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DATE

News (chronologically)

9/27/02

NASCAR financially sound  Moody's Investor Services says NASCAR trails only the National Football League among U.S. sports in terms of financial strength, according to a variety of reports today. The Philadelphia Daily News and several reports cited by the Sports Business Daily say the assessment shows up in a 12-page report issued by Moody's yesterday. Moody's ranked the NFL highly because teams share most revenue equally and the league makes teams fund deferred compensation in advance. NASCAR finished second in the study, followed by the NBA, MLB and the NHL. NASCAR was cited for its revenue sharing and attendance growth. Moody's also said that corporate sponsorship is on the rise, contributing more than $1.5 billion to the sport annually.  Winston Cup Scene

9/27/02

The flight from CART is causing panic says Fernández  This article appeared in the Mexican newspaper El Norte and is translated to English by Ed McFarlane for your viewing pleasure. CART must, as a priority, preserve enough teams and quality drivers for the 2003 season, said the Mexican Adrian Fernandez, driver and co-owner of the Fernandez Racing Team.  Story

9/27/02

Ferrari Challenge practice  UPDATE  CART investor Jon Vannini was the only driver to qualify that was first time in the car and first time at the track.  By that we mean literally never having sat in the car. Brand new car zero miles, not even installation laps and Jon has zero hours in that type of car.  He had never driven with paddle shifters, ABS, or SWOL (Shift w/our lift).  He recorded 7 or 8 laps, then went back out with Band-Aids just to learn the track. Jon was only running on 4 cylinders the first few laps and had to pit to re-cycle the ECU.  His 6th lap was the out lap then he swapped ends on what was to be a quicker lap, the 8th. He came in to apply new Band-Aids and then he recorded another 4 or 5 laps.   Too much too soon. Jon, has never driven a lap in a Challenge car much less this Challenge car. Easier to get a guy to slow down than go fast. He'll be fine.  90% of those guys competing run their cars on rather frequently.   9/27/02 -  Qualifying results Friday for the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli race on the 2.606-mile road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with position, car number in parenthesis, driver, team and practice speed in mph (All cars are factory-built Ferrari 360 Modena cars):
1. (87) Doug Peterson, United States, Shelton Sports Cars, 92.576
2. (2) Darius Grala, United States, Ferrari Orange County, 92.499
3. (1) Michael Cullen, Ireland, Roseberry Racing, 91.942
4. (33) Ash Allie, United States, Ferrari of Washington, 91.100
5. (53) Jose Luis Valera, Venezuela, Roseberry Racing, 91.868
6. (11) Paddy Shovlin, Ireland, Roseberry Racing, 91.862
7. (27) Jim Kenton, United States, Ferrari of Washington, 91.187
8. (34) Brent Martini, United States, Ferrari of Orange County, 90.772
9. (4) Mark Patterson, United States, Roseberry Racing, 90.630
10. (12) Mike Louli, Canada, Ferrari of Ontario, 90.354
11. (44) Eddy Aslanian, United States, Ferrari of Orange County, 90.137
12. (18) Dennis Crowley, United States, Shelton Sports Cars, 89.685
13. (90) Chris Wood, Canada, Ferrari of Quebec, 89.301
14. (67) Jon Vannini, United States, Ferrari of Central Florida, 89.246
15. (66) Louis Scafuri, United States, Ferrari of Long Island, 88.580
16. (32) Kurt Carlson, United States, Shelton Sports Cars, 88.206
17. (41) Peter Greenfield, United States, Ferrari of Orange County, 88.059
18. (58) Pierre Schroeder, United States, Ferrari of Long Island, 87.599
19. (6) Ciaran Caulfield, Ireland, Roseberry Racing, 86.218
20. (19) Mandy Reimert, United States, Ferrari of Houston, 83.825
21. (9) Marc Lacovelli, United States, Ferrari of Quebec, 83.385
22. (65) Jay Wilton, United States, Ferrari of Orange County, 83.342
23. (20) Joel Quaid, United States, Ferrari of Orange Country, 64.198

9/27/02

NASCAR goes to USGP to get technology  NASCAR team owner Ray Evernham showed up at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday to have a look at the Formula 1 cars.  "We're here to meet with some people from McLaren Mercedes to see if we can open up a communication line to share some technology between our Formula 1 team and our Winston Cup team, through DaimlerChrysler," he said. "I'm very interested in the technology. It's exciting for me because I have never had an opportunity to see how Formula 1 works and I probably shouldn't say this but I'm a big Michael Schumacher fan." Evernham said he planned to invite some of the F1 team to see NASCAR at some point. "As we start to exchange information," he said, "there are things they can learn from us. We run 38 weekends a year so I think some the things we do for time-efficiency might be able to help them."

9/27/02

CART stock watch 

Unable to hold the high of the session MPH closed
at $3.70 Up $0.11 on Volume of 52,500 shares.
$3.08 Bid - $4.07 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.69 / $4.00
MPH Value Change Up 3.06%
DOW Jones Down 295.67 or 3.7% on Volume of 1.84 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 22.46 or 1.84%
S&P 500 Down 27.58 or 3.23%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

9/27/02

Philip Morris slashes projections   Shares of Philip Morris slid 11 per cent on Friday morning after the US cigarette group slashed its full-year earnings forecasts the day before, saying increased promotional spending had failed to offset poor domestic sales. The group said underlying earnings per share would rise by 3-5 per cent compared with July predictions of 9-11 per cent. Underlying earnings per share growth the following year would be 8-10 per cent. The company, which said in July that it would spend $350m promoting its brands in the United States and internationally, said yesterday that it would spend even more to focus on the US cigarette market. The news caused various analysts to slash their price targets for the company.  The group, known for its Marlboro and Virginia Slims brands, said it had increased promotional spending in August and continued to do so throughout the fourth quarter in an effort to revive US sales. The international tobacco and Kraft food businesses are performing well, Philip Morris said. Philip Morris suffered a further setback on Thursday when a jury in Los
Angeles awarded compensatory damages of $850,000 to a smoker dying of lung cancer and said the cigarette maker was guilty of malice, making it potentially liable for punitive damages. Philip Morris shares were last trading down $4.58, or 11 per cent, at $38.15 in New York.

9/27/02

Heavy crash for Barrichello  Monza winner Rubens Barrichello suffered what looked to be a left rear suspension failure or a rear tire failure entering turn 13 – the banked flat out left hander onto the main start-finish straight at Indy this morning. Barrichello’s Ferrari spun immediately, slamming into the wall left hand side on at high speed. Barrichello climbed unhurt from his Ferrari. “Something broke and I spin,” shrugged Barrichello as Bridgestone and Ferrari went to work to determine the cause of the problem with most runners opting to increase tire pressure before running again.

9/27/02

Cosworth XFE dyno test  Preparing to assume the lead role in powering the CART FedEx Championship Series in 2003 and '04, Cosworth Racing put its new 2003-spec XFE engine on the dyno this week where it underwent its first endurance testing in advance of expected road testing later in the year. Cosworth officials took the tough approach to testing the new piece, deciding to run a pair of the harshest cycles possible in testing the engine, running 800 miles at 750bhp in a simulated Road America cycle, followed by a flat-out Fontana simulation in which the engine completed over 300 more miles at 700bhp. Unlike other manufacturers that test their engines with built-in pit stops and slow periods to simulate caution flags, the Cosworth engineers ran the XFE at continuous race speed during the entire test and were extremely pleased with the results. "From my perception the test went really well," said Cosworth Racing Vice-President Ian Bisco, "We achieved all of our targets and the test ended with a small problem that can be easily fixed. Elkhart Lake is always the hardest test on the engine and to get through the Fontana and Elkhart Lake cycles on the first test is very encouraging." The next step in the XFE progression will come when the engine goes through another dyno test, followed by on-track testing in November where the engine will run 400 miles on each on a road, street and oval course with the engines being fitted on both the existing Lola and Reynard chassis.

9/27/02

Industry News

Jim Russell grads make Red Bull cut   At a press conference in Indianapolis yesterday, Danny Sullivan, spokesperson for the Red Bull F1 Drivers Search announced the 15 drivers chosen to compete for four seats to race in a Junior Formula car series in England and potentially move on to race in Formula One. Jim Russell Racing Drivers School Graduates selected were Scott Speed, 2001 USAC Formula Russell Champion/Rookie of the Year and 2000 Graduate Runoffs Scholarship Winner; Joel Nelson, current points leader in the this season's FRC and last year's Graduate Runoffs winner. Everyone at Jim Russell Racing Drivers School congratulates all the selected participants and wishes them good luck as they go forward to achieve their motor racing goals. We also wish to thank Mr. Sullivan (graduate of Jim Russell UK) and the Red Bull Company for their support in advancing the careers of these young Americans in our sport. Jim Russell Racing Drivers School

9/27/02

Most popular driver voting   An award that began in 1956 has reached a milestone its founders never envisioned. Sitting just shy of two million total votes, the Grands! Biscuits NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award has now received more votes in six months than it has in the rest of its history combined. The highest vote total in any single year prior was 400,000 in 2001. In the meantime, 15-time award winner Bill Elliott has made a major jump in the balloting and the battle between him and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is incredibly close. The two are in a virtual dead heat in the balloting. Jeff Gordon is a close third, followed by Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip, Kyle Petty, Rusty Wallace and Kevin Harvick. NASCAR fans can continue to vote online once per day at www.nascarpopulardriver.com.  Voting continues through Nov. 17

9/27/02

Ford commits to stick by Jaguar  Jaguar's Friday update was, as expected, a reaffirmation of Ford's commitment to the team's long term success. Ford CEO Nick Scheele and vice-president Richard Parry-Jones were on hand after a meeting in Paris Thursday, where they discussed cost-cutting measures, and the F1 program was potentially on the chopping block. Scheele recently completed a three month survey of the company's involvement in F1, and Ford has decided to continue with their current level of F1 involvement. "With our works team, Jaguar Racing, we are in Formula 1 to stay," said Scheele. "F1 is undoubtedly the world's toughest proving ground, one that requires a sustained commitment in order to achieve success." "Jaguar's presence in Formula 1 is not driven by short-term marketing objectives. We are racing enthusiasts and the marque's connection with racing stretches from the time the company was founded by Sir William Lyons in 1922 right up to the present day." Parry-Jones added, "This sends a clear message that we are committed to Formula 1 and provides the stability the Jaguar Racing team need to build their competitiveness."  GrandPrix.com

9/27/02

Minardi Ford deal not done yet  Niki Lauda is still not able to confirm  that Minardi will be using Cosworth engines in 2003. "We're negotiating at the moment," he said yesterday. "The deal is not fixed and done yet but there is a possibility. "If the deal is done, and all the signs indicate that it will be, does that mean that there will be three different Cosworth engines out there in Melbourne? "Yeah," says Lauda. "I have three different engines, to be honest. One is the best, which I (Jaguar) have. Then is the second best for the time being is for Jordan, and there's a third best. So we still have a lot of engines there, because we produced a lot of them. As long as we have them, I want to get rid of them in a positive way. Lauda was then asked if there might be a fourth team, a fourth engine: "I doubt it," said the Austrian. "Now it's finished. We have only three. But anyway, we're still negotiating. So it's (Minardi) not done yet. It could happen.

9/27/02

Chicago Motor Speedway financial woes  This Chicago Sun-Times article says - Under pointed questioning by new IRB chairman Dennis Bookshester, the NJC group admitted to a gross debt of $35.5 million, $11. 5 million of which was attributed to obligations of former auto-racing partner Chip Ganassi. The group also admitted to doctoring financial statements included with its 2002 dates application and to having burned through $15 million in Bidwill family money to ''subordinate debt.''  Their argument will be that the ill-fated Chicago Motor Speedway venture at Sportsman's that ultimately led to the closing of the track has left the National Jockey Club too cash-strapped to finance a meeting. The National Jockey Club's opponents also are sure to bring up a pair of $10,000 fines assessed by the board as a penalties for erroneous material it submitted at last year's dates hearings, mistakes that the board staff concluded were inadvertent. Other links to recent Sun Times and Chicago Tribune articles covering the problems of the NJC/Sportsman's Park:
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/horseracing/
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/horseracing/
http://www.suntimes.com/output/horse/cst-spt-odnt26.html
http://www.suntimes.com/output/horse/cst-spt-odnt24.html
http://www.suntimes.com/output/horse/cst-spt-odnt23.html

9/27/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Lauda Denies Jaguar Doubt
Button Makes F1 History
No Name Change For BAR - Yet
Ferrari 'Go For It' At Indy
Red Bull Team Gathers Pace
Williams Await Winter Break
Schu Rejects Claims Of Boredom
Bernie To Miss Indy GP
Breakaway Plans Plough On
DC Praises Mercedes Progress
Jaguar Line-Up Revealed Soon
'Zorro Montoya' On Letterman
Lauda To Schu: I Would Be Bored
Mixed Feelings On Massa Penalty
Drivers Muse About HANS
Ferrari Boys Plan Indy 'Fun'
Lauda: Jordan Is My Customer
F1 News In Brief

9/27/02

The horrors of an oval track victim  This MSN Entertainment article describes how bad Jason Priestley's injuries really were, another oval track wall victim.   Jason Priestley knows it was a bad crash. He just doesn't remember it. That, among the revelations in the teen idol turned speed racer's first interview since slamming into a wall at 180 mph, August 11 at Kentucky Speedway. "I know it was a big one and there were some bad things that happened," Priestley says in Thursday's Indianapolis Star. "But the most important thing is that I focus on getting better so I can go home." The Beverly Hills, 90210 alum, who remembers nothing of the accident or of the days surrounding it, probably won't be going home (aka Los Angeles) for at least 10 days, the paper reports. Currently, he's holed up at a rehab hospital in Indianapolis, working six hours a day to sweat his way back from a variety of injuries: Concussion, broken back, broken feet, fractures in and around his eyes and ears (hairline basilar skull fracture). A fracture to his right eardrum, in fact, has hindered Priestley's speech, the paper says. (He's working on that problem, too, with the help of speech therapists.) The Star describes the now-bearded 33-year-old actor as looking "haggard, tired," but "remarkably strong." "He's a medical miracle," English-born girlfriend Naomi Lowde says in the paper. "He could have died from any one of his injuries." Priestley has several reminders of "his injuries," including the chest brace he wears to protect his back (also bolstered with a pin) and two foot casts (lime-green colored, the Star notes). A veteran pro driver whose experience behind the wheel dates back to the early 1990s, Priestley sounds torn about his future on the oval track. Priestley says he's both frustrated to back in a car, and undecided about future. "I want to get healthy and see how my feet work before I decide," he tells the paper. ....."He was serious about trying to become a great race driver," Lowde says in the newspaper. "He gave up drinking six months ago and was in great shape. I think that's what saved him..."

9/26/02

Final ALMS rating  The final TV rating for last weekends ALMS race live from Laguna Seca, drew a 0.7 rating with 790,000 households.

9/26/02

Newman and Andretti throw hat in ring in NJ  3rd UPDATE It turns out that Carl Haas, Paul Newman and Mario Andretti (Not just Paul and Mario as originally reported) are teamed together with Liberty Mutual of Secaucus, NJ to build a 1.35-mile trioval with 100,000 seats, the entire project costing $451 million.  The ISC proposal is for a small 3/4 mile oval with 80,000 seats, but is a larger $1.5 billion deal. $1.5 billion!  Would they ever make their investment back?  9/21/02 - The Dayton Beach News Journal article gives more details about ISC's $1.5 billion proposal. The plan, which would be Speedway Corp.'s most expensive venture ever, would begin with construction of an oval-shaped track, a store, a hospitality village, a cafe, two parking garages and a museum similar to Daytona USA, a corporate spokesman said. Those structures, costing roughly $500 million, would be built east of the existing horse track and football stadium, where the New York Giants and Jets play, in the 700-acre East Rutherford, N.J., complex. A light rail line would help bring in fans who preferred not to fight traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike. In later years, the Speedway project would add more grandstands to the track, plus a 500-room hotel and convention center, an office tower, a movie theater, a cluster of restaurants and additional museums devoted to horse racing and the National Football League. The future phases would pump up the project's total cost to $1.5 billion.  9/20/02 - The developers and their proposals are:
The Westfield Group, New York City: Best known in New Jersey for owning Garden State Plaza, the group wants to build an urban village with office buildings and hotels. It would convert the arena into a 5,000-seat live entertainment center.
Mills Corp., Arlington, Va., and Mack-Cali Realty Corp. of Cranford: The companies want to build a sweeping mini-city composed of state-of-the-art family entertainment, including indoor bass fishing, skiing, and extreme sports, along with a hotel and restaurants.
Triple Five LLC, Las Vegas - Known for developing the Mall of America, the developer offered a plan to rebuild the Continental Arena into a family entertainment and restaurant emporium.
The Liberty Management Team, Secaucus: The company wants to build a 1.25-mile  100,000-seat auto racetrack with a family entertainment center. The plan includes funding for a monorail into the complex. There currently is a monorail in place between the Newark airport and the Amtrak train corridor.  They would seek to extend it.  Paul Newman and Mario Andretti are part of this group.
International Speedway Corp.: The chief designer of NASCAR tracks nationally, the company wants to build an 80,000-seat track with a hospitality village, a hotel, and entertainment and retail complex.
Hartz Mountain of Secaucus and Forest City Ratner of Brooklyn: The companies would build a 500,000-square-foot convention center surrounded by hotels, offices and family entertainment.
The six proposals will now be evaluated by a team of local officials, environmentalists, and business leaders. Four authority officials will pick the best plan and the authority will then seek to negotiate a deal. Zoffinger said Thursday, however, that the authority may pick different parts from each proposal and try to combine them into one plan, mixing the developers where possible.   9/20/02 -  It's been widely reported that ISC is looking to build an 80,000 seat oval in the NJ Meadowlands.  However, when proposals were received officially yesterday, we were surprised to learn that a second track proposal has emerged from a group that includes Paul Newman and Mario Andretti.  Their proposal calls for a 1.25-mile track that would seat 100,000.  The other four proposals included indoor sports arenas, shopping malls, convention center, hotels and office towers, and a minor-league baseball stadium.

9/26/02

Ecclestone blows off USGP  One would think that with ticket sales down, Bernie Ecclestone would be at the USGP this weekend to help bring some buzz to the paddock.  Instead, Bernie's office issued this statement -  “I had planned on being in Indianapolis, but urgent business matters now make that impossible,” Ecclestone said. “I understand that everything is in order at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I send my best wishes to Tony George, his family and to the thousands of Formula One fans who will be there for the race.”  Business matters?  We hear it has something to do with the rise of the Phoenix.

9/26/02

Lauda explains Jordan teams use of Cosworth engines  Niki Lauda was quoted today in Indy as saying - There are two different situations to be watched, which is the Ford side I am not talking about now, and the Cosworth side. The Cosworth is pretty simple. Eddie signed a three-year contract for Cosworth engines for his team. Next year we're going to use a new V-90 degree engine on the Jaguar car and he will use this year's engine (V-72 degree). So the year after we will both have the same type of engine, V-90 degrees and from then on for the next two years. So we'll start with this year's engine next year and they will follow up. As soon as we have enough V-90s ready, then he will have that one. So this contract is signed and this is all I am responsible for. And I am very happy because Cosworth is an engine manufacturer on its own. It's not like BMW or Mercedes being part of a group. We just make Formula One engines and CART engines and rally engines. So, therefore, when we lost the Arrows deal, basically, which was my original start to supply engines to another team, it was obvious for me to find somebody else. " The engines are going to be paid by Jordan, this I know. But there is another agreement Eddie has with Ford of Europe, which I am not aware of and which is really not my business because he's my customer at Cosworth, and that is what I am happy about."   When you're trying to catch up like Jaguar has, how do you prioritize the budget expenses? What do you have those guys working on first, second, third? LAUDA: It's not really a budget decision, it was a technical problem we had with the car from day one. So basically the car was designed all wrong. So when we started testing it in January, it just did not work. So if we have a lot of things wrong on a car, you need to change a lot of things. Basically we had to change all the suspension. Then we found out that the aero package which was supposed to be 8 percent better than last year was 2 percent less. The wind-tunnel numbers we used here in America -- we didn't have our own wind tunnel -- were all wrong. Basically we started 10 percent less downforce than last year, which is a real joke. Then you start wind tunnel running in England starting on the first of April. So then we started to work in our own wind tunnel to reconfirm the old numbers and then make new numbers to improve the cars. Then we improved the car by roughly about 10 percent, but the time didn't come. Normally if you improve 10 percent down force, you should go one, two seconds quicker.  It is better we finish the season, the easier it will be to make a better car for next year.

9/26/02

Luyendyk Jr. to test IRL car  Arie Luyendyk Jr., who finished second in the 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series standings, will test an Indy Racing League car Oct. 1 at Kentucky Speedway. The car is the G Force/Chevrolet/Firestone owned by Treadway Racing that his father, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, drove in the 86th Indianapolis 500 in May and the Michigan Indy 400 in July at Michigan International Speedway. “I’m very excited that Treadway Racing gave me this opportunity,” Luyendyk Jr. said. “It will be good to get my IRL rookie test out of the way. I’ve been dreaming a lot about driving an Indy car, and I’m very psyched.” At this point, Luyendyk most likely will stay in the Infiniti Pro Series for one more year before moving to the Indy Racing League. “We’re sorting things out,” Luyendyk Jr. said. “There are a lot of things in the works, but nothing definite yet. It’s looking pretty good. “I’ll probably wait until 2004 to move up to the IRL. I learned a lot this year in the Infiniti Pro Series, and it won’t hurt to do another year. Plus, it will be good to get experience on tracks we haven’t been to yet, like Phoenix and Pikes Peak.”

9/26/02

Hornish enjoying championship  Sam Hornish Jr., the first two-time Indy Racing League champion, was honored Sept. 21 in his hometown of Defiance, Ohio. The town saluted him with a parade, and Sept. 21, 2002, was declared “Sam Hornish Jr. Day.” Fred Shultz, mayor of Defiance, also presented Hornish with the key to the city. “It was a lot of people I knew, a lot of familiar faces,” Hornish said. “It was very nice to have people come out, there were a lot of people from northwest Ohio.” It’s the first time Hornish has been honored with a parade, but the second year in a row that he’s celebrated an IRL championship. “The first year was better overall, the second year the championship was sweeter because we had some down points, had some bad races,” Hornish said. “All-in-all, to come back and be able to win the championship again and be the first repeat winner was an awesome experience.”

9/26/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $3.59 Up $0.04 on Volume of 19,000 shares.
$2.98 Bid - $4.31 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.55 / $3.79
MPH Value Change Up 1.13%
DOW Jones Up 155.3 or 1.98% on Volume of 1.92 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 0.68 or 0.06%
S&P 500 Up 15.28 or 1.82%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

9/26/02

Red Bull drivers announced  Organizers of the Red Bull F1 Driver Search program revealed the identities of the 15 young American drivers who will vie for fully funded 2003 racing seasons.  Former Formula One driver and 1985 Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan, the program’s spokesperson and lead “scout,” introduced the 15 drivers Sept. 26 during a press conference in Indianapolis.   Story

9/26/02

F1 Driver Development Program Taps Into CART Ladder System  Further cementing the status of the CART Ladder System as the top driver development program in the United States, the new Red Bull F1 Driver Search, which hopes to carry an American driver into the Formula 1 ranks, today tabbed seven current drivers from the CART Ladder System in its list of 15 nominees for the program. In all, 11 of the 15 drivers selected to test have raced at some level of the Ladder System. Two of the reigning Ladder System champions were offered invitations to the driver search program as Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER titlist Grant Maiman and Barber Dodge Pro Series champ A.J. Allmendinger were on the list. Also tabbed for the opportunity to test were Toyota Atlantic drivers Rocky Moran Jr., Joey Hand and Ryan Hunter-Reay as well as FDNC drivers Scott Poirier and Scott Speed. Bryan Sellers (FDNC), Phil Giebler (Barber Dodge), Michael Abbate (Stars of Tomorrow karting) and Patrick Long (Formula Dodge) have also competed in Ladder System events. Boston Reid, who has been racing sprint cars this year, has also attended the Skip Barber Three-day Racing School, which is the Official Racing School of CART. "I was never in a racecar until I was 19 years old. It was at a Skip Barber three-day Intro to Racing," Maiman recalled. "Now the future is wide open. I'm assured a smooth entry into professional racing in the 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series because of CART Barber scholarship funds. Starting out as late as I did in racing, at the age of 19, it would have been hopeless for me to make it as far as I have if it wasn't for the CART Ladder System and Skip Barber Racing with their Scholarship program." Of the candidates named, Hand has already announced a deal to run Atlantics next season with DSTP Motorsports while Maiman is expecting to use the scholarship he earned by winning the FDNC title to race in the Barber Dodge Pro Series next year. Deals for a number of the other drivers on the list that will cement their 2003 CART plans are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

9/26/02

Thursday press conference  Here is the transcript from today's FIA USGP press conference

9/26/02

Driver wanted - bring money  In this weeks NSSN in the Classified Ads, there is an Ad from Rev 1 Racing seeking a paying driver in the Infiniti Pro Series for 2003 to partner Ronnie Johncox.  It says" Driver must have proper funding"

9/26/02

Jarrett can't remember   Dale Jarrett on what he recalls about last years race at Kansas Speedway - "The only thing I do remember is that entrance into Turn 1 and getting tapped," Jarrett said. "From that point, I don't remember anything before the race started and I don't remember anything after that until I was getting on the airplane to come back to North Carolina." Jarrett was racing Bobby Labonte on Lap 247 when the driver of the No. 18 Pontiac laid on a little chrome horn to make a pass. Jarrett's race car veered violently into the wall of the then-new track, sending him to hospital with a severe concussion. "It was actually the first time I've had a concussion, especially one of this magnitude," Jarrett said in a teleconference call. "It'll be like my first time at Kansas City. I don't remember the garage area. I know the shape of the racetrack just from knowing it's a lot like Chicago, but from actually being on the track, I don't remember any of that."

9/26/02

Labatt announces sponsorship of Canadian GP  Canadian brewery La Brasserie Labatt has announced a three year deal with the organizers of the Canadian Grand Prix that will see track-side advertising of their Bleue Dry brand of beer, which is aimed at a younger audience of "thrill seekers". La Brasserie Labatt's president Marc Portelance said, "La Brasserie Labatt is proud to jump back into the thrill and excitement of Formula One. Our employees welcomed the news with great enthusiasm. They're happy that we're resuming our auto racing tradition, which goes back to the 1960s."

9/26/02

GPWC still threatens breakaway series  GPWC Holdings BV (“GPWC”) the company owned by BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford and Renault, held its scheduled board meeting at the Paris Motor Show today. The Board re-affirmed the commitment of GPWC to the commencement of its new series not later than 2008. GPWC was founded with some very specific objectives. The group aim to significantly improve the economic benefits to all Teams and Manufacturers participating in the series. Teams will benefit from all sources of revenue generated by the sport such as broadcasting, promoter fees, race sponsorship, circuit signage, hospitality and computer games. Annual cash distributions to each team will increase substantially from current levels. Perhaps most significantly is the aim to reach the broadest possible global audience, in particular through ‘free-to-air’ television.  Note - you can read this as simply a posturing move on the part of the manufacturers to pressure Kirch.  If the manufactures control the series, it would be a worse nightmare than the team owners controlling a series.

9/26/02

Dyer named NASCAR VP   NASCAR Officials today named Mark Dyer Vice President of Licensing and Consumer Products in NASCAR’s Charlotte, North Carolina office. Dyer, a familiar figure in the NASCAR industry, most recently owned and operated the NASCAR Café in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior to that, he was the President and CEO of H&C Racing, Inc., the company that launched the NASCAR Café concept. Dyer has worked with most of NASCAR’s top drivers, teams and tracks during his career. He also served in an executive capacity at Host Communications. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, he is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. He grew up watching NASCAR races at the old Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Dyer will be responsible for the day to day operations of NASCAR’s licensing and consumer product activities. He, wife Tammy and family Sharnai, Allison and John, will reside in Charlotte.

9/26/02

Da Matta compares F1 and CART  Dear AutoRacing1, Is Da Matta going to F1 or not? Probably, but that's not affecting his sleep the slightest bit. At least his attitude about it is not exactly enthusiastic:
- I wouldn't trade what I have in Newman-Haas to drive for Jordan or Arrows. What I want is to have fun and win races and championships - said the diminutive Brazilian.
- Some think that F1 is the top of the world, but I don't see it necessarily as a "promotion" (to move from CART to F1)
His possible move to Toyota's F1 team also isn't making him jump and shout:
- F1 is not better or worse (than CART). It is just different.
A driver with Cristiano's skills making such declarations serves only to prove how much challenging driving a ChampCar and get to win races in CART is. By the way, how would Sam Hornish Jr. do in CART, where he wouldn't have a special-spec Chevy engine exclusive to him? Cassio Cortes  Dear Cassio - In the IRL, teams pay their engine rebuilder to develop special engines just for them.  Also Hornish had the 2002 Chevy whereas Castroneves and de Ferran were stuck with the less powerful 2001 Chevy.  Mark C.

9/26/02

Pook lowest paid CEO  One might wonder that, in view of CART's losses and recent scandals involving other corporate CEO's and officers, are Pook and the other officers and directors of CART getting rich while the series struggles? A check of the company profile on Yahoo Finance, reveals that of the top three officers, Pook is the lowest paid. CFO and VP of Finance and Administration Thomas Carter earned nearly double what Pook made in 2001. Vicki O'Connor, President of Pro-Motion Agency (administrator of the Atlantic Series), also makes more than Pook. In fact, Pook's reported salary for 2001 was only $14,423 (partial year, still by far the lowest paid CEO by a wide margin), with an additional bonus of $120,000, along with stock options valued at $328,000. By comparison, the same site reports that NASCAR mogul Bill France earns $1.7 million as Chairman and CEO of International Speedway Corp (NASDAQ: ISCA, owners of many of NASCAR's major race tracks including Daytona, Talladega and Michigan.) Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports (NYSE: TRK, owners of speedways at Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Texas and Las Vegas, among others) earned $1.1 million in 2001. The highest paid executive in major league motorsports is probably Formula One czar Bernie Ecclestone, who is reputed to earn more than $80 million a year. The numbers indicate the Pook is less interested in making a fortune from CART, than he is in making the company successful and profitable.  RacingNewsOnline

9/26/02

Industry News

Visteon wins more non-Ford work   Visteon Corp. said it won orders from Nissan Motor Co. for truck interiors and heating-and-cooling systems, as the world's No. 3 auto-parts maker tries to reduce its reliance on former parent Ford Motor Co. The contracts are for future Nissan trucks to be sold in Europe and North America and include cockpit systems that combine instrument panels, steering columns and other parts, spokeswoman Robin Pannecouk said. Terms weren't disclosed. Visteon last week said it had won almost $900 million in new business this year from automakers other than Ford and expects to beat its annual target of $1 billion in such orders. Ford spun off Visteon two years and accounted for $4.13 billion, or 82 percent, of the parts supplier's second-quarter sales.

9/26/02

More NASCAR fines   NASCAR officials announced today that Robert Kocher, crew chief for the No. 00 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, has been fined $500 for rules infractions prior to last Saturday's race at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. During the weekend's initial inspection process, the No. 00 Chevrolet was found to have two aluminum drive plates. NASCAR rules require the drive plates be made of steel. Kocher was fined $250 for each plate. Kocher was fined under Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book: "...actions detrimental to stock car racing..." and Section 12-4-Q: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules."

9/26/02

Defections are appalling  Dear AutoRacing1.com, The level of defection in the CART ranks is appalling! Michael Andretti and Roger Penske were made wealthy men as a result of the philosophies and opportunities resulting from the CART paddock. To defect because “it” looks better on the other side (for the moment) shows poor sportsmanship and poor character! Yes Michael and Roger this is a sport.  Bruce Guthrie, Santa Monica, CA  Dear Bruce, When in doubt about people's motives, follow the money.  And one can argue that Penske brought a lot to CART as an oragnization.  Mark C.

9/26/02

Will an American in F1 help attendance at USGP?  We've heard excuses this week that attendance is down for this reason, or that reason at the USGP.  The latest reason we heard is that there are no Americans in F1.  Consider this - the last time an American raced on their home turf in F1 was Eddie Cheever in an Arrows Ford at Phoenix - a race that was a complete and utter failure.  No, American's won't go to Indy for just any American driver, they will go if the American driver is a Superstar winning races, the likes of a Mario Andretti, the one and only American Superstar that made American's stand up and take notice of F1.  His championship year in 1978 saw a packed Watkins Glen.  Americans who came out to see their hero.  And guess what, Mario put his Lotus Ford on pole by over 1.5 second over the Ferrari.  The crowd went bonkers and race day was a promoters dream.  In morning warm-up, his suspension failed and he crashed his primary car in the loop.  He started his backup car but it failed to finish.  The crowd won't home disappointed, just like the tifosi goes home disappointed when their beloved Ferrari's fail at Monza.  America needs an American hero in F1, not just an American.

9/26/02

Ford tightens belt  Colin McCrae, one of the worlds best Rally Drivers has been dropped by Ford due to belt tightening.  His salary was around $8 million per year.  Similarly, Jaguar's Eddie Irvine, who makes over $10 million per year will likely be axed for the same reason.

9/26/02

No BAR name change for now  David Richards' plans to rename his BAR team have been put on hold for now. With the transfer of ownership from British American Tobacco and the cigarette manufacturers' withdrawal from F1 sponsorship in 2006, Richards believes the team needs a new name that F1 fans can identify with. However, after throwing the name change open to suggestions, he has decided to put the process on ice. "First of all we've got to construct a team that appeals to a fan base, a team that gets recognition and respect," said Richards.

9/26/02

Earnhardt uses head injury as excuse for performance   According to this article (That’s Racing) after an accident in April, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was left with a severe concussion and a bad case of paranoia - if word got out that his head was bothering him, Earnhardt was certain it would ruin his career. "You just start back at zero," Earnhardt said about publicizing his concussion. "People are going `Oh, he's finished, he'll never be the same.' And every time you run bad it's because of that reason, it's because of your head. So I just didn't say a thing." Earnhardt was injured in a wreck at California Speedway when his car hit the wall at an estimated 130 mph, according to an on-board data recorder. He had the wind knocked out of him during the wreck and also hurt his ankle. But there was something else that just wasn't right. Earnhardt Jr. was suffering the after affects of a concussion. Sometimes, it took him a second longer than everyone else to get a joke. Sometimes, his speech wasn't smooth. Even worse, he sometimes couldn't react fast enough on the race track.

9/26/02

Canadian Beauty heads to Australia  Bartercard Miss Indy Canada Jaime Koeppe is arriving two weeks out from the Event and will be attending many of the Honda Indy 300 events and functions. The standard of entries in the Bartercard Miss Indy contest so far this year has been outstanding and organizers look forward to another great year for the event. Twenty-eight girls will qualify from around Australia and New Zealand and will arrive on the Gold Coast on Sunday October 20, staying at the Mercure Resort. For the enthusiast, Swimwear judging will take place on Tuesday October 22 at The Drink Nightclub and the final sashing of the 2003 Bartercard Miss Indy will take place at The Troccadero Nightclub on Thursday October 24.

9/26/02

Demand for tickets prompts new grandstand in Surfers  Record demand for grandstand seating has prompted Honda Indy 300 organizers to build a new stand for the event to be held on the Gold Coast from October 24 to 27. The new Stand Nine will form part of the Andretti Grandstand and be situated just after the Turn Two chicane in front of the Sun City Resort. Honda Indy 300 Chief Executive Officer Geoff Jones said more than 80 percent of current grandstand seating has already been sold for this year’s Event. “Ticket sales especially in grandstand seating have been tracking at unprecedented levels over this year’s campaign,” said Mr Jones. “We are in a great position to be able to offer another Grandstand for the public to increase the diversity in great viewing positions. “This Grandstand is in a fantastic position offering spectators a view of the cars accelerating out of the Turn Two chicane, reaching speeds up to 260km per hour, before braking for the left-hander into ANA Corner.” He said current ticket sales were 33 percent up on this time last year. “Each year we endeavor to improve on the last in all facets on the event and it is encouraging to report the current sales levels. “All indications point towards another record crowd over the four days breaking last year’s 286,610” (133% x 286,610 = 380,000+ expected)  Four-day tickets for the Andretti Grandstand, which is covered with closed-circuit televisions, are on sale for $249 through Ticketek on phone 1300 303 103 or via the website www.ticketek.com. (Note: 380,000 over just 4 days is about what the Indy 500 now draws for the entire month of May.)

9/26/02

Surfers race - something for everyone  The Honda Indy 300 is known as much more than a motor race and, with one month to go, there is no better evidence than the official Off Track Event calendar. This year more than 50 events comprise the Honda Indy 300 Off Track Event calendar providing a smorgasbord of entertainment for everyone of all ages and interests. Some annual favorites are back again including the Honda Indy 300 Family Day presented by Aunger in Pit Lane on October 20, the Bartercard Miss Indy contest, the Conrad Jupiters Champ Car Driver’s Breakfast on October 24, the Honda Indy 300 ‘Gala Ball’ at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort on October 25, and a series of themed parties at Shooters Saloon Bar from October 21 to 29. There is a range of new events on the schedule in 2002. Amongst these are this weekend’s Broadbeach – The Indy Entertainment Pit Stop ‘Family Day’ in Broadbeach Mall, the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain National Surf League Trials at Coolangatta on October 19-20, the Queensland Ocean Swim Series at Coolangatta on October 20, the V8 Supercar Drivers BBQ at Chevron Renaissance on October 23, the Gold Coast Indy 10’s rugby competition at Albert Park on October 24-25, and the Watermark Hotel Queensland Thundercat Championships at Surfers Paradise on October 26. Honda Indy 300 Chief Executive Officer Geoff Jones said the range of events on the Off Track calendar has developed the Honda Indy 300 into a ‘carnival for everyone’. “The attendance at the Honda Indy 300 has increased significantly in recent years, and much of this growth can be attributed to the variety of entertainment options for everyone over the whole Indy carnival,” said Jones. “This year’s Off Track Event calendar provides something for all tastes, ages and backgrounds. It has brought the local community and organizations together to develop the Honda Indy 300 into an icon event for the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia.” The Sing Your Way to Indy – Karaoke Competition and Bartercard Miss Indy contest are already in progress. For the budding vocalists, Sing Your Way Karaoke is being held in various clubs, hotels and shopping centers with the grand final at the Troccadero Entertainment Centre in Surfers Paradise on Saturday October 19. Heats have been held for the 2002 Bartercard Miss Indy Contest with the finalists all coming to the Honda Indy 300 for final judging and a week-long series of events. The Bartercard Miss Indy Charity Breakfast will be held at The Mercure Resort on October 22, Swimwear Judging at The Drink Nightclub the same night, and the ‘Grand Final’ at Troccadero Entertainment Centre on October 24. A number of corporate events feature in the calendar. The Institute of Business Leaders – Corporate Club Luncheon will be held at Royal Pines Resort on October 2, the Women in Tourism Indy Breakfast is at Margaritas on the Water on October 4, the Gold Coast Small Business Show Networking Breakfast is set for Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort on October 18, The Southport School Foundation Honda Indy 300 Business Breakfast will also be held at the Marriott Resort on October 23 and the Black and White Indy Lunch will be a highlight at Palazzo Versace on October 26. For families, the opportunities are almost endless with this weekend’s Broadbeach Family Pitstop, the popular Honda Indy 300 Family Day in Pit Lane on October 20, the V8 Supercar Drivers BBQ on October 23, and the Surfers Paradise Carnivale of Colours from October 24 to 27. For motoring enthusiasts, mark down the Indy Corvette Festival at the Broadwater Car Park, the Street Torque ‘Xtreme Motorshow’ 2002 at Parklands, both on October 19 and 20, and the Indy Rally from October 20 to 24.

9/26/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Castroneves Out Of Running
Rossi: Two Wheels For Four?
Soft Walls Set For F1 Debut
Indianapolis Crucial For F1
Da Matta: Here I Come, F1
Fisichella: Another Year At Jordan
America Urges F1 To Change
Sato To Stay With Honda?
McLaren Boys Ready For Indy
F1 News In Brief

9/26/02

Stewart accuser issues statement   The woman who accused Tony Stewart of assaulting her issued a statement critical of the media coverage of the incident and a Tennessee grand jury that Tuesday decided not to indict the NASCAR Winston Cup star. Amy Shaffer of Napier, W.Va., claimed Stewart shoved her after the Aug. 24 race at Bristol, Tenn. In the statement, issued through her husband, Michael, she said: "I am very disappointed in the decision of the grand jury. Some media sources have portrayed me in a very negative manner, which I feel is unfair." Stewart denied the allegation and said Tuesday that he felt vindicated.

9/26/02

Villeneuve, other F1 drivers, pan the IRL  In this Indy Star article, Jacques Villeneuve says he wouldn't recommend that Schumacher -- or anyone else -- take a shot at participating in Tony George's IRL. "That's one series I don't rate (as legitimate)," the former CART champion said. "It's too bad because they have good drivers but they're losing time over there." Villeneuve said IRL officials have artificially manufactured competition based on its plan to be like NASCAR. The cars are easy to drive, he said, and don't teach the fundamentals of competing in the technically advanced F-1 series. "It's easy to make the racing close: Take half the horsepower away and create a lot of downforce so it's easy to drive for everybody," Villeneuve said. "It's like CART did at Michigan with the wing (the Hanford device). "That doesn't make the drivers better, the cars better or the series professional; it's just a better show. It's not the better driver that wins, it's the one that slingshots or is in the best position. You don't have to worry about overtaking." When reminded that talented drivers such as Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves, Sam Hornish Jr. and Al Unser Jr. are IRL regulars and that Michael Andretti, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan are joining the series in 2003, Villeneuve softened his stance. "Maybe my attitude to the IRL is (too) negative," he said. "But it destroyed open-wheel racing in North America."  Minardi driver Mark Webber supports Villeneuve's contention that U.S. oval-track racing is overrated. "How can it be any good? It's just slingshotting and driving around," he said.  "It's too dangerous for me," the five-time F-1 champion Michael Schumacher said. "I'm not going to risk my life just for having a good time."

9/26/02

Penske contributes to Democrat in Alabama  According to this Decatur Daily article, major contributions to Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman were Birmingham businessman George Barber with $50,000, the Donald Leeburn family of Columbus, Ga., with $50,000, the Alabama Optometrical PAC with $25,600, and race car owner Roger Penske of Redford, Mich., with $25,000.  The question is why would Roger Penske from Michigan  be contributing to a Democratic Candidate in Alabama?  Perhaps to help ISC's Talladega race track gain some political support, or perhaps to help the Mercedes Benz Assembly plant in Alabama.

9/25/02

Industry News

SPEED Channel NASCAR and F1 weekend schedule  

Friday, Sept. 27
12:00p/9:00a FORMULA ONE PRACTICE: USA Grand Prix (LIVE) Indianapolis, Indiana
4:00p/1:00p NASCAR WINSTON CUP QUALIFYING: Kansas Speedway (LIVE) Kansas City, Kansas
Saturday, Sept. 28
10:00a/7:00a FORMULA ONE PRACTICE: USA Grand Prix - Saturday Session (LIVE) Indianapolis
2:00p/11:00a FORMULA ONE QUALIFYING: USA Grand Prix (LIVE) Indianapolis
Sunday, Sept. 29
9:30a/6:30a FORMULA 1 RACE WARMUP: United States Grand Prix (LIVE) Indianapolis
9:00p/6:00p FIM WORLD SUPERBIKE: Imola - Race 1 (SDD) Imola, Italy
10:00p/7:00p FIM WORLD SUPERBIKE: Imola - Race 2 (SDD) Imola

9/25/02

Thanksgiving CARTathon   SPEED Channel will offer CART FedEx Championship Series fans a Thanksgiving feast of Champ Car racing, showing the 13 SPEED Channel races from the 2002 season over two days in November.
The broadcast schedule:
Thursday, Nov. 28
9 AM Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix Monterrey, Mexico
11:30 AM Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Long Beach, Calif.
2 PM Brigestone Potenza 500 Motegi, Japan
4:30 PM Grand Prix of Monterey Monterey, Calif.
7 PM Molson Indy Vancouver Vancouver, BC
9:30 PM The Grand Prix of Road America Elkhart Lake, Wis.
12 AM Molson Indy Montreal Montreal, Canada
2:30 AM Grand Prix of Denver Denver
Friday, Nov. 29
9 AM Rockingham 500 Corby, England
11:30 AM Honda Indy 300 Queensland, Australia
2 PM The 500 Fontana, Calif.
5:30 PM Mexico Gran Premio 2002 Mexico City, Mexico
SPEED Channel will broadcast its one-hour CART season wrap-up show on Nov. 22 at 10 p.m. ET.

9/25/02

CART mentor program enters Champions phase   Championship Auto Racing Teams, in conjunction with its Driver Development Ladder System, announced today that Toyota Atlantic champion Jon Fogarty and Barber Dodge Pro Series champion AJ Allmendinger will take part in the next phase of the CART Mentor Program during the Grand Prix Americas in Miami on October 4-6. Both drivers will be paired with a Champ Car team, to be named later, and essentially become a member of that team for the race weekend. Fogarty and Allmendinger will attend and take part in every aspect of a race weekend, including debriefings, engineering sessions and team meetings, plus press and sponsor events when applicable. They will be in pit lane with headsets during all practice, qualifying sessions and the race. The program's design is to increase the line of communication between drivers and teams and expand the future opportunities for the drivers of the CART Ladder System. In Phase I of the Mentor Program earlier in the year, Allmendinger and fellow Barber Dodge driver Marc Breuers were placed with Hylton Motorsports and Lynx Racing, respectively, of the Toyota Atlantic Championship at the CART Grand Prix of Chicago. At the Molson Indy Vancouver, Fogarty and fellow Atlantic driver Michael Valiante were placed with Newman/Haas Racing and Player's/Forsythe Racing, respectively.

9/25/02

Fernández responds to John Lopes  Following is a statement from Adrián Fernández, owner/driver of Fernández Racing, on the comments made by John Lopes, CART’s Vice President of Racing Operations, during the CART weekly teleconference yesterday addressing the pit lane speed violation penalty incurred by Fernández at Rockingham. “I was pleased to hear John state that some rules need to be reviewed at the end of the season. The two-stage pit lane speed limit was intended as a safety measure, not a speed trap. There were four other drivers who incurred pit lane penalties at Rockingham. It is a grey area, and I am glad that CART is going to review the concept of the ‘penalty fitting the crime’ in these types of situations. As it stands, we are all affected – CART, our team, the sponsors and the fans. “My reaction to the pit lane penalty was the result of frustrations I have had throughout this season regarding what I view as inconsistencies in the way the rules are applied overall – inconsistencies that, for our team, have cost us three results this year. Things came to a head with the Rockingham penalty. I hope this is an area that will be reviewed in the off-season as well. CART is making positive strides in the competition area for 2003, and I have confidence that the enforcement of the rules will fall into place as well.”

9/25/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $3.55 Down $0.04 on Volume of 12,300 shares.
$2.79 Bid - $3.86 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.54 / $3.69
MPH Value Change Down 1.11%
DOW Jones Up 158.69 or 2.07% on Volume of 1.96 billion shares.
NASDAQ Up 40.09 or 3.39%
S&P 500 Up 20.34 or 2.48%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

9/25/02

NASCAR fans don't respect foreign driver UPDATE AutoRacing1 was at the Dover race this past weekend and experienced Hideo's press conferences held at the media center. We point out the following: Hideo earned the 43rd spot based on speed, but only because the last position was not reserved for any former champion. The article points out that Hideo got as much respect as Buckshot Jones and others, who are now or were at one time all back markers in Winston Cup. Hideo was definitely a back marker at Dover. It was just a question of how long the car would last before it was black flagged. A language barrier is monumental in this sport. A translator was required during the interview, which made it very awkward. We have no idea how spotting was accomplished during the race. Even open-wheel drivers from foreign countries have rudimentary knowledge of English. Hideo will have to work on this if he wants to succeed in NASCAR. Driver respect is earned in NASCAR by results, and sometimes that takes time. If Hideo qualifies in the remaining two races, that will go a long way to earnign some respect. Most of the media were impressed that he managed to race cleanly, despite having to deal with being lapped on a consistent basis. We did not hear any serious disparaging remarks regarding Hideo in the media center. Ironically, we overheard someone say that Ward Burton needs a translator along with Hideo. Doug Belliveau  9/25/02 -  Per this Racing Press article, He overcame his age -- 47 years old -- and was simply following the friendly advice of his late acquaintance, Dale Earnhardt. But fans continue to criticize him as the beneficiary of special favors because of Toyota's impending arrival in NASCAR. Middle-aged Japanese racer Hideo Fukuyama indulged himself by fulfilling a wish to go Winston Cup racing. He came to one of NASCAR's most difficult oval tracks with zero oval racing experience and only slightly more understanding of the English language and drove well enough to make the field. He drove a clean race and stayed out of the way, knowing how much he gave up to his competitors in terms of experience and equipment. But all he came away with from the Monster Mile in Dover, Delaware was indifference, sniggering, and criticism from the fans and the media.

9/25/02

NASCAR suspends Crew Chief  NASCAR officials announced today that NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Jimmy Elledge has received a one-week suspension due to a probation violation. Elledge’s suspension will be effective immediately, which will force him to miss Sunday’s NASCAR Winston Cup race at Kansas Speedway. In addition to the suspension, which ends Oct. 2, Elledge was fined $5,000 for unapproved air directional devices that were found last Friday during pre-qualifying inspection at Dover International Speedway. Elledge, crew chief for the No. 55 Chevrolet, was fined and placed on probation Aug. 27 following the race at Michigan International Speedway for unapproved fuel cell spacers. His probation continues until Dec. 21. “We felt this was the necessary action to take, considering he was already on probation,” said NASCAR Winston Cup Series Director John Darby. Elledge was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules.”

9/25/02

Williams steals from Minardi  Williams F1 has hired Dr John Davis from Minardi. Davis will become "Aerodynamic Facilities Development Engineer" and it is expected that his first task will be to oversee the design and the construction of the Williams team's second wind tunnel. Davis is a highly-experienced F1 "boffin" who first became involved in the sport 20 years ago when teams started using the Imperial College wind tunnel, where he was working on his doctorate. This led to a job with Team Lotus and in the years that followed he worked with Gerard Ducarouge and Ayrton Senna. He then moved to Lotus Engineering and helped Peter Wright to develop active suspension before Wright took him back to Team Lotus in 1990. Two years later Ducarouge asked him to be head of research and development at Ligier and he stayed there until 1994 after which he worked for Pi Research and then with the Patrick Racing CART team before returning to F1 with Jordan in 1996. He stayed for three years but then went to Arrows and from there to Minardi  GrandPrix.com

9/25/02
Industry News

Do they even have a clue?  The Indianapolis Star, promoting its coverage of the F1 race with placards on its newspaper stands, has a picture of Dario Franchitti leading Paul Tracy…in Champ Cars, with the heading "F1 Coverage"!  They have fallen so far since Robin left….

9/25/02
USAC

USAC and Ford announce Midget Series  Officials of the United States Auto Club (USAC) and Ford Racing Technology have announced today the formation of the "Indiana USAC Ford Focus Midget Car Racing Series" for the 2003 racing season. The series will consist of approximately 20 events held on a combination of dirt and paved racetracks in Indiana. The Indiana USAC Ford Focus Midget Car Racing Series joins the USAC Ford Focus Midget Car Racing Series presented by The Southern California Ford Dealers as the second region for the "USAC Focus Midgets" in the United States. "There wasn't much debate where we'd expand the series to next," said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology. "With Indianapolis being the home of USAC, and the heart of Midget Racing in America, bringing the series to the region was natural." The USAC Ford Focus Midget Car Series features USAC Midget cars powered by a "spec" Ford Focus 2.0L Zetec engine. The Ford Focus Zetec engine, the same one found in the world's best-selling car, the Ford Focus, is an affordable sealed spec engine, designed to bring new competitors to USAC Midget Car competition from quarter midgets, go karts, as well as other forms of local racing such as IMCA style modifieds and local track stock cars. The Ford Focus Midget Car's 178 HP engine has mechanical fuel injection as well as an onboard starter and battery to eliminate the need for push trucks during USAC Ford Focus Midget Car Racing Series events. USAC competitors have enthusiastically praised the Ford engine package for its power, drivability and reliability in the first season of racing in Southern California. "The USAC Focus Midget Series seems to have struck a cord with Midget Racing fans and industry insiders alike as a step in the right direction to making entry-level Midget Racing affordable to the masses," said Davis. "This is an exciting extension of our current Ford Focus Midget Car program in California," said Rollie Helmling President and CEO of the United States Auto Club. "We envision this type of racing opening doors for many prospective future open-wheel racing stars and teams and offering an affordable avenue for drivers to hone their talents. We are very pleased with the progress of our western series in its formative year and look for this Indiana series to be extremely competitive."

9/25/02

Red Bull Cheever to test Brazilian  If Red Bull is trying to promote American drivers, why test a Brazilian?   Red Bull Cheever Racing will test 23-year-old Brazilian Ricardo Mauricio at Kentucky Speedway Sept. 26. Mauricio has driven in the FIA International Formula 3000 series for the Red Bull Junior Team since 1999. "It is fitting that on the same day that Red Bull will announce the candidates for its U.S. Formula One driver search, we will be in Kentucky testing a young Brazilian driver that Red Bull introduced to us," said team owner and driver Eddie Cheever Jr. "Red Bull is dedicated to developing young drivers around the world, and we are pleased to be a part of this effort." Mauricio, of Sao Paulo, will get his first oval track driving experience in the No. 51 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti-powered Dallara. Buddy Rice will also drive at the test, focusing on development work for the 2003 Indy Racing League Championship.

9/25/02

Quote of the week  "I am looking forward to getting the chance to run the whole race this year. We only got 60 something laps until we got wrecked from behind. I hope we can finally finish a race without things happening that we can't control. Last week made two races in a row that we got wrecked. Hopefully, this week things can turn around for the CAT team. Ward Burton, driver of the Caterpillar Racing Dodge, discussing the upcoming race at Kansas.

9/25/02

Stewart cleared  UPDATE Tony Stewart responds - "Just as I've contended all along, I did not assault anyone and I'm relieved to know a grand jury has come to the same conclusion. While I'm glad to have this matter behind me, it's heartening to know the fairness in which the legal system handled the case, specifically all of those associated with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office. "I greatly appreciate the strong support given to me by my fellow drivers throughout this ordeal, as well as the backing provided by my fans, Joe Gibbs Racing, Home Depot, NASCAR, Bristol Motor Speedway, my family and friends. I look forward to having a renewed focus in the remaining races on the Winston Cup schedule beginning with this weekend's event at Kansas."   9/24/02 - Tony Stewart won't face criminal assault charges stemming from an accusation by a fan that the NASCAR driver shoved her at an August race in Bristol. The Sullivan County grand jury declined to indict Stewart after hearing a report on the sheriff's investigation following the Sharpie 500 Winston Cup race Aug. 24, District Attorney Greeley Wells said. "I consider the matter to be closed," the prosecutor said. Sheriff Wayne Anderson said earlier this month that one of his officers saw Stewart and the unidentified woman in the pit area at Bristol Motor Speedway. The sheriff said the woman was authorized to be in the pits and wouldn't say if she was injured. Stewart, who is third in the points race, is on probation with both NASCAR and The Home Depot, the sponsor of his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac, for punching a photographer who tried to take his picture following the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis on Aug. 4. NASCAR fined the 31-year-old driver $10,000, and Home Depot fined him another $50,000. Stewart also said he would seek counseling to manage his anger. "This was my heart attack, my wake-up call," he said at the time. Stewart finished last season on probation after slapping a reporter's tape recorder away and then kicking it under a truck. He also was involved in a shoving match with NASCAR officials last season.   AP

9/25/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Williams Plan 'All-New' Car
Irvine Slams Spanish Teammate
Toyota Expect Tough Weekend
Berger Puts Onus On Williams
Renault Target Big Boys
Mixed Feelings About Indy
Zanardi: Schumi Will Reign
Pedro Targets Turnaround
Renault Pilots Eye Points
F1 News In Brief

9/24/02


Shop tours for fans  Open-wheel racing fans will receive a unique opportunity for a “Behind The Scenes View” of top racing operations during Grand Prix Week in Indianapolis. On Thursday, Sept. 26, three top teams – the Indy Racing League’s Kelley Racing and CART’s Patrick Racing and Players Forsythe Racing – will open their headquarters to a select group of enthusiasts with a private tour, special presentations, cocktails and dinner as part of the CARA Charities’ “Open Wheel Shop Tour.” The inaugural event, hosted by ABC-TV and ESPN-TV’s Bob Jenkins, will begin at 4:30 p.m. (EST) at the famed Columbia Club on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. Private buses will transport the guests to all three racing operations’ headquarters with special tours and question and answer periods. The guests will return to the Columbia Club for a cocktail party, buffet dinner and presentations by former racing stars and current television commentators Derek Daly and David Hobbs. Tickets for the special “Open Wheel Shop Tour” are now on sale at $150 per ticket and include the custom coach transportation, the shop tours, the cocktail party and dinner and the special racing presentation. Call CARA Charities at (317) 299-2277 or e-mail at Carachar@aol.com for reservations. The “Open Wheel Shop Tour” is one of several major fund-raising events held annually by CARA Charities. CARA Charities was founded in 1981 and has distributed more than $3.25 million dollars to numerous racing and community organizations. CARA serves the community through charitable work and promotes the friendship of all those involved in the motorsports family.

9/24/02

CART's John Lopes explains Fernández penalty in England  Well, I think the one that really sticks out was Adrian Fernandez' penalty.  Adrian was quite frustrated; showed his frustration, and although it didn't make for bad TV, it certainly didn't make for a happy team owner in Adrian.  So we had some long conversations about it.  We also met with [co owner] Tom Anderson about it this week.  And where Adrian was frustrated was that he was docked for speeding, coming out under a yellow flag condition, and he was simply in a line of cars, but his car did in fact speed.  What happened is there are antennas in the ground that mark your positions from A to B.  Adrian was speeding.  The problem with the rule book right now is it offers the stewards no flexibility.  It's really black and white.  Basically if the driver is speeding, then the penalty under Chapter 10 has to be applied by the steward. Now there's some discretion in there for the steward to apply a less severe penalty and that's what we tried to do in Adrian's case.  We tried to send him to the back of the line for the restart.  But that didn't happen.  Then of course at that point we had to go ahead and apply the penalties. Adrian's argument is that since he gained no advantage by passing under yellow, coming out of the pits under a yellow flag condition, that the punishment doesn't fit the crime.  And he has got a good point, but the key thing that we're trying to convey to Adrian on this particular issue is that that's a rule we can't rewrite mid-race.  It's something that has to be addressed at the end of the season.  Now, this particular incident occurred in the second stage of the pit lane speed limit.  I believe the second stage was 85 miles an hour speed limit.  And that was put into place in response to the [Alex] Zanardi incident that had happened last year.  Actually the drivers at the pre-race meeting asked us to extend that area that was covered.  So we're not going to see that again this year.   You won't see a second stage pit lane speed limit situation this season.  And in the off-season we're going to address, particularly in these types of infractions, the penalty fitting the crime.  In other words, our position is that the chief stewards should have some flexibility to apply fundamental fairness.  That being, are you speeding as a safety violation in pit road or is it simply because your car registers two or three 100ths of a second faster in a line coming out from a pitstop, or was it egregious like Scott Dixon's violation during the race.  I believe he was clocked at 104 miles an hour.  So there has to be some type of fundamental fairness applied.  Right now the rules don't provide that.  The stewards did make the right call under the rule book at the time.

9/24/02

Roush looks to win both titles  Jack Roush is looking to become the first NASCAR owner to capture the NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series championships in the same season. Roush finds himself in an enviable position with Martin leading the NASCAR Winston Cup race with eight races to go and Greg Biffle (No. 60 Grainger Ford) leading the NASCAR Busch Series title race by 35 with seven races remaining. Should Roush accomplish the feat, he also would become just the second owner to win a title in each of NASCAR'S national series. Richard Childress is the only owner to earn the triple, having won titles in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1986-87, '90-91, '93-94; the NASCAR Busch Series last season and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in the inaugural 1995 season.

9/24/02

Sprague to make Cup start  Jack Sprague, a current NASCAR Busch Series title contender and former three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, will attempt to make his NASCAR Winston Cup season debut this weekend with the Haas CNC team he will drive for on that level next season. Sprague was initially scheduled to make his debut with the team earlier this season, but the car was not ready. Should Sprague qualify, it would be his fourth career NASCAR Winston Cup start.

9/24/02

Montoya on Letterman  BMW WilliamsF1 Team Driver Juan Pablo Montoya will Be A Guest On The Late Show With David Letterman Tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 25, On CBS Television. The Show Airs At 11:30 P.M. ET.

9/24/02

CART statement on Kool  After investing more than $120 million competing in CART and its Ladder System over seven seasons, Brown & Williamson Tobacco and its KOOL brand of cigarettes announced today that it would not continue sponsorship of any motor racing following the end of the 2002 season. "Brown & Williamson and KOOL went above and beyond what many sponsors offer in sports, lending their name not only to teams but also to driver development programs in the Indy Lights and Toyota Atlantic series," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "They proved that there are many ways to do business in this sport and paved the way for others to follow their successful business model. It has been a pleasure for everyone associated with Championship Auto Racing Teams to have worked with them." KOOL entered CART in 1996 and moved into Champ Car sponsorship with Team Green in 1997. Since then, KOOL-liveried cars have won 16 races and claimed 11 poles and have finished in the top five in the season championship on four occasions.

9/24/02

Fernandez Racing and Halliday end relationship  Fernandez Racing Co-Owners Adrian Fernandez and Tom Anderson announced today that Don Halliday will be leaving the team to pursue other opportunities in the motorsports arena. Halliday, who joined Fernandez Racing last December, served as co-owner and technical director as well as race engineer for Adrian Fernandez.

9/24/02

NASCAR TV ratings dominate  In the overnight ratings from Nielsen Media Research for the weekend of Sept. 21-22, the MBNA All-American Heroes 400 at Dover attracted 3,497,000 households on TNT. ... In the final ratings from Nielsen Media Research for the weekend of Sept. 14-15, the New Hampshire 300 on NBC drew 3,965,000 households, an increase of 17% over last year's event. The race attracted 5,762,000 viewers, more than double the combined viewership of the IRL season finale (ABC), Formula One (ABC) and CART (SPEED) events that weekend (2,671,000). NBC's pre-race show also attracted more viewers (3,184,000) than the combined motorsports trio's races. NASCAR

9/24/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $3.59 Up $0.05 on Volume of 57,400 shares.
$2.96 Bid - $3.90 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.30 / $3.61
MPH Value Change Up 1.41%
DOW Jones Down 189.02 or 2.4% on Volume of 2.04 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 2.76 or 0.23%
S&P 500 Down 14.41 or 1.73%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago
www.andersongroupe.com

9/24/02

Haas still working to bring Mario onboard  In this CART.com article, Carl Haas says - "Mario would like to get involved in having a share as an owner and we would love to have him, but that really hasn't been put together yet," he said. Haas was one of CART's team owners who declared their commitment to CART in Denver last month and he reiterates his hopes to run two Champ Cars next year. "Yes, absolutely that's the direction," Haas said. "If I can get all the sponsorship and everything together, I will run two cars in CART, as always. That's not to say that there are some pressures that I couldn't run a car in the IRL too, but nothing along those lines has been done." Mario Andretti was Newman/Haas's first driver, winning the 1984 CART championship and continuing with the team through his retirement at the end of 1994. Haas also ran a Ford-powered Formula One team in 1985 and '86 before deciding to focus on his CART team. Haas says he had little interest in Indy or Champ Car racing until CART was formed in 1979. "I viewed Indy cars at that time that their primary interest was the Indy 500," he said. "The rest of the series was virtually all oval races and I wasn't too crazy about that because my background came from road racing both as a driver years and years back and then as a team owner in the USRRC, Can-Am and Formula 5000 and things like Formula Atlantic and Super Vee. "Still today, that's my interest in CART. It's very competitive and it's the type of racing I like. I like the mix of the various different circuits and I guess I love it. I'm not trying to malign the IRL. Certainly it's gotten stronger with some of the teams they've picked up, but it is an all-oval series and CART is the last of the major open-wheel racing series on tracks other than ovals. Haas has always been a proponent of high-tech racing and continues to believe CART must maintain a reasonable level of technology. "I really do," he continued. "In today's world, there should be some cost savings here and there, but I think the interest in CART has been because we have some technology in it. We're going to have less next year, but I think there's still room for areas of development, probably more than CART realizes. It isn't all gone. It's not exactly what I would prefer, but I understand that under the conditions it's probably a necessary act."

9/24/02

CART news tidbits for 2003 

Drivers will have five engine torque maps to choose
No more pit stop windows in 2003
750 HP road courses, 700 HP ovals
41.5 inches of boost road courses, 39.5 inches ovals  More.....

9/24/02

SPEED profile - Steve Matchett  Over the next several months, SPEED Channel will profile members of its on-air team as well as key figures behind the scenes at the nation’s fastest growing sports cable network. The first profile in this series highlights Steve Matchett, SPEED Channel’s veteran Formula One analyst. A winner of the prestigious F1 Constructors’ Championship in 1995 as a mechanic with Team Benetton and driver Michael Schumacher, Matchett gives SPEED viewers a true insider’s view to the complex technology behind Grand Prix racing. Matchett, 39, was born in England and now lives in France, commuting to SPEED Channel’s studios in Charlotte, N.C. to call the Formula One races.  Interview.

9/24/02

Carpentier re-signs with Players  According to a report in the Journal de Montreal, Carpentier is in Montreal this week to sign a $3.5-million US deal. The first year of the deal will be covered by Player's while the second year of the contract will be paid by team owner Gerald Forsythe.

9/24/02

Plenty of USGP tickets on eBay  This link to Ebay shows all the tickets for sale to the USGP.  As you can see, a person can get two tickets (great seats) for much less than the face value of one and that includes shipping. Notice that hardly anyone is even bidding on these tickets and IMS thinks they can sell how many in the next couple of days?

9/24/02

Hamilton out until Martinsville  According to this Tennessean article, Bobby Hamilton, who has been sidelined by injury for the last three Cup races, might miss at least three more. Hamilton suffered a broken shoulder and broken wrist in a Sept. 5 truck racing crash at Richmond. Team spokesman David Pepper said Hamilton might be unable to race for three more weeks. ''Right now Bobby's looking at Martinsville [Oct. 20],'' Pepper said. ''Charlotte [Oct. 13] hasn't been entirely ruled out, but Bobby and his doctors will make that decision.'' Greg Biffle has driven Hamilton's #55 Chevy the past three races. Biffle made one Winston Cup start before taking over the #55, so he can run only three more races and still preserve his rookie status for next season. Biffle will drive the car this weekend at Kansas City, next week at Talladega, and the following week at Charlotte (Lowe's Motor Speedway) if necessary.

9/24/02

Atlantics:  Hand renews with DSTP  DSTP Motorsports announced today that American Joey Hand will return to the team and contest the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Hand, a 23-year old native of Sacramento, California, will enter his third season of Atlantic competition, although his 2002 season was interrupted by a testing crash at Milwaukee in May. After a six race layoff, Hand returned to action for the final four races and scored three top-10 finishes, two of those being top fives. In 2001, Hand was the series Rookie of the Year and finished third overall in the season championship. Team owner Dede Rogers is thrilled with having Hand back for another season. "Joey's incredible focus and dedication with his physical therapy after his crash is the same focus and dedication he has with racing and to his team," said Rogers, whose team is entering its eleventh year in professional racing. "I consider us the strongest team in the field next year. Not only is Joey back, we are still here and very dedicated to the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship." For Hand, it means a lot to secure his 2003 ride this early into the off-season. "I am so proud to continue with DSTP," commented Hand. "We are such a tight family, so it was hard to imagine racing with anyone else. I appreciate the team and Dede having me back. We fully expect to fight for the championship."

9/24/02

For some, F1 is good business  In a press release, the McLaren Formula 1 team has announced a sharp rise in profits in the year ending November 2001. The team has filed tax returns which show that it made pre-tax profits of $48m, up from the previous year's $40m. This despite the fact it had to invest heavily in the construction of the new Paragon headquarters.

9/24/02

Irvine attacks teammate  Eddie Irvine has now turned his wrath on his own teammate. Irvine says that Pedro de la Rosa held up development of the Jaguar car because he insisted there was nothing wrong with the R3. He told the News of the World: "It has been a big problem for me because Pedro always said there was nothing wrong with the car and that it just needed more downforce. "If you look at the things we have had to change on the car, that clearly wasn’t the case. "If both of us had been agreeing from the very beginning, things would have happened a lot quicker. We lost two or three months because of that." Irvine gave an example of the problems Pedro caused. He explained: "I wanted the front suspension changed, pitch sensitivity and steering sensitivity reduced and Pedro just wanted more downforce. "I wanted that too but there were much bigger issues. Luckily we did the things I said or we would still be in the s***." Irvine also says he has the answer: "The team needs a test driver desperately. You need someone backing you up when you are complaining."

9/24/02

Kirby to drive BAM Dodge at Kansas  One of stock car racing's hottest young talents will start his second NASCAR Winston Cup race this week at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. Twenty-year-old Stuart Kirby, the Bowling Green, Ky., native who has run under the watchful eye of several top Winston Cup owners, will drive the BAM Racing's #49 MNR Productions Dodge in Sunday's Protection One 400. "We are so excited to have a driver with Stuart's skills and talent in our car at Kansas," said Beth Ann Morgenthau, owner of BAM Racing. "We had been watching him for several races, and really appreciated his abilities. The more we watched what he could do, the more we thought he had a solid future in Winston Cup racing," she said. "Obviously, this one race won't make or break him but we are very anxious to see how he handles himself.

9/24/02

Castroneves completes Toyota F1 test, but da Matta beats him for ride UPDATE In this Indy Star article, Castroneves says, Toyota officials apparently have a preferred candidate for the open seat on their two-car team. The best bet for the seat is Cristiano da Matta, the points leader of the Championship Auto Racing Teams series. "They didn't tell me," Castroneves said, "but I'm no dummy." Castroneves said his session at the Paul Ricard track in southern France went better than he expected. In his only session, he ran laps nearly 2 seconds faster than team test driver Stephane Sarrazin and 1 second faster than the team's No. 2 driver, Allan McNish. Da Matta previously tested with Toyota on a different track configuration, Castroneves said. Castroneves, who spent four seasons in CART, had not been on a road course in nearly a year -- since the Oct. 28, 2001, street course in Surfers Paradise, Australia. "I was a little off with my timing, but it was like riding a bicycle -- you don't forget," he said. It was Castroneves' first time in an F-1 car. He reported no problems. "It fit like a glove; I was impressed," he said. "I was expecting something much harder."  9/20/02 -  Indy Racing League driver Helio Castroneves completed 75 laps in a TF102 and was delighted with how it went. "I loved every single second of today's session," he said. "I did quite a few laps, doing some long runs as well as some qualifying laps. "This was my first time in an F1 car and I was impressed by how easy the TF102 was to drive, and especially by the braking. The team were great and worked professionally and I am very happy with the overall organization of the day."  After the test, Toyota signed a CART driver instead.

9/24/02

More on USGP ticket sales  This Indy Star article says, Sunday's crowd is expected to fall between 120,000 and 140,000, either of which will make the historic track look sparse, given the 300,000 permanent seats [220,000 in 2002, 175,000 in 2001, and 80,000 to 100,000 drop in two years]. "We've been selling at 800 to 1,000 (tickets) per day," George said. "But that (figure) needs to be at 2,000 or 5,000 a day." In an unprecedented move for the Speedway, officials have been advertising the race in numerous Midwestern markets for months. But ticket sales have been restricted by several factors, including a strained world economy and the domination of Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher, who had control of the championship for months before clinching it. George said he believes his staff has done everything it can to make the third of at least five USGPs successful. "I don't think it's anything we should be kicking ourselves over," he said. The USGP, which will not be televised live locally, still stands to be the best-attended F-1 race of the season, with the European Grand Prix at Nurburgring (Germany) drawing an estimated 130,000 people and the Australian Grand Prix announcing 127,000. In fact, this has been a down attendance year for the sport. At the Italian Grand Prix last week, track officials reported a three-day drop of more than 20 percent (to 120,000 people). The race-day crowd was only 60,000, down from 72,000 last year and 80,000 in 2000. "It was because the championship was decided," Italian press officer Paulo Montagna said. "But companies are not buying as many tickets for their guests as before." A similar attendance drop was noticeable at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Aug. 18. Where normally there are crowded grandstands at the Budapest track, this year there were significant gaps. "No one wants to say we're in an economic crisis," said McLaren team principal Ron Dennis. "But we are." George said he has not asked for the updated ticket total for the USGP because last year more were sold in the two weeks leading up to the race than the previous two months combined. There are still five days to buy tickets. "I mentioned to (the ticket manager) that we ought to be prepared for a large walk-up, just in case," he said. George noted that the lack of an impending sellout provides little incentive for people to buy advance tickets. Speedway spokesman Fred Nation said the change in ticket-buying habits is from non-Americans. In 2000, nearly 30 percent of the USGP's crowd was international visitors. This year it is expected to be less than 10 percent, he said. Most of the attendees will be Midwesterners. Mario Andretti, who is one of two Americans to win an F-1 title -- the other was Phil Hill in 1961 -- is surprised Indianapolis is having trouble selling tickets. "You can't ignore that a lot of (the problem) is the economy," said Andretti, who won his title in 1978. "But I really felt the first race (in 2000) would be the tip of the iceberg. "The U.S. has a good, solid F-1 fan base, although a lot of it is in California. But they probably figure they can watch it on TV." Andretti said dual-purpose circuits -- road course and oval track -- just don't work for attracting crowds, although he commended the Speedway for trying. "The ambiance in these facilities is not what road racing aficionados are looking for, but Indy has come the closest to providing some of that," he said. "There's going to be a lot of empty seats Sunday, and that will be too bad. "It's the best permanent facility in the U.S. to have a race."

9/24/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Indy Crowd To Plummet
Montoya: Pole-Master
DC Urges Schu To Retire
Schu Calls Indy Track 'Medium'
New Engine For Honda Teams
The Tire War Heats Up
BMW Aim To Race 19,000rpm Unit
Jacques And Olivier Head To Indy
Arrows Call It A Day
Allan's Indy Experience
Cloudy Weekend At Indy
F1 News In Brief

9/24/02
Industry News

New Star Mazda car unveiled  This weekend Don Panoz and the fine people at Star Mazda revealed not only the new single-seater 240 hp (Van Diemen), but a prize package totaling $500,000 for 2004. This matched with a television deal (races are always on during the prime-time hours - amazing!) for 5 years makes this simply the best next step on the single seater ladder. Let alone - it is cost-effective to talk to companies for at least partial sponsorships. Car was on display all weekend and "lots" of orders were taken we are told. Car is to run the new Mazda twin-rotary engine and will have larger tires and larger wings then current car. Its an all carbon-fiber tub built by Elan (Panoz owned).

9/24/02
Industry News

Update on Mickey Thompson murder case  Here’s the latest update on Mike Goodwin’s trial for the deaths of Mickey and Trudy Thompson. (He continues to reside in the Orange County Jail.) . On Friday, September 20th, Goodwin’s defense attorney argued for a 995 motion before Superior Court Judge Frank F. Fasel. The 995 motion was an attempt to remove the case from the Orange County Courts. After lengthy arguments by both sides, the motion was denied by Judge Fasel, thus keeping the case in Orange County. Following Judge Fasel's ruling, the case was resumed in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Francisco P. Briseno, who is scheduled to be the trial judge. Judge Briseno had requested this informational hearing to establish the progress on a 1538.5 motion by the defense to suppress evidence seized by officers responding to search warrants. Judge Briseno again instructed the defense council to be prepared to start the trial on December 9, 2002 and also said he would not tolerate continued delays. He further explained that if the defense does not submit motions in a timely manner, they would not be heard. The Judge requested another informational hearing for September 27th to monitor progress.

9/23/02
Industry News

Infineon Raceway at Sears Point to open its doors  The newly renovated Infineon Raceway has again opened its gates for behind-the-scenes tours of the dynamic racing facility. Featuring a recently completed $50 million Modernization Plan that has touched nearly every aspect of the property, visitors will be treated to a glimpse of the facility that is home to events including NASCAR Winston Cup, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing, American Le Mans Series and the AMA Chevy Trucks Superbike Championship series. Infineon Raceway is also home to more than 70 racing-related shops, a restaurant, "76" gas station, driving school and the Infineon Raceway Karting Center. The facility is in operation 50 weeks a year, making it one of the busiest motorsports venues in the country. Visiting groups will tour the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, complete with a chance to view the cars and visit with instructors. Visitors will then tour some of the on-site tenant shops as well as watch the on-track action from pit lane. The tour will conclude with a trip to the new start/finish grandstand and the corporate luxury suites, which offer a commanding view of the raceway and the scenic Sonoma Valley. As time and group size permits, visits to the karting center are also available. Tours are open to organized groups of 10 people or more and must be scheduled at least one week in advance. Tour dates are available September - January. Food is not provided, but an on-site restaurant and eating area are available. Tours can be tailored to meet the needs of individual groups. The tours are open to organized groups of all types, including volunteer organizations, businesses, schools and social clubs. If you have questions about this program or are interested in arranging a tour, please contact Diana Rose at (707) 938-8448, ext. 118, or by Email at drose@infineonraceway.com.

9/23/02

Did you know?  BMW aimed to hit 19,000 rpm ever since it started designing the current F1 engine. “You can only do this if the concept itself carries the potential,” Theissen said. “So it was a clear target from the very beginning of the design phase of P82 that it had to be able to go up to 19,000, among other targets. As usual, we started with making the engine reliable, and only then did we start to increase power step by step, and this means to increase revs, and what we have achieved is the final step for P82.” While BMW is the first to reach the 19,000-rpm plateau, other engine manufacturers are getting close. Mercedes-Benz’s V10 is only about 100 to 150 rpm below the numbers being reached by BMW. Put together 20 sophisticated V10s – the entire lineup for this year’s SAP United States Grand Prix – all singing to 18,000 rpm and above, and you have F1’s wonderful sound of music. USGP

9/23/02

Actor to drive in USGP support race  Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. and American Le Mans Series broadcast co-anchor Bill Adam will compete in the Porsche Michelin Supercup Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sept. 28-29 during the SAP United States Grand Prix weekend. The celebrity drivers also will join three regulars from the Supercup series for a public autograph session on Sept. 28 at IMS. Sabato, 29, is a resident of Los Angeles, but lived in Rome until age 12. He returns to Indianapolis as a Supercup competitor after having served as celebrity spokesperson for the USGP Formula One weekend in 2001. Sabato’s acting credits includes roles on a number of well-known television shows and motion pictures, including primetime shows “Melrose Place” and “Ally McBeal,” the daytime drama “General Hospital” and the movie “The Big Hit,” also starring Mark Wahlberg and Lou Diamond Phillips. Sabato also served as a model for Calvin Klein for two years. Sabato’s father, Antonio Sabato Sr., portrayed a race driver in the classic 1966 motion picture “Grand Prix,” starring James Garner.

9/23/02

CART ladder series enjoy banner year on TV  With a renewed commitment to the CART Driver Development Ladder System, the 2002 racing season saw an increase in television exposure for the upcoming and talented drivers of Championship Auto Racing Teams. New television partner SPEED Channel broadcast each of the 12 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship races as well as all 10 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series events. For the first time ever in the United States, five Toyota Atlantic races were broadcast live on SPEED in 2002, while the remaining seven races were all shown on a same-day delay. In years past, the races were shown on a one-week delay with no live shows. In 2001, Toyota Atlantic original shows and re-airs equaled 24 hours of coverage over the 12 race schedule. With shows still remaining to be re-aired, the 2002 season has already witnessed a 33 percent increase over last season with 32 hours of coverage already having been shown. As with the Atlantics, the Barber Dodge Pro Series increased its exposure in 2002 through its new relationship with SPEED. Barber Dodge shows increased from 30 to 60 minutes and included expanded race coverage and interviews. In total, SPEED showed 22 hours of Pro Series coverage, which equated to a 76 percent increase in coverage over 2001 despite having two fewer races on this year's schedule. In addition to their series coverage, both series placed top drivers on CART FedEx Championship Series broadcasts on SPEED and CBS, including "CART Friday Night," qualifying and race shows. Toyota Atlantic and Barber Dodge qualifying and race results were also featured on the Champ Car broadcasts.

9/23/02

CART adjusts earnings report downward  (Reuters) - Championship Auto Racing Teams (NYSE:MPH - News), which owns and operates a series of high-speed car races, restated its second-quarter results on Monday to reflect higher costs and lower revenue associated with its Grand Prix of Chicago event. Championship Auto Racing, based in Indianapolis, lowered the amount of race promotion revenue it took in during the second quarter, which ended June 30, by $381,000, and increased promotion expenses by $396,000. The restatement showed that the company posted a loss that quarter of 25 cents per share, instead of the 21 cent per-share loss it reported initially. Championship Auto said that because the Chicago race was its first self-promoted event, and because it was held on the last day of the quarter, the company had not identified all of the expenses incurred by the event when it closed its books. It also "inadvertently accounted for certain revenue received from sponsors as both race promotion revenue and sponsor revenue," according to a company press release.

9/23/02

NASCAR hands out fines  NASCAR officials have fined NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Chad Knaus $5,000 for his use of inappropriate language during a televised interview after Sunday’s races at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Knaus, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet, was penalized under Section 12-4-A in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: “Actions detrimental to stock car racing: use of improper language.”  Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports (HMS), today responded to remarks made by Chad Knaus, crew chief of the No. 48 Chevrolet, following Jimmie Johnson's NASCAR Winston Cup Series win at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on Sunday. Knaus has been fined $5,000 by NASCAR for using inappropriate language in a post-race television interview during the team's Victory Lane celebration. "It's unacceptable for any employee to use language like that while representing Hendrick Motorsports, our sponsors and our fans," said Hendrick. "We don't condone it in any setting and certainly not in a public place like Victory Lane. "Sometimes our emotions get the best of us, but there are better ways to express them. Chad understands that he's made a mistake and after sitting down with him, it's obvious that he's willing to take responsibility." Knaus echoed those statements. "I couldn't be more embarrassed about the way I handled myself in Dover," said Knaus. "What I said was extremely offensive and I want to apologize to our fans, Lowe's and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization. It reflects poorly on everyone associated with this team and I know better."

9/23/02

CART's stock price  Dear AutoRacing1.com, I can't help but notice that CART's stock price has fallen below $4 per share, which is far below their book value, and it keeps falling.  What's up with that?  Kevin Sorbee, Vancouver, Canada  Dear Kevin, At this point we believe the majority of shares are owned by a small number of individuals, with Gerald Forsythe and Jon Vannini being two of the larger share holders.  At that price, we would expect there to be some movement to take the company private, which is what everyone says should be done.  At that price, investors can buy into the company at a low price, if they can get their hands on any shares.  When would this happen, or will if definitely happen?  We're not certain, but common sense says it could happen at any time.  MC

9/23/02

CART stock watch 

MPH closed at $3.54 Down $0.23 on Volume of 23,800 shares.
$2.92 Bid - $3.92 Ask on close.
Session Low/High $3.54 / $3.73
MPH Value Change Down 6.1%
DOW Jones Down 113.87 or 1.43% on Volume of 1.64 billion shares.
NASDAQ Down 36.16 or 2.96%
S&P 500 Down 11.69 or 1.38%
Courtesy of C3I.AndersonGroupe - Chicago

9/23/02

Petrobras withdraws from F3000  Formula 3000 team sponsor Petrobras has announced that it is pulling out of the series. The Brazilian oil giant has cited economic reasons for the move. The country's government has introduced new taxation laws on overseas sponsorship programs and these have made it too expensive for Petrobras to continue, according to a team statement.  Rumor has it that F3000 is not as financially secure as one might think and we may see more teams with sponsorship problems as money-hungry F1 sucks the sponsorship well dry.  Petrobras is also a sponsor of the Williams Formula 1 team and is expected to continue in this role.

9/23/02

Team Rahal maintains lead in Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge  Jimmy Vasser's recent resurgence in the CART FedEx Championship has gone hand-in-hand with the climb that the crew of the Team Rahal #8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola Bridgestone machine has made in the standings of the Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge, securing a chance to earn $50,000 with its skill on Pit Lane. A string of five consecutive points-paying finishes for Vasser has coincided with strong performances by the Rahal pit squad, which has now clinched a spot in the season-ending CPCC shootout at Fontana in which the fastest pit crew can win $50,000. The pit gang servicing the #8 machine has locked up a spot in the final competition - which will take place at California Speedway on November 2 - with six other teams fighting for the final three places heading into the October 6 Grand Prix Americas, which will be the last chance for teams to qualify for the head-to-head shootout. Points are awarded to teams by virtue of time spent on pit lane during a race, with scoring based on the CART system, as the fastest team earns 20 points on a weekend. Heading into the final CPCC weekend, the Player's/Forsythe Racing team of Alex Tagliani holds down the second spot with 114 points, but has the #6 Newman/Haas squad of series leader Cristiano da Matta just two points behind. The pressure is off the da Matta team in terms of making the final shootout however, as it earned a berth in the battle for $50,000 after winning the Wild Card entry at Chicago. Behind the #6 car is a quartet of teams separated by just four points in a race for the final spot. The Player's/Forsythe Racing crew of Patrick Carpentier improved their standing by taking 20 points home from England and is fourth with 105 points with the Team Rahal gang servicing the #9 of Michel Jourdain Jr. sitting in a tie with the Target Chip Ganassi Racing unit of Bruno Junqueira with 102. The Newman/Haas team with the #11 machine of Christian Fittipaldi is still in the hunt as well, bringing 101 points to the Miami event. CART

9/23/02

Ticket sales way down for USGP  UPDATE A reader writes to say radio stations in Indy are giving away free F1 tickets by the boat load.  9/23/02 - According to this F1.ON.NET article, ticket sales for this weekend's American Grand Prix at Indianapolis are down on last years total. US Grand Prix officials say ticket sales are down as less race fans are willing to make the long trip from Europe. According to spokesman Fred Nation, some 100,000 tickets for next Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (compared to 220,000 for the first race in 2000) have been sold already. Nation continued to say that 25% of the spectators for the 2000 race were from outside the US. This year's overseas sales make up just 10 percent and Nation blames that on lingering fears about air travel. Nation did also say that while this total may be down slightly, it will still be the biggest F1 crowd in the world. "We expect to be the year's best-attended Formula One race in the world," says Nation. "We're not sure where we'll end up, probably in the 140,000 to 150,000 range." Nation continued to say that last year's total was some 175,000 people and last minute ticket sales should take the 2002 total close to this figure.  [Editor's Note: If they sold 100,000 over the last 180 days, they would need to sell 75,000 in the next 5 days to reach 75,000!  That's a lot of tickets in 5 days].  The biggest crowd in history attended the inaugural US Grand Prix in 2000 of 220,000, eclipsing the previous record of 205,000 at Adelaide for the Australian Grand Prix in 1995. 175,000 people purchased tickets for the 2001US Grand Prix, which was one of the first big sporting events in the States three weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11.  This year it will be down further.

9/23/02

Hunter-Reay moving up to Champ Cars or F3000  Ryan Hunter-Reay drove his #1 Andor Capital Management / Autobytel / Briggs & Stratton / Toyota / Swift to three pole positions and three victories in his rookie season in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Hunter-Reay joined Hylton Motorsports in January from the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series, and intends to compete in Champ Car or F3000 next year. “Ryan is the best I have ever seen at this level,” praises team owner Keith Hylton who’s team won the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2001. “Ryan is only going to get better and he made a flawless transition from the Barber Dodge Pro car to the Toyota Atlantic car”. Ryan earned the respect of the industry not only by his on track performance but also by his fantastic representation of his sponsors off the track, which has allowed him to solidify those relationships even further. “We dominated at five of the 12 races but only came away with three wins. We started the year as we finished it with some bad luck bookending three DNF’s to start and three more DNF’s to finish the season. Despite scoring points only for poles or laps lead in the first three races by the three quarter mark of the season we had hauled ourselves up to second in the points, with only four races remaining, but then lady luck parked on my doorstep and we went backwards in the points from there. I’ve been racing long enough to know you can’t control what you can’t control but not winning the Championship outright is a big disappointment and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. That said it was a fantastic year, the competition was great, I learned so much and congratulations to Jon Fogarty, it is a title well deserved” Hunter-Reay set new records at Long Beach, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Cleveland either in qualifying, the race, or both. Hunter-Reay was honored for his accomplishments at the year-end banquet as the ‘fastest driver’ when he was awarded the WorldCom Fast Pace Award that acknowledges the driver who records the highest number of WorldCom Fast Pace Awards for the fastest race laps during the season. Hunter-Reay was also awarded the BBS Rising Star award by the CART Toyota Atlantic Series. The award acknowledges the Atlantic driver who has performed in a most competitive fashion and is a star of the future. The 21 year-old American dominated the entire Atlantic field in laps led, with 160 laps, 62 of which were on the road courses and 98 on the ovals. Hunter-Reay led 58 laps more than the series champion Jon Fogarty who finished second in the category, and posted three wins to Fogarty’s two. “Ryan is not only a exceptionally gifted racecar driver, but he has the unique ability to determine the cars needs right away. He has a strong technical knowledge of vehicle dynamics and his feedback is very clear and concise, allowing us to maximize the set-up of the new Swift 014.a almost immediately. I cannot imagine a better driver to develop a new car. When we had the set-up dialed in on the car he ran away with the race and when we struggled with set-up he would apply his racecraft and bring the car through the field with a precision and maturity that belies his age” said, multiple Atlantic Title holder, engineer Kyle Brannan. For more information on Ryan Hunter-Reay, please visit www.RyanRacing.com

9/23/02

America's greatest driver stands behind CART  This Baltimore article Sun article says, At home in Nazareth, Pa., Mario sighed over the phone line. "Obviously, I am disappointed by it," he said of his son's decision to join the IRL, which races only on oval tracks. "My preferences are well-documented. Leaving the politics out of it, it is the road racing that has always been huge to me." Mario said he would never have come back from European-based Formula One to Indy cars if the CART series had been primarily on ovals. "To me, the ability to drive road courses demonstrates the skills of the drivers and creates the most skillful champions in the sport. But Michael is the author of his own life. I'm sure the decision was not easy. All his meaningful records are in CART. He can't just throw that away. But he was forced into the switch because that's where the opportunities are now." And it is that one sentence that sums up the situation. The opportunities are no longer in the high-tech, primarily road racing CART series, but in the IRL. It is for that reason Mario has agreed, after being asked three times by CART president Chris Pook and car owners Carl Haas and Pat Patrick, to join the board and help solve the problems hampering the series. Mario is not a man to hold his tongue for long. He acknowledges the IRL is putting on "exciting shows" but questions the technical value. "I'd say at the majority of tracks, the drivers never lift their foot from the gas pedal," he said. "How much skill does it take? It's a show - perhaps. Wrestling is interesting to some people. What can I say?" But he is equally disgusted that CART's previous leaders have allowed the series he loves to fall into very hard times. "CART has made a lot of mistakes," Mario said. "There were so many owners on the board a couple years ago, they made stupid, terrible mistakes, many of them due to [their] greed. I'm not naming names. I don't want to get into that. But they were not looking at the big picture, and the mistakes are coming back to bite them." The biggest one, Mario said, was not having a leader who knew how to deal with the manufacturers. He said CART's inability to gather information, analyze it and make sound decisions in a timely manner created uncertainty and cost the sanctioning body the companies that produced its cars and engines. "I'll never defend CART for the mistakes it made," Mario said. "But I still love this product, and when they asked me the last time to come on board, I reassessed. I still didn't need to do it, but I thought I'd feel worse not doing it. So I'm throwing in my two cents." Pook's arrival as president and CEO last December was two years too late to stave off the defections of major companies and several big teams. But Mario said Pook is in time to rebuild CART. At 62, Mario is still an optimist. He sees new opportunities for teams in the American Le Mans Series, the Toyota Atlantic Series and other open wheel enterprises to step up to CART. "I've always believed there are positives behind a negative," Andretti said. "Are these happy times? No. But at least CART still has a car designed for both oval and road courses and it still has a vision. It's treading water right now, because it has no choice. But there are some interesting things going on behind the scenes, and I think it will take off from here." As for the Andrettis, they are still planning to share Thanksgiving dinner, just as they always have. "You can't let anything that's happened interfere with family," said Mario. "As Michael said, we all have to live with change."

9/23/02

Laguna Seca garages/suites shaping up UPDATE We have added some more photos  9/21/02 -  In the background of this photo taken yesterday by our Mike Veglia of Johnny Herbert's and Stefan Johansson's Audi you can see that the pit lane garages and suites at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca are taking shape nicely and will be fully complete in time for next season.


Photos by Mike Veglia

9/23/02

Latest F1 Hot News 

Da Matta Signs Contract
Minardi And Cosworth Join Forces
One-Off Race For Heinz-Harald
Button Fit To Race At Indy
Alonso: The Next Schumacher?
Mercedes Boost F1 Project
American Stars Named This Week
New BMW Hits The Track
Lauda Feels Release Of Pressure
Irvine: Todt The Key To Ferrari
Prost Targets F1 Comeback?
Coulthard On Form At Brno
F1 News In Brief

9/22/02

Hot-head Stewart can spend 6 months in slammer  A grand jury in Sullivan County (Tenn.) will determine Tuesday if there is enough evidence to charge Stewart with simple assault ( A West Virginia woman claimed Stewart shoved her out of the way after the Bristol night race, which was three weeks after the Indianapolis Photographer incident). Greeley Wells, the county's district attorney, said that if the grand jury does not return an indictment against Stewart, Wells will consider the case closed. If at least 12 of the 13 grand jury members vote to indict Stewart for the Class B misdemeanor, the case would proceed through the courts. If found guilty there, Stewart could face up to six months in jail and a fine not to exceed $500.  Roanoke Times

9/22/02

Da Matta signs with Toyota UPDATE We got a kick out of this one.  We reported BBC Five stated da Matta was signed with the Toyota F1 team two days ago but French broadcasting company TF1 is now claiming they exclusively revealed that CART series leader Cristiano da Matta has signed to race for Toyota next season. The program, Auto Moto, stated on Sunday that the Brazilian will partner Olivier Panis in the Japanese team next year, and will be officially announced shortly.  Exclusively?  Two days later?  They don't have a clue.   9/20/02 -  We just heard on the BBC Five (Radio) Formula 1 show, that CART driver Cristiano Da Matta has signed with Toyota to drive alongside Olivier Panis. Carl Hass has received free Toyota IRL engines as part of the package according to the report.

9/21/02

Grand Prix cut named after Rebaque   “It was 20 years ago today.......” goes the famous song, and this Sunday 20 years ago in September in Elkhart Lake, Héctor Alonso Rebaque became the first Mexican and the first foreign driver to win in the CART series. To commemorate the milestone in his career, and in Mexican motor sports, the organizers of the Mexican Grand Prix 2002, invited press and motor sports personalities to a reunion at the renovated Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City. Story

9/21/02

Hamilton standing tall, looking to race again  This ModBee article says - Standing in a trailer at Stockton 99 Speedway last week, Indy Racing League driver Davey Hamilton was a wonder to behold. For one thing, he was standing. On his own feet. No small miracle considering it was just 14 months ago that Hamilton was involved in a horrific crash at Texas Motor Speedway not unlike the one that resulted in two-time CART champion Alex Zanardi losing his legs a year ago this week. "My life is basically what it was before," Hamilton said. "Those doctors are my best friends forever. They allowed me to stand up and walk." Hamilton was at Stockton 99 to watch the SuperModified Racing League Wild West Series race that bears his name. Smiling and upbeat, Hamilton was comfortable recounting the crash and its effects for the countless time. During an IRL event in June 2001, Hamilton hit the fence exiting Turn 2, rolling his car over the barrier. One of his shoes was found 20 rows up in the grandstands. He's had 19 surgeries, with a handful left, he said, to remove scar tissue. There are 16 screws in one foot, 15 in another. Skin and muscles from his arms, back and hips were taken to rebuild his legs. "They took all my good parts and basically built two feet," Hamilton said. "When they take X-rays it looks like a bunch of screws. They don't look like feet."

9/21/02

Marlin dumps Hutchens for HANS  Sterling Marlin used the HANS device Friday and plans to wear it for the rest of the season. Marlin had been wearing a Hutchens device since last season. He decided to switch safety devices after suffering a sore neck in a crash in the Richmond race two weeks ago. Marlin tested with the HANS device at Kentucky Speedway this week, experienced no discomfort and made the change.

9/21/02

Castroneves does well in F1 test  According to this Brazilian web site article, Castroneves turned a quick lap of 1:35.70 sec at Paul Ricard yesterday, testing for the Toyota F1 team.  If true, it just goes to prove that drivers from America Racing can do quite well in F1 if given the opportunity.  According to the report, after he did the fastest lap, he was called back to the pits and was clapped by the mechanics and Mr. Ove Andersson. At the end, he was praised and invited to be a Toyota test driver next year.  Will he take it or stay in the IRL?  Now is his only chance at F1.  Here are the fastest test laps from Paul Ricard this year:
   Driver  Chassis  Engine  Time  Date

1

 Anthony Davidson

 BAR 004

 Honda V10

 1'34.215

 1 Jun

2

 Olivier Panis

 BAR 004

 Honda V10

 1'35.353

 30 May

3  Helio Castroneves  Toyota  Toyota V10  1'35.70  20 Sep

4

 Nick Heidfeld

 Sauber C21

 Petronas V10

 1'35.884

 15 May

5

 David Coulthard

 McLaren MP4-17

 Mercedes V10

 1'36.997

 15 May

6

 J. Villeneuve

 BAR 004

 Honda V10

 1'37.08

 20 Feb

7

 Alexander Wurz

 McLaren MP4-17

 Mercedes V10

 1'37.360

 15 May

8

 Luca Badoer

 Ferrari F2002

 Ferrari V10

 1'37.848

  5 Sep

9

 Felipe Massa

 Sauber C21

 Petronas V10

 1'38.940

 14 May

10

 Mika Salo

 Toyota TF102

 Toyota V10

 1'38.975

 15 May

9/21/02

Bill Elliott contemplates retirement  Bill Elliott said he will evaluate his performance at the conclusion of next season to determine whether or how much longer he will continue to race in the series. "My deal is I've got one more year on my contract with Ray (Evernham) with a two-year option. We'll run next year and see how I feel and then take it a year at a time," Elliott, 46, said. "Right now, I feel good. I'm healthy. I'm doing what we need to be doing. As long as you can say that, that's another direction you need to go into. I'm just going to take it a year at a time after next year."

9/21/02

NASCAR moving trucks to SPEED Channel  NASCAR is moving its truck racing series to the Speed Channel from ESPN, leaving the sports network without a NASCAR connection for the first time since 1979, according to motorsports sources. NASCAR and Fox-owned Speed reached an agreement this week. NASCAR and ESPN still are working on exit details that would allow the switch to take place beginning next season. ESPN's contract to carry the truck series was scheduled to run through 2003, but the two sides likely will agree to terminate early to avoid the "lame duck" scenario they ran into when NASCAR shifted its Winston Cup and Busch series to Fox, NBC and Turner. ESPN carried Winston Cup and Busch racing in 2000, but NASCAR felt it promoted less than it had in previous years because such promotions no longer offered a long-range benefits. A NASCAR spokeswoman refused to comment, saying "it would be inappropriate to make any announcement at this time."

9/21/02

Latest F1 Hot News  

Frentzen In, Massa Out
Salo Keeps Options Open
Jaguar Target Sauber At Indy
Ralf Aims For Indy Win
Asiatech Plan Sabbatical
Da Matta Toyota Deal
Pizzonia Blitzes Jag Test
Castroneves and RVX-03 Make Debut
Pre-Indy Testing Round-Up
F1 News In Brief

9/21/02

CART almost ran at Monza  Did you know that CART almost ran at Monza in the mid-90's?  Yes, this 2.00 mile roval track was proposed but never built.  Now with CART looking for a southern Europe venue for next year, wouldn't it be fitting to see CART race at Monza, site of the race of two worlds in 1957 and 1958.  They'd likely just use the road course now though.  Chris Pook has been in Europe all week scoping out potential venues.  One has to wonder if he paid Monza a visit.

9/21/02

NASCAR driver to represent USA  NASCAR's reigning Winston Cup Champion, Jeff Gordon, NASCAR Winston Cup rookie sensation Jimmie Johnson and teenage phenom and multiple X-Games champion, Travis Pastrana will represent the United States of America in the Michelin Race of Champions Nations' Cup Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 in Gran Canaria (off the coast of Spain). The United States team will do battle against some of the best drivers in the world including the drivers from F-1, World Rally Cars and Motor bikes. "I love the format of the event," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. "Pitting the best drivers in the world from all forms of motorsports against each other in a head-to-head elimination contest will be exciting." The Michelin Race of Champions is an action-packed, sun-drenched weekend of head-to-head dueling between the kings of world motorsports. Now in its fourth year, the Nations' Cup has quickly become the star attraction of the weekend. The contest sees each participating nation enter a team of three, comprising one rally/off-road driver, one circuit racer and one bike rider. The teams will compete in world rally cars on a parallel track that is 30 percent pavement and 70 percent dirt. "Personally, I can't wait for the competition," explained Johnson, who's Lowe's team is currently third overall in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings. "Jeff is going to be our asphalt driver and Travis is going to be our bike rider, so that leaves me racing against the off road guys. It will be very challenging competing against top drivers like Markus Gronholm and other dirt specialists in the competition. I grew up off road racing and have raced in the Baja 1000 and in the stadium truck series in the mid-1990's, so I'm confident that I'll be able to hold my own and compete against the best in the world." Fredrik Johnson, president of race organizers, IMP, stated, "Since we introduced the Nations' Cup to the Michelin Race of Champions in 1999, the event's appeal and reputation has spread like wild fire across world motor sport. "This year's Team USA is a great example - we've got the biggest name in US motorsports, Jeff Gordon, as team captain, his NASCAR protege and currently 3rd placed driver in the Winston Cup, Jimmie Johnson, and one of the world's most exciting young extreme sports talents, Travis Pastrana." Jim Hancock, CEO of Cathexis Lab and organizer of Team USA, is thrilled with the members of Team USA, "We have put together a strong United States team that I know will represent the country well. This is the best American team we have had in the competition and I am confident we will have a strong showing in the Nations' Cup." Travis Pastrana summed up the Michelin Race of Champions Nations' Cup best, "It is a great honor for me to be a part of the US team," said Pastrana. "This Race of Champions is all about having fun but with so many top racers from around the globe, the competition is sure to be intense."

  Much More...click on 2002 archives button below

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