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DATE

News (chronologically)

7/21/02

Who are NASCAR fans?  This article summarizes a recent ESPN poll on NASCAR fans.  The results - the average NASCAR fan is most likely to be a white male, between the ages of 25 and 54, though over 41% are now female.  Only 54.5% had household incomes above $30,000 (which means 45.5% have household incomes below $30,000 - not far from poverty level, but it's apparent what little disposable income they must have goes toward NASCAR tickets) and a NASCAR fan is 21% less likely to have a college degree than the general population.  And last, it's clear NASCAR isn't just a southeast USA sport anymore, though 38.2% do live there today.

7/21/02

Revised New Hampshire track panned  The newly revamped surface of the 1.058-mile New Hampshire facility created problems Sunday afternoon in the NASCAR Winston Cup New England 300. Seven cautions flew in the first 123 laps -- all for accidents -- but the last two were directly caused by the track surface, the participants said. After harsh criticism by crew chief Greg Zipadelli, NASCAR managing director of competition Gary Nelson went out on the track in a speedway safety vehicle and reported that the new asphalt was not coming apart, but that tire fragments were not adhering to the pavement, creating an extreme "marbly" condition. "It's just so frustrating," Zipadelli said. "To come here to a place you love and that you run so good at -- I don't know. The place has got no grip; you can't race on it (and) the asphalt is coming up all over the place. "We just got up a little bit out of the groove -- but there is no groove, that's the frustrating part. He got in the junk and wrecked a perfectly good race car that was running in the top five all day and that's frustrating. Nobody loves this place any more than I do but there's nobody that probably hates coming here as much as I do, right now. "It's. . .it's. . . it's not racing -- you can't pass, you can't do anything -- and now the race track is coming up. I don't know what the answer is. I just know that it's frustrating and you're taking a chance on hurting the driver like that." "All I know is what the spotter said -- he (Stewart) just got in there and the car just took off," Zipadelli said. "It was kind of the same thing that happened to the 45 car. There's no grip out there, so you're just riding around in the night." The racetrack was reconfigured in April with a lane of new asphalt laid in the turns. "We love coming up here and racing here," Ward Burton's crew chief, Tommy Baldwin -- another Northeast native -- said. "But they've got to do something with this track so we can do some passing here."

7/21/02

Schumacher win under protest  UPDATE After the race, the stewards examined video evidence and talked to Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher about the latter passing the former in the yellow-flag zone created by Allan McNish’s stranded Panasonic Toyota. The stewards decided to take no action against Schumacher, and thus his win and his championship stand. The West McLaren-Mercedes team said it would not file an appeal.  7/21/02 - Michael Schumacher's victory in the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours is under protest based accusations that he passed McLaren rival Kimi Raikkonen under local yellow flags. McLaren team boss Ron Dennis has claimed that Schumacher overtook Raikkonen under yellow flags that were on display at the Adelaide hairpin after Allan McNish spun off on his Toyota's own oil. Raikkonen also hit the oil, which caused him to run wide, and Schumacher chose to overtake him on the exit of the corner, apparently before the green flag was being shown. "Kimi entered a yellow flag zone and Michael overtook before there was a green one to let him pass," said Dennis. "The regulation is explicit. Kimi was overtaken under a yellow flag."

7/21/02

Did you notice?  Did you notice that only 18 cars started today's French GP, the same number on CART grids these days?  The race was still good, the attendance fantastic, and it really didn't make a big difference.

7/21/02
Super Bikes

Photos from Mazda Raceway  Our Mike Veglia was at last weekends World Super Bike race at Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca, California and shot these photos.

7/21/02
Industry News

Effort underway to bring major motorsports to Bahamas  Bahamas Motorsports has been formed to actively propose the re-introduction of the famous Nassau Speedweeks at the identical location as in the past . A spokesperson for Bahamas Motorsports said : 'About a year ago a local Hot Rod group obtained a 50-year lease from the Government of The Bahamas to develop a Quarter Mile strip and associated amenities. Bahamas Motorsports has signed an agreement with BHRA to work together to create a broader based Motorsports proposal and are actively seeking potential investor groups or investor to participate in this proposal. It will be recalled that Nassau Speedweeks became internationally famous at the Oakes Field, Nassau location from the early 1950's thru the late 1960's and attracted the rich and famous to Nassau to Race and party. Leading this proposal is Gerry Wirth, a promoter and Event organizer who has already successfully re-introduced Powerboat racing, The Atlantis Bahamas Superboat Challenge , which requires the powerboats to race thru Nassau Harbor around Paradise Island and the famous Billion dollar resort of Atlantis.  We do not see a sophisticated circuit as that would require a considerable capital investment but a mix of a road and fixed circuit, approx. 2.3 miles long, with 3-4 International Series annually. With the Aruba project now in litigation we finally see that Nassau has an opportunity, Wirth commented.' The new Government of The Bahamas, only recently elected, May 2, 2002, has indicated that they wish to proceed with their proposal for 'Sports Tourism' and the re-introduction of Motorsports - Nassau Speedweeks would go along way to create this. The spokesperson further confirmed that they intend attracting a 'superbike event' and possibly a Caribbean version of The Island of Man TT Races. The Bahamas has a large young population and it is conservatively estimated that such events would attract over 30,000 daily spectators without any visitors. Promoter Gerry Wirth is associated with Pit Lane Productions, plc., a leading British Motorsports media and support agency. Bahamas Motorsports can be contacted at e-mail: wirth@coralwave.com for further details.  Investor enquiries are welcomed.

7/21/02

Autoweek calls for Unser to hang it up  The Editor of Autoweek, Dutch Mandel, in this article says - it's time for Unser Jr. to head off into the sunset after disgracing his family, sport and me......If the Indianapolis 500’s Tony George has any stones at all, instead of helping cover up for Unser, as he reportedly has done, he would point Al toward New Mexico, stake him in a tire store and reserve hero status for those who know how to behave. Al, you’ve shamed yourself, your family and your sport. It’s time to head off into the sunset, pard.

7/21/02

IRL future riding on Penske's coattails  This Tennessean article says - The future of major open-wheel racing in the United States might have been parked in three garage stalls at Nashville Superspeedway last night. There sat a small, gleaming fleet, radiant down to the high-gloss shine on the tires of its lavishly-appointed tractor-trailers and buses.....all belonging to Roger Penske.  And there are those who believe the feud between Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) and the Indy Racing League (IRL) was effectively settled the second Penske left the former to sign with the latter in December. ''We made the move anticipating the future,'' Penske said. ''I like oval racing … our drivers were all for it and quite honestly I know I made the right decision.''

7/21/02

Scheckter wants out of the IRL, and Cheever ready to boot him  UPDATE According to the Indy Star, If Eddie Cheever Jr. has his way, he'll have a new Indy Racing League teammate by next weekend's race at Michigan. The 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner said after Saturday night's Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway that rookie Tomas Scheckter has too many unforced errors to continue. Scheckter crashed for the sixth time Saturday, and that does not include the ill-advised pass that forced Cheever into the wall in Homestead, Fla., in March. Cheever, whom Scheckter blamed for his crash Saturday, said he'll try to test a new driver Tuesday, if he can find a track on short notice. It remains to be seen if Cheever, a partner with Red Bull and Formula One team owner Tom Walkinshaw, has the clout to get Scheckter ousted in midseason. "It's ridiculous, unbelievably ridiculous," Cheever said of Scheckter's high number of incidents. "He has all the talent in the world to drive a race car fast. But I'm starting to wonder if there's an inability to learn with him."  7/21/02 -  Tomas Scheckter does not look happy these days.  Not happy with his boss, and not happy that's he losing road course seat time and painting himself as a oval track driver.  That may ultimately kill any F1 aspirations he has.  There's no question the guy is fast, and the sooner he gets a ride in CART, and the road races that come with it, the better.  After he hit the wall yet again in Nashville Saturday night, Scheckter was overheard on the radio saying "why did you push me high Eddie, why me, why me.  I'm your teammate.  Thanks a lot Eddie."  Does that sound like a driver looking to stay with Cheever's team?

7/21/02

IRL's Nashville attendance less than 25,000  UPDATE The Tennessean reports - The race was an announced sellout, although not all the approximately 25,000 seats were filled. Dover Motorsports, the parent company of Nashville Superspeedway, does not disclose attendance figures.  7/21/02 - Last nights IRL race was announced as a sellout at the Nashville Raceway.  The seating capacity at the track was only 25,000 last year, though perhaps they added some grandstands this year. 

7/21/02

Eng wins F3000 race  Czech charger Tomas Enge has moved a step closer to Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais' championship lead by winning the F3000 race at Magny-Cours yesterday. Enge had to fight for his race win, though; a misfire in the closing laps meaning that defensive driving entered the fray. A safety-car period arose after 12 laps after Nicolas Kiesa and Derek Hill clashed at the final corner. The American rolled his contender, emerging without injury.

7/21/02

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7/21/02

Nashville crash fest costly for financially strapped teams   One has to wonder how many more teams will eventually go bankrupt from the numerous IRL crash fest races. No fewer than six cars found the wall in Nashville, in part due to a concrete track offers no grip outside the racing groove.  As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, open-wheel oval track racing is very expensive, because a crash on and oval track almost always cost at least $100,000.  Foyt lost three cars last night and now the teams load up and go right to Michigan International Speedway next Sunday.  Total damage in Nashville Saturday night was well over $1 million, far more than the race purse.  This Tennessean article summarizes the costly crash fest.

7/20/02

Washington DC neighbors get an earful   This is what you get with normally aspirated race engines. Race cars that are too loud for city street races. Neighborhood frustration over the new racetrack at RFK Stadium climaxed yesterday as the opening of the inaugural Cadillac Grand Prix brought deafeningly loud cars to within 50 feet of homes in the Northeast neighborhood of Kingman Park (see photo to right). Sound barriers, which race officials had promised would be up in time for the first race, were only 75 percent installed when the first cars took the track at 9 a.m., and residents questioned their efficacy once they were fully in place about noon. The sound of the cars, which reach speeds of more than 150 mph, reached a roar each time the cars made their way around the track and onto a straightaway parallel to Oklahoma Avenue NE. Residents' gripes primarily targeted Mayor Anthony A. Williams, a big supporter of the races, which run through Sunday. "This is blatant disrespect on the mayor's part. Our neighborhood might not be as high-income as the other side of town, but that doesn't mean you can ignore us," said Vince Jackson, an Oklahoma Avenue resident. Read the full Washington Times article.

7/20/02

Button to announce new ride  UPDATE Expect to see Button with the BAR team.  See rumors page.  7/20/02 - Jenson Button will announce his new team at a press conference next week. "I was slightly surprised at the decision because this season has been good and the team has done a terrific job," said Button. "I think Jarno and I have worked well as team-mates. So, yes, I did have a feeling of slight shock at the news." Asked about his future, Button said: "I cannot say exactly, but I think I am in good shape for next year. "I am looking forward to the opportunity. Obviously, at this time, I am not able to say any more, certainly not for a few days. But I know what I am doing and where I am going." Button's manager John Byfield said: "I am pleased to say that Jenson does have a secure contract so that his future in F1 is assured. "We will be making a formal press conference during the course of this coming week with Jenson's new team."

7/20/02

Leitzinger beats Gentilozzi to win DC race  Rookie Butch Leitzinger and veteran Paul Gentilozzi waged a stirring battle over the final dozen laps Saturday before Leitzinger came away with a victory in the inaugural Capital Trans-Am 100, Round 6 of the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup. Leitzinger, making his seventh career Trans-Am Series start from the pole, led Gentilozzi, making his series record 179th, by a seemingly comfortable 2.232 seconds following the 50th of 61 laps on the temporary road circuit at RFK Stadium. Over the next six laps, however, Gentilozzi managed to whittle his deficit to just 0.695 seconds. He got even closer by the end of Lap 58, pulling within 0.685 seconds of Leitzinger’s lead. But at the outset of Lap 59, Gentilozzi made a daring run into the first turn of the 1.66-mile course, put all four wheels off track, and was unable to execute the pass. He got no closer thereafter. Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama/Tom Gloy Chevrolet Corvette) went on to a 1.023-second victory over Gentilozzi, the three-time and defending Trans-Am Series champion, in front of a national television audience (CBS Sports). It was the second Trans-Am triumph of Leitzinger’s career and his fourth consecutive podium finish, dating to a third-place performance at Lime Rock in late May. Though he remained third in the chase for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, Leitzinger became a major factor in the championship hunt by virtue of the victory.

7/20/02

Witherill wins Infiniti Pro Series snoozer  In a real snoozer, Cory Witherill dominated the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series race today at Nashville Superspeedway, earning his first career victory in the Indy Racing League's new development series after leading 68 of the 77 laps. Witherill, from Los Angeles, beat second-place Arie Luyendyk Jr. to the finish line by 8.502 seconds. His lead approached 13 seconds at some points during the race after he took the lead from Luyendyk on Lap 10. Witherill never trailed thereafter.
1. (5) Cory Witherill, Dallara-Infiniti, 77
2. (2) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 77
3. (12) Aaron Fike, Dallara-Infiniti, 77
4. (10) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Infiniti, 77
5. (3) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Infiniti, 77
6. (4) Jason Priestley, Dallara-Infiniti, 76
7. (6) Matt Beardsley, Dallara-Infiniti, 75
8. (7) G.J. Mennen, Dallara-Infiniti, 75
9. (9) Marty Roth, Dallara-Infiniti, 73
10. (11) Mike Koss, Dallara-Infiniti, 72
11. (13) Rolando Quintanilla, Dallara-Infiniti, 52, engine
12. (1) Ronnie Johncox, Dallara-Infiniti, 27, engine
13. (8) Gary Peterson, Dallara-Infiniti, 0, did not start
Race Statistics
Winner's average speed: 161.991 mph.
Time of race: 00:37:04.5686.
Margin of victory: 8.0502 of a second.
Cautions: None.
Lead changes: 1 among 2 drivers.
Lap leaders: Luyendyk 1-9, Witherill 10-77.
Point standings: Witherill 87, Foyt 84, Priestley 68, Luyendyk 60, Carpenter 60, Fike 54, Koss 52, Roth 50, Mennen 48, Peterson 43.

7/20/02

Alonso replaces Button  The Renault F1 team announced this afternoon that Fernando Alonso will partner Jarno Trulli in the team next year. This means that Jenson Button is out of a drive next year despite the fact that he has scored more than twice as many points as the Italian driver, who is managed by Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore. Alonso is also managed by Briatore. Button, who is not managed by Briatore, will now have to look elsewhere for a drive.

7/20/02

Arrows grounded  The OrangeArrows team did not qualify for the 2002 French Grand Prix. The team will now pack up and head back to England. Negotiations concerning the team’s future will continue next week along with preparations for the German Grand Prix. Tom Walkinshaw - “Unfortunately we were unable to qualify either car today. Our priority has to be to get this team back on its feet and in a position where we can build a positive future. It’s sad but we’ll go home and prepare for Hockenheim.”

7/20/02

Chevron to renew with Yates  According to this Winston Salem Journal article, Chevron executives have decided to pick up the option on the final two years of the Texaco sponsorship with Yates, something Yates said he didn't expect. So Yates has to deal with that situation, too. And it appears Yates is trying to 'shop' that Texaco sponsorship to the Andy Petree-Jerry Jones team. Petree and Jones have been trying to hire Rudd, who also is looking at offers from Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Chip Ganassi, sources say. Yates also would like to sell Petree an engine leasing package; Petree will be making a difficult switch from Chevy to Ford.  So what happens to Texaco and its NASCAR sponsorship next year? "Texaco is being dissolved," Yates said. "I wake up and remember the Texaco star and what they've done for me and my family and the race team. But they're being shuffled out and done away with. That says things aren't necessarily forever."

7/20/02

Schumacher fastest, Fisichella crashes  Michael Schumacher topped the leaderboard in the fourth and final free practice session at Magny-Cours. The German completed 19 laps and finished with a very fast 1:12.974. But while he showed top form, so did McLaren with Kimi Raikkonen putting in a stunning 1:12.995, which was just two hundredths slower. Earlier in the session Giancarlo Fisichella crashed after losing a wing and then control of his car at the Estoril section, causing the session to be stopped for 25 minutes while the tire barrier that the car hit was repaired. The Italian was able to walk away but taken to the on-site medical facility as a precaution and it is unclear whether he will be able to qualify.

7/20/02

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7/20/02

Cameron's go karting  Lynx Racing team manager Steve Cameron and Dane Cameron, the 13 year-old son of Lynx Technical Director Rick Cameron, will be competing this weekend in the 'Stars of Tomorrow' kart race at the new karting facility at Sears Point Raceway. Steve Cameron will compete in the Parilla 125 class, while Dane Cameron will race in the 80cc Junior Shifter class. Both will be driving ItalKart chassis. The family of current Lynx driver Michael Valiante - who is leading the CART Toyota Atlantic championship points battle - owns Italkart, and Cameron Motorsports Management is the local dealer for both Italkart and Parilla. "As the local distributor for both Italkart and Parilla, my participation in this race is to gather data and help insure that the products we sell our customers are competitive at the highest level," says Steve Cameron. "And besides, I've always been a racer to the core, and sometimes you've just got to get off the phone and out from behind the desk and back behind the wheel." Dane Cameron's racing skills have benefited considerably from his new driving coach - international karting champion Michael Valiante. "Michael and I have been working together a lot lately, and he's a really good teacher," says Dane. "We do 'lead-and-follow' at the track, and he's helping me understand both how to drive and how to get my kart set up properly. Even at this level, the competition is really strong, and I'm already a much better driver because of what he's taught me."

7/20/02

Senske to spot for Priestley  While much of the attention at this weekend's Firestone Indy 200 IRL race at the Nashville Superspeedway will be directed to the IRL's most popular driver Sara Fisher, there's another rising young female open-wheel racer also in attendance, and she'll spend the weekend whispering in the ear of a Hollywood star. Sara Senske, a graduate of the same Lynx Racing driver development program that produced Alex Barron (the highest-finishing rookie at this year's Indy 500), will act as the spotter for Kelly Racing driver Jason Priestley in the Infiniti Pro Series race. This is the second event in the new series' 7-race 2002 season. It's a role she is familiar with, having been the spotter for fellow female racer Lyn St. James in the 2000 Indy 500. And her own experience as a driver, including a podium finish in the Barber Dodge Pro Series race on the Chicago Motor Speedway oval in 2001, makes her the ideal choice to guide Priestley through race traffic during the 77- lap event scheduled to take the green flag at 3:30 pm (CDT) Saturday, July 20. "Naturally I'd rather be behind the wheel than on the radio, but Jason is a terrific driver, Kelly Racing is a top team and I'm happy to contribute to their success in any way I can," says Senske, who turned 24 on Wednesday. "It's all part of paying your dues and learning as much as possible about every aspect of racing. I'm working very hard to put together a deal for a full-season ride in the Infiniti Pro Series next year, and this weekend's spotting job is all part of trying to get things up to speed so I can hit the ground running when it all comes together." In addition to her spotting chores for Kelly Racing and Priestly this weekend, Senske, who hails from Kennewick, Washington and currently resides in Santa Rosa, California, also keeps busy as a driver for the CART Pace Car Team. She is also in talks with a CART team to do a one-off appearance in the planned Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the season-ending race in Mexico City. Earlier this year she tested impressively with a Dodge team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and she continues her studies as a psychology major at Sonoma State University.

7/19/02

Leitzinger wins pole for DC race  Rookie Butch Leitzinger continued an impressive run of qualifying in the 2002 Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup Friday when he captured the pole position for Saturday's inaugural Capital Trans-Am 100 at RFK Stadium (2:30 p.m. ET, live, CBS). Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama/Tom Gloy Chevrolet Corvette) toured the 1.66-mile, seven-turn temporary circuit in the stadium parking lot with a fast lap of 83.026 miles per hour (1 minute, 12.735 seconds), giving him the right to lead 23 fellow competitors to the green flag for Saturday's sixth of 12 rounds in the championship. The pole was Leitzinger's series-high fourth of the season and his third in the row, following earlier pole-winning efforts at Mosport, Mid-Ohio and Cleveland. In addition to his fourth Jaguar Pole Award of the season, Leitzinger also collected two championship points, allowing him to break a tie with Johnny Miller (#64 Automation Direct/Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR) and move into sole possession of third place in the championship, with 119 points. Boris Said leads the series with 153 points, followed by three-time and defending Trans-Am series champion Paul Gentilozzi, with 125.

7/19/02

NASCAR hands down more fines to cheaters  NASCAR officials announced penalties against five NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chiefs following this past weekend's Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Tony Eury, Sr., crew chief of the No. 8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, was fined $2,500 and penalized under section 12-4-Q in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules: unapproved use of refrigerant near the fuel system." Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the No. 20 Pontiac Grand Prix and Steven Lane, crew chief of the No. 45 Dodge Intrepid, were both fined $500 and penalized under section 12-4-Q and Section 20-12-1A: unapproved jacking bolts. Lane also received a fine of $2,500 for having unapproved fender braces (adjustable), section 20.3.6.F. Brandon Thomas, crew chief of the No. 43 Dodge Intrepid and Greg Steadman, crew chief of the No. 44 Dodge Intrepid, received fines of $2,500 each and penalized under section 12-4-Q and section 20-16-4.1: unapproved fuel filler neck that exceeded the maximum size.

7/19/02

Speaking of accurate crowd counts  We pointed out on Sunday that the announced attendance at CART's Cleveland race was suspect.  Today, other articles appeared, claiming inflated CART numbers.  Well the IRL should not talk.  Their numbers are always inflated significantly too.  Take for instance Kansas, a race the IRL recently announced as sold out.  However, as the photo at the right shows (taken in the center section, the most densely populated area during the race by Ron McQueeney) there were thousands of fans who did not show up for the race.  Imagine that!  They had a ticket in hand, yet decided to stay home.  It's one thing to not show up because you didn't buy a ticket in the first place, and quite another to have purchased a ticket and throw it in the trash.  It's likely these were fans forced to buy an IRL ticket because that is the only way they could buy a Winston Cup ticket, i.e. as a package deal.  The IRL is piggybacking on NASCAR's popularity to artificially get inflated attendance numbers.  Both CART and the IRL should be ashamed for reporting inaccurate attendance figures.  'Attendance' means those present, and should not include those that didn't show up because they never intended too.

7/19/02

Barber Dodge Pro Series race on SPEED  The Barber Dodge Pro Series race from Laguna Seca will air on Speed Channel on Saturday at 3 P.M. Eastern time. The 2002 season marks the first year of Barber Dodge Pro Series coverage on Speed Channel, and features a one-hour format, allowing for additional interviews and in-depth coverage of the most competitive development series in the United States. Leigh Duffy and Jeremy Shaw will call the action from the 2.238-mile circuit that features the picturesque and challenging Corkscrew downhill turn.

7/19/02

Yet another oval wall victim hospitalized, Johncox on pole  For the 2nd race in a row, in a series that is just one race old, another IRL Infiniti Pro Series driver has been hospitalized.  Gary Peterson was transported to University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tenn., after suffering a concussion during a qualifying crash in his No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc. entry. Peterson also will undergo precautionary X-rays after complaining of back pain.  Let's hope yet another victim hasn't broken their back, though we're happy to report this one does not sound too bad. Ronnie Johncox won the pole July 19 for the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series race at Nashville Superspeedway, the second event in the new Indy Racing League development series. Johncox, from Jackson, Mich., turned a top lap of 27.8070 seconds, 168.303 mph in the No. 8 Rev. 1 Racing Special Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. He also led the second practice today on the 1.3-mile concrete oval. “We went back after the second practice session and tried to make some changes to try to make the car a little more drivable,” Johncox said. “I was really having to hustle the car an awful lot in that last practice session. We wanted to make the car a little more drivable with some small changes. We didn’t do anything drastic. It definitely worked for us.” Arie Luyendyk Jr., son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, will share the front row with Johncox after a top lap of 27.9341, 167.537 in the No. 5 Luyendyk Racing entry.  Easily on the pole the first race by a wide margin last race (rumors are that the car had an extra air intake), AJ Foyt IV was a whopping 13 mph slower than pole this week.  He crashed in the practice session and spun during qualifying.

7/19/02
Industry News

You know Shanghai's the place to race - Disney to build there  Disney has taken a step towards building a theme park in Shanghai by signing a framework agreement with the city government within the past month, sources close to the deal said yesterday. The deal included plans for a joint venture with a group of local companies, including property developer Lujiazui, to help build and operate the park, they said. If the deal goes through, the Shanghai park would be Disney's third in Asia and could pose a competitive threat to Hong Kong's project with the US entertainment giant, which is due to open in 2005 or 2006. Tokyo currently has the only Disney park operating in Asia. A spokesman for the government of Shanghai's financial district of Pudong - proposed site of the park - declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Shanghai Lujiazui Development Group. Shanghai officials have made no secret of their desire for a Disney park to help boost tourism. Shanghai proposed Pudong, the city's premier development zone, as the site for the park, given the amount of land required (Note the Pudong District of Shanghai is where AR1 has suggested CART, per this article). Government and industry sources both confirmed the recent signing of the framework deal between Pudong government officials and Disney executives. A Shanghai delegation met Disney executives in the United States late last year to explain Pudong's preferential policies and express willingness to provide the land, they said.

7/19/02

Chip off the old block  Mark Martin, who drives the No. 6 Viagraâ Ford Taurus, is not the only Martin to have notched a victory this season at Lowes Motor Speedway. Last Tuesday night Martin's son Matt recorded his first win of the season at Lowes Motor Speedway hanging on to win the race in the 8-11 year-old bandolero division of the Summer Shootout in Concord. "This is one of the two biggest wins of my life," said Mark after the race. "The other came earlier this year at this same track. It's very rewarding to watch your son do well, and Matt's a really talented racer. I don't know which I would say means the most, but this one is up there. My win here in May was really special, because Matt and Arlene were both there to share that with me and this is another win that we can all share in together." A chip off the old block, Matt Martin started the feature race second and took the lead on lap nine of the race, going on to outrun the rest of the 21-car field and take his first victory of the season. The win came after Martin had narrowly won the heat race earlier in the evening, edging out second place by less than a car length. "It feels really good to get the victory," said the 10-year old Martin after the race. "It makes it really special to win at the same track that I was able to watch my dad win at this year. I just hope we can get a couple more this year." Mark Martin's crew chief Ben Leslie was also at the race, cheering on Matt. In a year that has been nothing less than magical for the No. 6 team, the win just adds to the excitement.

7/19/02

Busch driver Kirby killed  Busch Series driver Andy Kirby was killed when the motorcycle he was driving ran off a road and hit a tree, police said Friday. Kirby, 40, lost control of his motorcycle on a curve at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a report filed by Trooper Joseph Agee of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Kirby was wearing a helmet but driving at a high speed, Department of Safety spokesman Beth Tucker Womack said Friday. The cycle slid about 53 meters before leaving the road, then another 12 meters into the tree. No drug or alcohol involvement was suspected, and weather didn't seem to be a factor, she said. There were no witnesses to the crash.

7/19/02

Davidson flies in CART test  According to this Autosport.com article, British American Racing test driver Anthony Davidson deeply impressed Team Green in his maiden Champ Car test on Wednesday and Thursday, lapping the daunting Elkhart Lake road course within nine tenths of a second of runaway CART championship leader Cristiano da Matta. Davidson completed nearly 200 miles in one of Green's Lola-Hondas, clocking a best lap of 1m43.9s around Road America's 4.048-mile layout. The test allowed Team Green to collect data for the upcoming Champ Car race at the track scheduled for August 18 without using an official test day, and it also allowed Davidson to get some miles in a Champ Car. "Anthony is a really smart driver," remarked Team Green general manager Kyle Moyer. "He has a great feel for the race car and he adapted well to a new machine. I'm sure he could have run quicker but we made a major change late in the day that wasn't to his liking and we weren't able to go back on it. I think he learned a lot during the test." "This is something we have been working on for a long time," added team owner Barry Green. "When the opportunity arose to give Anthony a chance to drive a CART Champ Car everyone worked hard to make it happen. Team KOOL Green has had a long relationship with the BAR Honda Formula 1 team, through our association with Brown & Williamson Tobacco, a member of the British American Tobacco group."

7/19/02

CART stock watch

MPH closed at $8.60 up $0.10 on volume of 20,500 shares.
$8.01 Bid - $8.95 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $8.45/$8.65
MPH Value Change up 1.18%
DOW Jones down 390.23 or 4.64%
NASDAQ down 37.86 or 2.79%
S&P 500 down 33.81 or 3.84%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/19/02

Unser featured in National Enquirer  Is racing finally becoming mainstream in the USA? Al Unser Jr. made the National Enquirer for the week of July 30th 2002. On page 54 they have a story on Al's arrest and his troubles with drugs and drinking.  Unfortunately, none of us want racing to become mainstream in this manner.

7/19/02

Renna to drive for Unser   Tony Renna, Kelley Racing test driver and driving coach for Jason Priestley, was named this week to drive the Kelley Racing #7 Corteco/Bryant Indy Racing League car in the Firestone Indy 200 this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. Renna’s racing bio follows his quotes:  “Obviously, this is the opportunity of a lifetime for me and I am first very fortunate to have been brought into the Kelley Racing family this season to test for them as well as coach Jason Priestley. I, like every team member at Kelley Racing, certainly wish the circumstances were different, but a strong team puts adversity behind them and rises to the challenge. We are determined to continue the strong performance of the Corteco/Bryant car. “Having passed my IRL Rookie Test at Texas, I am comfortable with getting in the car and racing this weekend. I want to have a good finish for Kelley Racing and Corteco/Bryant. I know I have an excellent crew who is the best on pit road. My crew chief, John Worth and my engineer, Mike Colliver, will do everything they can to get me comfortable in the car as quickly as possible which will translate to us getting up to speed.” 

7/19/02

Patrick Racing testing update  Visteon/Patrick Racing conducted tests at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio on Monday, July 15 and Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Wednesday, July 17 in preparation for the upcoming CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, August 9-11 and the Grand Prix of Road America featuring the Motorola 220, August 16-18. Driver Townsend Bell, behind the wheel of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing entry with Toyota power and Bridgestone tires, ran 82 laps (185 miles) at Mid-Ohio with a fast time of 67.8. Two days later he turned another 56 laps (227 miles) with a quick time of 43.9 at Road America. Both the team and the driver pronounced the tests very productive with Bell saying, “The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team had a good two days of testing at Mid-Ohio and Road America. We worked with different aerodynamic packages as well as on some mechanic things that will help us in the upcoming races. There is nothing better than jumping back in the car right away after having a disappointing race like we did in Cleveland. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team had two very solid tests this week, probably the best we have had all year, and I think it was good for both the crew and myself.”

7/19/02

Surfers ticket sales through the roof  The 100-day countdown to this year's Honda Indy 300 has been highlighted by the announcement that ticket sales for this October's CART FedEx Championship Series race in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia are up an amazing 55 percent over the same period last year. Event Chief Executive Officer Geoff Jones made the announcement in a special media conference and urged fans wanting to secure their favorite viewing locations to get in fast. These figures are supported by a massive increase in corporate involvement with just handful of corporate packages still available for the Honda Indy 300 October 24-27, Round 18 of the CART FedEx Championship Series. "I am thrilled to announce that ticket sales for this year's event are up an incredible 55 percent on the same period last year," said Jones. "Fans are continually telling us how great this event is and the proof is in the ticket numbers. The Honda Indy 300 has developed into one of the best races on the FedEx Championship calendar and one of the great motorsport events in the world today. We are certainly not resting on our laurels and will be working day and night to ensure this event lives up to the expectations of the fans." The dramatic increase in advance sales indicates that last year's record four-day crowd of 286,000 is likely to be smashed and that the magical 300,000 figure could be reached. "The Honda Indy 300 has grown significantly since 1991 when 150,000 fans attended," said Jones. "Now we are on target for double the inaugural attendance." In addition to the on-track activity, several off-track events are planned such as Miss Indy, fashion parades, festivals, art exhibitions, a family day, V8 driver's barbecue on the beach, cocktail parties, the Conrad Jupiters Champ Car Drivers Breakfast and the Honda Indy 300 Ball at the Marriott Hotel.

7/19/02

Arrows sits out, Rubens fastest in first practice in France   While the financially strapped Arrows team sat out the session, Rubens Barrichello topped the timesheets in the first free practice session today, the Ferrari driver setting a 1:15.056 in what was a reasonably static session as teams found their feet for the rest of the weekend. In dry and sunny conditions he finished just four hundredths quicker than McLaren man David Coulthard. Juan-Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher, who are expected to take the fight to Ferrari this weekend on their Michelins, were fourth and fifth fastest, ahead of Coulthard’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

Story & Results

7/19/02

Ticket sales for DC   This Washington Post article says this weekend's Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington is on its way to meeting the promoter's expectations of selling 70,000 tickets for the three-day event, according to two race officials with knowledge of ticket sales. The officials, who declined to be identified, said that as of Wednesday night, more than 11,000 tickets had been sold for today's practice sessions. That compares favorably to practice crowds for Indy Racing League and Championship Auto Racing Teams races. For Saturday's qualifying session, approximately 18,000 tickets have been sold and more than 23,000 have been sold for Sunday's American LeMans Series race, the officials said.

7/19/02

IRL smart enough to realize   The IRL has convinced Arie Luyendyk to return to the cockpit for the Michigan 400, a high-speed, high attrition track.  This move helps get the car count up.  CART on the other hand, is setting themselves up for a major egg-on-the-face event at Fontana later this year.  With only 18 cars starting, this VERY high attrition race could see no cars making it to the end of the 500 miler.  Now won't that get CART some good headlines?  Teams should be running their backup cars in that race to get the car count up....and to give some other drivers a chance to show their stuff.  As this article points out, all news about CART appears to be negative these days, and many times it's not their fault.  However, if no cars finish at Fontana, CART will have no one to blame but themselves for not heading off the problem before it happens.  Should it happen, the final nail in their coffin will have been driven.

7/19/02

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7/19/02
Classified Ads

Walker Racing sale  Walker Racing is selling two vehicles on our Classified Ads page.  A 53' Ex-Reynard Concept Race Trailer and a 1999 Ford Econoline E350 16 Passenger Van are for sale.

7/19/02

Hendrick and BH form alliance  Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) has formed a strategic alliance with BH Motorsports (formerly Mansion Motorsports) in an effort to assist the company in establishing a competitive African-American-owned NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, HMS general manager Jeff Turner announced today. "Not only is this a step in the right direction for Hendrick Motorsports and BH Motorsports, it's a great move forward for the sport of stock car racing," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We're committed to bringing more diversity to the NASCAR community and there's no better place to start than Winston Cup." BH Motorsports is led by CEO Tinsley Hughes and COO Sam Belnavis, who have a combined 35 years of motor sports experience.

7/19/02
Industry News

China building 500,000 seat track   UPDATE This 500,000 seat stadium near Beijing is nice. However, consider this - in the latest edition of NSSN, Chris Economacki writes - Washington based international businessman Tom Duval (who once headed the SCCA) visited Shanghai many times, most recently last December. He says of Shanghai: "I went through the new air terminal at Pudong which puts anything in the USA to shame. The people of Shanghai consider themselves European and to have a top world sports event is exactly what they are looking for. Duval reminds us that Shanghai has an abundance of hotels and other tourist facilities, and is fast becoming the financial center of the Pacific Rim, and has the funds not only to pay for a proper facility, but to fund an event." From AR1's perspective - Shanghai is where the wealth of China now is, and the people in that region of China are the most likely ones to be able to afford race tickets. The people in the Beijing area are much poorer, and yes, the governments in China outside of Shanghai are buried in red tape and all have their hands out. Hence why we have stressed that CART race in Shanghai, and NOT anywhere else in that country. Why do you think Bernie Ecclestone is bringing F1 to the Shanghai region?   7/18/02 - Those sponsors who scoff at the notion that CART should be racing in China, take note.  How big would a race in China be?  Consider this - China has announced plans to build a new motor sports circuit in the shadow of the Great Wall of China. The new track in Yanqing, about 40 kilometers (24 miles) from Beijing, will be called the Great Wall Circuit and will be used for the country's debut MotoGP Grand Prix in 2004 (as well as other motorsports events).  The historic MotoGP deal was reached following negotiations between Carmelo Ezpeleta, the chief executive of marketing company Dorna Sports which manages the MotoGP series, and Li Chang Shuan, the governor of the Yanquing province.  The deal also includes the provision of the live broadcast rights to the MotoGP races to China's public broadcaster Central China TV (CCTV), beginning with the Czech Republic Grand Prix this August. Said Ezpeleta: "This is an historic day for motorcycling and I would even go as far as to say for the world of sport."  The circuit will host around a dozen major events every year , however, and will receive live broadcasts of the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The track will be designed to hold an astonishing 500,000 spectators (Yes, you read that correctly) - making it the highest-capacity sports venue in the world. In recent years, China has begun bidding for major motorsports events. Earlier this month, Shanghai became the latest city to announce that it was building a Grand Prix-standard track in the hope of attracting F1 to the world's most populous nation.  Conceivably CART could race at this circuit and attract a crowd of 500,000, but some sponsors don't think CART belongs in China (i.e. an extreme example of the tail wagging the dog).  To their credit, CART is working to get its mix of sponsors in line with its international goals. BBC

7/18/02

IRL gets new Chaplain   Bob Hills has assumed the role of chaplain for the IRL Ministries, replacing Mark Wingler, who resigned earlier this summer. Wingler, who was the IRL chaplain since the league’s inception in 1996, is now the vice president of operations for Adventure R.V. Hills, a native of Meadville, Pa., had been the assistant chaplain for IRL Ministries since last year. His first event as chaplain was the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 on July 7 at Kansas Speedway. “It is a tremendous opportunity,” Hills said. “I appreciate having the privilege to serve the IRL in this capacity. I followed open-wheel racing for well over 10 years. When you have the love of racing and the love of Christ, it makes for a great combination. “This is an opportunity to share the good news of Christ with those within the Indy Racing League as well as an opportunity to share Christ with fans and those outside the league.” An ordained minister, Hills has 20 years experience in counseling in private practices. Prior to that, he served as a minister in various capacities, including a youth minister. He has a bachelor of arts degree in Christian ministries and a master of arts degree in counseling from Cincinnati Bible Seminary. He also has a master of science degree in clinical psychology from Cal State University. Hills lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Joy. They have six children.

7/18/02

Dan Davis says Ford Board to decide  This weeks issue of National Speed Sport News reports that Ford motorsports boss Dan Davis attended the CART race in Cleveland and revealed that Ford is considering corporate support of the Cosworth CART engine program for the next two years.  The engine may be badged as a Ford, or up to four of Ford's worldwide marques (Ford, Volvo, Jaguar, Lincoln/Mercury, etc.).  "we're evaluating it," Davis told NSSN.  "It's got a lot of plusses.  I personally think it would be very good, but we'll have to see what our board of directors decides.  It should be a cost effective formula and should make for a heck of a racing series."

7/18/02

Herta sues CART, but wait!  2nd UPDATE Bryan Herta stated on RPM2Night that he and CART are working out their differences and that they hope to make a joint announcement together that the Star of Tomorrow karting program will become a first step on the CART development ladder.  7/12/02 - AutoRacing1.com has obtained a copy of the entire legal filing.  To make a long story short, CART, under Joe Heitzler, entered into an agreement with Herta, et al for a $3,000,000 contract which would pay the Stars of Tomorrow $500K in 2002, $550K in 2003, $600K in 2004, $650K in 2005 and $700K in 2006 in return for the go-karting series services to be rendered. CART even put out a press release in October of 2001 at Laguna Seca announcing CART was forming a partnership with Stars and NAKA and it would support the go-kart series and be CART sanctioned. The series was to be the first rung on CART's Ladder System.  After Pook took office, CART cancelled the contract saying Joe Heitzler did not have the authority to sign the contract.  Therein lies the beef, and the crux of the lawsuit.  Herta and company felt they had a contract and held up their end of the deal, put that CART reneged. The lawsuit is against CART and Chris Pook. 7/11/02 - Former CART driver Bryan Herta and the Stars of Tomorrow program have sued CART for reneging on their agreement to support of the Stars of Tomorrow program g-kart program.  Stay tuned for more info.....

7/18/02

Final CART Cleveland TV Rating holds  Typically one of the most-viewed races on the CART FedEx Championship Series schedule, last weekend's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank saw its final Nielsen television ratings hold up against the overnight projections with a national rating of 1.1. Nielsen Media Research estimated that 1,186,000 households were tuned in to see Patrick Carpentier (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) get his first win of the season, and also that the ratings climbed as high as 1.3 during the midway point of the event - a number that represents over 1.4 million households. The race on CBS Sports garnered the third-highest final rating of the 2002 season. The next event on the calendar will be the July 26-28 Molson Indy Vancouver, through the streets of Concord Pacific Place in Vancouver.

7/18/02

Tony George comments on Unser   A statement from Tony George, Indy Racing League president and chief executive officer, about Al Unser Jr., who announced July 18 that he is entering a substance-abuse center immediately for treatment: I was very disappointed to learn of the events involving Al Unser Jr. last week. Today’s announcement by Al Unser Jr. is the right thing for him to do, and I fully support it. All of us who are friends and fans of Al are pleased with his decision and look forward to his return to the Indy Racing League. He has the full support of his team, his sponsor and of the Indy Racing League. The League is satisfied with the steps that Al is taking and does not contemplate any action.

7/18/02

CART stock watch

MPH closed at $8.50 down $0.35 on volume of 34,600 shares.
$7.88 Bid - $9.11 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $8.43/$8.86
MPH Value Change down 3.95%
DOW Jones down 132.99 or 1.56%
NASDAQ down 40.27 or 2.88%
S&P 500 down 24.48 or 2.7%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/18/02

Villeneuve say he'll stay at BAR for 2003   At a press conference at Magny-Cours today, Villeneuve stated - "I'm staying next year," Villeneuve said when asked about his future plans, although he did add a qualifier to that a bit later on: "I don't see any reason for me not being back with BAR next year," the French-Canadian added. "It would take something really, really extreme, so I feel at the moment I am definitely with the team next year."

7/18/02

CART Town Meeting planned  Establishing a forum that will allow fans of Champ Car racing to discuss their sport with some of the most influential and established personalities in open-wheel racing, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) announced today that it will host a "CART Town Meeting" in Columbus, Ohio at PromoWest Pavilion on Thursday, Aug. 1. Held in advance of the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Aug. 9 - 11, the event is officially titled a "CART Town Meeting: A Forum on the FedEx Championship Series in Ohio and Beyond." The featured panel will include CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook, Champ Car legend Mario Andretti, CART FedEx Championship Series team owner, former driver and Ohioan Bobby Rahal and CART Steward and former Mid-Ohio chief driving instructor Chris Kneifel. Former driver and current CBS and SPEED Channel television analyst Derek Daly will serve as the evening's emcee. Additional forum participants will be announced in the coming days. The CART Town Meeting is free and open to all CART fans who register in advance. The evening's highlight will feature a question and answer session moderated by Daly from 7 - 8:30 p.m., with all attendees welcome to ask questions. The question and answer program will be followed by a brief reception where guests will have the opportunity to meet and socialize with the evening's panelists. Those in attendance at the Town Meeting will also have the opportunity to purchase tickets on site for the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio at an advanced, sale price. In addition, fans will be eligible to win one of nine spots in the CART FANatics promotion, which gives fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be immersed in the pre-race activities as Champ Car teams prepare for battle on race day at Mid-Ohio. Attendees can also register to become one of four chosen to present an award on the victory podium at the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio post-race ceremony, win a pace car ride around Mid-Ohio's 2.258-mile permanent road course or take home a checkered flag signed by every Champ Car driver.

7/18/02

NASCAR and now F1 on Satellite radio   US radio network Sirius Satellite Radio has signed a deal to cover the Formula One races for the remainder of the season.  The deal between governing body the FIA and Sirius will see race coverage broadcast on the network's 'Real Sirius' station found on channel 117. The agreement includes the popular US Grand Prix, held at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on 29 September. Said Jay Clark, Vice President of Entertainment Programming at Sirius Satellite Radio: "The recent addition of the US Grand Prix has bolstered enthusiasm for Formula One in the US. Now coast-to-coast, anywhere in the US, you'll be able to hear live race coverage from the largest and most prestigious auto series in the world."  NASCAR is already on satellite radio, and we expect the IRL will make a similar announcement sometime soon. CART cancelled the CART Radio Network last year.  They could, however, broadcast the TV audio over satellite radio.

7/18/02

Is there any good CART news?  According to this Indy Star article, Unless you're an eternal optimist, the cancellation of the German 500, which was slated for Sept. 21, makes it look as if it is just a matter of time before CART goes under. The sad and crazy part about the whole thing is this: It's hard to blame CART. Series officials really did not have an option. Actually, CART did the right thing. How can you blame CART for refusing to finance the entire event on its own, including paying to have equipment flown to Germany? Doing so would be a poor business decision for any racing league.....How many times in just over a year can a series have races canceled and maintain a positive image? Well, definitely not the three times it's happened with CART. So when the German 500 was canceled, it made things appear even worse. This has nothing to do with reality. And it definitely has nothing to do with the fact that this most recent cancellation had absolutely nothing to do with any kind of problems on CART's part. No, this is all about perception. And a major part of the perception is that negative things always seem to happen to CART these days. It's one heck of a way to have to run a racing league......Somewhere, you just have to believe IRL president Tony George is cheering.

7/18/02

Unser might learn today   According to this Indy Star article, Al Unser Jr. might learn today where or not the Indy prosecutor will press charges against Unser.  Knowing the huge influence the George family has in Indy, do you really expect this case to go any further?

7/18/02

Work on Silverstone continues  According to reports from England, the existing pit and media facilities at Silverstone International have been torn down. As the next, $40 million phase of construction begins at the home of British motor racing, new double-tiered pit garages, paddock area will feature for the 2003 F1 event.

7/18/02

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7/17/02

Roush sets 2003 driver lineup  With the recent announcement that Greg Biffle and his sponsor Grainger will be moving up to the Winston Cup Series ranks in 2003, Roush Racing's roster for the series is set for next season. With probably one of the most powerful driver lineups in NASCAR Winston Cup history, Roush Racing will field five cars with Mark Martin, No. 6 VIAGRA? Ford Taurus; Greg Biffle, No. 16 GRAINGER Ford Taurus; Matt Kenseth No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus; Kurt Busch No. 97 RUBBERMAID Ford Taurus and Jeff Burton, No. 99 CITGO Ford Taurus. "I'm very proud of the team that we have assembled over the course of the last few years," said team owner Jack Roush. "We've got a very balanced mix with veterans Mark and Jeff, and the young talent of Matt, Kurt and Greg. Our teams are working well together and this is definitely one of the best seasons Roush Racing has experienced, especially as a multi-car team. I believe the addition of Greg and his crew chief Randy Goss will only add to the equation, and not only will they feed off of our other teams, but they will have many fresh ideas to offer the group. I'm excited about our Winston Cup lineup for next season and the prospect of one or more of the teams running for a championship in 2003."

7/17/02
Industry News

American Joel Nelson Storms To Victory At Snetterton  2001 Jim Russell Graduate Runoffs winner Joel Nelson is doing a fantastic job this season in the Formula Palmer Audi series in the U.K. As you will notice, he is once again in the lead of the series and continues to amass a formidable string of finishes in three different series on two continents. He currently leads the USAC Formula Russell Championship in his rookie season.  20 year-old Joel Nelson regained the points lead in the Formula Palmer Audi Championship after leading every lap to win round eight at Snetterton circuit in England. "What a fantastic result. This was one of my most difficult victories. Every lap was like a qualifying lap. I pushed as hard as I could for the entire race. It is good to see Audi Sport North America back at the top of the championship." After a blistering start from pole position, Nelson opened up a four second lead over second place by the middle of the race. He maintained the gap until two laps from the end when the left rear tire of his car suffered a puncture. "At the time I wasn't sure what the problem was. I thought maybe a damper had failed or the left rear toe link had moved. I was struggling to keep the car on the track. It was a good thing I had a decent lead over second place because I lost over three seconds on the last lap". Nelson finished a close second in the opening race of the day after qualifying third. On the opening lap Joel fell to fourth before passing second and third place cars at the same time. "I got a super draft from the second and third place cars and then braked mega late into the following corner. It was fantastic from my perspective, really exciting." Nelson and race leader Adrian Wilmott pulled away from the field by as much as one second per lap and finished with a fifteen second lead over third place. Joel recorded the fastest lap of the race. "I was marginally quicker, but it would have been very difficult to pass Adrian. I decided it was best to collect the second place points as I knew that would restore my championship lead". Nelson has won half of the Formula Palmer Audi Championship races this year and is the only driver to have won at every circuit visited.

7/17/02

CART Stock Watch 

MPH closed at $8.88 up $0.04 on volume of 23,200 shares.
$8.08 Bid - $9.06 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $8.63/$8.87
MPH Value Change up 0.45%
DOW Jones up 69.37 or 0.82%
NASDAQ up 21.99 or 1.6%
S&P 500 up 5.1 or 0.57%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/17/02

Salazar to return this weekend   Veteran Eliseo Salazar, injured in a testing accident in April, will return to Indy Racing League competition at the Firestone Indy 200 on July 20 at Nashville Superspeedway after receiving medical clearance July 17. Salazar, a native of Santiago, Chile, will drive the No. 11 Harrah’s/Banco Chile Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone owned by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt. Salazar suffered a torn vertebral artery in his chest during a testing accident April 16 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I feel great, I am training full time, and I am ready to come back,” Salazar said. Thoracic surgeon Dr. John Fehrenbacher examined Salazar on July 17. Based on that examination, Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services, cleared Salazar to drive. Salazar’s return will result in Greg Ray moving into Foyt’s No. 41 Harrah’s Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone at Nashville, combining with Salazar and Airton Daré to form a three-car IRL team. Foyt also fields an Infiniti Pro Series car for his grandson, A.J. Foyt IV. “I told Eliseo that there would be a car for him when he was ready to return,” Foyt said. Salazar’s recovery occurred quickly. Doctors originally indicated that Salazar would miss the rest of the season after the emergency surgery. “I told them that my bones heal much faster than the normal person,” Salazar said. “My quick recovery may surprise others, but I expected it. As for racing, it will take me a couple of races to be back in top form because there is no exercise regimen that can prepare you for the rigors of racing at over 200 mph. “Coming back at Nashville will be tough for me because it is a tough track, and it is only a two-day show, so I will have to get with the program pretty fast.” Salazar, 46, started racing nearly 30 years ago, but thoughts of retirement didn’t enter his mind after the accident in April. “This is my life, it is what I love to do,” Salazar said. “Besides, I have to come back because these young guns think they own motor racing.” IRL

7/17/02
Industry News

Houston Superspeedway hits launch pad  According this Houston Chronicle article - Star State Investment Inc. purchased 2,700 acres of land and announced Tuesday its intention of developing a superspeedway along Texas 288 in Brazoria County. The company plans a privately funded, $100 million venue, with construction tentatively beginning in late 2002 or early 2003, said Tom Floyd, Star State's chairman and chief executive officer. The last time big-time racing was held in Houston was an appearance by the CART series in October 2001. Because of construction downtown, CART racing will not return to Houston this year. Floyd's track would be able to handle a NASCAR Winston Cup race, but the Winston Cup schedule is full, and NASCAR officials have said in the past they will not expand it. NASCAR officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.  More from the Houston Business Journal.

7/17/02

No more CART TV broadcasts in Germany  On the heels of the cancellation of the CART race in Germany comes word that ORB, the German TV network that broadcasted all CART races in Germany, will cease to do so immediately.  We told CART to go with Eurosport (for all of Europe), but nobody wanted to listen.

7/17/02

Order your St. Pete race tickets  Click on the order form to the right and print it out if you are interested in ordering tickets in the best grandstands for the upcoming St. Petersburg GP in February.  They are across from the pits and not available to the general public.  Or go to their website for other tickets.  Note the right-hand kink in the track just before the first turn - this will eliminate any chance for passing.  The cars will turn right and never have a chance to straighten out to make a pass!  They would have been better off extending the main straight further, then making a sharp 120-degree right-hand first turn.  This would have ensured a straight, hard braking zone where the drivers can actually pass.  CART, hello!  Are you listening?

7/17/02

Cleveland newspaper talks about its race  This Cleveland Plain Dealer article says - The city once used the race as a big marketing point to attract conventions and other events. The Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Growth Association wined and dined people and showed them a vibrant downtown to get them to come here. You don't see or hear of that happening much anymore. Race promotions used to have an air of excitement and anticipation. Tickets would go on sale just after Christmas. The Roar by the Shore might have been catchy phrase years ago, but it's now trite and more of a snore. The push to sell tickets doesn't start until May. Yet fans still showed up. CART certainly has its share of problems, including a lot of dead time waiting for qualifying on Saturday, and mandatory pit stops on race day that eliminate race strategy. But the event remains one of the most profitable on Cleveland's sports calendar. If the city, CART and IMG are close to getting a deal done, fine. But the real deal should be a re-commitment by all three to find new ways to make it even better.

7/17/02
Industry News

Motorola posts biggest loss ever  Motorola Inc. on Tuesday posted its biggest net loss in company history, but before its restructuring charge the world's second-largest mobile telephone maker topped analysts' expectations. Including a previously disclosed $3.4 billion pretax restructuring charge, or $2.4 billion after taxes, Motorola's net loss in the second quarter was $2.3 billion, or $1.02 a share, compared with a net loss last year of $759 million, or 35 cents a share. The restructuring charge was largely for job cuts and asset write-downs. Motorola officials repeated that this largely completes the company's restructuring. Investors seemed to focus on the earlier-than-expected return to profits before charges as Motorola's stock rose to $14.62 in after-hours Instinet trading from its close on the New York Stock Exchange of $14.53. It closed up 69 cents, or 5 percent, in regular trading on Tuesday. "They are becoming more efficient," said Kurt Lauber, an analyst at American Express Financial Advisors, which owns shares of Motorola. "They're delivering right now."

7/17/02

More Bud Shaw reactions  UPDATE Yet another scathing letter - Nice hack job . . . Bud. For a guy who didn’t even make it to the track last weekend you sure do have an experts grasp of the realities of modern day motorsports, yes Sir. When it comes to open–wheel motorsports in North American, “open-wheel” means no fenders, Bud, CART is the by far the premier product bar none. By all measures available CART is superior to the IRL and if you took 5 minutes from your hectic schedule of slamming what you don’t know anything about to check out fine web sites like AutoRacing1.Com, Speedvision.Com, even the IRL/ABC biased ESPN/RPM.Com you would be better equipped to write about these things as you would finally know something! Do you really think it’s all that difficult to turn left all day long in cars designed and fine-tuned to do only that? Even guys like you, the “I-haven’t-seen-anything-faster-than-55-in-my-Volvo” set could go 180 in an IRL or NASCAR stock car! Having the talent to compete in CART separates the real driving talent from the burned-out wannabes and no-talent substance abusers that populate today’s IRL grid. The technology that makes up the modern Champ Car is of great interest to CART fans. There is no technology in an IRL or stock car, Bud (is this your real name or are you sponsored by Anheuser-Bush?). Then there is all the two-faced, self serving crap your bud (sorry, I couldn’t resist) Tony George has spewed since the inception of the IRL. Crap about “Americun” drivers, and “low cost” racing. Fact is the IRL is dominated by foreign drivers and next year it will be more expensive to compete in the IRL than in CART. The Penske/Toyota/Honda invasion will only escalate costs further sending many founding IRL teams to CART next year. Unfortunately, the ongoing damage done to the drivers in the IRL will continue to be the price IRL drivers pay to put on Tony’s Show. The IRL “series” exists to support one race and one man’s financial interests. As we learned when King George handed down his ruling on Paul Tracy’s Indy 500 win, nothing this man does is in the best interest of the sport. Why don’t you write about this? What’s makes your drivel all that more disheartening to me personally, being from Cleveland and having delivered the Plain Dealer door-to-door for years when I was a kid, is the unsettling knowledge that The Plain Dealer, a publication I have great respect for, saw fit to publish your self-serving and biased crap. Bud, a fine job. Your VIP seats to the 2003 Indy 500 remain secure. J.N. Anderson, Chicago, IL  7/16/02 - Far too many emails on this guy to print them all.  Here's a sample in reaction to his article.  Dear Reporter/Bud Shaw, Have you even been to a CART race recently? I can tell you that I have been to nearly all of the CART and IRL races this year, and your opinion obviously displays your lack of recent experience between the series. The only time that I have ever seen an IRL race draw nearly as much attention, or spectators as any CART race was the Indy 500, and it still didn't match any CART race this year. Also, the CART administration is extremely humble and very grateful for all its fans, unlike IRL/Tony George who is the arrogant entity in this entire rift. Tony George has the God complex not because he has the better series with more desired racing, cause he doesn't have any of that, its because he has Penske and enough of his own private money to pull the series along. CART teams don't have to be paid off to sell their souls as Penske did and others will to IRL. The only reason I go to IRL races is cause I get free tickets, and every race I've been to of the IRL the guy to the left of me, to the right of me, behind me, and in front of me all were there only because they had free tickets. George may have lots of money, but it won't last and those rifts will show and CART will still be alive and kicking. You'd be amazed at how much real information you receive when you're involved with starting new teams in both series. You guys look so silly being the do-boys for George, when it is truly not the truth. -An Informed Race Fan

7/17/02

Latest F1 Hot News

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On This F1 Day...

7/16/02

Harvick and Schrader to pull double duty  NASCAR Winston Cup Driver Kevin Harvick will join Ken Schrader as one of two drivers doing double duty at New Hampshire International Speedway during the New England 300 weekend. Harvick will drive his own entry in Saturday's New England 200 featuring the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing GM Goodwrench Chevrolet in Sunday's New England 300 featuring the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. This will be Kevin's third time racing a truck at "The Magic Mile". Harvick finished seventh during the Craftsman Truck event in 1998 and fifth in 1999 after having led 5 laps. Kevin's best finish at NHIS came during a Busch Series race in May 2001. Harvick finished second to Greg Biffle after leading 165 laps of the 200 lap event. In his six prior events at the speedway, Harvick has collected three top ten finishes and one top five finish. Harvick has led laps in five of his six starts.

7/16/02

NBC Today show live from Washington DC  NBC’s “The Today Show,” one of the longest-running programs in television history, will be live at the American Le Mans Series Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., on Friday, July 19. Willard Scott, popular weather forecaster for the morning news/talk program, will be at the RFK Stadium racing circuit that will be the site of Sunday’s inaugural Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C. The show will do at least six live segments from the site on Friday’s broadcast, with some personalities in the American Le Mans Series to be interviewed by Scott. The appearance of “The Today Show” at the event coincides with NBC Sports’ live telecast of the race on Sunday. The 1 p.m. (EDT) telecast will mark the first appearance of the American Le Mans Series on NBC Sports in 2002.

7/16/02

Herta on RPM2Night  American Le Mans Series driver Bryan Herta will be a guest on the popular cable television program “RPM2NIGHT” on the ESPN2 network on Thursday, July 18. Herta, driver of the Panoz Motor Sports LMP-1 “Spirit of America” machine, will join the show from the ESPN Zone in Washington, D.C. He will discuss this weekend’s Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., at RFK Stadium, the first American Le Mans Series event to be held in the Nation’s Capital. From Valencia, Calif., Herta is in his first season of sports car racing after competing for the past eight years in the CART FedEx Championship Series.  The motorsports news program originates at 6:30 p.m. (EDT), with at least two replays (check local listings).

7/16/02

Goodwood ultimate meeting of cars and stars  The theme of this year’s event was: “On the Limit—A History of Heroes.” The Goodwood Festival of Speed, now in its 10th year, brings together a huge array of racing cars as well as exotic and historic road cars and motorcycles. All are on display on the grounds of the Goodwood estate, owned by the Earl of March, a keen automotive enthusiast who founded the festival. Fans are allowed to get next to the cars on display.  More..

7/16/02

New Winston Cup team  Scott Hillis of Lebanon, Tenn., announced Tuesday that he will field a NASCAR Winston Cup Series team with plans to be on the track for the July 28 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. The new team, SR Racing, will field No. 79 Dodge Intrepids with Carl Long behind the wheel. Long, who started the season hoping to contend in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year competition, parted company with Mansion Motorsports and team owner Thee Dixon in July and will race a limited schedule with SR Racing for the remainder of the season, including a possible run at The Brickyard on Aug. 4. "We've been testing at Indy," Hillis said. "If we like what we see during testing, we'll be there for the race." Bobby Robinson will be the team's crew chief, with technical assistance from Norman Negre. The cars will be prepared at Negre Enterprises in Mt. Pleasant, N.C. Still in search of a primary sponsor, the No. 79 will carry the colors of Jaret's Angels and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at Pocono. Jaret's Angels is the name of a family and friend support group for Jaret Arneson, a three-year-old Charlotte resident that was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2002. To find out more about the JDRF, visit the organization's Web site at www.jdrf.org.

7/16/02
Industry News

Big-spenders drive Shanghai economy  We have long maintained that Shanghai is the place to hold a race because that's where all the big money in China is moving.  Bernie Ecclestone is no dummy, why do you think F1's likely to be racing in Shanghai and not Zhuhai? The first half of the year saw Shanghai's economy race ahead 10 per cent, outpacing the 7.8 per cent national growth. The USA's growth pales in comparison. Yesterday, city officials said the strong year-on-year rise in first-half gross domestic product was supported by massive spending on property and solid consumer demand for cars and other goods. "Faced with the gradual improvement in the domestic and international economies, Shanghai's economy showed a steady increase and a healthy appearance," Shanghai Statistical Bureau director Pan Jianxin said during a news conference. Last year Shanghai's GDP rose 10.2 per cent on 2000, official figures showed.

7/16/02

Honda so far not thrilled with IRL & Cheever   On page 19 of the July 11, 2002 edition of Autosport, in an article entitled "Honda Courts Andretti for IRL", it states the following; "Despite its standing, Honda has yet to seal an IRL deal with a team. "It's difficult", said Honda's CART program boss Michihiro Asaka. "There are not many good teams in the IRL. We are a bit concerned because we are behind schedule."  NOTE; This is not exactly a "vote of confidence" in the current roster of IRL teams.  Also, in another article (page 19) entitled "Cheever in talks for a new engine supply" the following was stated; But Honda Performance development manager Robert Clarke was less than positive after encountering Cheever's straight talking approach. "I'm not sure we can do business with him," he said. (Note; Mr. Asaka does like Thomas Scheckter, but then again, who doesn't?)  Cheever's tough talk may play well when he's blowing hot air at the IRL'ers, but he fails to realize that when you're in the big time corporate arena, the prototypic IRL tough talk doesn't hold sway.  Honda certainly has their work cut out for them. With Penske's ever increasing stranglehold over the IRL, with (1) Toyota; (2) MK (AKA Penske) Chassis; (3) controlling Ilmor, Honda has a tough road to hoe. Steve Levinson

7/16/02

CART Stock Watch

MPH closed at $8.81 down $0.19 on volume of 26,700 shares.
$8.18 Bid - $9.12 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $8.68/$8.97
MPH Value Change down 2.11%
DOW Jones down 166.08 or 1.92%
NASDAQ down 7.34 or 0.53%
S&P 500 down 16.99 or 1.85%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/16/02

CART begins Hispanic marketing initiatives  Responding not only to the recent influx of drivers and teams from Mexico that are having success in the CART FedEx Championship Series, but also to the businesses and huge crowds that surround the CART events in Mexico, Championship Auto Racing Teams announced its Hispanic Marketing Initiatives over the weekend in Cleveland.  More...

7/16/02

German race cancelled  Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) has been informed by the provisional receiver of EuroSpeedway Lausitz that the FedEx Championship Series race scheduled for Sept. 19 - 21 has been cancelled. Although various efforts have been undertaken over the course of the last two weeks to ensure that the event would continue, the organizers are not in a position to host the CART Champ Car event this year following EuroSpeedway Lausitz's insolvency filing earlier this month. Earlier this year, CART and the EuroSpeedway organizers had entered into a co-promotional, joint-venture agreement for the operation of the German 500. "Germany is an important market and we are disappointed the race will not be held, but the only proposed solution was basically for us to write a large check on top of the financial commitment we had already made," said CART President & CEO Christopher R. Pook. "We will shift our European focus to other markets." Last week, CART Vice President of Promoter Operations Tim Mayer met with EuroSpeedway officials in Germany. Despite positive efforts from the organizers, the State of Brandenburg and the receiver, the cancellation proved unavoidable. CART will have a presence in the European market this season as the Rockingham 500 at Rockingham Motor Speedway, Sept. 13 - 14, in England will continue as scheduled and CART is currently working closely with the event organizers to continue positive advance ticket and corporate sales. Track officials at the Northamptonshire oval today announced that they have sold nearly all of their allotment of corporate hospitality space and have also sold nearly half of its South Grandstand seats in the last two weeks.

7/16/02

D-Day for Arrows  2nd UPDATE Tom Walkinshaw has instructed his team to head out to the French Magny Cours circuit in readiness for this weekend's French Grand Prix and one assumes that Walkinshaw believes that there is a chance that his team will be on the grid come Sunday afternoon. The team has been and remains in discussions with shareholders and several potential investors. The outcome of these discussions will determine Arrows' future. "We have new investors waiting to step in and secure our future, but we still have to come to agreement with existing shareholders", commented Team Principal, Tom Walkinshaw. "Negotiations are detailed and complex but we don't intend to give up. We need more time. We want to do a deal that will satisfy everyone concerned. "We are still in discussions with all parties and are now moving into the time-consuming due diligence process with some of the potential investors," Walkinshaw continued. "I have instructed the team to dispatch the cars and transporters to Magny Cours this evening and we will do all in our power to compete at the weekend. We'll keep on trying and hope that common sense and responsibility prevail. We'll keep you informed..."  7/16/02 - Fresh doubt was cast over the future of the Arrows Formula One team on Tuesday as it emerged that the team had yet to leave for the Magny Cours circuit. A team spokeswoman confirmed that the team's transporters had yet to leave their Leafield base, when normally teams would send out their equipment by the Monday preceding the Grand Prix. The spokeswoman confirmed that talks continued over the future of the team and that at this time there was no conclusion.  7/16/02 - Tom Walkinshaw says today is D-Day for Arrows.  Either the team is sold by close of business today, or they miss the French GP this weekend.  Red Bull is still rumored to be the buyer, with Craig Pollock taking the helm.

7/16/02

Will NASCAR start 43 in New Hampshire?  For the first time since September 1996, NASCAR may be in jeopardy of not being able to fill a 43 car starting grid this weekend at Loudon. With only 41 cars entered in this weekend's New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, expect some last minute heroics by the NASCAR brass to entice some other teams to make the jaunt up the New England coast to fill out the field. In the past, whenever a field has been short, a Busch Grand National or ARCA entry usually jumps at the chance to run a Winston Cup race, but this weekends companion series are the Craftsmen Trucks.

7/16/02

Dr. Olvey to speak at Concussion conference  Career-ending concussions are a danger in nearly every sport and auto-racing is no exception. The specter of an impact that causes temporary or permanent damage to an athlete's head is something that every CART driver deals with when they buckle into a race car, and it is something that the CART Medical Staff is well-prepared to deal with. It is that level of preparedness that has led to CART Medical Director Dr. Steve Olvey being called upon to speak on the subject of concussions and the new advances made in treating such injuries during this weekend's University of Pittsburgh Medical Center conference titled "New Development in Sports-Related Concussion" in Pittsburgh. Dr. Olvey will be one of a number of physicians, trainers and athletes speaking at the three-day conference, which will take place at the Westin Convention Center from Friday, July 19 to Sunday, July 21. Dr. Olvey will be addressing the topic of concussions in motorsports, and will be joined by Dr. Mark Lovell, who is the Director of Concussion Testing for Championship Auto Racing Teams. The conference will cover not only recognizing and preventing concussions, but also the new advances made in post-concussion testing. Parties interested in attending the conference can get registration information and a schedule of events at www.impacttest.com.

7/16/02

England ticket and corporate sales ahead of schedule  The popularity of the CART FedEx Championship Series in the United Kingdom is reflected in the return of Championship Auto Racing Teams to the new Rockingham venue, and is now being shown at the box office as ticket sales for the September 13-14 Rockingham 500 continue to increase. The new oval track lowered ticket prices and instituted a half-price plan for children that has met with quick acceptance from the British fans. Rockingham Motor Speedway announced Tuesday that over half of the 7,000-seat South Grandstand was sold out in just two weeks and more than 13,000 tickets have already been sold with two months remaining before the Champ Cars roar to life on the 1.479-mile oval. The corporate sector has been even more active in purchasing space for the CART event, as less than a dozen of the 58 corporate hospitality suites are still open, prompting track officials to consider creating additional corporate facilities to meet the demand. "CART and Rockingham are all about providing great value for money and that appeals to corporate and individual customers alike" said Rockingham Chief Executive David Grace. "Our new, tighter, two-day format guarantees a full day of action from 9:00 a.m. on both the Friday qualifying day and on the Saturday. You get a great view of the entire track from every seat. Add to that the legendary openness and accessibility that CART, its teams and the drivers are very proud of, and it's no wonder that the Rockingham 500 is being seen as a 'must do' weekend event."

7/16/02

Rudd out of #28 car  Both Robert Yates and Ricky Rudd said on Monday it's unlikely they will be back together again next year.  Will Rudd retire?

7/16/02

Franchitti visits new Denver track  In this Denver Post article, Dario Franchitti says "That will be a passing spot, for sure," Franchitti said of the backstretch. "I think we're looking at a bare minimum of 180 (mph). It's a really fast entry on to that straight, and it's a long straight. We're looking at some high speeds."  This AP article has more about the visit.  There is also this Rocky Mountain News article.

7/16/02

Latest F1 Hot News

Living Tribute to Tyrrell
2003 Verstappen Return?
Irvine: Ferrari Will Fall
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On This F1 Day...

7/16/02

Local media continues to pound CART at every race  2nd UPDATE A reader responds to Bud Shaw article - point for point.  7/15/02 - Called the credential office at Cleveland. Bud Shaw (author of the article) never picked up his media credentials. He was never at Burke all weekend. Therefore, he didn't write his story based on what he saw at the track, but was put up to it by others.  7/15/02 - With friends like that, who needs enemies.  At every race CART has gone to this year, the local newspaper has printed stories that drive fans away from the ticket booths and damage CART and its image. The underlying strategy (whoever is putting them up to it) seems apparent - badmouth CART in everyone of their markets before and during race weekend with the goal of killing ticket sales and eventually drive it out of business.  The latest came in this weekends Cleveland Plain Dealer.  This article brought up these damaging remarks - The "Roar by the Shore" is still the working title of the annual race along the lakefront. CART, though, is a different animal from what it was before the split with the Indy Racing League. It is six years since that happened and what we hear now from CART is the roar of a mouse, not the king of the jungle......the sense of CART's future is that it's AAA heading toward AA.

7/15/02

Morgan Shepard to try Winston Cup  Morgan Shepherd announced today that plans have changed concerning his decision to run both the Craftsman Truck and Winston Cup events next weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway. "We have decided to park the truck for a while and concentrate on getting our #89 Cup car ready for New Hampshire, said Shepherd. "We are looking forward to working with our old friends and competitors Dave and Roger Dion. I'm not sure exactly when our truck program will resume, but for now we need to put our full efforts into the Winston Cup car." "We want to be sure to thank our fans and loyal supporters. We appreciate their thoughts and prayers and hope they will continue. We are looking forward to New Hampshire and pray for a good run." The last Winston Cup event Morgan competed in was on February 21, 1999 when he drove the number 90 car owned by Junie Donlavey in the Dura Lube/Big KMart 400 at North Carolina Speedway.

7/15/02

So what will Tony do about Al Unser, Jr.   As described in this RPM.ESPN.com article by Robin Miller, that's a question several people are asking today about a race driver with an apparent substance abuse problem. If not addressed, it could cause an incident on a track. "I've got a driver and a car in that series and I am definitely concerned about his (Unser) condition," said Morris Nunn, who campaigns Felipe Giaffone in the IRL. "I plan to call Tony George on Monday morning and ask him what he's going to do." Toyota's Jim Aust, whose company will provide power to Kelley Racing and Unser in the IRL next year, is equally concerned. "We have a moral turpitude clause in our contracts with teams that utilize our engines and we expect them to uphold their drivers to terms of the agreement," said Aust. "We have to uphold the integrity of this sport and at the speeds these drivers travel they have to be able to trust each other. I hope Tony George will do the right thing."

7/15/02

CART Ladder Series news   Ryan Hunter-Reay became the first three-time winner of the year in the Toyota Atlantic Championship while Davy Cook scored his maiden victory in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in CART Driver Development Series action over the weekend from Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport.   More...

7/15/02

NASCAR wins the ratings war...again  Not even the lockout of Pepe the Prawn from Chicagoland Speedway property could stop a landslide ratings victory for NASCAR this weekend. The race set a blistering pace with a 5.0 overnight rating and 12 share. The final half-hour of the broadcast pulled in a 5.9 rating. The overnight rating is 4 percent higher than last year. No sports TV competition was even close. Fox’s regional coverage of three Major League Baseball games on Saturday finished second with a 3.0 rating and 8 share, followed by the final round of the Greater Milwaukee Open on ABC on Sunday, with a 2.0 rating and 5 share. For every half-hour from 2:30-6 p.m. ET ,the Tropicana 400 on NBC even beat the combined network sports competition (ABC - PGA/Senior PGA and CBS - CART/NFL QB Challenge/Tour de France). Saturday's Busch race earned a 2.1 overnight rating and 5 share, the same rating as last year.  MotorsportsTV.com

7/15/02

Zanardi invited to be Grand Marshall in Surfers   Alex Zanardi, who lost both legs above the knee in a crash last September in Germany, is being invited back to the site of his last race victory as grand marshal of the Indy 300 in October. The 1998 Gold Coast winner and two-time CART champion is walking again with the aid of prosthetic legs and two canes. He attended the Molson Indy in Toronto two weeks ago and waved both the green and checkered flags. Indy 300 chief executive Geoff Jones said Monday he hoped Zanardi would take up the invitation to return to the Gold Coast for the Oct. 27 race. "It makes great sense," said Jones. "He is highly popular in this country. He's a great personality and is recovering from a major trauma injury and he would be an excellent person as our grand marshal." AP

7/15/02

Beardsley signs up for Infiniti Pro Series   2000 SCCA Formula Mazda National Champion Matt Beardsley will make his Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series debut July 20 at Nashville Superspeedway. Beardsley will drive the No. 12 Alpine Bank Old-Republic Land Title Beardsley Motorsports entry. “It’s like a big dream come true,” Beardsley said. “We had to work really hard, and it kind of came together really quickly here in the last two months. Our plans are to do this year and next year in the Infiniti Pro Series, and depending on sponsorship and what we put together, I’d like to be in an Indy Racing car in 2004 – at least the Indy 500 in 2004.” Beardsley, 23, from Breckenridge, Colo., began racing karts at age 9. After earning several national victories in 125cc class karts, he advanced to open-wheel formula competition in 1997. Beardsley competed in the Star Mazda Series (Western Division) and the SCCA Formula Mazda Series, earning the Formula Mazda national title in 2000. He earned back-to-back championship titles in the Formula Mazda Red Line Oval Series in 1999 and 2000. IRL

7/15/02

CART Stock Watch 

MPH closed at $9.00 down $0.03 on volume of 28,800 shares.
$8.13 Bid - $9.31 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $8.71/$9.00
MPH Value Change down 0.33%
DOW Jones down 44.65 or 0.51%
NASDAQ up 8.61 or 0.63%
S&P 500 down 3.54 or 0.38%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/15/02

CART's Cleveland TV rating  [Editor's Note: CART is doing better in the big city markets where it races, and hence why the overnight ratings are up.  However, the final rating is usually lower because CART is not reaching the fans in the smaller markets - i.e. grassroots Americana.  The IRL is doing a better job in those markets.] The overnight television ratings for Sunday's Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank, Round 9 of the CART FedEx Championship Series season, saw the open-wheel racing series drawing over a million households for the third straight weekend, according to Nielsen Media Research. The CART event from Cleveland drew a 1.1 national rating on CBS Sports with a 3 share, meaning that nearly 1.2 million households were tuned in to the race - won by Patrick Carpentier. Five markets reported a rating of 2.0 or better, including the race's home market of Cleveland. New Orleans, Sacramento and Ft. Myers were among the regions that drew over a 2 rating, while major markets such as Las Vegas, St. Louis, Houston and Charlotte were in the 1.5 range. The race was the fourth out of the five CART events shown on CBS Sports to have drawn at least a 3 share. The 20-round season will reconvene after a one-week break for the Molson Indy Vancouver July 26-28 in the streets of Concord Pacific Place for a race which will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel.  CART

7/15/02

Reader comments on CART's Cleveland attendance  Maybe it's the former investment banker in me coming to the fore again, but even though the attendance figures were a bit disappointing, it is relevant to consider that on that day, CART outdrew the New York Yankees, the world's second-most successful franchise. Their game against the Indians -- who are admittedly struggling -- had something like 45,000 for its game. Perhaps that is approaching capacity, but, still, that more Clevelanders chose the race over the Yankees is pretty impressive. Jim Allen

7/15/02

Petty to run special paint scheme  According to this Boston Globe article, Kyle Petty will show up at New Hampshire International Speedway with a special paint scheme. ''Every time we run at Loudon, we run a black car,'' he said. ''The Sprint people were supportive and allowed us to do it last year, so we run a solid black car up there. It's not a diecast deal. It's nothing like that. It's a personal deal for me.'' So when his #45 Dodge takes the track at NHIS, will it be solid black again? ''Yeah,'' Petty said, somberly. ''Always.''

7/15/02
Industry News

China auto industry booming  China's auto industry car sales could rise a year-on-year 39 percent to one million in 2002, an industry association said on Monday citing strong sales in first half of the year. China's carmakers sold 470,200 passenger cars during the first half of the year, a rise of 36.2 percent from the first six months of 2001, said an official of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. "This prediction is based on figures for the first half," the official told Reuters. Rising incomes and an industry-wide price war following China's entry to the World Trade Organization last December are bringing prices of passenger cars within reach of more Chinese, fuelling a boom in sales. Analysts had earlier estimated China's passenger car sales would rise to between 750,000 and 800,000 this year, from 720,000 in 2001. Some analysts said the jump this year was due partly to changes in vehicle classifications in China. In the past, Chinese companies licensed to produce vans were not allowed to sell passenger cars, but that restriction was lifted in the second half of last year. Some producers re-classified their vans as large passenger cars to take advantage of the booming family car market. Total vehicle sales in China are forecast to rise to three million from last year's 2.3 million, analysts said.  Reuters

7/15/02

Condition of latest oval wall victim released  4th UPDATE Matthew Halliday was released from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on July 14 after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, said Dr. Henry Bock, director of medical services for the Indy Racing League. Well wishes may be sent to Halliday at:
Matthew Halliday
c/o Indy Racing League
4565 W. 16th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222

7/12/02 - Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series driver Matthew Halliday was released from the Intensive Care Unit at Kansas University Medical Center on July 12 and is listed in good condition, said Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services. Halliday was listed in good condition July 9, but he began experiencing shortness of breath later that day. He was moved into the intensive care unit overnight and diagnosed with bruised lungs. His breathing improved, allowing him to return to a room. Halliday, 23, was treated for a concussion, a broken left wrist and a fractured right ankle after a crash during the inaugural Infiniti Pro Series race July 7 at Kansas Speedway. 7/10/02 - Matthew Halliday is listed in stable condition July 10 at the Kansas University Medical Center, said Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services. Halliday was listed in good condition July 9, but he began experiencing shortness of breath later that day. He was moved into the intensive care unit overnight and diagnosed with bruised lungs and his condition downgraded.  One has to wonder how much this will weigh on Michael Andretti's mind as he nears the end of his career in CART and ponders a move to the all-oval IRL series  knowing what happened to drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Adam Petty, Greg Moore, Sam Schmidt, Kenny Erwin, Eliseo Salazar, Davey Hamilton, Davey Jones, Jaques Lazier, and the numerous other recent oval wall victims.  7/8/02 - 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.

7/15/02

More passenger cars go turbo  It is a fallacy that CART should abandon it's turbo engine formula because turbo's are not used in passenger cars.  This year we have seen a rash of passenger cars introduced with turbochargers.  This Autoweek article on the new Audi is just the latest.  Note the high HP.  Turbo technology has gotten much better and they are no longer as problematic as they once were.  We expect to see more cars introduced with turbos in the coming year.

7/15/02

Cleveland reduces seating capacity, attendance up 2nd UPDATE The Cleveland Plain Dealer article says, judging from the weekend attendance at the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland, there is still a lust to see auto racing at Burke Lakefront Airport. Co-race promoters IMG Motorsports and CART reported a race-day attendance of 51,317 and a weekend total of 111,438. "You'd always like to see more tickets sold, but all things considered, it was a great weekend," said Denny Young, senior vice president and general manager for IMG. CART, which partnered with IMG earlier this spring, was equally pleased and looked for even more in the future. "We're very pleased with the result of our first partnership between CART and IMG," Adam Saal, CART's vice president of communications said. "With a full year ahead of us to promote 2003, we're confident this event can return to the same level of success it has had before, and perhaps even exceed it."   7/14/02 - AutoRacing1.com counted just over 20,000 seats (We came up with 20,240....8 bleachers total -- 7 had 22 rows of 120 seats, one had 16 rows of 120 seats. There were 10 pit row suites that featured 75 per suite) at Cleveland, less than 25,000 total with Suites.  These numbers were confirmed by IMG staff on Friday. It's been reported that today's official attendance was 51,317, up from last years numbers.  There certainly was not 26,000 people standing in General Admission today, so perhaps they have counted those who came just for the post-race concert.  Either way, the stands were full and CART and IMG appeared happy.  The 3-day attendance was 111,438.  Considering IMG must pay taxes on the 111,438 they claim, one can only assume it's not an artificially inflated number. 7/13/02 -  Cleveland has reduced their seating capacity to just over 21,000 plus suites, down significantly from years ago when the track claimed over 50,000 seats.  Grandstands used to line the entire length of the airport on the land side. With general admission, they will be lucky to have 30,000 on Sunday.  There are several reasons for this downturn 1) The city had cancelled the race and announced the IRL was coming.  This turned off a lot of people.  The decision was later reversed, but it may have been too late; 2) The City never really gets behind this event like other cities because they would prefer the airport be closed and it be converted to waterfront high-rises; 3) the NY Yankees are in town Sunday after noon against the Cleveland Indians where over 42,000 are expected in the same time slot. 4) It's always pretty hot and humid on race day, and like we have seen in Michigan, the heat eventually drives fans to the comfort of the air conditioned rooms to view the race.

7/15/02

Driver weights to wait until 2003?  UPDATE  According to this SpeedTV article, measuring the minimum weight of Champ Cars at 1550 pounds without the driver will apparently have to wait until next year. Despite recent announcements that it will begin factoring the drivers’ weight into the equation at Mid-Ohio, it now appears that the status quo will prevail. “The decision to include the drivers’ weight when calculating the weight of the car was made at a Franchise Board meeting in (early) June,” said John Lopes, CART vice president of racing operations, in Cleveland on Sunday morning. “But there are two camps, those who are in favor of implementing the change as soon as possible and those who are against making a rules change in mid-season.  7/13/02 - All the current CART drivers were weighed here in Cleveland yesterday. An average will be established and then, starting in Mid-Ohio, drivers under that average will have ballast added to their cars, and those over will have ballast removed. As is done in F1, this takes the drivers weight out of the equation and is a fair and equitable methodology.

7/15/02

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7/15/02

Stoddard desperate to save Minardi  In an attempt to raise money for his F1 concern, Minardi chief Paul Stoddart offered a portion of his Formula One car collection for auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Under the hammer went nine Tyrrell contenders acquired in 1998, plus a 1994-spec Lotus. Topping the timesheets was the 1982 Tyrrell 011 of Michele Alboreto, which sold for $55,000, while the Lotus 109 of Mika Salo and Alex Zanardi netted $48,000. Although failing to raise the quantity of money hoped for, Minardi report that 'every little bit helps' for the struggling Faenza concern.  We wonder if he will auction away the shirt off his back next?  Extremely F1 budget requirements coupled with no wins will ultimately bankrupt most teams.

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

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