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DATE News (chronologically 3/27/01 to 4/4/01)
4/4/01
CART Cleveland tickets go on sale tomorrow  IMG Motorsports, organizers of the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar, today announced tickets to this year's 20th anniversary event scheduled for June 29-July 1 at Burke Lakefront Airport will go on sale to the public Thursday, April 5 at 10:00 a.m.  This year's historic event will feature action of the CART FedEx Championship Series, CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Series, Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup and Barber Dodge Pro Series.  Weekend grandstand seating is available from $35 to $120 and includes views of the entire 2.106-mile temporary circuit. Daily general admission tickets are available beginning at $10 for Friday, $13 for Saturday and $20 for Sunday.  Additionally, weekend paddock passes are $25 and pit passes are $60. Superpasses, giving fans a seat in one of the first 23 rows of the popular Grandstand E as well as paddock and pit access, are available for $150.  Club Seats, which made their debut in 2000, will return again this year. These premium race tickets include canopy covered grandstand seating, closed-circuit television monitors, private concessions and pit/paddock access Friday through Sunday. They are available for $200.  Tickets may be purchased by visiting the race website at www.clevelandgrandprix.com or www.imgmotorsports.com. Fans can also buy tickets through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone (216-241-5555 in Cleveland) or the Grand Prix box office at 1-800-498- RACE (7223). Tickets are also available through all Ticketmaster locations. A 10 percent group discount is available for purchases of 20 or more tickets. In addition to a variety of ticket options, fans can enjoy the race through several unique spectator activities. Fans in attendance Friday can take part in the 1st Annual CART Fan Forum. Spectators can get up-close to their favorite CART personalities during a unique question-and-answer session. It is a chance to get insight from individuals who have made Champ Car racing what it is today.  The popular All-CART Autograph Session, now in its second year, is slated for Saturday afternoon. Drivers like defending champ Roberto Moreno, Michael Andretti, Kenny Brack, Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, Dario Franchitti, Paul Tracy, Alex Zanardi and the rest of the CART field will all be on-hand to sign autographs in the paddock area.  The 2001 race will commemorate the historic 20th running of the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar. Last year, over 165,000 fans witnessed the high-speed action of Champ Car racing at Burke Lakefront Airport. The race is Cleveland's largest annual sporting event.  For more information on the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar, call 1-800-498-RACE (7223) or log on to www.imgmotorsports.com. Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities should contact the Cleveland REVS at 216-436-3311. 
4/4/01
TMS lands sponsor for CART race  Texas Motor Speedway announced Bridgestone/Firestone and Pioneer Corporation will sponsor the April 29 CART FedEx Championship event at Texas Motor Speedway, the Firestone Firehawk 600, presented by Pioneer.  "This event will be one of the most highly watched CART races of the season," said speedway general manager Eddie Gossage. "Both Firestone and Pioneer have been involved in motorsports for a number of years and we're glad to have them as race sponsors at Texas Motor Speedway. It's going to be a great event."  Firestone tires made their first racing appearance at the speedway in 1997 as part of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. The Firestone Firehawk 600, presented by Pioneer, will be one of two CART events sponsored by Firestone in 2001. "This sponsorship connects us with a world-class racing facility and a great competition where our tires will be an integral part of the excitement. Every car in that race will be on Firestone racing tires," said Bridgestone/Firestone director of motorsports Al Speyer. "We're sure this strong presence at Texas Motor Speedway will support sales and generate additional enthusiasm. It's going to be very rewarding to see Firestone have such a commanding presence at what we're sure will be a great race."  Presenting sponsor, Pioneer Corporation, has a 25-year history as a sponsor in motorsports and is entering its third year as a team sponsor in the CART series. "With the addition of the Firestone Firehawk 600 to the CART series for 2001, race fans will see 600 kilometers of pure racing entertainment," said Ed Sachs, Pioneer executive vice president of car electronics. "The beginning of a new race allows for the beginning of new traditions, and Pioneer is proud to be presenting sponsor at this exciting new venue. We will make every effort to make the Firehawk 600 one of the most entertaining and memorable events of the season." Tickets for the Firestone Firehawk 600, presented by Pioneer, are available by calling the speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by going online to www.texasmotorspeedway.com
4/4/01

CART/IRL or CART/F1?  Europe's major carmakers said on Wednesday they would set up a rival Formula One motor racing championship after a long-running row over broadcasting rights in the sport. The announcement was made in a statement by Paolo Cantarella, chairman of both the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) and Fiat , which owns the Ferrari world championship-winning team.  Here is something to think about.  Suppose CART were to align itself with F1 instead of the IRL.  The F1 manufacturers want control of F1 and reports from Europe say they are tired of throwing so much money at F1.  Perhaps CART could approach the manufacturers with a middle ground cost-saving engine solution and common chassis  that could serve both series. F1 manufacturers don't get much exposure in the USA, and they can't satisfy the world's demand for top-level open wheel racing.  A joint CART/F1 series, two leagues (East and West), that ran both ovals and road courses would set the world on fire.  Both would run its own races and there could be a 3-race triple crown to determine the overall champion at the end of the season.  The 1.8 liter turbo engine or a restricted 3.0 liter normally aspirated engine could work.  Cantarella went on to say "as a result of recent developments and in the best interests of motor sport, it has been unanimously agreed to set up a joint company, the purpose of which will be to establish, as soon as possible, a new open-wheels single-seat racing car series," Cantarella said. ACEA's members include Fiat, Ford , BMW AG , Renault and DaimlerChrysler, all of which have interests in Formula One racing teams. The association has been trying to block a bid by German media group Kirch and its partner EM.TV to gain a greater hold on the rights to broadcast Formula One races.  What does CART bring to this deal?  Lot's of USA races - the biggest market for most of the manufacturers.
4/4/01
New Hampshire news  The combined purse for the CVS/pharmacy 200 & 125 Presented by Bayer at New Hampshire International Speedway will be a record $890,091. The NASCAR Busch Series competitors will race for $738,741, while $151,350 has been posted for the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring racers. The teams will begin their quest to be the best on Friday, May 11. The NASCAR Busch North Series will qualify at 11:00 a.m. to set 38 of the 42 positions in the field for the CVS/pharmacy 125 Presented by Bayer. At 3:30 p.m., the NASCAR Busch Series stars will run 2 laps each to determine the starting grid for the CVS/pharmacy 200 Presented by Bayer. Immediately following NASCAR Busch Series qualifying, the fan favorite "Last Chance Qualifying Race" for the CVS/pharmacy 125 Presented by Bayer will give four Busch North Series drivers the opportunity to run on Saturday. On Saturday, May 12, Tim Fedewa will defend his event title against a stellar field of NASCAR Busch Series drivers including past "Magic Mile" winners Randy LaJoie, Mike McLaughlin, Elton Sawyer, Andy Santerre and Chad Little. The green flag for the CVS/pharmacy 200 Presented by Bayer will wave at 1:00 p.m. starting the twelfth season of NASCAR competition at NHIS. At approximately 3:30 p.m., defending event, track, and Busch North Series Champion, Brad Leighton will face a tough challenge from such stars as Dale Shaw, Tracy Gordon, Mike Olsen, and Jamie Aube in the CVS/pharmacy 125 Presented by Bayer. Last year, Leighton and Dale Quarterley staged a memorable duel to the finish during this race. 
4/4/01
Date change in store for Brickyard 400  The Brickyard 400 weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have a different look in 2001 due to changes in the race date, race starting time and qualifying format, but the same level of activity and excitement to which fans are accustomed will take place.  The Speedway previously announced that the 160-lap Brickyard 400 is scheduled for a Sunday for the first time and will start 1 hour, 15 minutes later than before, due to NASCAR's television agreement with NBC Sports. The Brickyard will get underway at 1:30 p.m. (EST) Aug. 5 and will be broadcast live on NBC. 
4/4/01

Penske files entries for Indy 500  Penske Racing filed two of the four entries received March 29 for the Indianapolis 500, ending a five-year absence at the Brickyard for the team that has won the Greatest Spectacle in Racing a record 10 times. Sam Schmidt Motorsports and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing also filed single entries for the Indianapolis 500, scheduled for May 27. Entries must be postmarked by April 11. All drivers will compete for one of the 33 starting spots in the world's most prestigious auto race. Defending CART champion Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves were named as drivers for Penske Racing, which last entered the race in 1995. But both of the team's drivers that year - Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi - didn't make the starting field for the race. Penske Racing last took the green flag for the race in 1994, when Unser produced a dominant victory. De Ferran, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will drive the No. 66 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Matt Jonsson is the chief mechanic. de Ferran will attempt to make his second start at Indianapolis, as he finished 29th in 1995 after his race ended in a first-lap, multicar accident. Castroneves, from Miami, will drive the No. 68 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, with an identical backup entered. Rick Rinaman is the chief mechanic. Castroneves is an Indianapolis 500 rookie. Tom Wurtz is the team manager for both Penske Racing entries. This will be the second Indy Racing Northern Light Series event this season for Penske Racing. Castroneves and de Ferran placed 18th and 24th, respectively, at the season-opening Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 on March 18 at Phoenix. Both led laps, but Castroneves was eliminated by engine failure, and de Ferran's race ended in a multicar accident.   IMS 
4/4/01
CART steals much luster from IRL/Toyota press conference  A funny thing happened during a teleconference held by the Indy Racing League yesterday. While the IRL used the teleconference, which originated at its Indianapolis Motor Speedway headquarters, to trumpet its decision to add a third engine manufacturer, Toyota, to the series in 2003, reporters wanted to know about Toyota's plans to provide engines for the rival CART circuit.  Again and again, the questioning reverted to how the built-from-scratch power plants might be incorporated by CART teams.  Finally, unable to stomach the direction the inquisition had taken, IRL driver/team owner Eddie Cheever blurted, "I don't give a damn about CART."  Source: Phila. Inquirer
4/4/01
German ticket sales news  Our sources in Germany tell us over 30,000 seats have been sold already for the September CART race at the Eurospeedway.  That, we are told, is way ahead of where they expected to be at this time and now expect to get many more than the 70,000 they originally projected.  They tell us a full advertising campaign won't start until the end of April.  Other sources had previously told us that a sellout of all 120,000 seats is a real possibility.  Our guess is around 100,000.
4/4/01
Michael Andretti to appear at 76'ers game  For the second consecutive year, Michael Andretti of the CART Fedex Championship Series will appear at a Philadelphia 76ers game as part of "Nazareth Speedway Night at the 76ers." The first 5,000 fans entering The First Union Center for the April 9 76ers-Boston Celtics game will receive a 76ers rally towel courtesy of Nazareth Speedway and Nextel. Fans can meet Andretti when he signs free autographs prior to the game from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the concourse. All fans will be invited to participate in remote control car races on the mezzanine level during the game and an authentic Champ Car driven by Mario Andretti will be on display. All fans that meet Andretti will receive a free Michael Andretti collector's card and a movie poster from the upcoming Warner Brothers film "Driven." The movie is written by and stars Sylvester Stallone, who plays a veteran CART driver who is hired to guide a hotshot, unfocused rookie (played by Kip Pardue) through tough times on and off the racetrack. The movie will be released nationwide on April 27. Located in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley corridor, Nazareth Speedway is approximately one hour from Philadelphia. Andretti and the rest of the stars of the CART FedEx Championship Series will race at Nazareth Speedway in the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix presented by Toyota on May 4-6. For ticket information to the Philadelphia 76ers-Boston Celtics game on April 9 (7:00 p.m. tip-off), call 1-800-4NBATIX or visit www.sixers.com. For race ticket information, call the Nazareth Speedway box office at 1-888-629-RACE or 610-759-8800.
4/4/01
Did CART hurt itself by procrastinating?  All four CART engine manufacturers proposed the 1.8 liter turbo engine three years ago.  If CART had acted on it then, the 1.8 turbo would be in place today.  Instead, by procrastinating, CART is now forced to adopt the IRL engine formula unless it can come up with replacement engine manufacturers for Toyota and probably Ford.  Instead of controlling their destiny three years ago when all four manufacturers were in agreement, their hand is now being forced with yesterday's announcement that Toyota has jumped ship to the IRL starting in 2003.
4/4/01
Vasser thinks IRL engine won't be powerful enough for CART  We asked Jimmy Vasser yesterday if he thought the IRL engine he drove last year would work for CART's road and street circuits at 650 HP.  His answer was that he thought at least 750 HP is needed. It will be interesting to see what CART announces for their new engine formula.
4/3/01
Attorney suggests NASCAR wrongdoing  According to this AP article, NASCAR might have convinced Dale Earnhardt's widow to have the racing star's autopsy photos sealed to protect itself against a wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney for a newspaper seeking access to the images suggested Tuesday. Attorney Tom Julin, in a memorandum filed in Volusia County Circuit Court, also argued that legislation passed last week restricting public access to all autopsy photos is unconstitutional and can't be applied retroactively to the Earnhardt case. 
4/3/01
CART sponsor news  RedBack (Brooke Racing) Credit Suisse First Boston said analyst Lissa Bogaty cut her price target on networking infrastructure vendor Redback Networks Inc. (NasdaqNM:RBAK - news) on Tuesday.  In a report, the investment bank said the analyst cut the target to $20 from $60 after Redback warned of a first-quarter loss. Further details were not immediately available.  The stock closed on Tuesday at $11.70. This was supposed to be a time of fiscal Visine for Redback Networks. After posting losses over the four past years, the broadband networking specialist was projected to get the red out for the March quarter. According to the Motley Fool, it's not going to happen. With sales coming in well below the expected $135 million mark, Redback announced that it would be reporting a pro-forma loss of $0.15 before a slew of onetime charges. Wall Street was looking for a nickel a share in profits. With quarterly revenue now looking to come in between $85 million and $90 million, it's easy to see where some of the write-offs will be coming from. Excess capacity, inventory, and personnel will leave a mark. Redback will let go of 150 employees --12% of its workforce -- as the company braces for falling demand.  The need for speed has been slowing industrywide since last year. That leaves Redback reeling in year-ahead projections, which were perched as high as $0.55 a share. Globalstar: Globalstar, which has seen its stock plunge 96 percent in the past year, said it was informed in March by the Nasdaq Stock Market that its shares could be delisted in April if they continue to trade below $1. Globalstar shares on Monday rose 10 cents, or 17 percent, to 68 cents. In after-hours trading, Globalstar stock fell 30 percent to 41 cents.  Globalstar, which said it had 40,009 subscribers as of March 18, up from 30,583 at the end of 2000, has attracted fewer customers than expected. Iridium and ICO Global Communications filed for bankruptcy protection last year, and their history leaves many analysts and investors skeptical that Globalstar will face anything but a similar fate. High phone and service costs, when compared with cellular wireless phone services, have hampered the satellite phone companies' ability to attract consumers.  Globalstar said in a regulatory filing Monday that it may seek bankruptcy protection if it cannot raise more cash or agree to a restructuring plan with its creditors. Globalstar had $197 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2000, enough to last through 2001, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (news - web sites). "We don't expect that Globalstar will be generating sufficient revenues at the conclusion of 2001 to continue operations for a significant period beyond 2001 without additional financing," the company said in the filing.  The Law Firm of Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP announced today that it has filed a class action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all individuals and institutional investors that acquired the debt securities of Globalstar Telecommunications Limited between December 6, 1999 and October 27, 2000, inclusive (the ``Class Period'').  The complaint charges that the Company and certain of its officers and directors violated the federal securities laws by providing materially false and misleading information about the Company's business and prospects. Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants misrepresented the Company's plans on when it would roll-out its satellite phone network and the demand for the system. As a result, the value of Globalstar's debt was artificially inflated during the Class period.  Globalstar is based in New York and backed by Loral Space & Communications.
4/3/01
Lights: PacWest wraps up 2-day test at Firebird  After a couple of weeks off since competing in the season opening Monterrey Grand Prix on March 11, the PacWest Indy Lights team jumped back into action with a two-day test on the road course of Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Arizona.  Mario Dominguez and Lights rookie Dan Wheldon tested on the 1.2-mile circuit Monday and Tuesday, April 2-3, in preparation for this weekends Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – round two of the 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Championship.  The PacWest duo came away from the test thrilled with their performance and their prospects heading into Long Beach. Dominguez posted the quickest time of the two-day session, 52.11 seconds, and was the fastest overall on both days.  Wheldon was right on his tail with a time of 52.29 seconds before branching off and running a different downforce package, where he remained one of the quicker competitors on the circuit.  Of the three other teams participating in the test, PacWest drivers topped the time sheets on both days. MARIO DOMINGUEZ - #17 DEL VALLE/CORONA PACWEST LIGHTS: “My test went very well,” said Dominguez. “I was the fastest overall on both day’s, so I can’t complain. This test was important for me because it was my first test with PacWest, and it allowed me to get better acquainted with my team and crew. It was also a good opportunity for me to develop a relationship with my engineer after my late signing just before Mexico. I did that, along with working on a lot of different aspects of my car. We were able to concentrate on improving my power down, and now I’m ready to get to Long Beach to show what this team is capable of.” DAN WHELDON - #1 GEMSTAR PACWEST LIGHTS: “I had a very good, productive test in Arizona,” said Wheldon. “We worked on a couple of different set-up configurations to prepare for Long Beach, and my car was excellent both days. I’m confident that we’ll be in good shape for Long Beach. The track really suits my driving style and I look forward to putting on good show for all of the fans that come out to that event each year.”  
4/3/01
Jimmy Vasser Interview  Jimmy Vasser met the press today to talk about the upcoming CART race in Long Beach, CART's new pending engine rules and other hot topics.  Click here to read the Transcript (PDF format)  MC 
4/3/01
Kenny Wallace wants to stop talking and just race  Kenny Wallace is tired of answering questions. He just wants to race. And that’s why he spent two days testing at Martinsville Speedway last week, getting the Eel River Pontiac ready for this Sunday’s Virginia 500 Winston Cup race. When Wallace’s car backs out of the hauler Friday morning, it will either be plain white or plain black. There will be no sponsorship decals. That’s been the case since the season-opener at Daytona in February for the Jack Birmingham-owned team and every week Wallace has been bombarded with questions concerning the team’s future. “I really get tired about talking about it,” Wallace said about his team’s lack of sponsorship while he watched his favorite soap opera during a break in testing at Martinsville. “Here’s the biggest quote anybody’ll get from me about this. Two weeks ago I realized that my car owner had enough money to run this team and I’m honestly am not paying attention to anybody worried about me getting a sponsor. If I’m not worried about it, then nobody else should be. “Now my job is auto racing and I know the media’s job is to find a story. But this story is over. It’s like beating a dead horse with a stick. The story will be when we don’t show up.” Wallace expects to show up for the Virginia 500 stronger than ever after a solid two-day test. “We’re real excited about this test. Things are looking real good,” said Wallace. “I think we’re going to be real competitive when we come back.” Wallace has a pretty solid track record at Martinsville Speedway. He captured the pole for the 1997 Virginia 500 and finished fifth in the 1999 Old Dominion 500. And during his days on the Busch Grand National circuit, he was a terror on the .526-mile oval, picking up a couple of victories. “When I first came from Missouri and the ASA (American Speed Association) to run the Busch series, Martinsville was the very first track I came to,” said Wallace. “I learned a lot about this track and I think with me growing up on short tracks, that seemed to help me.” 
4/3/01

CART engine possibilities if they adopt specs similar to IRL  UPDATE Here are the official specs released by the IRL today.
Configuration: V8, 90 degree, normally aspirated 
Displacement: 3.5 liters, with electronic rev limiter 
Horsepower (est.): 650 
Bore: 93 millimeters 
Main bearing: 53 millimeters minimum 
Rod bearing: 43 millimeters minimum 
Deck height: 7.486 inches (190 mm) minimum 
Center line of crank (to bottom of sump): 4 inches 
Minimum weight: 295 pounds (no ballast, dry, less headers, clutch, ECU spark 
box and filters) 
Engine length: 22-22.5 inches 
Mounting: Common engine/fuel pump mounting points 
Injectors: Limited to two per cylinder 
Cam drive: Chain or gear 
Crankshaft: 180-degree flat crank 
Air box: Common air box and filter 
Cams, location Four, overhead 
Valves per cylinder Four, maximum 
Earlier Today
- The new IRL engine, good through 2005, will be a normally aspirated 32-valve DOHC 3.5L V8 incorporating a rev limiter. Major changes from the current 2001 engine include:
1. A decrease in the deck height from 8.10 inches to 7.486 inches.
2. Weight of the engine will drop from the current 320 lbs to 295 lbs (still very heavy by CART terms)
3. Crank centerline to bottom of sump will decrease from 4.5 inches to 4.0 inches.
4. The crank main size will increase from 50mm to 53mm and the rod pin diameter will increase from 40mm to 43mm.
5. There will be 2 fuel injectors per cylinder (to improve midrange performance so the engine can be dual purpose).
6. Camshafts can be chain or gear driven now
7. The IRL did not set a minimum crank weight for 2003 which should help to increase revs if CART wants to, but the maximum bore for the 2003 IRL engine will be the same at 93mm.  This means it will be difficult to get significantly more than around 11,000 to 11,500 RPM from the engine because the stroke of the piston will remain long, unless....read on
Bottom line - CART will need more revs and more HP to meet the demands of its wide variety of tracks. Two possible solutions - 1) CART adopts the same block size (outside dimensions) as the IRL but a larger bore.  The manufacturers who want to build engine for both series could theoretically have a steel sleeve in the blocks that are bored out bigger for CART engines so the piston stroke is shorter and the revs higher.  This of course means internally the engines will be quite different, but at least the name on the cam cover will read the same and that will get everyone together each May for a good Hatfields vs. McCoys rivalry. 2) CART adopts the same outside block dimensions and same IRL bore size, but reduces the size of the engine to 3.0 liters just like F1.  Then the stroke will be shorter which would allow for higher revs.  CART can also allow for more exotic materials in limited areas. Remember, come May every year, the CART teams will still have to buy complete IRL cars because the rest of the car and transmission rules are so different (see related story). But since they are going to reuse them in the Indy Lights series the rest of the year (right CART?) the cost can at least be amortized over a full season.
Discuss your suggestions in this forum thread  MC 
4/3/01
PacWest to launch exciting 3D interactive web experience  3dvillage, a rich 3D media Internet company from Cary, NC and the PacWest Racing Group, a leading FedEx Championship Series CART team, will be unveiling the world's first on-line, interactive 3D Tour specifically designed to put racing enthusiasts in the driver's seat for the ultimate all-access race team experience. The launch event is scheduled to take place at the Long Beach International Raceway this Friday, April 6th starting at 8:00 AM. For complete details and an exclusive "sneak peak" of the venue, simply click on the following weblink and enjoy: http://www.3dvillage.com/race/ . Fans should know about but understand they won't be able to actually see the 3D model until Friday. Starting April 6th you can access the new PacWest Racing 3D Tour via either PacWest's website or the 3dvillage website (www.3dvillage.com or www.pacwestracing.com)  MC 
4/3/01
Williams being rear-ended pattern develops  A pattern seems to be developing that no one seems to have picked up on, does the Williams BMW have some kind of gearbox / shifting problem or engine management problem that makes the car all of a sudden slow up entering corners, especially in dry conditions when the car is being driven hard? Look at the first three races and you see that the Williams have been hit in the back 3 times. All of these appear that the car just suddenly slows and the car following is just caught off guard and runs into the Williams. 
Race 1 - Australian GP - Villeneuve runs into the back of Schumacher 
Race 2 - Malaysian GP - Rain for most of the race cars not driven as hard 
Race 3 - Brazilian GP - Barrichello runs into the back of Schumacher, and in the same race Verstappen runs into the back of Montoya. 
Accidents like this don't seem to happen very often and now it's happened 3 times in the first 3 races to the same team? Just something to think about. It could be an engine management problem, or perhaps their brakes are so good they stop very rapidly and catch the driver following off-guard.  We tend to think the superior brake theory holds more water given how Montoya out braked Michael Schumacher for the lead in Brazil and he wasn't even that close behind when they started to brake.  He caught Schumacher by surprise. MC
4/3/01
Della Penna to do more TV Commentary  John Della Penna will be doing commentary work for ESPN Latin America during the Long Beach CART race weekend. Della Penna who is taking a year "off" from the CART circuit also worked for ESPN Latin America in the opening round in Mexico.   MC 
4/2/01
Michael Schumacher has met his match in Montoya  Williams Technical Director Patrick Head believes that Michael Schumacher must be a worried man after Juan Pablo Montoya pushed his way past the German at this weekend's Grand Prix.  He said: "I understand Michael was not too impressed with Juan's overtaking maneuver, but I have to say I have seen Michael doing worse. I think Michael's is worried - he has recognized that there is someone out there who is equally as tough as himself."  "People say that we are in a new era in Formula 1. I think that is nonsense but Formula 1 has certainly been joined by a new front-running driver and that is good to see. He is certainly one of the best out there." Head added: "Montoya will bounce back fine from this (the disappointment of not winning after Jos Verstappen took the Colombian out). He has just come back from a year in Champ Car racing when he finished just seven races out of more than 20. He knows that motor racing is a fickle business and he knows that you can go from up in the clouds to down on the ground in no time at all." Food for thought - Juan Montoya was close to winning in only his 3rd race.  Even Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna were not that sensational that quickly.  First Villeneuve, now Montoya - there is no doubt the best drivers in CART can win in F1 with the proper equipment.  We still maintain that if CART were marketed properly, it could rival F1 for worldwide dominance instead of racing in front of 30,000 people at some USA venues.  With a F1-like screaming engine the fans won't know the difference.  300,000 fans in Mexico or 30,000 fans in Milwaukee, you decide. MC
4/2/01
Why is it?  Why is it that IRL qualifying from Miami this Saturday will be shown by ESPN2 at 6:30 PM on Saturday with perhaps 3,000 fans sitting in the grandstands, yet CART qualifying will be shown by ESPN2 at the ungodly hour of 2:00 AM Sunday morning when perhaps 70,000 fans will be sitting the grandstands?  ABC/ESPN must believe that a series with 3,000 people in the grandstands is more popular than one with 70,000 in the grandstands.  How else would one explain their logic of showing one at 6:00 PM vs. the other at 2:00 AM when no one is watching.  Are we the only ones who think there is something wrong with this picture? MC
4/2/01
Cobra set to strike at Long Beach  Soenen Motorsports will debut the newly developed 2001 Ford Mustang Cobra bodywork at this weekend's second round of the 10-race Trans-Am Series for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup, scheduled for April 8th in Long Beach, California, as part of the Grand Prix of Long Beach CART FedEx Championship weekend. The new Trans-Am spec Mustang Cobra body is the result of a joint effort between Soenen team manager Mike Seymour and Ford Motor Company. Just weeks ago, the body was approved by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) for professional Trans-Am competition.  "We're delighted with the results of the new Cobra body," said Seymour. "Preliminary wind tunnel and on track testing indicates that the new design provides better overall downforce as well as dramatic low speed improvements. We're thankful for the blessing and support provided by Ford and look forward to rewarding them with a solid finish at Long Beach." Stu Hayner will pilot the #58 Trenton Forging/Soenen Motorsports Ford Mustang Cobra, which will be the only newly styled Cobra competing at Long Beach. Soenen teammate Tom Miller will campaign the new body in future events. The new Cobra bodywork will be distributed to Trans-Am competitors through Derhaag Motorsports. 
4/2/01
Team Motorola gears up for Long Beach  Team Motorola and driver Michael Andretti will take to the streets of Long Beach, California on Sunday, April 8th for the second round of the CART FedEx Championship Series. After the first round of competition, Andretti and his team stand fourth in points after qualifying fifth and finishing fourth at the season opener on March 11th in Monterrey, Mexico. "For our first race as a team I was very pleased," said Kim Green, general manager of Team Motorola. "We scored championship points and worked well as a team and based on our qualifying and race results from Mexico we should be competitive at Long Beach." Team Motorola is only a six-month old team and for them to begin the season so competitively has been satisfying. "Our testing prior to Mexico had gone well so we were optimistic going into our first race weekend," explained Tony Cotman, team manager. "Now the goal is to show up at the track and improve our results every weekend throughout the season." The Long Beach race has always been an extremely successful event in the CART FedEx Series and for Andretti too, considering it was the sight of his first Champ Car win in 1986. "I've always liked Long Beach although I've not had the best results here in the last couple of seasons," said Andretti. "I think this year is going to be different. My first win in CART was at Long Beach with Barry Green as my team manager so maybe it will bring good luck this year with him as my owner." (Andretti's race ended early last year when after leading 13 laps an engine fire took him out of the competition.) In order to improve on the finish in Mexico, Andretti made a list of goals to accomplish this weekend in Long Beach and explained them this way: "I was pretty pleased with our results in Mexico but we missed a few things and I'd like to see us get those right this weekend. I think we were off a bit on our set-up and with the way Team Motorola works, we should be right on the money in Long Beach. It's my job to save the tires and be smart about positioning myself to be competitive throughout the race. If we can accomplish these goals, I think you may see Team Motorola in victory circle come Sunday." 
4/2/01
Nunn to move to Indy, hires Steve Potter  Longtime automotive and sports marketing industry executive Steve Potter (see Photo to right courtesy of David Lubarsky) has joined Mo Nunn Racing as Managing Director, Commerce. In his new position Potter will manage the activities of the Indianapolis-based team’s marketing, communications and other commercial staff. The announcement was made by team principal Morris Nunn, who noted the importance of Potter’s new role in an organization that has doubled in size with the addition this season of two-time CART champion Alex Zanardi in the #66 Pioneer/WorldCom Honda-Reynard as teammate to Tony Kanaan in the #55 Hollywood Honda-Reynard. Potter’s appointment culminates the reorganization and relocation of several operational functions and responsibilities. “Last year when we launched the team, it made good sense for the team to focus totally on the technical side of the equation,” said Nunn, who is the most successful engineer in CART over the past two decades. “Having my partner, Rod Campbell, handle the commercial side from California was the correct way to proceed. But in our second year we’ve gone from being a small team to being a pretty big one. The team’s on-track success is as much dependent on the organizational and commercial factors as it is on the technical element, and we need to have both in-house.” Potter comes to the team from Mercedes-Benz USA, where he oversaw the German car company’s U.S. sports marketing program, including its engagements in golf, tennis and motorsports. Before joining Mercedes-Benz, he managed Mazda’s East Coast public relations office for six years, and during that time oversaw the company’s U.S. motorsports publicity program. Potter is a graduate of Harvard University, where his career as a motorsports journalist began as a part-time contributor to Chris Economaki’s National Speed Sport News. While pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology at Rutgers University, Potter was appointed Motorsports Correspondent to The New York Times. His weekly column appeared there for nine years. An enthusiastic amateur racer for 15 years, Potter competed in cars ranging from TQ Midgets and small formula cars to IMSA GT and Street Stock machines. His on-track career included several years of ice racing and Pro Rally competition, a year driving a NASCAR-type modified stock car at New Jersey’s Wall Stadium in the mid-1980s and two SCCA club racing championships before hanging up his helmet in 1994. Potter and his family are relocating from New Jersey to Indianapolis. “I’m very pleased to have Steve on board,” Nunn continued. “The combination of experience in the worlds of sports, industry and journalism and three decades of professional involvement in motorsports that Steve brings to this position represents a unique resource for our 
team. He has an important role to play in the future growth of Mo Nunn Racing.” With the team’s growth and relocation to a new 26,000-square-foot facility near the Indianapolis Airport, Nunn is increasing his on-site involvement and plans to move with his wife, Kathryn, from their current 
home in Florida to the Indianapolis area. “Last year the team was small enough that I could rely on an on-site general manager, and oversee everything from Florida,” he said. “The team is past that stage now. This year our goal is to have both Tony and Alex win races and to contend for the FedEx championship. I’m always thinking about the team anyway; I ought to be there full-time.” Brad Filbey is the Mo Nunn Racing Technical Director and Team Manager. Cathy Beadle is Director of Finance and Administration and is the Chief Financial Officer. Also joining the team, and reporting to Potter, is John Rodeman, who comes to Mo Nunn Racing from Motorola to assume the position of Senior Manager of Client Services. As such, Rodeman, who was Corporate Sports Marketing Manager during a seven-year stint at Motorola, will oversee the team’s sponsor relations program, including its on-site hospitality and business unit operations on race weekends. Rodeman is a graduate of Purdue University. Laz Denes continues in his role as Communications Manager for the second year, responsible for media relations, driver appearances, team web site administration, and assists in various marketing communications projects. 
4/1/01
Update - Americans in Europe UPDATE Not a banner weekend for Americans: In the F3000 opener in Brazil, Derek Hill made his series debut running a conservative race, after started 17th he moved up slightly & finished 14th. In the British F3 opening weekend there where 3 Americans making their debut. In race #1 Paul Edwards started 4th & finished 4th. Jeffery Jones started 6th & finished 11th. Alex Gurney started 19th & wound up 16th. In race #2 Jeffery Jones started 21st & finished 12th. Edwards started 4th, Gurney 16th, neither managed to finish after separate on track incidents.  3/29/01 -  Derek Hill will make his F3000 debut this weekend in Brazil. Three other Americans will be making their debut in F3, Jeffery Jones, Paul Edwards & Alex Gurney. Patrick Long will be in one of the top Formula Ford teams. So that's 5 Americans with a future shot at F1.  Buddy Rice might have had the best shot but he got left out in the cold. One thing to remember about Alex Gurney is that he has not been racing cars that long, started after he got out of college.  He has made great strides in a short time, watch out for him, he might break out soon.
3/31/01
Bayer and CVS to sponsor opening NASCAR race at NHIS  Bayer Consumer Care Division, Bayer Corporation and CVS Pharmacy Corporation have joined to sponsor the season-opening NASCAR Busch Series and Busch North Series Doubleheader at New Hampshire International Speedway on Saturday, May 12. The races have been named the CVS Pharmacy 200 Presented by Bayer and the CVS Pharmacy 125 Presented by Bayer. The CVS Pharmacy 200 Presented by Bayer brings the leading racers in NASCAR's Busch Series to New Hampshire International Speedway for their only appearance in New England this season. The CVS Pharmacy 125 Presented by Bayer is the first of three Busch North Series races at "The Magic Mile" this season. In making this announcement NHIS President Gary Bahre said, "We welcome Bayer and CVS on behalf of the race fans throughout the region. We are elated to have these two industry leaders join us for our May NASCAR races." Jay Kolpon, Vice-President Marketing of Bayer Consumer Care Division said, "Bayer Consumer Care Division values its partnership with CVS Pharmacy. This joint sponsorship is just one of the many examples of our solid relationship." This year's CVS Pharmacy 200 Presented by Bayer will see Tony Raines, driver of the Bayer/Alka Seltzer Chevrolet face the likes of the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series Champion Jeff Green, last year's event winner Tim Fedewa, Randy LaJoie, and Mike McLaughlin. For advance sale tickets and information, please call Speedway Guest Services at (603) 783-4931 or visit the Speedway's Web Site www.nhis.com to purchase tickets online.
3/31/01

Is major league auto racing in jeopardy in Brazil?  UPDATE A reader writes - "Lots of guys on the CART teams have been mugged down there, have had lap tops, wallets, passports, cash, etc. stolen.... Lots of the teams hate going there - bad food (I'm talking food poisoning, not just non-tasty), poor transportation getting to the track (usually public transport, which takes hours and can be dangerous if the guys work late)."  Given this report, and what has been happening to the F1 circus this weekend, Brazil is going to have to give some assurances to CART (and F1) that any new venue is prepared to address these problems. 3/30/01 - First it was the CART race being cancelled by the Mayor in Rio because of political reasons.  Now come reports that the F1 teams and the FIA are very unhappy with Interlagos.  The teams are complaining that the track is bumpy, bridges are unfinished, there are pot holes in the pit lane, etc.  To make matters worse, the Jaguar team had several laptop computers containing key data stolen today, wheels have been stolen and Minardi Team Manager Tony Lees was mugged in downtown Sao Paulo after withdrawing money from an ATM machine. Sao Paulo is supposed to be where all the money is, and a bit more civilized than Rio we are told. We are told that the City of Salvador, where Emerson Fittipaldi is talking to the Mayor about moving the CART race, is over run with thieves and criminals.  If that's the case, and given today's events, it looks like the FIA and CART will have to think long and hard before going back to Brazil, especially if team member, fan, and driver safety is at stake. MC
3/31/01
Rookie Montoya leads final practice in Brazil  Williams BMW rookie Juan Montoya turned the fastest practice lap this morning to head the charts going into this afternoons Qualifying session at Interlagos Brazil.  The Colombian’s Michelin-shod Williams-BMW stormed around the bumpy Interlagos track in 1m13.963s, or  0.148s below the 2000 pole time.  Second-placed Mika Hakkinen also went below the 2000 pole as he set a fastest lap of 1m14.108s. The Finn’s McLaren team mate David Coulthard and Williams-BMW’s Ralf Schumacher took third and fourth.  Michael Schumacher was 5th.

Pos Driver Team Fastest lap 
1 Juan Pablo Montoya Williams 1m13.963 
2 Mika Hakkinen McLaren 1m14.108 
3 David Coulthard McLaren 1m14.182 
4 Ralf Schumacher Williams 1m14.282 
5 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1m14.652 
6 Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan 1m14.837 
7 Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1m14.895 
8 Kimi Raikkonen Sauber 1m15.031 
9 Olivier Panis BAR 1m15.039 
10 Nick Heidfeld Sauber 1m15.096 
11 Jarno Trulli Jordan 1m15.163 
12 Eddie Irvine Jaguar 1m15.409 
13 Luciano Burti Jaguar 1m15.470 
14 Jean Alesi Prost 1m15.735 
15 Jos Verstappen Arrows 1m15.972 
16 Jacques Villeneuve BAR 1m16.135 
17 Enrique Bernoldi Arrows 1m16.160 
18 Gaston Mazzacane Prost 1m16.347 
19 Jenson Button Benetton 1m16.411 
20 Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton 1m16.439 
21 Fernando Alonso Minardi 1m16.602 
22 Tarso Marques Minardi 1m18.212 

3/30/01
Rahal escapes possible death in Brazil  Bobby Rahal was among 40 Jaguar personnel working in the team's pit garage when a camera gantry collapsed, thankfully without hitting anyone below. The metalwork and heavy camera which was attached is reported to have missed Rahal by a matter of centimeters.  "That camera is so heavy that, if it had hit someone, they would almost certainly have been killed," Jaguar spokesman Nav Sidhu told journalists, "We were very lucky!"
3/30/01
Coulthard tops Friday practice at Interlagos

David Coulthard set the fastest time in the second free practice session at Interlagos today. The Scot was a full second faster than second place man Jarno Trulli. Both men benefited from fresh rubber and possibly a lower fuel load than their team mates. Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher followed 0.4s behind Trulli and completed a lot of laps in the last 15 minutes of the session on used tires. One of Schumacher's rear tires was damaged by a nail and he lost a vital set of tires. Williams rookie Montoya ended up fourth fastest, just a couple of hundredths ahead of Mika Hakkinen, who, unlike Coulthard, did not go out on new tires. Ralf Schumacher missed the whole first session and once he was out on the circuit, he went off on his first flying lap. Slight damage to the car meant another 10 minute delay in the pits, but Schumacher still managed to set the sixth fastest time. Rubens Barrichello spun off in the Senna S with an engine problem and missed the last 40 minutes of the session. He, therefore, did not improve his time from the first session and dropped down to seventh.

1. David Coulthard Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1min 15.220secs
2. Jarno Trulli Italy Jordan-Honda 1min 16.224secs
3. Michael Schumacher Germany Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 16.598secs
4. Juan Montoya Britain Williams-BMW 1min 16.851secs
5. Mika Hakkinen Finland McLaren-Mercedes 1min 16.882ecs
6. Ralf Schumacher Germany Williams-BMW 1min 16.929secs
7. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1min 16.994secs
8. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Germany Jordan-Honda 1min 17.072secs
9. Nick Heidfeld Germany Sauber-Petronas 1min 17.102secs
10. Eddie Irvine Britain Jaguar-Cosworth 1min 17.295secs
11. Luciano Burti Brazil Jaguar-Cosworth 1min 17.430secs
12. Olivier Panis France BAR-Honda 1min 17.432secs
13. Jean Alesi France Prost-Acer 1min 17.518secs
14. Jacques Villeneuve Canada BAR-Honda 1min 17.650secs
15. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Sauber-Petronas 1min 17.712secs
16. Jos Verstappen Holland Arrows-Asiatech 1min 17.792secs
17. Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Benetton-Renault 1min 18.096secs
18. Fernando Alonso Spain Minardi-European 1min 18.222secs
19. Enrique Bernoldi Brazil Arrows-Asiatech 1min 18.233secs
20. Gaston Mazzacane Argentina Prost-Acer 1min 18.269secs
21. Tarso Marques Brazil Minardi-European 1min 19.055secs
22. Jenson Button Britain Benetton-Renault 1min 19.585secs

3/30/01
NASCAR Statement  The following is a statement from Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, regarding today's signing of the Earnhardt Family Protection Act by Florida Governor Jeb Bush: "On behalf of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing and Teresa Earnhardt, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of those who led the charge to pass the Earnhardt Family Protection Act that was signed into law earlier today by Governor Jeb Bush. “ "In addition to Governor Bush, we want to thank Senator Jim King of Jacksonville, Representative Randy Johnson of Orlando/Winter Garden, Representative Jeff Miller of Pensacola, Speaker of the House Tom Feeney of Oviedo and Senate President John McKay of Bradenton. "These men acted swiftly during a very difficult time for Teresa and the entire Earnhardt family and they are to be commended for their efforts. “ "I would also like to extend our thanks to fans of NASCAR and fans of Dale Earnhardt, both in and outside the state of Florida who took the time to voice their support of the act to the Florida State House. “ "We encourage those of you in support of the Act to send notes of thanks or acknowledgement to these individuals." Editor’s Note: NASCAR has long been a big supporter of the Republican Party and many Republican Presidents have made visits to NASCAR races.   Jeb Bush, brother of President Bush, is Republican.
3/30/01
SpeedFreaks pre-race party planned for Long Beach  After weeks of negotiations, The Mod Squad of Motorsports have been cleared by Long Beach security, to take it's number one Sunday night Southern California radio show to the streets of "L.B" just north of "O.C" for some...o.k., enough with the fly rhymes. "With the help of NASCAR's Joe "Rollin'" Ruttman, CART's Alex "Turbo" Tagliani and my posse, Statt Mann Caruthers, Lugg Nuttz and Crash Gladys, we will be in full tilt come Sunday night. All intentions are to blanket the motorsports love all over So-Cal on KLSX 97.1 FM and the righteous cities of North Texas on KYNG 105.3," states the poetic Grand Master Kenny Sargent. The SpeedFreaks will light the match and ignite a week long celebration as CART's open wheeled rockets land in Long Beach for the "Battle By The Beach" April 7 - 9. *During the two hour broadcast, the SpeedFreaks will open their hearts and be asking for donations to help young Jeremy Wifler of Irvine, Ca., who is suffering from a rare heart condition (See this shortcut). In return, the SpeedFreaks hand over two tickets to the weekend festivities at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. SpeedFreaks are the number one Sunday Night Sports talk show in Los Angeles kicking the tires all four sports stations combined (FOX Sports, ESPN Sports, KXTA and XTRA) in the all important men 18 to 49 demo. They're part of SBN&P and can be heard every Sunday Night on Los Angeles' KLSX 97.1 FM, Dallas-Ft. Worth's KYNG 105.3 FM and everyday on the Speedvision Satellite Network and at www.speedfreaks.TV
3/30/01
Another argument for a the 1.8 liter turbo in CART  A reader writes - "The energy problems California and the rest of the world is experiencing is another justification for the 1.8 liter engine formula. That puts a premium on building smaller, lighter, more fuel-efficient engines.  Now we understand why Honda is pushing hard for the 1.8 liter engine.  They want to use the technology gained from that small engine to build small, powerful, high revving, but fuel efficient cars for the future. The wonderful 2.0 liter engine in their S2000 that revs to 9,000 RPM is an example of just how good a high-revving small engine can be in a sports car.  Toyota and Ford - are you listening?  Large 3.5 liter engines (and larger) will soon be dinosaurs."
3/29/01
Thursday Press Conference from Brazil  The Brazilian Grand Prix held the traditional Thursday press conference. Present were reigning World Champion Michael Schumacher of Ferrari; Jos Verstappen of Arrows; Jarno Trulli of Jordan; and Benetton technical director Mike Gascoyne. Following is the official transcript: MC
3/29/01
Jaguar shelves Silverstone plans  Jaguar Racing's plans of relocating to the Silverstone circuit have been shelved. The team had hoped to move to the site so that all its operations could be housed under-one roof. Team boss Bobby Rahal said: "We've reached an impasse. We just haven't been able to negotiate a package that makes economic sense for us. I guess we're clearly looking at all aspects of the program. The number one priority from day one has always been a proper wind tunnel and research and development center." "We're also looking at alternate sites as well. I expect that in 50 to 90 days we'll have our plan and we'll go forward at that point, wherever that may be." MC
3/29/01
Truck racing series coming to USA  ZF, the European automotive and heavy truck parts supplier announced recently at the Mid-America Truck Show in Louisville their plans to form an American version of the popular European Truck Championship. Of course, the trucks raced here will be patterned after American-built Class A trucks like Peterbuilt and Kenworth and will feature components manufactured by ZF. The road racing series is planned to kick-off in 2002.  Ever see them race? They don't bounce off of guide rail, they go through it!  Nothing stopping them babies.  Pity the poor soul parked behind the guide rail with his 60' Winnebago cooking dogs on the grill without a care in the world.  Upon arriving home, we can hear it now.....'Honey, I shrunk the Winnebago.' MC
3/29/01
Did you know?  In this story we reported what the new IRL engine specs will be for 2003.  How overweight and over size is the current IRL engine?  Consider this - the new 2003 spec will lower the minimum weight from a behemoth 320 pounds down to 295 pounds, a reduction of almost 8%.  Even at the new weight, the IRL engine will be over 31% heavier than the current Champ Car engines.  And if CART were to adopt the tiny 1.8 Liter turbo engine, the weight would drop further.  Not only is the 1.8 liter engine the best engine for CART in the long run (likely to last 15 or so years), the small, light, compact engine and the resulting weight savings can be ploughed back into increased driver protection and crushable structures.  Then of course there are the transmissions, the ones in the Champ Car being lighter, more crushable, and safer. MC
3/29/01
Toyota Atlantic news  The final push is on as the start of the Grand Prix of Long Beach is less than two weeks away. It is a very busy time of the year for teams in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Many teams have yet to announce their 2001 plans; and the ones that have are diligently fine-tuning their operations for the season opener on April 7th. Story
3/29/01
Watkins Glen season ticket holders to meet Steve Park  Watkins Glen International announced today that all season ticket holders for the 2001 season will be treated to an exclusive questions and answer reception with Steve Park, driver of the No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet and winner of the 2000 Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at The Glen. Park will greet the season ticket holders and participate in a brief question and answer session at a reception on the Global Crossing @ The Glen weekend at 5 p.m. in the Glen Club on Friday, August 10. The Glen Club is a private dining suite located at the top of the Esses in the infield at Watkins Glen International. Only guests that have purchased season tickets will be admitted. Season tickets at Watkins Glen are available for $225 and include admission to all event weekends. Residents of Schuyler, Chemung and Steuben counties are eligible for a 10% discount. For tickets, reserved camping, and additional information, please contact the Watkins Glen ticket office at 607-535-2481 or log on to the official Watkins Glen Web site at www.theglen.com
3/29/01
Nadeau back in dirt car  A little more than 24 hours after battling the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR Winston Cup driver Jerry Nadeau was tackling an equally-tough challenge, testing a big-block DIRT modified at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway in preparation for the April 7 Eckerd 100 Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series event. Driving a car owned by Hendrick Motorsports team members and former DIRT modified mechanics Charlie Langenstein and Ray "Rizzo" Schepler, Nadeau tested for nearly three hours Monday night on the four-tenths-mile clay oval. It was the first time in more than 10 years that the 30-year-old Danbury, Conn., driver had been on a dirt track. "Now, that's fun," exclaimed Nadeau after climbing from the yellow and blue No. 2L machine. "I remember sitting in the stands at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y., as a kid watching these cars run and I've always wanted to drive a big-block modified. Now, thanks to Ray and Charlie, I've got the chance." Langenstein, who has over 200 DIRT modified victories on his résumé as a crew chief, was pleased with the results of the team's initial outing. "We learned a lot about what Jerry is looking for in the car and Jerry did a great job for not having been on dirt for such a long time," said Langenstein, indicating the team plans to run four or five DIRT races this season beginning with the April 7 Eckerd 100. Nadeau had a literal army of support as several members of his UAW-Delphi Winston Cup team, including crew chief Tony Furr, were on hand. Former dirt late model driver Rodney Combs and Tony Hunt, an open-wheel racer who will drive a pavement sprint car co-owned by Nadeau and Tom Cotter later this season, were also in attendance. Advance tickets for the Eckerd 100 are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. The reserved seat tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.gospeedway.com.
3/29/01
TMS implements alternate parking plan  As a result of recent heavy rains, Texas Motor Speedway is asking fans to leave early and follow directions as they arrive for this weekend's Jani-King 300 NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday, March 31, and the Harrah's 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race on Sunday, April 1. The area has seen an unusually wet winter, with an estimated three inches of rain falling on the speedway since Saturday. "The rain certainly hasn't helped us," said speedway general manager Eddie Gossage, "but we'll still have parking for our fans this weekend. The important thing is that our fans follow the direction given by our parking staff. They are there to direct cars to the best available spots - it may not be where someone is accustomed to parking when they come here, but it will be out of necessity that we're making the change." Approximately 55,000 cars are parked on speedway property for the Harrah's 500 event. With 23,000 paved spaces, there are ample grass and gravel lots for the remaining vehicles - even with the loss of some traditional parking areas. "There are areas that are quite wet and soggy already," said speedway facilities manager Barry Worden. "We will make fans aware of the wet areas by roping them off. We certainly don't want anyone getting stuck. That's why it's so important for our fans to go where they're sent by the parking staff. We know where the acceptable areas to park are and that's exactly where we'll be attempting to send them. "If the fans will follow the direction given them, the process will move much more smoothly." The speedway has already spent nearly $200,000 on gravel this week to build up the aisleways throughout the camping and grass parking areas and will utilize some of those aisleways to park cars if the ground is too soft. "We'll have wreckers on property by to assist if necessary," said Worden. "Our hope, however, is that folks will park where and how they are told and we can avoid the towing process as much as possible. "It's not necessary for everyone to try and be here at 5:00 a.m., we just don't want fans all waiting to the last minute to make their way here." A few tips for fans traveling to the speedway for the weekend's race activities: Plan to leave early - Allow for normal travel time with additional considered for the parking process. Races start at 12:00 noon each day with Daylight Savings Time taking effect Sunday morning, April 1, at 2:00 a.m. · Carpool - The fewer vehicles, the more quickly and efficiently fans can be parked. · Follow directions - Fans shouldn't argue with parking attendants over which way they are being sent. Places that fans may be used to parking may not be suitable this weekend. · Don't "search" for a spot - Once fans have been directed to a spot, they should pull in and park, not drive up and down aisles looking for a "better" space. Filling every available space as they are directed to it is important to make sure all fans get parked in a timely manner. · Campers stay over - Campers (RVs, etc.) which are traditionally held for an hour after the race to allow cars to begin making their way out, are asked to stay over until Monday if possible. The speedway will have wreckers available Monday to focus specifically on campers who may be stuck. "We know the fans will definitely want to be in their seats by 11:00 a.m. for the pre-race show Sunday," said Gossage. "That's when we'll have our special tribute to Dale Earnhardt. "It's a shame the weather can't cooperate with us, but at least we know going into the weekend what we're dealing with and are prepared to make it work. It's going to be a great weekend of racing."
3/29/01
NASCAR hands down another penalty  NASCAR officials announced today they have penalized NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Greg Steadman for rules violations found in post-race inspection following Sunday's Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. Steadman, crew chief for the No. 43 NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, was fined $20,000 and penalized under Section 12-4-T in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "...any car found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion of time trials or the race..."
3/29/01
Fittipaldi visits Eurospeedway  Newman/Haas Racing CART driver Christian Fittipaldi began his travels across the ocean yesterday for his first look at the new two-mile oval at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany for a press conference today. The German 500 is one of the three new international venues CART added to its schedule for the 2001 season. In 2001, the CART FedEx championship Series will race in seven countries for a total of 21 events. New for 2001 are races in Monterrey, Mexico which Fittipaldi's new teammate Cristiano da Matta already won, as well as oval events in Texas, Germany and England. When Fittipaldi gets behind the wheel of his Kmart Toyota-Lola on September 15 for the German 500, it will be the first time for him to compete in the country since he finished fourth in Hockenheim in 1994 while competing in the Formula One series. All three times he has competed in Germany, he has posted top-eight performances including a fourth (1994) and eighth place (1993) while competing in Formula One as well as a fourth place finish while competing in the 1991 Formula 3000 series where he won the Championship. "It is really important to add a race in Germany for the FedEx Championship series," said Fittipaldi. "Going to races in international countries can bring the series a bigger audience and more fans. I think the German fans will be excited about our form of racing when they see it in person. It is so hard to get the excitement of CART racing across on TV especially to people who have typically grown up with racing on a road course and have never seen an oval race." Although Fittipaldi has spent most of his racing career on road and street courses, he has been competitive on oval tracks like the two-mile one in Germany. Two races ago Fittipaldi won the 2000 season-ending Marlboro 500 in Fontana, Calif. and bettered his previous best 500-mile finish of second place in the 1995 Indy 500 when he finished second to Jacques Villeneuve. Fittipaldi also won his first CART pole on an oval when he set the fastest lap in his homeland of Brazil in 1999. None of the CART drivers will be able to test at the track prior to the event due a new in-season testing ban so Fittipaldi is happy to be able to at least view the facility as well as get in a little seat time during media rides around the track today. Fittipaldi is confident that the Newman/Haas Racing engineers will come up with a good baseline set-up for the new oval. "Newman/Haas has traditionally had a very good set-up for the oval tracks and they will simulate many different set-up possibilities for the cars in virtual simulation before we come to race here," said Fittipaldi. "Our Lola chassis has been good on the oval tracks and our new relationship with Toyota has shown me that it is good on the ovals as well. I am looking forward to the race in Germany as well as England. I think we will put on a good show and make some new fans for CART." Round 2 of the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series will take place on April 8 with the running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Fittipaldi and Texaco/Havoline/Kmart driver Cristiano da Matta will be attempting to bring Newman/Haas Racing their third CART victory in a row. Fittipaldi won the Marlboro 500 on October 30, 2000 while da Matta won the Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix on March 11, 2001.
3/28/01
Snow on April 9th could mean free tickets for race fans  A snowstorm on April 9 last year forced the postponement of Nazareth Speedway's CART FedEx Championship Series race. If it snows again this April 9, the track will offer free tickets to its 2001 CART race on Sunday, May 6 through its "Christmas in April" promotion.  The track will distribute one free ticket to every fan who calls or comes to the Nazareth Speedway ticket office on Tuesday, April 10 if at least one inch of snow is officially recorded at the Lehigh Valley International Airport on Monday, April 9.  "This year, we want it to snow on April 9," said Nazareth Speedway president Craig Rust. "The old saying that 'Christmas only comes once a year' will hopefully be proven wrong. Maybe we can give a late Christmas present to our fans by giving away a lot of tickets to the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix presented by Toyota." ASU International insurance company is betting that it won't snow and is insuring Nazareth Speedway to protect the track against giving away thousands of free tickets. "This is the first time that we have insured a race track for something weather-related where the big winners are the race fans," said ASU International Vice President of Promotional Insurance, Jack Woodbury. "Some race track operators will insure their facilities against incremental operational costs that are associated with rainouts, but we have never insured anything like this before." Last year, fans were greeted to a warm, blustery 70 degree day on Saturday, April 8 for practice and qualifying. Early the next morning, an unexpected snowstorm blanketed the track with more than three inches of snow. The race was rescheduled for May 27 and Gil de Ferran of Marlboro Team Penske made history by winning team owner Roger Penske's 100th Champ Car race.  The Lehigh Valley Grand Prix presented by Toyota weekend begins Friday, May 4th with CART and Toyota Atlantic Series practice, and qualifying for the USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series race. Saturday will feature the USAC race, along with CART and Toyota Atlantic qualifying. The weekend will be highlighted by Sunday's CART and Toyota Atlantic races.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the race, contact the Nazareth Speedway ticket office at 610-759-8800 or 1-888-629-7223
3/28/01

Motor Sports Weekly  This week's edition of the Emmy-award winning Motor Sports Weekly features: BEHIND PIT WALL - Compared to the cost of running a NASCAR Winston Cup team, a Top Fuel or Funny car program in the NHRA is a real bargain…or is it? MSW tries to make sense of all the dollars it takes to run a professional race team. INSIDE TRACK - This year's class of racing's rookies is the best in years. Bob Margolis gives his insight into who will rise above the crowd.  MSWi CYBER SPEED - This week, stars from the CART FedEx Championship Series -- Kenny Brack, Christian Fittipaldi, Max Papis and Cristiano da Matta -- answer viewer questions.  Also included is a look at the NASCAR Coca Cola Wall of Speed, a unique traveling exhibit that lets fans sit and race in an exact replica of their favorite driver's race car. Motor Sports Weekly's regular features - Crashed, Trashed and Smashed, Quote of the Week, Checkered Past and MSW Trivia. Motor Sports Weekly, the No. 1 syndicated motor sports television program in the nation, is a 30-minute weekly program showcasing highlights, insider information, unique features and in-depth interviews from the world of racing. Check local listings for MSW airdates and times. For more information on Motor Sports Weekly: http://www.mswi.tv
3/28/01
Miami-Homestead to host race day at the shops  Homestead-Miami Speedway and the Shops at Sunset Place will present 'Race Day at the Shops' on Saturday, March 31, in preparation for the April 6-8 Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel.  Indy Racing driver Airton Dare, Stryke 5, Giovanni Nibes, and Eddie Cheever Jr. (Excite@Home Infiniti Indy Race Car) will be part of the day-long activities at the Shops, which are located in South Miami at U.S. 1 and Sunset. Dare, the 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series Rookie of the Year, will sign autographs from 7-9 p.m. at the Grotto Stage. The Infiniti-powered Indy Race Car of Cheever, the 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner, will be on display from 11 a.m. -11 p.m. 
3/28/01

Andretti tests IRL car  UPDATE John Barnes reports that Andretti's fastest time during the test was around 200.5 mph.  This compares to his teammate, Sam Hornish, who turned the fastest lap during recent IRL open tests of 200.134 mph. 3/25/01 - Michael Andretti spent 2-days at Homestead Florida today and tomorrow in a secret test of his IRL equipment, the only chance he will get to do that before practice opens for the Indy 500 in May.  He was driving the #4 Pennzoil Panther car of Sam Hornish.  There is an open test at Indy in early April, but apparently Andretti has conflicts with his hectic CART schedule.  The Andretti/Indy 500 announcement will be made official on Tuesday during a special press conference at the Speedway.
3/28/01
Nazareth offers kid-friendly ticket pricing  Specially priced children's tickets are now available for the 2001 Lehigh Valley Grand Prix presented by Toyota CART FedEx Championship Series race on Sunday, May 6th at Nazareth Speedway, announced Speedway President and General Manager Craig Rust today. Kids 12 and under can receive a ticket for the special price of $15 as long as at least one $50 full-priced adult ticket is purchased. There will be no limit to the number of $15 children's tickets that can be purchased as long as at least one $50 adult ticket is purchased for the race. These specially priced tickets will be available in rows 6-10 and the offer is not good on prior purchases.  "This offer will allow our CART race day to be more affordable for families," Rust said. "We will also continue to allow children 12 and under in for free on Friday and Saturday of CART weekend and on Saturday of both NASCAR weekends."  Tickets are available for the 2001 season at the speedway box office or by calling 1-888-629-7223 or 610-759-8800.  The Lehigh Valley Grand Prix presented by Toyota weekend begins Friday, May 4th with CART and Toyota Atlantic Series practice, and qualifying for the USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series race. Saturday will feature the USAC race, along with CART and Toyota Atlantic qualifying. The weekend will be highlighted by Sunday's CART and Toyota Atlantic races. Two weeks later on May 19-20, the NASCAR Busch Series returns with the Service Electric 100 NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series for an action-packed doubleheader. The Chevy Silverado 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and a NASCAR Busch North series event will take place August 25-26. As previously announced, the same children's $15 tickets will be available on Sundays of both NASCAR weekends.
3/28/01
Ferrari installs sprinklers  Ferrari is installing a new sprinkler system at their Fiorano track to simulate wet weather conditions.  Ferrari already has a huge advantage in F1.  Throwing money at little things like this should help to cement their supremacy for a long time.  Some predict Ferrari might win every race this year.  We wouldn't be surprised.
3/27/01
FedEx backs NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies Move to Memphis  Fed Ex is putting $30 Million behind the move to get the Grizzlies to move to Memphis, TN (FedEx home base) and then re-name the Arena FedEx Arena. Now they have signage on the Ferrari; The St.Jude's Classic. The Orange Bowl......and title sponsor of the CART FedEx Championship Series.  Too bad that $30 million could not have been spent on promoting the CART series!  The team will be called the Memphis 'Express,' in recognition of Federal Express.
3/27/01
Sigma's Servia says Hello from Spain  Hello from Spain! I am just wrapping up some business here in Spain and am getting ready for Long Beach. Actually, I enjoy racing at Long Beach, the atmosphere is so colorful and the fans are great! There is always a lot of Hollywood presence and that makes it the most special race of the year. Add to that the fact that it is the start of the North American portion of the series and you have a special race indeed.  The track? Its a great streetcourse. I finished 6th there last year after starting 21st, so I certainly have good memories of Long Beach in my first CART Season so I am looking forward to returning with Sigma, and the Ford - Lola combination which should be great for the track.  In the next few days as we build up to the race I will be sending you special updates on what I am up to before and after the race. I will be doing some important charity appearances and I'm also shooting a videotape which I will tell you about later.  Lastly, it will be good to get back into the Sigma Lola after a few days of routine testing for the Prost Grand Prix Team. I am,. after all, a FedEx CART driver - - - a Sigma driver !   Talk to you in Long Beach. Oriol Servia
3/27/01
Andretti accepts fact CART and IRL won't merge  In his press conference today at Indy announcing his entry in the Indy 500, Michael Andretti stated he has come to accept the fact that there will always be two Indy car racing series in this country, the IRL as an American oval series and CART as the International series that races on a variety of circuits.  The sooner everyone else accepts that fact, the sooner everyone can move on make each series the best it can be.  Hopefully we will see enough CART drivers at Indy every year to give the IRL regulars a run for their money and create the rivalry the sport desperately needs to spark fan interest. 
3/27/01
Former CART driver dominates Formula Nippon opener  Team 5Zigen driver, and former CART driver, Naoki Hattori took a flag-to-flag victory in Sunday's opening Formula Nippon round at Suzuka. It was a wet race.  In the final laps of the race Hattori withstood tremendous pressure from Juichi Wakisaka, ultimately finishing just 0.7secs ahead.  The rain caught out F3000 graduate Andre Couto (who tested for Dale Coyne), who crashed after aquaplaning at the Dunlop curve on lap 2.   Current CART driver Michael Krumm (also Team 5Zigen) retired with a blown engine on lap 16, having qualified fifth.  Hattori did not have much success with a CART Champ Car, and eventually returned to Japan to race.
3/27/01
Final Autopsy reports Earnhardt did indeed suffer Basilar Skull Fracture  In his final report released Monday, Dr. Thomas Parsons, Volusia County associate medical examiner, noted Earnhardt suffered a "ring fracture of the base of skull," along with multiple fractured ribs and other non life-threatening fractures. Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin and truck racer Tony Roper -- also died from basilar skull fractures or related conditions last season.  The other significant statements in the report were 1) Earnhardt sustained: Eight broken ribs on his left side, 2) a Broken left ankle, 3) a fractured breast bone,  4) Collarbone and hip abrasions, an indication the seat belts didn't fail.  The abrasions on Earnhardt's left and right hip likely were caused by the safety belts at impact. "If the belt had let him go, he'd have just smashed into the instrumental panel," Dr. Hubbard said. "He didn't. It appears he got the abrasion and skull fracture before the belt let go."   And, as for claims Earnhardt's hitting the wheel triggered the Basilar Skull fracture, he suffered no broken jaw or facial fractures and only a small scratch on his chin. What makes Earnhardt's death all the more suspicious is the claim by the Police investigator (below) that he was prevented by NASCAR from doing the thorough investigation he tried to do the day Earnhardt was killed. This is why the Orlando Sentinel is being so persistent in wanting to see the autopsy photos.   Also, see our related safety in racing articles, many of which talk about the HANS Device, something that would have likely saved Earnhardt's life now that it is confirmed he suffered a Basilar Skull fracture.  Let's hope every driver learns from this, wears a HANS Device, and hopefully, following a racing accident, lives to race again.
3/27/01
NASCAR hampered Earnhardt accident police investigation  According to this AP article published on RPM.com, the lead police investigator looking into stock car legend Dale Earnhardt's death said officials from law enforcement and NASCAR hampered his efforts to examine evidence in the accident. Daytona Beach police detective Robert Walker told the Orlando Sentinel that he was ordered by a supervisor on the night Earnhardt died not to attend the driver's autopsy or to inspect and photograph the racer's wrecked car.  Walker, who has investigated murders and accidental deaths in Daytona Beach since 1991, said he has no explanation for the orders he received.
3/27/01
NASCAR strikes down appeal  The National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Chad Knaus, crew chief for Melling Racing. The appeal pertained to penalties issued by NASCAR concerning the seat belt shoulder harness on the #92 car in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series event held at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March of 2001. The Commission finds the following: The rules violation was clear in light of the fact that the Appellant admitted that the team cut off the date tag on the belt. The Rule Book requires the date of manufacture to remain visible on the belts at all times.  The Appellant made a compelling argument that the Melling race team has a strong record of safety consciousness, which the Commission agreed with. However, due to the admitted rule infraction, the Commission upheld the finding. The penalty, while serious, is consistent with the tougher penalties that NASCAR has been issuing in the 2001 season and consistent with penalties for similar 2001 rules violations. It is, therefore, the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalty assessed by NASCAR. The Appellant has the right, under Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book, to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.
3/27/01
Raybestos Rookie contender update  Raybestos Rookie Contender Casey Atwood was the highest finishing rookie in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. He finished 20st, completing all 500 laps in his first Winston Cup start at the .533-mile speedway. Atwood, Kevin Harvick, and Ron Hornaday are the three drivers who have collected Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors this season. In what has become almost a common occurrence, Raybestos Rookie of the Year point leader Harvick turned in another strong performance. Harvick led the Food City 500 three times for 137 laps, more than any other driver and the first time this season a Raybestos Rookie Contender has led the most laps in a Winston Cup race. Harvick's chances for victory ended when a flat left front tire forced him to the pits on lap 431. Harvick has led five times in two races this season for a total of 100.74 miles. He ranks eighth best among Winston Cup drivers in total miles led entering the Harrah's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Harvick has led at total of 155 laps this season, fourth best in the Winston Cup Series. The only other Raybestos Rookie to lead a Winston Cup race this season is Jason Leffler, who led once for one lap at Atlanta Motor Speedway back in March.  Harvick leads the Raybestos Rookie Contender Point Standings entering the Harrah's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. He enjoys a 10 point advantage over Ron Hornaday (66-56) entering this weekend's race. DRIVER POINTS 1) Kevin Harvick 66,  2) Ron Hornaday 56, 3) Casey Atwood 50, 4) Kurt Busch 50, 5) Jason Leffler 41, 6) Andy Houston 28
3/27/01
Martinsville garage gets a thumbs up  It's difficult to get anyone in Winston Cup racing to agree on anything. But Tuesday morning 15 teams were in total agreement: the new garage area at Martinsville Speedway is a big hit. "It's just totally, totally awesome, state of the art," said Barry Dodson, crew chief for the Eel River Racing team and driver Kenny Wallace. "It was something we've needed here for years. I think what compliments it the most is he (track president Clay Campbell) kept the race fans in mind. Sitting on the back (stretch) you can see the front and sitting on the front you can see the back. Not only was it a difficult task, it had to be very, very expensive." Tuesday morning was the first mass unveiling of the new garage to Winston Cup teams. Two teams tested at the track on Monday, but 15 were on hand Tuesday, testing for the Virginia 500 Winston Cup race set for April 8. The new, 600-foot long metal garage building is located on the backstretch side of the infield. It is divided into 20 bays that will accommodate the entire starting field. The garage sits atop a concrete pad which extends 60 feet in front of the building. The Wood Brothers Racing team, fresh off a victory in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday, were back at the track for their second day of testing Tuesday, and team co-owner Eddie Wood said he was impressed with the garage area. "I like it. It utilizes what space you have. There's more room in here (the infield) than it has ever seemed to be in the past," said Wood. "I really like it being open in the back where you can watch the cars go by without having to go get up on top of the truck. You're gonna have a spotter on the top of your truck anyway, but you can keep up a lot better with what's going on from the back of your garage stall." In past years teams have been forced to set their cars up on the bumpy asphalt of pit road. Because of that, team members have a great appreciation of the perfectly level floors in the garage. "The level floor is very important," said Dodson. "We leveled our scales this morning and realized we didn't have to. It's one of the most perfect garage floors we see in all of Winston Cup racing." Although veteran crew chief Buddy Parrott is working with rookie Kurt Busch this season, he's been coming to Martinsville Speedway more years than he'd like to remember. He may have been the most impressed when he rolled into the track Tuesday morning. "(Martinsville Speedway president) Clay Campbell has done a great job of carrying on his grandfather's legacy here, keeping this the baddest little short track in the south," said Parrott. "This is just so great for the sport. Fans always see an exciting race here. This may make it even more exciting."
3/27/01
Special CTC Pole Night Commemorative Ticket Celebrates the Life and Accomplishments of Dale Earnhardt   To celebrate the life and accomplishments of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, Lowe's Motor Speedway has produced a limited-edition commemorative ticket for CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 24, featuring artwork by renowned racing artist Sam Bass. The 18th in a series of commemorative Pole Night ducats, the front of the black ticket features a silver foil-stamped drawing of Earnhardt sitting on the windowsill of his famous black No. 3 Chevrolet. The back of the ticket includes highlights of Earnhardt's stellar career at Lowe's Motor Speedway along with a drawing of the Kannapolis native striking an intimidating pose from the pit wall. "From his first NASCAR Winston Cup start here in 1975 through his five Winston Cup victories to his proud, emotional hug of Dale Jr. in victory lane following last year's running of The Winston, the legend of Dale Earnhardt became the legacy of Lowe's Motor Speedway," said track president and general manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler. "Lowe's Motor Speedway was Dale's home track and this beautiful ticket will be a permanent keepsake to remind fans of the many memorable moments he single-handedly created on the 1.5-mile ribbon of asphalt." Production of the Dale Earnhardt commemorative ticket was limited to 25,003. The ticket sells for $15 in advance and will be $20 on the day of the event. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each ticket will be donated to the Carolinas Foundation through the Speedway Children's Charities. Bass also donated his entire fee to the same cause. NASCAR Winston Cup qualifying for the May 27 Coca-Cola 600 will highlight CTC Pole Night on Thursday, May 24. The NASCAR Goody's Dash Series will also battle that night in the EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 100. 
3/27/01
Where is he now?  Ever wonder what former Tasman and Team Penske driver Andre Ribiero is up to?  Besides working for Roger Penske in Brazil, he's working as a TV commentator for CART races at Record Television in Brazil. 
3/27/01
Darrell Waltrip returns to TMS with new team One of NASCAR's true legends is the man they call "Old DW," two-time "Most Popular Driver" award winner Darrell Waltrip. Before stepping out of the cockpit for the last time at the end of the 2000 season, Darrell recorded 84 wins, which ties for third in Winston Cup career wins. DW has a new team as he comes to Texas Motor Speedway for RPM Week--Texas. Waltrip has settled in quite nicely behind the microphone for FOX Sports in the network's inaugural season of NASCAR coverage. Mike Joy, anchor of the FOX Network's NASCAR broadcast says, "Darrell Waltrip brings a freshness and attitude to NASCAR on FOX that I think will greatly help the network in reaching and keeping the attention of the 18-49 year-old male viewer that networks and advertisers covet. "While the last generation of TV analysts were respectful, Darrell is going to be a bit more out on a limb, and on the edge with his commentary. Past announcers have had a great command of information and great rapport with the fans. Darrell adds a keen recognition of entertainment value." For Darrell Waltrip, the decision to step out of the driver's seat was as difficult as for any other driver, but the decision as to what to do next couldn't be more obvious. Having entered NASCAR with a brash, outspoken, tell-it-like-it-is attitude that quickly earned him the nickname of "Jaws," the move to the broadcast booth was inevitable. It's a role he has been preparing for almost since the day he entered Winston Cup competition. Race fans can look forward to a steady diet of the famous Waltrip wit, insight and philosophy on future FOX broadcasts. But don't be surprised if somewhere down the line there might be yet another entry to the Waltrip resume. Politics. "I just haven't decided what state I want to be governor of yet," jokes Darrell.
3/27/01
NTN and PacWest extend sponsorship deal  NTN Bearings has expanded its partnership with PacWest Racing Group as a sponsor for its two-car FedEx Championship Series effort and for the two PacWest Dayton Indy Lights entries.  NTN will be represented through car signage on the #18 PacWest Powerware Panasonic Toyota Reynard driven by Scott Dixon and on the #17 PacWest Nextel car driven by Mauricio Gugelmin. In addition, NTN will also have car signage on the two PacWest Indy Lights entries, driven by Dan Wheldon, a former top Toyota Atlantic driver, and Mario Dominguez, who finished a consistent 2000 season in Indy Lights with Team Mexico Quaker/Herdez. NTN will provide technical assistance on bearing packages to PacWest, with a strong focus on applications and research and development to help PacWest capture the FedEx Championship. “NTN produces cutting edge bearing technology, and we are excited about expanding our partnership with them,” said Bruce R. McCaw, President of PacWest. “As much as we demand of our race cars every week, it’s reassuring to know we make use of NTN’s products and technology.” Bruce R. McCaw formed PacWest Racing Group in 1993, and the team currently fields two cars in the FedEx Championship Series as well as the Dayton Indy Lights Championship. PacWest Racing Group is currently preparing their cars for the CART FedEx and Dayton Indy Lights Series, which resume competition in Long Beach, California, on April 8th. NTN Corporation, Osaka/Japan, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of bearings, constant velocity joints and other precision industrial equipment with sales of 327 billion yen (3.1 billion Euro), including 225 billion yen (2.1 billion Euro) of bearing sales. Founded in 1918, NTN employs 12,770 people worldwide.
3/27/01

IRL to run 15 races in 2002  According to the Star News,  the IRL will add two races to its 2002 schedule.  The schedule has already been submitted to ABC for prime TV slots.  One new race is likely to be at Walt Disney World again, and the other at Nazareth, Michigan or Fontana.  CART has yet to decide on a 2002 schedule, and it's getting late to reserve good network TV timeslots.

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