Hot News

Thanks for visiting our Hot News page  Please visit our Rumors page for all the scuttlebutt.  If you have some news, or can supply more information about one listed here, e-mail us with as much supporting information as possible and we may post it.  User agreement & disclaimer. Newer rumors supercede older ones of the same topic.  Go to our forums to discuss any hot news.

Go to our forums to discuss this news.

DATE

News (chronologically)

8/15/02

Lotus back to F1  Well not quite yet, but you can help make it happen.  Recently, subscribers to F1 Racing magazine received this introductory letter from Editor-in-chief, Matt Bishop:  
"Another interesting fact that did not quite pertain to the story is that David Richards plans to 'rebrand' BAR during the off-season. And you, dear subscriber, can exercise some influence here: if you have a great idea for a new name for BAR, email it to us (letters.f1racing@haynet.com). We will pass on the best suggestions to Dave Richards. This could be an opportunity to resurrect a great British name of the past - how about Lotus, Vanwall or BRM?"   Clearly, this is our chance (a rarity) to have a say in what happens in F1...If you support the cause of returning Team Lotus to the grid, send an E-mail to Matt at this address: letters.f1racing@haynet.com

8/15/02

MK to build Falcon chassis  MK to build Falcon chassis: MK Racing, selected by the Indy Racing League in May to be one of three manufacturers for the 2003-05 generation of chassis, will supply IRL cars under the name “Falcon Cars.”  Owned by Michael Kranefuss and Ken Anderson, who together have almost seven decades of experience at all levels of racing, Falcon Cars will be designed and manufactured at the company’s dedicated 25,000 square-foot facility in Concord, N.C. Falcon Cars will concentrate exclusively on the IRL for the next three years. “Falcon Cars’ technical partners have been critical in helping build a state-of-the-art facility from the ground up,” Anderson said. “Without their enthusiastic support, meeting our objectives and deadlines would have been much more difficult. Industry-leading companies in the fields of CAD software, CAM software, CFD analysis, computer hardware, CNC machines, composite manufacturing and rapid prototyping have all come through for us. What we are building is truly world class -- the premier race car engineering facility in the United States.”

8/15/02

Final TV ratings, CART barely beats IRL  Both CART and the IRL turned in identical 0.9 ratings for their over-the-air broadcasts on Sunday on CBS and ABC, respectively. The Nielsen figures say that CART drew 936,000 households and the IRL pulled in 900,000 households. But the CART number was a 2 share while the IRL figure was a 3 share.  The ratings show that open wheel racing beat out the WNBA, IROC, the USTA kids' tennis show, Arena football, the British Women's Open (Sunday), and WUSA soccer. Sports with higher weekend ratings included NASCAR, PGA golf, MLB on Fox, the U.S. Gymnastics Championship, WWE wrestling, beach volleyball (1.8), Saturday's British Women's Open coverage, and a rerun of the Ironman Triathlon.  The low numbers are no surprise given the glut of racing on the big three networks running at the same time on Sunday. Couldn't someone figure out a way to run a race later in the afternoon to get the racing audience all to itself?  Meanwhile the delayed broadcast of the Indianapolis IROC race yielded a 0.8 rating for ABC on Sunday. The big winner - NASCAR with a final rating of 5.1 and 13 share. The total number of households for NASCAR was 5,585,000. MotorsportsTV.com

8/15/02

Kelley crew member worsens, returns to Intensive Care  Bernie Hallisky, the left-rear tire changer for Kelley Racing’s No. 78 entry, is listed in serious condition in the Intensive Care Unit of Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Dr. Kevin Scheid said.  Hallisky, of Shelbyville, Ind., underwent surgery Aug. 11 for a compound fracture of his right leg, multiple fractures in his pelvis and a left hip fracture, said Scheid, who performed the operation.  He was moved from the ICU for a short time Aug. 13 but returned after a blood clot developed in his lung. Hallisky was scheduled to have additional surgery on his hip Aug. 15, but the operation was postponed until next week.

8/15/02

Kelley Racing drops Infiniti Pro entry  Kelley Racing team owner Tom Kelley and General Manager Jim Freudenberg today announced that Kelley Racing pledges 100% continued support for injured team members Jason Priestley and Bernie Hallisky. In addition, Kelley and Freudenberg have made the decision to discontinue operation of the #7 HomeMed Pharmacy Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series team driven by Priestley for the remainder of the 2002 season. "Obviously, our focus first and foremost is the support we can lend to Jason and Bernie, their families and friends," said Kelley. "We are so encouraged by the incredible progress Jason has made thus far, but know there is still a long road to travel before he reaches complete recovery. "Bernie's recovery has been slowed by a small set-back but we are confident the superb medical staff at Methodist Hospital has everything under control and we can expect Bernie to be back on the recovery track very soon." Priestley was injured in an accident during the final practice session prior to the Pro Series race August 11 at Kentucky Speedway. Hallisky was injured in a pit road accident during the IRL race the same day. "Out of our respect to our friend and driver, Jason, we feel it is in the best interest of Kelley Racing to discontinue the #7 Pro Series team for the remainder of the 2002 season," Kelley continued. "We will evaluate the program prior to 2003 and our decisions will be announced at the appropriate time."

8/15/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $4.46 Down $0.07 on Volume of 15,300 shares.
$3.81 Bid - $4.80 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.43/$4.53
MPH Value Change Down 1.55%
DOW Jones Up 74.83 or 0.86% on Volume of 1.76 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 10.82 or 0.81%
S&P 500 Up 10.64 or 1.16%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/15/02

Lowe's lawsuit update  According to this Canadian Press article, Twelve people injured when a walkway at Lowe's Motor Speedway collapsed after a NASCAR race two years ago settled lawsuits against the speedway and the walkway's builder. A final agreement was reached Thursday morning, plaintiffs' lawyer Martin Brackett said. Terms of the settlement are confidential, but Brackett said some plaintiffs will receive lump-sum payments, while others will be paid over time. A jury trial for the first four plaintiffs had been scheduled to begin Monday in Mecklenburg County Superior Court. More than 100 people were hurt when the walkway over U.S. 29 in Concord collapsed as fans left the speedway complex after the May 20, 2000, running of The Winston all-star race. No one was killed, but 97 people were hospitalized, some for nearly a month.

8/15/02

Kentucky race sponsor hit by scandal  According to this AP article, a scandal involving prostitutes at a southeastern Indiana casino is costing Pinnacle Entertainment more than $6 million, the company's chief financial officer said. Pinnacle, which is building a $325 million casino in Lake Charles, received a $2.26 million fine in July from the Indiana Gaming Commission for a late June 2001 golf outing and party at which the commission found prostitutes were provided for casino guests. The commission also forced the Belterra Casino Resort (Kentucky Race sponsor) near Vevay, about 35 miles southwest of Cincinnati, to shut down from 6 p.m. Oct. 6 until just after noon on Oct. 9. The incidents cost the company an additional $4.23 million associated with the closure, including investigation costs by regulators in other states, estimated settlements with former officers and legal fees, said Bruce Hinckley, Pinnacle's chief financial officer.

8/15/02

Priestley surgery successful Jason Priestley underwent successful surgery Aug. 14 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis to repair fractures in his back and feet. Priestley, 32, from Vancouver, British Columbia, suffered multiple injuries in an Infiniti Pro Series practice accident Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway. He suffered a moderate concussion as well as a fracture of his ninth thoracic vertebra. In addition to a contusion around his left eye, Priestley has lacerations on the bridge of his nose and left cheek, neck lacerations and fractures in both feet. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Scheid performed the operation on Priestley’s feet, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Terry Trammell operated on Priestley’s back during the surgery, which lasted six hours overall. Priestley is in serious (guarded) but stable condition and has mobility and feeling in all of his extremities the morning of Aug. 15. He should be able to sit up in a chair within the next 24 hours, doctors said. “He did extremely well through surgery,” Scheid said. “The bone repair in both feet went as well as could be expected. I don’t foresee a need for any additional reconstructive surgery on the feet. “He had no external soft tissue injuries to the feet like some of the more catastrophic injuries we’ve seen, but he had some typical fractures in the arch of the foot that we have seen a number of times in different drivers.” Priestley and his family now are beginning to make plans for his rehabilitation, which could start as early as next week.

8/15/02

Bernie headed to Turkey  UPDATE According to this PitPass article, Bernie Ecclestone today continued his tour of the sites bidding to host Turkey's first Grand Prix. The F1 supremo arrived in Izmir early this morning and was reportedly in an excellent mood as he met with officials and visited the proposed site for the circuit. Bernie said that he was 'very impressed' with Izmir's proposal, and told journalists at a press conference that although a Turkish GP is 99% certain, a final decision concerning the venue will be made in a couple of months. "We will announce our decision on the venue of the Turkish Grand Prix in a couple of months," he explained. "There is a tremendous interest for this organization here in Turkey."   8/13/02 - Bernie Ecclestone is heading off to Turkey this week, prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix, to visit the three possible sites for the country's first Grand Prix. Ecclestone will arrive in Istanbul tomorrow around noon, and will visit a circuit within the former Olympic Village. Ecclestone will stay in Istanbul overnight before traveling to Izmir on Thursday to look at another site for the GP. Ecclestone will then travel to Antalya in the afternoon before flying to Budapest for this weekend's race.

8/15/02

Villeneuve has seen no CART offer.......yet  In this Autosport article, Jacques Villeneuve says he is not going back to CART and until he sees a proposal, he won't be.  Well he has been on vacation and AR1 knows for a fact that Villeneuve will indeed be made an offer soon, perhaps this weekend in Hungary.  Whether he accepts it, is another whole story.  Here is another similar article.

8/15/02

Some CART SEC 10-Q items  CART just released an SEC 10-Q.   Some interesting things jump out.
1. Mr. Ganassi is also principal owner of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Inc., which has entered into an agreement by which Target Chip Ganassi Racing Inc. will run a third car for the remainder of the 2002 season. Pursuant to the terms thereof, we will pay Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Inc. $1.7 million for running the third car, and we will receive the right to sell certain sponsorship space on that car. Through June 30, 2002, we have paid $566,000 of this amount.
2. Following the cancellation of the race scheduled to be run in Germany, officials at Rockingham expressed concern regarding the viability of running a single event in Europe. In order to assure that the Rockingham event could move forward, we are negotiating an amendment to the Promoter Agreement pursuant to which we expect to reduce the sanction fee to $2.8 million and we will assume certain costs, including freight and transportation, in the amount of $900,000.
3. Our new television contracts, which run through 2004, require us to purchase air-time and produce the show at our expense for the races to be broadcast on CBS and Fox. We retain the advertising revenues for these races. Our fixed costs for 2002 are estimated to be approximately $8.6 million, of which $4.4 million was incurred through June 30,2002.
4. We have guaranteed a $2.0 million loan from the Miami Sports and Entertainment Authority to Raceworks, LLC, our Miami race promoter, relating to our race in Miami, Florida to be held in the fourth quarter of 2002. The loan is a five year agreement, payable in $200,000 installments per year beginning in October of 2002 with a balloon payment in the final year.

8/15/02

Renna may land ride in 2003  According to this Autoweek article, everyone is watching Tony Renna, and Kelley has promised to field Renna for the rest of the season as a teammate to Unser and Scott Sharp. And Kelley is working on a sponsor program to keep Renna in 2003. “We need hungry young guys like him in this series,” he says.

8/15/02

CART races now available on-demand  The new television relationship between Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc. and SPEED Channel has already seen many new innovations in the coverage of the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series, but the latest change has taken race coverage to a whole new level, letting fans watch series broadcasts on their own time. Lingner Group, which produces the CART broadcasts, and SPEED Channel have combined their resources with website managers VFX and CART.com to introduce 'Speed On Demand', a new feature on CART.com that allows fans to replay the entire race broadcast on their computers. Currently, the 2002 races from Chicago, Toronto, Cleveland and Vancouver are available with plans already underway to add the remainder of the schedule. "One of our goals at CART.com has always been to increase the number of ways our fans can enjoy the CART FedEx Championship Series and 'Speed On Demand' is just another way we've been able to offer our fans the ability to relive races," VFX Digital Solutions, Inc. President Coniah Chuang said. "I discussed the idea at a television production meeting in January with Terry Lingner and he was highly supportive of the concept. Many people thought it would be impossible to clear the rights for us to do this, but with the help of the Lingner Group and the cooperation of SPEED Channel and CART, we've been able to secure the rights to offer any CART program produced by them on CART.com." VFX and the Lingner Group have plans to expand their offerings to include qualifying shows as well as the popular SPEED Channel CART Friday Night broadcasts. The service is available by going to www.cart.com and clicking on the 'Speed On Demand' links on the front page. There is no charge for the service, which is available for use with Real Player and Windows Media players. "I think that having every race this season in 'Speed On Demand' will be great and we're working on doing that right now," Chuang said. "We'll also start adding the CART Friday Night shows and the Friday/Saturday qualifying shows in the next couple of weeks. Now fans that missed a show or race will be able to catch it on CART.com and fans that enjoyed a particular race can enjoy it again and again. What we are offering isn't technically difficult, but it took the support of a lot of different parties to make it happen and I have to thank them for their help in making it easier to be CART fans. That is ultimately our goal. To make it easier for people to become CART fans and stay CART fans."

8/15/02

CART confirms Spring Training at Sebring  When CART released their 2003 schedule last weekend in Mid-Ohio, the venue for Spring Training was not listed.  In this St. Petersburg newspaper article, CART spokesman Adam Saal said yesterday that Sebring will host the series' annual preseason ``spring training,'' a four-day function that includes testing and media interviews with drivers and team personnel. The event is Feb. 3-6, during the week between the 24 Hours of Daytona and Daytona 500 pole qualifying.  AutoRacing1.com has prepared this preliminary 2003 CART schedule for your enjoyment.  TV schedules and race start times are not yet available.

8/15/02

CART and Bear Stearns to hold Motorsports Business Forum  In a concerted effort to help teams educate prospective sponsors, Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) announced today that they will be holding a Business-to-Business Forum, Thursday August 29th, at the Shell Grand Prix of Denver. The B2B Forum is designed to provide investors and businesses with a thorough understanding of the financial opportunities that exist in CART. In addition to the forum, attendees will have a chance to visit the CART paddock garage area, examine the cars and get a behind-the-scenes look at the CART FedEx Championship Series. Featured speakers at the event include Christopher R. Pook, president and CEO of CART, Ed Sachs, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Pioneer Electronics USA and Bob Graham, manager of motorsports sponsorships at Shell Oil Products. The event will also include a forum discussion, entitled, "Generating Revenue through Motorsports". "The motorsports industry creates an impressive blend of entertainment, business-to-business and investment opportunities," said David L. Rosenberg, Bear Stearns managing director and a contributing organizer of the event. "We believe this Forum will offer a rare opportunity for those outside the industry to gain a greater understanding of the business." "CART is taking a leadership position as it pertains to providing a sports marketing environment that is conducive to the creation of new business opportunities," added Christopher Pook. "This B2B Forum, held in conjunction with the debut of the Shell Grand Prix of Denver, is an excellent opportunity for those companies not currently using our sports marketing platform to come and check us out." For additional information on the Forum, please contact Andy Castleman on 317-715-4134 or via e-mail at businessdevelopment@cart.com, Jason Berlinger on 310-201-2727 or at jberlinger@bear.com or David Rosenberg on 310-201-2727 or drosenberg@bear.com.

8/15/02
Announcement

Forum Server Maintenance  Our forum server is currently down. Hopefully when we get it back working again it will be a better server, more able to cope with the traffic we are throwing at it!  We ask for your patience.

8/15/02

Papis to drive for Team Olive Garden  Team Olive Garden boss, Gabriele Rafanelli today announced that CART star and ex-Formula One driver Max Papis will make his American Le Mans Series (ALMS) debut driving for Team Olive Garden and Coca-Cola in the Petit Le Mans event, October 10-12. Papis will join Team Olive Garden's regular pilots, Domenico "Mimmo" Schiattarella and Emanuele Naspetti in the 10-hour endurance race which is the crown jewel of the ALMS Championship. The Italian-born Papis went from Formula One with Team Arrows in 1995, to CART and IMSA in 1996. His sports car record includes a win at the 24 Hours of Daytona earlier this year, driving a Dallara-Judd sports car. In 2000, he also won the sports car division at the Daytona 24 Hours driving with Team Dyson.

8/15/02

It's up to Andretti  According to Winston Cup Scene, it's up to John Andretti to decide whether he wants to return to Petty Enterprises next year. Andretti has been contacted by at least two other Winston Cup teams and has yet to decide what he will do next season. Kyle Petty, however, has made it clear that he wants Andretti back in the No. 43 Dodge next season.

8/15/02

Penske teammates top charts  Marlboro Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran, in the thick of the Indy Racing League championship race, turned the quickest unofficial laps Aug. 14 during the second day of a three-day test at Gateway International Raceway. Castroneves and de Ferran each turned laps in the low 26-second range in their Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone cars on the 1.25-mile oval in preparation for the Gateway Indy 250 on Aug. 25. Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Castroneves is second in the series standings with 395 points, just four behind leader Sam Hornish Jr. Two-time CART champion de Ferran is third at 386. No cars turned laps until approximately noon (CDT) due to morning rain. “The weather is not hot like we were expecting,” Castroneves said. “Unfortunately there are clouds. Bottom line, I’m very happy with the way everything is going. I think this type of track suits my style and maybe because of the experience I have at this track in the other series might help.” Castroneves made three starts at Gateway between 1998-2000 during his CART career. Sarah Fisher, quickest Tuesday at 26.58, improved with a top lap of 26.4 in the No. 23 Team Smart Blade/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force/Infiniti/Firestone. Mechanical problems limited her track time. “Today was all right,” Fisher said. “We had to stick it out for three or four hours and then change the motor, and it was difficult getting back out, but once we did get back out we at least learned some things for today, and I think we’re right on top of it.” Fisher’s teammate, Robbie Buhl, was right behind at 26.51.

8/15/02

PWR officially toast  UPDATE We are told that PWR Racing has filed for Chapter 7, a stage of bankruptcy.  8/13/02 - PacWest Racing Group a.k.a. PWR Racing, has officially imploded. The few people that remained, managers, department heads, and the fab/machine shop guys, were all let go, and those in the first wave of layoffs were notified that their health insurance had been terminated retroactive to the first of August. The PWR website is kaput, and the signs have even been taken off the building. She's toast. From a win at Nazareth, 8th in the championship, and Rookie of the Year, to complete financial collapse in less than a year. Operating a successful race team is not nearly as easy as guys like Barry Green make it look.

8/15/02

Latest F1 Hot News

Arrows Hammer Final Nail?
Herta Eyes Indy Debut
Richards Urges Villeneuve Out
Bourdais Still Favourite
F3 Boss Blames Jordan
Rubens Targets Second
F1 News In Brief
Curious F1 Trivia
On This F1 Day...

8/14/02
Industry News

Conseco almost toast  According to this AP article, Conseco Inc. said Wednesday a bankruptcy filing could be near as it disclosed a $1.3 billion quarterly loss and said federal regulators were investigating its accounting. The once-high flying insurance and finance company attributed the huge loss to a $2.95 billion write-down for goodwill reflecting a decrease in the value of its assets. In yet another blow, rating agency A.M. Best on Wednesday downgraded its rating of Conseco's insurance operations, hurting the company's ability to operate during restructuring.  Seems there's an Fed investigation now (will all those who are NOT being investigated by the Fed this year please go to your meeting in the local phone booth?) of Conseco. Envelope #2 has been opened, the one that reads, "Blame the last CEO." Of course, Envelope #1 was long ago opened ("Blame the Economy"). Perhaps we need to start a page monitoring the financial health of major sponsors? We're wondering how Stacker and Red Bull are managing to pour in all this ad / sponsor money for some herbs. Of course, the local cops will tell you that the selling of herbs can be quite lucrative....

8/14/02

Sharp and Scheckter test at IMS for Firestone  Firestone got an early jump on 2003 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race preparations Aug. 14 during a tire test with Indy Racing League drivers Scott Sharp and Tomas Scheckter. Sharp, driving the No. 8 Delphi Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone car prepared by Kelley Racing, completed a total of 161 laps and recorded a top speed of 222.530 mph. Light, intermittent rain showers halted activity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on several occasions. “We ran a bunch of laps, even with the rain, and helped Firestone with a new compound,” Sharp said. “It’s nice to be able to help them out when they ask us to come do it. The Firestones are the four things that touch the road – no matter how many changes you make to the car, those are the things that really matter.” Scheckter was behind the wheel of the No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone car that teammate Buddy Rice drove to second and 12th-place finishes at Michigan and Kentucky, respectively. Scheckter turned 60 laps, topping out with a 225.791-mph-lap. The team stopped testing earlier than expected due to a minor electrical problem. “We could have kept running, but we had an intermittent (electrical problem) where, for instance, the rev limiter would kick in,” said Owen Snyder, chief mechanic for Red Bull Cheever Racing. “It didn’t slow us down, it’s just if it happens in the corner you could have a little problem. You don’t want to get too carried away at this place – you’ve got to have respect every lap. “(We) will get ready for tomorrow to do long runs tomorrow and assess all the tires they (Firestone) want.” Any amount of testing at the Speedway, any time of the year, can provide benefits for the month of May, Snyder said. “It really does – I would like to think we’re helping we’re working on picking the tires for everyone next year,” he said. “Any time you tire test, there’s something Firestone wants to change. They’re changing the compound, the construction. Why else would they run? They’re changing something. “We don’t know what they’re motives are, but they picked the right guy for testing. Tomas is fast, he was the fastest guy here at the race, so they’re getting a pretty fair test of what they’re tires are, and what they’re changing.”

8/14/02

If I knew for sure CART was going to survive, Andretti says he'd want to be there  In this Autoweek article, Michael Andretti says - When the Andretti-Green deal was announced in July, Andretti said he wasn't even sure if he'd be driving next season. Now he's almost certain he'll be in one of his cars. Where would he LIKE to race? Andretti pauses before he answers. ``To be honest I don't know, because at this point I'm not sure where CART is going to be next year,'' he says. ``If I knew for sure that CART was going to survive, I'd want to be here.'' Are there any guarantees in racing? ``There's a guarantee that there is going to be an IRL,'' Andretti says. ``You can't guarantee that there's going to be a CART. That's the biggest problem I have now.''

8/14/02

Caddy drops ALMS  According to this Autoweek article, Cadillac has pulled the plug on its ALMS LMP program. Cadillac will run the remaining four American Le Mans Series races this year and then pull the plug on its LMP program

8/14/02
Industry News

Porsche won't return to racing before 2005  According to this Autoweek article, Porsche has put its return to big-time motorsport on hold until 2005. The Stuttgart manufacturer had planned to launch a major racing program in 2004, but now Porsche sports boss Herbert Ampferer has revealed his department will have no capacity to go racing until the following season.  Ampferer explained that the delay was one reason why Porsche had yet to make up its mind about where it will race next. Porsche had said it would make a decision this summer and that every category from Formula One down was under evaluation.

8/14/02

HUD helmet for Schumacher  BMW and helmet manufacturer Schuberth have developed a helmet design incorporating a Heads Up Display (HUD) with the goal to use it next season. The system should be ready for the 2003 season for Ralf Schumacher to use and consists of a 6 x 8 millimeter LCD screen which would enable Schumacher to read information from the pits while driving in a race. "With this device, BMW has taken a further important step forward on the safety front," said the Ralf. Schumacher has already tried the system, and after further tests before hopes to use the device for the first time at next year's Australian Grand Prix.

8/14/02

Ward to carry new Energizer paint scheme  Target Chip Ganassi Racing will feature a new paint scheme for the Indy Racing League's Gateway Indy 250 in Madison, Ill. on August 25. St. Louis-based Energizer will be the featured artwork on the No. 9 Energizer G Force/Chevrolet driven by Jeff Ward. The black and silver trim paint scheme will feature the famous Energizer Bunny® on the engine cover. Ward, a veteran driver in the IRL, captured his first career victory last month at Texas Motor Speedway. Jeff Ziminski, Director of Marketing for Energizer, is excited to have the opportunity to showcase Energizer's colors next weekend. "Energizer has been a long time sponsor of racing. We are proud to call St. Louis home. What better way to show our support than to feature an Energizer car in our hometown race - the Gateway Indy 250," Ziminski said. "We are confident that the Energizer Bunny will give Jeff Ward and the entire Target Chip Ganassi Racing team the extra power and perseverance to keep going and going and going. . . right to victory lane." 

8/14/02

Cope to enter Michigan with BAM, Robinson Sits  Former Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope will be behind the wheel of Bam Racing's #49 Dodge this week at Michigan Speedway's NASCAR Winston Cup event. Car owner Elizabeth Ann Morgenthau made the announcement today, as well as announcing the renowned rock music group Poison will be on the car as a sponsor. "This is a tremendous opportunity for our race team to be able to work with a driver of Derrike Cope's history and capabilities," Morgenthau said. "He has been involved with new teams before and his input will help us tremendously, even just for this one weekend. Remember, this is a driver who started with a new team just 10 years ago and took them to victory lane in the Daytona 500." Shawna Robinson, BAM Racing's regular driver, is expected to return behind the wheel by the team's next superspeedway race in Darlington, S.C. "Our long-term plans very much include Shawna Robinson. I don't want there to be any question about that," Morgenthau said. "This, however, gives us a chance to work with Derrike, to learn from him and to continue building our program.

8/14/02

Biffle moving up to Winston Cup  NASCAR Busch Series points leader Greg Biffle (No. 16 TNT/Roush Racing Ford), who will move to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 2003 with Roush Racing, is eyeing his second career NASCAR Winston Cup start at this weekend's Pepsi 400. He made his NASCAR Winston Cup debut earlier this season at California Speedway, where he qualified 29th and finished 13th in the April 28 event. "When I started racing, getting to the [NASCAR] Winston Cup Series was my dream," Biffle said. "I know it sounds like a broken record, but I'm thankful for the opportunity that has been placed in front of me and I intend to make the best of it. Before I go though, I want that [NASCAR] Busch Series championship and that's where mine and the team's focus is right now." Biffle also plans to qualify for NASCAR Winston Cup events later this season at Charlotte, Atlanta, Rockingham and Phoenix.

8/14/02

TV Timeout....  According to the final ratings numbers by Nielsen Media Research, the Brickyard 400, run Aug. 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was the second most-watched NASCAR Winston Cup Series event of the season. The Brickyard 400 attracted 10,183,000 viewers, second only to the 35 million viewers for the season-opening Daytona 500, the most viewed race in NASCAR history. The event also was strong in key demographic areas as it attracted 1,096,000 males 18-34 and 543,000 females 18-34. The Brickyard 400 also attracted 42 percent more viewers than the speedway's other marquee event, the Indianapolis 500. .... In the Nielsen Media Research overnight ratings for this past weekend, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Watkins Glen more than doubled the combined rating of the IRL and CART events in head-to-head competition Sunday on network television. The NASCAR race pulled a 4.6 overnight on NBC while the IRL had a 1.1 on ABC and CART a 1.1 on CBS.

8/14/02

Closing in....  Sterling Marlin (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge) has led the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship for 21 consecutive races (dating to Rockingham), but the contenders are closing in. The top five are separated by 106 points with second-place Mark Martin (No. 6 Pfizer/Viagra Ford) trailing Marlin by just 53 and third-place Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) 56 out of first. There is some promising news on Marlin's side, however. The leader of the points race at the midpoint of the NASCAR Winston Cup season has gone on to claim the championship every year since 1993. Bill Elliott (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge), currently eighth in the championship (188 behind Marlin), is banking on another streak to assist his title chase. The last four winners of the Brickyard 400 went on to win the championship.

8/14/02

Andretti's to kart with media  Most racing journalists understand that racing series around the world are loaded with drivers who cut their teeth in racing karts, and the CART FedEx Championship Series and its ladder system is no exception. But understanding that fact and knowing what it takes to survive on the karting circuit are two different things, so CART will enlist one of its most prominent families to drive the message home Thursday at the Briggs & Stratton Motorplex near Road America. CART's all-time victory leader Michael Andretti (#39 Motorola Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) and his son Marco will be demonstrating what it takes to be a competitive kart racer to journalists that are covering this weekend's Grand Prix of Road America Featuring the Motorola 220, taking them out to the Briggs & Stratton track for a hands-on exhibition. Marco, who is currently competing in karts as he tries to climb the ladder that leads to the CART FedEx Series, will be joined by not only his father, but by several Toyota Atlantic drivers that have come from the karting ranks. The drivers will explain how they got started and what they learned from their karting careers, and will then take writers around the track to explain racing lines and karting skills. Later in the afternoon, the media will get the chance to display what they have learned as they will climb in the karts for hot laps.

8/14/02

Hearn released, others stay  Richie Hearn was released Aug. 14 from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after undergoing surgery Aug. 11 on his right ankle, Dr. Kevin Scheid said. With only three races remaining on the IRL schedule, Hearn will not return to the race car before the end of the season, said Dr. Henry Bock, director of medical services for the Indy Racing League. Bock estimates recovery time at eight to 10 weeks. Orthopedic specialists Scheid and Dr. Terry Trammell performed the surgery late on Aug. 11. Hearn broke his ankle in a Turn 2 crash on Lap 24 of the Belterra Casino Indy 300 earlier that day at Kentucky Speedway. Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series driver Jason Priestley is listed in guarded condition at Methodist Hospital, said Dr. Scott Bjerke, medical director of Trauma Services for Methodist Hospital. Priestley, 32, from Vancouver, British Columbia, suffered multiple injuries in an Infiniti Pro Series practice accident Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway. He suffered a moderate concussion as well as a fracture of his ninth thoracic vertebra. In addition to a contusion around his left eye, Priestley has lacerations on the bridge of his nose and left cheek, neck lacerations and fractures in both feet. Bernie Hallisky, the left-rear tire changer for Kelley Racing’s No. 78 entry, remains at Methodist Hospital awaiting additional surgery, Scheid said. Hallisky, of Shelbyville, Ind., underwent surgery Aug. 11 for a compound fracture of his right leg, multiple fractures in his pelvis and a left hip fracture, said Scheid, who performed the operation. No date has been set for the additional surgery.

8/14/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $4.53 Up $0.06 on Volume of 48,300 shares.
$3.87 Bid - $4.84 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.45/$4.53
MPH Value Change Up 1.34%
DOW Jones Up 260.92 or 3.08% on Volume of 1.75 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 65.02 or 5.12%
S&P 500 Up 35.41 or 4.0%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/14/02

Ford reacts to Chevy rule change  Last Thursday, NASCAR announced a rules change in which the Chevrolet Monte Carlo will receive an additional one-inch kickout of its front air dam and the Pontiac Grand Prix will get an extra one-half inch. Ford Racing NASCAR Winston Cup Program Manager Linas Orentas provided the manufacturer's reaction. -- "It's unfortunate NASCAR decided to do something like this because we feel it's unwarranted. When you look at which drivers have led the most laps this season, four of the top five represent General Motors. Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson are first and second in laps led. Tony has won three races and Jimmie has won two, so we don't feel the data supports their claim that they need help. Michael Waltrip won at Daytona and Kevin Harvick won at Chicago last month, so to say that Chevrolet hasn't been competitive is simply wrong."

8/14/02

Latest F1 Hot News

Arrows Stay At Home
Yoong Out; Davidson In
Webber: Toyota Is An Option
Alonso Looks Ahead
Barrichello: The Race Is On
Irvine: I Won't Give Up
Toyota Target Reliability
F1 News In Brief
Curious F1 Trivia
On This F1 Day...

8/14/02
Industry News

Fuji to close for renovation  According to this eTracks article, The first glimpse of the new Fuji Speedway layout has been released - and makes clear Toyota's intentions to wrestle the Japanese Grand Prix away from Honda-owned Suzuka.   Of course CART is also looking for a new track in Japan.  Hermann Tilke has been commissioned to redesign the circuit in the shadow of Mount Fuji and the plans show that only a little of the original will remain, although the general layout retains a familiar feel. The circuit will close for redevelopment after the final visit of Formula Nippon in September 2002, and will remain shut for over a year (as reported in this article). When it reopens in 2005, new pit buildings and grandstands will be in place, as will a new short course and kart track on the site of the fearsome banking. The circuit has been 'zoned' with areas for motorsport, driver training and a 'natural ecology zone', which will include a gymkhana.

8/13/02

Fisher fast in test  Sarah Fisher, fresh from winning a historic MBNA Pole last weekend at Kentucky, was the fastest driver during the first day of Indy Racing League testing Aug. 13 at Gateway International Raceway. Fisher set the pace among five drivers preparing for the Gateway Indy 250 IRL race Aug. 25 on the 1.25-mile oval, turning an unofficial top lap of 26.58 seconds. IRL testing was shortened to just two hours of track time in the afternoon due to morning and late-afternoon rain. "I'm happy with the way things went," Fisher said. "We only had the time to make five or six changes, and we were going for different gears when the rain came the second time, but it was a good day. I hope we can keep this position next week." Fisher became the first woman to win a pole position in major North American open-wheel racing history Aug. 10 at Kentucky Speedway. Defending event champion Al Unser Jr. was second at 26.7. "We had a good test for the time we had," Unser said. "The track was even smoother than last year, and I'm looking forward to coming back and having another great race here." Two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran was third at 26.9. This will be de Ferran's first start at Gateway as a full-time IRL driver, but he made four starts at the track between 1997-2000 during his CART career. "The track is as I remember it," de Ferran said. "I was able to go right at it. Today was OK, and we'll give it more work tomorrow." Anthony Lazzaro tested the No. 20 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone in place of Richie Hearn, who suffered a broken right ankle in a crash Aug. 11 in the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky. Lazzaro's best lap was 27.7. "We were quick as anyone else on the second run, but when we started making changes to go faster, we went backward," Lazzaro said. "It was a bit frustrating, but we'll keep working on it. Sam (Schmidt) and I have been talking, and he asked me to test here, but we'll see how it goes. I like racing here."

8/13/02

Earnhardt earned more dead than most drivers alive  According to this Winston Cup Scene newsletter, Forbes.com says Dale Earnhardt, who died in February 2001 during the running of the Daytona 500, earned $20 million for his estate between June 2001 and June 2002, making him the fourth "richest deceased celebrity." Forbes says four financial reporters interviewed surviving family members, lawyers and estate administrators for deceased musicians, actors, authors and sports figures to help calculate pretax earnings to estates from licensing agreements and book and record sales. Topping the list were Elvis Pressley ($37 million), cartoonist Charles Shultz ($28 million) and former Beatle John Lennon ($20 million).

8/13/02

Bernie headed to Turkey  Bernie Ecclestone is heading off to Turkey this week, prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix, to visit the three possible sites for the country's first Grand Prix. Ecclestone will arrive in Istanbul tomorrow around noon, and will visit a circuit within the former Olympic Village. Ecclestone will stay in Istanbul overnight before traveling to Izmir on Thursday to look at another site for the GP. Ecclestone will then travel to Antalya in the afternoon before flying to Budapest for this weekend's race.

8/13/02

Unser Jr. - an alcoholic for life  According this Chicago Sun-Times article, ''Am I an alcoholic?'' the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner asked himself two days after being released from a rehabilitation center in Connecticut. ''Yes, I am. ''Will I have this disease for the rest of my life? You betcha.'' Unser, 40, said Wednesday that he learned those things during 17 days of intensive group therapy. He said he is convinced that his addiction to alcohol is hereditary, given that three of his four grandparents were alcoholics.....but Unser has guaranteed everyone he will never ever have a drink again, and that's good to hear.

8/13/02

Frentzen to miss Hungarian GP  Heinz-Harald Frentzen has revealed that he will not be racing in this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. The German had been rumored to replace Fernando Alonso at Sauber. Speaking on his personal website, Frentzen said: "I'd like to inform you today that I will not be racing this weekend in the Hungarian Grand Prix. "Since I stopped my co-operation with Arrows I am continuing to review my options for the future. I will make my plans public as soon as it is possible."

8/13/02

Priestley has a Basilar Skull Fracture too  According to Dr. Jerry Punch on RPM2Night, Jason Priestley also has a basilar skull fracture, like the one that killed Dale Earnhardt and many other drivers.  However, Jason's is only a hairline fracture and the bone did not displace, which is what is fatal.  He did have some bleeding from the ears and nose, which is common in these type of injuries.  He also had a broken nose, which means his face must have hit the steering wheel.  All this calls into question just how good the Hutchens Device really is.  Although the Hutchens Device tests pretty well in a lab environment where all the straps are properly adjusted, what happens if the driver doesn't get it put on just right that day and the amount of movement it allows is too much? There's an awful lot of straps to get just right with the Hutchens.  We think too much is left to chance with the Hutchens Device, whereas with the HANS Device, there is almost zero chance it can be put on wrong.

8/13/02

Doctor's encouraged by Priestley's progress  Jason Priestley was listed in guarded condition at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on Aug. 13, said Dr. Scott Bjerke, medical director of Trauma Services for Methodist Hospital. Priestley, 32, from Vancouver, British Columbia, suffered multiple injuries in an Infiniti Pro Series practice accident Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway. He suffered a moderate concussion as well as a fracture of his ninth thoracic vertebra. In addition to a contusion around his left eye, Priestley has lacerations on the bridge of his nose and left cheek, neck lacerations and fractures in both feet. “Mr. Priestley is currently in guarded condition but showing remarkable improvement,” Bjerke said. “He is a strong-willed young man who is doing great. We expect him to continue to do so. “He is being cared for by basically some of the best trauma-team specialists in the country from orthopedics, spine surgery, neurosurgery and general surgery.” Priestley was listed in serious condition Aug. 12 when arriving at Methodist after a transfer via air from the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, Ky. Serious and guarded condition are similar, Bjerke said. Priestley will undergo surgery on his feet at Methodist at an undetermined time, Bjerke said. Priestley will remain at Methodist for approximately 10 to 14 days, Bjerke said. “He’s surprised me so far,” Bjerke said. “So I expect it may be even less if he has his wishes. “There are no signs of paralysis, and we expect him to be, except for hospital policy where he’s got to go out in a wheelchair, we expect him to be walking from the wheelchair to his car when he’s ready to be out of here.” Priestley is talking with his doctors and family, said Bjerke and Priestley’s father, Lorne Priestley. “It’s getting better, and it feels good,” Lorne Priestley said. “The whole family, of course, we feel better as that happens. It’s gratifying, and the support we’re getting is phenomenal. “The response we’ve had literally from around the world has been just amazing. We want to thank everybody.”

8/13/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $4.47 Down $0.08 on Volume of 178,700 shares.
$3.85 Bid - $4.81 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $4.40/$4.60
MPH Value Change Down 1.76%
DOW Jones Down 206.5 or 2.38% on Volume of 1.5 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 37.56 or 2.87%
S&P 500 Down 19.59 or 2.17%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago

8/13/02

Another IRL driver visits hospital after hitting concrete wall  This one has a happy outcome, but the number of crashes this year already are alarming.  Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. was released from St. Louis University Hospital after suffering a bruised left shoulder and right heel in a crash during testing Aug. 13 at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. Luyendyk, 20, son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, was testing for the Gateway 100, scheduled for Aug. 25, when his No. 5 Luyendyk Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone hit the wall exiting Turn 2 at approximately 8:45 a.m. (CDT). He was transported via ground for X-rays after complaining of pain in his left shoulder and right heel. All X-rays were negative. He was released at approximately noon (CDT).

8/13/02

Hearn and Hallisky medical update  Richie Hearn remains in good condition at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after undergoing surgery Aug. 11 on his right ankle, Dr. Kevin Scheid said. Orthopedic specialists Scheid and Dr. Terry Trammell performed the surgery late on Aug. 11. Hearn broke his ankle in a Turn 2 crash on Lap 24 of the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway when his car slammed the concrete wall. Bernie Hallisky, the left-rear tire changer for Kelley Racing’s No. 78 entry, has been upgraded from fair to good condition at Methodist Hospital, Scheid said. Hallisky, of Shelbyville, Ind., underwent surgery Aug. 11 for a compound fracture of his right leg, multiple fractures in his pelvis and a left hip fracture, said Scheid, who performed the operation. Hallisky’s injuries were a result of an accident on pit road during the Belterra Casino Indy 300. Updates will be released by the Indy Racing League when available. Well wishes may be sent to:

Indy Racing League
4565 W. 16th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46222

8/13/02

Did you know?  Did you know that next years CART race in Miami falls on the same date as the US GP at Indy?  Sure does, but they are so far apart, it really does not matter, though it should lower the USGP TV ratings a bit.

8/13/02

Fernandez will attempt comeback at Road America  Adrian Fernandez, who has been undergoing intensive physical therapy for injuries received in a multi-car crash at Vancouver, will attempt to return to the #51 cockpit this week. Fernandez has missed one race since the July 28 incident, and was replaced by Max Papis at Mid-Ohio. “Our plan is to go to Elkhart Lake with one car prepared for Adrian and one for Max,” said Tom Anderson, co-owner and managing director. “We will put Adrian in the car for the first practice session on Friday and see how he fares. If he is unable to drive then Max will take over again this weekend.” Shinji Nakano hopes to continue his streak of points-paying finishes at Road America. Nakano has finished in the points the past six races, claiming four top-10 results including two top-five drives. He finished ninth at Mid-Ohio last weekend after starting 17th. On Elkhart Lake: “I am really looking forward to returning, but more than that I am looking forward to feeling good again. Sometimes, and this has happened to me before, you feel better in the race car than you do out of the car. I think I will be able to drive better than I can walk right now. I just hope there is no pain, or minimum pain. These all are unknowns until I jump in the car, but I am excited to go back.  “With my therapy, there are a lot of things that I am doing better but I still cannot put more than 50 percent of my weight on my left side and I am still very stiff. I still use crutches to get around. The swelling has gone down dramatically and the bruises are starting to disappear, but there is still some fluid there. I also found out that my left lower rib was bruised. Compared to where I was, however, I am much better. I can see the progress. “Road America is one of my favorite tracks and I know it well. It is a very smooth track, which is good, and it’s not as physical as Mid-Ohio. I will take it step by step. Max and the guys did a great job [at Mid-Ohio] in terms of trying to find more speed in the car and hopefully we can start at the next level this weekend. I’m excited and hope that excitement to get back in the race car gives me the adrenalin to be able to feel no pain this weekend.”  Fernandez Racing

8/13/02

CART isn't dying, it's evolving  This Mansfield News Journal article says that CART isn't dying, it's evolving, and we could not agree more.  We also agree with this factoid and CART had better find a fix soon - Traction control, fuel mixture knobs and pumped up power plants have robbed the sport of its main attraction. It ain't racing if they ain't passing, and there hasn't been a competitive pass in CART since the Easter bunny came hopping down the chicane. People come to the track and turn on TVs to see give-and-take, not a parade, not a funeral procession.

8/13/02

Vasser says improvements needed  After Sunday’s eighth place finish at Mid- Ohio Sports Car Course, Jimmy Vasser went to Team Rahal’s headquarters in Hilliard, Ohio with one thing on his mind – improve his Shell Ford Lola race car. It’s been frustrating year for the 1996 CART FedEx champion with first lap crashes and mechanical malfunctions. After a strong start to his first season with Team Rahal, the Las Vegas veteran has been racin with a ”black cloud” over him. “To say it has been frustrating would be an understatement,” said Vasser, who comes to popular Road America this Sunday (August 18) for the annual Motorola 220. “We just weren’t competitive at Mid-Ohio and that is a little embarrassing at the home track of Team Rahal. But we have decided to sit down and go through everything this week at the shop. We were fast at Monterrey, Mexico and Long Beach but the road course setup hasn’t been the same since for our Shell team. It’s been tough on the whole crew as well as me. Sure, we have had some tough luck. We have been hit a lot in the first lap and the very first turn for that matter. But we have to make our own luck now. That means being fast in practice, qualifying and the race. Look at (Patrick) Carpentier and the Players team. They have improved tremendously and they are winning. We need to make those kind of adjustments too. We have been fast before. We have to find it again. So we are sitting down with the engineering staff and going through all of the data. I think we’ll be better this week.”   Shell Racing

8/13/02

Chitwood to join IMS in management role Joie Chitwood III will join the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a senior-level management position effective Oct. 1, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George announced Aug. 13. Chitwood is the vice president and general manager of Raceway Associates LLC, which oversees operation of Chicagoland Speedway. Chitwood will continue his duties there through September. Chitwood has been in his present position at Chicagoland since May 1999. During his tenure there, he oversaw the construction and inaugural season of the speedway and the operation of the Route 66 Raceway. Chitwood was one of the initial employees of the Indy Racing League before moving to Chicagoland. “We are pleased to have Joie returning to the IMS family after a successful tenure with the Chicagoland Speedway,” George said. “I know that our fellow investors in that facility have appreciated his contribution to the success of that operation. We look forward to Joie bringing his experience to bear in Indianapolis.” Said Chitwood: “I am honored to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway family. I look forward to working with Tony George and his team and taking part in the many exciting developments at the Speedway. I have enjoyed working with Chicagoland Speedway and am very proud of what has been accomplished by the team.” Chitwood’s entire career has included racing. As a member of the Chitwood Thrill Show, he began his career as a stuntman at age 5. Later he specialized in four-car precision driving and reverse spins, and his skills have been showcased on a variety of television shows, including ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Florida with a business administration and finance degree. He also studied at Cambridge University in England and finished his formal education by earning his master’s of business administration degree from the University of South Florida. Chitwood and his wife, Susan, have one son, Joel. Joie Chitwood is active in community affairs in Joliet, including serving on the boards of directors of the Joliet Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Will County Center for Economic Development. The duties and responsibilities to be assigned to Chitwood will be announced at a later date.  IMS

8/13/02

IRL gets 1.1 overnight rating  Like CART, the IRL also got a 1.1 overnight TV rating on ABC for last weekends race from Kentucky.  This is the first time we can remember all three series (CART, IRL and NASCAR) being on network TV at the same exact time.  The clear winner - NASCAR, with CART and the IRL tied for 2nd, or last, depending on how you want to look at it.

8/13/02

Rockingham excited about 2003 date  As the planning for the 2002 Rockingham 500 CART event, Britain's fastest ever motor race, moves into its final month, the date has already been set for the 2003 event at Rockingham Motor Speedway, near Corby in Northamptonshire. This year the 1.5 mile banked oval track will host "the fastest closed circuit racing in the world" on September 13/14. Next year however, the date will move forward to the Bank Holiday weekend of 3rd and 4th May. "Its early days yet, we're working flat-out on this year's event, but we've gained one of the best dates possible on both the CART calendar and the British sporting calendar" said David Grace, Chief Executive of Rockingham Motor Speedway. "The May date gives us the opportunity to host a premier British sporting event right at the start of the summer. It gives race fans the ideal start to the motor racing season." David Grace was quick to point out that the May date does not involve any additional weather risk for the CART FedEx series, which with sustained high speeds of up to 240mph, cannot race in the rain. "All the meteorological information we have clearly shows that May and September are the driest months of the year. Our May 2003 event may be one or two degrees colder than our current September date, but we will also enjoy the advantage of longer days. We're looking forward to letting our American friends enjoy a perfect English springtime!" "The 3/4th May weekend is a very big holiday and in conjunction with the promoters we thought it was a very advantageous move" said Chris Pook, CEO of Championship Automobile Racing Teams. "It is lovely in England in the spring. It's the sensible thing for us to do. In the spring the weather is improving in the sense as you're moving towards summer so temperatures are rising, days are getting longer. It is part of an overall schedule that reflects the diverse challenges that make CART champions the most versatile drivers of all, featuring ovals, permanent road courses and temporary street circuits." But fans don't need to wait until the New Year, Rockingham and David Grace are looking forward to this year's race on September 13 and 14th. "We are looking forward to a great event" said Grace. "CART, its teams and the drivers are very proud of their accessibility and great value for money. From every seat you get a great view of the entire track. The best news is there are still a few seats left - if you phone us quick !"

8/13/02

Barrett comments on Priestley  Stanton Barrett, who will drive the OdoBan/Grease Control Ford in Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Grand National race at Michigan Speedway, is paying extra special attention to the recovery of actor Jason Priestley, who was injured in a practice session Sunday at Kentucky Motor Speedway in Sparta. Priestley was in the Infiniti Pro Series practice when his car slammed the outside wall just past the second turn at approximately 180 miles per hour. While the reported prognosis for Priestly is good, he is at the University of Kentucky Medical Center with a spinal fracture and a head injury, as well as a broken nose and broken bones on both feet. Barrett, who is running in NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Grand National Series this season, has worked with Priestly in Hollywood. Barrett is one of the leading stunt men and stunt coordinators in the industry, and a winner of a World Stunt Award a few months ago for his work in Jurassic Park III. The thoughts of Stanton Barrett: “Anytime anybody in racing gets hurt, it automatically grabs your attention. This is our industry. This is what we do. It’s pretty easy to identify with something when it is something you do every day. “Jason and I had a working relationship. Having known him some brings it even closer to home. I did stunt work on Beverly Hills 90210 four times, sometimes doubling for him and sometimes for Luke Perry. The one that really comes to mind is some snow skiing stuff, extreme skiing stuff, where I doubled for Jason. “There isn’t a ton of down time but occasionally we’d talk racing. He knew I was into it and he had started go-karting back then. Later on, we both ran in the 24 Hours of Daytona in the same year. I believe I was in the GT-1 Series, and it seems like he was running another class but, to be honest, I can’t recall exactly what it was. “At the level he was at, and the time he was putting into it, he was taking it pretty seriously. It takes too much work and too much dedication not to take it seriously. “We’re praying for him. That’s about all we can do. The news is pretty encouraging, and I really wish him the best.”

8/13/02

Watkins Glen pits the pits  According to this Winston Salem Journal article, Watkins Glen's poor facilities and weak infrastructure were the subject of numerous complaints over the weekend. Since the France family bought into the legendary track in 1985, there have been only minor improvements, and the track is clearly at the bottom of the list of NASCAR's 22 Winston Cup speedways. That the Frances haven't spent much money here over the years has led to numerous rumors that they eventually plan to sell it, rumors that have been denied. Crews not only have to use a garage that was built in the early 1970s and has scarcely been touched since, but they also must park their cars and tool boxes two-to-a-stall, disgraceful working conditions for what is supposed to be a major-league sport, according to several teams. Pit road still doesn't accommodate all 43 teams, forcing some to double up. And with the general layout of the garage area and pit road, it's a wonder that more pedestrians haven't been casualties.  On the soft-walls front: the big Styrofoam blocks that serve as soft walls in some dangerous corners at Watkins Glen didn't perform quite as well as expected when Kenny Wallace backed into them in the final miles. The rear end of his car was crushed all the way to the rear window. But then Wallace walked away.

8/13/02

PWR officially toast  PacWest Racing Group a.k.a. PWR Racing, has officially imploded. The few people that remained, managers, department heads, and the fab/machine shop guys, were all let go, and those in the first wave of layoffs were notified that their health insurance had been terminated retroactive to the first of August. The PWR website is kaput, and the signs have even been taken off the building. She's toast. From a win at Nazareth, 8th in the championship, and Rookie of the Year, to complete financial collapse in less than a year. Operating a successful race team is not nearly as easy as guys like Barry Green make it look.

8/13/02

Latest F1 Hot News

Arrows Will Not Compete
Davidson Set For Debut
Webber: On F1's 'Veneer'
DC: I Can Still Win The Crown
Da Matta Admits To Interest
Scheckter Still Dreams Of F1
Bridgestone: Compromise For Hungary
Aruban Grand Prix Foiled
Schumi Returns To Scene Of Fourth
F1 News In Brief
On This F1 Day...

8/12/02

Barber Dodge: Breuers wins first race, Allmendinger title  UPDATE We have added a photo of Breuers celebrating in Victory Circle taken by Bill Kistler.  8/11/02 - Marc Breuers had only one way to stay in the running for the Barber Dodge Pro Series season championship, and that was to win the race and have A. J. Allmendinger finish in fourth place or lower. Breuers held up his end of the bargain by taking his first-ever Barber Dodge win, but Allmendinger didn't, finishing on the podium behind Breuers and Rafael Sperafico to clinch the 2002 season championship at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. The race featured constant battles from the front of the pack to the rear, with the field keeping in touch and often running nose to tail on the twisty 2.258-mile permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio. Dan Di Leo finished in fourth place with Leo Maia coming home fifth in his Quaker State machine. Josh Rehm continued his streak of top-ten finishes for the season with his sixth place finish, while Cleveland round winner Davy Cook finished seventh. Mexico City, Mexico's German Quiroga gave the debut of his Gigante colors a fine run to eighth place while John Vannini had a strong run from 16th starting position to notch a top ten finish as Memo Rojas came across the stripe in tenth place in his Telmex-sponsored machine. The win is Breuers' first in Barber Dodge competition, and while the results meant the end of his championship hopes, Breuers was elated with taking his first win in the category.

8/12/02

Toyota tests first IRL engine  The new Toyota Indy V8 engine completed its first official test day at the Kentucky Speedway, Monday, in preparation for entry into the Indy Racing League in 2003.The Toyota engine ran close to 200 miles with two-time defending Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves behind the wheel of a Toyota Dallara prepared by Team Penske.   More...

8/12/02

Priestley continues to improve  Actor and race car driver Jason Priestley continues to improve following a race car accident on August 11th. Priestley was involved in an accident during a practice session for the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY.  More...

8/12/02

Priestley transferred to Indy  Infiniti Pro Series driver Jason Priestley was transferred via air to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on Aug. 12 to continue his recovery from serious injuries suffered in an Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series practice accident Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway. Priestley, 32, from Vancouver, British Columbia, was transferred to Methodist – renowned for its treatment of injured race drivers – from the University of Kentucky Hospital intensive care unit. His condition is serious but stable. Doctors at UK Hospital announced earlier today that Priestley’s pulse and blood pressure are normal, he continues to breath on his own, and he responds to commands and voluntarily moves all his extremities. “Priestley’s condition has improved and stabilized to the point where a transfer can be safely completed,” said Dr. Stephan Stapczynski, professor and chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine and medical director at Kentucky Speedway. Priestley sustained a moderate concussion as well as a fracture of his ninth thoracic vertebra. In addition to a contusion around his left eye, Priestley has lacerations on the bridge of his nose and left cheek, neck lacerations and fractures in both feet. Get-well wishes may be sent to:
Kelley Racing
Attn.: Jason Priestley
6803 Coffman
Indianapolis, IN 46268

8/12/02

Watkins Glen TV ratings hold the line  The Winston Cup numbers from Watkins Glen yielded a 4.7 overnight rating and 11 share, both numbers unchanged from last year's overnights. The pre-race show drew a 2.5 rating and 7 share, with the race audience building every half-hour of the broadcast and peaking at 5.5 from 4:00 to 4:30. Key markets among the overnight cities include Greensboro (14.7), Charlotte (14.5), Indianapolis (10.3), Norfolk (10.0), Tampa (10.0), and Daytona (9.9). The telecast was the second highest-rated sports program for the weekend, finishing behind the Tiger Woods victory in the Buick Open, which pulled in a 5.5 rating. However, the race outdrew golf every half-hour of head-to-head competition: 3:00 - 3:30 (4.8 to 2.9), 3:30 - 4:00 (5.2 to 4.0), and 4:00 - 4:30 (5.5 to 4.9).

8/12/02
Industry News

Cipolloni on FOX News  Cipolloni is now scheduled to appear again on FOX News Channel (Not to be confused with the Network FOX Channel) at around 3:00 PM.  8/12/02 - AutoRacing1.com President Mark Cipolloni is scheduled to appear live briefly on FOX News today at around 9:30 AM EST to talk racing in light of the Jason Priestley accident.

8/12/02

CART has a strong array of sponsors  From series title sponsor FedEx, to CART Safety Team sponsors Simple Green and through the many strong sponsors that CART teams enjoy, CART sponsors count themselves among the largest companies in the world. Team sponsors Havoline, Shell, Pioneer, Motorola, Lilly, Target, KOOL, Visteon, Player's, Herdez, Tecate and Gigante are among the world's leading companies that come to battle every weekend in the CART FedEx Championship Series. Race sponsorship is also strong with companies such as Shell, Molson, Miller Brewing, Bridgestone, Tecate, Telmex, Visa and Motorola lending their names to 2002 CART events.  CART

8/12/02

Mid-Ohio draws over 1.2 million households on TV  Despite going head-to head with NASCAR and the IRL on network TV, The CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio was seen in more than a million homes Sunday according to overnight numbers provided by Nielsen Media Research as the CBS Sports broadcast earned a national rating of 1.1, which equates to a viewership number of nearly 1.2 million households. The overnight number was higher than the CART broadcast average for the 2002 season and reached the one million mark in national households for the sixth time this season. The market breakdown shows that four regions drew a rating of 2.0 or better, including Mid-Ohio's home market of Columbus, Ohio. The Fort Myers/Naples area of Florida reached viewer numbers of 2.0 or better for the fifth time this year, while New Orleans and St. Louis also reached that plateau. Fourteen markets hit the 1.5 mark, including major areas such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and CART Grand Prix of the Americas host Miami. The CART FedEx Championship Series will be back in action this weekend, visiting the fabled Elkhart Lake layout for the Grand Prix at Road America Featuring the Motorola 220, Sunday August 16.

8/12/02

Mid-Ohio draws over 100,000  According to a CART press release, The CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio was just the latest example of the fervent crowd support that follows the CART FedEx Championship Series as over 100,000 Central Ohio fans poured through the gates last weekend. The CART attendance figures topped one million after just eight events and with big draws expected in the second half of the schedule, the current total of nearly 1.5 million fans is a cinch to top the two million mark well before the end of the 2002 season.

8/12/02

Rutledge counting on CART  According to this Calgary Sun article, things are looking brighter for David Rutledge next season. He's currently dealing with CART's Newman-Haas racing team trying to secure a seat for 2003 and is poised to become the next Canadian in CART, joining Paul Tracy, Alex Tagliani and Patrick Carpentier, who won the Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio yesterday. "Right now we have an association with Newman-Hass racing and I'm staying focused and not giving up," said Rutledge. "We're shooting for a third car but you never know these days what's going to happen but I'm feeling good about it."

8/12/02

Spotted in Kentucky  Some on the Team Menard crew seemed to support the team's recent test driver, Memo Gidley, as MG decals were seen on the Team Menard pit cart, pit stand and garage fences. These were not seen Sunday, though they seemed to make their way to one of the IRL support trucks. The IRL media office apparently received "hundreds" of calls pertaining to their handling (or lack there of) of Memo's test with Team Menard. Interesting to note that both the Brazilian and American flag stickers were next to Vito Meira's name on the car. Meira ended up having a decent first race, but one wonders who will set the car up for him at Gateway.......There were only 1,332 fans, in the stands Saturday for the IRL qualifying. This was not an estimate, or guess, but, the ACTUAL count taken during the middle of qualifying. Not included in the count were the fans in the pits, garage, or suites, or those camping on the back forty. The crowd Sunday was decent, and while the 49K quoted seemed a tad high, the attendance looked to be close to what they had the first year. More stands have been constructed since the inaugural event, so the fans seemed a bit more spread out......Lacerations to Jason Priestley's neck were apparently caused by the Hutchens device. When stretched, the device acted as a guillotine, and cut a vein or artery in his neck. While the CART safety team deservingly receives accolades, so does the IRL safety team for their quick response to this accident. Had they not done everything quickly and efficiently, the situation could have been far worse.......Billy Boat's race was ruined by a blown tire after the cars came down for the one of the restarts. The scary thing is the team does not use tire pressure sensors, and had the right rear blow-out happened at speed, it would have surely driven the car into the wall with horrible consequences. All CART teams use the sensors, but it is now time for the IRL and CART to mandate their use. If you can not afford this safety item, you should not be racing!......The IPS teams, hot off the horror of Jason Priestley's accident, have not been too happy with the officiating within the series, specifically the handling of teams caught cheating. The Foyt team has apparently been warned repeatedly, as they have been caught using illegal fuel, unapproved front and rear wings, modifications to the airbox, among other things. "It's ridiculous" stated one team's engineer prior to the accident which quieted the paddock....On the heels of some well known incidents with team's in the IRL being caught with illegal or unapproved devices, HPD and TRD have supposedly cautioned IRL officials that they will not tolerate actions that undermine their investment in the series next season. Seems the IRL is woefully understaffed with technically trained people capable of spotting certain electronic and hydraulic devices. The IRL has given assurances that this will be taken care of prior to the start of next season.

8/12/02

Indy Regency enters IRL with Hideki  Indy Regency Racing announced today that Japanese standout, Hideki Noda has returned to Indy Regency Racing to compete in the final 3 races of the 2002 Indy Racing League Championship. The team will enter G Force, Chevrolet, Firestone car #28. Hideki scored several podium finishes and the win a CART Indy Lights race at Portland in 1997 with Indy Regency Racing becoming the first Japanese driver to win a CART sanctioned race in the series history. Since then Hideki has raced in the highly competitive Japanese F3000, became Toyota’s works test driver, and also raced successfully in Japan’s GT Championship also with Toyota. Noda commented, “I enjoy racing in the USA and teaming again with Indy Regency Racing gives me a unique opportunity to be competitive despite our limited budget. Our main drawback may be in the horsepower department but I am confident that the team and my experience can somewhat “bridge the gap”. I am looking forward to the Gateway event with confidence and peace of mind”.

8/12/02

Injury updates Actor-driver Jason Priestley continues to improve at the University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, Ky., following a practice accident in the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series on Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway. Also, reports on other injuries from Kentucky.

 Monday AM Driver Injury Update

8/12/02

Latest F1 Hot News

BMW Reject Titanium Charge
Pollock Bids For Arrows
Villeneuve Amused By CART Rumors
McLaren Eyes 'Fourth' Driver
Yoong Will Be 'Rested'
The Minardi Shortlist
Wilson Gets His Chance
It's Raining In Budapest!
Arrows In Need Of Driver
F1 News In Brief
Curious F1 Trivia
On This F1 Day...

8/11/02

HP wins in Infiniti Pro Series too We must have been under the wrong assumption that the Infiniti Pro Series had 'spec' engines since it is a training series for the IRL.  We were wrong.  HP wins out again.  "Anthony is untouchable," Ed Carpenter said of Foyt. "I could run with him in the draft; he's just got a better car. They're faster by themselves all the time for some reason. I had a way better race car than him today, handling-wise. They've just got something figured out to get some more power out of that thing, and that's where they're beating everybody.  Hmm.....

8/11/02

Kentucky, a weekend the IRL would probably just as soon forget  Today's IRL race weekend in Kentucky was one the IRL would probably just as soon forget.  Four drivers and/or crew members were injured. Per IRL press releases -  Jason Priestley suffered a closed head injury, fractures to both feet and a fracture to his thoracic spine and also sustained facial injuries.  Richie Hearn is on his way to Indianapolis to get operated on this evening. He also had a rather severe injury to his ankle, to his right ankle, we believe, that will require surgery this evening.  Two Kelley Racing crew members also were injured when struck by the No. 78 Dallara/Chevrolet driven by rookie Tony Renna on a pit stop.  Rusty Hurford, a team fabricator, was transported via ground to Carroll County Hospital in Carrollton, Ky, complaining of neck pain. He was awake and alert. Bernie Hallinsky, left-rear tire changer for Renna, was transported via ground to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after suffering a broken right leg.   It's an open fracture. It ends at his shin, both bones were broken. One of the pieces of bone was sticking out through the skin.

8/11/02

Priestley in bad accident  3rd UPDATE  Per this AP story update - Indy Racing League medical director Henry Bock said Priestley suffered a closed head injury, fractures to both feet and a fracture to his thoracic spine. Bock said Priestley was undergoing tests at the hospital, where he had been taken by helicopter from the track. A Kelley Racing crewman said Priestley also sustained facial injuries.  8/11/02 - Per AP report - "He got sideways and he corrected and then shot off the track," said former Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, whose son, Arie Jr., also competes in the Infiniti series. "He turned right into the wall, and his first impact was basically head-on," Luyendyk said. "I saw it from the top of the roof. What I'm thinking is that's really the one big hit that he took that might have hurt him." He is serious but stable. 8/11/02 - AR1 hears that Priestley has severe head and neck injuries and he was wearing the Hutchens Device, not the HANS Device.  Reports we are getting right from the hospital is that survival is rated at 50/50 right now.  When is the IRL going to mandate the HANS Device?  8/11/02 - We are getting reports here in Mid-Ohio that actor-driver Jason Priestley was seriously hurt in this mornings Infiniti Pro Series practice in Kentucky and it's not good. He crashed coming out of the 2nd turn.  He has been airlifted to Kentucky Medical Center.  Details as we get them.  Our prayers are with him.  Last season, he was a broadcast analyst for the entire IRL series, and this year joined the Kelley Racing team for the new Infiniti Pro Series, a developmental circuit with open-wheel cars that are similar but smaller and less powerful than the IRL cars.

8/11/02

Foyt IV wins Infiniti Pro race in Kentucky  A.J. Foyt IV earned his third Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series victory in four starts this season, edging Ed Carpenter by .0652 of a second to win the Kentucky 100 on Aug. 11 at Kentucky Speedway. Foyt, grandson of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, took the lead from Carpenter for good on Lap 56 of the 67-lap race in the No. 14 Harrah’s/A.J. Foyt Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Foyt led 63 laps, and his average speed was 151.420 mph. Foyt expanded his lead in the standings of the new Indy Racing League development series to 51 points over Cory Witherill. “It started off real good,” said Foyt, 18. “Everything’s been going our way, all the luck falling our way, all the Harrah’s guys from the IRL crew helping us out a whole lot setting this car up perfect. “My grandpa is doing a great job setting the car up. I just couldn’t ask anything more out of anybody. Everything’s going our way, and hopefully we can finish the year up good.”  Results Sunday of the Kentucky 100 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series event at Kentucky Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed, and reason out (if any):
1. (1) A.J. Foyt IV, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
2. (5) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
3. (4) Cory Witherill, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
4. (3) Ronnie Johncox, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
5. (8) Matt Beardsley, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
6. (6) Arie Luyendyk Jr., Dallara-Infiniti, 67
7. (10) Rolando Quintanilla, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
8. (13) Gary Peterson, Dallara-Infiniti, 67
9. (12) Tony Turco, Dallara-Infiniti, 67

8/11/02

2003 CART Schedule News  Chris Pook said the following (full transcript):

1.  The amount of rain in early May in England is about the same as September, but there is 50 hours more sunshine in May with a 5 degree less temperature

2.  Cleveland may be a night race with fireworks, as we previously reported

3.  The May 4th date for England is a Holiday and the promoter is excited.

4.  Chicago will likely be on the oval one more year

5.  He said Paul Ricard, France is a VERY nice circuit - take it for what it is, but we have suggested this on numerous occasions.

Press Release - For the first time since 2000, the CART FedEx Championship Series season will both start and end in the United States, kicking off with a new temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg, Florida and ending at the always-exciting two-mile California Speedway oval. Building a schedule that is representative of the many different types of courses that the drivers must master to win the Vanderbilt Cup, Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc., (NYSE:MPH) released its 20-race slate for the 2003 season today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The season gets underway on February 23rd - the first time a CART event has taken place in the month of February - and wraps up with the season finale at Fontana on November 2. The schedule reflects the diverse challenges that make CART champions some of the most versatile in all of motorsports, featuring short ovals, superspeedways, permanent road courses and temporary street circuits. Schedule makers have also made things easier on teams by spacing the 20 events more evenly, avoiding the runs of three and four weeks in a row that were found on the 2002 slate. The schedule features two short ovals, a superspeedway, seven street courses and eight road circuits. Two events are still to be determined with venues and dates to be announced at a later date.

8/11/02

Official 20-race 2003 CART Schedule

Feb. 3-6, Sebring, Fla. (Spring Training, tentative)

Feb. 23, St. Petersburg, Fla.
March 23, Monterrey, Mexico
April 13, Long Beach
April 27, Southern European Venue (TBD)
May 4, Rockingham (England)
May 18, Chicago
June 1, Milwaukee
June 15, Laguna Seca
June 22, Portland
July 6, Cleveland
July 13, Toronto
July 27, Vancouver
Aug. 10, Mid-Ohio
Aug. 17, Elkhart Lake
Aug. 31, Denver
Sept. 7, Montreal
Sept. 28, Miami
Oct. 5, Mexico City, Mexico
Oct. 26, Surfers Paradise, Australia
Nov. 2, Fontana, Calif.

8/11/02

Did you know?  Did you know that 14 of 18 existing CART drivers have contracts that expire at the end of 2002?  Yes, which means this years Silly Season is going to be sillier than most.

8/11/02

Seen at Mid-Ohio  We spoke to Stefan Johansson (pictured, below left) yesterday and quizzed him about his plans for next year.  He confirmed that he is definitely trying to put together a Champ Car team in 2003, and he appeared to be quite optimistic.  Our cameraman Bill Kistler caught Oriol Servia (pictured, below right) getting out of his car after qualifying yesterday.  Take note of the perspiration, which underscores just how much more physically demanding driving road courses are.

8/10/02

Stewart admits almost losing job  Tony Stewart admitted Friday that his altercation with a photographer following last Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway nearly cost him his job with Joe Gibbs Racing. "I came real close to losing my job. I really hurt the people at Home Depot (his sponsor). I've said it from Day 1, they're the best sponsor you could ask for," Stewart said. "They've been real supportive. Before we even knew what the outcome of this would be with my job, I talked to a bunch of them. They said they would do whatever they could to help me out." Earlier this week, Stewart was fined $10,000 by NASCAR and placed on probation for punching Gary Mook, a free-lance photographer with the Indianapolis Star. Thursday, Stewart's sponsor added a $50,000 fine and probation of its own. "What probably hurts the most is I let Home Depot down and all the people at Joe Gibbs Racing down who give their whole lives to doing what we do," Stewart said. "Then to have someone like myself destroy that for everybody is a hard responsibility and hard pill to swallow." Stewart said he thought he could control his temper, but now realizes that is not the case. "We'll find someone who can help me do that. If it makes me less of a person or less of a man, than so be it. It's what I have to do for myself. Aside from the race car, I have to do it for me," he said. "I didn't even know I had a problem until last week. I'm willing to do whatever I have to do to make myself a happy person again. It's going to take a lot of work."  ThatsRacin

8/10/02

Foyt IV wins Infiniti pole  A.J. Foyt IV continued to secure his status as the driver to beat in the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series on Aug. 10 by winning the pole for the Kentucky 100 at Kentucky Speedway. Series points leader Foyt earned the top spot for the 100-mile race with a lap of 29.6707 seconds, 179.571 mph in the No. 14 Harrah’s/A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone. Foyt led both pre-qualifying practices this morning on the 1.5-mile oval. “I just went out, and I didn’t really know what was going to happen,” Foyt said. “I went out there and the car did something real weird that it didn’t do in practice. It twitched real bad in (Turns) 3 and 4. “I was real disappointed when I came in, but then I saw that the other guys were going through the same thing. I’m just glad we got the pole.”

8/10/02

Pruett in, Spencer out at The Glen  Part-Time NASCAR driver Scott Pruett qualified 19th in one of Chip Ganassi's Dodge's at Watkins Glen, out running regular Ganassi driver Jimmy Spencer who failed to qualify.  Spencer thought the team would sit Pruett and run him instead, but its now confirmed that Pruett will run the race and Spencer will go home.

8/10/02

Herta completes Minardi test  Former CART driver and race winner Bryan Herta, currently racing for Panoz in the ALMS, became the first American driver to test a F1 car since Elton Julian tested a Larrousse in 1994 at Donington on Saturday. Herta had originally been scheduled to complete his test on Friday, but technical problems intervened before he could complete a full lap. He eventually completed a number of laps in a 2002 spec Minardi PS01, setting a fastest time of 1m19.541s. “It went really well,” said Herta. “I'm really pleased. You never know until you do something how it's going to feel. It's the not knowing that's the weirdest part about trying something new. I felt comfortable. I'm not quite on the limit yet by any means, but I'm quite happy with where I am now. “Hopefully, it could ultimately lead to something else, but even if it doesn't I'll be grateful for having the chance to do it. Now I've driven one once I want to do some more.” Herta is hoping to become the first American to contest a Grand Prix since Michael Andretti at Monza in 1993, and is looking to secure a full-time drive for 2003. Autosport

8/10/02

Players capped by government  Did you know that the Canadian government prevents any tobacco sponsorship of sporting events/teams from increasing from year to year?  Yes, the amount has been frozen for years, regardless of inflation and that is why the team does not know for sure if it will be a 3-car effort in 2003.  We suspect it will take another sponsor to come on board to help with the funding, but if it's cheaper to run in CART next year, perhaps not.  MC

8/10/02

CART to announce 2003 schedule  CART will announce their 20-race 2003 schedule Sunday (tomorrow) at 11:30 AM at a press conference to be held at Mid-Ohio.  We will bring you the schedule as soon as we get it. MC

8/10/02

Da Matta back on top at Mid-Ohio  Cristiano da Matta resumed his normal position at the top of the CART speed charts in Saturday morning practice.  Da Matta's lap of 1:06.505 min was marginally faster than Bruno Junqueira at 1:06.551 min.  Christian Fittipaldi was third making it a Toyota 1-2-3 sweep.  Michael Andretti was the fastest Honda, fourth at 1:06.880 min. MC

8/10/02

Moscow GP update  UPDATE A reader writes - I think the three-week holiday in F1 has proved too much for Grand Prix.com! If they had searched hard enough, they would have found the plans for Nagatino Island at least a year ago - and they are not the ones shown in their article. The diagram may be taken from the Moscow GP website, but they have since been revised (I include the current plans from e-Tracks see photo to right). It is a fairly standard looking modern circuit, but looks more exciting than the first draft. Doubt it will ever get as far as construction, however. Regards, Neil Tipton  8/9/02 - This Grandprix.com article says - It may never happen but the plans for the Grand Prix of Moscow, which was scheduled to be held on a specially-built circuit on Nagatino Island, in the Nagatinskaya river valley, in south-eastern Moscow have finally come to light. The track was to have been built on a track on the banks of the Moskva river. The aim is for the complex to host not only Formula 1 races but also other major events and the design of the circuit indicates that there was a plan for a one-mile flat oval in addition to the 2.5-mile road circuit. The plans also reveal that the track would have been able to have been divided into two parts.

8/10/02

Szymczak pips Allmendinger for pole  Christian Szymczak took his first-ever Barber Dodge Pro Series pole in final qualifying for Sunday's race with a lap of 1:24.608 seconds on the 2.258-mile permanent road course at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Szymczak was one of only a few drivers to improve on his time from yesterday's qualifying session, and he improved it just in time, as the red flag flew just after Szymczak set the fastest time of the session and for the weekend, ending the session. Starting alongside Szymczak will be A.J. Allmendinger, who ended the session with a spin in turn 11, leaving him unable to improve on his session time from Friday. Allmendinger earned the front row start with his provisional pole effort on Friday. Julio Campos, who qualified second on Friday, will start from the second row for Sunday's race next to Rafael Sperafico. Marc Breuers, who still has a mathematical chance at the championship, will start the race inside of Leo Maia, who had his best-ever Barber Dodge qualifying session on Friday to land him in the third row.

Pos/#/Driver/Hometown/Time/MPH
1/34/Christian Szymczak/Oakland, Calif./01:24.608/96.076
2/29/A.J. Allmendinger/Hollister, Calif./01:24.646/96.033
3/21/Julio /Campos/Curitiba, Brazil /01:24.679/ 95.995
4/11/Rafael Sperafico/Toledo Paraná, Brazil/01:24.881/95.767
5/94/Marc Breuers/Philadelphia, PA/01:24.924/95.719
6/31/Leonardo Maia/Oakland, Calif./01:24.950/95.689
7/19/Dan Di Leo/Markham,Ontario,Canada/01:24.955/95.684
8/16/Davy Cook/Tallahassee, Fla./01:25.037/95.591
9/42/Josh Rehm/Plymouth, Mass./01:25.055/95.571
10/27/Josh Beaulieu/Langley, B.C., Canada/01:25.209/95.398

8/10/02

New camera angles at Mid-Ohio  Viewers watching tomorrow's CART race from Mid-Ohio will see improved camera angles that are set being used by CBS, and SPEED Channel.  They are a marked improvement over those used by ABC/ESPN in past years. MC

8/10/02

Yoong to meet with Stoddart Alex Yoong is preparing to discuss his future with Minardi team boss Paul Stoddart this weekend. "I'll be seeing Paul at Donington and we will talk about Hungary then," Alex told his website. "I don't think he'll make a decision until after the weekend. Paul has always been fair to me and whatever happens we have to make the best decision for the team." Yoong expects to be replaced after striking a deal with Stoddart that he could lose his seat if he failed to qualify twice this season, but Alex is hoping that he will only be asked to miss a couple of races and not sit out the remainder of the 2002 season. "I will definitely go to Hungary whether I drive or not," he continued. "If I’m not in the car, it's still my responsibility to be there to help the team in what ever way I can. I am still employed by the team even if I’m not racing."

8/10/02

Stars kart program signs sponsor  Stars of Tomorrow founder Bryan Herta announced that Snap-on.com has assumed the role of title sponsor for the national karting series. Snap-on.com is the internet presence for Snap-on Tools, a leading professional automotive tool company. “I am extremely pleased with the addition of Snap-on.com as our title sponsor for the Stars
series” said Herta. “It’s a privilege to be associated with a two billion dollar company and one that is so committed to motorsports. Snap-on recognizes the huge potential in karting and the attractive demographics of the sport. It is a perfect fit for the products they offer.” Along with event sponsor status for next week’s Stars national race at Road America, Snap-on.com will also sponsor a television production for the Stars Grand Nationals to be held November 8-10 at the XPLEX Las Vegas in Sloan, Nevada. “The inaugural Stars of Tomorrow race was broadcast on Speed Channel back in 2000 and the response was tremendous” Herta continued. “There’s been a lot of talk about getting karting on television and we are very pleased to again be the series that gets it done.”  The CART ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ karting series is the official first level in CART’s driver development system. Specifically designed as a driver development series, Stars focuses on recognizing the skills of the drivers rather than the technology development within the machines, using FIA/CIK international standards. The Stars program consists of several regional race series, plus three national and one grand national events. More information can be found at www.cartstars.com.

8/10/02

Latest F1 Hot News

'Magic Aura' Of Ferrari Testing
Briatore Eyes Retirement
French Club Joins Premier1
The Generous Side Of Schumacher
Button Looks To Future
Bryan Herta Signs For Minardi?
Sato Lauds Honda Effort
Ralf Pins Hopes To Hungary
Schumi Signs Contract
Curious F1 Trivia
F1 News In Brief
On This F1 Day...

8/9/02

Denver GP construction photos  A reader sent us this link of photos showing construction for the upcoming CART race in Denver.

8/9/02

Spotted in Mid-Ohio  We spotted Tony Kanaan talking to many team owners and even Chris Pook today.  We hear he absolutely does not want to race in the IRL in 2003 if Mo Nunn tries to bring his 2nd car there, and he is trying to find a way to stay in CART.  Seems not many CART drivers want to drive those IRL cars on the dangerous all-oval series.

8/9/02

New website for Miami race  The new website has been launched for the CART/ALMS Miami race in October.  Check it out, it's a major improvement over the old one.

8/9/02
Industry News

Ralph Sanchez wins lawsuit  In an AutoRacing1.com exclusive, we have learned that CART board member Ralph Sanchez today was awarded a $20 million lawsuit against the government of Aruba for the race track that never materialized a few years ago.

8/9/02

Barber Dodge - Allmendinger unstoppable?   A.J. Allmendinger is determined to wrap up the Barber Dodge Pro Series championship as soon as possible, and moved one step closer to doing so today by taking one point for the provisional pole at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course on the 2.258-mile permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio for the CART Grand Prix of Mid Ohio. Behind Allmendinger qualified Julio Campos, the 2001 Formula Dodge National Champion, with the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series Rookie of the Year Rafael Sperafico carding the third-fastest time in the first qualifying session. Marc Breuers, who runs second in the championship battle to Allmendinger, qualified behind Sperafico, with Leo Maia showing his speed in the Quaker State-liveried machine with his first top-five qualifying effort of the season. Christian Szymczak qualified sixth, with Cleveland round winner Davy Cook in seventh. Josh Rehm made the most of the session to qualify eighth, his best qualifying effort in the Barber Dodge Pro Series to date, as Memo Rojas and Dan Di Leo rounded out the top ten on the provisional grid. The provisional pole point is Allmendinger's sixth of the season and with his lead is now extended to 53 points over Breuers, he can clinch the championship with a second place finish in Sunday's race, but finishing second is the last thing on the Hollister, California resident's mind.

1\29\A.J. Allmendinger\ Hollister, Calif.\01:24.646\96.033
2\21\Julio Campos\Curitiba, Brazil\01:24.679\95.995
3\11\Rafael Sperafico\Toledo Paraná, Brazil\01:24.881\95.767
4\94\Marc Breuers\Philadelphia, PA\01:24.924\95.719
5\31\Leonardo Maia\Oakland, Calif.\01:24.950\95.689
6\34\Christian Szymczak\Oakland, Calif.\01:25.006\95.626
7\16\Davy Cook\Tallahassee, Fla.\01:25.037\95.591
8\42\Josh Rehm\Plymouth, Mass.\01:25.055\95.571
9\15\Memo Rojas\Mexico City, Mexico\01:25.220\95.386
10\19\Dan Di Leo\Markham,Ontario,Canada\01:25.233\95.372

8/9/02

CART stock watch  

MPH closed at $5.17 Down $0.09 or 1.17% on Volume of 31,000 shares.
$4.55 Bid, $5.51 Asked on Close
$5.14/$5.25 Low/High
DOW Jones Up 33.43 or 0.38% on Volume of 1.5B shares.
NASDAQ Down 10.4 or 0.79%
S&P 500 Up 3.18 or 0.35%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe, Chicago, Illinois

8/9/02

Very first IRL team owners meeting  The IRL is having their very first team owners meeting in Kentucky this weekend to talk about the 2003 engine program.  We hear there are some unhappy people who want some answers. We hear car count is low for the IRL right now, as many teams can't afford new cars and new engines.  That's all we know.

8/9/02

Team Rahal loses member   A 40-year old crew member, Steve Stabler,  of Team Rahal had a heart attack this morning and died.   Our condolences to the team and the family.   "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steve's wife Marlo and his family," said Bobby Rahal.  "Although he had just recently joined our team Steve quickly became part of the Team Rahal family.  Steve will be missed by all those who knew him."

8/9/02

Traction control gone in 2003   John Lopes stated today that CART will absolutely drop traction control in 2003 and 2004.....as suggested on these pages weeks ago.  That should help somewhat with the ability to make passes because drivers will make more mistakes getting off the corners.

8/9/02

More on standing starts   John Lopes stated today that CART has not yet tested standing starts for next year, but they will definitely been doing it.  The fans have made it clear to CART, that is what they want when Tom Anderson asked the question at the Fan Forum today.

8/9/02

CART back in Texas in 2004   John Lopes stated today that it's likely CART will be back in Texas in 2004.  Houston is one possibility.  Sorry, we can't tell you what the other one is, but rest assured it's not Texas Motor Speedway.

8/9/02

Fernandez maybe back for Road America   Fernandez Racing Team Manager Tom Anderson stated today at Mid-Ohio that Adrian Fernandez may be back next weekend at Road America, but definitely by Montreal.

8/9/02

Da Matta leads opening practice   Cristiano da Matta turned the fastest lap in the opening practice session at Mid-Ohio.  Da Matta's fast lap of 1:07.384 min was a tick of the clock faster than Christian Fittipaldi who tripped the timing lights with a 1:07.647 min.  Tora Takagi was third fast.

8/9/02

Will rain and weepers be a problem in Rockingham?   After last year's weepers at Rockingham, it is a very wet summer in England, and this official weather map shows that rainfall in the vicinity of Rockingham has been about 200% of the average for July 2002. Let's hope the weepers are solved, never mind hoping for a dry race day. Ed McFarlane

8/9/02
Industry News

TV traffic jam  We checked the CART, NASCAR and IRL TV schedule for Sunday and noticed all three will be on network TV in the USA at the same time.  CART (Mid-Ohio) starts at 12:30 PM Eastern Time on CBS, NASCAR (Watkins Glen) starts at 1:00 PM o NBC,  and the IRL (Kentucky) is on ABC at 1:30 PM.  CART and the IRL will easily come out on the short end of the stick on that one.

8/9/02

Latest F1 Hot News

Herta: Open To Anything
Alonso Set For Arrows Drive
Eddie Irvine To McLaren?
Baumgartner Gets Home Debut
Richards: It's Jacques' Call
FIA To Make F3000 Compulsory?
Fisico and Giggsy Swap Sports
F1 News In Brief
On This F1 Day...

8/9/02

How come USA not advanced enough to have this?  Shanghai, China  took delivery of its first magnetic-levitation (maglev) high-speed train yesterday and government officials hailed it as a sign the showcase project is on schedule. The three-car maglev train arrived by ship at a Shanghai port and was scheduled to be moved to a maintenance centre overnight, government officials said. "This is a sign that we are on schedule," said an official at the Shanghai Maglev Office, which oversees the project. It will be the first commercial use of the German technology, which uses powerful magnets to pull the train along at up to 250 mph. It will be used to connect Pudong International Airport with the city's No 2 subway line and will cover the 31km route in about eight minutes. The elevated path for the high-speed rail system is rapidly taking shape. A ceremonial trial run is expected by the end of the year, though actual use is not planned until the middle of next year. The maglev is a Sino-German project. China is undertaking construction while Germany's Transrapid consortium is responsible for delivering the cars, the electrical power system, signaling and other technology. The Transrapid group includes Siemens and ThyssenKrupp. The project has had strong support from the German and Chinese governments. Premier Zhu Rongji was said to have been impressed with the technology when he rode on a demonstration train during a trip to Germany. The German consortium is hoping the technology can be used on other routes, such as Shanghai to Beijing and Shanghai to Hangzhou. But China has not committed to using the technology on other routes.

8/8/02

Unser Jr. says he's ready  Al Unser, Jr., driver of the Corteco/Bryant No. 7 car for Kelley Racing, announced today that he has successfully completed an inpatient treatment program at a world-class substance-abuse center, and has received approval from his doctors to race this weekend at The Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., and to begin adjusting to the new alcohol-free lifestyle he learned while at the facility. Unser made the decision to seek treatment and Corteco made arrangements for him to enter the facility on July 18. Earlier this week, his doctors authorized his release and he was cleared to drive by Dr. Henry Bock, Medical Director for the Indy Racing League. "Today we welcome back Al Unser, Jr.," said Kelley Racing owner Tom Kelley at a news conference held Kentucky Speedway. "I'm sure I can speak for everyone by saying that we are all glad to see him in good health. Our thoughts and prayers have been with Al since he entered a substance-abuse center last month. We admired his honesty in recognizing his problem with alcohol, and his determination to do something about it. "The physicians treating Al were very pleased with his progress at the treatment center and felt he was ready to resume his regular routine. I know he can't wait to get back into the Corteco/Bryant car," said Kelley. Unser, Jr. Said, "My recovery program didn't end earlier this week. No, that's just the beginning. I have a program that I'm following today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and the rest of my life. I was told by the doctors that once you're considered medically healthy and are taught how to better manage your lifestyle, the next phase of the recovery is getting back on track with your life.

8/8/02

Home Depot fines Stewart $50,000  The Home Depot, sponsor of NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Tony Stewart and the #20 team of Joe Gibbs Racing, has fined Stewart $50,000 and placed him on probation for the remainder of the 2002 season following an incident with a photographer upon the conclusion of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 4, 2002. The fine and probation are in addition to the $10,000 fine and probation NASCAR levied against Stewart following their own investigation. The $50,000 fine will go to the United Way of Central Indiana to be used for a variety of after school programs for children. The Home Depot made its decision after consulting the publisher's office of The Indianapolis Star-News , the newspaper whose freelance photographer was involved in the incident. "Tony Stewart's actions following the Brickyard 400 do not at all represent the values and beliefs of the over 290,000 associates who comprise the backbone and spirit of The Home Depot," said Hugh Miskel, director of sales promotion for The Home Depot. "We value our relationship with the media, fans and competitors of NASCAR, and the behavior displayed following the Brickyard 400 will not be tolerated from any member of our race team now or in the future." The Home Depot, the official home improvement warehouse of NASCAR, has been the primary sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart since 1999. (Edelman PR)

8/8/02
Industry News

Indy vet Crawford dies at 54  2nd UPDATE The address for Annie Crawford, widow of Indianapolis 500 veteran Jim Crawford, was incorrect in the obituary of Jim Crawford. We regret the error. The correct address to which flowers or cards can be sent to Annie Crawford:
Annie Crawford
745 Pinellas Bayway, #208
Tierra Verde, FL 33715  

8/8/02 - A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Really sad to hear that Jim Crawford died. He was the nicest driver I ever talked to or got an autograph from . One of my favorite 500 memories was in 1986, during Carburetion day, I talked to him about his chances in the 500. He had an early version of the Buick that was very unreliable. He said they thought they had it solved. He was so friendly that I ran out of things to ask him or say to him. During the race he moved from far back in the field towards the front. I think he was in the top 10 before it blew up. I remember watching and cheering him on. I really felt as if I was riding with him that day. Michael Crane  8/7/02 - Former Indianapolis 500 driver Jim Crawford, who team owner John Menard calls “the bravest man I ever knew,” died Aug. 6 in Terre Verde, Fla. He was 54. Crawford, a native of Scotland, retired from racing after the 1993 Indianapolis 500 and became a fishing-boat captain in the St. Petersburg, Fla., area. Crawford began his racing career in England, climbing to Formula One, and then came to America. Racing out of Texas, he came to Indianapolis for the first time in 1984. He passed his Indianapolis 500 rookie test but failed to qualify for the race. He made the race for the first time the following year driving for John Wysard. Crawford made eight Indianapolis 500 starts and had a best finish of sixth in 1988 driving Kenny Bernstein’s Buick. In that race, Crawford was third with six laps to go when he had to make a lengthy pit stop that dropped him back three positions. A popular driver with both fans and the media, Crawford showed his courage during his recovery from a qualifying crash in 1987. He took the green flag and drove his ARS Buick into the first turn. The car hit the wall with terrific force, with Crawford suffering severe injuries to both legs that required 12 months of rehabilitation. Crawford still used a cane the next May when he earned his best finish. In 1989, Crawford set the one- and four-lap qualifying speeds for a turbocharged stock-block engine at 222.069 and 221.450 mph, respectively. He started fourth and was running fourth when he was sidelined by a broken driveline after 135 laps. Then in 1992, Crawford clicked off an unofficial track record lap of 233.433 mph. He drove an Ilmor-Chevrolet in his final race, the 1993 Indianapolis 500, and finished 24th. He failed to qualify in both 1994 and 1995, driving a year-old Reynard 94I-Ford XB in his final attempt at age 47. “He was a wonderful, wonderful human being,” Menard said. “We had some great times and memories. Jim had this wry Scottish sense of humor.” Menard noted that his daughter Molly caught her first fish on a trip in the Gulf of Mexico on Crawford’s boat. “It was in our freezer for 10 years,” Menard said. Born Feb. 13, 1948, in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, Crawford started his racing career as a mechanic in Formula Atlantic in Britain in 1972. He was given the chance the next year to drive one of the Chevron works cars and won the Formula Atlantic championship in 1974. He was rewarded by being appointed test driver for Team Lotus in 1975. He drove in the British and Italian Grands Prix, but that was the beginning and end of his F1 career. He won the 1980 Formula 2 title in a Chevron and then, disillusioned with his progress, he came to America to drive the Ensign Can-Am car. He finished second in the series in both 1983 and 1984. Crawford then found his niche at Indianapolis testing and driving the Buick stock-block engine cars. He drove in six other CART races in 1985, placing fourth at Long Beach, but from that point on he competed only in the Indianapolis 500. Survivors include his wife, Annie, and son, Geoffrey. Flowers or cards may be sent to Annie Crawford, 745 Bay Way, Unit #208, Terre Verde, FL 33715.

8/8/02

NASCAR donates driving simulators to NY Fire Department  New York City Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today announced the donation of two driving simulators from the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). The FDNY will become the first municipal fire and emergency medical response program in the country to use full scale, motion-based vehicle simulators to train fire and ambulance chauffeurs. The simulators will be used to help train the city's Fire and EMS personnel in apparatus operations and are expected to help improve response times, reduce accidents and resulting injuries and, ultimately, help save lives. "The driving simulators will have a major, long-term positive impact on both the emergency response system in New York City, and the people and property the Fire Department is sworn to protect," said Commissioner Scoppetta. "We are grateful to NASCAR for helping make this a reality." The announcement was made at a press conference today in New York at the FDNY Engine 23 firehouse on West 58th Street. Dignitaries in attendance included FDNY Commissioner Scoppetta; FDNY Citywide Tour Commander, Chief Joseph Callan; NASCAR President Mike Helton and NASCAR champion driver Jeff Gordon. The donation addresses a need stemming from the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 in which over 100 FDNY-trained chauffeurs perished. The FDNY worked with NASCAR to identify a specific need that had gone unmet through previous monetary contributions and determined that driver training simulators would have a significant benefit to the department

8/8/02

Article says ride-buying Meira's millions all that matter in IRL  2nd UPDATE To begin with, there's no such thing as a Brazilian F3000 Championship. Brazil's top open-wheel series is the South-American F3 Championship (which is mostly raced in Brazilian tracks and dominated by Brazilian drivers). Vítor Meira won this crown in 2000, but it's important to say that he drove for Amir Nasr racing (the series' best team by far), and, most important, his car was the only 2000 Dallara model to run that year (even Meira's teammate, Juliano Moro - the 2001 champion - drove a 98 model). It is fair to say that any reasonably good driver aboard the 00 Dallara in 2000 would have wound up as champion. Meira really is not among Brazil's current top racing talents, but brings money.  Cássio Côrtes   8/8/02 - In checking further, Vitor Meira has won South-American Formula 3 in 2000, and does not have any F-3000 Championship crowns in Brazil.  The Racing Press article was incorrect, he has even less credentials than originally thought.  8/7/02 - This Racing Press article says Vitor Meira is a road racer. He won the Brazilian F3000 championship in 2000. And he is the newest driver for Team Menard... in the all-oval Indy Racing League. Team Menard's general manager was quoted in the Indianapolis Star as saying, "He's a young kid who stands on the gas. If he does well the rest of the year, there's the possibility of this being a two-car deal next year." The young Brazilian was revealed as Menard's newest hotshoe after passing his IRL rookie orientation at Kentucky Speedway. But, truth be told, he was most likely picked long before that. Meira comes to IRL with a healthy sponsorship, thought to be at least $3 million. The number of dollar signs attached to his resume was enough to attract the attention of Tony George, IRL's head honcho. And, to be blunt, his acumen behind the wheel immediately became a secondary concern. .....After setting up the car for Meira, Memo Gidley was the only driver not mentioned at all in a recent IRL press release.  A potential shot at a top IRL ride ended up being patsy work in order for Tony George to get a lucrative sponsorship package into his series. Thanks, Memo. Don't let the door smack you on the can on the way out.......The truth is, the IRL's pretense of giving opportunity to American drivers is a farce. Racing Press

8/8/02

NASCAR announces rules change  Officials for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) have announced a half-inch increase to the front air dam for the Pontiac Grand Prix and a 1-inch increase for the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, for next weekend’s Pepsi 400 Presented by Farmer Jack at Michigan International Speedway. The leading edge of the air dam for the Pontiacs now must not extend more than 1½ inches forward of the bumper. The leading edge for the Chevrolets now must not extend more than 3½ inches forward of the bumper. Prior to this, Pontiacs’ air dams could extend 1 inch forward, while Chevrolets’ air dams could extend 2½ inches forward. These modifications will be in place for this weekend only, pending further assessment by NASCAR officials.

8/8/02

IRL and Delphi sued  Race Safe, a New York firm, has filed suit in the US District Court in Syracuse, NY, against both the Indy Racing League and Delphi Systems for a patent infringement.  The lawsuit was filed June 24th.  More details as we get them.

8/8/02

Irvine willing to take testing role  According to Autosport, Eddie Irvine has admitted that he would consider becoming a full-time test driver with a Formula 1 team next year rather than hang up his helmet, according to a story in this week's AUTOSPORT. Although the 36-year-old driver is in contention for a seat with Jordan or Jaguar next year, the former world championship runner-up has made it clear that he only wants to work with a leading outfit in 2003 – even if it means he is not racing. "I've had a very good innings, but I'm not ready to retire," said Irvine. "If I don't get a drive 'c'est la vie', because there are lots of other things to keep me amused. "Who knows what I would want to do. Maybe a year of testing? It would be nice to work with a really good team, so we will see."

8/8/02

Walker Racing and Rahal help with mentor program  As part of its continuing and expanded CART Mentor Program, Championship Auto Racing Teams is placing Toyota Atlantic drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Roger Yasukawa with CART FedEx Championship Series competitors Team Rahal and Walker Racing, respectively, for this weekend's CART Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Each driver will shadow their team and be involved in team meetings, debriefings and public relations functions. In addition, they will be in pit lane during all Champ Car sessions with headsets and listen to team communications. Hunter-Reay, driving for Hylton Motorsports, is currently third in the Atlantic point standings, with wins at Laguna Seca, Chicago and Cleveland. He will mentor with Team Rahal and drivers Jimmy Vasser and Michel Jourdain Jr. Yasukawa, also driving for Hylton Motorsports, is currently ninth in Atlantic point standing, with a win at Milwaukee. Yasukawa, a Japanese-American, will mentor with Walker Racing and its Japanese driver Tora Takagi. Originally designed as a two driver (series point leader, at-large selection) format, the Mentor Program has been expanded. "Due to the overwhelming support of the entire Champ Car paddock, we chose to expand this phase of the Mentor Program," commented CART Driver Development Manager Robert Dole. "The fact that so many teams wanted to be involved in the program combined with the great talent level in Atlantics this year, it was a natural decision to expand the program. My thanks to everyone involved for making this program work so smoothly in its first year." The Mid-Ohio weekend will be mark the end of the first phase of the 2002 Mentor Program. Phase 2 will begin at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Miami, October 4th-6th where the Atlantic and Barber Dodge champions will mentor with selected Champ Car teams. At-large selections from both series will mentor at The 500 Presented by Toyota in Fontana, November 1st - 3rd.

8/8/02

Indy Star - Fittipaldi to NASCAR continues CART's loss of talent   This Indy Star article says that Christian Fittipaldi's exodus to NASCAR continues CART's recent trend of loss of talent and name drivers to other series.  With the loss of major engine manufacturer money to the IRL, and no new major sponsors announced in CART, there is little money to keep or attract new talent and/or big name drivers in the series.  The deep pockets in the IRL, F1 and NASCAR are slowly snatching all the talent out of the CART paddock and one has to wonder what will be left.

8/8/02

Latest F1 Hot News

Rivals Laud Da Matta
Franchitti Still Targeting F1
Ford Scotch Jordan Claims
Wilson Looks To Future
No Problems For Massa
Sauber Target Hungarian-Points
Bourdais Set For Grand Prix Debut?
No Rest For Jaguar Testers
Verstappen Set For Arrows Return?
F1 News In Brief
Happy Birthday Nigel Mansell!
On This F1 Day...

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

Hot News Archives

2000 2001 2002 2003
 

Banner 10000012



Watch CART, F1, NASCAR, ALMS & more on DirecTV
Our Price: $29.99
Order Now

Free Installation


Autocourse 2001/2002

Order Now

List Price: $54.95

Our Price: $38.46

You save $16.49 (30%)


Autocourse CART 2001/2002

Order Now

List Price: $34.95

Our Price: $24.46

You save $10.49 (30%)

DRIVEN on DVD

Order Now & Save $$

List Price: $24.98
Our Price: $18.74
You Save: $6.24 (25%)

Convert this page to
another language

 

e-mail us:
contacts@autoracing1.com

Back to the top

AutoRacing1 is an independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by CART Inc., NASCAR, FIA,  FedEx, Winston, or any other series sponsor. This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without permission.
User agreement & disclaimer

Copyright 1999 - 2001, AutoRacing1, Inc., Hamilton, NJ