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DATE

News (chronologically 3/3/02 to 3/9/02)

3/9/02

Atlantics: Jon Fogarty dominates on wet track in Monterrey  UPDATE Full story added. 3/9/02 -  Rookie USA driver Jon Fogarty put on an impressive performance in the rain to win the opening round of the 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship over fellow rookie Ryan Dalziel from Scotland.  DSTP driver Joey Hand, from the USA, was third. Story

3/9/02

Fernandez hires new media firm in Mexico  Fernández Racing announced today that media relations veterans Araceli Chavéz and Ramon Osorio have joined the team to run its new Mexico City-based public relations and media office. Promotora Fernández Racing will be responsible for handling all media relations in Mexico as Fernández Racing prepares for the start of its second season of competition in the CART FedEx Championship Series and one of its major events, the Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix on March 10th. "We are very excited to have Araceli and Ramon lead our new Mexico City office," said Adrián Fernández. "I think the media will find their knowledge and enthusiasm to be an asset, and they will complement our public relations program in the States led by Tamy Valkosky. We are coming up to one of our biggest races of the year, so they will be jumping in with both feet."

3/9/02

Have glasses helped Fernandez? UPDATE We have added a picture of Adrian wearing his new glasses, courtesy of Fernandez Racing. 3/9/02 -  Adrian Fernandez is now sporting eyeglasses.  Based on his pole position result yesterday, they certainly appear to help.

3/9/02

Heavy rain slows Saturday qualifying in Monterrey  Heavy rains have descended on Monterrey, Mexico, and although several cars have gone out to qualify, speeds are way down and we have seen numerous off-course excursions.  Looks like Friday times will stand, with Adrian Fernandez on the pole, much to the delight of his countrymen.

3/9/02

Voice your opinion about Miami, to Miami  Most of you are familiar with the current situation in Miami, where ISC, hiding behind their Homestead-Miami Speedway LLC company, is vigorously opposing the Grand Prix of the Americas and the return of street racing in the city. As a fan of CART and ALMS, please let your voice be heard in the survey that is being conducted by a local Miami television station.  Click here to speak out.

3/9/02

Highlights of Saturday Chris Pook Press Conference Here are the highlights of today's Chris Pook press conference and the full audio for your enjoyment:

  • St. Pete for certain will be the 2003 season opener

  • Spring training in 2003 will be at Sebring right after the 24-hours of Daytona

  • The mayor of Indy has e-mailed Chris, and they will be talking on Monday about CART moving to Indy.  It sounds like everything will eventually get ironed out and CART will have clear sailing to Indy.

  • His goal is to eventually make Miami the final race of the year, but only after the Fontana contract runs out in 2004, because that contract says Fontana will be the season closer

  • Chris plans to fill the big gaps in the early part of this season in 2003 or 2004.  He will be meeting with Emerson Fittipaldi in LB to discuss the status of a return race in Brazil.

  • TV - CART race will be in German in Germany, in Swedish in Sweden, it Italian in Italy, etc.  They are doing as many direct country deals as possible.

  • Miami - 100% certain that CART will race there this October.  If necessary, the city will just grant CART a 1-year permit.

  • Chris will call Jim France on Monday and tell them to back off on Miami or he will have to do what he has to do.  Hmm.....are the gloves coming off?

  • Chris has challenged SPEED Channel to show more camera shots of what goes on inside the cockpit of a Champ Car, to portray to the viewer what driving a Champ car is really all about

  • Chris agrees with Roger Penske, but whereas Roger thinks there should be one series, it sounded to us like Chris thinks one organization, but different championships.  When asked about a private and public company co-existing, He stated sure they can co-exist.  How, AR1 says a holding company (IndyCar Inc.) that would own CART, Inc and IRL Inc.

  • Full Audio (46.11 min. Real Media)

3/9/02

ALMS amends driver points system The system used to determine driving championships in the American Le Mans Series has been amended for the 2002 season to further recognize the results achieved by individual drivers, officials have announced. While points for finishing positions will be awarded using the same scale as has been used in the first three years of the series, the system of bonus points has been amended for the driving championships in the four classes of race cars within the series. All 10 events on the series schedule will count toward the championship. Under the amended system, one bonus championship point will be awarded to the fastest qualifying driver in each class for each race. Additionally, the driver in each car who meets the minimum and maximum driving limits for the race and drives the most laps in the car will get one bonus point toward the driver's championship. "These amendments to the bonus point system are meant to recognize the drivers who have contributed the most to the results of their team during the course of a race weekend," said Dennis Huth, President of IMSA, the sanctioning body for the American Le Mans Series.

3/9/02

Atlantics: Diaz sets track record to win pole  Luis Diaz, of Mexico City, proved to be the fastest driver for the opening round of the 12-race Toyota Atlantic Championship at Monterrey, Mexico, by winning the pole position outright for today's race. Diaz set another track record with a blistering lap of 1:27.089 (86.973 mph) around the 12-turn, 2.104-mile Fundidora Park to capture his first career pole position in a major international racing series. Diaz's record time broke the existing track record he set yesterday of 1:28.568 (85.521 mph). The 32 lap/67.2 mile opening round of the 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship is set to drop the green flag today at 3:00 p.m. (CT). It is the featured support race for tomorrow's CART FedEx Championship Series Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix. New CART mandated qualifying enhancements provided Diaz with one bonus point for his provisional pole on Friday. Because he was fastest in second round qualifying, he earned another bonus point. Joey Hand, of Sacramento, Calif., will start on the outside pole with a time of 1:27.515 (86.550 mph). "My car kept getting faster but that's about my crew's hard work and my engineer, Gerald Tyler," said Diaz. "Gerald is an amazing engineer. He made the car go faster. I didn't change anything. He just tuned the car a bit more and that was all it needed. I expected to go faster this morning but not this much faster. I figured two-tenths of a second at best from yesterday. I think a one-half second gain is a lot for this track." Teammate Alex Gurney, of Newport Beach, Calif., was Diaz's closest challenger on Friday with the second fastest time. After a slow start, Gurney kicked it up a notch and finished third fastest overall at 1:27.643 (86.423 mph). This was a significant improvement from his best lap of 1:28.771 (85.325 mph) in provisional qualifying. "We were experimenting in the first part of the session," said Gurney. "I started on the same tires as yesterday. It didn't feel right. We ended up changing tires and settings in the middle of qualifying but lost around 15 minutes of track time. When I went back, my radio was bugging me with a loud beeping noise. It wouldn't go away so I was trying to yank it out for a couple of laps. I had a few clear laps at the end and a couple of 'ok' ones. We still have same space before catching Luis." Speed Channel will provide a same-day delayed telecast of the Monterrey Toyota Atlantic Championship race from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PT), Saturday, March 9.

3/9/02

Monterrey now forecasting a sell-out  2nd UPDATE It's official - the race is sold out. 3/7/02 - Yesterday at 16:17 PM they had only 4,000 tickets available for the race, and they were expecting to close the day with 500 less. If this is true it means that fans will only have 3,500 tickets available for the race. Because of this, Alberto Botello, the Executive Director of the Monterrey Race, announced that if the ticket sale continues as the last two days they wont be selling tickets for only the Saturday event, all local media are predicting that the tickets will be sold out tomorrow morning. The race is so important in Monterrey that El Norte published a special supplement about the race today and will publish three more on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 3/7/02 - A reader from Mexico writes - It is true that the tickets took a lot more time to be sold than in 2001, but this was not due to lack of interest in the race from Monterrey or Mexican fans. The last 10 months have been very hard for the Latin American economies and even tough Mexico wasn't hit as hard as other countries, the situation is difficult, and so a lot of fans had to save money to go to the Monterrey Grand Prix. Also you have to take in account that last year a lot of fans traveled from Mexico City and nearby cities, this year they are going to have their own race. Taking all this into consideration I think the fact that today the local media is forecasting a sold out event is a proof that this event is going to be a success for a second year in a row. I can't tell you how excited I am, I'm going to the event

3/9/02

First images of 2002 Panoz paint scheme UPDATE We have added a picture of the real car  3/8/02 - Here are interim images of the new Panoz livery for 2002. Final pictures of the complete painted car should be available within 24 hours.

3/9/02

SPEED Channel now on Nielson rating system The SPEED Channel is now on the Nielson rating system and last weekends F1 race from Australia pulled down a 0.6 rating in the Los Angeles market, higher than both the NASCAR Busch series and Winston Cup Happy hour shown on FOX FX.  While we are certain that F1 did not pull a 0.6 rating nationwide, it does indicate that SPEED Channel is reaching more homes that previously thought in some markets.  As more NASCAR fans demand SPEED Channel, it will begin to reach into the more rural areas, which will of course benefit CART and ALMS too.

3/8/02

Fernandez - Pook the best thing   In today's Reforma newspaper, Adrian Fernandez stated - I don't think we've ever had a president like Chris Pook in the CART Series. From the beginning, he started making beneficial changes which are already evident. Some people didn't want Pook, who organizes the successful event at Long Beach, to take control of the series. Maybe because they had more in common with the past president Joseph Heiztler, whom we all thought would do good things on TV, because that is where he comes from. A fact is that we needed a leader like him, someone who would take care of the well-being of all and not just the interest of a few. From day one he changed the way we vote. Now, something can be approved with the simple majority, this means 50% plus one have to agree. Before it had to be 75% to agree, so it was really hard to get somewhere and have beneficial results.

3/8/02

Atlantics: Diaz nips Gurney in Friday qualifying   After Alex Gurney (Dorricott Racing/Behr Castrol Swift 014.a) set the fastest time during Thursday’s testing, teammate Luis Diaz (Dorricott Racing/Telmex Swift 014.a) reversed the tables and nipped Gurney in Friday qualifying. Lynx driver Michael Valiante was third. 1. Luis Diaz 1:28.568, 2. A. Gurney 1:28.771, 3. Michael Valiante 1:28.809 Story

3/8/02

Atlantics: Hylton Motorsports signs Roger Yasukawa   Hylton Motorsports Team Owner Keith Hylton announced today that he has signed Roger Yasukawa to pilot the #9/us print/Toyota/Swift in the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Series, beginning in Long Beach. A native of Los Angeles, California, Yasukawa joins Hylton Motorsports from the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series. Yasukawa competed in 11 of 12 events in 2001, where he completed every race lap, earned his first victory in his final race in Vancouver, finished on the podium four times and earned 128 championship points, placing him an impressive fourth in the championship.

3/8/02

More Indy 500 entries  Kelley Racing filed three entries for the Indianapolis 500 for the second consecutive year, including one for two-time winner Al Unser Jr., while Treadway & Associates Racing filed a second entry for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Kelley became the second team to file three entries for the 86th Indianapolis 500 on May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Team Green was the first. Unser will drive the No. 7 Corteco/Bryant Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Unser will attempt to make his 15th career Indianapolis 500 start. His victories came in 1992 and 1994. John Worth is the chief mechanic of the No. 7 entry. Scott Sharp, 2001 Indianapolis 500 MBNA Pole winner, will drive the No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. 1996 Indy Racing League co-champion Sharp will attempt to make his seventh career Indianapolis 500 start. His best finish is 10th in 1996 and 2000. Robert Perez is the chief mechanic of the No. 8 entry. Jim Freudenberg is the Kelley Racing team manager. Kelley Racing also entered the No. 28 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. The driver, official car name and chief mechanic will be announced later. Treadway & Associates Racing entered the No. 55 Airlink Enterprises/Spade Motorsports G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone for rookie Rick Treadway, with an identical backup entered. Treadway is competing for the team this season in the Indy Racing League. Brian Heriza is the chief mechanic, and Skip Faul is team manager. The Treadway team filed the first entry for this year's race on Feb. 25, the No. 5 Meijer G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone to be driven by two-time winner Arie Luyendyk. IRL

3/8/02

New qualifying format a hit  Almost to the person, everyone loves the new CART qualifying format whereby all cars qualify in the same session.  We saw more excitement in the press room than we have in a long time as the times bounced all over the scoring monitor in the frantic final minutes..

3/8/02

SPEED Channel shots will impress  For those of you who have made the move to DirecTV, the DISH Netowrk, or those of you who get Speed Channel from your cable provider, wait until you see some of the neat in-car camera shots they will be showing, like Michael Andretti working the gear shift level on the demanding Monterrey track.

3/8/02

Newman Haas and Eli Lilly conclude deal UPDATE We have added an image of the current Lilly logo and the image of what the Cialis logo will look like when it goes on the car.  3/8/02 -  The long-running discussions between Newman/Haas Racing and Eli Lilly and Co. were finalized this week. The cars unloaded for in Monterrey have "Lilly" in bold letters on the side pods.  However, the cars won't run the Cialis name (their version of Viagra) until the FDA gives final approval of the drug.  We hear this sponsorship deal is VERY big, something an IRL team can only dream about.  Why?  Because CART delivers the world market and Lilly plans to sell the drug worldwide over time.  The IRL delivers just the USA market, and it's overseas TV ratings....well we hear hardly anyone watches.

3/8/02

Politic shenanigans in CART's move to Indy UPDATE CART plans to pack and move during May, and be fully in place in Indy by June 1st.  They have no races during that month, so it's the perfect time to do it.  The Indianapolis Economic Development Commission (a public-private group) website lists the "top ten reasons to relocate a racing business in Indianapolis." Items 6 and 10 seem to directly contradict the city officials' claim in the linked article below. Looks like indeed there may be some Hulman-George influence at work as we suspected.  As always, AR1's detectives are on the case in search of the whole truth.
6 Tax abatements & regulatory assistance
7 Site location assistance
8 Creative financing
9 Skilled workforce, manpower assistance
10 State sales & use tax exemption for racing businesses
(see www.iedc.com, click the motorsports link).   3/8/02 -  According to this Steve Ballard article in the Indy Star, CART's board approved the move to Indy Saturday and employees were notified Monday of the decision. But Thursday, CART president Chris Pook said "a message was delivered to us" that puts the move in jeopardy. A meeting is scheduled today between officials from the city and the racing organization. Pook is in Monterrey preparing for Sunday's season-opening race and won't attend the meeting. "The mayor (Bart Peterson) doesn't want to support us with incentives," Pook said. "We clearly want to move to Indianapolis, but we don't want to be discriminated against." CART is counting on the same tax incentives and city support afforded new businesses coming to town and expects the same treatment given the Indy Racing League. But the city is not interested in providing incentives.  Is it possible the Hulman George family, who clearly have strong political ties in Indy, have put pressure on the mayor's office to not help CART in any way?  Nah, why would they do that?

3/8/02

More on new CART technical rules  1) CART will calculate how many mpg the cars are getting at each venue running full rich and full boost, and then give them enough fuel in the pit side tank to run full power the entire race.  In addition, the team can add as much fuel in the car as they like to start the race, the amount depending on their race strategy. 2) A car can be refueled during a late race red-flag situation (to ensure the race finishes under green), but that is defined as touching the car and you must move to the back of the line on the restart.  Don't expect revs to be above 11,500 RPM in 2003.  CART might allow that on road courses, but I am told on the ovals you will likely see the same rev limits as the IRL runs - 10,700, at least for 2003.  The 4-year freeze on the new engines means CART won't go above 12,000 RPM in those four years. 3) CART may or may not use the Handford Device on Superspeedways after 2002.  They are running simulations now on various wing packages. To hear more, listen to the full audio. MC

3/8/02

Pook holds his own with Spanish  Here is something you probably didn't know about Chris Pook - he speaks Spanish too.  He held his first press conference in front of a room full of Mexican reporters here in Monterrey.  After speaking the first few minutes in English, CART personnel noticed much of the assembled press didn't understand a word he said, so Chris switched to Spanish and carried on like nothing happened.  What else don't we know about this guy?  MC

3/8/02

Team Green and Lola  We spoke with Barry Green this morning here in Monterrey.  He confirmed that they have Lola's on order, but they have not determined when they might start to use them.  CART limits test days, but Barry confirmed with us that they still have test days left.  We suspect the team will begin to test the Lola during the 4-week break between Mexico and Long Beach.  If it tests well on the oval, you can bet the team will ship them to Motegi, the first oval race of the year.  Would they also use it on the streets of Long Beach?  That depends how bad the Reynard's do this weekend in Monterrey.

3/8/02

Da Matta paces first practice in Monterrey  Brazil's Cristiano da Matta set the quickest time to pace opening practice Friday morning for Sunday's Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix at Fundidora Park. The defending race winner, da Matta had the top time at 1:20.504, good for an average speed of 94.087 miles per hour in the Havoline Toyota/Lola. Fellow Brazilian Bruno Junqueira was second fastest in the Target Toyota/Lola at 1:20.758 (93.791 mph) and the crowd favorite, Adrian Fernandez of Mexico, was third at 1:20.931 (93.591 mph) in the Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola. Rounding out the top five were Patrick Carpentier at 1:20.955 (93.552 mph) in the Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard and Christian Fittipaldi at 1:21.160. Next on the schedule is provisional qualifying, set to begin at 3:10 p.m. EST. AM Results

3/8/02

Tagliani checks out Monterrey  Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier walked the 2.104 mile Fundidora Park track with his chief engineer Michael Cannon in preparation for the first race of the CART 2002 season this weekend near downtown Monterrey, Mexico.

3/8/02

Team Green buys lots of Chevy's  Our Chevy sources tell us Team Green has bought 14 complete engines for this years Indy 500.  Four each for Andretti, Franchitti, and Tracy, and two spares.  Running the Indy 500 with the intent to win is very expensive because they put in so many miles during the month of May.  With the big teams spending so much money to win, the small IRL teams no longer have any chance of winning.  Sponsors will look to hook up with CART teams and the better IRL teams to increase their chances of even making the field.  The weak teams will continue to scrape for every penny, many going bankrupt in the process.

3/8/02

Ride-buying alive and well in the IRL  Shigeaki Hattori has been confirmed in one Bradley Motorsports car, starting with next week's race at Phoenix. But because Hattori will drive cars he owns himself, Bradley can use its cars on someone else. Hotly being pursued are programs for either Greg Ray or Mark Dismore. "Shigeaki helps us put our feet back on the ground (financially)," team manager David Cripps said.  We hear money was a factor in the Foyt/Dare deal as well.  Why do you think Foyt did not pick an American.  "Those darn ride buying furrinersz" as Foyt calls them.  He's learned to eat those words.  CART is in the same boat, but to a far less extent.  Racing always has been an expensive sport, and we suppose always will be.

3/8/02

7.5 hours of TV scheduled for CART opener  Seven-and-a-half hours of CART race event television coverage on SPEED Channel from the season-opening Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix will officially kick-off the new relationship between the burgeoning television network and the CART FedEx Championship Series this weekend. Story

3/8/02

Ferrari will stick with 2001 Ferrari will use last year's car for the second time this season at the Malaysian Grand Prix on March 17. Schumacher cruised to victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne last weekend and that has convinced the Italian team that they can rely on the 2001 car at the Sepang circuit.

3/8/02

Cheever takes Scheckter to school  Class was in session this week for Indy Racing League rookie Tomas Scheckter after he collided with his boss and Red Bull Cheever Racing teammate, 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., on Lap 3 of the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The wreck ended Cheever's day against the wall while Scheckter went on to finish sixth. The teacher for Scheckter's special lessons? Cheever. "My first reaction as a race car driver was to jump out of the car and use the Foyt technique of driver development - grab him and pound some sense into him," Cheever said of Scheckter. "But that approach never had a long-lasting effect on me. "Instead, we spent two days after the race, some of which were awkward, going through the differences between road racing and oval racing with Tomas. Tomas is very talented, and we expect nothing less than flawless execution from him every weekend. He needs to understand that the races are won in the last 20 laps, not the first three. I hope that we have successfully drilled this into his head."  Scheckter, 21-year-old son of 1979 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter, made his first oval-racing start at Homestead-Miami after competing successfully in European road racing. "Eddie and I discussed the accident I started on the third lap of the Homestead race at length and reviewed the ABC race footage, as well," Scheckter said. "I realized that the road-racing techniques I was using definitely do not apply to oval racing. I learned a valuable lesson in Miami that will help me to become a stronger oval racing driver. "I will go to Phoenix with a different approach altogether." Cheever hopes the lesson is learned by Scheckter entering the Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 on March 17 at Phoenix International Raceway. Scheckter was among the fastest drivers during the Indy Racing League Open Test on Feb. 8-9 at PIR. "If we execute better than we did last weekend, I see both of our cars being a threat for a podium finish," Cheever said.  IRL

3/8/02

IRL opener gets 1.5 TV rating  The live ABC broadcast of the first Indy Racing League event of the 2002 season, the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami on March 2, delivered a 1.5 national rating, nearly double that of the .8 rating the same event earned in 2001. The share of households tuning in the race doubled from a 2 to a 4 share. "This rating shows important growth for the Indy Racing League," said Buddy McAtee, Indy Racing League assistant vice president of broadcasting. "Also very important were a doubling of men 18-49 and an 83 percent increase in men 25-54 watching the broadcast." McAtee also noted the strong performance of the 2002 ABC broadcasting team of Bob Jenkins, Paul Page, Scott Goodyear, Gary Gerould and Jack Arute. "We have received a lot of positive fan feedback about everybody on the broadcast, and we are especially pleased with Scott Goodyear's ability after having moved from the race car to the race broadcast," McAtee said. Also noted was how the final 1.5 national rating matched the overnight rating from 49 metered markets. "The usual pattern for overnight ratings as it pertains to Indy-style racing is for the final rating to drop off as the smaller markets come in," McAtee said. "The ability to hold the overnight shows our growing strength in grassroots America." Ten of the 15 Indy Racing League events this year will be televised on ABC, with five on the ESPN networks. Every race broadcast is live. The next Indy Racing League event, the Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200, will be televised live at 4 p.m. (EST) Sunday, March 17 on ABC.  IRL

3/7/02

Beechler worse than expected  Donnie Beechler suffered a concussion in a practice crash March 1 and wasn't cleared to drive by Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services. Beechler will not be cleared to drive at the upcoming Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 on March 17 at Phoenix International Raceway, Bock said.   "I spoke to Donnie and just told him he needed to take some time to heal up," Foyt said. "He took a very hard hit, and it doesn't make sense to take chances. He is one of the nicest guys in the sport, and I'll admit it, I feel bad for him. He took it well and understood that we have his best interests at heart. I am looking forward to working with him at Indy."

3/7/02

Foyt hires foreign driver instead of an American  Once again AJ Foyt contradicts himself.  Ragging for years on CART for having too many foreign drivers, he has once again picked a foreign driver for his IRL team.  How ironic.  A.J. Foyt has hired 2000 Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year Airton Dare to drive the No. 14 Harrah's entry for the rest of the 2002 IRL season. Dare, 24, substituted for the injured Donnie Beechler in the No. 14 Harrah's/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone in the season-opening 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami on March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Dare finished 10th after an accident on Lap 195 ended his day, but he ran as high as second during the race. "I was very impressed with Dare," Foyt said. "He had never driven a Dallara chassis before, only the G Force, and then he qualified at over 196 mph after just a couple of warm-up laps on a tricky track with strong winds. Then he drove a great race. "When you figure that he hadn't been in a race car since Texas in October, well, it's hard not to be impressed by him." Beechler suffered a concussion in a practice crash March 1 and wasn't cleared to drive by Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services. Beechler will not be cleared to drive at the upcoming Bombardier ATV Copper World Indy 200 on March 17 at Phoenix International Raceway, Bock said.

3/7/02

Blair Racing files 2 entries for Indy  Blair Racing filed two entries March 7 for the 86th Indianapolis 500, including one for its full-time Indy Racing League driver, Alex Barron. Barron, from Menifee, Calif., will drive the No. 44 Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. He will attempt to make his first Indianapolis 500 start. Gary Neal is the chief mechanic of the No. 44 entry. Blair Racing also entered the No. 45 Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone and an identical backup. The driver and chief mechanic will be announced later. Bob Sprow is the general manager of both entries by Blair Racing, which moved to the Indy Racing League full time after competing in CART in 2001.

3/7/02

As predicted, Ecclestone will regain control of F1  According to the UK's Financial Times newspaper, Bernie Ecclestone is developing plans, which would see him regain control of the franchise's lucrative TV rights from the financially troubled Kirch Group, with the manufacturers behind the scenes at the Geneva Motor Show. Ecclestone is thought to have met with Fiat chairman Paolo Cantarella; the head of Ford's Jaguar-owning Premier Automotive Group Wolfgang Reitzle; and the head of DaimlerChrysler Mercedes -Benz divisions, Jurgen Hubbert to prepare a joint bid.

3/7/02

Villeneuve calls for 25 F1 races per year, less testing  AR1 has stated for years that one of the reasons NASCAR is so successful is that it in the news almost every weekend.  There is continuity for the fans every weekend.  We have long called for more CART races (23 to 25 per year) and now Jacques Villeneuve is uttering our very words. He told Formula1.com this week - "I think the idea of a two-day weekend is great," said Villeneuve. "If that was the case I would like to see 25 races a year. "We have too much testing and not enough racing. We could have three races a month and then two weeks off - three races in a row then 10 days off with no testing." Villeneuve, who retired from Sunday's Australian Grand Prix after qualifying 13th, argued that swapping testing for more races would not reduce team's development opportunities and would provide better value for all those involved in Formula One. "More races and less testing would mean the same mileage on the cars and the same costs, but more publicity and more fun for everyone," he said. "It would be better for sponsors because they don't get any publicity out of testing. The place they get it is from racing and the television coverage." F1 currently has 17 races per year, CART 20 races and NASCAR 38 races.  With CART cutting team costs almost in half for 2003, the pressure to not add more races to their schedule will be less.  Teams will then be able to hire more crew members to lessen the travel burden on all.

3/7/02

CART fans in Europe have at least one TV choice this weekend  A lot of CART fans in Europe have written to say they are afraid that they will not see CART on TV this year. That of course is not the case, but CART is late finalizing the details of their International TV package.  With the season opener very close now, AR1 has learned that CART will be at least show LIVE on the AB Moteurs channel (French language) which is available free on the ASTRA digital satellite. The Monterrey GP will be live at 10 PM o'clock (9 PM in UK) Sunday.  If you don't know French , you can at least get the video.  We all await CART's more complete TV announcement.

3/7/02

Dale Coyne team taking shape for 2002 2nd UPDATE Dale Coyne reports he is working very extensively with Roberto and Ricardo Gonzalez toward a major sponsor and starting with a two car program for the brothers at Laguna Seca in June.  2/11/02 - Not so fast - see rumor on rumors page about the possibility of the Gonzalez brothers driving for Coyne. 2/9/02 -  We spoke to Dale Coyne today and he said Martin Basso's sponsors have not come to fruition, largely due to Argentina's economic woes.  That coupled with the fact that it's very expensive to buy new equipment for just one year (CART's rules will be totally different in 2003) makes it almost certain we will not see a Dale Coyne entry in 2002.  However, with costs cut almost in half in 2003, he seems pretty certain he will be back.

3/7/02

Atlantics:  New team makes debut in Mexico  Transnet Racing and their driver, Venezuelan Alex Garcia, will make their competition debuts at the opening round of the 2002 Toyota Atlantic season in the Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico on March 9th. Transnet Racing is a new team, but team management and personnel are racing veterans. Team Manager, Greg Sorrentino, owned and managed ?Different Drummer Racing? in the 1980s and early ?90s competing in SCCA and IMSA events. The team engineer for Mexico will be John Hayes, who has engineered cars that have successfully competed in F2000, Indy Lights and the IRL. Transnet chief mechanic is Mike Budesa who has wrenched for numerous open-wheel teams in Indy Lights and Toyota Atlantic campaigns before coming to Transnet. Budesa was Garcia's chief-mechanic in USFF2000. Hector Cruz also a mechanic, is a Monterrey, Mexico native. His debut race with Transnet Racing will be a blend of the new as well as a return to familiar hometown surroundings.  Transnet Racing was formed in 2002 and the newest team to enter into Toyota Atlantic competition. The team is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

3/7/02

CART TV Schedule  We have made some minor tweaks to our 2002 CART TV schedule.  Though not 100% complete, it is the most complete you will find at this time anywhere.

3/6/02

Race school mandates HANS Device  The Fast Track High Performance Driving School has mandated that each student participating in its on-track activities wear a Head and Neck Support (HANS) device. "We feel like Fast Track has been the leader in stock car driving schools during the past 10 years, and it is time for us to step up and prove it once again," said 1995 ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Andy Hillenburg, who owns and operates the Harrisburg-based driving school. The HANS devices, manufactured by Hubbard/Downing Inc. of Atlanta, will be provided to students along with other safety equipment including helmets and fire-resistant uniforms. The Fast Track High Performance Driving School, which conducts classes at Lowe's Motor Speedway and numerous other race tracks around the country, provides the opportunity for race fans and up-and-coming drivers to get behind the wheel of a Winston Cup-style stock car. "The Fast Track school has always focused on safety and features a program designed to provide a true on-track racing experience," said Dan Knisley, a two-time Fast Track student. "For the school to implement the use of the HANS device was very unexpected because of the cost, but I have learned to expect the best from Fast Track and its staff."

3/6/02

Track signage observation  A reader from England writes - Very interesting the signage at races. At Rockingham, a non-CART fan friend (now a convert) remarked on the lack of signage. There was a FEDEX sign and in the pits there were small banners from ASDA, a large UK supermarket chain wholly owned by Wal-Mart, and very little else. A few Red Devil energy drinks banners, but the scarcity of the advertising and the space available were a huge contrast to F1. Still no idea of how to watch CART in the UK.  Ed McFarlane Leicester, England

3/6/02

SPEED Channel announces ALMS announcers  The SPEED Channel has named its announcers and production company for its coverage of five rounds of the American Le Mans Series in the 2002 season. Formerly known as Speedvision, the cable network relaunched with a new name, look and format on Feb. 11. Motorsports veterans Rick Benjamin (anchor), Bill Adam (analysis), Jon Beekhuis (lead pit reporter) and Amanda Stretton (pits/features) will announce the action as the network begins its third season of American Le Mans Series coverage with the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, on March 16. The race will air live from start to finish. SPEED Channel will also have live coverage of ALMS events at Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, Calif., (May 19), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio, (June 30), Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada (Aug. 3) and the season-ending Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (Oct. 13). Benjamin was anchor for NBC Sports' coverage of ALMS races in 2001. His work has appeared on nearly every American cable sports network, including the ESPN networks, TNN and Fox Sports Net. He hosted the former "Raceday" program on TNN for several years and has worked race telecasts of stock cars, sports cars, open-wheel cars and short track cars. Benjamin was a fixture on Speedvision in 2001, both as an anchor for the network's coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and as host of its Sunday night news program. Adam, a two-time class winner in the Sebring 12-hour classic, has been an analyst on American Le Mans Series telecasts on NBC Sports for the past several years. He also did some Trans-Am Series telecasts last year on CBS. Some of his greatest success as a driver came in the famous Group 44 Jaguar in the mid-1980s. Beekhuis will be new to the SPEED Channel, but is certainly not new to television. The 1988 Indy Lights champion, Beekhuis has been a pit reporter for coverage of CART and IRL events on ABC and ESPN for several years, as well as an analyst on the popular "RPM2Night" program. The first American to win the Indy Lights championship, Beekhuis has also raced in CART, IMSA, Formula Ford, British Formula 3, SCCA Super Vees and Formula Atlantic. Stretton is familiar to fans of the American Le Mans Series for her work as a pit reporter on the ALMS Radio Web. She has been a popular figure on Britain's Channel 4 for several years, working as a presenter on motorsports telecasts, and has also presented on Eurosport, the Travel Channel and Silverstone TV. She is also an active racer, competing in England's ASCAR Mintex Cup.  Because of the length of the Sebring race, five additional announcers will work the SPEED Channel telecast from the Florida circuit. Ralph Sheheen will relieve Benjamin on play-by-play, with Jeremy Dale to relieve Adam as analyst. Calvin Fish, Derek Bell and Alain de Cadenet will report from the pits during the telecast.

3/6/02

ESPN2 to televise Infiniti Pro series   Assuming they get enough entries to have a series, all seven events of the 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series will be broadcast on ESPN2 in the United States and distributed worldwide through ESPN International, series officials announced March 6. Produced by IMS Productions, the 30-minute shows will feature race coverage and unique profiles of Infiniti Pro Series drivers and teams. Broadcast dates and times will be announced when available. "With drivers competing in identical Dallara chassis powered by Infiniti engines and fitted with Firestone Firehawk tires, the Infiniti Pro Series will produce some incredibly exciting racing," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Infiniti Pro Series. "These shows will not only capture that excitement, but they will also provide valuable exposure for drivers, sponsors and teams. "Any good series has great characters involved. Our relationship with ESPN will allow us to introduce those characters - the Indy Racing League stars of tomorrow - to an enormous worldwide television audience."

3/6/02

96 entry's received for Le Mans  The Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has received 96 entry requests for the 70th running of the event on June 15-16. Many American Le Mans Series teams are among those that have submitted entry requests. The submission of 96 requests represents an increase of almost 20 percent over the amount submitted for the 2001 race. The ACO Selection Committee will decide the 48 cars that will be invited to participate in the famed French endurance racing classic. The Selection Committee will attend the March 16 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway, the opening event of the 2002 American Le Mans Series season, and will announce its choices in the days following the event. The entry requests include 44 from Prototype cars in the LMP 900 and LMP 675 classes, and 52 from Grand Touring cars in the GTS and GT classes. As an element of the strong relationship between the American Le Mans Series and the ACO, teams that regularly compete in ALMS races will receive special consideration in the selection process. Eight competitors are already officially pre-selected for the event based on wins at Le Mans last year or wins in two Le Mans Series races that were designated as Le Mans Qualifying Events. Those two events were Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on the American Le Mans Series and the Estoril, Portugal, round of the European Le Mans Series. Pre-selected based on wins in last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans are Audi Sport Team Joest (LMP 900), Corvette Racing (GTS) and Seikel Motorsport (GT). Pre-selected from wins at Road Atlanta are Audi Sport North America (LMP 900) and Corvette Racing (GTS). Pescarolo Sport (LMP 900), Ray Mallock Limited (GTS) and Freisinger Motorsport (GT) are pre-selected based on wins in the Estoril event.

3/6/02

Mark Donohue's son drafted into Panoz squad  Ex-24 Hours of Le Mans GTS winner, David Donohue has been drafted into the Panoz Motor Sports team for the 2002 American Le Mans Series season. The American has been recruited by Panoz to replace Terry Borcheller who the team has been forced to release after Borcheller experienced problems fitting aboard the Panoz LMP-1 Evo prototype machine. "We are very disappointed to have to make this decision, but unfortunately, we simply couldn't get Terry comfortable in the car," Team Owner, Don Panoz said. "We would have loved to keep Terry because he is such a great ambassador for sportscar racing in the US, but he is basically too big to fit in our car. "He was able to drive the car, but couldn't get comfortable. Drivers basically wear a car, rather than drive it - it was like trying to squeeze into a pair of shoes that are too small. "We got to the stage where has was basically sitting on the floor, but still couldn't get enough leg movement. The pedals were moved forward as far as they would go. "This is not a decision we wanted to make but ensuring our drivers can fit comfortably in the car is a serious safety concern that we could not overlook." Donohue tested for Panoz prior to Christmas was one of the original drivers in contention for the fourth seat at the Georgia-based team for 2002. The son of 1972 Indy 500 winner - the late Mark Donohue, David has been one of the nation's most versatile drivers since making the decision to follow in his father's footsteps in 1988.  The second generation star is delighted to join the stellar Panoz driving squad of David Brabham, Jan Magnussen and Herta. "It is an obvious privilege to be teamed with David, Jan, and Bryan. I have long said that 'Brabs' and 'Mags' are the strongest two drivers in the sportscar racing. Bryan¹s Champ car experience will pay dividends for the team and immediately put him in that same category," Donohue said. "I am in elite company for sure, and cannot wait to get started. "I obviously feel some pressure going into Sebring because I have not had much time in the car. I drove the first Panoz LMP chassis for a handful of outings on a cold day back in December. My learning curve at Sebring will need to be very steep in order to satisfy myself, and do justice for the team. "I am really indebted to Dr. Panoz and the entire team for this opportunity."

3/6/02

Harvick to pull double duty  NASCAR contender Kevin Harvick has confirmed that he will pull double-duty at Sears Point Raceway in June, competing in both the Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Winston Cup and Snap-on Tools/Jelly Belly 200 NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series events. Harvick has agreed to a one-race sponsorship with Snap-on Tools for the Southwest Series event at Sears Point and will drive a Chevrolet in the 70-lap feature, set for June 22. He will switch to his familiar Goodwrench Service Chevrolet the next day (June 23) for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 on the twisting road course. "We're going to run that race to have a good time but we also want to win, plus the extra time on the road course is going to help us for the Winston Cup race the next day," Harvick said. "Snap-on Tools has done a lot for us and I think it's great that we were able to work something out with them. They have been a great sponsor."

3/6/02

Tidbits from today's CART financial guidance teleconference  CART held a financial guidance teleconference today.  Here are some interesting tidbits.

  • Chris Pook reminded everyone that CART can deliver the Pacific RIM, NAFTA and Europe to any sponsor

  • Chicago very important to CART, plans to stay in Chicago, did not say whether that was at CMS or a street race

  • Television package - CBS assured CART they will have a 94% clearance across country (i.e. not much pre-empting by local affiliates like ABC does with the IRL), CART does production with same crew as used for SPEED Channel races - Terry Linger productions. SPEED Channel is on the rise, prime time ratings up 74%,  12 million new homes added in last several months. Will be in 70 million+ homes very soon.  Internationally - Negotiating with Individual countries for TV rights - will give CART far greater penetration.  CART is using the same model used successfully by Bernie Ecclestone. Reception to this concept has been very positive.

  • Signage at race tracks - CART will deliver a whole menu of track signage to international sponsors. Working in concert with promoters on this.

  • Promotion to the public - promoters will do local marketing. Greater emphasis in each regional market - making these events more like big street races, events that impact the entire community and are attended by dignitaries, etc. CART will go into market 6 to 10 weeks - give pace car rides and 2-seat Champ car cars to dignitaries and other key people

  • Starting money - top 20 teams will receive a guaranteed amount of starting money. Chris wants to build 20 very healthy teams

  • New venues - Chris mentioned new venues in Mexico City, Montreal, Miami, Denver and St. Pete.  CART will continue to pursue new markets. 2003 and beyond - not publicly discussing new venues at this time. CART needs to solidify current races.  Specifically mentioned that China may be an opportunity they will look at, and perhaps one more European race. Otherwise, Chris likes current mix of 16 NAFTA races, 4 flyaway overseas events.  We have written extensively about China and we're glad to hear CART is taking notice of this emerging economic powerhouse

  • 2003 engines - Chris agrees with N/A engines.  CART needed to fall inline with engine manufacturers wishes/product line. More RPM's (11,900 RPM 750 HP) than IRL. Considerable interest from engine manufacturers. Doom and gloom by some is not accurate - expect some major announcements in 6 to 8 weeks.

  • CART is buying a fleet of 2-seater cars at $400,000 apiece.

  • ALMS - looking at possible other venues to do joint weekends. Will be 'strategic' venues. ALMS's Scott Atherton is good friend of CART's.

3/6/02

Mexico synopsis  
WHEN: March 8-10, 2002
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.1-mile permanent road course
RACE DISTANCE: 85 laps (178.84 miles)
TELEVISION COVERAGE (ET): Speed Channel; 4:00pm (LIVE)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Cristiano da Matta
DEFENDING POLESITTER: Kenny Brack (100.665 miles per hour; 1 minute, 15.244 secs)
QUALIFYING RECORD: Kenny Brack (100.665 miles per hour; 1 minute, 15.244 seconds)
2001 DRIVER POINTS (final): Gil de Ferran (199), Kenny Brack (163), Michael Andretti (147), Helio Castroneves (141), Cristiano da Matta (140)
2001 MANUFACTURER POINTS (final): Honda (342), Toyota (309), Ford-Cosworth (297)

3/6/02

Miami Mayor says races will go on  In this Miami Herald article Miami mayor Manny Diaz said Tuesday: ``This race started in downtown Miami [as the Grand Prix of Miami], this race belongs in downtown Miami and this race will run in downtown Miami.'' Bermello said contract language will be altered to address provisions the judge faulted and an appeal will be filed. ''There's no doubt in my mind the race weekend will go on Oct. 4-6,'' he said.  ''This city needs and deserves a spectacular show, and this will be a spectacular show,'' Don Panoz said. His Saturday afternoon ALMS race will run into darkness and be followed by fireworks and a concert. The CART stars, including Michael Andretti, Kenny Brack and Jimmy Vasser, will take center stage Sunday afternoon.

3/6/02

CART releases final 2002 financial guidance  CART today provided financial guidance for the year ending December 31, 2002. The company noted that the following statements are based on current expectations and do not include the proposed FedEx Championship Series race in Miami, Florida, for October 2002. These statements are forward-looking, and actual results may differ materially as a result of the factors more specifically referenced below. More

3/6/02

Jaguar might scrap 2002 car  Qualifying a dismal 19th and 20th on the grid for the first race in Melbourne, Jaguar is now thinking about scrapping their R3 and building an entire new car.  The R3 is said to have some major design flaws.  The fact remains that Ford Motor Company is allowing Jaguar to throw as much as $100 million down a bottomless pit only to come out looking like losers.  Yet in CART, where they were winning and coming out looking like winners for much less money, they decided to quit after 2002.  This while Ford is losing $billions.  Jaguar would be better off scrapping their F1 program entirely and building CART engines and chassis' which they can sell to customers (in their biggest market - the USA) and actually make a profit or break even.

3/6/02

Don't expect Newman Haas in 2002 Indy 500  When asked today on CART's weekly teleconference, Cristiano da Matta said there is only a 20% chance he and the Newman Haas team will compete in the 2002 Indy 500, though he did say they are still working on it.  We find this a bit surprising given Elli Lilly is rumored to be coming onboard as a sponsor.  Headquartered in Indianapolis, we find it alarming that they might think the Indy 500 isn't worth the money.

3/6/02

More entries for 2002 Indy 500  Racing Professionals and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing each filed single entries for the 86th Indianapolis 500 this week. Team owner-driver Jon Herb was listed as the driver on the Racing Professionals entry, filed March 5. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing filed its second entry March 4 for the Indianapolis 500, with no driver listed. The team entered cars for its full-time Indy Racing League driver and team co-owner Robbie Buhl on Feb. 26. 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.

3/6/02

Reader thinks CART now has best schedule  Dear AutoRacing1 - "With the addition of Miami today, and St. Petersburg in 2003, CART now brings any sponsor some of the best venues in which to expose their product.  Think about it - Mexico City (huge), Monterrey, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, LA/Long Beach/Fontana, San Francisco/Monterey, Japan, Australia, England, Germany, Cleveland, Denver, St. Petersburg, etc.  These are major consumer markets.  I'm glad to see CART is slowly shedding it's loser races.  Every addition has been a winner.  I hope your rumors are right about New York and Shanghai, and can you imagine a street race in Chicago?  I thought CART was going to die after 2001.  Now I'm completely bullish on 2003.  Lower costs, new manufacturers, and a TV partner who finally is on CART's side.  I hope Roger enjoys running his drivers in circles and bringing his sponsor Marlboro to tertiary markets compared to CART.  Marlboro must look at today's addition of Miami to the CART schedule and dream about what might have been.  Certainly racing in front of only 20,000 fans in Homestead wasn't their idea of good product exposure.  Danny Sullivan once said that when the music stops, Roger always has a chair.  This time he got one with a broken leg."  Michele Edmiston, Trenton, NJ

3/6/02

New helmet colors for Domínguez  Mario Domínguez will be sporting a special-edition helmet for this weekend's event. Temporarily abandoning his traditional color scheme of yellow, blue, and white, Mario has translated his design into the red, green, and white colors of the Mexican flag.  Domínguez has a full dance card in the days leading up to season-opener including a press conference hosted by primary sponsor and team owner Grupo Herdez on Wednesday at Ditzka Restaurant in Monterrey, the traditional CART press conference on Thursday at the track, and other appearances in the community.

3/5/02

Notes from Miami press conference  

  • A huge amount cheering could be heard from the crowd in attendance.  It's clear the town is pumped for this event

  • ALMS race will start in the afternoon on Saturday and run into the evening

  • The Mayor was adamant that they will prevail in the ISC lawsuit/challenge

  • Derrick Walker of Walker Racing participated  representing the CART Board of Directors expressed his enthusiasm for both the venue and the opportunities it creates for the teams and for the fans. "Miami downtown will get us back into an important location for CART, and the Miami City event should not be underestimated as to it's importance to the Latin American market. It will be a huge undertaking to get ready for the event but in the long run it's importance to CART will make it worth while," says Walker, who has fond memories of the Miami street races of the past, having overseen Danny Sullivan's winning effort in the inaugural Miami street race held in 1985. The promoters of the race are looking to be bringing the event right to the fans by racing downtown on a street course overlooking the scenic Biscayne Bay, reminiscent of the layout of the highly successful Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach, California. The course will be approximately 1.5 miles long and will feature not only dynamic scenery, but the layout should also provide plenty of passing opportunities and on track excitement track as well. Today's announcement was an important step in getting the Champcar teams back to what is widely considered to be a growing and vital market for the teams and for the growth of CART in the future."

  • The ALMS and CART drivers both welcomed some cross-pollination of the two series with drivers from each side getting 1-off rides in the other series.

3/5/02

Ricky Hendrick to undergo minor surgery  Hendrick Motorsports driver Ricky Hendrick, who dislocated his right shoulder in Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will need arthroscopic surgery to repair ligament damage in his injured shoulder. The driver of the No. 5 GMAC Chevrolet is expected to make a full recovery, but will be out approximately six weeks, according to doctors. "Ricky is going to be just fine," said his father Rick Hendrick, founder and CEO of Hendrick Motorsports. "He's just disappointed about missing races." Hendrick's race car encountered oil on the track and hit the wall as he came into the first turn on lap 117, sliding for more than 500 feet before coming to a stop in turn two. In compliance with NASCAR rules, the No. 5 car was carrying a "black box" which recorded data on the severity of the crash. According to initial figures, the car sustained 50 G-force impact, exceeding any ever recorded by NASCAR.  Hendrick Motorsports announced that veteran driver Ron Hornaday will replace the 21-year-old Busch Series rookie. The two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion has two victories, two outside poles, seven top-five finishes and 18 top-10 finishes in more than 50 Busch Series starts. "I'm here to do anything I can do to support Rick Hendrick and Ricky," said Hornaday. "It's a great feeling to know that Hendrick Motorsports thinks that much of me. I know they have they best equipment in NASCAR racing and I'm proud to be able to get into a Hendrick car to show my talent until Ricky's ready to come back." "Ron is a proven veteran who's been instrumental in the careers of many young drivers, including Ricky's," said the elder Hendrick. "Hendrick Motorsports and the team's sponsors are proud to put him behind the wheel until Ricky's return."

3/5/02

Web traffic increases for IRL  The opening event of the 2002 Indy Racing League season saw worldwide exposure of the series rise meteorically, both on television and the World Wide Web. Indy Racing Online, the official Web site of the Indy Racing League, saw its traffic increase nearly 200 percent during the season-opening 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami over last year's opening event at Phoenix International Raceway. For the three days of practice, MBNA Pole qualifying and the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, fans recorded 22 million hits and 8.8 million page views. By comparison, the three-day season-opener at Phoenix in 2001 saw 7.8 million hits and 3.2 million page views. The numbers for the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami capped off a fantastic February for indyracing.com, which saw a 1,100 percent increase in hits and page views for the month. This includes the Feb. 6-9 Test in the West at Phoenix and California Speedway, and the first day of practice (Feb. 28) for the Grand Prix of Miami. Fans logged 16.5 million page views and 45 million hits in February, compared to 1.5 million and 4 million, respectively, a year ago. Only one month in Indy Racing Online's history - May 2001 - has been busier. That month, of course, is reserved on the Indy Racing League's annual calendar for the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. The entire motorsports world turns its attention to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May for three weeks of practice and qualifying leading to "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

3/5/02

CART, ALMS and Raceworks strategy to win over ISC in Miami  A reader writes - "This ISC nonsense in Miami to stop the CART/ALMS/TransAm street race smells of a monopoly pushing their weight around and excluding competition.  Since when is ISC interested in bidding on a street race?  Who are they fooling?  It's like saying NY City can't have two baseball, football, or basketball teams.  I have a simply solution to all this mess.  The City of Miami should put out a request for bids for a street race, with qualifications being the basis of award.  This would be in the best interest of the City, since they want the most qualified company to to manage the street race to ensure success for the City of Miami.  Who's more qualified than CART and Dover Downs to put on a successful street race?  Certainly not ISC!  CART and Dover Downs will win hands down and ISC will have to retreat to the dregs of Homestead with their tails between their legs.  Mordichai Rosen, LA, California

3/5/02

Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Kicks Off Third Season  Twenty-four racers are preparing for first-round action in the 2002 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER this weekend at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. Universally regarded as one of the most competitive and cost-effective championships in existence, the National Championship was designed for the aspiring professional racer. Talent and a proven track record are the credentials one must present for this invitation-only series. The 13-round series, deemed the Official Amateur National Championship of CART in early 2001, runs in conjunction with many Skip Barber Race Series weekends and in support of select marquee events. Determined to build on the phenomenal success of its two previous seasons, the 2002 National Championship series features three new venues, a new track layout at California Speedway, the Superspeedway at Nashville, Tennessee and the Circuit de Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada.  Story

3/5/02

CART announces Miami Press Conference, race in doubt  2nd UPDATE CART and ALMS announced the race today, so they must think they can win the lawsuit.  3/4/02 - Hold the presses AP Story - The future of The Grand Prix of the Americas was put in doubt Monday when a judge ruled Miami illegally granted a new company the right to run the race and voided the deal. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Genden ruled that the city was required to have asked for competitive bids before granting the race's rights to Raceworks LLC for the next 15-to-25 years. The American Le Mans Series race was scheduled to run April 7. Genden ruled on behalf of Homestead-Miami Speedway LLC, which also had wanted to bid.  City lawyers had argued that its agreement with Raceworks was a license for the for use of city property and not required to be bid upon. But Genden said the city's agreement with Raceworks was in fact a lease, and the city had to take bids on the race rights. The city's failure to do so voids the contract, Genden said. ``The court agreed that the mere fact that they called it a license doesn't make it a license,'' said Homestead-Miami Speedway attorney Jorge Lopez. ``This had every characteristic of a lease. The very specific laws of the city on competitive bidding apply.'' Raceworks had made the contract fully assignable — able to be sold — and the city had no ability to revoke the contract, neither of which are characteristics of a license, Lopez said. Genden instructed the city to comply with the state's bid procedures, giving the speedway an equal bidding opportunity before entering into any agreement to use the city's waterfront property for car races. Lopez said Speedway is still ``very interested in a bid.'' Raceworks now has no rights to the race, and it is up to them or the city to appeal the decision, Lopez said. A decision could come Thursday, when the city commission meets.  With all that said AR1 is told by the Miami promoter that tomorrow's press conference will go forward as planned.  3/4/02 -  We had it as a fact on our rumors page over the weekend.  CART announced today it will hold a press conference Tuesday at noon in Miami to announce a joint CART/ALMS/TransAm weekend in early October (weekend of October 6th).  Representatives from Championship Auto Racing Teams as well as Cristiano da Matta, Driver of the #6 Toyota Lola for Newman/Haas Racing Christian Fittipaldi, Driver of the #11 Toyota Lola for Newman/Haas Racing Max Papis, Driver of the #22 Ford Lola for Sigma Autosport Tony Kanaan, Driver of the #10 Honda Reynard for Mo Nunn Racing will participate in the conference

3/5/02

PWR Racing launches new website  PWR Championship Racing today announced the launch of its official web site, www.pwrracing.com, which will have a new design and added features for the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series. The web site, designed by Jeff Kivett, PWR's graphic designer and web master, provides all the latest news and features on PWR's team and drivers. The site will be managed in-house, allowing PWR the opportunity to post the most up-to-date information. "Managing all aspects of the PWR website in-house including content, design and multimedia make the site easier to control and maintain," said Jeff Kivett. "We've been able to take complete control of our front and back-end functionality including our mass e-mailing capability and latest news postings, which our PR department maintains with a web-based interface. You get all the latest news as it happens from the track." The newly updated site features an improved user interface and will include history of the team and driver information. The site will also feature links to other sites such as the official CART web site, www.cart.com. PWR partners are also represented along with links to their web sites giving visitors the opportunity to explore their products and services. "We are pleased to launch our updated official website," said PWR Executive Vice-President, Mike Lowry. "Our site will not only give fans an insiders view of our team, but will also give Corporate America the chance to access us as a company. We have developed a user-friendly site along with a greater amount of information enabling our partner's and fan's a more valuable experience while visiting the site." In addition, visitors to the site may view PWR pit-stop videos, photo gallery and a live shop-cam. The site also includes team and car information, photos, schedules, upcoming appearances and the opportunity to contact the drivers and key personnel. Members of the media can access PWR's media guide for current information and statistics on the team and drivers. The Indianapolis-based team is excited about launching its new web site and is committed to keeping this valuable source of communication updated.

3/5/02

US F1 Radio Network makes successful debut  The U.S. Formula One Radio Network went on air for the first time live from the Australian Grand Prix. "We successfully produced a live 2-hour show for distribution in the U.S.," said Inga Stracke, Executive Producer for the Network. "The first lap pile up made our jobs just a little more challenging but we were the first to bring American race fans live feedback from drivers and others as to what actually happened at the start of the race." The U.S. Formula One Radio Network was welcomed by the Formula One community as a new way to reach out to U.S. Formula One fans. "It's a good idea," said Tom Walkinshaw, owner of the Orange Arrows team, "Formula One needs more coverage in the USA." Paul Stoddart, owner of Minardi Asiatech, commented, "We know how important the U.S. is for Formula One's future. With radio you can really get to the people." Ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle voiced his support, "It's a great idea, anything that makes Formula One more popular in the U.S. is good news." Commenting on the first broadcast, Chris Witting, President of Creative Broadcast Consulting, said, "The first broadcast of any syndicated program is an important step. Over the last few weeks we have been signing new affiliates every day. We think that with the first race having successfully aired, a lot more stations will be joining the U.S. Formula One Radio Network in the coming weeks." Also commenting on the broadcast, Scott Taylor, GM of WPZZ-FM Indianapolis said, "Our listeners loved hearing the Australian Grand Prix and so did we! The coverage was compelling and very entertaining. In fact, our phone lines were lit up on Sunday with callers excited about the race broadcast. We look forward to a great season of Formula One racing!" Adding to this, Joseph Oliveira, PD of Clear Channel Radio, Fresno, CA. said, "Our audience was extremely pleased with our first broadcast of Formula One! The broadcast team captured all the passion and excitement of F1 racing and kept us on the edge of our seat. We can't wait for the rest of the Formula One season." The next race in the Formula One World Championship is the Malaysian Grand Prix on March 17. The U.S. Formula One Radio Network will provide 2 hours of live coverage at 2:00 a.m. (Eastern) plus a delayed re-broadcast at 8:00 a.m. (Eastern). Listeners should check with the local station for broadcast information. The Network will also provide updates direct from the track on Friday, Saturday, Sunday evening and Monday morning. For further information go to www.usf1radio.com

3/5/02

Michelin - we must get better  Michelin F1 boss Pierre Dupasquier admits his company needs to raise its game after Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix. Dupaquier’s comments come after criticism from Michelin-shod Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya who complained that his tires in Sunday’s race were inconsistent and little improvement on last year’s rubber. Speaking in a Michelin press release Dupasquer said: "We must do better, much better. We no longer have the excuse of not knowing the circuits and we are working with teams whose abilities are well established. The challenge is to prove that Michelin can deliver the results everyone expects in the wake of last season's successes. We will have new tires for Malaysia"

3/5/02

Bernie says no to new team in Malaysia  The new Formula 1 team formed by a consortium headed by Charles Nickerson and backed by TWR boss Tom Walkinshaw (and rumored to include VW backing), named Phoenix, has been stopped cold in its tracks by Bernie Ecclestone. "He has bought nothing in Formula 1," Ecclestone told The Times. "All he has bought is some show cars. He can forget it. He is wasting his time thinking about racing in Malaysia."

3/5/02

Once again CART can learn from F1  A reader writes - Why is it that race in and race out F1 generates all this excitement after a race by allowing the fans to pour out under the podium with flags, and air horns?  As the photo to the right from Melbourne shows - it's pure pandemonium.  Will CART continue to hide it's podiums away from the fans?  Laguna Seca is building new garages and Suites.  Is Laguna Seca building a podium above one of the new garages so the fans can see the winners and flock underneath to cheer and party?  Did CART bother to ask?  I ask CART - where's the post-race excitement?  Do you insist promoters build a 'proper' victory podium high up and in full view for all to enjoy?  Are flags from various country's sold at every race track for fans to buy?  Air horns?  While we're ragging on CART, why on earth would CART not want to also race in Adelaide when the  Aussies have such a healthy appetite for motorsports?  Curious minds want to know. After we just hosted the Olympics I can tell you that the international flavor of an event can be spectacular.  Peter Park, Salt Lake City, Utah.

3/4/02

ABC to televise four F1 races  ABC (a USA Network) will televise four F1 races in 2002, but only one will be live, the USGP.  The rest (Canada, Italy and Monaco) will be shown tape delayed on the day of the event.

3/4/02

Record crowd and TV audience at Vegas  Las Vegas Motor Speedway broke an attendance record and FOX Sports broke a viewership record as Sterling Marlin notched his first victory of the season in Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. An announced crowd of 137,500 fans attended Sunday's race, eclipsing the previous record crowd of 135,000 in 2000. Sunday's crowd was the largest for a sports event in Nevada history. "We set records all weekend," said Chris Powell, LVMS executive vice president and general manager. "When you include the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race, Pole Day and the three nights of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws, we had more than a quarter of a million people through the gates during the four days. That's a tremendous boost for our local economy and speaks volumes to the importance of motorsports to our great city." FOX Sports also recorded record numbers for the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. The race's overnight rating of 6.2 was up slightly over last year's 6.1. It easily dwarfed NBC's 5.3 rating for the PGA Tour's Genuity Classic in which Tiger Woods and Ernie Els battled for the win. Final ratings won't be available until Thursday, but NASCAR ratings typically increase with the final rating. "Given that Tiger Woods was in the battle to the end in the golf tournament makes our rating for the NASCAR event that much better," said Lou D'ermilio, a FOX Sports spokesman. "We are very pleased with that rating." Locally, the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 drew a 10.5 rating and a 21 share, which means 21 percent of all television sets in use were tuned to the race.

3/4/02

Watkins Glen International names Business Development Manager  Jon Beckman has been named Business Development Manager at Watkins Glen International, track president Bryan Sperber recently announced. As business development manager, Beckman will focus on working with current WGI customers and growing new corporate business for the track. "I am excited to have Jon join our staff at Watkins Glen," said Sperber. "With Jon's strong track record in marketing and sales, he will be an asset to the team at The Glen." Beckman comes to the historic road course after working at the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen as the Development Director. While there, he was responsible for fundraising, event management and marketing and public service tasks for the Center. Prior to that, Beckman spent nine years with the Boy Scouts of America, Five Rivers Council as District Executive and then Senior District Executive.

3/4/02

CART Chicago Press Conference transcript  We sincerely appreciate everyone coming out to what I have been told is in the coldest day of the year, coldest day of March. I'm Adam Saal, I'm the CART Vice President of Communications. I'm joined to my immediate left by Rena Shanaman, who is CART Vice President of Promoter Operations, who will talk about what will be a very aggressive role with her in a few minutes in regards to what we think is a very exciting new project here in Chicago.  Full Transcript

3/4/02

Only 10,000 seats remain for Monterrey 2nd UPDATE While the euphoria is not the same (as last year), race fever has increased in the last few days and ticket sales have shot up, to the extent that, according to the organizers, only around 10,000 seats are left (we have other sources that say only 5,000 are left)...(Alberto) Botello (Race Executive Director) said that this year an average crowd of between 70,000 and 100,000 people per day is expected from Friday through Sunday, which would put the 3-day crowd between 210,000 and 300,000. Compare that to this weekends 3-day crowd in Homestead of between 20,000 and 30,000 and you start to understand the magnitude of CART's popularity.....and you start to understand why CART dumped many USA oval races that were dying.  Mr. Penske can scoff all he wants about CART dropping ISC ovals, but looking at the numbers, can you blame them?  2/28/02 -  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.

3/4/02

Kolby and Wilson to drive for Ascari  Ascari, the British specialist sportscar manufacturer, has today announced that the highly rated 23 year old Dane Kristian Kolby will join its racing line-up for the 2002 season. This marks a return to European racing for the young UK based driver in a seven race program that includes the classic events at Sebring, Florida and Le Mans. The signing of Kolby, a former British Formula Ford Champion and last year's success story in Americas Indy Lights Championship, reaffirms the British marquee's ambitions and follows last week's announcement that Justin Wilson, the 2001 F3000 Champion, will race for Team Ascari at Sebring. Kristian Kolby: I am really happy about this deal, which will see me compete in some of the worlds great sportscar races with a team that is constantly growing and improving. Team Ascari has impressive plans and I am optimistic that we can challenge for top honors. Ian Dawson, Race Director, Team Ascari: Kristian fits in well with our plans, he is ambitious and talented. Apart from obviously being very quick, he is also a willing team player which is important for long distance racing. I have watched him come up through the ranks and am excited that he will race in Ascari colours. At Sebring (16th March) Kolby will pilot the 4 liter V10 Judd engined Ascari KZR1 with South African Werner Lupberger and American TJ Bell.

3/4/02
Grand-Am

Jeff Clinton - A teammate that can't be replaced  The entire crew of Archangel Motorsports extends its deepest sympathies to the family, friends and many fans of our fellow and forever teammate. His love of the sport and the enthusiasm he brought to the team can never be replaced.
Team Owner: Mike Johnson Technical Director: Brian Anderson
Crew Chief: Tucker Merten Crew Chief: Jason Dunken
Mechanic: Tristan Nunn Mechanic: J.D. McDermott
Drivers: Joe Safina, Justin Bell, Jeff Tillman
Mechanic: Dave Berry Mechanic: Monte Merriman
Mechanic: Craig English Mechanic: Ryan Eversley
Mechanic: Jeff Aldi Mechanic: Jeff Gastiner
Fueler: Haines Thomas Truck Driver: Richard Barrett

Jeff Clinton, 38, of St. Louis, Missouri, who was fatally injured in a racing incident at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Miami, Florida, will be laid to rest this Wednesday, March 6, 2002. Jeff is survived by his two sons: Mark and Nathan; his parents Jerry and Betty Jo; and his brother Brian and sister-in-law Catherine. He also leaves behind his grandparents, Mark and Esther Novinska and his former wife, Ellen Williams. Services for Jeffrey Mark Clinton:
Visitation
Tuesday, March 5 from 3:00 – 9:00p.m. CST
Bopp Chapel
10610 Manchester Road
Kirkwood, Missouri
Funeral Mass
Wednesday, March 6 at 10:00a.m. CST
Ste. Genevieve du Bois Catholic Church
1575 North Woodlawn Avenue
Warson Woods, Missouri
Entombment
Resurrection Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the
following foundation:
Marygrove (Home For Abused Children)
2705 Mullanphy
Florissant, Missouri 63031
Cards and tributes, to be forwarded to the family, can be directed to:
Archangel Motorsport Services, Inc.
5304-B Winder Highway
Braselton, GA 30517

3/4/02

Penske to run 3rd car for Stewart in Indy 500  Word in Homestead this past weekend is that if Roger Penske runs a 3rd car in this years Indy 500, it will be for Tony Stewart with Home Depot backing.  Does this make Chip Ganassi mad?  He ran Tony year at Indy, but this year he's not sure of running a 4th car, so perhaps Tony could not wait to make his arrangements.

3/4/02

Cheever team still in search of sponsor  UPDATE At the request of Red Bull (Team Cheever's primary sponsor), they have elected to leave the side pods empty of copy.  3/2/02 - Based on the IRL press releases at the time, one would have thought that the Red Bull sponsorship that Team Cheever landed was some big $10 million deal for 2-cars for a season.  However, based on what we saw at Homestead, it looks like the team is still in search for a primary sponsor.  Red Bull appears on the car where an associate sponsor would be located, and the large IRL sidepods remain blank on both cars.

3/4/02

Atlantics: DSTP and Joey Hand wrap up pre-season testing  DSTP Motorsports and driver Joey Hand recently wrapped-up its final test in preparation for the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic season-opening race in Monterrey, Mexico. The team completed several test days at Thunderhill and Buttonwillow raceways in northern and southern California, respectively. "Naturally, we wanted to get as many miles as possible in the new car," said Hand, who will contest this year's championship in the new Atlantic-spec Swift 014.a, with engines prepared by Paul Hasselgren. "It's not too different from the previous car, but it's much more refined and precise. We're feeling pretty comfortable with everything, and look forward to seeing how we stack up with everyone in Monterrey." Considered a favorite to win this year's championship, Hand returns for his second year in the series and second with DSTP, after claiming the Rookie of the Year title by finishing third overall with two wins, one pole, six podiums and two fastest race laps in last year's Atlantic series.

3/4/02

Ralf blames Rubens  Ralf Schumacher, who had made a flying start from the second row of the grid, laid the blame for the 200km/h-plus collision squarely at the feet of the Brazilian driver. "I had a great start and was trying to dive into the inside and he closed the door, then I tried to go to the outside and he closed the door," Schumacher said. "Then I tried to go back to the inside and he closed the door and braked at the same time. "It's not the braking. He tried to brake for the first corner and while I thought it was a bit early, it is his decision when to brake. But he definitely changed the road twice and we are only allowed to do it once and that was the main problem." Barrichello denied that he had switched ground outside the rules which allow one change of line in defense of a corner. "If he wanted to take me on the outside, he should have moved further over," Barrichello said. "Even if he thinks I moved too many times, I only moved back a centimeter or so." Schumacher said the moment when he was launched over the top of the Ferrari and sailed across into the gravel trap at the end of the home straight was one of the most terrifying in his career. "It felt frightening . . . going airborne in an aircraft is nicer than in a Formula One car -- it's not built for that," he said.

3/4/02

Huge attendance in Melbourne  127,000 race day fans were on hand for this weekends Australian GP.  However, that's still less than the GP crowd drew at Adelaide (205,000 on the final race day) and a bit more than CART gets at Surfers paradise (110,000 +/-).  However, what it does prove is that the Aussies have a healthy appetite for F1 and CART.  Now, about Adelaide....

3/4/02

Penske predicts IRL and CART will merge within 3 years UPDATE A reader writes to say instead of calling it the CART Division and the IRL Division, they should call the CART Division the IndyCar World Division and the IRL Division the IndyCar National Division.  [Editor's Note:  We like that, and again, both divisions would be owned by the holding company called IndyCar Inc.].  3/3/02 -  Roger Penske was quoted in this AP article before Saturday's IRL race in Homestead - "In 36 months, we're going to have to have one series," Penske said Saturday before the IRL's season-opening Grand Prix of Miami. "You're going to take this year, you're going to take a transition year and one more year and then you're going to see what happens. "It's going to be the fate......This has taken us five years to make this decision," Penske said. "It's driven around the fact that the Indy 500 is so important. If you can't play in the Super Bowl, you've got to look at what league you're in. We made our move strictly because we thought it was the best thing for the team."  We here at AR1 support a merger, with two divisions as laid out in this article.  The sport needs some rivalry's to spark the fans interest, and that is best done as it is in baseball and football - American division vs. National division, or in this case the CART division vs. the IRL division, or the Road Racing division vs. Oval division.

3/4/02

Atlantics: Scuadra Fortia team wraps up test at Button Willow  Allen Berg, a native of Calgary, Canada and owner of Scuadra Fortia announced today that Scuadra Fortia wrapped up its first test session at the 1.3-mile circuit of Button Willow in California, in preparation for the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic season. "I feel very proud of the team, over the past three weeks they worked very hard getting the cars ready. For our first test, the two days went very smoothly and we didn't really had problems. It was a very positive. For our drivers it was their first experience with the new Atlantic cars and they did very well. Waldemar (Coronas) was fastest among the drivers that tested there and Eduardo (Figueroa), had more improvements than he realized he did", Berg said. "The cars ran for the first time on Tuesday and we had Hasselgren taking care of the engines and the guys of EFI programmed the sensors. On Tuesday, each driver ran only 8 laps, just to check the systems and the real testing work started on Wednesday," he added. "We are not where we would like in terms of development in comparison with other teams, but I think it would take us some time to be where we want to be, maybe 3 to 4 races. However, after the first test we know what we have to do with the team. Our engineer (Stefan Dwornik) has been working hard not only on the cars, also developing a good relationship with the drivers and the team. Now, we are going to Monterrey for the opener and none of the teams in the Series -apart of Dorricott, have experience on this track. That will help us for our debut in the Series. We are quite prepared," Berg said. Argentinean Waldemar Coronas said: "On Wednesday was for shaking down the car. We did not make big changes, just little ones to know the car, but on the last day (Thursday), we worked on the set up and the differential was changed. I think we needed more test days. However, for being the first time that I drove the new car, we've got very valuable test time." Mexican driver Eduardo Figueroa said: "I felt very well with the new car and we've progressed every single day. Now, I am looking forward to get Monterrey for my maiden race in the Toyota Atlantic Series. Stefan Dwornik, race engineer of Scuadra Fortia said: "We had a good test. The team worked very well and the drivers provided good feedback. Also, we had the opportunity to use for the first time BG oil and I am very pleased with the results. It's always nice to have quality products handy and if the come from our sponsor, that's even better." Times: Wednesday, February 27 Eduardo Figueroa 1'00.65, Waldemar Coronas 58.88.  Thursday, February 28 Eduardo Figueroa 59.49,  Waldemar Coronas 58.52 sec.

3/3/02

Homestead and Nazareth attendance UPDATE The Miami Herald reports the IRL drew some 30,000 fans for the race, bringing the 3-day total to 30,115.  However, with 71,800 seats at Homestead, that would mean the figure of 30,000 "witnesses" would be 42% of capacity.  Our sources indicate that no more than 25% of the seats were taken, especially when you see entire grandstands empty.  The IRL has been notorious for misleading attendance information, as well as disinformation, but this 30,000 figure (not an IRL figure but a Miami Herald figure) seems "WAY" out of line and borders on the absurd.  3/2/02 -  Unofficial attendance numbers so far from Homestead this weekend - Thursday 50.  Friday 65.  Nazareth we hear and is offering previous CART ticket holders a 2 for 1 deal on IRL race tickets, this after the price was already reduced 60%.  A reserved seat on Sunday is $45 - to sit anywhere.  General Admission is just $35.  Children can get in for just $15. Tickets for today's race in Homestead are the same low $25 to $45. Compare this to the average Winston Cup ticket price of over $100, and CART ticket price of $75 and F1 of over $200.  The IRL tickets are so cheap they should easily sellout every race, they're virtually a giveaway......voodoo economics.

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

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