines have heated up considerably in recent days.  We here at AR1 are aware of which manufacturer that is, but promised not to reveal it.  Suffice it to say that John Lopes is currently out of the country on business.  MC

2/27/02

Pook - CART welcomes CART/IRL Triple Crown challenge  Chris Pook stated today that CART will clear its calendar (in 2003 and beyond) to allow CART teams and drivers to compete in a 500-mile triple crown series of races if Tony George decides to implement that (Indy, Fontana, Michigan).  MC

2/27/02

Pook - CART to be on Spanish networks in the USA  Chris Pook stated today that CART will be on all the major the Spanish TV networks in the USA for the first time as it reaches out to the huge Hispanic population in America. AR1 views this as a very positive move by CART, one that should have been done years ago.  MC

2/27/02

Pook - move to Indy decision will be made soon  Chris Pook stated today that CART will make its decision to move to Indianapolis soon.  "It's the home of open wheel racing much like Daytona and Charlotte are for NASCAR, our teams are there, they have good schools and it's a great town to live in - all the things a CEO needs to attract the best talent."  Notice that on the job posting section of CART's business website potential employees must also be willing to re-locate to Indianapolis. So it looks pretty definite that CART is moving.  MC

2/27/02

Pook - CART needs to be in Chicago  Chris Pook stated today that CART needs to be in Chicago, it's home to Motorola, three CART teams has the countries #3 ADI.  Although he would not comment specifically on negotiations with Chicago Motor Speedway, he left the definite impression CART will be in Chicago in 2002.  Expect an announcement soon.  MC

2/27/02

CART International TV update  We asked Chris Pook today to update us on the status of CART's international TV package.  His response - "it's taking a bit longer this time, but this time we are going to get it right."  He went on to say that CART will have a 1-hour highlights program that is available to any broadcaster plus they are going through country by country and negotiating deals for live coverage.  He stated that when the international package emerges it will be very impressive, not quite the breath of Bernie Ecclestone's F1 package, but better than they ever had.  MC

2/27/02

Dixon completes final preseason test  Scott Dixon and the PWR Championship Racing team completed the second of a two-day test on the road course at Homestead-Miami as the team concludes their pre-season testing. Dixon, who begins his second year on the CART circuit, logged 58 laps on Monday and 60 laps on Tuesday in his #7 Toyota/Lola. Over the two days, his best lap time was 67.5mph. Overall, the 2001 Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year was happy with the test. “We had a pretty good test over the last few days”, said Dixon. “My times were quick, but more importantly we had a lot to learn about a new car and that goal was accomplished. Our pre-season testing was extremely valuable and I now have a much better understanding of the Lola. We ran a simulated race at the end of the second day, which prepares me for the season opener.” Dixon has been faced with a few changes during the off-season. In addition to running a new chassis, he has a new race engineer, John Ward, who joined the team from Fernandez Racing at the conclusion of the 2001 season. “There have been a few changes this year and working with John and his knowledge will definitely be a plus for me”, added Dixon. “One thing that hasn’t changed is our engine manufacturer. I’m happy to be back with Toyota - the engine continues to be very strong and reliable. With the addition of the Lola chassis, which is very good mechanically, we should be extremely competitive throughout the 2002 season.” According to Vice President of Race Operations, Russell Cameron, the two-day test was very productive. “Before we went to Homestead we had a good break back at the shop working through some issues,” said Cameron. “Our goal was to obtain further data with the 2002 Lola, which we did. It was a productive two days for us - we basically did a lot of fine-tuning and worked with Toyota on traction control. We ran a simulated race with pit stops at the end of our second day and it went very well. I think we’re up to speed and we’ve accomplished a lot going into the start of the season.” The team returns to its Indianapolis-based shop in final preparation for the 2002 season opener at Monterrey, Mexico on March 10, 2002, which will be broadcast live on Speed Channel at 4:00PM EST.

2/27/02

Another TV time change for Australia  The broadcast schedule for this weekend's coverage of the Grand Prix of Australia on Speed Channel will begin Thursday with 11 p.m. (ET) same-day tape of F1 practice ... Speed Channel had hoped to get live coverage, but previous programming commitments were not able to be changed ... this is the only change to information posted yesterday.

2/27/02

Visteon/Patrick Racing wraps up final preseason test  Visteon/Patrick Racing completed its preseason-testing program in preparation for the start of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season yesterday on the Homestead road course in Homestead, Florida. The test, the sixth and final of the preseason and third on the Homestead road course, concludes the team’s preparations for the season opening Tecate Telmex Grand Prix, March 10, on the Fundidora Park road course in Monterrey, Mexico. The test was specifically added to the preseason scheduled to work with traction control, which was recently approved for competition during the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season. Rookie Townsend Bell drove the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard approximately 150 miles and worked extensively with full tanks to simulate the start of the race. “The Visteon/Patrick Racing team had a very productive test yesterday,” Bell said. “We were able to confirm some of the data we had collected during the previous test concerning traction control. We also worked on running with full tanks and doing long runs in preparation for the season opener in Monterrey, Mexico. The Visteon/Patrick Racing team has done everything we possible can to be prepared for the start of the season. Now it is time to go racing,” Bell concluded. Patrick Racing General Manager Jim McGee said, “Yesterday’s test was the final warm-up for the Visteon/Patrick Racing team before the season opening Tecate Telmex Grand Prix. We just wanted to verify a few items we had questions about concerning traction control and gearbox issues. We feel we resolved all the outstanding issues and are ready for the start of the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season.”

2/27/02

CART renews with Featherlite  Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) announced today that it has renewed its partnership with Featherlite, Inc. and that Featherlite has retained its status as "Official Trailer of CART." Under the agreement, CART's traveling fleet of transporters will feature Featherlite trailers. The transporters travel to each North American race venue, and are responsible for carrying virtually all of the equipment CART needs to conduct its business on race weekends; including equipment for technical inspection, the Simple Green CART Safety Team, timing & scoring, registration, and CART's mobile offices. "We are extremely pleased to welcome Featherlite back for another season with CART," said CART Vice President of Racing Operations, John Lopes. "The Featherlite trailers used by CART and its teams are more than just trailers, they have proven to be very attractive rolling billboards. Featherlite has proven to be a highly professional and enthusiastic partner over the years, and we look forward to doing business with them for years to come." In addition to the relationship with CART, Featherlite does business with many of the teams competing in the CART FedEx Championship Series, and has mobile offices in the paddock of every North American Champ Car race. Featherlite has been in partnership with CART for more than ten years. "It is with great pleasure that Featherlite renews its affiliation with CART," said Eric Clement, Featherlite vice president, sales. "In doing so, we affirm our commitment to CART teams, its fans, and the CART organization itself, which brings this nation one of the most intense, extraordinary experiences in all of motor sports. Featherlite is at the forefront of designing and building the finest race car transporters, trailers, and coaches in America. We appreciate the role that CART has played in our success. It helps build brands and provides us a solid business environment. We look forward to our second decade of offering unparalleled support and service to CART and its teams."

2/27/02

Ferrari may go public  From a Reuters news release today, Ferrari may consider becoming a publicly traded company, says chairman Luca di Montezemolo. "I think that some time in the future it could be interesting for Ferrari to consider the opportunity of a possible quotation," he said. But he stressed the decision to go public would be up to Ferrari's shareholders. Fiat SpA, controlled by the Agnelli family, holds 90 percent of Ferrari with the rest in the hands of the Ferrari family. Montezemolo said it could be interesting "on one hand to have more opportunity to carry forward development projects for the Ferrari-Maserati group, and on the other hand because of the clear interest the world of international finance is showing in the field." But, he added, "Ferrari has always financed itself and will continue to do so, and we have a solid financial base, and so going public is only one of many opportunities."

2/27/02

Toyota lands pharmaceutical sponsor  Can this be the start of a trend whereby pharmaceutical companies replace tobacco companies as the big spenders in racing?  CART's Newman Haas team is about to announce Eli Lilly as a sponsor.  Now comes word that Toyota has signed a sponsorship agreement with the global pharmaceuticals company ratiopharm GmbH.  ratiopharm has been named the "official health partner" of the Panasonic Toyota Racing team.  ratiopharm develops and produces high-quality drugs and vitamin supplements.  The German company is the leader in the generic drug market in Europe, but also has a significant presence in other world markets.  Ditto for Eli Lilly and both CART and F1 deliver the global market.  "This partnership is a great opportunity for ratiopharm, providing a global marketing program at the highest level," said ratiopharm CEO Dr. Claudio Albrecht. "As our company expands we can really benefit from the brand exposure that Formula One and Toyota can provide."

2/26/02

Andretti, Franchitti, Tracy and Buhl Indy entries filed  Four entries for the 86th Indianapolis 500 were filed Feb. 26, with three from Team Green and one from Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. Michael Andretti, Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy were named as the drivers on the Team Green entries, with Indy Racing League standout Robbie Buhl listed as the driver on the Dreyer & Reinbold entry. The 86th Indianapolis 500 is May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Entry invitations were mailed Feb. 22, and entries must be postmarked by April 3. All drivers will compete for one of the 33 starting spots in the world's most prestigious auto race. Andretti, from Nazareth, Pa., will drive the No. 39 Motorola/Archipelago Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. John Cummiskey is the chief mechanic and Tony Cotman the team manager.  1984 Indianapolis 500 co-Rookie of the Year Andretti will seek his first Indy victory and attempt to make his 13th career start at Indy. He finished third last year in his first Indy 500 start since 1995. It was Andretti's seventh career top-10 finish at Indianapolis, with a best of second in 1991. Franchitti, from Blackburn, Scotland, will drive as an Indianapolis 500 rookie in the team's No. 27 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup car entered. The official car name will be announced later. George Klotz is the chief mechanic and Kyle Moyer the team manager. Tracy, from Las Vegas, will attempt to make his first start at Indianapolis since 1995 in the team's No. 26 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup car entered. The official car name will be announced later. Eric Haverson is the chief mechanic and Moyer the team manager. Canadian native Tracy aims to make his fifth career Indianapolis 500 start. His best finish is 20th as a rookie in 1992. Buhl, from Cleveland, will attempt to make his seventh consecutive Indianapolis 500 start in the No. 24 Team Purex/Aventis Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone, with an identical backup car entered. He has three career top-10 finishes at Indy, with a best of sixth in 1999.

2/26/02

Players Team completes final tune-up  In a final tune-up prior to the CART season-opener, Team Player’s drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani completed a two-hour, 180-mile test session on Tuesday by running identical fast laps of 67.2 seconds on the 2.18-mile Homestead road course. The testing simulated road courses in Monterrey, Mexico and Long Beach, California, the site of the first two CART races of the 2002 season. “We also had the opportunity to run laps for the first time with the traction control system,” said Team Player’s Technical Director Bruce Ashmore. “We’ve done all the testing that we need to do. Overall, we’re extremely satisfied with our off-season testing. We’re ready for the season.” It was the first time in the Team Player’s off-season testing program that Carpentier and Tagliani were together for a session. Oriol Servia and Scott Dixon of PacWest, Bruno Junqueira (Ganassi) and Townsend Bell (Patrick) were the other CART drivers who shared the track for the testing sessions. “I enjoyed it,” remarked Carpentier. “It was an opportunity to try out the traction control system and work on a few last details before the start of the season. It was also good to get into that competitive spirit again and mentally hone yourself for the start of the season. Our race-day simulation included three pit stops. I even added an extra pit stop after sliding off the track during the session and had to go into the pits with a damaged front wing. I was very impressed with the fast work of the Team Player’s crew, changing it on the fly. They’re in season-opening form, too!” Tagliani said he expects the introduction by the CART series of traction control an engine electronic device that senses and controls wheel spin - will make the cars easier to drive. “You should see fewer cars spinning out on road and street courses this season,” explained Tagliani. “It should result in fewer red flags and that will lead to a better racing flow.” After completing its final off-season session on Tuesday, Team Player’s returned to its Indianapolis headquarters, where the crew of mechanics will inspect the cars and make any adjustments that are needed prior to the trip to Monterrey, Mexico for the first race weekend of the 2002 season, March 8-9-10.

2/26/02

Update on Mexico City - famous Peraltada to remain Over the past several months AR1 has presented a few different versions of the Mexico City track layout as it was going through several iterations of changes.  We now present to you the configuration that was recently submitted to the government officials in Mexico City for approval.  The only change to the track from the 86-92 F1 layout will be a chicane just before the dangerous Peraltada Curve (where Ayrton Senna almost killed himself by flipping over after losing control) to slow the cars down.  They will then accelerate all the way through the fast 180-degree Peraltada and down the very long main straight where speeds will approach 230 MPH before braking for the first turn.  As you can see from the old photo on the left, the cars exit the Peraltada and enter the main straight that goes on forever into the distance.  The very long series of esses on the back section are going to put a huge strain on the drivers neck muscles.  This track is going to likely be the most challenging of all tracks on the CART circuit.  The track was 2.763 miles before the addition of the chicane.  The new estimated track length is 2.85 miles and the fast way around will be finding the right balance of low downforce for the long straight and high downforce for the multitude of turns.  MC

2/26/02

Ask Sigma  This week, Jim K. represents the Sigma E-team in an interview of the Sigma Pit Crew.
Jim: "How is the pit crew picked?"
Jason Ladd, Airjack and Front End Mechanic - “Most everyone that goes over the wall is a full-time mechanic. The guys that go over the wall were picked when we do pit stop practice here at the race shop. Everybody helps out during practice, and we get a pretty good idea of who the faster guys are. From that point, the pit crew is picked based on a combination of experience and ability. Once a person turns in their resume to be a mechanic, and gets accepted, they have a shot at being on the pit crew...if they show that they’ve got what it takes, and that they are interested in going over the wall.”
Jim: "What kind of conditioning does the pit crew do?"
Sergio Flores, Outside Rear Tire and Rear Mechanic - “I usually work out four times a week. In my conditioning, I run for about 30 minutes and lift for about 45 minutes. Most of the guys have their own workout that they like to do. I like my program because it helps me stay in shape not only for the season, but in general also."
Jim: "How much does a tire/wheel weigh?"
Phil Howard, Race Program Director - “The tires/wheels weigh about 30 pounds, and although this is a lot lighter than a regular car, it still is a lot to be throwing around. You get used to it, though, and a lot of the guys don’t seem to have any trouble with it.”
Jim: "Does Sigma Autosport have a set workout regimen?"
Tom Howatt, Crew Chief - “We like to encourage the guys to have a workout program, but we don’t require them to. Because of the nature of the job, each guy has to have some program to be able to perform to the best of their ability. We are the fastest overall pit crew returning for the 2002 season, so that is a pretty good sign that this policy is working, as far as a workout program is concerned. The guys do a great job, and I let them keep doing their own thing as long as they are able to perform to the best of their ability." Sigma Autosport thanks Jim for his questions! If you would like to represent the Sigma E-team in an interview with any of Sigma's team members, send your questions to webmaster@sigmaautosport.com, and they will be entered into a random weekly drawing. (Don't forget to include which member you would like to interview!) Good luck, and we look forward to hearing from you!

2/26/02

Mario and Michael Andretti and Chris Pook press conference  Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti and CART President Chris Pook will hold a press teleconference tomorrow.  What's the chances they will be talking about CART and Chicago and/or Miami?

2/26/02

Cleveland and CART schedule special announcement  A press conference featuring an announcement by CART and IMG Motorsports regarding the 2002 Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by Firstar has been scheduled for Thursday, February 28, 2002 at 1:00 p.m.  Driver max Papis will be on hand to answer questions.

2/26/02

Another example of how big NASCAR is  Just another example of how big NASCAR is. The photo is of bodybuilder Lee Priest from Newcastle, Australia. Notice his right shoulder tattoo in this photo taken at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio last weekend.

2/26/02

Andy Petree Racing withdraws from Vegas  Citing a potential sponsorship situation, Andy Petree Racing will not field the #33 car in this weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup stock car racing event at Las Vegas, Nevada. "A couple of things came up early this week that we weren't anticipating on the sponsorship side and because of new needs we have with the crew and team, we just figure we'll do better working in the shop this week," Petree said. "There are things we need to do now to put us in a better situation for the future. Running Las Vegas this weekend is the thing to do if we look at it short term; taking this time to prepare for the future is the thing to do if we look at it long-term." Petree said a sponsor for the #33 has not been signed and the team is still seeking sponsorship but that recent events led him to believe it best to prepare for future races instead of competing in this one. "We're still looking but we're seeing some movement we haven't seen before," Petree said. "Nothing is tougher on a racer than having a race and not being there. But this is just the smart thing to do."

2/26/02

Slight time change for Australian GP  Please note late change in F1 broadcast schedule for this weekend's Grand Prix of Australia on Speed Channel:
Practice Thurs ... 9 p.m. Live (All times EST)
Qualifying Fri ......9 p.m. live
Preview Sat.........9 p.m.
Race Sat.............9:30 p.m. live

2/26/02
Industry News

Pouring begins at Mazda Raceway - construction moving at fast pace   The future of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will soon be “set in stone”. Although there won’t literally be any stones used, the forming for concrete pit boxes are being built this week. It’s all part of Phase IA of a multi-year, $15 million improvement project at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with Phase IB starting soon after. Phase I is slated to cost $7.8 million. Asphalt work for the temporary Paddock entrance is done and the Skip Barber Racing School on-site and car clubs have already started using the part time set-up with ease. Grading of the area where ten two-car garages, hospitality suites and bathrooms will be built is also finished and concrete pouring is set to begin March 5. As part of Phase I, construction crews will actually bore under the track between turns 3 and 4 and under the perimeter road in order to run a new sewer line away from the garages and hospitality areas.  Phase IA: Phase I includes construction of the ten northern most, double-car garages, one Concession Facility, one women’s restroom, one men’s restroom, one Catering Kitchen and twelve Hospitality Suites. These twelve suites consist of four Corporate Suites and eight Individual Suites. Phase IA is slated to be completed by the end of the 2002 racing season. Phase IB: It will include ten additional double-car garages, one concession facility, one women’s restroom and shower facility, two men’s restroom and shower facilities, two open pass-throughs for race vehicle access from the paddock to Pit Road, an additional catering kitchen and 17 Corporate Hospitality Suites. This total Phase I Project will be complete by the end of the 2003 race season. Phase II: Phase II project will be completed at the southern end of the Phase I Project at a cost of approximately $7,000,000. Construction of is slated to begin at the end of the 2003 race season and have the balance of the project completed before the start of the 2004 race season. It will include a new Start/Finish Bridge, Head Flagman Podium, and a Sanctioning Body and Participant Facility. Phase III: The Phase III (and beyond) Project Schedule, will not start until Phase II is complete and priorities have been established and funding available. Therefore a budget has yet to be determined. It will include Participant/Operational Buildings/Structures and Spectator and Sponsor Facilities.

2/26/02
Industry News

Help wanted   Leading Racing Engine and Parts Manufacturer for popular Japanese vehicles seeking the following: Engine Builder, Mechanic and Electrical Engineer. Must have experience with Honda Engines, Nissan and Toyota a Plus.  See our Classifieds Page.

2/26/02

Cheever hires Tomas Scheckter for Red Bull ride   Red Bull Cheever Racing general manager Richard Caron announced today that Tomas Scheckter will drive the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti in the 2002 Indy Racing League series. "The speed at which Tomas adapted to oval racing is impressive," Caron said. "After only one day of testing at Las Vegas, he went to California Speedway and was fastest of the day in the Test in the West. At the more technical Phoenix oval, his European training allowed him to work efficiently with our engineers producing times in the top five. "He is similar in driving style and determination as Eddie (Cheever)," continued Caron. "This was a difficult decision considering all the talent on the market right now, but Cheever and Scheckter are a perfect mix for this team." Scheckter will team with 1998 Indianapolis 500 Champion Eddie Cheever Jr. at Red Bull Cheever Racing. Both will drive the Dallara chassis with the dynamic blue Red Bull paint scheme. The cars will be powered by the Infiniti Indy V8 engine and use Firestone tires. Cheever will drive the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti, while Scheckter will drive the No. 52 car in the team's campaign to win the Indianapolis 500 and the Indy Racing League championship. "There is no science to hiring a driver," Cheever said. "Whatever decision you make is a gamble. Tomas did very well in testing, but he is still an unknown. What we do know is that he is single minded and determined to do everything necessary to be successful in racing. The fact that he is in the best physical condition of any driver we tested is proof of that. His focus is so intense he is truly the only driver in the history of the IRL with serious Formula One aspirations." Scheckter, 21, is the son of 1979 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter and successfully followed the traditional European training ground for drivers: racing karts, Formula 3, Formula 3000 and eventually Formula One as a test driver for Jaguar Racing. He was the runner up in the 2001Formula Nissan Championship and the 2000 British Formula 3 series. He also won two races in the 2000 FIA Formula 3000 series.

2/26/02

Sigma lands another sponsor that likes CART's international reach  Dragon Optical has joined Sigma Autosport as a new partner of the #22 Sigma Champ Car team for the 2002 CART FedEx Championship season. Dragon Optical is a manufacturer of several styles of high-end eyewear products that are used by some of the top athletes in a variety of sports worldwide. World-class athletes in skiing, snowboarding, motocross, BMX, skateboarding, surfing and racing wear Dragon Optical, including one of the top drivers in the CART FedEx Championship Series, Sigma Autosport’s Max Papis. All Dragon products are designed with safety and durability in mind. Only the highest quality frame materials ensure a bio-technical, symbiotic relationship with the wearer. “It’s exciting to have a Dragon Optical join Sigma Autosport,” said Tom Wieringa, owner of Sigma Autosport. “They have some of the nicest selections of sunglasses and products around. We will look sharp wearing their product this season.” With 10 domestic and nine international events scheduled in the 2002 CART FedEx Championship, Dragon Optical will be displayed worldwide on the #22 Champ Car, enhancing their world marketing efforts. Sigma Autosport, founded in 2000, began racing in the CART FedEx Championship at Monterrey, Mexico in 2001. The team competed in all 20 CART races and recorded its best finish with back-to-back fifth place results at Vancouver and Germany. Sigma is one of 13 franchised racing teams in the CART FedEx Championship, and is a top contender for the 2002 championship. All Dragon Optical (www.dragonoptical.com), products are in accordance with the EEC directive 89/686, for the I.P.D. of category I corresponding with the European Community directive. Dragon Optical is sold in the finest stores all over the world. To find the nearest store location, call 1-888-DRAGON 8. Sigma

2/26/02

Montoya - in F1 it's more the car, than driver that wins F1 races  Unlike NASCAR, CART and the IRL where there is a lot of parity in the cars and the driver and car setup can make a difference, in F1 it's mostly the engineers who design the car that win races.  Says Juan Montoya who has driven an IRL car, and a CART Champ cars - "If you put Michael [Schumacher] in a Toyota, a Minardi or any car that is not a front-runner then he wouldn't win," says Montoya in the publication Ananova. "It is not a question of how good Michael Schumacher is but how good Ferrari are. It's not a question of just the driver, but the whole team from the engine manufacturer to the tires. People sometimes forget that... it take more than the driver to win. The car is more important than the driver." "Just look at Rubens Barrichello," Montoya continued. "When he was at Jordan he was not getting results but at Ferrari he puts the car on the podium nearly every race. I think where Michael has done a really good job is getting the whole team behind him, from the engine, chassis people to the Bridgestone tires. Everything they do is around Michael. I have got to make sure it's the same for me and that Williams, BMW and Michelin are 100 percent behind me. Michael is the guy that can win the most races, because he is the guy with the best car and he is using it in the right way."

2/26/02

CART appoints Jim Bowie to new key marketing position  Championship Auto Racing Teams Vice President of Marketing Steve Fusek announced today that motorsports marketing veteran Jim Bowie has joined the organization in the new position of Director of Team, Manufacturer, & Supplier Partnerships. Bowie is responsible for building the value proposition for all of the teams, manufacturers and suppliers currently participating in the CART FedEx Championship Series as well as the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Additionally, Bowie will assist in forging new relationships with individuals and organizations that may be interested in joining teams or the series in the future. He reports to Fusek, with whom he previously worked at PacWest Racing Group in 1998. "We're very excited to welcome Jim to CART," Fusek said. "This position is new and necessary at CART and Jim's mix of experience, professionalism and enthusiasm for the CART product is extremely valuable. Jim will definitely help us take our collective marketing efforts to the next level." Bowie has 17 years of experience in sports and event marketing. Most recently, he was directly responsible for the marketing department of Skip Barber Racing School, the world's largest racing and automotive entertainment company. While there, he oversaw all of the company's marketing activities including sponsorship acquisition and servicing, promotions, advertising, public relations, and graphic design. From 1985 to 1995, Bowie was president of his own motorsports marketing company in Canada, where his clients included Budweiser Canada, Canaska Racing and Scott Goodyear Racing. In 1996, Bowie joined Indy Racing League competitors, Treadway Racing, as the team's marketing director, where he was instrumental in creating marketing programs for Sprint PCS, Radio Shack, Nortel, Miller Lite, and Digital. He remained with the team through the 1997 season before going to work for PacWest in 1998. "This opportunity to join the marketing team at CART was too great for me to pass up," said Bowie. "I have great faith in CART as a marketing platform and look forward to expanding the value proposition offered by our teams. Additionally, I believe that we can create positive returns for our teams' partners plus CART's important manufacturers and suppliers. It's no secret that I've got my work cut out for me in this new position, but I know I'm up for the challenge. I'm excited to be on board during this pivotal time in the history of CART."

2/26/02

Chicago race back on  As this Chicago Tribune article from today states - CART's race in Chicago is back on. CART will rent the Chicago Motor Speedway in Cicero and self-promote an open-wheel race at the facility on June 30. This development comes less than a month after the track announced it was suspending its auto racing operation and canceling both the CART and NASCAR Craftsman Truck races scheduled for this summer. An official announcement could come as early as Tuesday, though neither Chicago Motor Speedway Chairman Charles Bidwill nor CART would confirm it. However, Bidwill did say Monday, "The day after we made our announcement, CART goes, `Gee, maybe we should sit down and talk, maybe we'd like to lease the facility from you.' We're right there now. . . . It looks like the contract is done. "I think CART was playing a game of chicken with us. They are going to lease from us and run their own race. I think they were just so concerned about losing the Chicago market."  We upgraded this rumor to 'fact on our rumors page and await the Miami announcement as well.  We show both on our CART race and TV schedules.

2/26/02

NASCAR hands down penalties  NASCAR Officials announced that Robbie Reiser, crew chief of the No. 17 Ford Taurus, received a $30,000 fine for a rule violation found during post-race inspection following Sunday’s Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. Reiser was penalized under Section 12-4-T in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, “Any car that is found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion… of the race.” The minimum height requirement is 51 inches - the No. 17 car was approximately 1/4 of an inch too low.

2/26/02

Treadway files first Indy 500 entry   Treadway & Associates Racing has won the race to become the first entrant for the Indianapolis 500 for the second consecutive year. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk was named as the driver on the entry filed Feb. 25 by the Indianapolis-based team. The 86th Indianapolis 500 is May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Entry invitations were mailed Feb. 22, and entries must be postmarked by April 3. All drivers will compete for one of the 33 starting spots in the world's most prestigious auto race. Luyendyk, from Scottsdale, Ariz., will attempt to win the Indianapolis 500 for the third time. He would join elite company with a third victory, as only eight drivers have achieved that feat. He exited retirement last year to race at Indy with Treadway, starting sixth and finishing 13th.

2/26/02

Bradley Motorsports looking for ride-buyer   Bradley Motorsports, a fixture in the Indy Racing League since the series was formed in 1996, will not participate in Saturday's season-opening race at Homestead, Fla., because it still lacks a driver, team co-owner and former driver Buzz Calkins said.  Talks with 1999 series champion Greg Ray, who last week was released by Kelley Racing, stalled over the weekend and team officials will talk with Shigeaki Hattori this week, Calkins said. Indy Star News  The team has said it will only run if it finds a driver who can fund the effort.

2/26/02

New name for Monster Mile  For years now, when NASCAR racers have been asked about racing at Dover Downs, they usually just referred to the track as "Dover." With Dover Downs Entertainment, Inc., about to become Dover Motorsports, Inc. following the spin-off of its gaming operations to its existing shareholders, it only seemed logical to drop the "Downs" part of the track name and anoint the Monster Mile with a new title. So, in a move engineered with the upcoming split, Dover Downs International Speedway has officially become "Dover International Speedway." "The time was right to make the change," said Denis McGlynn, President and CEO of Dover Downs. "Since the 'Downs' part of the title really has roots in horse racing, we deemed it appropriate to keep the Dover Downs name with the harness and gaming company and drop it from the motorsports operation. Of course, it will still be the same exciting Monster Mile track with the same great view for race fans. That part of racing here at Dover will never change."

2/26/02

Papis wraps up final pre-season test  Max Papis and the Sigma Autosport team concluded a four-day test at Florida Saturday in the #22 Sigma Autosport Lola-Ford/Cosworth. This test was the team's final pre-season test for the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series season. Papis tested for four straight days, the first two days at Sebring International Raceway, and two more on the 2.1-mile road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Rain presented a problem during the final day of the test on Saturday, but Papis, who will begin his seventh season in the CART series, completed more than 260 miles at Homestead, and 460 total during the nearly week-long test. Papis said that he was content with how the test session went. "We did our best with the limited time we had today (Saturday)," said Papis. "If not for the rain we would have had a lot more time in the car, but we did learn some things that we will utilize at Monterrey. We really had to dig deep during this test, but that's what you have to do be successful. I can't wait to run at Monterrey and get the season started." The team tried several different setups and variations on the Lola's springs and shocks. Also tested were new parts for the Lola and the new aerodynamic configurations, however the main focus was preparing for Monterrey. "Overall, everything went reasonably well," said Phil Howard, Sigma's team manager. "We learned quite a bit over these days despite the rain and Max put in several hundred laps in the car. We're going to be ready for the season opener in Mexico." Sigma Autosport will begin its second season in the CART FedEx Championship Series at the Telmex/Tecate Grand Prix of Monterrey is set for Sunday, March 10. Sigma has been one of the top new teams to enter the CART series during the past few years. Sigma Autosport-

2/26/02

Bridgestone statement on 2002 F1 tires  Bridgestone Motorsport wishes to clarify its position on tires for the 2002 Australian Grand Prix following speculation in the media during recent days. The company is pleased to confirm that the tires it is taking to Melbourne will comply fully with the FIA regulations, that is with four grooves with the correct dimensions as set down in the rules. Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport: "The FIA regulations state that each front dry-weather tire, when new, must have four circumferential grooves which must be arranged symmetrically about the centre of the tire tread, at least 14mm wide at the contact surface and which taper uniformly to a minimum of 10mm at the lower surface. When grooved tires were introduced in 1998, we believed the FIA’s intention was for all four grooves to be symmetrical. We have followed that spirit ever since. Bridgestone’s tires for the 2002 Australian Grand Prix will comply with the rules set down by the FIA and, visually, will be the same as officials, competitors and spectators have come expect in Formula 1."

2/26/02

Montoya - Ferrari made a mistake  In an interview from Austalia, Juan Pablo Montoya, believes Ferrari's decision to run last season's car at this week's Australian Grand Prix is a big boost for his team's hopes in the opening race. "Positive for us and negative for them, if you really think about it," Montoya said. "They're starting with a car that last year had a lot of potential but if they didn't change the car a lot from last year, it might not be the winning car. "If we came here with last year's car we'd end up 10th on the grid."  "Apart from Michael, you've got to beat everybody else as well," he said. "You've got to focus on driving the car, not beating Michael. "Everybody thinks it's about beating Michael, beating Michael, beating Michael. "Where you need to focus is in making sure you do the right job. If you do the right job, the results will come. "It's not a matter of beating only Michael. There's 21 cars out there."  "Ferrari will be as strong as ever on Sunday." Schumacher countered. "The team's decision is very sensible," Schumacher told Associated Press on Tuesday. "We can sit back and relax with regard to the car situation. We know that last year's car is very good, and it was still making an excellent impression during the winter tests. "Why should we take an unnecessary risk? "We have won in Melbourne for the past three years (Eddie Irvine in 1999 and Schumacher himself in 2000 and 2001). "There is no reason why we can't do it again this year."

2/26/02

Da Matta calls Monterrey track the best  Tecate-Telmex Grand Prix 2001 winner, Cristiano da Matta from Newman/Hass Racing visited Fundidora Park circuit in Monterrey this week. This young driver from Brazil came to see the grounds, and changes made to track, and prepare to defend his 2002 crown. Cristiano was interviewed by reporters, and went around the circuit on a mountain bike  Story

2/26/02

Sadler - I'm going to throw up all over his plane  Elliott Sadler, driver of the #21 Motorcraft Racing Ford Taurus, has a great week in store. He has been selected by the United States Air Force for an orientation flight in an F-16 at Nellis Air Force Base on Thursday. And during his sight-seeing tour of the area surrounding Las Vegas his plane will be refueled in mid-air by an Air Force KC-10, with car-owners Eddie and Len Wood and crew chief Pat Tryson on board. YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE A SPECIAL FLIGHT AT VEGAS THIS WEEK. "We get to go up in an airplane on Thursday. We're going to have a pit stop at 10,000 feet. They are going to put me in an F-16 and we're going up. All the crew members will be in a refueler (KC-10), and they are going to refuel me in mid-air. They said they will have all kinds of hand signals while I'm up there so we'll see what that's like. That will be really cool." HAVE YOU EVER FLOWN IN ANYTHING LIKE THAT BEFORE? "No, I haven't. The fastest thing I've flown in goes about 200 miles per hour, and this one goes about 800 so I think I'm in for a real treat." ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE A BARF BAG WITH YOU? "The pilot said he is going to take care of me so I'm not taking any barf bag. If he's going to make me throw up, I'm going to throw up all over him and his airplane."  [Editor's Note: there's going to be one smelly Air Force jet on Thursday, and one very unhappy pilot].  In addition, before going to Las Vegas, Sadler will be honored during a session of the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia State Senator Frank Ruff has prepared a resolution that will be presented to the Emporia, Va., native on Tuesday commending his second-place finish in this year's Daytona 500. YOU ARE BEING HONORED BY THE VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE? "The governor of Virginia, Mark Warner, called me on Monday morning and congratulated me and Ward on our success. Then I got a call the next day telling me they want us to come to the legislature [this] week. That's pretty cool. I'm not sure what is going to happen, but they want us to dress up, look nice, and I'll probably have to be clean-shaven. I think they are going to make me wear a tie. I'm not used to that so I don't know how that's going to work." [Editor's Note: He sure ain't no Jeff Gordon].  WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WIN AT VEGAS? "I haven't won there yet. I know it takes a fast race car. I've been fast there in the past, but we've never been able to put it all together. We've always gotten caught up in something. Maybe this year might be our year. Maybe if we bet on the red 21 it might work out for us." DO YOU GAMBLE WHEN YOU GO OUT THERE? "Oh, yeah. I play blackjack, 21." DO YOU WIN? "Sometimes. More times than not, though, you lose, but that is part of the game."" HOW MUCH HAVE YOU LOST AT ONE SITTING? "Oh, like a dollar and 50 cents, probably two dollars." [Editor's Note:  Only lost $2?  Impossible!  Elliott - the dealer gets mad if you only bet a nickel at a time]

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

Hot News Archives

2000 2001 2002 2003

 

Banner 10000012


Autocourse 2001/2002

Order Now

List Price: $54.95

Our Price: $38.46

You save $16.49 (30%)


Autocourse CART 2001/2002

Order Now

List Price: $34.95

Our Price: $24.46

You save $10.49 (30%)



Autocourse 2001/2002 CART or F1 Calendars

Order F1 Now

Order CART Now

Our Price: $14.95

DRIVEN on DVD

Order Now & Save $$

List Price: $24.98
Our Price: $18.74
You Save: $6.24 (25%)

Convert this page to
another language

e-mail us:
contacts@autoracing1.com

Back to the top

AutoRacing1 is an independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by CART Inc., NASCAR, FIA,  FedEx, Winston, or any other series sponsor. This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without permission.
User agreement & disclaimer

Copyright 1999 - 2001, AutoRacing1, Inc., Hamilton, NJ