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DATE

News (chronologically)

5/22/02

IRL partner ABC thinks CART's days are numbered  ABC exec Howard Katz, who signed a long-term TV deal with the IRL, attempts to justify his decision in this AP article by saying "There's not enough money, there's not enough advertising support, there's not enough sponsorship,'' ABC Sports president Howard Katz said Wednesday. "There's not enough room for both U.S.-based open-wheel series.'' Preparing to televise its 38th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, ABC Sports is betting on the IRL, the circuit that shook up open-wheel racing when Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George started it in 1996, hoping to fill a void in open-wheel oval racing in the United States.  Perhaps Mr. Katz hasn't noticed the empty seats at IRL races before making such statements.

5/22/02

Is Tony George the $600 Million Man?  Dear AutoRacing1.com, Anton Hulman George, using Brock Yates numbers from his latest article, has spent $600 million ($100 million per year x 6 years) since the IRL's inception in 1996. His principal goal was to put "American Short trackers" into the big time. Buddy Jobe, Cary Agajanian and the IRL'ers claimed there were too many "DANGED BRAZILIANS" in Indy Car Racing. So, as I look at the Indy 500 field for 2002, I see the following three short trackers, Sarah Fisher, Rick Treadway and Billy Boat. I also see 4 of the top 6 starters are those "DANGED BRAZILIANS". I would like to know...What has Tony George gotten for his $600 Million?  He lost Tony Stewart, when he cried vehemently that it was CART's fault that Jeff Gordon wasn't given a chance and went to NASCAR.  Fellow Short Trackers, Jason Leffler, Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne have fled to NASCAR. J.J. Yeley, Jay Drake, Tracy Hines and a few "legitimate Sprint/Midgeteers have been left in the dust in the "NAME OF PRESERVING the INDY 500 and OVAL TRACK RACING for America and the Americans. The rest is history. Brock Yates said it well. Outside of INDY, the IRL draws "flies"! Anton Hulman George. What have you accomplished with all your money, other than the destruction of Indy Car Racing? The WORLD OF OUTLAWS, draws more fans to its races than you did on Pole Day, As does CART's Friday practice at Long Beach!   Mordichai Rosen, LA, California  [Editor's Note: These opinions are that of Mr. Rosen and not necessarily those of AutoRacing1.]

5/22/02

Barber Dodge Pro Series back in action  The Barber Dodge Pro Series returns to Lime Rock Park for round 2 of the 2002 season as part of the traditional Memorial Day race weekend on May 24-27. Twenty-two drivers hope to mark their names in the Lime Rock history books. The Barber Dodge Pro Series has been a fixture at the track during Memorial Day weekend since 1986, and has seen the likes of Juan Pablo Montoya, Kenny Brack, Jerry Nadeau, and Bryan Herta tasting success on their way up to the big leagues of professional racing. This weekend should prove no different, with a wide-open field full of up and coming racers challenging for the win. The May 27th event is the second of 12 rounds for the 2002 season and will be the first time many of the competitors will be strapping themselves into the Dodge-powered Reynard 98E since the season opener at Sebring International Raceway in March, which saw A.J. Allmendinger take the pole and the win on his way to the top of the season points standings with 22 points. This weekend's race will place heavy emphasis on qualifying due to the difficult nature of passing on the tight 1.53 mile Lime Rock track. Drivers will have to get themselves up to speed right away, as the drivers have only one practice session to get the set ups right before they have to put it all together in the first qualifying session on Friday.

5/22/02

New major CART stockholder revealed  In this recent SEC filing, Glenn J. Krevlin now owns 6.6% of CART stock.  Krevlin is a director and shareholder in Restoration Hardware, an upscale furniture, hardware and gadget retailer.  We believe that makes Krevlin the 5th larg4st shareholder behind Forsythe - 11.81%, Grosfeld - 10.32%, Vannini - 8.53%, Kern Capital Management (Robert & David Kern) - 8.35%, and then Krevlin -  6.6%.  Almost half of CART's stock is owned by these six gentlemen.  Hmm....

5/22/02

China economy to surpass USA by 2050  As CART and F1 negotiate to race in China, comes this story.  Mainland China is on track to challenge the United States economy by 2050, powered by a population hungry to catch up with the rest of the world, as Asia nervously looks on, says Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew. "The US is prepared to see a China which will grow and become almost as big in gross domestic product by 2050, and that is going to be a very different world," Mr. Lee told a symposium in Tokyo yesterday. "The people sense this is their chance to catch up with the world," he said. This is their "prime motivating and unifying factor . . . a great advantage for any government". Beijing was boosting the nation's infrastructure to connect rural cities to more prosperous coastal regions. "The young generation is growing up, being more productive, learning about Western busfilinginess practices . . . in these next 20 years we will see a very different generation," he said. On a recent trip to China, Mr. Lee said he saw people in book shops stocked with English-language material "sitting on the shop floor reading, they are that hungry to learn".  Japan was nervous about China's growth and influence in the region and also the world as it stood to snatch its prestigious title of the world's second-largest economy, experts said. "China will become a competitor . . . not only for the economies in Southeast Asia but very quickly the economies in Northeast Asia and Japan," said Yotaro Kobayashi, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives and photo film giant Fuji Xerox. "What we see in China is almost scary," he said. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE in Tokyo

5/22/02

IRL loses German TV coverage  Some bad news for the IRL. Our friends at Motorsport Aktuell report in this weeks issue that Premiere will stop broadcasting IRL races after the Indy 500. The official quote at Premiere is "As of June 1, 2002, Premiere will not carry any more IRL races on its sports channel." As reason they cited a disappointing economical gap between investment and return. Apparently their IRL viewers were even lower than previously assumed. On condition of anonymity, one of Premiere's field team confirmed that viewership of the IRL on average was below 10,000 per race.

5/22/02

Rhonda Trammell to return  The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race weekend on June 7th-9th will mark the professional return of driver Rhonda Trammell. Trammell, a member of the CART Pace Car Team since 1990, will compete in Round 3 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series as part of her current efforts to secure a CART Toyota Atlantic Championship ride for the 2003 season. Trammell is not new to the Pro Series as she contested the 2001 season with assistance from CART FedEx Championship Series team Forsythe Racing. In preparation for her return, Trammell - the mother of two - spent Mothers Day weekend at Putnam Park west of Indianapolis with the Formula Dodge Regional Championship, winning her Sunday class event despite a torrential rain storm. While the Regional Championship RT/2000 cars and Reynard Dodge 98E Pro Series cars are quite different, the experience provided valuable seat time for the Pittsboro, Ind. resident. "The win at Putnam Park really helped my confidence and put me in the right frame of mind heading into Laguna Seca," commented Trammel. "It was good to get some competitive seat time and I learned quite a bit during that weekend. I am looking forward to applying that new knowledge in Monterey. "I really enjoy racing at Laguna Seca. I have always felt comfortable in a car there but I just haven't been able to get the results to show that, something always seems to happen. If I can avoid any problems, I might have an advantage over some of the rookie drivers. "Right now, we are on a race-to-race situation, looking for funding," continued Trammell. "So, it is very important to do well and put myself out there in front of potential sponsors." If proper funding can be found, Trammell looks to drive in the remainder of Pro Series season in addition to possible Toyota Atlantic testing efforts. "I really want to be at Portland the following week after Laguna Seca, but if that isn't possible, we are definitely going to be at Toronto in July. I really love the street courses!"

5/22/02

CART reaffirms commitment to Mid-Ohio  Backing up Steve Fusek's comments from the Open Wheel summit, CART's Vice President of Promoter Operations Tim Mayer issued this strong vote of support for Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today. "Mid-Ohio has been a key element of our series since 1980," said CART Vice President of Promoter Operations Tim Mayer. "Our fans there are the most loyal core of our fan base. While we do review our relationships with tracks from time to time, we have a contract for at least two more races with Mid-Ohio. We have an ongoing dialogue regarding extending that relationship and we have no plans otherwise. Michelle Trueman Gajoch is one of our most active promoters and we have enjoyed a long relationship with her, which we look forward to continuing long into the future."

5/22/02

ESPN to distribute Indy 500 to record number of homes  ESPN will distribute this weekend’s Indianapolis 500, the most prestigious event in open-wheel racing, to more homes throughout the world than ever before, it was announced May 22 by Mark Reilly, ESPN’s vice president and general manager of international sales. ESPN, which last year became the exclusive worldwide television representative of the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis 500, will televise the Indianapolis 500 live May 26 to more than 140 countries and territories outside of the United States via its affiliated networks in Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America and the Middle East. ESPN also has negotiated numerous syndication agreements for the Indy 500 to include distribution via broadcasters in Australia, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and Poland, among others. Eurosport, the most widely distributed channel in Europe, serving more than 54 countries and 90 million households, also will televise the Indy 500 on same-day delay at 23:00 (CTE) May 26. ESPN’s distribution efforts, combined with the broad coverage the race will receive in the United States on Disney-owned ABC, means the estimated total distribution for the 86th Indianapolis 500 will reach more than 200 countries and 325 million households worldwide – the most ever in the history of the race. “The Indianapolis 500 is recognized as a premier motorsports property throughout the world, and ESPN is proud to offer unprecedented coverage of this great race,” Reilly said. ESPN also has provided worldwide coverage of an extensive 14.5 hours of Indy 500 support programming leading up to the race, featuring live broadcasts of Pole Day, time trials and Bump Day.  IRL

5/22/02

Pit stop competition pairings  Pairings for the Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, 1:30 p.m. (EST), May 23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The winning team earns $42,500:
FIRST ROUND
#19 Jimmy Vasser (Team Rahal) vs. #8 Scott Sharp (Kelley Racing)
#9 Jeff Ward (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) vs. #33 Bruno Junqueira (Target Chip Ganassi)
#91 Buddy Lazier (Hemelgarn Racing) vs. #22 Kenny Brack (Target Chip Ganassi Racing)
#6 Gil de Ferran (Marlboro Team Penske) vs. #51 Eddie Cheever Jr. (Red Bull Cheever Racing)
SECOND ROUND
#4 Sam Hornish Jr. (Pennzoil Panther Racing) vs. Vasser-Sharp winner
#24 Robbie Buhl (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing) vs. Ward-Junqueira winner
#3 Helio Castroneves (Marlboro Team Penske) vs. Lazier-Brack winner
#7 Al Unser Jr. (Kelley Racing) vs. de Ferran-Cheever winner   IMS

5/22/02

The Marines have landed  The sudden influx of U.S. armed services sponsoring NASCAR teams is relatively new and a welcomed trend. The armed services have been involved with NASCAR teams in the past, such as the 1998 Coca-Cola 600 when all five branches, including the Coast Guard, adorned the hoods of NASCAR Winston Cup Series cars. But now the phenomenon has reached all levels of NASCAR’s three national series. In fact, all four of the nation’s most recognized armed services plus the Civil Air Patrol - an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force - can be seen racing at tracks across the country. In the NASCAR Busch Series, four different teams are enjoying the partnership. The U.S. Marine Corps dons the hood of Bobby Hamilton Jr.’s No. 25 Ford as a full-time sponsor in the series. The Civil Air Patrol is the primary sponsor of Ashton Lewis Jr.’s No. 46 Chevrolet and Stuart Kirby’s No. 34 Chevrolet running a partial schedule with a sponsorship from the U.S. Air Force. Also running a limited schedule in partnership with the U.S. Army is Brian Vickers driving the No. 40 Dodge. In the other national series’, the Air Force also is an associate sponsor on Elliott Sadler’s No. 21 Motorcraft Ford in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The U.S. Navy has joined Roush Racing’s No. 50 Ford driven by Jon Wood in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The cars sponsored by the armed services will be in full force over the Memorial Day weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., beginning with Saturday’s Carquest Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series race (1p.m. ET; FOX) and Sunday’s Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race (5:30 p.m. ET; FOX). NASCAR

5/22/02

Franchitti and Team Kool Green test news  Dario Franchitti and Team KOOL Green finished their final road course test of 2002 on Tuesday, May 21, at the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Franchitti, driving a Lola for only the second time, completed 235 trouble-free miles during the two-day test on Monday and Tuesday, with his best lap at 65.8 seconds. Joining Team KOOL Green at the test were Champ Car drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, Mario Dominguez and Michel Jourdain, Jr. Team KOOL Green worked with Honda to complete a checklist of developmental tests. The team ran with a general setup on the #27 Honda/Lola/Bridgestone focusing more on the engine developments than on the chassis setup. "This was a good test," said Franchitti. "Our lap times don't indicate how well we were running because we were testing things that would apply throughout the year and not just at Mid-Ohio. You can tell Honda has done its homework, the engine was incredible. We weren't going for speed, even though I think we could have gone really quick. I like the Lola chassis. Obviously one test doesn't make a season but the car's balance seemed to suit my driving style. "I also want to give a lot of credit to the Team KOOL Green crew," Franchitti continued. They have been working hard and have done a great job building the Lolas. They've had a lot of stuff on their plates lately and we came here and ran flawlessly for two days. That just shows you how good these guys are." The #27 Team KOOL Green crew now heads back to its Indianapolis shop to finalize preparations for Round 4 of the CART FedEx Championship Series at The Milwaukee Mile on June 2.

5/22/02

Phoenix loses court case  The new Phoenix F1 team has lost their case in court in London against the FIA and FOM. The company claimed that the two organizations stopped the them from competing this year with the assets acquired from the defunct Prost Grand Prix. The FIA would not allow the team to compete with Prost entry, saying that Phoenix had purchased little more than a few "show cars" from Prost, and the court agreed. Phoenix Finance was also ordered to pay the court expenses associated with the case.

5/22/02
Industry News

Reynard personnel key to new Apollo Racing Design  Apollo Racing Design Limited is an innovative new design consultancy specializing in carbon composite design and manufacture. The company has been founded by four directors - Peter McCool, Mike Millward, Mark Smithson and Robert Synge - all of whom worked together recently at race car designer and producer Reynard Motorsport. With impressive track records at renowned companies such as Courtaulds, British Aerospace and McLaren International, the quartet boasts huge experience within the automotive and motor sport industries as well as vast expertise in the complexities of leading-edge carbon composite technology. With Reynard Motorsport now in liquidation, Apollo Racing Design has already secured several high-profile contracts that had previously been serviced by the Brackley-based company - these include the manufacture of carbon monocoques for Japanese Formula Nippon and the official carbon safety-cell seats for the American NASCAR series. "We have taken the opportunity to acquire some significant business from what was Reynard's portfolio," explains Synge, Managing Director of Apollo Racing Design. "We have already employed ten of the best former Reynard technicians with proven proficiency in Champ Car, Formula Nippon and other major motor sport programs. Their skills will not only guarantee excellent service to our new clients but will also give us the potential to provide the wider automotive industry with composite material expertise in the future." Although Apollo Racing Design already possesses the in-house skills to design and produce its own racing cars, the new company's short-term ambitions are focused on the bespoke manufacture of prototype and finished components. Blessed with so much prowess at the sharp end of international motor sport - a performance-based sector which has been a major driving force in the advance of composite technology - Apollo Racing Design has the innate ability and ingrained flexibility to respond swiftly to all of its customers' widespread needs. "We have assembled a really talented team that has an unrivalled pedigree in composite technology," enthuses Millward, Director (composites) at Apollo Racing Design. "As well as being ideally placed to transform a client's initial concepts into finished components, we have particular experience in the handling of 'full vehicle' programs including the production of carbon constructed concept cars for major motor manufacturers." Apollo Racing Design is currently utilizing the facilities and autoclave at Spa in Lichfield, Staffordshire who are working on combined projects with Apollo. Meanwhile it looks to establish its own state-of-the-art headquarters in the heart of the UK's renowned 'Motorsport Valley'. News of this and further new business developments will be released during the coming weeks.

5/22/02

Wallace breaks three toes  Broken Toes and all #2-Rusty Wallace participated in NASCAR's special test at Richmond Wednesday and will be behind the wheel of his new car (PC-43) at Lowe's on Thursday. Wallace sustained three broken toes on his left foot in the grinding crash on lap 14 in the first segment of last Saturday night's "The Winston" all-star race at Lowe's. "It's about as hard as I've ever hit and that includes that head-on deal at Pocono a couple of years back," Rusty said. "What made it worse was the fact that I saw the whole thing unfold right in front of me and couldn't do anything about it. I saw the wall and knew it was going to be a hard hit and it definitely was that." Tom Roberts PR

5/22/02

Newman - "we needed a yellow so I spun him out"  An incident in the final segment of The Winston involving drivers #97-Kurt Busch and #31-Robby Gordon has Gordon still steaming and has raised the ire of NASCAR officials. With #12-Ryan Newman seemingly driving away from the rest of the field in the final 20-lap segment, Busch had closed in behind Gordon, who was trying to move #20-Tony Stewart from second place. Busch then tagged Gordon's car from behind, spinning him out and causing a caution. In addition to the accident itself, Gordon was even more upset with Busch's comments after the race. "It was just a good learning deal for us and we had a shot at the win and hated to use Robby Gordon as a yellow, but I think we needed a yellow there at the end," Busch said. "Cars were checking up. Stewart got a little loose in the middle of one, Robby Gordon got underneath him. When two cars race side-by-side that third car picks up the draft. He got loose right before I hit him. I bumped him, that's part of it. I think he was surprised Busch admitted to his actions. ThatsRacin.com

5/22/02
Industry News

Yet another turbocharged passenger car on its way  We are seeing more and more turbocharged passenger cars hitting the showroom floor (amazingly CART thought it should abandon its turbo formula because manufacturers were not building turbo engines, and with it they threw away their 30+ years of heritage, instead copying the engine formula of the floundering IRL series). General Motors Corp. has pulled together all of its high-performance vehicle projects under one roof in a bid to strengthen storied muscle car brands such as Chevrolet's SS and engineer a new performance lineup for Cadillac. The new GM Performance Division -- a team of about 200 engineers, designers and technicians headed by executive director Mark Reuss -- will also develop and build all future GM concept cars and trucks for future auto shows. The division's goal is to create concept vehicles and performance variants of existing cars and trucks that GM can easily and quickly put on the market. "We ought to have this dialed in where we're having show cars that we can put into production at a much different level than we've been doing," Reuss said. Once famous for its high-performance cars, GM over the years let brands such as Chevy's SS (for Super Sport) fade as budgets were crunched and the company moved almost entirely to front-wheel-drive cars. Reuss believes the new setup will help GM bring out revved-up versions of existing vehicles faster and cheaper. One of the division's first projects is developing a performance lineup for Cadillac, including a turbo-charged version of the new Cadillac CTS. "The way we were set up, there was no way we could have accomplished that," Reuss said. "It was a bunch of different groups doing different things with different budgets and different priorities."

5/22/02

Overwhelming theme at Summit - no merger  According to this Star News article (and to our special audio report by John Hammer), the Indy Racing League and Championship Auto Racing Teams, are on dramatically different philosophical courses, and want to stay on their respective paths. The IRL wants to remain an American-based oval-track series after the successful business model of NASCAR. CART wants to continue being an international series that takes its multidimensional product to the people, particularly in cosmopolitan cities. That both series expect to survive was the clear message delivered by top officials Tuesday at the first Open Wheel Racing Summit. No merger talks are planned, they said.

5/22/02

Mario Andretti wine gaining in popularity  According to this Star New article, America's greatest race driver ever, Mario Andretti, makes at least one trip a month and spends most of June in Napa Valley checking on the 53-acre winery that carries his name. He also makes appearances at restaurants and wine shops that carry it, including those in Indianapolis.

5/22/02

F1 News
Hakkinen 'Announcement' Set For Friday

No Punishment For Ferrari?

Traffic Chaos Solved At Silverstone

Michael Schumacher 'Well Prepared'

Villeneuve's 'Blast From The Past'

Monaco To End BAR's Dry Spell?

Burti Congratulates Alesi's Win

Villeneuve Ponders Ferrari Life

Williams Men Visit Michelin HQ

Sauber Relish Monaco Challenge

Toyota Set Modest Targets

Herbert Opens Fire On Schumi

MotoGP Guests At Monaco

5/22/02
Industry News

Polls, new and old  Who will win the 2002 Indy 500?

Find out the results of our last poll - Which race cars sound the best?  Over 4,800 of you voted.  CART should take note of the results and the engine they are using now vs. next year.

5/21/02

F1 News
Ralf: 'I Would Have Done The Same'

Herbert Second At Sears Point

Prince Of Monaco In Hospital

Todt: 'The Public Still Love Us'

Brand New Monaco Tires

Mixed Feelings For Jaguar Men

Enrique Remembers His First Monaco Adventure

5/21/02

More F1 news coming  We promised our paying customers that we would add features after we went subscription based.  Starting tomorrow, you will begin to see a noticeable increase in the volume of Formula One news we deliver.  Mark Cipolloni, President

5/21/02

Dario Franchitti - I will miss all the HP  From today's teleconference with Dario Franchitti - Cipolloni: CART almost went to an IRL-like car for next year, then decided to keep the existing cars. Do you feel that was a wise decision? Sounded like from your comments you were happy to be back in the Champ car. Franchitti: I really enjoy driving the Champ Car. You know, it's just so much fun with all that power. It's got all that grip, driving on a road course. I've always felt that with these cars. It really—some of the tracks we get to race on, from a driver's point of view, it's brilliant. I think it is a good move by CART because, as far as the costs and stuff, I think they've made the right decision. I think the IRL car could be made to work on the road course, but I think we'd certainly have to change the gearbox and all that sort of stuff. Cipolloni: Are you a little bit disappointed horsepower will be down next year? Franchitti: Yeah. I've been sort of—my favorite was when we really had the 40 inches of boost, the real big horsepower. Those were really hard to drive, and you knew you had a lot of power. You still have comparatively a lot, but it's still less than, I guess, the good old days. That shows how long I've been in the series, I guess.

5/21/02

Eddie Cheever wants to see more American road racers  At today's Open Wheel summit in Indianapolis, IRL team owner Eddie Cheever stated that the USA needs more drivers to get into road racing with the goal of eventually moving into Formula One.  Of course he didn't mention that the IRL provides zero training in that regard.  Although he didn't mention it because it is a rival series to the IRL, CART and its ladder series, is the premier road racing training ground for any American driver hoping to get to F1 - right from go-karts up to Champ Cars, CART offers it all.

5/21/02

"Voices of 500" special  The exciting and dramatic story of the IMS Radio Network – which celebrates its 50th anniversary is 2002 with the 86th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race – will be told with the one-hour “Voices of the 500: 50 Years of the Indy 500 on Radio” television documentary, produced by IMS Productions. The show will air nationwide on the ESPN network at noon (EDT) May 25. Local Indianapolis television station WISH-TV (Channel 8) will air “Voices of the 500” at 9 p.m. (EST) May 25. ABC Sports broadcaster Bob Jenkins, a former anchor for the IMS Radio Network, is the host of the show. The show features interviews of Indianapolis 500 winners Johnny Rutherford, Al Unser Jr. and Buddy Lazier, as well as many of the on-air and behind-the-scenes radio personalities who have brought to life the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for a worldwide radio audience. More than 35 great radio calls from the network’s Indianapolis 500 coverage will be relived, many of which came from the era of the late, great Sid Collins, who served as “Voice of the 500” from the birth of the radio network until his death May 2, 1977. Among his many other accomplishments and unmistakable voice, delivery and knowledge of the sport, Collins also brought to the airwaves the timeless phrase, “Stay Tuned for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” “Voices of the 500” is available for purchase on VHS format by calling (800) 955-INDY or via secure online transaction at www.indyracing.com, the Official Web Site of the Indy Racing League.  IRL

5/21/02

Dominguez tests at Mid-Ohio  Herdez Competition rookie driver Mario Domínguez yesterday completed part of the planned in-season testing program* for his 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series season at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Originally planned as a two-day test, incessant rain forced the cancellation of the test on Monday, May 13th and severely limited the running on Tuesday, May 14th. Consequently, the team decided to return yesterday to complete their planned program. While posting a best time of 67.2 seconds around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course, Domínguez and the team focused on the evaluation of various mechanical and aerodynamic developments rather than pure speed.  "I think we had a good test overall," reflected Domínguez. "We learned a lot about the car and various suspension set-ups for the road courses. Although I've raced on the Mid Ohio track before, it was in Indy Lights. The Champ Car is a completely different beast there - very exciting, but very different. At the end of the day, I'm confident that we could have posted a faster time in the afternoon but we were focused on different areas. The key thing is that we feel confident that we know how to set up the car to be fast there." Herdez

5/21/02

Hunter-Reay masters The Milwaukee Mile  Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #1 Medlock Ames Winery/u.s. print/Toyota/Swift made his Atlantic oval debut at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin, with two successful days of testing last Thursday and Friday. Hunter-Reay and his crew took to the track at the drop of the green flag on Thursday but their test plan was reduced to two hours in the morning and just over an hour in the afternoon due to rain showers. Hunter-Reay took advantage of the shortened day setting very competitive times and managed to complete 133 miles despite the showers in his Swift 014.a. He commented on his first impression of his Swift on the oval, "the Atlantic car on an oval is everything I expected and more. Coming from cars with less aerodynamic grip, it is such a pleasure to drive the swift on an oval. I guess the biggest difference would be the cornering speed; the car is steady and planted. We were pulling a pretty big number of G's, while cornering at high speeds and I was 100% comfortable."  Fellow Atlantic competitor Joey Hand was involved in an incident late Friday at the test. He sustained injuries that will keep him from competing in several of the upcoming events, "It is horrible to hear that Joey was hurt. He is an awesome competitor and I will miss racing against him the next couple of months, but I know he will be back giving us all a run for our money in no time. On behalf of my entire team he is in our thoughts and I hope is on the mend," said Hunter-Reay.

5/21/02

Miami to be on CBS  Our John Hammer reports at today's Open Wheel summit in Indianapolis, CART's Vice President of Marketing Steve Fusek announced that the Grand Prix of the Americas to be held on October 6th in Miami, Florida will be broadcast live on CBS.  We have updated our CART TV Schedule

5/21/02

Tony George thinks the IRL will surpass NASCAR and F1 in five years  At today's Open Wheel summit in Indianapolis, attended by many key players in the sport, including those from CART and the IRL, Tony George made this bold prediction -  "Our goal in five years is to be the premier motorsports series in the world. Yes, that means compared to NASCAR and, yes, that means compared to Formula One.''  That statement raised more than a few eyebrows, and one can bet that when the France family hears that Tony thinks the IRL will surpass their business and, therefore, take sponsors away from NASCAR, will move their crosshairs from CART directly on the IRL (Ditto for Bernie Ecclestone crosshairs).....and we wouldn't want to be in the crossfire.  Full Story

5/21/02

Barrett continues busy schedule  Beginning with Saturday’s race, Stanton Barrett will compete in up to 12 NASCAR Busch Grand National races and four NASCAR Winston Cup races this season. In addition to being a stock car driver, Barrett is one of the top stunt men in Hollywood, having appeared in movies and television. Coming from what some have referred to as "the Earnhardts of Hollywood stunts," he has used his talents in that area to build his racing career. Barrett arrived in the Charlotte area Monday after taping the World Stunt Awards in Hollywood, Calif., Sunday. The show, which will be televised nationally this Saturday night by ABC, features Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Bob Thornton, Matthew McConnehey and Sylvester Stallone. Barrett was nominated for one of the worldwide awards - Best Water Work for his stunt work in Jurassic Park III, where he is best known for "fighting dinosaurs from a cage under water, and hanging from a crane while dinosaurs were trying to attack." He is not far removed from the highly-popular feature film Spiderman, where he worked as the Green Goblin’s son. In that film, his biggest stunt scene was "being blown up while I was standing on a balcony. There was a big fireball and we were in flames. It was pretty cool."

5/21/02

Rudd on record pace  Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Havoline Taurus, will set the record for consecutive starts on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series this weekend at 656 when he takes the green flag for Sunday's Coca-Cola Racing Family 600. Rudd will break the previous mark set by Terry Labonte, who started 655 consecutive events from 1979 to 2000.  Interview

5/21/02

Team Players Mid-Ohio engine test  The testing phase of the CART season came to an end for Team Player's on Tuesday as it completed a successful two-day session devoted strictly to engine testing on the 2.258-mile permanent road circuit at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Alex Tagliani was on the track Monday, running 71 laps, while his teammate Patrick Carpentier toured the course on Tuesday and put in 61 laps. "Both of these days were set aside on the CART schedule to allow teams to run engine tests," explained Team Player's technical director Bruce Ashmore. "These aren't sessions where you can make changes to springs or dampers or aerodynamic components, but you can do a significant amount of engine work, including such things as testing out weight distribution, traction control and boost maps. We were able to do a lot of engine fine-tuning for road-course events such as Laguna, Portland and Mid-Ohio, which will be coming up over the next several weeks." Tagliani, who shared the track on Monday with Rahal's Michel Jourdain, Mario Dominguez of Herdez/Bettenhausen and Team KOOL Green's Dario Franchitti, managed to clock one of the fastest times 66.4 seconds despite the inclement weather that included 50-60-degree Fahrenheit track temperatures and rain and hail at certain times. "It was good to have a session where you experienced so many different elements of nature," said Tagliani. "Despite the weather, the track was in good condition and lots of rubber was laid down. I'm not sure if the times we put in will be the same under race weekend conditions, but I do know that the entire session was beneficial from the standpoint of preparing us for racing at Mid-Ohio and similar-type tracks that we'll have to handle later on this season." Carpentier and Franchitti had the track to themselves for the Tuesday session, and with the help of partly sunny skies that raised the track temperature into the 60s, Carpentier recorded an unofficial fast lap of 65.7 seconds, which, as the day drew to a close, was the quickest of the session. "There was a lot of good work put in by both Team Player's and Ford," remarked Carpentier. "Alex tested some things on Monday and we continued along those lines on Tuesday. Overall, I'm very happy with how everything turned out, especially the significant improvement on traction control since the races in Monterrey and Long Beach earlier this season. We also spent some time practicing pit launches with the traction control helping to avoid wheel spin. I believe the entire team left this two-day session confident that we'll be able to handle whatever comes up in our next few road-course events." Players Racing

5/21/02

Tony George spends $100 million per year to prop up IRL? Brock Yates reports in his latest article on SPEEDTV.com that "one of America’s most famous race drivers, who has Indianapolis 500 wins under his belt, anonymously told me that George is unloading nearly $100 million a year to keep the IRL afloat. His bank account remains nearly unlimited, but a packed grandstand next Sunday will not make up for acres of vacant seats to found on the rest of the IRL schedule. Add to that the feeble television ratings and waning sponsor support and the future looks bleak."  Ah, Mr. Yates, always willing to tell it like it is.  Imagine how many good CART teams Tony could have fielded for American drivers with that sort of expenditure.  Instead we have a split that has brought the sport to its knees.  Tony Hulman must be rolling over in his grave.  In fact, we would not be surprised if he was doing back flips.  If this story is true, this is the ultimate case of voodoo economics we have seen yet.  No other sport to our knowledge loses $100 million per year forever.  Criticize CART as you might, but at least it is run like a real business, with real bottom lines, and close to being profitable.

5/21/02

Time is now for unification, but..... UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, If a merger between CART and the IRL is not going to happen, then perhaps we could settle for cooperation instead? Mutual respect? Maybe it is time to bury the past. Tony George has indicated that he wants the IRL to race American ovals. CART wants the international scene. Maybe than can co-exist as two series with distinct identities. OK, perhaps I am just a hopeful CART fan, and I am sure you have heard many opinions from us armchair racers. But here are my thoughts... (1) CART should drop its current American ovals (Fontana, Milwaukee, and Chicago). Based on recent trends, Fontana will not renew its contract with CART in favor of the IRL. Milwaukee is too small a market and may also go with the IRL anyway. And the financially-challenged Chicago MS does not look like a viable business option. CART should not compete against the IRL on the same oval tracks or on tracks in the same area (Chicago). However, road races would be one exception (again, Chicago). A second exception would be the few domestic ovals not aligned with the IRL (and NASCAR), as well as Germany, England, and Japan. (2) CART should drop the Mid-Ohio race. Yes, it is a great road course (which I have driven myself), but its location is too isolated. The Cleveland race should be the main focus for this area. Of course, this also applies to Road America as well, but I do not think that CART should abandon both of these historic tracks. (3) CART should drop the race in Australia. The attendance is very good, but Australia is too far away and really not a good fit for international sponsors. CART should focus on North America, Europe, Japan, Brazil, and China (see next item). (4) CART should add races in Brazil and China. Brazil is important given their large talent pool of drivers. China is the next business opportunity for international companies. (5) The IRL should allow their chassis builders to sell to CART, as long as CART works with the IRL to keep their identities unique (refer to item 1 above). This will reduce R&D costs for the chassis builders, and these savings can be passed down to each series. Open-wheel racing is an important part of American motorsports. It benefits neither CART nor the IRL to butt heads (outside of the Indy 500). The fans and sponsors will return as long as the two series can eliminate the bickering and confusion. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for reading. David Chao 5/21/02 -  This Star News article, and this Star News article talk about a CART and IRL unification.  Will the 2-day open wheel summit in Indy today and tomorrow help to break down the barriers?  Even Tony George says he hopes CART grows into a strong road racing series....but he want the ovals for the IRL only.  AutoRacing1.com's proposed solution has been, and still is as laid out in this article.

5/21/02

NASCAR drivers know how to excite the fans  UPDATE This Richmond Times Dispatch article talks about the 'road-rage' in NASCAR.  5/21/02 - Elliott Sadler, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman were all told to report to the NASCAR hauler after Saturday night's races. On the third lap of the second segment of The Winston, Newman edged Sadler's No. 21 Ford up the track and Sadler hit the Turn 2 wall, sending him to the garage. Before Sadler left the scene, he threw his helmet at Newman's car. Newman was called to the hauler for hitting Sadler; Sadler was summoned for throwing the helmet. Harvick and Newman traded bumps under caution and Harvick was called for that incident. "I was almost clear of Elliott and I moved up a little bit and he was there, and you can call it racing, you can call it me pushing up into him or whatever," Newman said. "He did a heck of a lot better job of playing baseball than he did accepting what happened." NASCAR officials announced today that driver Elliott Sadler has been fined $5,000 for his actions this past weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. Sadler, driver of the No. 21 Ford Taurus, threw his helmet at another competitor's car and was penalized under Section 12-4-A of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book: "Actions detrimental to stock car racing."   You can't bump and bang Indy cars like that, nor do the drivers throw helmets at one another.  But it certainly gets the fans excited......and buying tickets and watching on TV.  Is it racing, or a PT Barnum circus?

5/21/02

Having fun with Chip Ganassi  This Racing Report article "Things NASCAR & CART owner Chip Ganassi would be laughing about... "  has a little fun with Chip Ganassi.

5/21/02

CART ladder series news  All is quiet on the Atlantic front, but a storm is building on the horizon as the sound of Toyota 4A-GE engines begin to echo across North America. It has been nearly five weeks since the checkered flag dropped at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the teams are anxious to get back to racing. Beginning at the Milwaukee Mile in early June, the Atlantic Championship will be in action during six of the following seven weeks. By the time the teams get their next real break in mid-July, they will long for the slow days at the shop and low key test at various tracks around the country. More

5/21/02

Another oval wall victim  Due to injuries sustained in a recent testing accident at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin, DSTP Motorsports driver Joey Hand will be sidelined for several events in this season's CART Toyota Atlantic Championship series. Hand, 23, suffered injuries to his back after making contact with the turn four wall in the team's Atlantic car late Friday afternoon. "Joey sustained compression fractures of the T-11, 12 and L-1 vertebrae in the middle of his back," said Dr. Terry Trammell, CART's Chief Orthopedic Consultant, after examining Hand yesterday at Ortho Indy medical center in Indianapolis. "He'll need to be in a brace for three months and out of the car for that length of time. He also has a fractured left knee-cap that will be treated with a brace." "We're committed to Joey 100 percent," said Dede Rogers, DSTP Motorsports team owner. "He has a great future ahead with us, so we want to be sure that he takes the time to heal properly and is as healthy as possible before getting back into the car." DSTP will continue with this year's Atlantic season and will announce its plans in the coming weeks.  DSTP

5/21/02

Ask Max Papis  Open-wheel veteran Max Papis will make his Indianapolis Motor Speedway debut at this week's Indianapolis 500, starting in Row 6 for car owner Eddie Cheever, Jr. Although Max is a rookie at the Brickyard, he has enjoyed great success in the Fed Ex CART Series, capturing three checkered flags over the past two seasons. Max joins USA Today from Indianapolis to answer your questions about this week's race.

5/21/02

Tighter security in place for 500  As was the case with the SAP United States Grand Prix last September, heightened security measures will be in place for fans attending the 86th Indianapolis 500 on May 26, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Tony George announced May 21. “Public safety is our first priority, and I am grateful to the law-enforcement and emergency response community for their cooperation in reviewing and strengthening the plans for events,” George said. “In the wake of the terrorist attacks on America last year, fans can expect additional measures will be taken. Some our fans will see; some they won’t, but all of them are being taken to assure we are doing what needs to be done for the security of all.” Among the measures that will be apparent to those attending the “500” are:

  • Strict enforcement of rules limiting any coolers carried in to no more than 14 inches wide by 14 inches high.

  • All coolers, backpacks and handbags will be subject to security inspection at the gates of the Speedway.

  • Additional uniformed officers will be stationed at each gate to monitor inspections.

  • All infield parking will be directed to posted areas, and all vehicles are subject to inspection. Periodic sweeps of parking areas will be carried out by security.

A number of other measures will be employed on the grounds to tighten security during the week of the race and on Race Day, but details will not be released.  IMS

5/21/02

Roush will sell safety device to all teams  After its introduction in the fall of 2000, the Roush Ignition Interrupter System is now being used by several NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck teams and is the only NASCAR approved automatic ignition interrupt system included in the 2002 NASCAR rule book. This system has been track tested for over 125,000 race miles with no documented component failures, and has been used by the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Winston Cup championship team. The system is a device meant to shut off a racing engine system when the conditions of a "stuck throttle" exist. That is done through sensing the intake manifold vacuum and the vehicle brake system pressure. The driver only has to hit the brakes while the throttle is stuck for the system to shut down the engine ignition system. The Roush Ignition Interrupter System includes two sensors that measure pressure inside the car. One sensor is located in the intake manifold, while the other is in the brake system. If the driver applies 1,100 psi of brake pressure, and there is minimal pressure in the intake manifold indicating the engine is at or near full throttle, the ignition shuts off. The system is designed to hold the ignition system in the inoperable mode until the system is manually reset. There is an additional switch added in parallel to the brake line pressure switch so the system's operation is insured in the event of a complete brake failure.

5/21/02

Bridgestone announces Laguna Seca sponsorship  The Bridgestone Motorsport program has made numerous appearances with other series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but has never visited here as part of Championship Auto Racing Teams competition. That changes June 7-9 with the Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey Featuring the Shell 300, when in addition to providing tires to every CART FedEx series driver in that event, the Bridgestone program will also be highlighted as title sponsor. "We're very proud to put our name on an event of this caliber," said Bridgestone Motorsport Executive Director Al Speyer. "To be affiliated with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for a CART race is a special pleasure for us. This very upscale area of California - long recognized for its love of fine automobiles and great motorsports action - is a perfect place for us to showcase the internationally known Bridgestone brand. Since many of the world's top performance, luxury and exotic vehicles have rolled off the assembly line on Bridgestone tires, it just made a great fit for Bridgestone be the title sponsor of the CART race here. "In conjunction with track management, we've initiated efforts to attract more people to the Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey, ensuring fans from the peninsula and surrounding areas have an opportunity to see the excitement of CART competition up close," Speyer said. "This is going to be an outstanding event, and we want to make sure fans have an opportunity to experience it." A focal point of promotional efforts for the Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey is free general admission coupons for Friday and Saturday practice/qualifying sessions. The coupons are available at nearly 60 Bridgestone/Firestone retail outlets in the area, with no purchase required. Approximately 56,000 will be available through the promotion, on a first-come, first-served basis, with each person allowed to pick up four. "It's great to partner with a sponsor that is working so hard to attract more fans and help put on a good show," said Gill Campbell, General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. "We've seen the quality of Bridgestone tires in many successful events, so we're confident the CART FedEx competition here the weekend of June 7-9 will be a tremendous success. When you combine great tires, great cars, great drivers and a great track, you can only expect one thing: A great race." The Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey is the fifth of 20 CART events scheduled for 2002, and the second conducted this season on a permanent road course. The 2.3-mile track is nestled among beautiful rolling hills, with Pacific breezes sweeping across the facility. And while it is known for it scenic appeal and atmosphere, it also has its tough side.  "As beautiful as this track is, it can be a monster for someone not prepared for its many challenges," Speyer said. "We approach it with great respect, knowing drivers will need tires with exceptional grip and strength to handle the rigorous competition here. And since we race rain or shine on CART's road and street courses, we're bringing a supply of both treaded and slick Bridgestone Potenzas for the weekend. We're confident the tires will perform as planned, contributing to another great event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca."  Bridgestone

5/21/02

CART has four races without sponsorship this year UPDATE No sooner did we report that CART had four unsponsored races, than we received the above announcement regarding Bridgestone and Laguna Seca.  Now it's down to three races. We are also informed that Phoenix is sponsored by Checkered Auto Parts.  5/21/02Laguna Seca Sponsor: None, Former sponsor: Honda Motor Co. Chicago Sponsor/presenting sponsor: None/none Former sponsor/presenting sponsor: Target Corp./Eveready Battery Co. (Energizer). Mid-Ohio Sponsor: None, Former sponsor: Miller Brewing Co. (Miller Lite). Fontana Sponsor: None, Former sponsor: Philip Morris Cos. (Marlboro).  However, CART is not alone.  Even Winston Cup has two unsponsored races at this time - Phoenix and Homestead. Ditto for the IRL.

5/21/02

Ferrari thinks fans will forgive and forget  "Some people claim they won't watch F1 anymore. But I think the Monaco Grand Prix will have an exceptional audience this year," Ferrari's Jean Todt told French newspaper L'Equipe. "The public will want to know what Ferrari are going to do now, to find out what happens next in the story." "I think the outcry after Austria was disproportionate to the 'problem'. But in some ways I should be pleased. When we took on Barrichello, it was seen as a bad choice. It seemed like we hired a good-for-nothing, a whinger. Today the whole world finds it normal for him to win and for us to have faith in him. "At the end of the day, our current 'problem' is to explain our team strategy when our drivers are in a position to finish first and second. We could be in a far more difficult position. A lot of teams would doubtless love to have such concerns at the moment. "I know that the public love us. They have been let down, they are angry. But anger is a part of life. Do sailors stop loving the sea because of the storms?"

5/21/02

Believe Honda when it says they use racing to train engineers  Honda's Formula One technical personnel will be completely rotated at the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix, including 30 new engineers at the Honda-powered BAR and Jordan Grand Prix outfits. The 'annual rotation', which was instigated at the Spanish Grand Prix, is unique to the Japanese manufacturer and is aimed at exposing as many young engineers as possibly to the challenging, high-pressure F1 environment. By the Canadian Grand Prix, around 30 new Honda engineers and technicians will have joined BAR and Jordan; including 20 on the race teams. Shuhei Nakamoto, race and test team manager at Honda Racing Development, said 'I'm looking forward to welcoming the new engineers and technicians who'll be joining Honda and its partner teams in Monaco, and I'm sure they'll do a great job.

5/21/02

How come some FedEx planes aren't decked out in Champ Cars? Our spies at Los Angeles International airport recently spotted this Quantas Boeing 747-400 plane advertising the Formula One series.  While FedEx carefully protects its branded look, the day FedEx begins to add Champ Cars (done tastefully) to the side of their trucks, planes and packages (like UPS does with the Dale Jarrett car, will be the day CART begins to gain recognition with the average guy on the street and the business leaders of the world.  FedEx has been good for CART, but think about how much better it can be (Mr. Demsky are you listening?). (Photos by Dale Elhardt)

5/21/02

Interesting quotes on CART  Some interesting quotes from Street and Smith's latest Sports business journal in an article written by Daniel Kaplan - Pook is feverishly working to ensure that the series is in the largest U.S. cities as part of a plan to offer CART and team sponsors the biggest cities in the most important markets. Pook is now in talks with New York about a road race there. And none too soon, said one team owner. Five of CART's 19 races are in the Midwest, including small markets like Lexington, Ohio, and Elkhart Lake, Wis. "We need to cut some of these races," said team owner Morris Nunn. "Chris is looking at events other than just in Mid-Ohio."  "What we are noticing now is it is a bit easier to work with CART," said Kevin Demsky, director of sponsorship marketing for Federal Express, which pays about $6 million annually for title sponsorship of the CART circuit. Pook has made a great effort to get to know FedEx, visiting its headquarters in Memphis twice, Demsky said. But more than the tangible changes, Demsky said, "What Chris has brought is a kind of a realization of the fact that CART is a global racing series." [Gee, how many years has been AR1 been hammering that point home?].  "CART has a core fan, a very loyal fan, but the [TV] numbers aren't high enough," said team owner and CART director Carl Haas. "So we need to bring some people back."

5/21/02

Atlantics testing news  Sigma Autosport concluded a successful two-day test of its Toyota-Atlantic team at the Milwaukee Mile, in West Allis, Wis., Friday. Sigma was one of 15 teams that appeared for the test session. Both Sigma Atlantic drivers Rocky Moran Jr. and Dave Wieringa completed more than 360 miles each in their Swift-Toyota race cars despite the cold weather and ongoing threat of rain showers on both days. “I feel very good about this test,” said Sigma Atlantic director Jim Griffith. “It was one of the most competitive tests we’ve had and both Rocky and Dave did a good job.” Griffith said it was the first oval test of the season for the team. It was also the first time both Sigma pilots had any seat time since the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach last month. Although it had been the first time in a race car for both in more than a month, Moran bested the existing Atlantic track record set by Hoover Orsi last year (24.9 seconds). Wieringa was very close to the record also, said Griffith, who demurred about the official times set by both drivers. Roger Yasukawa, driver of the #9 Autobacs/u.s. print/Toyota/Swift for Hylton Motorsports completed two days of testing at the historic Milwaukee Mile on Friday, in preparation for round 3 of the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Mile on June 2nd. The test marked Yasukawa's debut in the Swift 014.a Atlantic car on an oval and Yasukawa had no troubles breaking in his oval set-up as he set very competitive times throughout the test. Rain showers hampered day one of the test; the track was green for nearly two hours in the morning and just over an hour in the afternoon. Despite the inclement weather, Yasukawa logged 270 trouble-free miles over the two-day test on the busy one-mile oval, which included 14 other current Atlantic competitors. Bob Montgomery, team manager and engineer of the #9 Autobacs Swift commented on Yasukawa's excellent performance at the nearly flat one-mile oval, "I can speak for the entire organization when I say we are very pleased with Roger's performance at Milwaukee. It was his first time on an oval in the Atlantic car, yet he was up to speed very quickly and dead consistent throughout the test. He was very fast and his feedback gave us a lot to work with. Between the two cars we ran several different configurations and I think we have very good cars for Milwaukee."

5/21/02

Did Herbert mess up by skipping Indy?  We don't know if you caught it, but in the Indy Star Monday, in their "drivers left out" story, was an interesting quote by the manager of Herbert's team. We sense some palpable anger there. Apparently Johnny Herbert strung the team along all week regarding whether he would actually qualify the car, and then flew out Saturday night in a huff leaving them with few options. Of course Herbert's view on all this is that the team was hopelessly lost, and try as he might, the car just would not go any faster.  The irony is that he probably would have qualified on Sunday with the faster conditions.

5/21/02

One-engine rule for Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR is expected to leave its single-engine rule in place for Coca-Cola 600 activities this week, meaning cars will have to use one engine for all practice, qualifying and the Winston Cup circuit's longest race.

5/20/02

Codemasters to create IRL video game UPDATE A reader writes - Dear AutoRacing1.com, The IRL signed a previous deal like this with a company a few years back to produce such a game. Needless to say, it's now 2002 and "Indy Racing 2000" still has not made it to PC, Xbox or Playstation. A partially complete version of the game was released for Nintendo 64, but it was basically dumped on the market with no promotion. In order to justify development costs, a game has to be able to move about 200,000 units on the PC platform, and with no established fan base for the IRL series, there is no chance it will reach that mark. Expect this project to quietly die well before 2003 unless the IRL foots the multi-million dollar development costs. Mike Bara  5/20/02 -  Codemasters has signed as the exclusive console and PC game rights holder to the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis 500 in an agreement with Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC. An official IRL game will debut in 2003 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles and for the PC. “We’re very excited that Codemasters is developing an Indy Racing League video game,” said Tony George, president and CEO of the Indy Racing League and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Many fans have requested such a game, and we know it will help increase the worldwide exposure and growth of Indy Racing League teams and drivers, considering the explosive growth of gaming.” The deal further strengthens Codemasters’ world-class portfolio of motorsports properties. The company is already responsible for the brand-leading rally title with “Colin McRae Rally” and the best-selling touring car racing game with the “TOCA” series. The IRL license now provides Codemasters with the opportunity to lead in the open-wheel racing game category. The worldwide deal provides Codemasters with rights to use all current, future and historical images of the Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League that are owned by Brickyard Trademarks, Inc. This includes the rights to use the real IRL teams and drivers from the 2002 season onward. Codemasters has commissioned Brain in a Jar, a British games developer known for its previous work on the “Ferrari 360 Challenge” project, to produce the official IRL game. “Codemasters is responsible for some of the most respected and successful console racing games ever,” said Nick Wheelwright, Codemasters managing director. “Together with Brain in a Jar we are going to deliver a game based on the exciting IRL series which will continue our own exceptionally high standards.” Said Matthew Gabriel, Brain in a Jar managing director: “We are delighted to be working with Codemasters on this project. As fans of all types of motorsport, we are looking forward to the challenge of working on such a high-profile licence. Brain in a Jar will develop a game worthy of this great racing series.” The Indy Racing League is America’s premier open-wheel, oval-track auto racing series. It was founded in 1994 based on the rich traditions of the Indianapolis 500, with its first race in 1996. The league has a 15-race schedule in 2002, with events in major markets from coast to coast.  IRL

5/20/02

Sad news from Lowes UPDATE Apparently both men died when the charcoal grill depleted all the oxygen from their tent.  5/20/02 -  After receiving a call from a woman Sunday who said her husband had not returned home from a campground at Lowe's Motor Speedway, more than a dozen Concord police officers started a search. They discovered two men dead inside a tent around 2:00am/et at a campground outside Lowe's Motor Speedway in a lot where hundreds of fans of The Winston have parked their campers for race activities. Officers found a small charcoal grill burned out inside the tent near the victim's bodies. It was likely being used as some type of heat source when temperatures began to dip Saturday night, investigators say. Investigators say the death of the two men is accidental. The victims are from North Carolina and nearby campers say they believe they are from the Marion area. The camper and truck were towed from scene Monday morning and taken to the Concord Police Station as evidence. Investigators say they are contacting family at this hour. They plan to release more details later this afternoon.

5/20/02

Gidley on RPM2Night  Memo Gidley, at least ended the month of May differently than he begun...In a driving suit. After three weeks of dashed hopes, after coming close (twice) to driving for John Menard and several offers that never seemed to pan out. Gidley got an11PM Saturday night call from Duesenberg Brothers Racing team owner, Keith Duesenberg, to replace the departing Johnny Herbert. After weeks of testing that saw him average 224.213 MPH, Herbert decided to return to his waiting Audi seat for Sunday's ALMS race at Sears Point. Gidley arrived on Sunday morning at 6AM to be fitted into the Black and Yellow, Western Union sponsored Chevy/Dallara. His deal guaranteed him the race, had he made it into the field. The team took to the track at 10:17am, for what hoped to be nearly an hour of testing. After three laps, IMS went yellow with a light rain. Once the rain stopped, Gidley had a chance to begin working the car up to speed...three laps later, the yellow once again flew when Billy Boat slammed into the wall. And this is the way the rest of the day went...The team managed only 30 laps between (four was the most in any run) yellow's and rain. Memo got the car up to 224.947 (better than Herbert's average) and was 3-4 miles an hour faster in the turns than Johnny, even with having to lift 2-3 times a lap. "The car was just about there, we never had a run on new tires and only needed one to two more small set up changes before we would have been ready for a qualifying attempt" said Memo..."I am certain that we could have managed a 227.5, given the fact that I had to lift and we never ran on a new set of tires". That chance never came, as the track went yellow (due to rain) and never opened again after Andretti's final qualifying run. Look for a Memo Gidley feature on tonight's ESPN's RPM Tonight. A camera crew followed Gidley through his entire bump day and basically used him to show a driver's side of one of the most stressful days in all of motorsports..."Bubble Day" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

5/20/02

More Washington DC race news   According to this Washington Post article, The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission did not explore whether an environmental impact study was required for a grand prix auto race this summer until five months after it had signed a 10-year contract and after planning for the event was well underway. Lawyers retained by the commission -- which worked for about two years to bring the international event to the nation's capital -- concluded in January that the panel was not obligated to examine the possible environmental impact of hosting a major auto race next to residential neighborhoods and the Anacostia River.  The Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., scheduled for July 19-21 on a temporary, 1.7-mile track on two parking lots at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, will bring more than 200 high-powered race cars to within 50 yards of homes in the Kingman Park section of Northeast Washington for three days a year. The event, designed to accommodate 40,000 fans a day, will feature five professional races, with as many as 45 cars in each competition, as well as a number of qualifying heats and a celebrity auto race, and maybe a rock concert inside RFK. Residents of Kingman Park say they are worried the race will subject them to high noise levels and increase air pollution during that extended weekend in July -- a month already considered one of the two worst for air quality by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The sports commission has said any emissions will be offset because none of RFK's 9,000 or so parking spaces will be used by the general public during the event. A seven-page air emissions analysis done independently by the D.C. Department of Health reached a similar conclusion.

5/20/02
Industry News

GM in China too  General Motors said on Monday it plans to set up a joint venture with China's seventh largest automaker by June, gaining a window into what it says is a potentially lucrative market for mini-vans and mini-trucks. The U.S. auto giant is in the final stages of talks toward an alliance with domestic automaker SAIC-Wuling Automobile Co Ltd, GM spokeswoman Daphne Zheng said. "We're getting closer to launching a new partnership... We're targeting June," Zheng said. "It's a good opportunity to tap into the potential of the mini-vehicle market in China, which is one of the largest segments." GM executives have said the China mini-vehicle market has an annual volume of about 541,000 units. China granted preliminary approval to GM last December to establish a partnership with SAIC-Wuling, based in the country's southwestern region of Guangxi.  Shanghai's official Liberation Daily said at the weekend the partnership plans to boost capacity to 300,000-400,000 units in 10 years. SAIC-Wuling recorded a turnover of 3.7 billion yuan in 2001 after selling more than 120,000 vehicles, the newspaper said. SAIC is one of three auto giants that the government has said it will support over the next five years while forcing dozens of smaller manufacturers out of business in an industry shake-up. GM now has a $1.5 billion joint venture with SAIC called Shanghai GM which makes Buick cars and wagons.  Reuters

5/20/02

Boat lucks out in making Indy 500 field  UPDATE While Boat was lucky the rains came, he also had friends in high places as he had no fewer than FOUR cars at his disposal if his primary car was bumped. In addition to his backup car, he had two cars from Cheever and one from Hemelgarn ready for his use. Seems some of the IRL regulars were prepared to protect some of their own from Walker Racing and former CART driver Memo Gidley.  5/20/02 - Billy Boat crashed his backup car yesterday morning, and he was not fast enough in the repaired car in the afternoon practice to make the grid.  Luckily for him, the rains came and no one bumped him out of the race.

5/20/02
Industry News

Business news  Home improvement retailer Lowe's Companies Inc. reported its net earnings climbed 54 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, bearing Wall Street expectations. Visteon Corp. will supply Ford Motor Co. with front-end integrated assemblies, cockpit systems, fuel storage systems and climate systems for two 2004 high-volume vehicle programs. Financial terms weren't disclosed. In a news release Friday, Visteon said the vehicles will be built at Ford's Chicago assembly plant. BMW AG is on pace to pass Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus as the best-selling luxury automobile brand in the U.S. this year, helped by new models such as the redesigned 7 Series sedans. For the first four months, the German automaker pulled ahead of Lexus, with 78,386 cars and light trucks to 75,164. The Toyota brand has led U.S. luxury sales the past two years. BMW has never been the annual leader.

5/20/02

CART/IRL unification talks going nowhere fast  This Cleveland Plain Dealer article Talks about the stalemate that currently exists between a CART and IRL unification.  "We have one oval- and one road-racing series. At some point, someone will have to make a decision," said race team owner Roger Penske. The IRL is an all-oval, American-based racing series. CART is a varied series, including superspeedways, short ovals, road courses and street courses both in the U.S. and abroad. The IRL is a private entity with George as its president. CART is a publicly held company with stockholders to satisfy.  A major open-wheel summit is being held this weekend in Indianapolis with the IRL's George and CART CEO Chris Pook, plus a long list of team owners and powers that be within the sport.  "You hope there is always a bridge," Bobby Rahal said. "I know a lot have tried to be built to no avail. But I don't think you ever stop trying. I'm pleased not to have to make sense out of all of this. In our case, Chris Pook is one of the few people who can handle it all. Believe me . . . all the conflicting agendas make it tough. "I will say people in CART have tried many, many times to no avail [i.e. they have been repeatedly rebuffed by Tony George].  I guess you don't quit trying. But whatever solution has been proposed, hasn't been met with any interest. So you keep trying to find [a] solution. I think, in the end, you have to find a way."   Don't count on it Bobby.  Tony George doesn't want a unification.  Wake up and smell the roses.  CART must stick to its agenda of racing in major cities and venues around the world, and let the IRL do its all-oval, all-USA series.  If CART continues to play before packed houses, and the IRL continues to play before empty arenas (Indy, Kansas and a few others notwithstanding), eventually the sponsors will help decide where they want to race.  To continue to try and copy the IRL, or waste time talking about unification, is that much less time spent sticking to CART's game plan.

5/20/02

NASCAR/ISC look to stick it to Smith  Like everyone else is speculating, this RPM.ESPN.com article, states the obvious, NASCAR is blowing smoke when it says other tracks should share in and reap the proceeds of The Winston, when in reality it once and for all simply wants to stick it to Smith and Wheeler.  As the Winston Cup schedule has grown in recent years, Smith has continually asked NASCAR figureheads to give his tracks a few more races to host. Surely, it makes more economic sense to hold two races per season at a place like Texas, which can draw 200,000 fans, than Martinsville, which might draw 85,000. Yet each time Smith has come calling, NASCAR has slammed the door first in his face when he was arriving, and again in his posterior as he was leaving.

5/20/02

Alarming speed jump at Indy  The slowest qualifier for this years Indy 500 has a faster speed than the pole winner Scott Sharp from the previous year. Billy Boat is this year's slowest at 226.589 mph. Scott Sharp won the pole last year at 226.037.  This is why you will see the IRL drop RPM next year.  With turbo motors you drop boost to reduce speeds.  With normally aspirated engines you must drop displacement or RPM.

5/20/02

Yoong to drive Peterson Lotus UPDATE Alex Yoong finished second in yesterday's (Sunday) 3rd Historic Grand Prix of Monaco, despite a transmission failure forcing him to drive the final four laps whilst stuck in fifth gear.  He ended up taking the flag just over five seconds behind eventual winner Martin Stretton in a Tyrell 1977 P34. Yoong had led for nine laps of the ten-lap event, but his transmission problems resulted in him being passed by Stretton on the last lap. Christopher Perkins was third driving a Surtees 1974 TS16, and was a further four and a half seconds behind the Malaysian F1™ racing driver.   5/18/02 -  KL Minardi Asiatech driver, Alex Yoong, is to take part in this weekend's Historic Grand Prix of Monaco. The 25-year-old Malaysian, who is the first driver from his country to race in the Formula One World Championship, will compete in the glittering annual "retro" event at the wheel of one of the highly successful, "wedge-shaped" Lotus 72 models used by, among others, legendary Swede, Ronnie Peterson. Yoong will race Lotus 72/R6, a chassis that first appeared in 1971, but was most notable for carrying Peterson to four victories (France, Austria, Italy, USA) and a total of seven podium finishes during the 1973 season. As with all Lotus 72s, it is powered by a 3-litre Ford Cosworth DFV V8. Other well-known names to have raced the car between 1971 and 1974 include Reine Wisell, Dave Walker and Ian Scheckter, brother of 1979 Formula One World Champion, Jody Scheckter. "I'm really looking forward to competing in this weekend's Historic Monaco Grand Prix," says Yoong. "I have always been fascinated by the Formula One cars from this era, and to drive Ronnie Peterson's Lotus around the streets of Monte Carlo is going to be a fantastic experience. I'm sure it's going to feel very different from my normal KL Minardi Asiatech PS02, but part of the fun is going to be finding out just how a 1970s Formula One car compares with its 21st century equivalent." This weekend's activities around the streets of Monte Carlo are a high-profile precursor to the upcoming Grand Prix of Monaco, Formula One's most prestigious event of the year, and a race in which Yoong and KL Minardi Asiatech team mate, Mark Webber, will be competing for the first time. Minardi.

5/20/02
Industry News

More companies moving business to China to do business  According to a Reuters report, consumer electronics giant Sony will build a semiconductor assembly plant in China to keep up with increasing production shifts to that country by client electric equipment makers, a Japanese newspaper said on Sunday. Investment is likely to be 10 billion yen (about US$78.10 million) and the plan will be run by Sony's subsidiary in Beijing. Sony, the world's largest consumer electronics maker, had so far shifted chip-assembly operations to Thailand to cut costs, and the latest decision, following a flood of Japanese firms seeking to take advantage of China's low labor costs, was part of a cost-cutting drive, it said quoting the company sources. Major domestic chip makers, including Toshiba and Hitachi have already shifted assembly operations to China.

5/20/02

New Le Mans challenger in the works   Will they also run in ALMS?  Piper Design, a leading British design engineering company with a pedigree of Sportscar design and development, is set to enter Le Mans 2003 24 Hour race with a new prototype Sportscar. Earlier this year Piper Design embarked on an initial concept project with International Racing Management (IRM), a company that planned to compete at this year's event. A series of unforeseen circumstances at IRM led to the original plans not being taken forward and an opportunity for Piper Design to review the program. John Piper, Managing Director, Piper Design, explains, "Although our client was unable to pursue the development of the PO1 LMP900 Sportscar, we are committed to taking the project forward. We have invested a considerable amount of talent and resources into this new car and we are confident that it will be a significant and successful addition to the LMP900 grid. The groundwork has been done, the development program has been identified, and we just need to create a commercial opportunity to complete it. There is interest from within the industry and we're pursuing the options open to us. The most important factor is the product itself - we know that this Sportscar will be fast, reliable, practical and, above all, competitive." Piper Design has developed a Prototype design that uses the extensive expertise within the company. Founder, John Piper, is a respected designer with many Championship winning cars under his belt, including the Panoz GT1 Sportscar, Jaguar XJR14 Group C car, Le Mans Jaguar V12. Chief Designer, Nick Carpenter, has been involved with the successful Reynard Champ Cars, the 2KF Reynard Chrysler and the new 02S LMP675 Reynard Sportscar. Ben Woods, Aero Engineer, brings Formula 1 aerodynamics experience to the program with his previous experience including work with the Minardi, Ferrari, Tyrrell and Prost F1 Grand Prix teams.

5/20/02
Industry News

CBS segment on Mickey Thompson murder  CBS will air their story of the deaths of Mickey and Trudy Thompson on "48 Hours" tonight, May 20. It will run at 10:00 pm on the west coast. In addition to up-to-date coverage, they will show the reward posters with composite drawings of the "shooters" as described by witnesses, and the reminder that there is still a $1,000,000.00 reward. It is hoped this will help to bring out information that will result in the arrest of all of those involved in the brutal killings. July 8 is set as the trial date for Michael Goodwin for the murders of Mickey and Trudy Thompson. It will be held in Orange County Superior Court, before Judge Frank Briseno, the same judge that presided over the Preliminary Hearing. Prior to that a 995 motion will be heard by Judge Kazuharu Makino on June 28th. A 995 motion is an appeal by a defendant to overturn the rulings made by the judge in a Preliminary Hearing. It must be heard by another judge, in this case Judge Makino. Goodwin is charged with two counts of First Degree Murder in the deaths of Mickey and Trudy Thompson, plus Conspiracy to Commit Murder and three Special Circumstances. Those are: Multiple Murders, Lying In Wait and Murder for Financial Gain. He is being held without bail in the Orange County Central Jail.

5/19/02
Star Mazda

Guy Cosmo wins Star Mazda race at Sears Point  Guy Cosmo asserted his status as one of the nation's hottest young open-wheel racers by winning the Star Mazda Series race at Sears Point Raceway, Saturday, May 18 . The race was part of the Grand Prix of Sonoma Presented by Fosters. Cosmo confidently dominated the 38-car field in the #45 www.kcbaggers.com Racer's Edge Formula Mazda. After qualifying third, the Long Island, NY resident overcame the pole sitter's home field advantage and he never looked back, setting the fastest race lap on the way. It was so strange," described the enthusiastic Cosmo, "It was as though I went into remote control. I didn't have to think about it. I closed the gap, I made the pass, then it was just like testing, putting down lap after lap, and I pulled away."

5/19/02
Russell/USAC

Queiroz wins Russell/USAC race at Sears Point  Brazilian driver Victor Hugo Queiroz won round two of the Russell / USAC Triple Crown Pro Series presented by Yokohama Tires in the pouring raining in commanding fashion with 16.664 margin of victory over Chris Carmody of Valencia, CA. His win creates a tie in the championship battle and sets the stage for a duel between the two drivers in the third and final event of the series next month during the Dodge/SaveMart 350 Winston Cup race weekend at Sears Point. "I have a good chance to win this series next month if things go the same as they did today," said the quiet Queiroz. By the same, he means qualifying on the front row and keeping Carmody behind him. At the first event at Irwindale Speedway, the drivers finished one-two with Carmody on the front row and winning that event. Pole sitter Scott Speed took the lead at the green, but the yellow flag was out before the end of the first lap for Cristian Sebellarosa in Turn 6 and Bob Hagerty in Turn 7. Speed was by far quickest in the rain. He turned the race's fastest lap of 2:14.470, almost three seconds a lap quicker than Queiroz, but it didn't do him any good for on lap 6 he lost control of his racecar and wound up in the tires in the exact same spot as Sebellarosa. "I saw a car in the tires and then I realized it was Scott. I knew all I had to do was keep my car on the road and finish the race," said Queiroz.

5/19/02

Team Rahal ready for Indy  Miller Lite driver Jimmy Vasser will start 19th in the May 26th Indianapolis 500. Vasser's (Picturees Right.  Photo by Earl Me/BRG) spot on the inside of Row 7 was solidified with the close of Bump Day Qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 36-year-old California native will make his seventh start in the world's most famous auto race when he takes the green flag a week from today. "It is a great feeling to have the qualifying process behind us," said Vasser who owns two 500-mile wins in his open-wheel racing career. "Running the Indy 500 is a complicated process and the first critical step is qualifying for the race. Now we face the biggest challenge, the race itself." "Whenever you aren't at the front of the field you tend to second guess yourself and you start wondering if the time you took was quick enough," said Vasser. "When I saw the first few qualifiers today post qualifying speeds in the 228 range we started to get concerned but our initial instinct was correct. We did the right thing by qualifying last week because we spent the week focused on the race and working on making the car the best it can be for race day. This place can play mind games with you and when in doubt you have to trust your first instinct." Vasser has raced in six previous Indy 500's twice finishing fourth (1994 & 2001). Vasser, the fastest rookie qualifier at Indy in 1992, has three top-seven results in his last four races at Indy. "Now we can get on with the race," said 1986 Indy 500 champion and Rahal/Letterman Racing co-owner Bobby Rahal. "I know we have a good set-up and that Jimmy is very happy with the race set-up. Everybody is breathing a lot easier throughout the whole paddock. These cars are so sensitive to the weather that you if you get lucky and the weather works your way you can pick up a couple of miles an hour that you couldn't find or if you get unlucky like us you can lose a couple of miles an hour. We have a very good race car and we are looking forward to race day." Team Rahal

5/19/02

Purvis injured seriously  NASCAR Busch Series veteran Jeff Purvis was admitted to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa., in serious but stable condition Sunday after a two-car accident with Greg Biffle during the Stacker 2 200 at Nazareth Speedway. Purvis, 43, of Clarksville, Tenn., sustained a contusion to the left base of the brain and a fracture of the first and second vertebrae according to Dr. K. Shah, trauma surgeon at Lehigh Valley. The surgeon said Purvis was able to move all his extremities. Purvis was knocked out in the crash and was cut from his car. He was initially taken by ambulance to the track's infield care center, where he was awake but disoriented. He was then taken by helicopter to Lehigh Valley for a CT scan and further evaluation, according to Dr. James Mock. Purvis was scheduled for more tests Sunday evening and additional tests either Monday or Tuesday.  It is not known whether he was wearing a HANS Device.  NASCAR

5/19/02

Said gives Panoz first Trans-Am win  Boris Said of ACS Express Racing put the Panoz Esperante in the motorsports history books Sunday when he drove the Esperante to its first-ever Trans-Am series victory in the Ontario More To Discover Victoria Day Trans-Am at Mosport International Raceway. Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante) assumed the lead on the 27th of 41 laps and maintained it for the balance of the event en route to a comfortable 23.501-second victory over Johnny Miller (#64 Automation Direct/Eaton/Cutler Hammer Jaguar XKR). Said averaged a sizzling 109.749 miles per hour for the 100-mile event, obliterating the Trans-Am track record of 104.570 mph established by Darin Brassfield in 1988. The win, coupled with Said’s runner-up effort in the Trans-Am season opener at Long Beach last month, gave him the lead in the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship with 62 points. Miller stands second at 54, followed by defending and three-time series champion Paul Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls/Microchip/Matrix One/Futaba Jaguar XKR), who stands third with 50 points following a 10th-place finish that was hindered by a broken spark plug.

5/19/02

Former F1 driver Alesi wins DTM race  In only his third DTM-race, French former F1-driver Jean Alesi claimed his maiden victory in the DTM. In the third round of the season at Donington Park (GB), the Mercedes-Benz-driver won after a magnificent race from Abt Sportsline team-mates Christian Abt and Mattias Ekström. Opel-driver Alain Menu, double British touring car champion, looked all on course to bring Opel its first podium finish of the season, as he was second for most of the race. But then, bad luck hit him in the closing stages of the race: he had to pit with a puncture and dropped back to eighth at flagfall. Points leader Laurent Aiello first damaged the bodywork of his Abt-Audi TT-R and then had to come in three times for a stop & go-penalty. Because he failed to come in for the third penalty he was disqualified after the race. He still remains in the lead of the championship. After the Donington round, Alesi and Ekström are jointly second in the points' standings. DTM

5/19/02

Sato crashes historic Lotus  Takuma Sato crashed his Lotus 49B at the Historic Monaco Grand Prix yesterday. Therefore, Sato is out of Sunday’s historic race after hitting the wall in the swimming pool complex. The damage to Sato’s Lotus should be easily repaired but the crash put him out of the race as his team did not have any spares with them. Sato told his website: "It was very, very slippery where it occurred. I was really enjoying it and the power was OK, but there was just so much oil and I was perhaps carrying too much speed into the corner. "Unfortunately don't have any spare parts here. It's such a shame but whenever I race I drive hard and want to do well. The only way to learn a circuit is to drive to the maximum. "Anyway my main objectives this weekend were to learn this circuit and to have some fun and I have managed both. "I am very grateful though to have been given this opportunity and would like to thank the team for their support. They have done a fantastic job. It's just a shame it wasn't dry."

5/18/02

Other Lowes event news Jeff Fultz won Saturday’s ARCA/REMAX EasyCare Vehicle Services Contracts 100 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, after passing race leader Frank Kimmel with five laps to go to pick up his first ARCA win. Fultz, a fabricator for the #77 Jasper Motorsports team, was driving a car prepared by Jasper Motorsports, using a Penske Engine. ARCA drivers Tina Gordon and John Borneman were both taken by ambulance to University Medical Center after a crash on lap in the EasyCare Vehicle Services Contracts 100 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Both drivers were conscious and alert following the incident, which occurred on lap 39 of the 67-lap event.

5/18/02

Mayfield and Newman race their way into Winston  Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman raced their way into the 18th running of The Winston by winning the two companion qualifying events run prior to The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday. Mayfield transferred into his fifth Winston by winning the Winston Open for the second time, while rookie Ryan Newman topped the field in the 16-lap No Bull Sprint. Mayfield started on the pole for the Winston Open and left the rest of the field behind, leading all 30 laps. Ken Schrader made his way up from his sixth starting spot to move into second place, but Mayfield's mount proved to be too strong and he cruised to an easy win. "We've had a great car all year long, but we just haven't been able to show it." Mayfield said, "To be able to come here and win this race is unreal. To make it into the Winston is what it's all about." Ken Schrader came home second, followed by Newman, Hut Stricklin and Kyle Petty. Following a short break and a round of pit stops, Jeff Green led the field to the green flag for the No Bull Sprint, followed by Newman, Jimmy Spencer, Kyle Petty and John Andretti. Green held the lead through the first three turns, giving up the top spot to Newman as they came to the line to complete lap one. Newman steamed on to an easy victory, transferring to his first Winston all-star event. Kyle Petty, Ken Schrader, Hut Stricklin and Jimmy Spencer rounded out the top five. "This is a big victory for us." Newman said. "We struggled a bit in the first segment and were lucky to finish as well as we did. These guys did an awesome job for me. Thanks to them, we have a great opportunity in front of us now." Both drivers and their crews cleaned up their cars, and prepared to start The Winston. The caution flag waved only once during the two events, when Carl Long backed his #85 Dodge into the turn two wall on lap 11 of the Winston Open.  Pete McCole

5/18/02
Fran-Am

Fran-Am reaches agreement with SCCA  Fran-Am Sport, organizers of the Fran-Am 2000 series, today announced that SCCA Pro Racing Ltd. will sanction the American rounds of the 2002 Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship, while the Canadian events will be co-sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing and ASN Canada FIA. The series begins July 20-21 at Race City Motorsport Park in Calgary, Canada, and is expected to include nine race events throughout the United States and Canada.

5/18/02

Servia immediately fast in Mi-Jack/Conquest car  Walker Racing's Oriol Servia jumped in the backup car at Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing and immediately set the fastest lap for Infiniti power in today's practice session for the 86th Indianapolis 500. After struggling to find speed all week in the Walker Racing car, and after only 19 laps, Servia ranked fifth fastest and recorded his fastest speed of the month at 226.359 mph. The two teams are currently discussing options to have Servia attempt to qualify the Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing Dallara-Infiniti in Sunday's Bump Day Qualifications. "We did it just because we have been working on our car and we were stuck at 224 (mph), with very low downforce, so in the end we were a little frustrated," Servia said. "We have a very good relationship with Eric Bachelart (the owner of the Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing entry) so we took his car out and had a lot quicker laps then what we have done in four days. Obviously we want to look at the differences, and probably the biggest is the engine power."

5/18/02

Kristensen wins ALMS pole at Sears Point Tom Kristensen waited for the right opportunity and then nailed a flying lap to take the pole for Sunday's American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Sonoma presented by Fosters at Sears Point Raceway. Kristensen, on loan from the factory Audi team to privateer Champion Racing for this event, turned a lap of 1:22.615 (110.246 mph) on the 2.53-mile, 12-turn circuit, establishing a track record on the reconfigured circuit. More....

5/18/02

Foyt drivers lead final practice day at Indy  A.J. Foyt Racing teammates Airton Dare and Greg Ray were first and second on the speed chart, respectively, May 18 during the final full day of practice before Bump Day, as the top 11 speeds were turned by drivers still trying to qualify for the 86th Indianapolis 500. Dare led at 39.6449 seconds, 227.015 mph, in the No. 14 Harrah’s/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. His teammate, Ray, was second at 39.6902, 226.756 in the No. 11 A.J. Foyt Racing/Harrah’s Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone on a sunny day with air temperatures in the low 50s and steady north winds of 15 to 19 mph. Bump Day qualifying, the final chance to earn a spot in the 33-car field, starts at noon (EST) Sunday. Pre-qualifying practice is scheduled for 10-11:15 a.m. “We didn’t play a lot with the car because the conditions changed, and they will change tomorrow,” Dare said. “We’re waiting for tomorrow. I’m very confident with myself and the car and the team. The only problem tomorrow will be if something goes wrong, like if we lose a motor or a tire. That’s the kind of problem that if you’re on the (third) day of qualifying you worry about. But in speed and handling of the car, that is certainly not a problem.” Dario Franchitti ended the day third at 39.6911, 226.751, in the No. 27 Team Green 7-Eleven Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. His Team Green teammate Paul Tracy was fourth at 39.7381, 226.483 in the No. 26 Team Green 7-Eleven Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Oriol Servia rounded out the top five at 39.7599, 226.359 in the No. 34T Mi-Jack Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone fielded by Mi-Jack Conquest Racing. It was the fastest lap of the month for Servia, whose primary car is fielded by Walker Racing. Servia first drove in that car – the backup of No. 16 qualifier Laurent Redon – with 18 minutes remaining in the session. Servia hasn’t officially switched to the Mi-Jack-Conquest car, but his test laps in the car could be a portent of feverish activity for many teams and drivers on Bump Day. One team outside of the field, Brayton Racing, already made a driver change today. Veteran Scott Harrington replaced rookie John de Vries as the driver of the No. 37 and No. 37T Pit Bull Energy Drink/Rhino Cleaning Products Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Veteran Mark Dismore returned to the track today for the first time since suffering a concussion in a crash during practice May 9, two days before Pole Day. His top lap today was 40.3185, 223.223 in the No. 20 Grill 2 Go Sam Schmidt Motorsports Indy Car Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Thirty-two drivers in 37 cars turned 1,738 laps today. Quotes IRL

5/18/02

Leitzinger wins Mosport pole, sets record  Butch Leitzinger of Tom Gloy Racing claimed the first pole position of his Trans-Am career Saturday when he took the top spot in record fashion during qualifying for Sunday’s Ontario More To Discover Victoria Day Trans-Am at Mosport International Raceway. Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama Chevrolet Camaro) put together a sizzling lap of 113.866 miles per hour (1 minute, 17.744 seconds) on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course to claim the pole for Sunday’s 41-lap second round of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship (1 p.m. ET, live, SPEED Channel). Leitzinger’s performance bettered the Mosport qualifying record of 113.184 mph (1:18.212) established by Canadian Ron Fellows in 1995. The pole came in only Leitzinger’s third career Trans-Am start, and earned him the Jaguar Pole Award and two championship points in addition to the right to lead 21 fellow competitors to the green flag on Sunday afternoon. Shortly after Leitzinger’s pole-winning lap, he went hard into the Turn 9 tire wall. He was uninjured in the accident, which came with just over seven minutes remaining in the scheduled 20-minute session. Cleanup from the incident brought a premature checkered flag to the session, leaving Leitzinger securely at the top of the starting grid, and no opportunity for a challenge for his fellow competitors. “Crashing was a big key,” Leitzinger joked in the post-qualifying press conference. “I’d done [one minute] 17.7 [seconds] and my guys came on the radio and told me that Boris [Said, the outside pole sitter] was getting ready to go back out. “Well, I didn’t want to give up the pole, and I didn’t want to go any faster, so I put it in the tires,” Leitzinger added facetiously. “Everything worked according to plan.

5/18/02

All Prost assets sold  On Friday the last of the assets belonging to the now defunct Prost Grand Prix team were sold. All assets were sold in four auctions over the past few weeks.

5/18/02

More on German TV  Regarding our earlier German TV Hot news items, a reader writes to tell us that until other regional ARD channels like WDR, NDR or SW3 pick up the ORB broadcasts, the coverage won't be as good as it needs to be. Germany has a very strong cable network, but not every regional channel can be seen throughout Germany over the cable network. Such is the case with ORB. This is a channel that covers former east Germany. It can't been seen in other regions such as the western part of Germany. On the other side, a channel like SW3 can't be seen in the east German regions. Therefore it will be a must to have the race broadcast on all or at least on one regional channel that can be seen throughout Germany. People with satellite dishes can watch the races and they have lots of dish users too, but no one will buy a satellite dish just for watching a race they can't see on their cable TV. From experience, all regional channels share coverage's, i.e. a movie that's is on NDR on a Wednesday afternoon might be on SW3 Friday evening, but there must be someone behind it to push that the other regional channels pick up the race broadcasts. We hear the German race organizers are working hard on this aspect, however.

5/18/02

Computerized leg a godsend  This article might be of interest to Zanardi fans. Not that Alex isn't doing well without these new limbs.  Sensors and strain gauges in his computerized artificial limb, called C-Leg, take 50 readings every second, relaying them to microprocessors in the knee joint. Hydraulics rapidly respond by adjusting the bend of the knee so that the prosthesis moves much like a real leg. With that computer-controlled agility and flexibility, the 51-year-old should be able to resume his active lifestyle and, perhaps, play basketball again. "The leg is phenomenal, what you can do with it," Kozar said. "You can run with this leg after a while."

5/18/02

Monaco Preview  The Monaco Grand Prix has long been regarded as the jewel in F1 racing's international crown, even though many competitors regard the chase through the streets as an exercise in precision high speed driving. In terms of pure racing, Monaco is one of the most difficult circuits on which to overtake, yet that underlying fact in no way compromises its position as one of the most magnetically popular events on the FIA Formula One World Championship calendar.  More...

5/17/02

Fittipaldi off to Denver and Portland  Next on the agenda for Fittipaldi is a media tour next Tuesday, May 21 to promote the inaugural CART Denver Grand Prix set to be held Sept. 1. Earlier this week, Fittipaldi was in Portland to promote the upcoming G.I. Joe's 200, where he drove to a spectacular third place finish in the 2001 event despite limited visibility due to rain after dropping to 19th place while trying to avoid a spinning car. The race will be held on June 16. After his press tour in Denver, Fittipaldi will travel to Charlotte to compete in the Busch Grand National event on Saturday, May 25.  NHR

5/17/02

Fittipaldi happy with 2nd day at Homestead  Christian Fittipaldi completed the final day of testing for the 2002 CART FedEx Series today at the Miami-Homestead oval today and is pleased with the progress made on Newman/Haas Racing's short oval setup. "We ran a lot of miles again today and made some progress," said Fittipaldi who completed a total of 260 miles (in two cars) around the 1.5-mile short oval today with a best lap time of 27.03. "We ran almost 600 miles over two days and were able to get through a big list of things we wanted to try. At the end of the day we made some long runs with a good amount of fuel and ran some consistent times. We are heading in the right direction and we will see how well we stack up to the others when we get to Milwaukee. You don't have to be very far off in this series to be at the back of the grid. I think we are in a much better position after our test in Milwaukee and the test here."  NHR

5/17/02

Piro leads opening day at Sears Point  Defending American Le Mans Series champion Emanuele Pirro waited until the end of the session Friday to set the fastest time of the day as practice began for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Sonoma presented by Fosters at Sears Point Raceway.  More....  ALMS

5/17/02

F1 Shanghai track pie-in-sky?  Is the Shanghai F1 project really going to happen?  Consider this.  Four government backed firms plan to build a "new town" in Anting, about 1-hour west of Shanghai, which they hope will be home to a F1 track and other motor industry manufacturing.  The town will be about 25 square miles in size and cost over $400 million to build, and that does not include the track.  The city is seeking foreign investment for a world-class race track and a theme park which will "overwhelm tourists with the charm of cars", according to promotional materials. The project aimed to help domestic car-makers face competition and draw foreign investment, they said. "After China's entry to the World Trade Organization, it is imperative for us to establish a strong domestic market to meet the challenges of globalization," said Jiang Shangzhou, deputy secretary general of the Shanghai Government.  Shanghai is facing challengers for the title of China's motor city as other cities with big car-makers plan similar projects. Shanghai is home to one of China's biggest vehicle manufacturers, Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp, which has ventures with General Motors and Volkswagen. Although developers of the project are holding talks with more than 10 of the world's top car-makers, they do not expect manufacturers with existing plants in China to relocate to their motor city. Construction of the track and stands for 200,000 spectators was due for completion in 2004 and organizers would apply to host a Formula One event that year, officials said.  They also want to have Monster Truck races and rallies.  "Shanghai needs a Formula One Grand Prix for its further development," said Ma Shi, an official of Shanghai International Circuit Co, one of the developers.  It's much less expensive to build a world-class street circuit in Shanghai itself, than venturing 1-hour west out in the rice paddies where there is no place to entertain corporate guests.  We suspect that this project will eventually fall on hard times, and CART and F1 would be much better served pursuing the downtown street circuit opportunity.  MC

5/17/02

Buhl tops charts on cold raw day at Indy  It doesn’t matter whether he is in his primary or backup car: Robbie Buhl is fast this month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Buhl turned the fastest lap during the rain-shortened practice May 17 for the 86th Indianapolis 500, 39.4604 seconds, 228.077 mph, in the No. 24T Team Purex/Aventis/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone, his backup car. Buhl qualified second at 231.033 on Pole Day last Saturday in his primary car. “We got out today in the backup car to see what we could learn about tire wear during some fast laps,” Buhl said. “We tried a few different things and feel like we made some progress. We’re trying to learn as much as we can with the limited green-flag time we have. With the weather as it is, we do what we can and then call it a day.” The weather produced tough conditions. There were three delays due to rain for two hours, 22 minutes, and practice ended 35 minutes early due to rain. Air temperatures hovered in the mid-50s for most of the day, with north winds at 15 mph. The track temperature plummeted to 54 degrees just before the final rain delay. Airton Dare was second fastest today at 39.5718, 227.435 in the No. 14 Harrah’s/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Dare will try to qualify for the 33-car field Sunday on Bump Day, the final day of qualifications. Alex Barron, another non-qualified driver, is third at 39.7887, 226.195 in the No. 44T Rayovac Blair Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Quotes

5/17/02

Gidley chances look slim Despite what you might have read elsewhere, former CART driver Memo Gidley has nothing lined up at Indy at the moment. Lots of broken promises. Something may happen for Sunday, but it does not look good. He really wanted to get some track time.

5/17/02

Target Chip Ganassi Team autographs  Indy 500 Pole Winner, Bruno Junqueira and his team mates, Jeff Ward and Kenny Brack will be signing autographs at the following locations: Thursday, May 23 4:00pm - 5:00pm Target Chip Ganassi Racing Merchandise Trailer located outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 1700 Georgetown Road Something from the trailer must be purchased on that day in order to obtain an autograph Autographs are limited to the first 300 customers. Friday, May 24 6:00pm - 7:30pm Eagle Creek Target Store Southwest corner of I-465 and West 38th Street (317) 329-1034

5/17/02

Team Penske autograph signing at Speedgear trailer  Both Team Penske Driver's will be signing Autographs at the Speedgear trailer at the Indy Motor Speedway on Thursday, May 23rd at 4pm-5pm. Autographs are limited to the first 300 customers. Something from the trailer must be purchased that day to be eligible.

5/17/02

Kite in for Lazzaro  UPDATE Jimmy Kite has reached 225.193 mph after spending little time in the car. That compares to the 226.119 Lazzaro did the Friday before pole day, and the 225.138 Lazzaro managed in qualifying, before the team waived off the attempt. Can wee Jimmy find more speed?  5/17/02 -  Jimmy Kite will be taking practicing today in the Sam Schmidt Motorsports/PDM #99, in place of regular driver Anthony Lazzaro. The team has struggled to find speed, and are hopeful that Kite can find some speed. Interesting choice, given the fact the Kite struggled in 2000, until his team at the time (Blueprint) purchased a G-Force from Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

5/17/02

Long's car to ride with angels  Winston Cup driver Carl Long's unsponsored race car will carry the "Jaret's Angels" logos on his race cars in the upcoming Winston Open, Coca-Cola 600, as well as the Busch Series event on May 25. The logo, a family emblem designed by Jim Hunt, is in support of 3-year-old Jaret Arneson, diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in December 2000. The car will also feature the logo and web site address for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation - www.jdrf.org

5/17/02

Benson to miss four races  Winston cup driver Johnny Benson expects to miss at least then next four races while we recovers from a broken rib his suffered in the Busch Series race at Richmond on May 3rd. Jerry Nadeau, recently released by Hendrick Motorsports, will drive fill in as driver of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac starting this weekend in the Winston Open

5/17/02

Da Matta F1 test photos  UPDATE Da Matta was eight tenths of a second off regular Toyota F1 driver Allan McNish's fast time for the day. "I am very impressed with this experience," he said. "I did 97 laps but I am not really tired. The car was much lighter to drive that in CART but more demanding on the neck due to much higher G-Forces. The high speed corners were particularly impressive and I didn't expect such high grip levels from the grooved tyres." Da Matta was nearly two seconds faster than fellow CART driver Tora Takagi who tested for Toyota the day before. But the track was slower on Thursday.  5/17/02 - Here are pages of photos by Sutton Images from Cristiano da Matta's and Tora Takagi's Toyota F1 test at Paul Ricard yesterday and today.

5/17/02
Industry News

Plane lands at IRP  A single-engine plane landed on the drag strip at Indianapolis Raceway Park after the pilot mistook it for a runway at a nearby airport. No one was injured and no cars were racing when 66-year-old Dan Legrant of Edmond, Okla., landed Thursday afternoon. "He was very embarrassed," said Scott Smith, a spokesman at the racing facility outside Indianapolis. About 50 to 60 dragsters were testing at the track earlier in the day to prepare for races this weekend. The track was closed because of rain about 15 minutes before Legrant landed. "If he landed when the dragsters were running, we could have had a disaster. God must have been looking out for him," Indiana State Police Sgt. Sam Maldonado said. Maldonado said Legrant mistook the drag strip for a runway at Eagle Creek Airport, which is about eight kilometres away. Both the airport and the drag strip can be seen from the air. AP

5/17/02

SAFER wall inventors win Schwitzer award  The 36th annual Louis Schwitzer Award was awarded May 17 to the team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineers that developed the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) Barrier. The first track installation of the SAFER Barrier was performed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for this year’s Indianapolis 500 practice, qualifications and race. Award recipients receive $5,000 from BorgWarner, and their names will be added to the permanent trophy in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Dr. Dean Sicking, director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility and professor of civil engineering, and Dr. Ronald Faller, research assistant professor, headed the team of engineers at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. John Rohde, associate professor of civil engineering, handled the detailed design work, including the specifics of track installation and repair. Dr. John Reid, associate professor of mechanical engineering, was the team’s modeling expert, and Facility Operations Manager James Holloway managed testing for the program. “The total emphasis is on driver safety,” Sicking said. “We put in thousands of hours with computer models and on the test track to develop a barrier that would decrease peak forces applied to the car by elongating the impact event, which allows the occupant restraint systems more time to operate optimally and reduce driver injury. “We are very pleased with how the SAFER Barrier has performed so far. We have seen a significant reduction in Gs when comparing data from similar crashes with and without the barrier.” Sicking credited Tony George, president and CEO of the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with initiating the program. “Tony George’s vision and commitment of resources really made this project happen,” Sicking said. Sicking also saluted NASCAR leader Bill France for his support of the SAFER Barrier development. The Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a worldwide reputation for developing energy-management systems for “ran off road” situations and high-speed test tracks. The Louis Schwitzer Award, named after the dynamic automotive pioneer, has been presently annually in conjunction with the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race since 1967. It recognizes those individuals with the courage and conviction to explore and develop new concepts in auto racing technology.

5/17/02

F1 teams in takeover bid  According to a story in The Times newspaper, five teams – McLaren, Williams, Jordan, Arrows and BAR – have formed a company called GPT Ltd, to give F1 teams a greater say in the running of the sport as well as a bigger share of its profits. This could be achieved by purchasing the 75 percent share of F1's commercial rights owned by the bankrupt Kirch media group. GPT has appointed Neil Johnson, a former FIA vice-president and ex-director at Jaguar and Rover, to head up the operation. "We have had this downward spiral in the reputation of Formula 1," Johnson was quoted in The Times. "There has been a concern that Formula 1 has not been managed well and things are out of control — even on the track things have been getting repetitive and boring — and that has reached such a pitch that everybody realizes something has to change. Last Sunday might have been the seminal moment. We have to find a way of putting Formula 1 back where it used to be. "There is too much secrecy. There was a time when that was probably quite beguiling, but it is not business reality. Everybody around this place, including Bernie, keeps saying that we need this business run by businessmen, but serious businessmen won’t come near anything shrouded in the mists of closed deals that Formula 1 currently is."  “Bernie has done a fantastic job, but that isn’t the point any more. We have an asset called Formula One, the value of which is — in the pessimistic view — degenerating by the race at the moment.” “There is a real will for the teams to sort this out, not least because it is a matter of self-preservation,” he said. “If Formula One disintegrates into chaos, what are they going to do? Formula One is fundamental to their future.”

5/17/02

ALMS takes to renovated Sears Point American Le Mans Series cars will hit the reconfigured Sears Point Raceway on Friday for a day of unofficial testing for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Sonoma presented by Fosters Lager.  Two hours of testing are on Friday’s schedule, beginning with a session for GTS and GT cars at 11:45 a.m. LMP 900 and LMP 675 cars will join the others for a combined session from 12:15 p.m. until 1:15 p.m., and then the Prototypes will be alone on the track until 1:45 p.m. On Saturday, the cars will have combined sessions from 8-9 a.m. and 11 a.m. until noon. Drivers will hold a one-hour autograph session behind the main grandstand at 1 p.m. Qualifying will begin at 2:40 p.m. Saturday with a 20-minute session for GTS and GT cars. The LMP 900 and 675 cars will have a 20-minute qualifying session beginning at 3:10 p.m. Sunday’s race will be a two-hour, 45-minute timed event beginning at 1 p.m. It will be televised live on the SPEED Channel, with live coverage online by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web. Free access to the Radio Web is available at www.imsaracing.netALMS

5/17/02

CART terminates Arnold Worldwide  The Arnold Worldwide, VA "trimmed 16 employees -- roughly 15[%] of its staff -- in a move precipitated" partly by the loss of the $10-$15M CART account. CART "shifted marketing philosophies in late 2001." Arnold, VA, President Ken Umansky: "Instead of promoting the brand, they're doing minimal advertising for individual races." Brandweek

5/17/02

CART drivers on David Letterman tonight  UPDATE There's no question that Letterman is a CART team owner.  The segment featured predominately CART drivers, was funny, and quite entertaining.  CART is going to have to do a lot more of this sort of TV promotion with its drivers if they have any hope of making them more household names like NASCAR drivers.   5/16/02 - CART drivers and a number of others participating in this year's Indianapolis 500 will be featured tonight on CBS-TV's "Late Show With David Letterman." "Late Show" stage manager and special correspondent Biff Henderson and his film crew were at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last Friday and Saturday (May 10-11) and captured a variety of interviews and activities throughout Gasoline Alley and the pit lane. Henderson routinely travels to major sporting events to experience the atmosphere of the participants and fans at such sporting contests as the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals and auto races. Tonight's four-minute feature will include interviews and skits with several drivers, including CART stars Jimmy Vasser, Michael Andretti, Dario Franchitti, Kenny Brack and Oriol Servia as well as 500 drivers Sarah Fisher, Sam Hornish Jr., Gil de Ferran and Arie Luyendyk. Former 500 winners Mario Andretti and Bobby Rahal will also be part of the feature.

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