Hot News

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DATE

News (chronologically)

8/7/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $5.35 Unchanged on Volume of 50,200 shares.
$4.73 Bid - $5.71 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $5.35/$5.46
MPH Value Change 0%
Dow Jones Up 182.06 or 2.2%
NASDAQ Up 21.35 or 1.7%
S&P 500 Up 17.2 or 2.0%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/7/02

Frentzen won't race in Hungary  After leaving the Arrows team last week, Heinz Harald Frentzen looks unlikely to find another formula one drive in time for the Hungarian Grand Prix. When asked, Frentzen's manager Monte Field declared that Hungary was a long shot but that the rest of the season was not unthinkable. "It's probably less likely to happen," Field said. "Something came up for us and it was just best that we ended our association with Arrows. I cannot say what at the moment, but we do intend to do everything we can to ensure he will drive at some time."

8/7/02

ISC moves closer to buying Colorado track   Is this an effort by ISC to help their IRL friends, given the IRL race at the track is not profitable?  Is it also a reaction to CART moving strongly into the Denver market?   According to this Daytona-Beach Journal article - International Speedway Corp. has gotten a foothold in the Rockies, entering a management consulting contract with a Colorado race track that also includes an option to buy it. Speedway Corp. subsidiary Rocky Mountain Speedway Corp. will provide Pikes Peak International Raceway with management advisory and consulting services, including marketing, promotions, sales and operations. While the company would not release any financial details of the contract, company communications director David Talley said it includes a right to first refusal if the owner of the Fountain, Colo., track decides to sell it. The option is good through 2005, the life of the consulting contract, and two years after. Lehman Brothers Holding bought the track, located 92 miles south of Denver, in 2001 under the name PPIR Investments LLC. "ISC has been interested in Colorado since it merged with Penske Motorsports and acquired (Rocky Mountain) in 1999," Lee Combs, Speedway Corp. senior vice president of corporate development stated in the news release announcing the contract. "PPIR's current schedule of events includes the NASCAR Busch Series and the Indy Racing League, making the facility the most significant promoter of professional motorsports in the Rocky Mountain region." The consulting contract gives Speedway Corp. a chance to look more closely at the racing business in Colorado, where it has been investigating placing a track, Talley said. "We don't view Pikes Peak International Raceway as a Winston Cup facility, but we believe the current schedule of events provides a great opportunity to promote other major motorsports entertainment in the area," Combs stated. The 1,200-acre Pikes Peak raceway complex includes a 42,000-seat, one-mile oval and 1.3-mile road course.

8/7/02

Petty signs CART driver Fittipaldi  Petty Enterprises announced today that 31-year-old CART driver Christian Fittipaldi will drive a Petty Dodge Intrepid R/T beginning in 2003. The plans call for a combined Busch and Winston Cup program beginning next season that will lead to a full-time Winston Cup program with the team in 2004 and 2005. The team is currently looking for a primary sponsor for the program. Fittipaldi’s racing experience is impressive. After winning the Formula 3000 Championship in 1991, the Brazilian competed in Formula One from 1992 – 1994 and then moved to the CART Series in 1995. He has won twice in CART and now brings his diverse experience and impressive talent to Petty Enterprises and NASCAR. “I’ve been looking at NASCAR over the last several years and knew I wanted to be a part of it,” said Fittipaldi. “I’ve been part of one of the top teams in the CART series with Newman/Haas and I wanted to find a similar opportunity in NASCAR. Petty Enterprises is one of the top names in the sport. Their team is clearly on the way up and they have an impressive group of people and equipment working to take them to the top. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.” “Christian will be another bright new star in our sport,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “It’s exciting for us to have landed him. He’s got tremendous experience and he’s been very successful in every series he’s raced in from Formula 3000 to F1 to CART. With our knowledge in this sport and his ability and experience as a driver, we’re confident that he can win races and contend for Championships in the near future.” Fittipaldi currently drives the #11 Newman/Haas car in the CART FedEx Championship Series. He has four top-five finishes this season and is currently 9th in points. He has run a limited number of Busch series races in 2001 and 2002. His schedule in 2003 will consist primarily of Busch Series and Winston Cup races and possibly several ARCA races as well. “We tested him in our cars in Lakeland (FL) and he was very impressive,” said Petty Enterprises Vice President and General Manager Robin Pemberton. “He’s clearly an incredibly talented driver, very smart and communicates well with the team. He’s going to be exciting to watch.” Dodge is equally excited about adding Fittipaldi to their current stable of NASCAR drivers. Dodge Vice President of Motorsports and SRT Marketing Jim Julow said, “We’re always looking at building for future success and it’s rare you are able to add somebody with as much talent and experience as Christian. This is a great move for Petty Enterprises and a tremendous boost for Dodge and NASCAR.”

8/7/02

Canadian CART fan terrorized by "NASCAR family" at Brickyard  This article paints a picture of the average NASCAR fan that is not very pretty and possible lends some credence to some who call them nothing more than uneducated Bubba's.  A sad commentary indeed!

8/7/02

Dario - da Matta will do well  “I think he would do very well, and would be very strong,” Dario Franchitti told the BBC. “It depends how good the car is but I think he'd do a good job as he's a very quick driver. You saw how Montoya went over there [in America] and I'd say he has done a pretty good job [in F1].”

8/7/02

Bigger greenhouses test poor  NASCAR's plan to develop larger cockpits for drivers was slowed Tuesday when cars with the bigger "greenhouses" didn't perform well on the track in testing. Drivers and crews have urged NASCAR to increase the size of greenhouses, the area inside the car, to keep the driver's head away from the roll bars. "The bigger greenhouse dramatically affected the aerodynamics, and that's not something we predicted," said Gary Nelson, NASCAR's managing director of competition. "It's a dramatically less stable car, and the driver comfort seems to be down."  AP

8/7/02

Cheever team sticks with three cars  Looking at the entry list for this weekends IRL race in Kentucky, Buddy Rice has been given another chance to race in the Indy Racing League following Cheever Racing's decision to continue running three cars at this weekend's Kentucky round.

8/7/02
Trivia

The Pits  Do you know where the term 'pits' came from in auto racing?  Back in the early days of racing, prior to the Indy 500 (around 1904) when the Vanderbilt Cup was the major auto race in the USA run out on Long Island, NY, the crews that serviced the cars were in boxes (or pits) about 20' x 20' by 5'-6" deep below the ground and wood plank lined.  The crews were below ground for safety, in case a car went out of control they would duck down inside their pit.  The boxes were just deep enough to allow the crews to watch the race by sticking their heads out the top of the 5' - 6" deep pit.  Once concrete walls were erected to separate race traffic from pitlane, the safe underground pits were no longer needed, but the name "pits" stuck.

8/7/02
Industry News

Death at Pocono  UPDATE Another concrete barrier victim.  Robert Goldfarb, 45, of Duxbury, Mass., hit a concrete barrier and died Sunday from blunt force trauma to the head, Monroe County Chief Deputy Coroner Jody Hutton said. An autopsy was performed Monday. The accident happened Sunday during the second lap of a Sports Car Club of America event. “At this point, it is under investigation by our people,” said Robert Keating, president of the club's northeast Pennsylvania region. He said investigators did not know what caused Goldfarb to lose control of his vehicle. It was the first fatal accident during a club event at Pocono International Raceway since the club started using the track in 1968, Keating said.   8/5/02 - The local coroner told Newswatch 16 that a driver from Massachusetts was killed during the 'Sports Club of America Tri-Region Nationals'. Pocono Raceway in Monroe County is best known for hosting popular Winston Cup events. Sunday's deadly crash happened during a road rally race. No word on the name of the driver killed at Pocono.

8/7/02

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8/6/02

Wheldon tests fast again  On Thursday August 1st, Dan Wheldon had his second test session with reigning Indy Racing League (IRL) Champions Pennzoil Panther Racing and was again very quick. Wheldon ran 76 laps of the Kentucky Speedway oval at the end of the day in the Pennzoil-backed Dallara-Chevrolet and set a fastest time of 222.13 mph – a similar speed to his team-mate, defending IRL Champion, Sam Hornish Jr, and quicker than other drivers on the track that day. Dan Wheldon commented afterwards: ‘It was great to be back in the car and to be able to be so quick, despite being on full tanks and not being in qualifying set-up.’ In just over a month’s time – Sunday 8 September – Dan Wheldon will become the first English driver to race in the Indy Racing League when he drives a second Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara-Chevrolet in the penultimate 2002 race at Chicago.

8/6/02

Morello International website The website for Paul Cherry's Morello International is almost ready for prime time.  The temporary home page can be found here.  Paul won't be announcing his plans until CART approves his team.

8/6/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $5.35 Down $0.25 on Volume of 105,200 shares.
$4.64 Bid - $5.62 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $5.12/$5.69
MPH Value Change Down 4.46%
DOW Jones Up 230.46 or 2.87% on Volume of 1.8 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 53.44 or 4.43%
S&P 500 Up 24.97 or 2.99%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/6/02

Hot-head Stewart fined, placed on probation  NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Tony Stewart has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31 as a result of an altercation with a media member following Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today. Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Pontiac, was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book: “Actions detrimental to stock car racing.” In addition to the fine and probation, NASCAR will require Stewart to make a formal apology to the media member. The penalties were assessed after NASCAR officials conducted a thorough investigation of the incident. “It is imperative that we protect the integrity of our sport,” NASCAR President Mike Helton said. “This type of behavior cannot be tolerated and is in no way indicative of the manner in which our drivers, teams, tracks and sponsors interact with the media. We take pride in our accessibility and interaction with the media and we intend to protect that relationship.”

8/6/02

New Mexico City website The website for the final race on the 2002 CART Fed Ex Series calendar in Mexico City has been changed significantly.  The new website can be found at http://www.telmexgigantegranpremiomexico.com/.  We have added this website to our Links page as well.

8/6/02

Team Rahal fan event  This Thursday, August 8, Team Rahal will host a free Fan Fest the Sears Hardware Store at 7088 East Main Street, in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. The chance to meet drivers Michel Jourdain, Jr. and Jimmy Vasser begins at 11:30 a.m. and will run until 1:30 p.m. Fans will have a chance to get autographs and view Vasser's #8 Shell car up close. The event is also sponsored by UniFirst Corporation, Miller Brewing Company, Central Beverage Group, Sears Hardware Stores, Shell Oil Company, the Gigante Group, Buffalo Wild Wings and WBNS-AM Sports Radio 1460 The Fan.

8/6/02

Ferrari Prez Montezemolo punches man out  Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has been involved in a fight which has left one man in a hospital promising legal action. Montzemolo was photographed punching a man to the ground. The Italian company boss was leaving a helicopter with his wife and daughter when a group of photographers began snapping away, Montezemolo was angered by this as he walked through the Massa Cinquale Airport. As the family went drove away in a waiting car, Montezemolo stepped out and shouted at local photographer Claudio Cuffaro, working for newspaper “Il Tirreno”. Cuffaro was reportedly taken to the local 'San Giacomo e Cristoforo' hospital where he will be for five days. A fellow photographer recorded the entire exchange on camera.

8/6/02

KirchMedia to sell for less  Financial experts are predicting that KirchMedia - the insolvent media group which controls Formula One's commercial rights - will sell for much lower than predicted by company executives. As the bidding war begins for the 75% owners of SLEC, the Financial Times predict that the company is worth only £1.6 billion dollars. French TV network TF1 have put in a bid for £1.6bn, while German publishing company Axel Springer are only willing to fork out £1.4bn for a company with nearly $5bn in debts. Separate assets, however - like SLEC - will be sold in auction and could well be snapped up by Formula One's manufacturer group, ACEA.

8/6/02

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8/6/02

Unser released from rehab center  Al Unser Jr. has been released from a substance abuse rehabilitation center and will return to racing Indy cars this weekend, an official from his Indy Racing League team told The Indianapolis Star on Monday. Unser, who entered an undisclosed facility July 18 to fight an addiction to alcohol, will race in Sunday's Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner will officially return to the team Saturday at Kentucky for practice and qualifying. He has missed two IRL races along with Saturday's International Race of Champions event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

8/5/02


Indy Star - Open Wheelers can't compete  AR1 has long maintained, and Chris Pook has recently agreed, can open wheel Indy style racing go head-to-head with NASCAR on ovals and not come out looking like chumps every time.  This Indy Star article states - NASCAR really is the best show in town.  It really doesn't matter if you don't speak Southern, although it helps. It doesn't even matter if you can't understand a gol-durned word coming out of Sterling Marlin's mouth. Every time the good old boys roll their stock cars out here to open-wheel country, they show us again why NASCAR is blowing up and the open-wheelers are sucking fumes. It's simple, really: They're fun. They're fun and they're filled with compelling personalities and they've written a book on marketing that the open-wheelers haven't even checked out of the library. Plus they're American drivers driving American cars, which doesn't hurt.  And when they put on the kind of thrilling and sometimes bizarre show they put on Sunday -- this might have been the best Brickyard 400 yet -- NASCAR shows again why it has not only left the open-wheelers in the dust, but has established itself as the country's fastest-growing spectator sport......so we ask once again, why put yourself in a situation whereby in a head-to-head comparison, week in and week out, you lose?  CART must continue it's march to a road and street circuit series, and firmly establish its niche in the world.  Besides, crashing expensive Indy cars into concrete walls at over 200 MPH costs a lot of money and pain.

8/5/02

Montoya and Gordon to swap rides...someday  UPDATE The planned exhibition by BMW that was to have put Gordon in an F1 car and F1 star Juan Pablo Montoya in Gordon's Winston Cup car was cancelled Monday because of a conflict in Montoya's schedule. Organizers said they are looking for another date amenable to all parties, including the Speedway, and remain hopeful of being able to reschedule the event before the U.S. Grand Prix on Sept. 29, a publicity stunt to help to raise sagging tickets sales for the USGP.  7/31/02 - Juan Pablo Montoya is set to try a NASCAR Winston Cup car for the first time on August 12th at Indianapolis when he and 4-time Winston Cup champ Jeff Gordon swap cars at the Brickyard. The plan is for Montoya to run on the oval in the NASCAR Cup car with Jeff Gordon running on the infield in the Williams. Juan Pablo last raced on the oval in 2000, when he won the Indy 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing. The day is being partly organized by BMW and it will surely attract lots of media attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

8/5/02

275,000 for Brickyard 400 - 2nd UPDATE It seems everyone has a story about this topic.  Another reader writes to say, I remember a news story several years ago involving Paul Newman. According to the story, Paul Newman held a betting pool on his team regarding seating capacity. He hired two Butler University accounting students to count the seats. I remember the number being 262,000 or 268,000. This would have been in the mid to late eighties. I bet a Butler Accounting Prof would remember the story and the number. Also, one of my very best friends worked with the tracks accounting firm and for a while was in charge of the tracks account. I asked him what the paid attendance was and he said he couldn't tell me. He did tell me though it wasn't as big as everybody thought. Marty Maupin, Indianapolis, IN.   8/5/02 - We are now being told that about 8 years ago Roger Penske turned a bunch of interns loose to COUNT the seats and came up with 230,000, which seemed about right at the time. Question is, how many have they added since around '93? Everybody wants to make Indy look bigger than it really is, and that keeps Tony smiling.  Another source told us the place seats 238,000. If we were betting, we would have to say there were about 250,000 seated yesterday, plus 25,000 credentialed personnel and those standing in the infield, for the announced total of 275,000.....which is also probably a good estimate for the Indy 500.   8/5/02 - The attendance for yesterday's Brickyard 400 was announced as 275,000.  While empty seats can be seen for the Indy 500, we didn't spot an empty seat in the house yesterday, as it was a sea of people everywhere.  Given that, reports of 400,000 estimated attendance for the Indy 500 appear wide of the mark.  While the Speedway does not publish official seating numbers, we hear a team of college students were commissioned a few years back and came up with under 300,000 seats.  It would appear, therefore, that the Indy 500 draws between 275,000 and 300,000 on race day.  We don't see how the Indy 500 could draw 125,000 more people than we saw yesterday.  Where would they fit?  This all comes back to our recent article on attendance estimates, and the need for an independent body to estimate race attendance, so race sponsors know that estimates are believable.

8/5/02

Stewart's temper gets the best of him again  UPDATE The Indianapolis Star plans to file a letter of complaint with NASCAR. That's because driver Tony Stewart's temper got the best of him yesterday after the Brickyard 400. Stewart hurriedly walked off after the race, and the Star's free-lance photographer Gary Mook, was following when Stewart broke into a trot to get away. Mook ran alongside Stewart, and Stewart threw several punches, connecting to Mook's chest and stomach. Mook told the Star Stewart came toward him and struck him in the chest to get him out of the way, and he didn't pursue Stewart after that. He says Stewart struck him once, and the confrontation is being blown out of proportion. Spokesman Jim Hunter says NASCAR is investigating the incident. AP  8/4/02 - Tony Stewart's temper got the best of him yet again Sunday when he was involved in a physical altercation with a photographer following the Brickyard 400. After the race he pulled his No. 20 Pontiac into the garage, hopped out and left the car next to one of the empty bays at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As he hurriedly walked off, he swatted his hand in the air when approached from behind by a man. A photographer was following, Stewart broke into a trot and the photographer began to run alongside of him. Stewart then turned to the man and threw several punches at him before he was pulled away. He then ran out of the garage area. The photographer, who refused to identify himself, repeated the story to car owner Joe Gibbs in a lengthy conversation next to Stewart's hauler.  AP Story

8/5/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $5.60 Down $0.09 on Volume of 26,100 shares.
$4.97 Bid - $6.00 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $5.60/$5.75
MPH Value Change Down 1.58%
DOW Jones Down 269.5 or 3.24% on Volume of 1.69 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 41.94 or 3.36%
S&P 500 Down 29.64 or 3.43%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/5/02

Brickyard 400 TV Ratings - Sunday's Brickyard 400 on NBC delivered a 5.7 overnight rating/13 share, tying last year as the highest overnight rating in the event's nine-year history, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. NBC's Brickyard 400 coverage (2:30-6:15 p.m. ET) outperformed all network weekend sports competition, generating an overnight rating 58 percent higher than the closest competition (Fox's 3.6 for Saturday's four-game regional MLB coverage). The Brickyard 400 also delivered the highest overnight rating for a sports event in nearly a month (since Fox's primetime coverage of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 9). The Brickyard's 5.7 overnight rating surpassed such recent events as ABC's primetime coverage of the "Battle at Bighorn" and ABC's coverage of the British Open. The 5.7 overnight rating and 13 share for NBC's second year in covering the NASCAR Winston Cup race from the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway ties the 2001 overnight and posted a 58 percent increase over the 3.6 on ABC in 2000 on Saturday of the same weekend. The overnight rating is also 21 percent better than the previous record high for the race, a 4.7 for the race's inaugural running in 1994 on ABC. The Brickyard 400 rating built every half hour and peaked with a 7.3 during the final 15 minutes from 6-6:15 p.m. ET as Bill Elliott took the checkered flag for the second straight week. This peak increased nine percent from the 2001 peak of a 6.7 as Jeff Gordon won his third Brickyard title. Indianapolis led the 53 metered markets with a 20.3 rating/ 44 share.

8/5/02
IROC

IROC may add one road course in 2003  According to this Detroit Free Press article - Promoters of the International Race of Champions are looking at revamping the long-running series, which has become anything but a true test of the world's best drivers. They may even add a road race to the 2003 format, if they can find a track to race on. On Saturday, Winston Cup driver Dale Jarrett won the final series race of the year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a dull, 40-lap affair. Jarrett grabbed the lead on the opening lap and was never headed. IRL star Helio Castroneves finished second, a couple of car lengths behind Jarrett, with NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader a distant third. Although Jarrett and Kevin Harvick, who finished fifth in the race and captured the series title, both said they were honored to compete in the championship, the race was a snooze. "We'll be sitting down with a spreadsheet and exploring ways of adding some new elements to the series," said George Signore, who runs IROC with his brother Jay. "If we could find a road course that fits in with the driver's schedules, we'd do it in a heartbeat." When IROC started in 1974, it was run at Riverside International Raceway -- a 2.5-mile road course -- in California. It attracted drivers from all forms of racing, including Mark Donohue, Bobby Unser, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and A. J. Foyt. When Formula One competitors Emerson Fittipaldi and Denis Hulme joined the series, it took on an international flavor. In 1975, oval races at Michigan and Daytona were added to IROC, with open-wheel champions Graham Hill of England and Jody Scheckter of South Africa also competing. The majority of IROC races since 1984, however, have been staged on ovals, with the occasional road race thrown in at Watkins Glen, N.Y. Winston Cup drivers such as the late Dale Earnhardt and Mark Martin stamped their authority on the series, winning eight championships between them. The trend could change next year, however. "We'd like to diversify the series," Signore said. "If we can fit in with schedules and TV commitments, we could run at least one road race."

8/5/02

Max Papis named to replace Adrian Fernandez  As rumored, Max Papis has been named to replace Adrian Fernandez in the Tecate Telmex Lola Honda for the upcoming Mid-Ohio race.  The decision was a joint decision between Adrian, Tom Anderson and Don Holliday. Max hinted that he hopes this opportunity could lead to a ride with Fernandez Racing in 2003.  Press release - After seeing a promising season come to an unceremonious end when his team withdrew from the CART FedEx Championship Series, Max Papis will return to the saddle this weekend at the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio as the popular Italian takes over the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone of Adrian Fernandez. Fernandez will miss the August 11 event after suffering a hairline fracture of the left hip in a late-race crash in Vancouver two weeks ago. The Mexican driver spent the recent off week undergoing therapy with Dr. Terry Trammell, but will be unable to drive at Mid-Ohio, the track where he earned victory in 1998. This will be the second time in his CART career that injuries have caused him to watch a Mid-Ohio race, having yielded his 1999 ride to P.J. Jones after suffering a wrist injury at Belle Isle. Papis returns after running the first five events of the year for Sigma Autosport. Papis earned a pair of podium finishes in his brief stint in the #22 car, placing third at Long Beach and Milwaukee. His 32 championship points had him tied for sixth when his team left the series, and still leaves him 16th of the 20 drivers that have tallied points this season. A two-time CART race winner last year, Papis made his 100th career start at the season opener in Monterrey, Mexico. The first of those 100 starts came at the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car course in 1996 while driving for Arciero-Wells Racing and Papis has gone on to earn a pair of top-five finishes in his six previous starts at the Lexington, Ohio track.

8/5/02

More negative press for CART  Continuing the trend we have seen for every race this year on the CART circuit, with Road America fast approaching, this negative CART article was spotted in a Madison, Wisconsin newspaper.  By publishing article titles such as this, it paints the impression in the local papers that CART is dying....and what fan wants to buy tickets for a dying, unpopular sport.  It appears CART has been unable to stop this "let's jump on the bandwagon and kill CART" stampede by the media in each of its race markets.

8/5/02

NASCAR approves 2003 Monte Carlo - According to this Sporting News article - Chevrolet sources say NASCAR has approved the 2003 Monte Carlo, and teams should be receiving templates this week so they can begin building cars for next season

8/5/02

TV ads for Fontana begin  During one of the first commercial periods for yesterdays Brickyard 400 was a CART commercial promoting "The 500" at Fontana in Nov. The ad was shown in the Southern, California and Nevada markets only. It will be interesting to see how soon California Speedway (i.e. ISC) sponsored promotion for "The 500" begins to appear. Last year it started in August. If attendance is equal to last year (50 to 60K), then "The 500" will be the most heavily attended open-wheel race oval race for CART this year.

8/5/02

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8/5/02

Fogarty to test Champ Car  CART Toyota Atlantic driver Jon Fogarty will test a Champ Car for Newman Haas racing next week at Elkhart Lake.  With rumors of da Matta and Fittipaldi leaving the team, and with Mario Andretti adding a third car to the Newman Haas stable, they might be in the market for three new drivers. Might Fogarty be one of them?  Dario Franchitti has the inside track on one of the seats.  See our 2003 CART Silly Season Page.

8/4/02

Leitzinger gets back-to-back wins  Rookie Butch Leitzinger capitalized on the misfortune which befell his chief Trans-Am Series rival Sunday when he drove to his second straight victory at Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama/Tom Gloy Chevrolet Corvette), a Trans-Am Series rookie making his eighth career start, took the lead from rookie Paul Menard (#99 Menards/Conseco/ Pittsburgh Paints Ford Mustang) – who was making his first career Trans-Am Series start – on the 27th of 66 laps. Leitzinger never relinquished his advantage on his way to the checkered flag, which allowed him to tie championship leader Boris Said for the series lead with three victories. Equally important, Leitzinger moved within 14 points (198-184) of Said’s championship lead when Said finished off the podium for the first time in seven starts this season. Although he qualified on the pole Saturday afternoon, Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante) was plagued by brake problem in the latter stages of Sunday’s race, ultimately finishing ninth.

8/4/02

Valiante holds off Gurney in Trois Rivieres  For the ninth straight race at the prestigious Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres, the person that won the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship pole continued on to win the race. Michael Valiante (Lynx Racing Swift 014.a) won the $1000 Toyota "Pole Award" yesterday and cashed it in for this third victory of the season today. Although Valiante led all 45 laps around the 1.521-mile temporary street course in Trois-Rivieres, he had to fight off a hard challenge from Alex Gurney (Dorricott Racing/Behr/Castrol Swift 014.a), who was looking for his first win of his career. Earlier this season, Valiante made a daring Turn 1 pass on Gurney at Long Beach that propelled him to his first career win. Today, Gurney tried to repay the favor on lap 36 at the tight left hand Turn 6. After chasing down Valiante, who had been slowed by lapped traffic, Gurney tried to outbreak the Canadian on the inside as the pair approached the turn. Gurney slid into the turn and took the lead briefly, but Valiante ducked to the inside exiting the turn and regained it by the time he had reached Turn 7. Valiante continued on to win the race by .742 seconds.  Story

8/4/02

CART looking at racing at Chicago oval again in 2003  According to this Chicago Sun-Times article, CART will likely race at Chicago Motor Speedway again in 2003 because, as we reported earlier, the area around Soldiers Field where CART wants to hold a street race, is under construction, preventing the construction of a race course in time for 2003.

8/4/02

Final IRL Michigan rating 1.2  The IRL race from Michigan on ABC pulled in a final rating of 1.2, with a 3 share, with 1,220,000 households watching.  That's down 25% from last year's CART race at MIS, also on ABC.  By contrast,  the rating for Sunday's Winston Cup race at Pocono Raceway was a 5.0 (one rating point on TNT equals about 750,000 households), a cable channel. The 5.0 is consistent with race ratings on TNT. The eye-opening number is: During the 2-hour, 2-minute rain delay, the rating was a 4.0. Evidently, NASCAR has such devoted fans, they had no interest in jumping over to the IRL race during the rain delay. 

8/4/02

No summer break for F1 in 2003 - The provisional 2003 F1 schedule has been released and not without controversy. In this article, Max Mosley, FIA President, has said there will be no change to the final edition of the 2003 Formula One calendar to include a summer break. The three-week hiatus between the German and Hungarian Grands Prix, which is currently in force, was introduced in 2001 to give team members some time off after the punishing schedule of the season. But Mosley said the FIA did not want to renege on a scheduling agreement with the organizers of the Monaco Grand Prix to accommodate the break. McLaren's Ron Dennis said that F1 teams were not consulted about the schedule. Dennis said that not having a summer break is tough on personnel, physically and emotionally.

8/4/02

Yoong expects to get axe soon - Alex Yoong expects to be axed by Minardi before the Hungarian Grand Prix after failing to meet a clause in his contract. Malaysia's first Formula One driver has a clause in his contract which allows team owner Paul Stoddart to fire him if he fails to qualify for two races. His inability to reach the grid in Germany followed failures in Britain and San Marino. Yoong's official website states: "Yoong expects that there is a possibility that he might be replaced in Hungary as he has an agreement with Stoddart that he is not to miss qualification in two grands prix." Former FedEx CART driver Bryan Herta - who will drive a Minardi at Donington later this month - and ex-Minardi man Fernando Alonso are said to be possible candidates for the drive.

8/4/02

Frentzen to miss Hungary? - Heinz-Harald Frentzen is unlikely to join a new team in time for this month's Hungarian Grand Prix, according to his manager Monte Field. The German, who left Arrows on Friday, has been linked to Jordan, Sauber and Toyota over the past month but has now been left without a drive in the middle of the season for a second successive year. The former Grand Prix winner was sacked by Jordan after last year's German Grand Prix, but found a berth at Prost before the Hungarian race three weeks later. But Field, who refused to say whether any teams influenced Frentzen's move, said the driver is yet to sign a new deal with another outfit. "It's probably less likely to happen (this time)," Field said when asked if Frentzen is likely to find a drive in time to compete in Budapest. "Something came up for us and it was just best that we ended ur association with Arrows. I cannot say what at the moment but we do intend to do everything we can to ensure he will drive at some time."  "There is not much more we could have done for Arrows," Field said. "It is something that we can't have much to do with." "What happened in Magny-Cours had nothing to do with what the racing drivers could do," added Field. "We have certain understandings with what is going on at Arrows, but it is just time to focus on what is best for Heinz-Harald.

8/4/02

Escape hatches for NASCAR? - Bobby Labonte said the Gibbs team has a solution for getting drivers out of tight-fitting stock cars: Put an escape hatch in the roof, much like drag racing's Funny Cars have.

8/4/02

Inside scoop on Frenzten/Massa/Sauber/Arrows situation - Felipe Massa´s manager, Ricardo Tedeschi, claims the whole rumor putting Massa out of Sauber on Hungary already can be blamed on a translation mistake. According to Tedeschi, it started with a story published in Switzerland´s "Autosport Aktuell" in which Peter Sauber says he would like to have Frentzen for Hungary BUT he thinks that dumping Massa in the middle of the season would be "too straining on the team". Tedeschi says that English magazines and websites didn't translate the second part of the sentence. Plus, he adds that it's "impossible, since there's not a single opening in Massa´s contract to allow such thing" (and that is actually Peter Sauber's real reason not to fire Massa). Things get bad for Massa next year though, since the contract's renewal is Peter Sauber´s option and the Swiss made public how keen he is on having Frentzen (plus, a German driver really works better for his sponsors). Apparently, the only way for Massa to stay in F1 in 2003 would be to swap seats with Frentzen, in case Arrows doesn't shut its doors or becomes Team USA, that is. He'll probably wind up with a testing seat on some other team, despite making an impressive, but tumultuous, rookie season. Cassio Cortes

8/3/02

Kristensen and Capello win Trois Rivieres  Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello won Saturday’s American Le Mans Series Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres after making a late-race tire change that gave their Audi R8 the speed needed to win. The final caution period of the three-hour race occurred when Kevin Allen crashed his Dodge Viper in turn one with 55 minutes remaining. Capello, who was driving and running second at the time, pitted and took on four tires, while the Audi of Frank Biela only added fuel and therefore maintained the lead. However, the new tires enabled Capello to catch and pass Biela, and then cruise to a 17.802-second margin of victory. “The new tires were definitely the key to victory,” said Capello, from Italy, who won for the third time in six ALMS races this season. “We lost the race at Washington (two weeks ago) because we didn’t change tires under the yellow flag, so it was a lesson learned.” Finishing third behind Biela and co-driver Emanuele Pirro were Stefan Johansson and Johnny Herbert, giving Audis a sweep of the top three. Bryan Herta and Bill Auberlen finished fourth in a Panoz MP-1. Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins won the GTS class in a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, finishing fifth overall. Ron Fellows, who had won the pole in the team Corvette, finished second with co-driver Johnny O’Connell.
1. (20) Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capello; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 166, 3:00:18.561
2. (1) Emanuele Pirro, Frank Biela; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 166.
3. (2) Johnny Herbert, Stefan Johansson; Audi R8 (LMP 900), 165.
4. (3) Bryan Herta, Bill Auberlen; Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), 162.
5. (10) Andy Pilgrim, Kelly Collins; Chevrolet Corvette C5-R (GTS), 155.
6. (7) Jan Magnussen, David Brabham; Panoz LMP-1 (LMP 900), 154.
7. (8) Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell; Chevrolet Corvette C5-R (GTS), 153.
8. (13) Emanuele Naspetti, Mimmo Schiattarella; Ferrari 550 Maranello (GTS), 152.
9. (15) Lucas Luhr, Sascha Maassen; Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), 151.
10. (16) Timo Bernhard, Jorg Bergmeister; Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT), 151.

8/3/02
IROC

Harvick wins IROC title, Jarrett race NASCAR drivers once again got to show their superiority over IRL drivers today at Indy.  NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett led every lap and Helio Castroneves ran 2nd the whole race, to win the final round of the 2002 IROC series.  NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick finished 5th to win the overall crown.  The race featured very little passing, and was called a parade.

1. (2) Dale Jarrett, NASCAR Winston Cup, 40 laps, 158.137 mph, 26 points.
2. (3) Helio Castroneves, Indy Racing League, 40, 17.
3. (1) a-Ken Schrader, World of Outlaws, 40, 14.
4. (8) Buddy Lazier, Indy Racing League, 40, 12.
5. (11) Kevin Harvick, NASCAR Busch Series, 40, 10.
6. (5) Jack Sprague, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, 40, 9.
7. (4) Sterling Marlin, NASCAR Winston Cup, 40, 8.
8. (6) Scott Sharp, Indy Racing League, 40, 7.
9. (9) Bobby Labonte, NASCAR Winston Cup, 40, 6.
10. (7) Sam Hornish Jr., Indy Racing League, 40, 5.
11. (10) Tony Stewart, NASCAR Winston Cup, 30, 4.

Final points standing and money: 1. Harvick, 54, $250,000; 2. Lazier, 49, $125,000; 3. Jarrett, 49, $95,000; 4. Castroneves, 43, $90,000; 5. Labonte, 43, $85,000; 6. Stewart, 42, $80,000; 7. Al Unser Jr., 39, $80,000; 8. Sprague, 36, $80,000; 9. Sharp, 36, $80,00; 10. Marlin, 35, $80,000; 11. Hornish, 35, $80,000; 12. Danny Lasoski, 30, $80,000.

8/3/02

Hornish still eyes NASCAR The Indy Star reports - Sam Hornish Jr. continues to insist there is no update on his prospects of becoming a NASCAR driver soon. But things are still happening behind the scenes. Ty Norris, executive vice president of Dale Earnhardt Inc., said the team is trying to strike a deal with the 22-year-old driver. Discussions are continuing although no contract has been drafted. DEI wants Hornish to share a Busch Grand National ride with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2003, with up to three Winston Cup races thrown in for 2004. Hornish's five Busch races would come at the end of next year, after his IRL season concludes. "We don't want to do anything to interfere with (the IRL program)," Norris said. "It's better for us if Sam's a three-time (defending) IRL champion."

8/3/02

Atlantics: Valiante wins first pole in Trois Rivieres  Alex Gurney (Dorricott Racing/Behr/Castrol Swift 014.a) broke up a Lynx Racing sweep of the front row, but it was no consolation to the California driver who was looking to win his first pole since 2000 when he won the pole in Cleveland. Gurney held the pole heading into Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, but it was current CART Toyota Atlantic Championship points leader, Michael Valiante (Lynx Racing Swift 014.a) who slid by and stole top spot. Valiante’s time of 1:00.762 seconds (90.116 mph) earned the first career pole for the Burnaby, BC, Canada native as well as becoming the first Canadian driver to start from the first starting spot at Trois-Rivieres since Alex Tagliani won the pole here in 1998. Even though Gurney and Jonathan Macri (P-1 Racing/NTN Bearings/Miller Genuine Draft/Battlefield Equipment Rentals Swift 014.a) were quicker than Hoover Orsi’s 2001 track record in this morning’s practice, nobody could break the mark of 1:00.663 seconds (90.263 mph) this afternoon as track temperatures soared to over 100 degrees.

1. (19) Michael Valiante, 60.762, 90.116 mph.
2. (34) Alex Gurney, 60.867, 89.960 mph.
3. (23) Grant Ryley, 61.035, 89.712 mph.
4. (32) Jon Fogarty, 61.180, 89.500 mph.
5. (27) Joey Hand, 61.254, 89.392 mph.
6. (9) Roger Yasukawa, 61.317, 89.300 mph.
7. (31) Jonathan Macri, 61.355, 89.234 mph.
8. (33) Luis Diaz, 61.442, 89.118 mph.
9. (17) Sepp Koster, 61.473, 89.073 mph.
10. (67) Marc DeVellis, 61.478, 89.066 mph.

8/3/02

Lola to make another bid for IRL  Is this because MK Racing isn't getting any takers on their chassis and Lola can't make any money in CART with frozen chassis's?  According to Autosport, racing car manufacturer Lola is planning a new bid to be allowed to supply chassis to the Indy Racing League for the 2004 season and beyond. Lola has, according to this week's Autosport magazine, been invited to re-submit its design for consideration, even though it lost out on the right to build cars for 2003 at the last minute. Lola owner Martin Birrane is upbeat about his company's chances of selling chassis in the formula. "We had a line of teams queuing for our car," he said. "Now they've bought elsewhere, but bigger teams may feel we've done enough to warrant investing in our car for 2004."

8/3/02

Latest F1 Hot News

Sir Frank: I Hope He Retires
Trulli On F1 Safety
Montoya Annoyed In Florida
Yoong To Keep His Seat?
Stoddart Sells Minardi
Pedro Faces The Boot?
Frentzen: Where To Now?
Frentzen Will Race In Hungary
F1 News In Brief
On This F1 Day...

8/2/02

Atlantics: Gurney on top in Trois Rivieres  Atlantic veterans dominated the top of the timesheets during Friday afternoon's 30-minute qualifying session as experienced Trois-Rivieres drivers placed six of the top seven times. Leading the charge was Alex Gurney (Dorricott Racing/Behr/Castrol Swift 014.a) with a time of 1:01.116 seconds (89.594 mph).
1. (34) Alex Gurney, 61.116, 89.594 mph.
2. (19) Michael Valiante, 61.118, 89.591 mph.
3. (31) Jonathan Macri, 61.355, 89.245 mph.
4. (32) Jon Fogarty, 61.505, 89.027 mph.
5. (23) Grant Ryley, 61.584, 88.913 mph.
6. (4) Rocky Moran Jr, 61.728, 88.7705 mph.
7. (27) Joey Hand, 61.805, 88.595 mph.
8. (1) Ryan Hunter-Reay, 61.930, 88.416 mph.
9. (33) Luis Diaz, 62.031, 88.272 mph.
10. (11) Rodolfo Lavin, 62.138, 88.120 mph.

8/2/02

Pirro wins pole in Trois Rivieres  Audi driver Emanuele Pirro earned only the second pole of his American Le Mans Series career Friday in a bizarre qualifying session for Saturday's Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. Though Pirro's Audi R8 Prototype had been the fastest in two practice sessions earlier in the day, he was worried that teammate Tom Kristensen might beat him in the 20-minute qualifying session.  Story

8/2/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $5.69 Down $0.20 on Volume of 131,300 shares.
$5.08 Bid - $6.02 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $5.69/$5.81
MPH Value Change Down 3.40%
DOW Jones Down 193.49 or 2.27% on Volume of 1.8 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 32.08 or 2.51%
S&P 500 Down 20.42 or 2.31%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/2/02

Testing continues at Kentucky  Indy Racing League drivers Scott Sharp and Tony Renna joined Infiniti Pro Series drivers Gary Peterson, Jason Priestley, G.J. Mennen and Jeff Tillman in a one-day test on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway Aug. 2 in preparation for the Belterra Casino Indy 300 weekend, Aug. 10-11. Unofficial test speeds for the Indy Racing League machines topped 222 mph, while unofficial speeds for the Infiniti Pro Series cars were more than 182 mph. It was the second time this week that the Indy Racing League drivers lapped the track at more than 220 mph. "We're down here with the Delphi team trying to establish a good baseline," said Sharp, who won the MBNA Pole for last year's event at Kentucky. "We're not running all that much and just mileaging out our engine from Michigan. It (testing) gives us the chance to come down here and get some of the bigger items out of the way, changes you might want to try that could take up significant amounts of track time during the (race) weekend. We'll come in (next week) and do more fine-tuning rather than looking for big things." Sharp, who won the Firestone Indy 225 in April at Nazareth Speedway, will enter the Belterra Casino Indy 300 with three consecutive top-10 finishes "This season has been a roller coaster. It's been one of those years," said Sharp, who is currently eighth in the series point standings. "When we're really good, we've had problems. We were looking really good at Indy and Texas and had little mechanical things, like a blown engine, take us out of the race. We've fought different issues and are hoping to really come off and finish off these last four races as strong as possible."

8/2/02

Lap around Montreal with Patrick Carpentier  Following a press conference in Montreal on Friday, August 2nd, to announce the schedule of CART and support events for the 2002 Molson Indy Montreal set for August 23-24-25th, Patrick Carpentier of Team Player's took a few moments to describe Montreal's Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, site of the CART race. Story

8/2/02

Truck drivers to mix it up with NASCAR regulars  The regulars of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will have same familiar names interloping on their points battle Friday night at Indianapolis Raceway Park. When the green flag drops for the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at the .686-mile oval, names like Ted Musgrave, Terry Cook and Rick Crawford will be joined by the likes of Darrell Waltrip and Andy Petree. For the latter two, this will be the first race for each of them in the Craftsman Truck Series since the Martinsville race in April. Waltrip had rear-end problems and registered a DNF and Petree was in a wreck. Petree was running in the top five most of the race after qualifying third before the wreck took place 25 laps from the checkered flag.

8/2/02

Fittipaldi says 220 possible at Rockingham  When Rockingham Motor Speedway plays host to Round 15 of the CART FedEx Championship Series, it will be the fastest motor race ever to take place in Great Britain, predicted Newman/Haas Racing driver Christian Fittipaldi (#11 Lilly Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) after visiting the 1.479-mile banked oval near Corby in Northamptonshire, England - site of the CART FedEx Championship Series Rockingham 500 September 14. "The fastest laps at close to 220 mph may not be repeated in 2003," said Fittipaldi, who predicted that the speeds for next year's race would be reduced by technical changes to the cars. "Last year, we raced here with almost no testing and the fastest lap in practice was 24.7 seconds, 215 mph," said Fittipaldi. "We've got better wing set-ups and aerodynamics this year so we'll be way quicker than that, maybe 218, even 220 mph." "During Friday qualifying, with a perfect set-up, we may be able to do the whole lap wide-open, on full throttle," said the 31 year-old Brazilian. "That would be awesome." Fittipaldi also believes that the sheer speed may be a once in a lifetime experience for British race fans. "For 2003 we'll have lower turbo boost and maybe changes to the wings, so whoever sets a track record this year, may have the record for all time. Even then we'd still be looking at racing at over 200 mph."

8/2/02

Fernandez to miss Mid-Ohio  UPDATE Fernández Racing Owner/Driver Adrián Fernández will not participate in Round 11 of the CART FedEx Championship Series, the CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, on August 11 as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in a multi-car late-race crash at the Molson Indy Vancouver on July 28. A replacement driver will be announced next week. More....  7/31/02 - Given the extent of his injuries from last weekends Vancouver race, it appears Adrian Fernandez will miss next weekends Mid-Ohio race according to this ElNorte article.  One has to wonder who will substitute for him.  Perhaps Memo Gidley who was born in Mexico!

8/2/02

Smith named Grand Marshal  Ozzie Smith, the St. Louis Cardinals’ newest member of Baseball’s Hall of Fame, will serve as the Grand Marshal at the Gateway Indy 250 Aug. 25 at Gateway International Raceway. The honor to give the command to start engines comes a month after Smith stood alone on the steps of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., the only player selected for enshrinement this year. Known as the Wizard, Smith earned 13 Gold Gloves and was named to the National League All-Star team 15 times in his career. He set six major league defensive records for shortstops but also was an offensive force with 580 stolen bases and 2,460 career hits.

8/2/02

Letter to the Editor, MIS attendance  Dear AutoRacing1.com - I think that you guys missed the main point about the dismal attendance that the IRL had at Michigan. The last few years that CART raced there they received almost zero promotional support from ISC. So with half price tickets, kids under 12 free and heavy promotional support from Penske/France controlled ISC, all they could do was barely match last years CART race in attendance. I should not forget to mention that Autoweek was also promoting their Corvette's at MIS show that took place during the IRL weekend. So lets see, Fontana was a flop because ISC did not have enough time to properly promote it. Pocono was a flop because of the weather. What is ISC's excuse now, MIS has known for a year that the IRL was coming and this was best they could do? Joshua Weiss  Dear Joshua, The IRL put on a great show at MIS, as did CART the past 20 or so years. It's certainly not because the racing hasn't been good that fans don't show up. History has shown that open-wheel oval track racing, unless packaged with Winston Cup tickets that give fans no choice but to purchase both tickets, has not been able to attract a large attendance in either CART or the IRL. We don't believe it's as much the fault of CART or the IRL, as it is of NASCAR's complete dominance of the oval track market in the USA. This is one of the main reasons why CART is now focusing on road and street circuits. Whether the IRL is successful at growing its oval business on the coattails of NASCAR remains to be seen. It's certainly one strategy and it remains to be seen if eventually the fans will revolt at being forced to buy both tickets, or accept the IRL as a product they are willing to pay extra for.  Mark C.

8/2/02

Massa fired - According to a usually reliable source, Felipe Massa's Sauber contract has been terminated ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. As German ace Heinz-Harald Frentzen re-emerges on the driver market, Peter Sauber has apparently seized his chance and signed the 33-year-old for 2003. A disagreement with current employers, the struggling Arrows team, came to a head at Hockenheim when Frentzen flatly refused to grace his Cosworth-powered cockpit. Evidently, Tom Walkinshaw is holding back both Frentzen and Bernoldi's salaries until the sale of the team is complete. An eleventh-hour solution saw the Arrows contenders take to Sunday's grid, but both Leafield-based pilots are far from contented with the precarious situation. Bernoldi, his seat funded by Red Bull and Brazilian backers, is seriously contemplating leaving the team before the end of the year. 'I'm talking to a couple of teams and thinking about the future,' Heinz-Harald Frentzen said after the German Grand Prix. 'I can't talk about it at the moment but I'm still thinking about my career.' Sauber, who gave Heinz-Harald Frentzen his Formula One debut in 1994, has reportedly lured the German to Hinwil by promising him Felipe Massa's seat for the remainder of 2002. 'It would only make sense if we could sign Heinz for next year as well,' Sauber told Autosport. According to our source, Peter Sauber cut a holiday short when negotiations with Heinz-Harald Frentzen turned in the Swiss teams' favour. Returning to Hinwil, the team chief exercised an 'out' clause in Massa's one-year deal which will see Frentzen climb aboard the C21 at the Hungaroring. Rookie Brazilian Felipe Massa soured his relationship with Peter Sauber after publicly criticizing his decision to impose team orders at the German Grand Prix. Added, of course, to a string of novice errors on the track. Ordered to let teammate Nick Heidfeld pass, the 20-year-old complained that 'It was the most difficult day in my life, and the most stupid. 'But it happened, he's my boss. The only thing I have to say is that I let him pass and in the end I think the positions should have been inverted again.' The disgruntled outburst, however, could not have come at a more crucial time in Massa's young career. At Hockenheim of Friday, Peter Sauber revealed that 'I will take up Nick's option for next year, but as for the option on Felipe, we will wait for the moment.' Frentzen was forced to switch teams twelve months ago, when he was unceremoniously fired by Eddie Jordan. The German, from Moenchengladbach, took up residency at the doomed Prost Grand Prix, making his debut for the French team in Budapest. Stay tuned.

8/2/02

Arrows release Frentzen, or he quits - Heinz-Harald Frentzen has quit the struggling Arrows Grand Prix team with immediate effect. The announcement comes just hours after Global Motorsport Media unveiled exclusively that Felipe Massa has had an 'out' clause exercised by team boss Peter Sauber. According to our exclusive, reliable source, Frentzen will replace the rookie Brazilian for the balance of 2002, before re-joining the Hinwil team he debuted for full-time next year. Frentzen, the 33-year-old German, cited the 'uncertainty' current gripping the cash-strapped Leafield operation. "I'd like to thank the team for the 12 races I have had with them", said Heinz-Harald. "The team definitely has real potential so I hope they can sort their problems out and realise their goals. I wish every one of them all the best for the future". Tom Walkinshaw, Arrows boss, adds "Heinz told us that he wished to stand down and we did not want to stand in his way. I'd like to wish him all the best and thank him for the hard work he put in at Arrows." While an Arrows press release states that Enrique Bernoldi's new teammate will be announced in 'due course', speculation is already rife that 20-year-old Felipe Massa will head straight to the vacant Leafield seat. Either that, or former Arrows driver Jos Verstappen, unceremoniously ousted before the season commenced, will return to the team he is currently suing in London's High Court. According to our source, the move could go some way to cooling legal tension between the two parties. While every indication is that Frentzen is Sauber-bound, it is worth noting that Eddie Jordan approached his former driver to replace an injured Giancarlo Fisichella at Magny-Cours. Dispelling the belief that tension exists between the pair, Jordan said at the time that 'It would be great to reunite a winning team.' Toyota and Jaguar are also touted as possibilities for Frentzen, but a source told us vehemently this morning that Peter Sauber has 'seized his chance' and snapped up the German ace. According to our source, Peter Sauber cut a holiday in Switzerland short when negotiations with Heinz-Harald Frentzen turned in the Swiss teams' favour. Returning to Hinwil, the team chief exercised an 'out' clause in Massa's one-year deal which will see Frentzen climb aboard the C21 at the Hungaroring. Rookie Brazilian Felipe Massa soured his relationship with Peter Sauber after publicly criticizing his decision to impose team orders at the German Grand Prix. Added, of course, to a string of novice errors on the track. Heinz-Harald Frentzen was quick to reassure his loyal following that the Arrows announcement does not hint at an early retirement from the sport. "Due to the unfortunate difficulties they face, I thought it would be best to step back so that we may both focus on our respective futures," the man from Moenchengladbach confirms. "I am in the process of sorting out my future in Formula 1 as I am still in love with the sport and full of enthusiasm. 'I will let you know my future plans as soon as I can."

8/2/02

Latest F1 Hot News

Webber Talks To Three Teams
The Empty Minardi Seat
Brundle For Minardi!
Felipe Massa Fired?
Da Matta Lands Toyota Drive
De La Rosa To Lose Seat?
Montoya Denies Ferrari Link
Villeneuve Admits To Pay-Cut
Villeneuve 'Definite' For BAR
F1 News In Brief
On This F1 Day...

8/2/02

Andretti to swap rides with Hayden  UPDATE Word is that Honda wants Hayden to switch to open wheel racing, and they have sent him to several classes at Derek Daly's driving school. Seems the Andretti Champ Car test might be more than just a PR stunt.  Since Hayden knows how to turn both left and right on 2-wheels, it'll be ashamed to waste that talent on the IRL series where drivers only know how to turn left.   7/31/02 - According to this SPEEDTV article, current AMA Superbike points leader Nick Hayden will drive Michael Andretti's Team Motorola Champ Car next week at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course before the VIR Superbike showdown. The drive is a PR activity for Honda, in which Hayden gets to drive Andretti's CART car and Andretti—who is a motorcycle racing enthusiast and avid motorcyclist—gets to ride Hayden's RC51 Superbike. You've got to hand it to Honda for having the courage to let Hayden in anything like a Champ Car so close to the championship finale. The entire Honda Racing and pr machine set out to win the championship this season after a near disastrous 2001; there is a trail of cash, testing and commitment that was expended to get Hayden to this juncture. "The timing isn't what we really wanted, but this is the only time this can happen," said an American Honda exec yesterday.

8/1/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $5.89 Down $0.01 on Volume of 16,200 shares.
$5.21 Bid - $6.20 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $5.77/$5.95
MPH Value Change Down 0.17%
DOW Jones Down 229.97 or 2.63% on Volume of 2.0 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 48.1 or 3.62%
S&P 500 Down 26.96 or 2.96%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/1/02

Rice says Champ Cars harder to drive  In this article, Rice still eyeing CART, Buddy Rice says when talking about his success in the IRL car at MIS last weekend - “It would have probably been harder to jump into a Champ Car and do that well, but it was a lot of fun to run with that many people all day because that doesn't always happen. Sometimes you spend a lot of time by yourself.”  "I'd still like to be a full-time driver in CART. Everything I've done has been channeled through road racing and I like CART's variety of tracks and the challenge that presents."

8/1/02

Foyt hires Jones  A.J. Foyt has hired P.J. Jones, son of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones, to drive the #50 Conseco Pontiac in the Brickyard 400. Foyt contacted Jones, who was in town to drive in tonight's USAC Silver Crown feature at Indianapolis Raceway Park, and reached an agreement earlier today. Foyt will file the second entry tomorrow at the track. Mike Wallace is slated to drive the No. #Conseco Pontiac in his second race for Foyt. "Originally, I had planned to run two cars at Indy, which was why Mike Wallace tested here a couple weeks ago in the #50 Conseco car," Foyt said. "After Stacy Compton was released, I decided to run just one car but that became an issue for NASCAR. They told me yesterday that they were going to penalize my team quite heavily because they thought I was trying to get around the limited testing issue. Well, that was the last thing on my mind, but I told Mike Hillman [crew chief] to enter the second car. I called P.J. about driving it and hen NASCAR racing in 1994, winning twice in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He returned to Gurney's All-American Racers team in 1996 to drive in CART, staying there until 1999. Jones joined Patrick Racing in 1999, earning a career-best second-place finish at Nazareth Speedway. Since 1999, he has raced in the NASCAR Busch Series and in selected USAC Silver Crown Series events. He finished fourth in the Silver Crown feature at the Copper World Indy 200 in March at Phoenix International Raceway. Jones will race at IRP tonight and strap into the #50 Conseco Pontiac tomorrow afternoon when the Winston Cup teams practice for Saturday's qualifying session. A.J. Foyt Racing

8/1/02

CART more popular in Brazil than the USA?  TV Record rating so far this year.  Far more people watch CART in Brazil than the USA, yet CART no longer races in Brazil.  TV Record, Brazil’s third largest TV network, shows all races on Sundays at 6:00PM local time, with the exception of the races in Europe, Japan, and Australia, which are shown live. DirecTV shows all races live to its subscribers, starting from the second race, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and then repeating the broadcast on Sunday nights. Finally, ESPN Brazil, shows all races on tape delay on Tuesday evenings at 8:30PM and repeating them at least once during its programming. In total, there will be a minimum of 12,900 minutes of broadcasting of the CART FedEx Championship Series in Portuguese for the Brazilian Market, which is an increase of 150% in broadcasting minutes compared to last year.

Race

2002 Ratings

Share

Ave. Viewers

Peak Rating

Total Viewers

Mexico

3.8

6.4

4,788,000

5.1

6,426,000

Long Beach

4.1

6.3

5,166,000

6.1

7,686,000

Japan

2.3

9.7

2,898,000

3.1

3,906,000

Milwaukee

2.2

4.2

2,772,000

3.2

4,032,000

Laguna Seca

3.2

5.0

4,032,000

4.4

5,544,000

Portland

3.6

6.4

4,536,000

6

7,560,000

Chicago

3.2

6.1

4,032,000

6

7,560,000

Toronto

4.3

6.7

5,418,000

6

7,560,000

Cleveland

2.9

4.8

3,654,000

4

5,040,000

8/1/02

BMW to break 20,000 RPM barrier   BMW are boasting that the 20,000rpm barrier will be smashed by their all-improved 2003-spec V10 engine. The new unit, the P83, will be fired up on the dynamometer in mid-September to the boast of Mario Theissen that 'Twenty-thousand rpm is not out of the question.' For 2004, each driver/car combination will be restricted to the use of one engine per grand prix weekend

8/1/02

Latest F1 Hot News

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On This F1 Day...

8/1/02

Next up, Marco Andretti  This AP article talks about Michael Andretti's 15-year old son Marco Andretti, who we have featured on occasion on these pages.  Michael says his son's next step in racing probably will be a year or two in junior Formula cars at one of the Skip Barber racing schools. ``I'm not a good teacher,'' Michael said. ``I had a lot of help that way and that's the way it's going to be with Marco. I'll make sure he's in good hands.'' Michael isn't a good spectator, either. ``I don't go to a lot of his races and, when I do, I try to stay in the background,'' he said. ``I get pretty exited. I guess he's probably better off that I'm not around much right now.'' There's a good chance, though, that the two of them will spend a lot of time together in the future. Michael recently announced he and two partners have bought Team Green and will rename it Andretti-Green Racing in 2003. ``I don't know if Marco will take it that far,'' Michael said, smiling. ``If he does, I guess he'll have a ride.'' As for Mario, he's still dreaming about a day in Le Mans, France when he might share a ride with Michael and Marco.

7/31/02

Is there a cover-up in Trans-Am? UPDATE This Racing Press article sheds more light on the situation, and it certainly does appear suspicious based on the facts presented.  7/31/02 -  According to an article in the July 30th issue of Sports Illustrated by Mark Beech - Mike Gagliardo, 46, a food company executive from Chicago and a part-time driver on the Trans Am Series circuit, died at Mosport International Raceway near Toronto last year. His widow alleges that the Sports Car Cub of America (SCCA), which oversees the Trans Am Series, has conspired with the car owner to hide the fact that Gagliardo’s Corvette was not up to safety standards.  Meg Gagliardo, 42, says that shortly after the race the car was turned over to Lou Gigliotti of Dallas, the man from whom her husband had leased it, so that Gigliotti could cut it into small pieces and stymie an investigation. Two weeks after the wreck she got a court order compelling Gigliotti to reveal where the pieces where, then had her own experts put them back together. Her investigation, she claims, shows that the steel tubing in the side panels of Mike’s car was too thin.  The SCCA and Gigliotti maintain the problem was not the car but the crash: Gagliardo was T-boned by a car traveling more than 100 mph. “A Sherman tank would have saved Gagliardo, and nothing less,” says Michael Kestenberg, an SCCA lawyer. Gigliotti says he had the car cut apart to salvage customized pieces.  At Meg’s insistence the Ontario coroner will investigate in September. The SCCA says Meg has dragged out the case to obtain free discovery for a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Meg says she doesn’t know if she’ll sue. “I’m angry,” she says. “I have waited a year and two months for them to come clean on their own.”

7/31/02

Michigan TV ratings drop  Everyone complained about those CART Handford Device races, but CART's Michigan race last year had a 1.6 & 4 Share final rating with 1.6 million households tuned in, or about 2 million people.  This years IRL race at Michigan, also on ABC, received a 1.3 & 3 Share overnight rating.  CART was in Vancouver this past weekend on SPEED Channel, so one would expect a rating of only 0.5 or so.

7/31/02

Live on SPEED from Trois-Rivieres  While the CART FedEx Championship Series takes the weekend off before a run of four consecutive events, the top rung of the CART Driver Development Ladder System - the Toyota Atlantic Championship - will be in action at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec with Round 9 of the 2002 season. CART television partner SPEED Channel may have the week off from the Champ Cars, but will take the opportunity to showcase some of the CART stars of the future, as the racing network will carry the Atlantics race live on Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET). The event will run on a 1.521-mile, temporary street course through Trois-Rivieres. Hoover Orsi, the eventual series champion, won at Trois-Rivieres last year. Canadian driver Michael Valiante will be looking to make a big impression in front of his countrymen this year as he tries to maintain his grip on the series points lead, with both Ryan Hunter-Reay and Jon Fogarty less than 10 points behind the former karting champion.

7/31/02
Industry News

SPEED Channel growth update  According to recent information released by Nielsen Media Research, SPEED Channel is the nation’s fastest growing sports cable network and the ninth-fastest growing cable network overall. “There is no doubt that SPEED Channel’s growth is directly tied to our programming commitment to more racing,” said SPEED Channel President Jim Liberatore. “Last year, the network offered racing as about 30 percent of its total lineup. Today, we are closer to 70 percent, with quite a bit of the coverage delivered live. We’ve added more racing from CART, World Rally, World of Outlaws and ARCA to a strong lineup that already included Formula One, ALMS, motorcycles and the world’s top endurance events like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “With anchor programming from NASCAR TV, including coverage of the NASCAR regional racing series, live Winston Cup qualifying and Happy Hour, SPEED Channel has become the obvious choice for motor sports fans of all kinds,” Liberatore added. Now available in more than 52 million homes, SPEED Channel is one of only 10 networks to add more than 10 million homes (10,381,000) to its distribution in the last year. Total households for SPEED Channel have nearly doubled from 27 million since the spring of 2000. SPEED Channel is ranked 40th overall in cable network distribution, with the most widely distributed networks in about 80 million homes. The number of cable channels available in the average American household is hovering just under 90. “After being acquired by FOX last summer, we’ve only been on the air as the re-branded SPEED Channel since February and we believe the growth will continue,” Liberatore added. “Motor sports is all we do and we do it with a passion commensurate with that of the American motor sports fan. Everything we do is aimed at strengthening our position with that racing fan.” SPEED Channel is the first and only 24-hour cable network devoted exclusively to motor sports and the human fascination for speed. In addition to extensive original NASCAR programming, SPEED Channel is home to many of the world’s marquee racing events including CART, F1, Classic Cars, LeMans, the American LeMans Series, World Rally and car shows from around the globe. Fox Cable Networks Group acquired SPEED Channel in July 2001.  SPEEDTV

7/31/02

Over 1,000 sign up for CART town meeting  Fans of Championship Auto Racing Teams and the CART FedEx Championship Series have responded en masse to the opportunity to discuss their sport with some of the most influential and established personalities in open-wheel racing, as over 1,000 fans have secured reserved seating for the "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. The evening will be highlighted by 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.

7/31/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $5.90 Down $0.01 on Volume of 88,300 shares.
$5.22 Bid - $6.21 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $5.50/$6.00
MPH Value Change Down 0.17%
DOW Jones Up 56.7 or 0.65% on Volume of 2.36 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 16.0 or 1.19%
S&P 500 Up 8.85 or 0.98%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/31/02

Montoya and Gordon to swap rides  Juan Pablo Montoya is set to try a NASCAR Winston Cup car for the first time on August 12th at Indianapolis when he and 4-time Winston Cup champ Jeff Gordon swap cars at the Brickyard. The plan is for Montoya to run on the oval in the NASCAR Cup car with Jeff Gordon running on the infield in the Williams. Juan Pablo last raced on the oval in 2000, when he won the Indy 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing. The day is being partly organized by BMW and it will surely attract lots of media attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

7/31/02

Evernham names Furr  Ray Evernham and Jim Smith, co-owners of Ultra/Evernham Motorsports, announced that Tony Furr has officially been named as crew chief to the No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T driven by Winston Cup sophomore Casey Atwood. Furr has assumed the role of crew chief since May 1, when he began consulting with the team. In the 11 races since Furr has taken over as crew chief, Atwood's average finish has been 23.6, an improvement of 8.2 positions over the first 10 races.

7/31/02

Cameron to race Cup  Austin Cameron, one of motorsports' hottest young drivers will start his second NASCAR Winston Cup race next week. The race at the Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International road course is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 11. Orleans Racing and TWC Motorsport have teamed up to field the NAPA Tools & Equipment Chevrolet Monte Carlo for driver Austin Cameron in the NASCAR Winston Cup race next week at the legendary road course. The two organizations are headed by veteran, winning car owners - Bill McAnally of Orleans Racing (based in Las Vegas, Nev.) and Tom Coleman of TWC Motorsport (based in Asheville, N.C.). "We're pretty excited to have a chance to show what we can do together," said Coleman, who has fielded Cameron in two ARCA races this season. Cameron was among the top qualifiers, and the highest-qualifying Chevrolet, in both of those events; he ran in the top two at Kansas City, Kan., and appeared headed to victory before a mechanical problem sidelined him, and he finished third at Kentucky Motor Speedway in a race where he stayed in the top three virtually the entire night.

7/31/02

Chicago Sportsman Park news  According to this Chicago Tribune article, Sportsman's Park, which has operated horse racing since 1932, is closing and will run its thoroughbred meeting at Hawthorne Race Course. When Charles Bidwill III, president of Sportsman's National Jockey Club, submits his application for 2003 thoroughbred racing dates Wednesday, he will notify the Illinois Racing Board of a signed agreement to lease Hawthorne from the Carey family. In addition to making lease payments, sources say, Sportsman's owners will share the profits from their thoroughbred meeting with Hawthorne's owners. Sportsman's also is discontinuing the unsuccessful auto racing venture that it embarked on in 1999 and is trying to sell the property, located one block north of Hawthorne in Cicero, sources say.

7/31/02

Earnhardt case to Florida Supreme Court  According to the Daytona Beach News Journal, the publishers of the Independent Florida Alligator newspaper in Gainesville are asking the state Supreme Court to consider whether the law restricting access to autopsy photos is constitutional. In papers filed earlier this month, Campus Communications asked the high court to review a lower court's decision that the law barring public access to autopsy materials was constitutional. The law was passed in 2001 following the death of race car driver Dale Earnhardt. Newspapers sought access to the photos as questions arose over how Earnhardt died in a Daytona 500 crash and whether better safety equipment might have saved him.

7/31/02

Indy 500 20th biggest race in world  Did you know that on average 10.7 million Italians watch each of 17 F1 races on TV?  And that's from a country with a total population a small fraction of the USA.  That number dwarfs the USA's Indy 500 numbers and is on par with the Daytona 500.  In other words, in Italy, all 17 F1 races are bigger events than the Indy 500 is in the USA. Add in all the other countries around the world where F1 is watched, and suddenly the Indy 500 is at best, the 20th biggest race in the world......18 and 19 being the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 respectively.

7/31/02

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

7/31/02

Latest F1 Hot News

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On This F1 Day...

7/31/02

Jeff Gordon confirms, road courses the hardest  We have long maintained that road course racing is the ultimate challenge of driver ability and physical conditioning.  You only have to look at a driver at the end of a road course race to see how physically tired they are.  The arms get tired, the neck, etc.  Watch the fast movements of drivers arms, hands, head and feet during a road course race, vs. and an oval where you move almost nothing....but for a 3-degree turn of the steering wheel twice per lap.  Ovals are all about car setup, and very little to do with driver skill.  On RPM2Night Jeff Gordon was asked which races on the Winston Cup schedule are the hardest.  He immediately said the road courses.  We noted how hard they were mentally and physically.  He said, luckily they are shorter, insinuating if they were 500 milers nobody would finish.  There you have it, from a born and bread oval tracker.  F1 and CART (all road courses...well almost all) are the true measure of a great driver.  Hence, we want to see someone start an IROC series that's all road courses.....so we can find out who the real International 'Driving' Champion is.

7/30/02

Penske wants big money from manufacturers  This gives you an example of how much the manufacturers in NASCAR have to pay a team just to run their body on the teams chassis....as if it's a privilege if I run your car body and paint your name on it. This doesn't count the many millions more each manufacturer puts out during the year, perhaps as much as $100 million.  According to this Winston Salem Journal article,  Dodge sources are describing the Roger Penske-to-Dodge move as "a done deal," with the superstar car owner making a long-speculated switch from Ford and putting Rusty Wallace and Newman in Intrepids next season. The Penske camp isn't saying much, there has been no confirmation out of any of the parties, and some Penske South officials have, in fact, said they expect to field Fords again next year. But they concede they still haven't signed a new contract. "If we were switching to Dodge," crew chief Bill Wilburn said with a laugh, "why would we be building a third Daytona-Talladega car? For the sun not to be out, you seem to be running quite a fever." According to Detroit sources, Pontiac wooed Penske, but balked at the $20 million check he wanted them to write, saying that $11 million was the best they could do. So Pontiac is faced with having maybe only two or three teams lined up to run their cars next season, four or five depending on what Cal Wells does. Ironically, the newly remodeled Pontiac may well be the best model on the track in 2003. But that may not be enough to entice teams to change over, and some drivers in the mix are saying that the bosses in that GM division need to get up off their billfolds.

7/30/02

Title sponsor for Mosport round Mosport is pleased to announce that mail2web.com™ - a brand of SoftCom Technology Consulting, Inc. signed as title sponsor of the Grand Prix of Mosport featuring the American Le Mans Series August 16, 17 & 18, 2002. Mosport President and General Manager, Myles Brandt had this to say about mail2web and this new partnership. "We've been users of mail2web for some time now and can speak first hand of its' advantages. Our staff has had the need to access emails through mail2web on many occasions. It has a permanent home on our favorites list! Already involved with team sponsorship, mail2web recognizes the value of motorsports marketing and is a firm believer. “mail2web is proud to be associated with such a recognized and respected racing event and venue,” said Tony Yustein, CEO of SoftCom Technology Consulting Inc. “We look forward to participating in what will be a very exiting event.”

7/30/02

Stewart fastest in Glen testing UPDATE With one complete day of testing already under their belts, ten NASCAR Winston Cup teams went to work again today at Watkins Glen International in final preparation for the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen, August 8-11. Over the course of the two days, only one driver came close to touching Dale Jarrett's record-setting lap of 1:11.884 mph, set during qualifying last year. Jimmie Johnson ran the course in just 1:11.96 with the No. 48 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet, while Scott Pruett had the second-fastest lat of 1:12.30 in his Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge. Ryan Newman's No. 12 ALLTEL Ford improved a lot from yesterday's time, coming across with a time of 1:12.70. The No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac of Tony Stewart practiced in race trim most of the day, with his best lap coming in at 1:13.00. Michael Waltrip's No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet and Matt Kenseth's No. 17 DeWALT Ford weren't far behind, clocking in at 1:13.03 and 1:13.14, respectively. Veteran road racer Joe Varde ran the course in his No. 74 BACE Motorsports entry in 1:14.50.  7/30/02 - The NASCAR Winston Cup Series made their much-anticipated return to Watkins Glen International today in the first of two test days in preparation for the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen on August 11. Tony Stewart had the quickest time of the day, lapping the 2.45-mile road course in just 1:13.48 with his No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac. Scott Pruett, coming across the line in 1:13.50 piloting a third Chip Ganassi Racing entry, closely followed him. Michael Waltrip's No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet clocked in at 1:13.73, immediately ahead of Jeff Green's best lap of 1:13.77 in the No. 30 AOL Chevrolet and rookie Jimmie Johnson's lap of 1:13.82 in his No. 48 Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse Chevrolet. Matt Kenseth's best lap was 1:14.00 in the No. 17 DeWalt/AT&T Ford, while Austin Cameron timed in at 1:15.00 in the No. 62 Orleans Racing entry. Ryan Newman, in his No. 12 ALLTEL Ford, lapped the track in 1:15.60, coming in just behind Joe Varde's No. 74 BACE Motorsports Chevrolet, completing the lap in 1:15.01. Two drivers originally scheduled to test the historic road course were unable to participate for different reasons. Robby Gordon was forced to cancel his test session due to the ankle injuries he sustained after a motocross incident in Pocono on Saturday. Ron Fellows was present at the test, but without a car. Fellows is still working on finding a ride for the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen.

7/30/02
Industry News

Driver dies at Road America in 160 mph crash  UPDATE  An autopsy showed that Robert Kasik, 56, of Roscoe, Ill., was stricken by a heart attack before the accident Sunday at the end of a long straightaway at Road America, track officials said. 7/28/02 - A veteran driver was killed when his car slammed into a wall of tires during a road race Sunday. Robert Kasik, 56, of Roscoe, Ill., failed to brake on a sharp turn at the end of a long straightaway at Road America, track spokeswoman Cheryl Barnes said. ''Apparently Mr. Kasik made no attempt to slow down around the turn,'' Barnes said. ''That leaves a lot of unanswered questions.'' Could have been a stuck throttle, or heart attack. Witnesses at the race said he went off course at a high rate of speed at Turn 12, called Canada Corner. Barnes said Kasik was likely driving up to 160 mph in his 1996 Chevrolet Camaro. Barnes described Kasik as a very experienced driver. ''We just never expect to have a death,'' she said. ''It is a shock and it is a real loss to the racing community.''  AP

7/30/02

Atlantics - Hand in, Rice out  Joey Hand, who has fully recovered from injuries sustained in a testing accident last May at the Milwaukee Mile, will return to CART Toyota Atlantic competition this weekend at the wheel of the #27 DSTP Motorports-BG Products Swift for the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, Canada. That means substitute driver Buddy Rice is out of a ride, and available to the Cheever IRL team.  The event marks the 9th round of the 12-race 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship season. Hand last competed this year at the series' second round at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April. "It feels so good to be getting back behind the wheel," said Hand, 23, who received official clearance to race at Trois-Rivieres this morning from Dr. Terry Trammell, CART's Chief Orthopedic Consultant. "We just ran at Blackhawk to make sure I would be fit to race and everything went better than expected. I felt great and there was no pain at all. The car felt very similar to before, but it took a little bit to get used to a different seat. "I'm real happy to be making my return at Trois-Rivieres. It's one of my favorite races and the course suits my style. It's very bumpy and you have to hustle the car quite a bit. We just missed there last year, but we'll be in much better shape this weekend. I hope to like Trois-Rivieres even more after our race, and a solid result would be good for me and the team. I really have to thank everyone at DSTP and, especially, Dede Rogers for sticking by me during these past ten weeks."  "We're all very happy to see Joey driving again," said Rogers, whose DSTP team won the 2000 race at Trois-Rivieres from the pole with Rice behind the wheel. "It's tough to be on the sidelines, but Joey always maintained a positive outlook and just focused on getting back in the car. He beat everyone's expectations and I think that exemplifies his desire to win. We're also very appreciative of everything that Buddy has done for us. He's one of the family and always does an outstanding job.

7/30/02

Mexico City update  25,000 3-day tickets have already been sold and ticket sales to the general public only now begin.  The President of the Mexican Federation of Motor Sports (FMAD in Spanish), Franco Soldati, paid a visit to the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in México City, in order to witness first-hand the progress of the work being carried out at the track for CART's Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante.  More....

7/30/02

TRAIN in concert at Shell GP of Denver  Fast cars, fast women, and fast music. The Auraria College students will be back in town fresh off summer break on the campus right across from the track, and you can bet they are going to pack the Denver GP. They will be rocking and rolling with this concert.  The Mile High City will rock to the sounds of the popular group Train on Saturday evening, August 31, at the Pioneer Rock-N-Roar Concert during the Shell Grand Prix of Denver race weekend. The Pioneer Rock-N-Roar concert, which will take place at the new Universal Lending City Lights Pavilion at Pepsi Center, will wrap up a full day of racing activities on Saturday at the Grand Prix that includes qualifying for the CART FedEx Championship Series race and the running of the Toyota Atlantic Championship race. The concert is free to all Saturday Grand Prix ticket holders. "Denver is going to Rock-N-Roar this Labor Day Weekend," said Ed Sachs, executive vice president of the mobile entertainment division at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "Pioneer is excited to add TRAIN to the list of Rock-N-Roar performers during the past two years at CART events. Groups like Third Eye Blind, Goo Goo Dolls and Lynyrd Skynyrd have all rocked the house and TRAIN will be no different." The Pioneer Rock-N-Roar Concert is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. local time, 15 minutes after the conclusion of Saturday's CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race. "We are proud to have this relationship with Pioneer," said John Frew, vice president and general manager of the Grand Prix of Denver, the race's organizer. "With their support, we have been able to add a very special event to the Shell Grand Prix of Denver weekend that our patrons will enjoy. Entertainment is a major factor in the success of the Shell Grand Prix and the addition of Train assures that this year's event will fulfill that mission."  Tickets are available by calling toll-free, (888) 82-SPEED, contacting Ticketmaster, visiting the Pepsi Center box office or logging onto the official race Web site at www.gpdenver.com.

7/30/02

CARA Charities Shop Tour  Open-wheel racing fans will receive a unique opportunity for a "Behind the Scenes View" of top racing operations during Indianapolis' U.S. Grand Prix week. On Thursday, September 26, this insider's tour will take a select group of racing enthusiasts on a private tour of the shops and headquarters of CART's Patrick Racing and Players Forsythe Racing and Indy Racing League's Kelley Racing. Along with the tours, you will have an exclusive question and answer period with those who know racing. This inaugural event, hosted by ABC-TV and ESPN-TV's Bob Jenkins, will begin at 4:30 p.m. (EST) at the famed Columbia Club on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. Private coach transportation will be provided to each of the race team facilities and return guests to the Columbia Club for a cocktail party, buffet dinner, and presentation by former racing stars and current television commentators Derek Daly and David Hobbs. Don't be surprised if a few special guests join you for more racing insights! "We have talked about this time of program for years in Indianapolis," said Daly, a regular on SPEED Channel, CBS-TV, and WISH-TV in Indianapolis. "And with all of the out of town and out of country tourists in town for the U.S. Grand Prix at the Speedway, it makes for a great event to the ultimate racing fan. They'll be able to see things that the average fan just can't. The access will be fantastic. And even better is that the proceeds go to charity." "Indianapolis in the Mecca for open-wheel racing," said Jenkins, the host for ABC-TV racing broadcasts. "The idea that a fan can receive this kind of access to top racing teams as well as a great party and dinner is a fan's delight. It should be a great evening." Tickets for this special event are now on sale at $150 per ticket and include the shop tours, transportation, the cocktail party, dinner, and presentation. Spaces are limited, so book now with the order form provided, or call CARA Charities at (317) 299-2277. Ticket requests can also be emailed to carachar@aol.com. The "Open-Wheel Shop Tour" is one of several major fund-raising events held annually by CARA Charities. CARA Charities was founded in 1981 and has distributed over $3.25 million to numerous racing and community organizations. CARA serves the community through charitable work and promotes the friendship of all those involved in the motor sports family.

7/30/02

Adrian Fernandez starts therapy  UPDATE CART FedEx Championship Series veteran Adrian Fernandez (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) is wasting no time in recovering from the injuries suffered in Sunday's Molson Indy Vancouver, as he went through his first full day of rehabilitation therapy in Indianapolis on Tuesday. Fernandez suffered a hairline fracture in his left pelvis and severe bruising on his right buttock during a late-race accident at Vancouver on Sunday, and today began a stringent rehabilitation program under the watchful eye of CART Chief Orthopedic Consultant Dr. Terry Trammell. The owner/driver will be working with Dr. Trammell for the rest of the week in Indianapolis, having flown in Monday from Vancouver.  7/29/02 - Adrián Fernández, driver of the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone, was involved in a multi-car crash on Lap 92 of yesterday’s 100-lap Molson Indy Vancouver in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, while running in seventh position. As a precautionary measure due to pain in his right hip, Fernández was taken to Vancouver General Hospital where he underwent an ultrasound that was negative and a CT scan late Sunday evening. He was released from the hospital this morning, and is currently on his way to Indianapolis. Statement from Dr. Terry Trammell, CART Chief Orthopedic Consultant: “Adrián has a very severe bruise on his right buttock and an insignificant hairline fracture of the left pelvis. We are immediately starting therapy and rehabilitation beginning tomorrow in Indianapolis.” Statement from Adrián Fernández: “Obviously I am in a lot of pain in my hip and lower back. The impact of the crash penetrated the chassis. Having that Kevlar seat saved me. I was compressed inside the cockpit. It was hard to breathe and extremely painful. With the impact to the side of the car, my left hip got compressed. “On the accident, Patrick Carpentier spun and [Alex] Tagliani locked up. I hit him from behind. The track was blocked and my car went far right. I only remember Bruno [Junqueira] hitting me at tremendous speed, and a lot of pain. It was just one of those things. “I went through a lot of tests at the hospital. My internal organs are fine. I am very sore and my neck is sore as well. I am going to Indianapolis to start therapy. Dr. Trammell will evaluate my progress at the end of the week and will make a decision as to when I will be able to drive.” The next race on the CART FedEx Championship Series schedule will be held August 11 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

7/30/02

CART Stock Watch

MPH closed at $5.91 Down $0.23 on Volume of 85,500 shares.
$5.28 Bid - $6.30 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $5.91/$6.15
MPH Value Change Down 3.75%
DOW Jones Down 31.85 or 0.37% on Volume of 2.18 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 8.93 or 0.67%
S&P 500 Up 3.82 or 0.42%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

7/30/02

FIA approves SAFER barrier for USGP  Officials from the FIA, the governing body of worldwide motorsports, have agreed to use the SAFER Barrier in Turn 13 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road circuit for the SAP United States Grand Prix on Sept. 27-29. The SAFER Barrier will include an extension for clockwise race traffic, said Charlie Whiting, FIA race director and safety delegate. Race traffic on the IMS oval travels in a counterclockwise direction. “I’m pleased that the FIA has agreed to keep the SAFER Barrier in place for the SAP United States Grand Prix,” said Tony George, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO. “We think the system is a significant step forward in safety for every series that competes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the initial feedback about energy absorption and increased driver safety in impacts during the Indianapolis 500 in May was very positive. “We believe that the system offers significant benefits to drivers in the event of an accident during competition conducted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.” Turn 13 of the 2.606-mile road course also is Turn 1 for the 2.5-mile oval. The SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) Barrier, an energy-absorbing barrier system, was installed in all four turns of the 2.5-mile oval before the Indianapolis 500 in May. Each turn of the speedway has 1,060 feet of barrier and a transition element approaching the actual energy-absorbing barrier.

7/30/02

Carpentier announcement due within 10 days  According to this Toronto Star article, Player's officials are aware of the bad press they got for the way they dealt with the 2000 contract talks with Patrick Carpentier and are handling the situation more delicately. "Our hope is to have this (re-signing or replacing Carpentier) completed in the next 10 days to two weeks," said Michael Bonelli, who is handling the negotiations with Carpentier and his agent, Alan Labrosse. "We want to be fair with Patrick. If he's not the way we want to go, then we want to let him know that as soon as possible because he's been a member of our family for six years. We won't hang him out to dry." Bonelli was also quick to add: "Having said that, I want to make it clear that this is not an indication that we're not going to go with Pat next season."

7/30/02

Dario says traction control should go  We asked Dario Franchitti today if traction control has taken some of the skill out of driving, and resulted in less mistakes and, therefore, less passes for the lead?  He responded absolutely, he would like to see traction control eliminated, and yes, he agrees that drivers might make more mistakes coming off a corner allowing the driver behind to get up along side and make a pass...something lacking in CART these days.  Next year CART will have a single engine manufacturer, hence the issue of policing traction control goes away.  CART are you listening?

7/30/02

2003 NASCAR Preview announced The 14th annual T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview, one of the largest fan-oriented events of the NASCAR Winston Cup season, will take place Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem. All NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers are scheduled to attend the event named in memory of its creator, T. Wayne Robertson. Robertson, the president of R.J. Reynolds' Sports Marketing Enterprises for 13 years, was killed Jan. 14, 1998 in a Louisiana boating accident. As in previous years, NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers will each be available to sign autographs at designated times. Other attractions, including NASCAR Winston Cup Series show cars and souvenir stands, as well as a collectibles auction, have helped to make the T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview one of stock car racing's most successful and highly attended preseason events. The T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview is the largest single-day sports charity event in North Carolina. In the 13-year history of the event, the Winston Cup Preview has raised more than $2.4 million for charity. The 2002 T. Wayne Robertson NASCAR Winston Cup Preview raised $190,000 for its primary charities; Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem, Speedway Children's Charities, the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary and the T. Wayne Robertson Memorial Fund. Those charities will also be the beneficiaries of the 2003 event.

7/30/02

More on Red Bull American driver search  The health- and fitness-testing component of the Red Bull F1 Driver Search was outlined by program chief Danny Sullivan this past weekend. The unique multi-year initiative was created to find and nurture young American race car drivers by funding their racing in Europe in an effort to return an American to competition in the Formula 1 World Driving Championship. Sullivan not only nailed down the basics of the drivers¹ fitness assessment program, he spent time "editing" the list of potential candidates. As previously announced, the identities of the final 15-to-20 candidates will be revealed during the weekend of the U.S. Formula 1 Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sept. 27 29. The day after Sunday¹s Grand Prix, the drivers will spend the day at the National Institute for Fitness and Sports (NIFS) in Indianapolis, where each will have to complete a rigorous "race-length" (approximately 90 minutes) regimen designed by leading health and fitness authority Jim Landis. Each driver¹s efforts and abilities will be assiduously monitored, measured and assessed, after which Landis will provide detailed feedback on his or hers strengths and weaknesses. Shortly thereafter, the finalists will be flown to a circuit in Europe for the extensive test day-style on-track assessment; up to four drivers will be chosen for the program¹s first year. Landis is a certified fitness trainer, therapist and performance-nutrition specialist who¹s advised hundreds of world class athletes for more than 20 years, including two-time F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi. Landis also has worked with the Arizona Heart Institute and the Aspen Institute for Fitness and Sports Medicine. NIFS is a non-profit health, physical fitness and athletic-performance research center established in 1985 by Indianapolis community leaders with help from Lilly Endowment, Inc., the State of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis. It operates from a 117,000-square-foot facility housing a number of departments, including the Center for Athletic Performance, the Human Performance Lab, and the Indiana University Medical Group at NIFS.

7/30/02
IROC

Schrader replaces Lososki Ken Schrader has been named to replace the injured Danny The Dude Lososki in the final IROC race at Indy in August.

7/30/02

CART must get back to Eurosport  A reader from the UK writes - Sky Sports coverage in the UK last Sunday didn’t even imply that Fernandez was in the accident let alone that he may be hurt.  The sky coverage was 2 hours long, but they cut out Dixon's crash (we didn’t even know there had been a crash until Jeremy Shaw mentioned it later), and they cut out the aftermath of the big crash! It wasn’t that they were talking in the studio at the time, they just simply cut it out. Most weekends we have the IRL and CART back to back in one program and the main presenter (Keith Heuwen) never misses an opportunity to be bias towards the IRL.. It surely must be doing CART more harm than good to be constantly compared with the IRL. Any casual viewer (of which there are a lot on sky sports – and most of them are soccer fans bored) will just get into IRL and not CART. Its very important that CART gets back on Eurosport.  Gary P.

7/30/02

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7/30/02

30,000 at Michigan  2nd UPDATE Dear AutoRacing1.com - I was at MIS last year. When I looked at the video of MIS this year I concluded that there were more people at MIS last year than this year. If you look at the videos from last year you will see fans in the two bleachers in corner one that were empty this year and also the first stand towards corner 4 that was also empty this year. I very much doubt that the IRL attendance exceeded CART's. (Photo by Kelley Racing) Don Leslie  7/29/02 - Dear AutoRacing1.com - Not sure if the crowd estimate is accurate, but compare the ticket revenues for the last two years and the gross for the CART race would be much more. With the cheap tickets (1/3 price of CART) I really thought there would be more people there for the IRL race. Of course it is not mentioned how many kids that were free admissions were included in the crowd.  Michael Crane  7/28/02 - The first IRL race at MIS drew an estimated crowd of 30,000 fans at the 136,000-seat facility -- slightly more than came to last year's CART finale at the track.  It was a good race, but 30,000 is less than half the attendance CART had in Vancouver, and 1/5 of CART's weekend total.

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

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