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DATE

News (chronologically)

7/14/02

Waltrip re-signs with DEI  You can put one more rumor to bed; Michael Waltrip isn't going anywhere. Fresh off his victory last week in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, Waltrip put all doubts to rest about his future with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as he, and his sponsor, NAPA Auto Parts, have signed on with DEI for the next two seasons, through 2004. "We're delighted to be involved with DEI, and with Michael Waltrip," said Steve Handschuh, president of NAPA Auto Parts. "Michael has not only been a great performer on the track, but I think all of you know how Michael performs off the track, and he has just been absolutely fabulous for NAPA." "I'm so proud that NAPA believes in us and they are happy with how we've been representing them over the last couple of years and want to continue doing so." Waltrip said, "To have a great sponsor in these days and times when those commitments are getting more and more difficult to sign is what this story is all about to me."

7/14/02

High marks for Paul Newman's new movie  CART team owner, and movie star, Paul Newman's new film called Road to Perdition is getting rave reviews by almost all film critics. Starring Newman and Tom Hanks, the DreamWorks and Twentieth Century FOX film the film is about gangsters and their sons.  Road to Perdition means road to hell, and the movie is an emotional gut-wrencher sure to get Oscar nominations. High Production values. Great script, minute attention to "period detail" - you are in Chicago of the 1930's!! Heavy violence and strong emotional content. Great acting.  A must see.   Photo - R. Laberge/Getty Images

7/14/02

Charlie Whiting visits CART in Cleveland  FIA safety inspector Charlie Whiting was in Cleveland this week to inspect the race track setup by CART at Burke Lakefront airport.  Whiting inspects all FIA approved events.

7/14/02

Andretti to meet fans at Bridgestone Firestone stores  Cleveland-area race fans have a chance to meet CART's winningest driver Michael Andretti when he appears Monday, July 15, at two Bridgestone tire retail outlets.  The public is welcome at both locations. Andretti will be at the Firestone Tire & Service Center at 600 Chapel Hill Mall in Akron from 11a.m. to 1p.m. Monday. Then, from 2-4 p.m., he'll appear at the Firestone Tire & Service Center at 4580 Great Northern Blvd. in North Olmstead.

7/14/02

Atlantics: Ryan Hunter-Reay wins again in Cleveland  Hylton Motorsports driver Ryan Hunter-Reay made it look easy in Cleveland, leading every lap from pole position, to easily win today's CART Toyota Atlantic race over Jon Fogarty and Luiz Diaz. Full report

7/14/02

Bahrain on brink of being awarded GP  According to this Planet F1 article, Bahrain believes it's on the brink of being awarded the first new grand prix calendar date since the Malaysian Grand Prix became a fixture in F1. There has been much discussion in recent months of likely venues for new grands prix in 2004 with strong hints from Bernie Ecclestone supporting dates in Russia and China, but Bahrain believes it also stands a very strong chance. Construction of the country's state-of-the-art grand prix facility began in January this year and should be ready for racing by the middle of 2003. The circuit, designed by Herman Tilke the man behind Sepang and the proposed changes to Silverstone, will have various configurations including a 5.5 kilometer grand prix track with 16 turns. The likely date for any grand prix would be in cooler autumn conditions, placing it between the US Grand Prix and the Japanese Grand Prix.

7/13/02

NY Yankees stars visit CART race in Cleveland  New York Yankees teammates Robin Ventura, Jason Giambi and Ron Coomer with TKG drivers Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy while in town to play the Cleveland Indians.

7/13/02

Said extends points lead with win  Boris Said of ACS Express Racing continued his early-season dominance of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup Saturday when he drove to his third victory of the campaign in the Trans-Am on the Tarmac Presented by Microchip at Burke Lakefront Airport. Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante) took the lead from Tony Ave (#53 Trilithic Panoz Esperante) on the 32nd of 48 laps and maintained it for the balance of the event, ultimately finishing 0.266 seconds ahead of Butch Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama/Tom Gloy Chevrolet Corvette) in the fifth round of the championship. Said averaged 90.406 miles per hour while recording his fifth podium performance of the season, including victories at Mosport and Lime Rock. Stu Hayner (#02 Trenton Forging/Tom Bell Chevrolet Corvette) rounded out the podium by finishing third, a season best. Said’s triumph gave him an unofficial 152-125 lead over three-time and defending Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls/Microchip/Futaba/MatrixOne Jaguar XKR). Gentilozzi, who is bidding to become the only driver other than Tom Kendall to win four Trans-Am Series driving championships, finished fourth Saturday.

7/13/02

Barber Dodge Pro: Cook takes first win  Davy Cook won his first pole of the season in Saturday's qualifying session and went one better in the race to take his first ever Barber Dodge Pro Series victory at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. Cook was followed across the line by Julio Campos in second place and Marc Breuers in third. Series points leader A.J. Allmendinger stormed his way into fourth place after falling down early in the race to 11th place, while Laguna Seca winner Rafael Sperafico finished fifth. Leo Maia finished sixth after he fell back in the pack on the start to 16th, while Danica Patrick matched her Toronto race result with a seventh place finish. Piero Rodarte came home eighth, with Memo Rojas finishing ninth. Josh Rehm kept his impressive run of top-ten finishes alive even though he had to pit for repairs after contact on the first lap. The race featured battles from the front to the back on the wide 2.106-mile track but ended under yellow after Rhonda Trammel and Jon Vannini, who was on his way to his strongest finish of the season, tangled in turn-9.  Lap 26 saw contact in turn 9 between Rhonda Trammell and Jon Vannini, who was on his way to a season-best ninth place finish, which brought out a full course yellow. Trammel lost control in front of Vannini and the two cars were buried deep enough in the tire barriers to slow the clean up enough to have the race finish under yellow.

7/13/02

IRL driver wins IROC race   2000 Indy Racing League champion Buddy Lazier led all 67 laps, and IRL drivers swept the top three spots and five of the top six positions in Round 3 of the True Value International Race of Champions XXVI on July 13 at Chicagoland Speedway. Lazier, the 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion, started on the pole and never looked back in the caution-free race, winning by 5.195 seconds. Two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser Jr. finished second, while fellow two-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves came home third. NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick was fourth, while 1996 IRL co-champion Scott Sharp came home fifth, and defending Indy Racing champion Sam Hornish Jr. was sixth. “I’m still kind of in a state of shock,” Lazier said. “I still can’t believe it. Starting up front, I had the feeling that it was going to be a big advantage to have clean air. I had it in the back of my mind to really hammer down hard at the beginning when I had clean air with the hope of keeping the lead for a while.”

1. Buddy Lazier, Indy Racing League
2. Al Unser Jr., Indy Racing League
3. Helio Castroneves, Indy Racing League
4. Kevin Harvick, NASCAR Busch Series
5. Scott Sharp, Indy Racing League
6. Sam Hornish Jr. Indy Racing League
7. Sterling Marlin, NASCAR
8. Bobby Labonte, NASCAR
9. Dale Jarrett, NASCAR
10. Jack Sprague, NASCAR Craftsman Truck
11. Danny Lasoski, World of Outlaws
12. Tony Stewart, NASCAR

7/13/02

Hunter-Reay shatters track record to gain Atlantics pole  Before the sun broke over the top of the Cleveland skyline on Saturday morning, it was well known that many of the drivers in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship would break into the 1:06 range and that time would be needed to knock Jon Fogarty (Dorricott Racing/Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Swift 014.a) off of the provisional pole. By the end of Saturday afternoon’s qualifying, six drivers had cracked into the 1:05 range and a total of 15 had posted times under Martin Basso’s 2001 track qualifying record of 1:07.760 seconds (111.889 mph). Ryan Hunter-Reay (Hylton Motorsports/Medlock Ames Winery/U.S. Print Swift 014.a) shattered Basso’s record by more than 2 ½ seconds as he lapped the 2.106-mile temporary street circuit at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport in 1:05.225 seconds (116.238 mph). It was the third pole of the season for the Boca Raton, Florida driver capturing previous top spots at Laguna Seca and Chicago. “We knew we needed to find a clear lap and if we could do that, we would be up front,” said first year driver, Hunter-Reay. “We kept our heads down and worked really hard to make sure we got that gap. The car was great and I drove my heart out. I think that lap was one of the best I have ever driven in a race car to date.” Fogarty held the provisional pole after yesterday’s first round qualifying and earned a guaranteed front row starting spot, but it was not enough to keep Hunter-Reay at bay. Fogarty was second quickest with a time 1:05.660 seconds (115.468 mph). “I found a good lap,” said Fogarty. “It wasn’t as good as Ryan’s but the car was still good. Qualifying was a bit frustrating because I had both good feelings and bad feelings. I knew there were certain mechanical things with the car that limited me from running faster. The biggest surprise of the weekend was not the record speeds that were being turned in qualifying, but the performance of first year team, Scuadra Fortia. Six weeks before the season opening event in Monterrey, Mexico, the team had no cars or equipment and their two drivers were going to be competing on a majority of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship tracks for the first time. Argentina’s Waldemar Coronas (Scuadra Fortia/Aviacsa/Royse/Maizoro/Millenio Swift 014.a), who has never raced at Cleveland before, earned his best career Atlantic starting position of third with a time of 1:05.677 seconds (115.438 mph). “The car was much better today with the added rubber on the track,” said a thrilled Coronas. “We had some oversteer that we will change for the race. This position is very good for the team. We have been learning all of the tracks this year and I have been working hard to pick up the circuits as fast as possible. This track was good for me right when we started Friday. Now we have a good car to run up with the leaders.”

7/13/02

Reader likes what he saw with HDTV  A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Simply put, today's, as well as yesterdays coverage of qualifying in High Definition can be described as nothing other than pure "eye candy". While the directing and and overall production were very rough around the edges (very understandable), the pictures successfully capture the speed of these champ cars at the airport circuit. Everyone should applaud both HDNet for the efforts, as well as Speed Channel for their commentary and graphics also Standard Definition interviews). Whether you already receive HD in your home, or plan to in the future, you should e-mail HDNet and Speed Channel to encourage future coverage. While CBS may have reservations about this, hopefully Speed Channel will allow simulcasts of their races. David Jackson, Leesburg Florida

7/13/02

Barber Dodge Pro: Cook takes pole  Davy Cook of Tallahassee, Florida, set a new qualifying record in Saturday's final qualifying session at the Burke Lakefront Airport with a lap of 1:14.032 seconds around the 2.106-mile temporary course to win the pole position for this afternoon's race. Marc Breuers was unable to improve on his times from Friday's session, but will nonetheless start on the front row thanks to his provisional pole-winning effort in Friday's qualifying session. Josh Beaulieu of Langly, B.C.will start third in his Razor Magazine Reynard after having his best-ever Barber Dodge Pro Series qualifying session. Season points championship leader A.J. Allmendinger will take the green flag from the fourth starting position, only the second time this season that he has not started from the first row.  Rhonda Trammel will start 12th and Danica Patrick 14th.

1/16/ Davy Cook/Tallahassee, Fla./01:14.032/102.410
2/94/Marc Breuers/Philadelphia, PA /01:14.615/101.610
3/27/Josh Beaulieu/Langley, B.C., Canada/01:14.311/102.025
4/29/A.J. Allmendinger/Hollister, Calif./01:14.403/101.899
5/21/Julio Campos/Curitiba, Brazil/01:14.539/101.713

7/13/02

Bobby Unser says Al Unser  Jr. should not be dating topless dancers and doing drugs   In this Albuquerque newspaper article, Bobby Unser has this to say about his nephew Al Unser Jr. - "Why doesn't he associate himself with better company and just do better? Why a topless dancer?" Unser asked. "He ought to be in a country club, not a topless joint. "It doesn't fit what the people perceive him to be," Unser continued. "The race fans don't perceive Little Al as being anything of a bad drinker or a drugger. Their perception of him is clean." Unser also confirmed the ESPN.com column, written by long-time racing reporter Robin Miller, that Unser Jr., winner of two Indianapolis 500s, has had problems with alcohol and drugs, including cocaine.  Bobby Unser said his nephew has an alcohol problem and needs to seek help for it. "No, he's never gone to get help. That's been the major gripe all along. We all thought that he should have. There's a lot of tears in the family right now," Unser said. "It's all denial. I have never seen an alcoholic that wasn't in denial, and I don't think you have either. There are a lot of people who are alcoholics that think they are not. They think, `I can quit any time I want.' "And it isn't good in Little Al's business. I know he doesn't think he has a problem. He needs to address it." The ESPN.com column quotes Steve Schweissgut, a friend of unser's who lives in Toronto, as saying Unser Jr. became violent when drinking. "It was always the same pattern," Schweissgut said in the column. "He would drink, do drugs and then be clean on race weekend. He hid it real well, and he could lie through his teeth."

7/13/02

Breuers tops Allmendinger in Barber Dodge quals  UPDATE We have added some Breuers and Allmendinger photos by Bill Kistler below.   7/12/02 - Marc Breuers came one point closer to season championship points leader A.J. Allmendinger by taking the provisional pole in Friday's first qualifying session at Burke Lakefront Airport for Saturday's Barber Dodge Pro Series race. The provisional pole is the second for Breuers this season and guarantees him a front row starting position for Saturday's race irrespective of what happens in Saturday's final qualifying session.  The half-hour qualifying session was run under clear skies with green flag conditions for the majority of the time, with a late-session red flag setting up a late-session dash for the pole spot. Memo Rojas, Davy Cook and Christian Szymczak rounded out the top five with Julio Campos, Rafael Sperafico, Leo Maia, Piero Rodarte, and Josh Beaulieu making up the top ten qualifiers in the first session at the 2.106-mile temporary airport track.  Danica Patrick was 11th and Rhonda Trammel was 15th.


Breuers (Left 2) and Allmendinger (Right 2)

7/13/02

Unser Jr. heavy pot, cocaine and alcohol abuser   UPDATE   According to this AP Article, the man who supplied Unser his drugs said he smoked pot every day.  Even as girlfriend Jena L. Soto downplayed the accusations that led to Unser's arrest Tuesday on misdemeanor charges, former Unser employee Steven Schweissgut accused the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner of drug use, the Albuquerque Journal reported Friday. Schweissgut told the Journal he had used drugs and had provided them to Unser on occasions in 1998 and 1999. Schweissgut said he was going public to get help for Unser. Schweissgut, who now lives in Toronto, said Unser used marijuana and cocaine. "At times, I did supply it to him. He used more pot than coke. He smoked pot every day," Schweissgut said.


IRL driver Al Unser Jr.
IRL Photo

7/11/02 - According to this ESPN article by Robin Miller, the long, sad slide of IRL driver Al Unser Jr. finally became public knowledge last Tuesday morning when he was arrested on preliminary misdemeanor charges of domestic battery and domestic violence resulting from an alleged altercation with his girlfriend after the two left a local strip club. To his family, close friends and people on the inside of the open-wheel community, this wasn't surprising or shocking news. Many of us have been aware of Unser's behavior the past several years. But we've either failed to pursue the stories, been discouraged for lack of cooperation, made excuses or looked the other way. "We're all guilty of being in denial," said Bobby Unser, Junior's uncle and the patriarch of the Unser family, on Tuesday. "Al's had problems for some time now and none of us have done anything about it. "He needs help, but he won't get any." Steve Schweissgut said he saw those problems first hand in 1998 and 1999 when he spent a significant amount of time with Unser as his motorcoach driver. "Al did a lot of pot, cocaine, Jack Daniels and, after he met his latest girlfriend (Jena Soto), he got on cranberry juice and vodka," said Schweissgut, a native of Toronto who befriended Unser in the early '90s. "It was always the same pattern. He would drink, do drugs and then be clean on race weekend. "He hid it real well and he could lie through his teeth." Schweissgut, who now works for General Motors in Toronto, said Unser would be his most violent when he was drinking. "He'd get really mean and nasty on Jack and you just couldn't reason with him." In the spring of 1999, following a track test session at Sebring, Fla., Schweissgut and Unser went to Orlando and checked into the Peabody Hotel. "Al started smoking pot, he called it 'Johnny' and he was mixing it with liquor," recalled Schweissgut. "Then he emptied his mini-bar and my mini-bar and locked me out of his side of the suite and climbed out on the balcony and said he was going to jump. "I called his sister (Mary) and Shelley (Unser), and he was calling Mary and he was out of control. This went on until the wee hours and he was out of control." Bobby Unser said Wednesday night he was aware that his nephew's problems were drugs and alcohol. "Oh yeah, it was no secret," said the three-time Indy winner.  The article goes on to say Unser abused drugs and alcohol while in CART and this led to him being sacked by Team Penske.

7/13/02

Thursday media conference photos Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport. Ford drivers Patrick Carpentier, Mario Dominguez, Michel Jourdain (left to right, standing), and Alex Tagliani,(sitting), in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Photo by: Paul Webb/Autostock.

7/13/02

CART drivers survey Ford GT40 Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport. CART drivers Mario Dominguez, Michel Jourdain, Alex Tagliani, and Patrick Carpentier (l tor) with the Ford GT-40 in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Photo by: Paul Webb/Autostock.

7/13/02

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7/12/02

Andretti meets with Skid Row Team Motorola driver Michael Andretti explains the intricacies of the steering wheel to Rock group Skid Row bassist Rachael Bolin and lead guitar Snake during practice for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland round 9 of the CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) FedEx Championship Series on July 12, 2002 at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio.  Photo courtesy Motorola

7/12/02

Court upholds autopsy photo privacy  This AP article says - A state appeals court ruled Friday that Florida’s law restricting public access to autopsy photos is constitutional, but said the matter could be appealed further to state Supreme Court. The law, which was passed in March 2001 after race car driver Dale Earnhardt was killed earlier that year in the Daytona 500, is being challenged by several Florida news organizations who contend the law is unconstitutional. In its opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach said the unauthorized viewing of autopsy photos is a violation of privacy. "The Florida Constitution gives every citizen the right to inspect and copy public record so that all may have the opportunity to see and know how the government functions,” Judge Thomas D. Sawaya wrote in the opinion. "It is also a declared constitutional principle that every individual has a right of privacy,” he said.

7/12/02

Tentative 2003 20-race CART Schedule - as presented to team owners for consideration

Feb. 23, St. Petersburg, Fla.
March 23, Monterrey, Mexico (why 1 month between first 2 races?)
April 13, Long Beach
May 4, Miami  (Easter break between LB and Miami)
May 18, Chicago (site to be determined)
June 1, Milwaukee
June 15, Laguna Seca
June 22, Portland
July 6, Cleveland
July 13, Toronto
July 27, Vancouver
Aug. 10, Mid-Ohio
Aug. 17, Elkhart Lake
Aug. 31, Denver
Sept. 7, Montreal
Sept. 21, Rockingham (England)  (a Sunday?  What if it rains?)
Sept. 28, EuroSpeedway (or another track if EuroSpeedway stays bankrupt.  Sunday?)
Oct. 12, Mexico City
Oct. 26, Surfers Paradise
Nov. 9, Fontana, Calif.. (after IRL races there in September?  Are they crazy?)

7/12/02

Franchitti to visit Denver with John Elway  Dario Franchitti will visit the new Denver track on Monday July 15th and former Denver Bronco quarterback John Elway will be on hand.  They will both tour the track and meet with the media.

7/12/02

Leitzinger collects another pole   Rookie Butch Leitzinger of Tom Gloy Racing added to his status as the only driver to win multiple pole positions in the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup Friday when he captured his third of the season for Saturday’s Trans-Am on the Tarmac Presented by Microchip at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport (5 p.m. ET, live, CBS). Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama/Tom Gloy Chevrolet Corvette) put together a lap of 103.478 miles per hour (1 minute, 13.268 seconds) on the 2.106-mile temporary circuit to take the premier starting spot for Saturday’s fifth round of the 2002 championship. The pole followed earlier pole-winning efforts at Mosport and Mid-Ohio for Leitzinger, who comes to Cleveland off his first career Trans-Am victory at Mid-Ohio last month. In addition to the Jaguar Pole Award, Leitzinger also collected two championship points for his effort, giving him 89 for the season, fourth in the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship.

7/12/02

Nadeau to drive #10   The Johnny Benson fan club reports Jerry Nadeau will drive the #10 Valvoline Pontiac while Johnny Benson recovers from the three displaced ribs he suffered Saturday night in an accident at Daytona International Speedway. Mike Wallace will drive the Valvoline Pontiac at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend then Nadeau will take over on Monday and Tuesday at a Nascar Winston Cup test in Indianapolis. He will remain the driver until Benson's return. No determination has been made regarding a timetable for Benson's return to racing. Nadeau drove the Valvoline Pontiac at Charlotte and Dover earlier this season while Benson recovered from a broken rib and two cracked ribs he suffered in a BGN race at Richmond on May 3. Benson's Richmond rib injuries are to the right side of his back while Saturday's injuries were on the right side of his chest. None of the Richmond injuries were aggravated Saturday night.

7/12/02

Simpson vs. NASCAR date set   The trial date in safety equipment manufacturer Bill Simpson's civil lawsuit against NASCAR for defamation following the death of Winston Cup driver Dale Earnhardt has been set for Sept. 13, 2003, Simpson attorney Jim Voyles said

7/12/02

Newman Haas adds Discover Card to CART team  Newman/Haas Racing announced today that Discover Card, one of the nation's leading credit card companies, has become an associate sponsor of the No. 6 Havoline Toyota-Lola-Bridgestone entry driven by Cristiano da Matta as well as the No. 11 Lilly Toyota-Lola-Bridgestone driven by Christian Fittipaldi. Da Matta currently leads the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) FedEx Series point standings after five wins in eight races to date. Fittipaldi is ranked fifth in the standings on the strength of four top-four finishes this season. "We are proud to have Discover Card involved with our team as we continue to work toward securing another championship in the CART FedEx Series," said Carl Haas, co-owner with actor/race car driver Paul Newman. "We have some strong sponsors in ChevronTexaco and Eli Lilly & Company and the addition of Discover Card can only strengthen our effort this season." "Newman/Haas Racing is the most successful team competing in the 2002 CART FedEx Championship" added Richard Lalley, vice president of Advertising at Discover Financial Services, Inc. "With our primary sponsorship of Haas Carter Motorsports in the NASCAR Winston Cup series and our associate sponsorship of Newman/Haas Racing, we can reach a broad audience and give our Discover Cardmembers two teams to cheer for." Initially, the Chicago-based credit card company agreed to sponsor the No. 26 Haas Carter Ford driven by Todd Bodine for six races in NASCAR's top series, beginning on June 2 at Dover International Speedway but announced their full season commitment earlier this week. It was the first sponsorship of its kind for Discover Card in any form of motorsports. The program also included commercial buys during the FOX LIVE broadcasts as well as in-car cameras.

7/12/02

Elder injured   NASCAR Busch Series driver Christian Elder suffered a possible concussion and broken collarbone in an accident during Bud Pole Qualifying on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway.

7/12/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $9.03 down $0.11 on volume of 22,700 shares.
$8.38 Bid - $9.51 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $9.02/$9.25
MPH Value Change down 1.2%
DOW Jones down 117
NASDAQ down 0.85
S&P 500 down 5.97
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/12/02

Petty flies into Cleveland to meet Tracy  Kyle Petty flew his private jet into Cleveland's Burke Lakefront airport on Thursday, parked it next to the administration building, walked in, signed autograph's and asked where he could find Paul Tracy......and off he went looking for Paul.  Tracy has already said he will not follow Team Kool Green if they go to the IRL, and he would prefer to do NASCAR.  It look like Paul has begun to cover all his bases.

7/12/02

Kentucky ponders adding seats to lure Winston Cup  Kentucky Speedway chairman Jerry Carroll and his staff haven't abandoned their dream of a Winston Cup race. Carroll said an attendance of 40,000-plus Saturday night for the Kroger 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck series race and a good crowd at Friday night's ARCA stock car race will validate his belief that the track can handle big-time racing at the Sparta, Ky., track. "We know we're going to have a bigger-than-average crowd for a truck race,'' Carroll said, "and NASCAR is aware that we're right up there with the top 15 percent of the crowds for a truck race.  ''More than 30,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday, and Saturday's purse of $720,393 is the largest for a stand-alone NASCAR truck race in the country. The winner will be awarded $72,650. "It would take the entire offseason, roughly late August through April 1, 2003,'' Simindinger said. "I don't have the total cost estimates yet, but we would add 30,000 permanent seats, 15,000 on each side of the present grandstand.'' That would increase the present seating capacity from 66,089 to 96,089.

7/12/02

Nemechek sore but OK  "I'm still pretty sore from the wreck at Daytona, but I'll be ready to go at Chicagoland this Sunday. My neck and back were giving me some trouble earlier in the week, but it's improved quite a bit since Monday." Nemechek was named driver of the No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet on May 15. So far this season he has started 14 of 17 points events, five with Hendrick Motorsports. He qualified 16th and finished 12th at Richmond International Raceway, finished 17th at Darlington Raceway, started 13th at California Speedway, and finished 18th on the road course of Infineon Raceway. He is currently 38th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver standings.

7/12/02

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7/11/02

Ecclestone admits he rakes promoters over the coals  F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told BBC Radio Five Live that there was "no threat" to the future of the British GP race because organizers have a 10 year contract to stage the event. Ecclestone added that Octagon, the company which leases Silverstone and has the 10 year contract to stage the race, will be hard pressed to make any money on the event. "Octagon has paid more than is commercially viable," said Ecclestone, whose company receives $15-million US a year plus interest. And you thought CART sanctioning fees were high?  Bernie pretty much admits he took Octagon for a ride.  Talk about hitting them where it hurts!

7/11/02

Jaguar testing crash  UPDATE Courtney was taken to hospital and found to have suffered a concussion. "James was undertaking some mechanical testing in an old R3 as part of our development for next year's car," said a Jaguar spokesperson. "Pedro (de la Rosa) and Eddie (Irvine) will continue testing with the revised R3B as planned."   7/11/02 - Testing at Monza was stopped for around an hour on Thursday morning after Jaguar test driver James Courtney crashed heavily at the Ascari chicane. The red flags came out at 10.03 local time after Courtney appeared to go straight on at the chicane. The Australian was unhurt in the accident, but the car was damaged after hitting the barriers. A suspension component failure was the suspected cause..

7/11/02

IRL can learn a lot from CART on deciding protests  This AP article explains how CART handles officiating and protests versus the IRL.  Perhaps if the IRL took a page from the CART rulebook, the debacle called the "2002 Indy 500" could have been avoided.  The best quote from the article - "Brian Barnhart made the call," Komai said. "How can you have that guy decide the protest?"

7/11/02

Dismore busy, fast at Michigan test  Mark Dismore turned 160 laps July 10 during the first day of a two-day test with Team Menard at Michigan International Speedway, recording top lap of approximately 220 mph in the No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville/Pittsburgh Paints Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone. Dismore and Team Menard tested in preparation for the inaugural Michigan Indy 400 on July 28 at the 2-mile oval. “Everything went great,” Team Menard General Manager Butch Meyer said. “We were right at 220 mph. We were in testing mode all day, and I’m not saying that 220 is what we’re going to run (during the race). We do have a lot of work to do.” Team Menard will be satisfied with a lap of 223 or 224 mph before the end of the test, Meyer said. “I think that’s what we need to run here to be competitive,” Meyer said. Dismore competed at MIS in True Value International Race of Champions events in 2000 and 2001 and a Super Vee race in 1983. “The track is nice, the surface is smooth, and there are several lines of racing,” Dismore said. “It (the racing) won’t be any different with us. It is a tough place, and it’s a tough place to get the car right. We still don’t have it right, but we’ll keep working on it.” Despite his experience at MIS, Dismore thinks little of it will translate to his Indy Racing car. The Super Vee race was too long ago, and IROC stock cars and IRL cars have few similarities. “They’re just so different, like night and day,” Dismore said. “Perhaps the only similarity is the lines here that you can run, but the stock cars don’t teach you anything about the IRL cars and vice versa.”

7/11/02

Schumacher wins ESPY award Reigning Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher won the ESPY award for Best Driver of 2001 during The ESPY Awards on July 10 in Los Angeles.

7/11/02

IMS milking Winston Cup teams?  The Winston Cup Scene reports - Indianapolis, site of one of NASCAR’s premier events, is the only track on the Winston Cup circuit charging individual teams for test sessions. This year, each team pays $2,500 for the two-day test session. For a five-car operation like Roush Racing, that tally runs to $12,500. Most tracks charge a flat fee for a test date, allowing teams to unite and split the cost. Owners say no other facility charges for a open test session. “That’s a huge rip-off,” two-car owner Bill Davis said. “I think those guys make plenty of money as track operators running their races. I don’t think they need to expect us to show them a profit for a test session.” Teams can’t just skip the Indy test and go to a different track to use that date and most can’t afford to skip the prep session for one of the higher-paying events, such as the Brickyard 400

7/11/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $9.14 down $0.07 on volume of 12,900 shares.
$8.39 Bid - $9.46 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $9.08/$9.46
MPH Value Change down 0.76%
DOW Jones down 11.97
NASDAQ up 28.46
S&P 500 up 6.91
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/11/02

Paul Newman to join David Letterman tonight  A pair of the highest-profile team co-owners in the CART FedEx Championship Series will get together for a late-night chat Thursday evening as Paul Newman will do a guest appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Co-owner of the hottest team in the CART series right now, Newman will be on the popular CBS talk show with Team Rahal co-owner Letterman to discuss Newman's upcoming movie The Road To Perdition, but with the Newman/Haas team having won four consecutive CART events and both Newman and Letterman having ownership of teams in the series, talk is expected to shift to the exploits of Newman/Haas driver Cristiano da Matta (#6 Havoline Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone), who has won the last four races. Newman has been a co-owner with Carl Haas in the series since 1983 and has had a hand in three CART championships (Mario Andretti 1984, Michael Andretti 1991, Nigel Mansell 1994). Letterman was born and raised in Indiana and followed the Champ Car series closely for many years before buying a share of Team Rahal in 1996.

7/11/02

Patrick ready for airport circuit  Danica Patrick had never raced on a street circuit in an open-wheel machine before last Sunday. But the petite female driver from Roscoe, Ill., wasn’t intimidated by the concrete walls, slippery track conditions and tough competition in her first Barber Dodge Pro Series event at the Molson Indy Toronto. It was Patrick’s first open-wheel action since June in 2001 when she competed in England in the Formula Ford division. Patrick, 20, drove her No. 89 Team Rahal/Rahal Automotive Group formula car from the 15th starting position to seventh in her North American pro racing debut at Exhibition Place near downtown Toronto. The 5-foot-1, 100-pound Patrick will be back in competition this Saturday (July 13) on the rough tarmac of the Burke Lakefront Airport for her second Barber Dodge Pro Series race. Patrick signed an exclusive contract last month with Team Rahal to develop her race craft through the CART Ladder System. “The conditions at Toronto were so much different than when I tested in Sebring (Fla.),” said Patrick, the former three-time national karting champion. “The car didn’t feel the same for me and we had to make a lot of changes. I think I’ll have a better understanding of the Barber Dodge Pro Series entering the Cleveland race. I was learning a lot at Toronto – the cars, the tires, the track and racing against the drivers. I wanted to be realistic in my first race and seventh is a good finish in my initial race.” Patrick, who placed second in 2000 Formula Ford Festival in England, came into the Barber Dodge Pro Series a month earlier than she had planned (in August at Mid- Ohio). But her impressive testing session at Sebring, Fla., convinced the Barber officials to move up her series debut to Toronto. “The Toronto race was a great experience for me,” said Patrick. “I’m really anxious to move on to Cleveland now. That track is a completely different layout than Toronto with a wide track and long runoff areas. That track should make for a wild race.” Bobby Rahal, Patrick’s new boss and the three-time CART champion, was pleased with Patrick’s first outing in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. “I think Danica did a very good job in her first race,” said Rahal, the first Cleveland Grand Prix winner in 1982. “She had to learn so many things. We want her to experience all of the elements of racing an open-wheel and that track in Toronto was a tough one. That was her first real race in over a year and she was able to improve throughout. She will be quicker as she gains more track time in these cars.” “We were impressed with Danica’s first race with us,” said Jeremy Dale, managing director for the Barber Dodge Pro Series. “Many of her competitors have been in these cars since the start of the series and they have a good platform to work with their cars. Danica is still learning. So her seventh place is very good.” Patrick is now scheduled to compete in five Barber Dodge Pro Series races this season before moving the Toyota Atlantic Championship for Team Rahal in 2003. Team Rahal

7/11/02

Stewart to drive truck race  A friendship born at a state fairgrounds in Illinois will come to successful fruition in Virginia in September. Tony Stewart will drive the Andy Petree-owned entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Richmond, Va., Thursday, September 5. Petree's Chevrolet was one of the top teams in its sole other start this season, April's Martinsville, Va., event. That was with Petree himself behind the wheel. "We really wanted to see what this truck could do, and having a driver like Tony behind the wheel is sure going to tell us a lot," Petree said. "Don't think for a second I'm down on our Martinsville driver," he laughed. "Who knows? That guy might end up in a second truck at Richmond." The agreement is for the Richmond race only, and the Truck is currently unsponsored. Petree's debut as a Truck Series driver was stellar. The highest-qualifying Chevrolet when he took the third starting spot at Martinsville, Petree ran among the leaders throughout the race until a mechanical problem ended his day right at the end of the race. "I love driving. It's a lot of fun," Petree said, "and it can help with what we do with our Winston Cup cars. With the input we get from Tony, we feel we can go out and win the Truck Series race at Richmond." Petree and Stewart spent time talking a year ago during an ARCA race in DuQuoin, Ill. Both were racing in that event, which saw Petree among the top qualifiers in his series debut as a driver. They began talking at that event, and spent more time together on the Winston Cup Series where Petree is the top hands-on owner in the sport and Stewart is one of the top drivers. The two have been talking about teaming together in the Truck Series for a race or two. This particular situation is for the Richmond event only.

7/11/02

GM drivers talk about Indy test  The second day of Winston Cup testing on The 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway was held in hot and hazy conditions. Twenty-seven car/driver combinations tested today, including 17 drivers. Most teams tested two cars each.  A number of GM Racing engineers were on hand to assist the GM teams, ranging in expertise from chassis, aerodynamics, shocks, computer simulation and strategy.  More...

7/11/02

Evernham names Johns  Evernham Motorsports today named Sammy Johns to the position of Test Team and Research and Development Coordinator for the organization's Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/Ts. Johns, previously the crew chief for Jeremy Mayfield in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T, will oversee the organization's ongoing commitment to delivering excellence on the track by preparing for the future. He will focus on the day-to-day management of Evernham Motorsports test teams and race track activities as well as research and development project coordination including chassis, aerodynamics, suspension, engine and future driver development programs.

7/11/02

CART to add onboard starters  CART is looking to add starters to their cars so that when a car spins out and it undamaged, the driver can get going without assistance, and perhaps without a caution.  Don't look for this before 2005 when CART goes to a V-10 F1-like gasoline engine.  The compression ratio is so high on Methanol engines, an onboard starter would struggle.

7/11/02

Unser Jr. may not be prosecuted  According to this Indy Star article, Al Unser Jr. might not face domestic battery and violence charges because the woman that accused him of hitting her in the face -- his girlfriend of four years -- has stopped cooperating with authorities. Jena L. Soto told Marion County Sheriff's detectives Tuesday evening she did not want to press charges against the former racing champion.  "Not only does she not want to pursue this, she'd be upset if we did," department spokesman Col. Scott Minier said Wednesday.  It appears now that both sides have recovered from the drunken stupor, it'll just be another lovers quarrel......until next time.

7/10/02

NASCAR drivers comment on safety meeting  Following Tuesday's initial day of testing for the Brickyard 400, NASCAR held a safety meeting update for drivers, crew chiefs and team owners. Ford Racing spoke to some of its drivers about the meeting and their feelings on the SAFER barrier that is currently in place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  More...

7/10/02

BAM Crew Chief resigns  BAM Racing announced today that Teddy Brown has resigned as Crew Chief for the team. Brown said, "I have enjoyed working with the BAM organization but I wanted to explore some other options." Team General Manager, Eddie Jones, stated, "We wish Teddy the best of luck in the future, he worked hard and guided the team effectively. The team will compete this weekend in the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway with veteran Winston Cup driver, Ron Hornaday Jr.

7/10/02

Fogarty and Valiante latest CART mentor program participants  Championship Auto Racing Teams announced today that CART Mentor Program participants Jon Fogarty and Michael Valiante will be partnered with Newman/Haas Racing and Player's Forsythe Racing, respectively. Both Toyota Atlantic drivers will be guests of the Champ Car teams during the upcoming race weekend at Vancouver. Fogarty and Valiante will participate in debriefings, team meetings, plus press and sponsor events, when applicable. They will be in pit lane with headsets during all practice and qualifying sessions and the race. Fogarty was chosen as a participant due to being the Toyota Atlantic point leader following Round 6 at the CART Grand Prix of Chicago. Fogarty will be with Newman/Haas and its drivers Cristiano Da Matta and Christian Fittipaldi. Valiante, a resident of nearby Burnaby, British Columbia, was chosen as an at-large selection by a distinguished motorsports panel. During his time with Player's Forsythe Racing, Valiante will be with fellow Canadians Alex Tagliani and Patrick Carpentier. Fogarty and Valiante chose their Champ Car teams from a list that also included

7/10/02

NASCAR catches and fines more cheaters  NASCAR today announced several fines levied against seven Winston Cup crew chiefs for infractions discovered during this past weekend's races at Daytona. Chad Knaus, crew chief of the #48 Chevy, was fined $25,000 and his team was also penalized 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship driver points as well as 25 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship owner points. Knaus' NASCAR Winston Cup team was penalized under Section 12-4-A of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "Actions detrimental to stock car racing: offset mounting bolts for the front of the truck trailing arms." NASCAR also issued fines to Scott Eggleston, crew chief of the #33 Chevy and Jimmy Elledge, crew chief of the #55 Chevy were fined $500 and penalized in accordance to Section 20-2-E: "Underpans will not be permitted"; Newt Moore, crew chief of the #36 Pontiac, James Ince, crew chief of the #10 Pontiac and Lee McCall, crew chief of the #40 Dodge all received $500 fines and penalized under Sections 12-4-Q and 20-12-1A: "Any determination by NASCAR officials that parts and/or equipment used in the event do not conform to NASCAR rules; Section 20-12.1A (3); Unapproved jacking bolts." Chris Carrier, crew chief of the #4 Chevy, was also fined an $500 and penalized under Sections 12-4-Q and 20-10-6J: "Any determination by NASCAR officials that parts and/or equipment used in the event do not conform to NASCAR rules; Section 20-10.6.J: Magnetic rear axle heating pads."

7/10/02

Mexico City adds 3 more grandstands  Ticket sales are going really well in Mexico, for the opening round of the 2002 FedEx CART series in the exclusive pre sale offered for Banamex-Visa cardholders. Since the 3-day tickets are selling at a faster than expected pace, three more grandstands have been added to the sale. The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez now has 27 grandstands offering seats. The new stands are #21, #22 and 23 in the Esses, all of them in the external side of the track. Rubén Saldívar, general director of GRAND -joint venture of CIE and Forsythe Racing which organizes the Grand Prix- said that "the fans' answer to the sale has been most favorable and we expect this race to be the largest in CART's history".  The question now becomes, if all 27 grandstands sell out quickly, will they add even more?  Over 400,000 people are expected for the 3-day weekend.  If they add even more grandstands, they should top 500,000.

7/10/02

Denver GP adds two more sponsors  Where's the AP article now? Grand Prix of Denver Vice President and General Manager John Frew announced today that AT&T Broadband and Six Flags Elitch Gardens have signed on as sponsors of the Labor Day weekend auto race. "The addition of AT&T Broadband and Six Flags Elitch Gardens provides added momentum toward our goal of providing a world class event. We are pleased with the addition of these two solid, respected members of the Colorado corporate community," says Frew. Mary White, Senior Vice President of AT&T Broadband, states, "AT&T Broadband is proud to be a part of the Grand Prix and to join John Frew and his team in providing Denver with a world class event this summer. Our Colorado and Wyoming markets and the Grand Prix are working together to develop marketing and promotional opportunities which will help bring visitors to Denver." AT&T Broadband, a business unit of AT&T, is the nation's largest broadband services company, providing television entertainment services to more than 14 million customers across the nation. The company also provides advanced services, such as digital cable, high-speed cable Internet services and competitive local phone service.

7/10/02
Industry News

Honda to build export only plant in China  It's become weekly, in some case daily, that we hear news of companies expanding their business in China.  Honda Motor today confirmed a plan to build China's first export-only car factory. The Japanese car-maker's president, Hiroyuki Yoshino, and other senior company executives told a press conference in Tokyo they hoped production at the facility, to be based in Guangzhou, would begin in 2004. The new plant would have initial annual production capacity of 300,000 units, according to a recent report by Guangzhou-based Nanfang Daily. Honda is in talks with the municipal government's Guangzhou Auto Group and Dongfeng Motor. Guangzhou Auto is Honda's 50-50 partner at its existing Guangzhou Honda joint venture, which makes premium Accord cars for the domestic market. Other Japanese car-makers including Toyota and Nissan have been stepping up plans to expand their presence in mainland China. Forward looking F1 will be racing there as early as 2004, while CART is procrastinating because its sponsors are not demanding they be there. What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Does CART go there, which in turn will draw 'new' sponsors, or does CART wait for its 'existing' sponsors to tell them when they are ready?

7/10/02

Montoya set to stay with Williams  BMW-Williams are set to announce that they have signed Juan Pablo Montoya to a new deal, which will keep him with the team through 2004. A published report in The Guardian claims Montoya will be paid $6.9-million US a season under the new deal. Montoya's new deal puts him in line with teammate Ralf Schumacher, who is also contracted to BMW-Williams through 2004. Montoya's new deal is also set to coincide with Michael Schumacher's contract coming to an end at Ferrari. The Colombian has been mentioned as a possible replacement for the German, should he leave Ferrari after 2004.

7/10/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $9.21 - $0.10 on volume of 13,900 shares.
$8.50 Bid - $9.53 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $9.17/$9.42
MPH Value Change - 1.07%
52 week High = $17.83
52 week Low = $ 8.00
DOW Jones Down 284.25
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/10/02

Go-Karts fast at Road America  Dear Autoracing1, I am a huge fan of your website and also a diehard CART supporter. I am also very involved with karting which is part of what I am writing about. About a week or so ago, you posted an article about how the ALMS cars at Road America where almost as fast as CART, and after they put less horsepower in them for next year, they will likely be faster. I just thought that I'd point something out that doesn't have much significance, but might be of interest. Each year, the kart club I belong to hosts a karting event at Road America. This year, the fastest time set by any kart was a 2:20 lap with an unlimited twin engined kart! That would've been fast enough to qualify second to last in the CART field. [Editors Note: this is not correct, the slowest CART time was 1:44 min in the dry.  Qualifying was on a wet track, which made the times slow.  The CART record is 1:39 min. - significantly faster than ALMS and the karts] Granted qualifying times were slow last year at Road America, but that time would also have been a low time in the ALMS field. And here's another interesting tidbit....that twin engined class is not the fastest to ever race at the karting event. Another class that runs Rotax engines can reach top speeds of over 170 and it is rumored that one year that class was lapping faster than some CART cars at Road America. Just think of it...170MPH with your ass an inch off the ground, no suspension and lap times rivaling the "fastest racing on earth" !!!! Chris Cantagallo

7/10/02

Roush drivers rate FOX TV coverage  Roush Racing drivers took the opportunity to express their thoughts on the first half of the season coverage.
Kurt Busch, No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus: "I must say that the first half of the season with DW, Jeff Hammond and Chris Meyers has been great. I have enjoyed chatting with them in the booth on a couple of occasions throughout the season; they can be quite funny, while very knowledgeable at the same time. Have a great couple of months guys, and we'll see you soon! To NBC, welcome aboard!"
Jeff Burton, No. 99 CITGO Taurus: "Once again it was great working with all the people at FOX and FX. They did an excellent job covering the races and covering all the rain delays. We look forward to seeing them back next year and we are looking forward to working with NBC during the second half of the 2002 season."
Matt Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Taurus: "The folks with FOX and FX are great to work with. They are able to bring the excitement of our sport into the homes of millions of fans week after week. It's not an easy task, but they manage to pull it off. The NBC/TNT coverage is great as well, and I look forward to seeing those guys at the track the remainder of the season."
Mark Martin, No. 6 Viagra Taurus: "FOX does a good job with their coverage, as does NBC. It's interesting to see the different styles that two separate networks use to cover our sport. I enjoyed FOX's coverage during the first half of the year, and I'm looking forward to see the type of coverage that NBC plans to provide during the second half."

7/10/02

A tremendous opportunity for American drivers  In the world racing community, Red Bull Energy Drink¹s recent announcement of its American Formula 1 Driver Search initiative is generating significant interest. The likelihood of an American presence in the cockpit of an F1 car in the near term has clearly struck a positive chord among both fans and those in the sport. That interest is reflected in the following story written by 20-year newspaper veteran Gerhard Kuntschik, a sports writer, reporter and columnist who covers auto racing, the NBA and the NHL for the "Salzburger Nachrichten," a national Austrian newspaper.  Story

7/10/02

Look for Silverstone to remain on F1 calendar  In spite of Bernie Ecclestone's recent criticism, and the sudden departure of Silverstone boss Rob Bain, look for the British GP to stay at Silverstone.  Formula One can expect two or three new races in 2004 but Britain's slot on the calendar looks safe providing the grand prix is properly run, says FIA president Max Mosley. "It's for Bernie (Ecclestone) to make the proposal but I think it's highly probable that there will be at least two new races in 2004," the head of the International Automobile Federation said at the weekend. China is likely to be one, with an official in Shanghai saying on Monday that an agreement had been reached to stage a race in that city from 2004 to 2010. The calendar is set to remain at 17 races and some European grands prix face the axe but Mosley said Silverstone should not be at risk. "I think the British Grand Prix is very much one of the traditional races and provided it is properly run and properly sited, then there's no realistic chance that it will be lost," he said before Sunday's race.

7/10/02

Cleveland race live on CBS A change in the event schedule has made it possible for CBS Sports to broadcast live coverage of Round 5 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, the Trans-Am on the Tarmac Presented by Microchip, this Saturday, July 13, at Burke Lakefront Airport in downtown Cleveland. Starting time for the Trans-Am on the Tarmac Presented by Microchip has been moved from 3 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. ET, bringing the green flag closer to the CBS Sports broadcast window of 5 to 6 p.m. ET. CBS will sign on at 5 p.m. with taped coverage of the race’s start, then will join the race live through its conclusion just prior to 6 p.m. ET. “We are pleased that this change in the race weekend schedule will allow us to provide live coverage of the Trans-Am Series event in Cleveland,” says Rob Correa, Senior Vice President of Programming for CBS Sports. “We launched our 2002 Trans-Am coverage with a thrilling race from Mid-Ohio last month, and we’re happy to have to opportunity to follow that with live coverage of the always unpredictable race from the runways of Burke Lakefront Airport.”

7/10/02

Microchip Technology named sponsor  Microchip Technology Inc. today announced it has been named the presenting sponsor of the Trans-Am on the Tarmac race by the Trans-Am Series, headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. The Trans-Am on the Tarmac Presented by Microchip Technology, Round 5 of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, is scheduled for Saturday, July 13 at Burke Lakefront Airport, Cleveland, Ohio. CBS Sports will provide live coverage of the race to affiliate stations, beginning at 5 p.m. ET. Microchip Technology is a leading semiconductor manufacturer, supplying components which provide electronics intelligence in products used by consumers every day, such as garage door openers, electronic thermostats, automotive remote-keyless-entry system, battery-powered electronics and smart appliances. In many cases, the user simply does not know that a semiconductor provides the “smart” control of the product.

7/10/02

Eurospeedway future still in doubt   UPDATE In verifying this story with our EuroSpeedway sources today, we discovered the following - It is completely up to the buyer what kind of races and what kind of motorsports business they want to realize in the future at EuroSpeedway. They are not bound by the liquidators business plan. The county of Brandenburgs only interest is to find an investor for the facility who has a high affinity to the business and who believes in the potential and the future of this world-class facility. This was not the case with the former shareholder structure. There will be no obligations to any buyer that a buyer could not accept. The annually operating costs to run the speedway are much much lower than the $10 million in our original report. Of course when you add in the race sanctioning fees the new buyer has to pay (in CART's case rather high), the annual costs exceed $10 million. Ticket sales, signage, etc hopefully offset those costs and more. As for forming a new company, what they are working on right now is a) on the structuring of the sales procedure with the support of a merger & acquisitions company and b) on the forming of a new preliminary operating company which will be able to prepare next years season and which could operate the facility in case the EuroSpeedway folks do not agree on the sale of the facility with an investor/buyer in time. In time means before the start of next years season (April/May 2003).   7/9/02 - AR1's European sources filed this report after a news conference held last week - Any investor who wants to buy Eurospeedway in Germany can make an offer. Right now, the speedway is in receivership (kind of Chapter 11). The insolvency protects Eurospeedway from paying any bills written before July. Any expenses coming up till September 1st must be approved by the liquidator, who also can cancel any contract (long-term or not) without risking to pay damages. During that time which was determined by a judge (between now and September 1st) the liquidator checks the books and contracts, calculates the debts and valuable assets. A sale of the speedway therefore is not likely before September 1. The buyer has to accept several conditions, two of which might actually keep buyers/investors away.  #1 and the most important: The buyer must run the speedway for at least 14 more years or else he has to repay 132 Million Dollars to the government of Brandenburg (that's the taxpayers money used to subsidize the construction of Eurospeedway). #2: The buyer also has to accept the future business plan which calls for about a dozen racing weekends a year plus other usage (testing, promotions etc), which means no cutting down on races someone does not like. The costs to run the speedway are projected at around 10 Million Dollars annually. Completely shutting the speedway down is no option for the liquidator. And he also realizes that it might be difficult to find a sole buyer with these strings attached. According to his words at the press conference, he aims to form a new company which consists of several investors and/or other companies that have an interest in the speedway to save Eurospeedway and keep it in business. After all the project was build in the Lausitz region of former East Germany because of the high unemployment rate. Under the communist regime almost everybody there was employed hauling brown coal.

7/10/02

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7/10/02

Atlantics: DSTP picks up a sponsor  Dede Rogers, owner of DSTP Motorsports, today announced that Dick Leppla's Crane and Shovel Sales and NorthCoast Engines will join the 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship-winning team as an associate partner for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland this weekend. DSTP will campaign this Sunday's CART Toyota Atlantic event with winning driver Buddy Rice. Leppla, Crane and Shovel Sales, and NorthCoast Engines enjoy a long-standing tradition in motorsports and the Cleveland Grand Prix. Leppla, himself an accomplished amateur and historic racer, owned the Truesports March Indy car that Bobby Rahal drove to victory in 1982's Cleveland 500. He also partnered with the Tasman Motorsports Indy Lights team that took Bryan Herta, Steve Robertson and Eddie Lawson to victory. "It's a pleasure to have someone so involved and passionate about racing as Dick Leppla join us for our hometown race," said Rogers, whose DSTP team won the Cleveland Atlantic race in 2000 and finished second last year. "He enjoys such a significant history in motorsports as well as the Cleveland business community and we hope to continue our front-running form with Dick by our side this weekend." "Dede has a very engaging and genuine personality," said Leppla. "She is a true racer and it reflects in her team's commitment to excellence and winning. We're looking forward to continuing with that tradition with a victory this weekend in Cleveland."

7/10/02

Toronto to add concert  CART's Toronto race weekend is spectacular, and about to get even better according to a Toronto Star report.  Next year the promoter, Molstar, plans to add a big concert on Saturday night.  "I'm looking at a big concert for Saturday night.  Ideally, if we could set something up at the (Exhibition Place) Bandshell, it would be great," stated Bob Singleton at his annual day-after-the-race meeting with his staff.

7/9/02

Rhonda Trammel writes  I would like to thank Gerry Forsythe, Klein Tools, Marble Slab Creamery, Menard's and MotorsportsMd.com, it is with their support that I have been able to compete in last three races of the Barber Dodge Pro Series. A special thanks to Cathy Lyon and the CART Pace Car Team for their patience and support in my absence while I pursue my racing. This year has been nonstop with respect to my time in developing a racing program for this year in the Barber Dodge Pro Series as well as developing a program for the 2003 in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Thus far, I have literally been piecing each race together one at a time," it's kind of like not knowing where your next meal is coming from, but I have to keep pushing and not slow down. During the off season, I had one day of testing in the BDPS car at Sebring. I did one Skip Barber Regional Race and then was fortunate to secure sponsorship for Laguna Seca where I qualified 11th and finished 11th. The next round was at Portland Int'l Raceway where I qualified 12th and finished 14th. In Portland, I chose the wrong lane of traffic through the first two turns "my lane stopped in front of me as the other ones went streaming by. Oh well, I guess that's the way it goes sometimes."  I did take comfort in knowing that I avoided some incidents that could have cost me the race in total, so I'm happy that I finished. The third round brought me back to Toronto for the Molson Indy. I love this track! I qualified 12th, I struggled with braking problems for every session, until we finally sorted things out for the morning warm-up. I had reasonable set ups, but not quite perfect, but that's up to me to try and figure out. For the morning warm up, the car went from understeer in previous sessions to oversteer for the first time in the weekend. I made some adjustments to the setup for the race to take away some of the oversteer, but as our race went on, the adjustments that I made weren't quite enough. This condition left me with a smaller margin for error and this caught me out. I turned the 5th quickest lap during the race, but finished 10th due to my errors during the race. This is actually my best finish in the series so I should be pleased with this, but I know I should have done better. Next stop for me is Cleveland, July 12-14. I'm looking forward to another top ten finish," better yet a win! Look for the Barber Dodge Pro Series races to be televised on the Speed Channel. Laguna Seca, Saturday, 7/20/02 @ 3:00-4:00 PM, and Portland, Saturday, 7/27/02 @ 3:00-400 PM. Toronto TBA. See you at the races! Rhonda Trammell #26

7/9/02

Panoz and Pirelli sign deal  Pirelli Tire North America and Panoz Motor Sports Group today announced a far-reaching, four-year sponsorship that will make Pirelli the Official Tire of Road Atlanta, Sebring International Raceway and the Panoz Racing School, as well as an Official Sponsor of Mosport Raceway. In addition, Pirelli will be the Official Tire of the Panoz GT and Panoz GT Pro Series and the Audi Driving Experience. The agreement is effective immediately and runs through the 2005 season. The Sebring sponsorship begins in 2003.

7/9/02

BACE and Little part ways  BACE Motorsports has announced they and driver Chad Little have agreed to part ways following the 2002 season. Little will remain under contract with the team until the end of the season.  "Chad has done an excellent job representing BACE Motorsports over the past two seasons," team owner Bill Baumgardner said. "As a team, we have been unable to find the right chemistry and consistency on track that it takes to be consistently successful." Little began the season in the #74 BACE Motorsports Chevy in the NASCAR Busch Series, but the team ran only three races before deciding to move up to Winston Cup. Little qualified for only one Winston Cup race this season last month at Dover.  The team still plans to enter several more races this season, including this weekend's event at Chicago. Tony Raines, who made his first Winston Cup start at Dover for BACE Motorsports, will pull double-duty for the team this weekend, driving the #33 car in the Busch Series race and the #74 in the Winston Cup event.

7/9/02

Haas Carter signs Discover Card  Haas-Carter Motorsports announced today that Discover card has signed on as primary sponsor of the #26 Ford for the reminder of the 2002 season. Todd Bodine will continue on as the driver ."It takes the pressure off," Bodine said. "It's been a struggle for Carl and Travis since January -- not knowing where they were going, so it's more of a relief for them than anything. "Haas-Carter Motorsports has been without a full time sponsor for their two-car operation since their primary sponsor, K-Mart, pulled their sponsorship after declaring bankruptcy earlier this year. The team closed the doors on their #66 team, but continued the #26 with a series of one-time sponsorships. The agreement with Discover Card was originally only a six-race deal, which began in June at Dover with the hopes of extending the deal. "Discover Card's sponsorship is giving our team the opportunity to focus on racing at a competitive level," team co-owner Carl Haas said. "In just five events, our performances have steadily improved. With a strong seventh place showing at Daytona, this program is back on track." Discover Card will also become the title sponsor of NBC's pre-race show beginning this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

7/9/02

VW boss knows best  The head of Volkswagen says it's unlikely the car company will get involved in Formula One racing anytime soon because there is just too much risk involved. Bernd Pischetsrieder told Autocar magazine that the payoff for Grand Prix racing only comes from winning. "The six or seven manufacturers now involved in F1 each spend about $248-million US a year," said Pischetsrieder. "This pays off only when you're winning. There is no such thing as a lucky loser, because the image loss for sustained failure is serious." Pischetsrieder predicts one or two of the current manufacturers involved will not be in F1 in five years.  This statement pretty much echo's what AR1 has been saying for a long time.  With little chance of winning in F1, Jaguar, Renault, Honda, etc. are spending huge amounts of money to make Ferrari and BMW look good, which of course must not sit too well with the bean counters and the marketing honchos.

7/9/02

Bravo to Mario Andretti, Michael who?  Dear Autoracing1.com, I would like to take this opportunity to tip my hat to Mario Andretti for standing by his principals and sticking with the racing series he knows in his heart is best, CART.  Mario Andretti has been very outspoken against the IRL and how it has ruined Indy Car racing, and I agree 100%.  This man is the greatest race driver this country has ever known, and to see that he is a man willing to stick up for what he believes in, by becoming a team owner in CART, just reinforces this man's place in history as a true American hero, and a role model I'm proud to tell my sons about.  As for Roger Penske, Honda and Toyota, all of whom turned their backs on CART, I don't care to have anything to do with them again.  And for Mario's son Michael, and his rumored move to the IRL, all I can say is that CART is where you started your career, and CART is what made you what you are.  You were once a great driver, but given your recent performance on the track, I think it's time you did move to the Indy Retirement League, where the level of competition is not as tough as in CART.  I'm ashamed to say I once considered myself a fan of yours.  If you go to the IRL now when CART needs you most, just to grab the money Honda might be throwing at you (like you really need it), you will forever be just another driver who let greed stand before what's right.  Your father will forever be an American icon, a hero, a man who stood up for what he believed in.  Those concrete walls on the IRL ovals break many bones.  I'm surprised you would risk your life in the twilight of what was arguably a great career, just for a money grab.  Shame on you. You could learn a thing or two from your father. Jason White, Portland, Oregon

7/9/02

Al Unser Jr. arrest record   This link will take you to the 4-page arrest record of Al Unser Jr. where you can read for yourself all the details of the report filed by the police Department of the City of Indianapolis, Indiana.  In this Indy Star article, uncle Bobby Unser says, Bobby Unser feared the arrest will hurt his nephew's career. "I don't know how long Tony (George, the IRL and IMS president) will allow for this kind of behavior," he said. "This is a reflection on Tony himself, and it doesn't take a media press kit to tell you that Al's money comes from Tony."  This is the first time a family member has admitted that Tony George is paying Al Unser Jr's salary, though everyone suspected it all along.  One has to wonder if Tony will move the money he's paying Unser, to pay Michael Andretti, also well past his prime, to move to the IRL.

7/9/02

Mario Andretti might become CART owner  According to this AP article, Mario Andretti is considering becoming a car owner in the CART series. The former Formula One and CART champion told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he has begun discussions with Newman-Haas Racing, the team for which he drove for 11 years before retiring from open-wheel racing following the 1994 season. "We think it would serve CART best if we would add another car, rather than me just joining the team," Andretti said. "We would run three cars." Newman-Haas currently fields entries for series points leader Cristiano da Matta and Christian Fittipaldi. The 62-year-old Andretti said the idea of becoming involved in team ownership has been on his mind for a long time. "I never said my goal was to become a car owner, but I always kept the option open," he said. "I have so many other things going on that I'm involved in and enjoy, but I think the timing on this is right." Andretti said the idea to add a third car to the established team arose during a conversation with team co-owner Carl Haas last weekend at the CART race in Toronto. "It just came up," Andretti said. "I didn't go in there thinking about this, but now I'm excited about the possibility. "First, we talked about me just getting involved with the team ownership, but we decided what would serve CART best would be if we would add another car that I would be responsible for." Andretti said co-owner Paul Newman was not involved in the initial discussion but enthusiastically supported the idea when told about it. "Paul and Carl and I have been friends for a long time, and I don't see any problem with this," Andretti said. "I'm excited to see what can come out of it and where it goes. "I'd like to put something together and I feel there's some real opportunities out there."

7/9/02

Drunk Unser Jr. arrested on Battery Charges   UPDATE  Tom Kelley, owner of Indianapolis based Kelley Racing, has issued the following statement regarding the pending investigation of the July 9, 2002 arrest of Al Unser, Jr. in Marion County, Indiana. “Al has the unqualified support of everyone at Kelley Racing and our sponsors. Since joining Kelley Racing, Al has been a phenomenal employee and a true asset to our organization. He is a leader and works continuously to motivate everyone involved with our race teams. We are here to support him in any way we can. Everyone at Kelley Racing is not only his teammate, but his friend and extended family as well. We have received countless messages from other members of the racing fraternity stating their support for Al and sending their best wishes. We are looking forward to Al competing at the upcoming Nashville event and the remainder of the 2002 season. He is focused on his racing and the job he has to do for Kelley Racing and their sponsors. The matter is currently under investigation by the Marion County Prosecutor’s office. No charges have been filed at this time. Al has retained James H. Voyles to represent him regarding this personal matter.” At the advise of counsel, Al Unser, Jr., does not have a comment at this time. 7/9/02 - According to this Indy Star article, the IRL's biggest star, Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. was arrested on charges of domestic battery early this morning. Marion County Sheriff's Department deputies responded to a call of a woman stranded alongside I-465 near I-70 on the Southwestside at 3:34 am. They found Jena L. Soto, 39, standing near the guardrail on the northbound side of the highway. She told the deputies she and her boyfriend of four years, Unser, had been at the Classy Chassy, a nightclub in the 4000 block of South Harding Street, and that Unser had been drinking and was "very intoxicated," according to the report by Deputies Timothy Dowdy and Russell Rourke. While she was driving him to their motor home, which was parked on the infield of the Speedway, he began shifting the car into reverse and neutral. Soto said he would not stop, so she slapped him with the back of her hand. That's when she said Unser allegedly struck her. She pulled to side of I-465 just north of Kentucky Avenue and got out. Unser, 40, drove on to the motor home, where sheriff's deputies and Speedway police officer Todd Peirce later found him. Unser said did not have an argument with his girlfriend earlier in the evening, and said he did not know Soto, according to police. Dowdy then walked Unser through the events of the night -- as they were reported by a 911 call and Soto's statements. "She hit me first," Unser told Dowdy. The officers confirmed that Soto was staying with Unser because several of her belongings were in the exact position she had told them they would be, as well as several photos showing Unser and Soto together. Dowdy took photographs of Soto's face and saw a "slight bruise to her right eye," according to the report. Unser was arrested him on preliminary charges of domestic battery. Unser remained in the lockup at the City-County Building this morning, in lieu of $30,000 bond. He is scheduled for a court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

7/9/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $9.31, - $0.11 on volume of 30,500 shares.
$8.65 Bid - $9.63 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $9.26/$9.50
MPH Value Change - 1.17%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/9/02

Marlin in line for Winston Cup leader bonus  Challengers have come and gone in recent weeks, but with half the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season in the book, Sterling Marlin remains the Series' points leader. His 77-point lead installs him as the favorite to take home an extra $130,000 this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Marlin has been the NASCAR Winston Cup points leader following each of the last 16 series events. Entering this weekend's Tropicana 400, he leads second-place Mark Martin by 77 points. Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Jimmie Johnson is in third place, 114 points behind Marlin. Johnson is mathematically eligible for the leader bonus this weekend. Should the winner of this weekend's Tropicana 400 also be the NASCAR Winston Cup point leader, that driver would take home the third-largest NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus payout in program history. The $130,000 bonus would be in addition to the winner's guaranteed purse. Marlin already has collected $50,000 in Leader Bonus money this season. He received $30,000 with his victory in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas and another $20,000 after taking the checkered flag in the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway two weeks later.

7/9/02
Industry News

3D Ticketing at MIS   Race fans who want to see the view from their seats before buying can now do so on Michigan International Speedway's official Web site. Historic Michigan International Speedway is known for having a great view of the track from every seat - and now thanks to the latest in 3D ticketing software - MIS will fans can see just how great their view will be before buying tickets or coming to the track. Ballena Technologies will provide interactive seat views of the two-mile oval in Michigan's scenic Irish Hills on www.MISpeedway.com, MIS's official Web site. Seats3D, an interactive 3D seating map, will enable Michigan race fans to experience a full panoramic seat view preview of tickets offered for sale. "We're thrilled to be able to offer this state-of-the-art feature to our already user-friendly Web site," said John Moreland, MIS director of ticketing. "Fans can purchase seats through our Web site and also see exactly where they'll be sitting from the convenience of their computers"

7/9/02

Al Unser Jr. disappoints fan   Dear AutoRacing1.com, I read the Indy Star article with surprise and outrage. I thought AL Unser Jr. had cleaned up his act. He went to a strip joint, got drunk, beat up his girl friend, drove home drunk, lied to the police to cover it up and then recanted his story and is now in jail. How does this represent the IRL and his sponsors? Will he thank the his sponsors and Tony George for letting him appear before the judge? The more disturbing part is the trend of this in the IRL. Scott Harrington went to jail for DUI ( he has numerous convictions) and after his serving his time he raced in the IRL and tried to qualify at the 500. Jeret Schroeder has a DUI and numerous tickets I think his license was suspended yet he had an IRL license and drove in several races including the 500. Jason Priestley almost killed someone while intoxicated and had his license suspended for DUI. He now drives in the IRL Lights series. Now, Little AL, what next the MADD 250 presented by Budweiser? Are all IRL drivers drunks?  Does the IRL condone his actions and what kind of message does this send to kids and fans of Little AL that this is acceptable?  M. Crane 

7/9/02

CART and HDNet team for first ever high-definition live broadcast   HDNet and CART announced they are teaming to deliver the first-ever high definition television broadcast of live auto racing action with this weekend's qualifying sessions for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank, which is Round Nine of the CART FedEx Championship Series. The cutting-edge technology of HDTV meets auto racing in the high-tech world of CART as HDNet, in conjunction with CART broadcast partner SPEED Channel, will broadcast the Friday and Saturday qualifying sessions from Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport course on its all high-definition network, which is available on DIRECTV channel 199. The Friday session will be shown on a tape-delayed basis at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, with Saturday's final qualifying airing live at 1:30 p.m ET. The HD broadcasts will be produced using HDNet's HD mobile production units, cameras and crew; along with SPEED Channel's graphics and announcers. "Fans of CART racing are the perfect audience for high definition TV, so we are pleased to enter into this relationship with CART," said Mark Cuban, President of HDNet. "HDNet is proud to bring this high-speed action to HDTV viewers, as we continue to set the standard for quality sports, news and entertainment programming." "We are proud that the people at HDNet have chosen the CART FedEx Championship Series as the first racing series to showcase their technology," said CART Vice-President of Marketing Steve Fusek. "It says a lot for our upscale fans and their willingness to embrace new technology, that HDNet decided that we were the perfect fit for them. We are pleased to add the sharp digital picture and widescreen viewing of HDNet's high definition broadcasting to our outstanding SPEED Channel standard definition production."  CART [See additional info on our Rumors page]

7/9/02

Tire rules to remain unchanged for 2003  It looks like F1 speeds will continue to escalate in 2003.  The tire manufacturers and the FIA could not agree on new tire rules to slow the cars, so it's expected to remain status quo for next year.  Harder compounds, no pitstops, and other ideas were considered.

7/9/02
Industry News

It's Network TV stupid  Except for the phenomena called NASCAR, it has long been said that almost any sporting event (including auto races) on network TV will get around a 1.0 rating +/- a few tenths.  Last weekends CART race on CBS garnered an overnight of 1.3, as did the IRL on ABC in the same time slot (if you add CART and IRL together you get a 2.6.  Who split Indy car racing in half and killed the TV ratings?).  The ALMS race from Road America on CBS was close behind at 1.2.  F1 had similar ratings when it was on ABC this year.  However, when you broadcast races on SPEED Channel, ESPN or any other cable channel, the USA ratings plummet because the number of households reached is less.  Therefore, it makes sense for each sanctioning body to negotiate TV deals whereby all races are on Network TV, right?  Yes, and no.  Network races are broadcast once.  Races on cable are repeated two or more times.  However, the industry fails to measure the 'cumulative' ratings, which if you think about it, reach just about as many eyeballs after all repeats are shown.  Everyone hangs their hat on the 'live' broadcast ratings, but this can be a bit misleading.  We would like Neilson to start publishing the cumulative ratings so sanctioning bodies and race sponsors can get a measure of the real value. MC

7/9/02

Benson released, but will miss race  UPDATE Johnny Benson will sit out this weeks race in Chicago due to injuries suffered in his Pepsi 400 crash at Daytona. Benson displaced three ribs on the right side of his chest and will be evaluated after this week by the team doctor. Earlier this year Benson fractured two ribs (different ribs from the ones he just injured) in a Busch series accident at Richmond. Mike Wallace is set to sub for Benson in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac.  7/8/02 - Valvoline Pontiac driver Johnny Benson left Halifax Medical Center in Daytona, Fla. Sunday night and is expected to return to his home in North Carolina on Monday. Doctors treated Benson for displacements in ribs 6,7 and 8 on the right side of his chest suffered in an accident Saturday night in the 400-mile NASCAR Winston Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Benson did not aggravate the broken rib or two cracked ribs he suffered in a Busch Series accident at Richmond on May 3. Benson's timetable for returning to racing will be determined this week by his physician and the Valvoline Racing team. Benson missed the Richmond, Charlotte and Dover races earlier this season because of the injuries from the Richmond accident. On Saturday night, Michael Waltrip made contact with Benson on lap 8 of the 160-lap race forcing Benson into the wall. Benson was taken by ambulance to the infield care center then transported to Halifax Medical Center. Waltrip visited Benson at the hospital a few hours after winning the race. Team PR

7/9/02

Keep your eye on AJ   Every once in awhile a young driver comes along that stands out above the rest.  AJ Allmendinger appears to one of them.  Very successful in go-karts, he's setting the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series on fire,  a series where all the cars are equally prepared. And to top it off, the series has perhaps the best group of drivers it has ever had, and that includes the two women in the field, Rhonda Trammell and Danica Patrick.  A.J. Allmendinger won round 5 of the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series at Exhibition Place Circuit. After taking his third win in four events three weeks previously at Portland International Raceway, the talented rookie qualified second with a lap of 1:11.583. Allmendinger would fall back to third off of the start, but quickly regain second place with an out braking maneuver on the outside into turn three on the first lap. On lap 8, the Californian would take the lead on the exit of turn one. After two cautions and a hard fought battle that sought two lead changes, Allmendinger would set the fastest race lap of 1:11.771 and go onto win by a margin of 1.616 seconds.  "I had a fantastic race. The battle for the lead was very exciting and I am thrilled to have come out on top. The Dodge Reynard and Michelin tires handled tremendously throughout the entire race. I really like street course races and am looking forward to round 6 at Cleveland where I hope to build on the momentum from the first half of the season for the rest of the year. I want to thank my sponsors, Paul Tracy Karting, Sparco, Arai Helmets, Corby Concepts Design and eRacingVision," said Allmendinger. Allmendinger garnered 22 out of a possible 23 points for the weekend. He has won 4 out of the first 5 races this season and now leads the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series Championship by a huge 45 points and Rookie of the Year standings by a huge 58 points heading into round 6 at Cleveland, Ohio July 12-13.

7/9/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

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7/8/02

Mexico City construction update  The special road circuit asphalt being used at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, was being applied today at the first turn -Moisés Solana turn- at the end of the 1.1 km long main straight of the circuit. There's more than 4 months to go before the closing race of the 2002 FedEx CART series, the Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante which will take place November 17th at this track, but work is ahead of schedule for the new layout which will be used, including the turns that will take the track through the baseball field, forming an added 33,000 seat amphitheater unique in the racing world. Wile the milling machines are working on the backstraight toward the Presidential Turn, the first layer of heavy grip asphalt is being laid in the Moisés Solana turn and the first phase of the paving process should finish before mid-July. Meanwhile, walls and fencing are being put in place in other areas of the circuit located in the Magdalena Mixiuhca Sports Complex, with the Esses almost finished. Gardening and landscaping work is also ahead of schedule and grass has been planted everywhere around the gravel trap of the MS turn and also at the other main gravel trap at the entrance of the Presidential Turn in the "stadium zone" -where a lake used to be when the track was inaugurated more than 40 years ago. The exclusive Banamex-Visa cardholders presale for 3-day tickets to the Grand Prix is still above expectations with over 10,000 sold so far These tickets are good for practice and qualifying on Friday 15th, practice/qualifying/races on Saturday 16th, and races on Sunday, November 17th. Tickets go on sale to the general public soon.

7/8/02

As CART looks to Zhuhai, so does Chinese government  The timing for construction of a proposed bridge linking Hong Kong to the burgeoning manufacturing bases on the western Pearl River Delta should be re-examined with a view to speeding up approval, Chinese industry experts said yesterday. The government is in favor of building a 18-mile long bridge linking Lantau island with Zhuhai and Macau but says the project, which will cost up to HK$15 billion, is not needed until 2020. However, authorities now feel that date needs to be moved up significantly because the region is booming. Although the Chinese government is investing a lot of money in Shanghai, the big money and real wealth still resides in Hong Kong, and is a big factor in CART looking away from Shanghai and now toward Zhuhai. Also, the Zhuhai circuit is already built, so not much money is needed to make a race a reality. The planned circuit near Shanghai is so expensive, it may be doomed to failure.

7/8/02

Bell fined by CART, keeps ride  CART FedEx Championship Series rookie Townsend Bell (#20 Visteon Toyota/Reynard/Bridgestone) was fined $10,000 and placed on indefinite probation Monday for his part in a race incident during Sunday's Molson Indy Toronto. Bell was involved in a incident on Lap 93 of Sunday's event at Toronto's Exhibition Place in which he made contact with the car of Bruno Junqueira (#4 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone), damaging Junqueira's car and leaving him unable to continue. Bell was excluded from the remainder of the event by Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach after making it back to the pits, and received his further sanctions on Monday. "I made a mistake," Bell said Monday. "I thought I could get through successfully, obviously I could not. Wally (Dallenbach) is the Chief Steward, he is the man in charge and I will abide by his decision." Bell had previously been on probation for an incident in the season-opening Telmex/Tecate Grand Prix of Monterrey, but had been taken off of probation by Dallenbach after showing progress on the racetrack. Dallenbach also warned that this is the second strike against the former Dayton Indy Lights champion and that another incident could result in a suspension. "Townsend Bell is an extremely capable race car driver that has made a mistake, and hopefully this ruling will help him focus his energies," said Dallenbach. "Many former CART champions have faced similar sanctions in their early years in the series and as Townsend has shown in winning the Indy Lights championship - he has the potential to turn this into a positive."  CART

7/8/02

Inaugural Infiniti Pro series race costly, Halliday remains hospitalized  UPDATE Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series driver Matthew Halliday is listed in good condition at the Kansas University Medical Center and is expect to be released July 9. Halliday, 23, was treated for a concussion, broken left wrist and fractured right ankle suffered in a crash in the inaugural Infiniti Pro Series race July 7 at Kansas Speedway, said Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services. The accident occurred in Turn 2 on Lap 3 of the event. Halliday, a resident of Indianapolis and native of Auckland, New Zealand, made hard contact with the outside wall.  After his very first race, wonder what he thinks about oval racing.  7/7/02 - Oval racing, regarded as the most dangerous and costly form of motosports in the world, has sent its first victim to the hospital.  In the inaugural Infiniti Pro race at Kansas, and with only 12 cars to bump into each other, 4 cars suffered costly damage and one driver went to the hospital with a concussion and broken wrist.  Johncox, Fike and Luyendyk crashed in Turn 4, eliminating them from the race. The right-front wheel on Luyendyk’s No. 5 entry touched the left rear of Johncox’s No. 8 Rev. 1 Racing Special entry between Turns 3 and 4, with both cars spinning. Johncox’s twirling car collected the No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing entry driven by Fike, and all three cars hit the outside retaining wall in Turn 4. None of the drivers was hurt. In another accident, Matthew Halliday suffered a concussion and broken left wrist in a crash in Turn 2 on Lap 3. Halliday was transported by air to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., and is awake, alert and talking.

7/8/02

CART TV ratings continue to climb The CART FedEx Championship Series continues to benefit from its summer television alliance with CBS Sports as the overnight ratings number for the CART Champ Car telecasts increased for the third consecutive weekend. Sunday's Molson Indy Toronto, which saw Cristiano da Matta (#6 Havoline Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) score his CART record-tying fourth straight win, drew a national average of 1.3 in the overnight Nielsen Media Research ratings. The event, which drew 168,421 fans to the Toronto Exhibition Place street course over the three-day weekend, drew better than a 2.0 rating in 11 markets and got numbers of 1.5 or better in 28 of the 51 markets surveyed. Las Vegas continues to be a hotbed of CART racing, leading the individual markets with a 2.6 rating, followed by Columbus, Ohio - which will have the Champ Cars in town at the nearby Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course August 9-11 - and CART's new hometown of Indianapolis which drew a rating of 2.4. Miami - which will host CART's return to South Florida this year - weighed in with a 2.0 while San Antonio, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, Memphis and Nashville also drew better than a 2.0 rating. For CBS broadcasts, one national ratings point indicates a figure of 1.08 million households tuning in, and about 2 million actual viewers.

7/8/02

CART stock watch

MPH closed at $9.42, + $0.78 on volume of 39,700 shares.
$8.78 Bid - $9.79 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $8.70/$9.56
MPH Value Change + 9.03%
END
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/8/02

CART attendance tops 1 million mark After just eight of the 20 rounds in this year's CART FedEx Championship Series season, the one million mark has been broken in total three-day event attendance. Sunday's crowd at the CART FedEx Championship Series Molson Indy Toronto officially put the series over the million mark, with total attendance now 1,056,647 strong on the young season. Attendance at the Molson Indy Toronto totaled 168,421 for the three-day affair, which ranked second highest in the event's 17-year history. Friday's practice and provisional qualifying drew 44,018 to the downtown streets of Toronto at Exhibition Place, followed by 51,243 on Saturday for practice and final qualifying while 73,160 poured in for race day. The Toronto crowd pushed the 2002 weekend average attendance to 132,081 fans per event. Next up on the 20-race Champ Car schedule is the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio.

7/8/02

Silverstone boss resigns under pressure  Rob Bain, the man who ran the British Grand Prix, has resigned from his post just a day after the race. The boss of Octagon Motorsports, which holds a lease on the Silverstone circuit and promotes the race, has stepped down in frustration at comments made against Silverstone by Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone. Despite many improvements to the road system around the circuit that put an end to the traffic jams that have long been a dark cloud over the British GP, Ecclestone this time chose to criticize the circuit itself. He aimed his attack on the organization and traffic patterns within the track and called the event "a country fair masquerading as a world event." When Bain heard what Ecclestone said on Sunday, he was visibly upset, saying: "It is totally deflating. There were so many positives. The feedback from the customers has been healthy. That is what matters rather than the opinion of one man."  In a statement issued by Octagon on Monday afternoon, Bain said: "I have had a tremendous few years and I am very proud of the Grand Prix that we staged this weekend. It is disheartening still to hear gratuitous outside comments about the event, and I do not wish them to overshadow what the team has achieved."   Les Delano, the chief executive officer of Octagon Worldwide, said: "We are disappointed that Rob has made this decision and would like to thank him for his efforts for Octagon Motorsports Group."

7/8/02

F1 Shanghai agreement in place, while CART procrastinates  This Reuters article points out that Shanghai will begin constructing a race track this month and is hoping to host a Formula One grand prix in 2004, an official at the company building the circuit said. "We have reached an agreement with the Formula One Administration (FOA) to stage the race in the city from 2004 to 2010," said the official at Shanghai International Circuit Co.  "If we had got India and China, we would have half the world population or something like it," International Automobile Federation president Max Mosley said in February. Malaysia was the latest newcomer in 1999. The next new venue, at one point tipped to be China, looks likely to be Russia with a circuit outside Moscow scheduled for completion in 2003. China spent more than nine years developing a circuit in Zhuhai in the southern province of Guangdong that was scheduled to join the Formula One calendar in 1998. But it failed to meet international standards.  CART is now eyeing that circuit, but it's in no hurry.

7/8/02

Banks to take 75% ownership of F1  The London Times reports today that creditor banks to Kirch, the insolvent German media group, are set to swap $1.6 billion (£1.1 billion) in loans for a 75 per cent stake in the Formula One racing car business. BayernLB and the US investment banks JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers will take over the Formula One stake jointly in a move expected since Kirch’s holding company filed for insolvency last month. BayernLB lent Kirch $1 billion to acquire the Formula One stake from EM.TV and the Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone last year. JP Morgan and Lehman each lent $300 million.

7/8/02

Ecclestone calls for 3-car teams  Well aware that the sport needs a full grid to maintain its appeal to television viewers around the world, F1's Bernie Ecclestone has proposed a radical shake-up which could take place as early as next season. "Instead of two it will be three cars per team," he said. "It will probably be three drivers and three cars and probably happen next year, but we'll have to wait and see." "It makes it more competitive because the teams will run three cars, so there will be another seven competitive cars we could run. In fact, when we started the championships I think there might have been three." "We need 18 to 20 cars. Unfortunately we got one down to 22, so if we lose Arrows, we'll have 20 and if we lose Minardi we will have 18. I think in the end their fortunes will improve through the winter."

7/8/02

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7/8/02

Did you know?  Did you know that the all-American IRL series has more Brazilian drivers than CART?  You do now.  CART has 4 - Da Matta, Fittipaldi, Junqueira and Kanaan.  The IRL has 5 - Castroneves, de Ferran, Giaffone, Dare and Boesel.  One would think therefore, that the IRL might get better TV ratings in Brazil than CART.  Well, not exactly.  In fact CART dwarfs IRLIn fact, as you can see from the numbers, CART's TV ratings in Brazil, dwarf its own TV ratings in the USA.

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

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