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DATE News (chronologically 05/20/01 to 05/27/01)
5/27/01
CART drivers take home all the big money at Indy  Helio Castroneves earned $1,270,475 of the largest purse in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history for winning Sunday's 85th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, according to unofficial prize figures announced at Sunday night's Indianapolis 500 Victory Celebration.  The total 2001 purse of $9,615,325 was an event record. The previous event record was $9,476,505, set last year in the Memorial Day classic. The purse is comprised of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing Northern Light Series awards, as well as other designated awards.  Castroneves, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, beat 32 other drivers from the closest qualifying field in the history of the Indianapolis 500 in the No. 68 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. His winning margin over Penske Racing teammate Gil de Ferran was 1.7373 seconds, the sixth-closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history.  Castroneves also was named the Bank One Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. That award includes a check for $10,000.  de Ferran won $482,775 for his runner-up performance in the No. 66 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, while third-place finisher Michael Andretti, who drove the No. 39 Motorola/Archipelago Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, took home $346,225. Drivers Jimmy Vasser, Bruno Junqueira and Tony Stewart posted fourth, fifth and sixth-place finishes, respectively, for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Vasser earned $233,325, Junqueira earned $255,825, and Stewart earned $218,850.  Eliseo Salazar, who finished seventh driving the No. 14 Harrah's A.J. Foyt Racing Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, earned $355,300. Rounding out the top 10 were Airton Daré, who earned $319,325 for eighth; Billy Boat, $336,325 for ninth; and Felipe Giaffone, $211,575 for 10th.  MBNA Pole winner Scott Sharp earned $427,325 for his 33rd-place finish. Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone, exited the race on a first-lap accident. His total winnings included $100,000 for winning the MBNA Pole Award.  The 86th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. (EST) May 26, 2002. 
5/27/01
Scott Sharp crash wipes out chance to see new technology  [Scott Sharp lost control on the first turn of the first lap and wiped a chance to see this new technology]  Is face-shield sponsorship the next trend in open-wheel racing? It's now possible thanks to X-TEX, a new technology patented by JAX, Inc.  Pole-sitter Scott Sharp's face shield will feature his primary sponsor, Delphi, during the Indianapolis 500. He has been using the face shield in practice in the days leading up to the race.  X-TEX uses a series of thin-film coatings applied on one side of a clear surface to produce a highly visible image that is completely transparent from the other side. The technology elevates brand exposure to the next level by turning ordinary glass surfaces into marketable advertising space. There are various motor sports applications in addition to face shields, such as race car, pace car and safety car windshields, hospitality suites and press box windows.  "We believe we can create significant value for the entire sports industry, particularly motor sports," said Stuart Ellis, chairman and president for JAX, Inc. "X-TEX represents an opportunity to capitalize on the magnitude of high-profile glass available within a racing venue to communicate a sponsor's message."  With the abundance of sponsor decals on race cars and the numerous emblems on driver suits, it is easy for a sponsor's message to get lost in the clutter. However, X-TEX differentiates sponsor images from one another because of the extreme contrast created by the distinctness of the logo and the sheerness of the glass.   The technology also will be displayed at NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600, when a dozen Coca-Cola delivery trucks will turn parade laps at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte prior to the start of the race to promote the Coca-Cola family of drivers.
5/27/01
GNC picks up sponsorship at Milwaukee   GNC is picking up the NASCAR trucks and BUSCH race sponsorships in Milwaukee. Sears gave up both of them. 
5/27/01

Paul Newman designs 2001 CARA ornament  In his famed career, Paul Newman has acted in and directed award-winning movies, established his own charitable organization, raced and owned some of the most recognized race cars in motorsports and introduced a signature line of gourmet food products. Now, at the age of 76 and still going strong filming his next movie and serving as a co-owner of Newman/Haas Racing, Newman is adding another achievement to his illustrious list of accomplishments: Christmas Ornament Designer. Following in the footsteps of some his famous racing colleagues, Newman personally designed the 2001 edition of the annual CARA Charities Christmas Ornament that was unveiled today at the 20th annual CARA Indianapolis 500 Fashion Show at the Westin Hotel in Indianapolis. Proceeds from the sale of the 2001 ornaments will benefit the CARA Shirley Bettenhausen Children's Fund at Methodist Hospital that has contributed over $200,000 for a specialized play area, toys for young patients and holiday parties at the hospital throughout the year. Bettenhausen founded the Children's Fund project and also introduced the Christmas Ornament tradition in 1992. Newman's 2001 design features a cool Santa in sunglasses, traditional red suit and his familiar bag of gifts. His sleigh is an Indy car that looks fast despite four flat tires. "I'm glad Santa doesn't drive for Penske," said Newman who, in this case, edged the 10-time Indianapolis 500 winning team owner Roger Penske and all others as the first car owner to design a Christmas ornament for CARA Charities. Newman serves on the CARA Charities Advisory Board and is a long time supporter of the organization. Newman, who co-owns the championship-winning CART team Newman/Haas Racing with Carl Haas, is the 10th motorsports personality to be involved in the program. Other motorsports notables who have designed ornaments include drivers Mario Andretti and Michael Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, A.J. Foyt, Arie Luyendyk, Rick Mears, Bobby Rahal, Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser Jr. Ornaments are available for a $20.00 donation through the CARA Charities office at (317) 299-2277. Or you can visit the CARA Charities website at www.caraux.org for more information.
5/27/01

Walker announces new website  Walker Racing team owner Derrick Walker announced the launch today of the official Walker Racing Web Site, www.walkerracing.com in conjunction with website innovators Media Fusion.  "We are pleased to launch our official website," Derrick said. "We see our site as one that will reach all sectors of the community. It will not only give the fans an insiders view of our team, but will also give Corporate America the chance to access us as a company and see how our racing business can structure programs for them that make business sense. It's a total access provider into the world of Walker Racing."  The Web Site, designed by Media Fusion, of Huntsville, AL provides the latest news and features on Walker Racing's IRL and CART teams, drivers Sarah Fisher and Tora Takagi and owner Derrick Walker. The site also includes team and car information, photos, schedules, upcoming appearances and a chance to e-mail questions to Derrick, Sarah and Tora. Also included is a virtual shop. In this section, fans can view spectacular 360-degree photos of the Walker Racing lobby, shop and get a driver's eye view. Links of team sponsors and CART and IRL tracks are listed as well.  In addition, by logging on to www.walkerracing.com during race weekends, fans can use the live timing and scoring system to be able to monitor the track performance of Sarah or Tora.  Like Sarah and Tora, Media Fusion emphasizes the fast paced lives of their clients.  "Working with Walker Racing is a good avenue to showcase our capabilities. This exposure will also be a good learning tool for the company," said Creative Director Tim McElyea.  According to McElyea, Media Fusion primarily targets their services toward the high tech marketplaces. Some of the companies who utilize Media Fusion services are, NASA, U.S. Army, Amana, The Boeing Company and many more. One of the many strong attributes Media Fusion has to offer is its Maya animation. Maya is widely known for its role in creating the latest Star Wars movie, Phantom Menace. Other highlights include multimedia, video and the company's new 8,000 square foot production facility.
5/26/01
Atlantics - Swift signs through 2004  Swift Engineering Inc. and Pro Motion Agency Limited are pleased to announce the signing of a three year agreement continuing Swift as the exclusive supplier of the CART Toyota Atlantic racing car through the 2004 season.  Full Story (PDF)
5/26/01

Ferrari signs $160 sponsor deal, lesson for CART  Word in Monaco this weekend suggest that Ferrari’s recent Vodafone deal is worth an estimated $65 million a year. The Italian team have signed a partnership which will see them associated with Vodafone for the next three years.  "This is a very important agreement for us as it links us with an international partner, which is very strong in countries that are of great importance for Ferrari, such as Great Britain," said Luca Montezemolo. "It will not only concern all our needs in terms of mobile communication, but also a collaboration on new technologies and the Internet. Furthermore, it means we have reached one of the targets I had set myself, namely to have three major sponsors, as Vodafone lines up alongside Philip Morris and Shell."  Take note CART team owners - sponsorships of this magnitude are only possible when you become a true World Championship series that brings a sponsor worldwide exposure.
5/26/01
Vittorio Brambilla ,The Monza Gorilla has died of a Heart Attack whilst tending to his garden in Monza. He won the 1975 Austrian GP.   MC
5/26/01
#43 to miss Coca Cola 600  For the first time in nearly 8 years the familiar #43 Dodge Intrepid sported by Petty Enterprises has failed to make a Winston Cup event. John Andretti posted the 38th fastest qualifying time (180.995) last night, but failed to make the Coca-Cola 600 set for Sunday at Lowes Motor Speedway. The only car that was granted a provisional starting position that had a faster qualifying time than Andretti was Dave Blaney, as he clocked in just 67 one thousands of a second faster on the mile and a half oval.  Other drivers who were slower than Andretti that were granted provisionals were, Dale Jarrett, Steve Park, Bobby Hamilton, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler and Kurt Busch. Among the drivers granted provisionals, all except Kenseth and Busch have won a Winston Cup event this year, and Kenseth won the 600 at Charlotte last year. When was the last time the #43 failed to make the show, July 10, 1994 in New Hampshire with Wally Dallenbach at the helm.  One has to worry about the struggles of Petty Enterprises of late; Kyle Petty also failed to make the show. 
5/25/01
Bernard Dudot joins Infinity  Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan North America, Inc., announced that Bernard Dudot, one of the most successful technical directors in the past decade of Formula One engine development, will join Infiniti Motorsports as Indy Racing Program Manager.  "Bernard brings a wealth of experience and engine design expertise to the program," said Steve Kight, director of marketing and motorsports for Infiniti Division. "We were late introducing the new Infiniti Indy 35A this year, and having Bernard join us now will accelerate our program development."  Dudot, who will be based in Indianapolis, will manage the future technical direction of the program and coordinate with race teams, Infiniti engineers in Japan and the Race Engine Division of TWR Group. TWR recently joined Infiniti to handle the engine development and provide technical support to teams using the Infiniti engine in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series.
5/25/01
Michael Andretti retired?  Chalk this one up to blooper of the week.  The npr website says "Mario Andretti Host Bob Edwards talks to legendary racecar driver Mario Andretti about Andretti's son Michael, who came out of retirement this year for one more shot at winning the Indianapolis 500."  MC
5/25/01
Atlanta Motor Speedway cancels all future IRL races due to lack of fans  We recently wrote the article "650 HP, 750 HP, 850 HP, it doesn't matter" whereby we talked about the danger and lack of fan interest of 'Indy Cars' on high-banked tracks.  As spelled out in this article in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, after three consecutive years of declining attendance, officials at Atlanta Motor Speedway have dropped the Indy Racing League from their schedule. "When attendance goes down, it's the kiss of death," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president of the the track. He said the IRL cars are too small and too fast for fans to follow.  This adds more fuel to our claim that the future for CART will be road and street courses, both here and abroad. We still feel the best proposal is for both series to coexist peacefully, each in their own niche, CART on road and street circuits, IRL on ovals.  Let them both focus on their core product and do the best they can with it. MC
5/25/01

Tony George puzzled by dwindling Indy 500 crowds, we're not  In this article by Steve Ballard writes "Tony George doesn't need numbers. None of us needs numbers. We just have to look out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway stands. We just have to stroll down 16th Street or Georgetown Road, note the lack of human traffic, or talk to the vendors who continue to take a fiscal beating this May. The eyes don't lie. The attendance during the weeks leading up to this Sunday's Indianapolis 500 have been poor, a decline from the past couple of years and a seismic decline from the race's halcyon days in the 1970s. Even George, president and CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, acknowledged this week that the falling attendance has been "a big disappointment.'  By his own estimates, practice-day crowds are off by one-third to one-half since the 1970s, pole day qualifying was off about two-thirds, and other qualifying days were off by about a third. Some longtime observers of this event suggest it's been even more dramatic. And most of those crowds stayed away on picture-postcard spring afternoons.  The market is even soft for race day. Just look at the classified ads, where tickets are going for a song. Just talk to the ticket brokers around town, many of them facing a less-than-profitable May.  We here at AutoRacing1.com are not surprised at all.  Duh........the creation of the IRL that split Indy Car racing has driven a lot of fans away from a sport that was on the rise in 1995. Just bringing back some of the CART drivers for one race a year isn't going to fix it.  The fact of the matter is that the USA motorsports scene is terribly over saturated as we have written below.  Fans only have so much money to spend on race tickets.  When you have an Indy 500, Brickyard 400 and USGP at a track where before you just had the Indy 500 to buy tickets for, the people are going to make choices of which to attend, because many can't afford all of them. However, we have seen a drop in attendance and TV ratings almost everywhere. This is why, CART had better move quickly to diversify more (than it has already) out of the over saturated USA market and into markets that are begging for CART and/or F1 races.  It will pick up more new sponsors if it does this, than to focus on the USA market and attempt to steal sponsors from NASCAR....... the sponsor vacuum machine. MC
5/23/01
Odds Maker picked 1-2-3 The Winston finish After predicting a perfect 1-2-3 finish for last week's running of The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Las Vegas book manager Micah Roberts has released his rundown of the odds for the May 27 Coca-Cola 600. Roberts, the sports book manager for Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, declared Jeff Gordon the odds-on favorite (at 9-to-2) to win Saturday night's The Winston, with Dale Jarrett (4-to-1) and Tony Stewart (5-to-1) close behind. Since the three finished in exactly that order, Roberts' take on this Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 -- the longest, most grueling race on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit -- has gotten the attention of many fans. "After careful consideration," Roberts said, "I have to say I believe the odds once again favor Gordon, followed closely by Jarrett -- but this time with a tie between Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte. "The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the season and, with the exception of last season when Matt Kenseth won, the track usually favors the top-performing teams in the series. That extra pit stop that's required and the preparation involved with getting 600 miles out of a car are heavy factors." As an example of the difference between winning a 500-mile race and losing a 600-mile event, Roberts points to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s performance in 2000. "As dominant as Earnhardt Jr. was last season in Charlotte during the two weeks of racing, it should be noted that had the race ended after 500 miles he would have won. The combination of so many variables over that extra 100 miles make it tougher on the teams that don't have experience with Charlotte in May. "Gordon will be hard to deny at Lowe's Motor Speedway this week. The gremlins that got into his engine last season have been exterminated. Robbie Loomis and Gordon are on the same page, and every facet of their operation has them looking as good as the team of two years ago." Roberts predicts Jarrett, with whom Gordon competed for first during The Winston, will have the only car to keep pace with the No. 24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo during the race's all-important final 100 laps. "I think the real long-shot drivers to watch Sunday are Gordon's Hendrick teammates Terry Labonte and Jerry Nadeau." 
ODDS TO WIN COCA-COLA 600 
(Courtesy Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.) 
Jeff Gordon 4-to-1 
Dale Jarrett 5-to-1 
Tony Stewart 6-to-1 
Bobby Labonte 6-to-1 
Rusty Wallace 8-to-1 
Mark Martin 10-to-1 
Johnny Benson 10-to-1 
Ricky Rudd 12-to-1 
Steve Park 12-to-1 
Dale Earnhardt Jr 12-to-1 
Jeff Burton 15-to-1 
Sterling Marlin 17-to-1 
Kevin Harvick 20-to-1 
Jerry Nadeau 20-to-1 
Ward Burton 20-to-1 
Mike Skinner 25-to-1 
Jeremy Mayfield 25-to-1 
Bobby Hamilton 30-to-1 
Michael Waltrip 35-to-1 
Matt Kenseth 35-to-1 
Bill Elliott 40-to-1 
Terry Labonte 40-to-1 
Todd Bodine 50-to-1 
Field 25-to-1
5/23/01
NASCAR and Wal-Mart announce 30-day Fathers Day promotion The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced plans for a NASCAR-themed month-long promotion in June at more than 2,600 Wal-Mart Stores. "NASCAR Fan Days" will begin June 1 with NASCAR drivers, teams, tracks and sponsor merchandise featured in Wal-Mart Discount Stores and SuperCenters across the country. Each store will support the event with themed signage and thirty-second radio spots for each of the participating brands on the Wal-Mart Radio Network. To keep the momentum going, host Terry Berry of Wal-Mart Radio will broadcast exclusive conversations with NASCAR drivers. On June 16, Father's Day, Wal-Mart and NASCAR will salute fathers across America. Wal-Mart greeters will hand out 1.5 million NASCAR Fan Days Fan Guides designed exclusively for Wal-Mart customers with NASCAR trivia, driver rosters, fun facts and puzzles, plus special feature stories on NASCAR fathers and sons and the multi-generations of NASCAR families. 
5/23/01
A.J. Allmendinger takes Paul Tracy kart to podium  A.J. Allmendinger finished second in round 2 of the SKUSA Promoto Tour in Superpro 125 shifter held in Sacramento, California. Allmendinger qualified fourth overall out of a 31-kart field with a lap time of 0:34.193 seconds, only 0.2 seconds behind the pole sitter. Allmendinger was caught up in a turn-1 wreck in his first heat race, but came back strong in the second and third heat races with a win and second place finish. The result puts him in the tenth starting position for the final race. Allmendinger quickly sliced his way up through the field in the final. The Californian got up to third by lap six and took over the second position on lap 20.   Allmendinger, a former karting champion, uses competitive karting to remain sharp between rounds of the Formula Dodge National Championship Series.  "I am very happy to come back for my first race of the season with the Paul Tracy Kart Racing Team and podium," said Allmendinger. "Every team in Superpro is very competitive and to finish second this weekend was a great result. This is a fantastic finish and will help to build the momentum for the rest of the season."  
5/23/01
IRL continues marketing expansion, hires Angstadt  Marketing and merchandising executive Terry Angstadt has joined the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation as assistant vice president, marketing, Speedway officials announced today. Angstadt, a 1976 graduate of Indiana University, joins IMS after serving for the past nine years as an executive vice president and corporate officer of Cyrk, Inc. in Gloucester, Mass. Cyrk is a leading company worldwide in designing and implementing product-based promotional programs for companies including Philip Morris, Pepsi and McDonalds.  Before joining Cyrk, Angstadt was president and chief executive officer of Fila Sports, Inc., a premier active sportswear company based in Biella, Italy. Angstadt was instrumental in transitioning the company from a tennis apparel brand to a more general, active lifestyle brand.  "The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a marketer's dream," said Angstadt. "It is rich in history and tradition, it has world-class trademarks, and it delivers one of the most exciting experiences in sport. Producing our three major events requires a real professional effort, and I am proud to be joining this team."  Angstadt will report to Bob Reif, the Speedway's senior vice president, marketing and chief marketing officer. "Terry is responsible for all marketing functions related to the three largest single-day sporting events in the world, the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and SAP United States Grand Prix," Reif said. "His background as a CEO for Fila and executive for Cyrk brings industry experience and leadership that will help the Speedway expand its vision for 'International Leadership in Motorsports Entertainment.'" Angstadt will reside in Indianapolis with his wife, Jill, and their daughter, Ann. 
5/23/01
Quote of the day  Who did you consider to be your biggest rival on the track? Rick Mears: It varied throughout the years. Older drivers retiring or whatever. Probably over the long haul it was Mario Andretti. Earlier in the years, Bobby Unser. 
5/23/01
LA Times high tech auto article features CART  You may find this article interesting.  It describes CART as the nation's premier sanctioning body for ultra-high tech, open-wheel race cars. CART certainly needs more press like this in the nations leading newspapers. Story 
5/23/01
Arciero's join forces with Larry Blair  Frank and Albert Arciero and Larry Blair announced today the formation of Arciero-Blair Racing. Additionally, co-owner Matthias Czabok was named the vice president of marketing and business development. The new partnership represents much more than a semantic change to the organization; it will focus on leveraging the Arciero racing history and Blair’s experience and success in the technology sector. The team will continue to contest the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) FedEx Championship Series with its number 25 WinnerB2B.com Lola and driver Max Wilson. ”Often, the outside business world brings some profound insight to racing,” said Albert Arciero. “In much the same way as racing benefited from the migration of aerospace talent in the SOs, Larry brings a creative and adventurous approach from the high tech industry.” The Arciero legacy dates back to Frank Sr.’s debut at the 1959 Indy 500. They are continuing to add to their racing involvement, with Jerry Forysthe as their partner, in building a racetrack in the Sacramento, Calif. area. “There are so many similarities between racing and high tech start up companies,” said Blair. “I come from a business culture that is like racing, you gather, evaluate and process the information in thousandths of seconds. I want to blend my new economy -more-  background to bring a different marketing style and unique perspective to the team and sport. Forming a partnership with the Arcieros, one of the most established names in racing, is a privilege.” A businessman and entrepreneur, Blair enters the motorsports arena not only as a team owner but also as a futurist with the insight and creativity to ignite and develop a powerful racing brand and organization.  For more information on Arciero-Blair Racing go to: www.BlairRacing.com.
5/23/01
CART places de Ferran on probation, rescinds other fines  Marlboro Team Penske driver Gil de Ferran, the defending FedEx Series champion, was placed on probation for four races by CART Chief Steward Chris Kneifel for multiple infractions that occurred at last week's Firestone Firehawk 500 at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan.  The initial violations occurred during Friday's pole qualifying when de Ferran was notified by CART officials that he had exceeded the 50-mile-per-hour pit-lane speed limit as he exited for his qualifying run and would forfeit the second of his qualifying laps as a penalty per CART rules. De Ferran, however, ignored the penalty and completed both qualifying laps despite his first being his only official one.  Kneifel cited de Ferran for the following violations: exceeding the pit lane speed limit (Rule 5.3.2A pursuant to 6.7.7), ignoring the checkered flag (6.10.8), failure to follow the instructions of the officials (1.7.5) and failure to respond to official notices (6.3).  De Ferran also was cited for violations stemming from the late stages of Saturday's Firestone Firehawk 500 when there was an apparent fire and fluid leaking from the rear of his Champ Car. He was black flagged by CART officials, but ignored the notice and continued at full speed for another lap before Kneifel stopped any further scoring on de Ferran's Champ Car. De Ferran then brought the Marlboro Honda Reynard into the pit lane.  He was cited for ignoring the black flag (6.10.3), failure to respond to official notices (6.3) and unjustifiable risk (8.13), which was attributed to not responding immediately to the black flag and imposing potential risk to himself and fellow competitors.  "Based on this pattern of failing to comply with the instructions of the officials on two occasions, Gil was placed on probation," Kneifel said. "Assuming he is in compliance with following the instructions of the officials over this probation period, there should not be any additional problems."  De Ferran's probation period will run from next week's Miller Lite 225 at The Milwaukee Mile through the July 1 Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by Firstar at Burke Lakefront Airport.  In an unrelated decision, the $5,000 fines levied to Cristiano da Matta of Newman/Haas Racing, Paul Tracy of Team KOOL Green and Helio Castroneves of Marlboro Team Penske for violating post-race protocol regarding Winner's Circle have been rescinded following additional review. Da Matta's and Tracy's post-race situations occurred at the season-opening race in Monterrey, Mexico while Castroneves' occurred at Long Beach.
5/23/01
Past Coors Pitstop Competition winners
Year  Driver  Team 
1977  Jim McElreath  Fred W. Carrillo 
1978  Johnny Rutherford  McLaren 
1979  Johnny Rutherford  McLaren 
1980  Tom Bigelow  Armstrong Mould Inc. 
1981  Bobby Unser  Penske 
1982  Rick Mears  Penske 
1983  Rick Mears  Penske 
1984  Michael Andretti  Kraco Enterprises 
1985  Danny Sullivan  Penske 
1986  Danny Sullivan  Penske 
1987  Mario Andretti  Newman/Haas 
1988  Danny Sullivan  Penske 
1989  Al Unser Jr.  Galles 
1990  Al Unser Jr.  Galles 
1991  Danny Sullivan  Patrick 
1992  Bobby Rahal  Galles 
1993  Al Unser Jr.  Galles 
1994  Jacques Villeneuve  Forsythe/Green 
1995  Jacques Villeneuve  Team Green 
1996  Davy Jones  Galles 
1997  Kenny Brack  Galles 
1998  Scott Goodyear  Panther 
1999  Davey Hamilton  Galles 
2000  Scott Goodyear  Panther 
5/23/01
Pairings for Coors Pitstop Competition  Pairings for the Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, May 24 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway 
FIRST ROUND (1:30 p.m., EST) 
#28 Kelley Racing (Mark Dismore) vs. #39 Team Green (Michael Andretti) 
#68 Penske Racing (Helio Castroneves) vs. #4 Panther Racing (Sam Hornish Jr.) 
#8 Kelley Racing (Scott Sharp) vs. #41 A.J. Foyt Enterprises (Robby Gordon) 
#66 Penske Racing (Gil de Ferran) vs. #5 Treadway Racing (Arie Luyendyk) 
SECOND ROUND 
#3 Galles Racing (Al Unser Jr.) vs. #28 Kelley Racing-#39 Team Green winner 
#12 Bradley Motorsports (Buzz Calkins) vs. #68 Penske Racing-#4 Panther Racing winner 
#14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises (Eliseo Salazar) vs. #8 Kelley Racing-#41 Foyt Enterprises winner 
#2 Team Menard (Greg Ray) vs. #66 Penske Racing-#5 Treadway Racing winner 
SEMIFINALS, then FINALS 
5/22/01
HANS Device saves NASCAR biggest remaining superstar  NASCAR came very close to losing their two biggest superstars in a matter of 3 months (not including Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin, and Tony Roper).  Jeff Gordon said the Head and Neck Support (HANS) device helped him survive a crash Saturday night that was similar to the one that killed Dale Earnhardt in the Feb. 18 Daytona 500.  On a crash-aborted start of The Winston, NASCAR's all-star race, Gordon's Chevrolet slammed right-front first into a concrete wall at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Concord, N.C., much as Earnhardt's Chevy had done at Daytona International Speedway.  Gordon escaped with pain in his neck. "I hit at about the worst possible angle," Gordon said. "My neck snapped really bad -- it really stretched out there."  Gordon climbed into a backup car and won the race, which was halted for more than two hours by the rain that caused his first-lap crash.  Gordon was wearing a HANS head-and-neck support device. Earnhardt wasn't.  We here at AutoRacing1.com still can't believe that NASCAR and the IRL have not mandated the HANS Device like CART has. We certainly don't pretend to be lawyers, but it would seem to us that as more and more of these reports come in from drivers who say the HANS Device saved them, NASCAR and the IRL are setting themselves up for a big lawsuit if another driver is killed not wearing the HANS and they haven't yet mandated it.  The family of that driver may very well sue the sanctioning body for negligence on the basis they knew a safety device worked and they did not mandate it such as they do seat belts.
5/22/01
Coors Carb Day at Indy News  Racing and rock-and-roll fans will enjoy a full day of entertainment at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Coors Carb Day on May 24. The event marks the final day of track activity leading up to the 85th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on May 27. Coors Carb Day will feature the final, two-hour practice for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing's" elite 33-car field, the Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and a free concert by the hit rock music group Collective Soul.  Final practice gets underway at 11 a.m. (EST). The Coors Carb Day session is the most crucial practice of the entire month for the drivers and teams competing in the 85th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing because it's the final opportunity to find the most competitive setup for the grueling 500-mile race.  At 1:30 p.m., 12 Indy Racing Northern Light Series teams will compete for the $42,500 winner's share of the $80,000 Coors Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge purse. A donation of $5,000 will be made to the American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis in the name of the winning team.  In each round of the Challenge, teams will change all four tires on the car while making a simulated fuel hose connection to the fuel tank for a minimum of five seconds. The fastest team in each pairing will advance until the top two teams meet in the final round. Pairings will be determined by a blind draw.  Popular Atlantic Records recording artist Collective Soul will play the Coors Concert at 3:30 p.m. in the Pagoda Plaza, located directly behind the Speedway's 13-story Pagoda control tower.  Five albums and seven years after their national debut, Collective Soul remains one of the top album rock bands in the world, having sold more than 7 million albums on the strength of No. 1 hit singles such as "Shine," "The World I Know" and "Precious Declaration."  Tickets for Coors Carburetion Day are $10 at the gate, with children age 5 and younger admitted free. All activities for the day are included in the ticket price, including the concert. The Speedway's gates open to the public at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Contact the Speedway ticket office at (317) 484-6700, or toll free at (800) 822-INDY, for information.
5/22/01
Ferrari re-signs both its drivers  Ferrari announced today they have re-signed their drivers, Michael Schumacher through 2004 and Rubens Barrichello through 2002. MC
5/22/01
David Letterman plugs CART regularly  David Letterman has been pushing the success of his team and the CART product on his show a lot lately.   He mentions something at least once a week. Its as if he is really trying to work it into conversations at some point.  Miss Columbia was on after Dave offended the entire country with a comment about swallowing heroin filled balloons. He mentioned Juan Pablo Montoya and Roberto Guerrero. He now shows footage every Monday after a race weekend too.  Yeah Dave...its about time really.  Now we need Paul Newman to make a real quality racing film that is about racing, not whiz bang Days of Thunder meets Rocky 12 pictures......something that would be Oscar worthy. Paul, you do have one more really good picture left in you don't you? SM
5/22/01
USF3
Gomide continues to dominate USF3  . Brazilian Luciano Gomide continues his series of victories in USF3 winning Round 1 of the 2001 United States Formula 3 Championship at Mosport International Raceway ahead of his Teammate John C. Antonino, from Bakersfield, California.  The GOL/Impact Protection System Dallara F3VW of Luciano Gomide completed the 23 laps of Mosport International Raceway in 29' 47"542 at the average speed of 166.61 km/hr with 11" 865' marginover the GRAPEKING/ARRA/UPTOWN/RLC Dallara F3VW of John C.Antonino.  Luciano Gomide, starting from the Pole ( 1.14"481), took the lead from John C.Antonino on lap 8 and controlled the race to the end. Antonino after a spin on lap 9 was able to reduce the gap from Gomide with a series of fast laps, including the fastest of the race (1.15".718).  The two Eurointernational Dallara's have dominated the race, before 78,000 spectators of the Kenwood Communications Victoria Week End at Mosport.  "I am very happy with this result" said Gomide.  " I tried to keep Luciano behind for several laps" said  Antonino" but he was very fast every where.  My spin, was the only mistake of the weekend and I am very happy about my performances and my Team."  This year I hope to continue my battle with Luciano and gain as much experience possible."
5/22/01
SunTrust to sponsor IRL race at Richmond  Officials at Richmond International Raceway and SunTrust announced today a partnership to sponsor the inaugural Indy Racing Northern Light Series event at Richmond International Raceway on June 30.  The SunTrust Indy Challenge will be the second night race of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series season. It's also the first race in series history on a track shorter than 1 mile, as Richmond International Raceway is a ¾-mile oval.  "Richmond International Raceway is excited to begin a new partnership with a company as significant as SunTrust," said Doug Fritz, president of Richmond International Raceway. "We believe the Indy Racing Northern Light Series is a great series and that they will put on a tremendous show for all of the fans.
5/22/01
English & Germans take a lesson from the Japanese for a weekend  CART's new Germany (Eurospeedway) and England (Rockingham) promoters were the guests of the Japanese at Motegi this past weekend to see the logistics behind making an overseas CART happen.  They came away with a wealth of valuable data.  This past weekends race in Japan ran without a hitch thanks to the hard work of the Japanese and CART's Billy Kamphausen.  So efficient was the operation, that all the cars and equipment were already back in the USA Monday morning......and this from a race track built way up on the top of a mountain with only 2-lane roads up and down, and no train service. To move a complete racing series half way around the world and back in one weeks time is certainly no easy task.  And we can't forget the job Fed Ex does flying the cars and equipment.  CART's getting as good at doing flyaway races  as F1, which is important for CART if it is to take advantage of the excess worldwide demand F1 can't satisfy.  We hope CART's current talks with China bear fruit, as there's little doubt that market is about to explode into perhaps as big a consumer market as the USA, and some of CART's more astute current sponsors, and potential new sponsors, are going to want to take advantage of that opportunity.  It's no wonder all of a sudden Berne Ecclestone has a renewed interest in China. China is so large, there's probably enough room for two CART and two F1 races. MC
5/22/01
More reasons why CART needs to expand internationally  The thirst for CART outside the USA borders continues.  We stumbled upon this interesting news tidbit from the Target Team - At the opening race of the CART season in Monterrey, Mexico. The trailer of T-shirts, caps and fleece pullovers sold out within hours, something that never happens in the USA.  "We had 10,000 people walking around Mexico in shirts with Target on them, and there's not even a Target store in Mexico [Note - the team also does not have a Mexican driver!]," Hull said. That's the kind of exposure money can't buy, he said.  The USA motorsports market is extremely over saturated.  Cup, Busch, Trucks, IRL, CART, TransAm, GrandAm, ALMS, Lights, Atlantics, NHRA, IHRA, SCCA and.....soon to be TRAC, all fighting for the same sponsors. Even NASCAR is feeling the pinch with a downturn in sponsors and car count in its support series.  Unlike all those other series, CART is well positioned to market itself and its sponsors globally while still maintaining a strong presence in the USA.  In a nutshell, and quite ironically I might add, the world thirsts for what CART has to offer more so than the over saturated USA, and further expansion into markets F1 can't satisfy will bring in bigger sponsors astute enough to realize that 50 to 100 million eyeballs watching the cars they sponsor on TV worldwide every race gives them far more bang for the buck than the 6 million eyeballs watching, say, a NASCAR broadcast every race.  So while the myopic American press only dwells on the USA TV motorsport ratings, the more astute sponsors (ones that sponsor F1 for example...and some current CART sponsors) realize there is a whole world out there to reach with international TV, and CART, with it's international array of drivers, and high tech, F1 like cars, is positioned well to reach the fans who appreciate what Champ Car racing is all about. That's why most F1 teams bring in $200 million in sponsorship each year, while USA-only teams struggle to bring in $20 million.  Do the math, it's quite simple really. 10 times the number of TV viewers, 10 times the size of the sponsorship packages. MC
5/21/01
Join Mario Andretti and Rick Mears in live chat  On Wednesday, legendary driver Mario Andretti will drop by ESPN.com to take your questions in chat.  Andretti, born in the tiny village of Montona, on the Istrian Peninsula on the northeastern tip of Italy, was one of the greatest drivers to ever circle a track. He was the only driver to win the Daytona 500, Indy 500 and Formula One world titles, the only person to be named Driver of the Year in three decades (1967, 1978, and 1984), and one of only three drivers to win races on paved ovals, road courses, and dirt tracks in one season, a feat he accomplished four times.  Andretti's farewell season, in 1994, was dubbed "The Arrivederci Tour." He ran the last of his record 407 Indy car races that September. His 52 Indy car victories are second to A.J. Foyt's 67 and his 67 pole positions and laps lead remain tops by a wide margin. The winner of $11,552,154 in Indy car competition plus more than $1 million on other circuits, he is enshrined in four Halls of Fame -- the International Motorsports, the Motorsports of America, the Indianapolis 500 and the one for Sprint Cars.  Andretti won't be stopping by until 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday but feel free to leave your questions now and they will save them for his arrival.  Also on Wednesday, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears will make a special appearance in chat to talk about this weekend's big race.  When Mears retired in 1992, he had 29 Indy car victories and topped $11 million in earnings. Only two other drivers have as many Indy 500 victories, but neither Al Unser Sr. nor A.J. Foyt attained his success in as short a span. Mears won his four races before turning 40. The holder of a record six starts from the pole, he is the only driver to have won at Indy from the pole in three different decades.  Mears also won three CART national championships and the Associated Press named him "Driver of the Decade" for his 20 victories in the 1980s. Six years after his retirement, Mears was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.  Mears won't be stopping by until 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday but feel free to leave your questions now and they will save them for his arrival.
5/21/01
No Bull 5 pairings set  NASCAR Winston Cup fan Marlene Schillinger of Bradford, Pa., just might become an all-star next week. On Saturday night, May, 15th, immediately before The Winston, NASCAR's all-star race, Schillinger was paired with Jeff Gordon for Sunday's Winston No Bull 5 event, the Coca-Cola 600. Gordon is the most prolific winner in the history of the Winston No Bull 5 program having taken the million-dollar bonus four times in his eight previous attempts. Gordon also collected the Winston Million when he took the checkered flag at Darlington in 1997. Gordon has won four times in his 16 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway making him the odds on favorite to take home the million-dollar Winston No Bull 5 bonus next Sunday night. That should make Schillinger feel pretty good about his/her chances Gordon is just one of five NASCAR Winston Cup drivers now paired with five lucky Winston No Bull 5 fans. Should one of the drivers win the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Sunday, the driver and his fan will each take home a million-dollar bonus from Winston. The five eligible drivers for Charlotte are the top-five finishers in the first No Bull 5 race of the season, the UAW-Daimler-Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas. Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Johnny Benson, Sterling Marlin and Todd Bodine are the eligible drivers. (more) If one of the eligible drivers wins Sunday's race, the driver and his fan will each take home a million-dollar bonus from Winston. The eligible fans were chosen in a nationwide drawing, and then paired at random with the five eligible drivers in a pre-race ceremony this past Saturday night. Five NASCAR Winston Cup racecars with a special paint scheme were parked together at the start/finish line at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Each was covered with a car cover. The fans each had the opportunity to choose a car. While the cars had identical paint schemes, each had a number on the roof that corresponded to one of the five eligible drivers. Once the fans had chosen a car, they unveiled their cars at the same time. The five Winston Cup drivers were inside the cars, when the covers were removed, the drivers came out of the windows and the pairing was complete. The rest of the pairings are: Dennis Trobaugh from Penn Laird, Va., is paired with Bodine. Mary Pella from Tucson, has Benson. Colyn Jones from Marbury, Ala., drew Marlin. Mark Posey from Fremont, Calif., has Jarrett. Through the Winston No Bull 5 program, drivers become eligible to win the $1 million Winston No Bull 5 bonus by finishing in the top-five at the previous Winston No Bull 5 event. The five races comprising the Winston No Bull 5 in 2001 are, in chronological order: the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas; the Coca-Cola 600 (May 27) at Concord, N.C.; the Pepsi 400 (July 7) at Daytona, Fla.; the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 (Sept. 8) at Richmond, Va.; and the Talladega 500 at Talladega, Ala.(Oct. 21). If a qualified driver wins a Winston No Bull 5 event, one fan will also win million-dollar bonus check as part of Winston's "They Win, You Win" sweepstakes. Five fans are eligible at each Winston No Bull 5 event. They are selected at random through a nationwide sweepstakes program, and then each is paired, at random, with one of the eligible Winston No Bull 5 drivers.
5/21/01
No replacement for Hal Whiteford  The positions held by Hal Whiteford and Dennis Swan will not be refilled by CART.  Their duties have been reassigned.  CART is in the process of hiring a technical person to do things like setup a network in pitlane to collect data from all the team's car data acquisition units with regard to speed, g-forces, etc.  This will enable CART to analyze data from all the teams, do their own simulations, and make better decisions on improving the racing and the safety.  CART is already one of the most safety conscious racing sanctioning body's.  They are looking to take it one step further.
5/21/01
Hamilton Jr. in for Nemechek in 600  Bobby Hamilton, Jr. passed the preliminaries - he is headed to the "big show." For one race, at least.  Hamilton, Jr. will remain behind the wheel of the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet of Andy Petree Racing for the Coca-Cola 600, Sunday night, May 27, at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C. The 24-year-old is coming off finishes of 12th and fourth in this past weekend's Winston Open and No Bull Sprint races at the same speedway.  Hamilton is driving in place of regular driver Joe Nemechek, who was injured in a crash during Busch Grand National testing Tuesday, May 15, at Dover Downs (Del.) International Speedway. A tire appeared to have cut and sent his car into the wall between turns three and four, breaking Nemechek's right arm near his elbow and his right scapula. He will be in a cast for up to two weeks, doctors have told him.  "Bobby was smooth and solid in both races, and he showed us a lot of the potential he has," Petree said.  "The fact of the matter is, he deserves a chance to run the 600. We feel that way and the people at Oakwood Homes feel that way. But it goes even further than that. We think Little Bobby is the best driver we can get right now."
5/21/01
Giaffone to replace Boesel  Felipe Giaffone will replace Raul Boesel in the 85th Indianapolis 500 for Treadway-Hubbard Racing, team officials announced May 21. Boesel qualified the #5T Meijer G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone on Bump Day, May 20, for the 31st starting spot with a four-lap average of 221.879. Giaffone's four-lap average of 221.100 was bumped from the field May 20, and his final attempt to qualify with 17 minutes remaining was waved off after one lap. According to Indy Racing League rules, Giaffone will start from the rear of the field in 33rd position, vaulting Cory Witherill into the 31st starting spot and Billy Boat into 32nd. Giaffone will drive Boesel's qualified car, changed to the No. 21 Hollywood G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone, in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on May 27. Giaffone is the team's full-time driver for the 2001 season and is fifth in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series point standings. He also leads the Rookie of the Year points. Giaffone has three top-10 finishes in his first three Indy Racing starts. "Our commitment is to Felipe and our sponsor Hollywood for the 2001 season," said Scott Cronk, vice president of Treadway-Hubbard Racing. "Felipe has done a great job for us, and we have a tremendous confidence in his abilities. After seeing the speeds in ideal conditions last Sunday, we felt it prudent to take measures to protect our starting position in the field, and Raul agreed to come drive the car knowing this possibility existed. "We all really thought 221.100 would hold, so we didn't want to withdraw our qualified car. We knew, however, if we did get bumped, it would be late in the day. So we did not want to risk not having the opportunity to go back out and qualify if time ran out or if we had a problem as we saw with some other guys last week. We did, in fact, have a mechanical problem with the 21T car on Sunday and could never get the car up to speed. "This place is extremely unpredictable, as the last two weeks have proven. This was a well-thought-out plan to protect our interest in having Felipe and a Hollywood car in the race. Who knows, maybe we can have a repeat of 1992." Scott Goodyear was bumped from the 1992 field. But Walker Racing decided to replace its qualified driver, Mike Groff, with Goodyear in the starting lineup. Goodyear started 33rd and went on to finish second to Al Unser Jr. by .043 of a second, the closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history. This is the first time a qualified driver has been replaced in the Indianapolis 500 field since 1996, when Team Menard replaced the late Scott Brayton with Danny Ongais. Pole sitter Brayton was killed in a practice crash the week after Pole Day. Goodyear also replaced Davy Jones through a Budweiser King Racing team decision in 1994. "It was great to have the chance to work with the Treadway team again," Boesel said. "If Scott (Cronk) had not called me last Monday night, I probably would not have had the opportunity to be at Indy this year. I'm certainly disappointed because I really thought 221.100 would be enough, and I would have a chance to race. Everything happens for a reason, I guess. "I knew why the team called me and what the plan would be in this situation. All the appropriate arrangements were made up front. I wish the team the best, and I hope I have the opportunity to work with the Treadway team again in the future."
5/21/01
CART provides updated financial information  Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) today provided updated financial guidance with respect to anticipated restructuring costs and responds to inquiries with respect to the financial impact of the recent postponed race at Texas Motor Speedway. As announced on April 23, 2001, the Company began restructuring its Racing Division, which resulted in the elimination of the positions of President of Racing Operations and Vice President of Logistics. The restructuring costs are expected to include a pre-tax, non-recurring charge in the second quarter of 2001 in the amount of $810,000, resulting from the payments made by the Company under severance agreements with the former employees who served in those positions. The Company also stated that since there has been litigation initiated by the Texas Motor Speedway with respect to the sanction fees previously paid to the Company and alleged damages and expenses of Texas Motor Speedway for the race that was postponed on April 29, 2001, the Company is unable to comment on the financial impact the postponement will have on the Company.
5/21/01
How popular is CART overseas?  We just got word from our contact in Sweden that Kenny Brack was on the front page of every newspaper in Sweden after he won Saturday's CART race in Motegi, Japan.  There's no doubt in our mind, CART's future growth is destined to be outside the borders of the USA.
5/20/01
Steven Tyler to sing National Anthem  Steven Tyler, lead singer for the legendary rock band Aerosmith, will sing the national anthem during pre-race ceremonies for the 85th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on Sunday, May 27.  Tyler will perform the anthem before a crowd of hundreds of thousands at the legendary 2.5-mile oval, in addition to a live worldwide television and radio audience.  Tyler and his four Aerosmith bandmates have sold nearly 100 million albums worldwide since the band formed in Sunapee, N.H., in 1970. They have scored literally dozens of rock single hits since their first hit, "Dream On," climbed the charts in 1973.  Aerosmith has contributed classic rock songs such as "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way" to American pop culture and remains a musical force into the 21st century with their new album on Columbia Records, "Just Push Play," featuring their current hit release, "Jaded."  Aerosmith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 19.  The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. (EST) and will be televised live on ABC Sports. The race is the world's largest single-day sporting event.
5/20/01
Model to be IRL spokesperson  Indiana's Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp has been named an Indy Racing League spokeswoman, league officials announced May 20.  Irwin-Mellencamp is the wife of music legend and Indiana-born John Mellencamp. She will become the first woman to pace the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27.  As spokeswoman for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, Irwin-Mellencamp will participate in product endorsements and promotional appearances on behalf of the league.  "I am delighted that I was chosen by Indy Racing to be their spokeswoman," said Irwin-Mellencamp. "These drivers and everyone involved in the Indy Racing League value competition and illustrate that racing is not only a part of this country's heritage, but is one of the most exciting pastimes in America."  Since its creation in 1994, the Indy Racing League has grown to a 13-race season - anchored by the world-famous Indianapolis 500 - in 12 major metropolitan markets for 2001.  "The intensity of Indy Racing, with side-by-side racing at speeds well above 200 mph on some tracks, makes it the most exciting auto sport in the U.S.," said Irwin-Mellencamp. "You see one race, and you are hooked."  Irwin-Mellencamp's interest in racing started when she attended dirt-track events with her father while growing up in Pennsylvania. She has continued her interest by attending the Indianapolis 500 and the SAP United States Grand Prix.  Irwin-Mellencamp envisions her role with the Indy Racing League as opening new audiences to the magic of the sport.  "I look forward to visiting all of the cities on the Indy Racing League circuit and spreading the word on just how great this sport is for all ages," said Irwin-Mellencamp.  She will do lifestyle segments on the popular "Road to Indy" program telecast on ESPN, broadcast vignettes on behalf of the League and make personal appearances.
5/20/01
Honda men talk about CART's engine issues  We found this Autosport article rather interesting.  Honda's Tom Elliott and Robert Clarke give their views on current CART issues.  Some key quotes - 1) "the only decline in American open wheel racing is on ovals. Road racing and street course racing is still strong, whether it's Vancouver, Long Beach or Mexico. At a lot of the road courses we run on, attendance is never a problem. The oval venues are where we have a problem. I think oval open-wheel racing is not particularly interesting to most Americans. You can see everything, and that's an advantage, but it doesn't seem to hold people's interest like road racing. If there is a decline, it's on the ovals, whether in CART or in the IRL;" 2) On why they are against the IRL engine formula - We want to develop knowledge and people, and we want to innovate. When the formula is such that you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to look for a tenth of a mile per hour with a spec engine, to us, that's not racing. Looking at the IRL specs, every single dimension of the architecture is regulated." "For an engineer, it's an act of frustration."  3) On what CART's future engine formula should be - "I think we've been real consistent with that. We believe that the current formula is the way to go. The displacement probably needs to be reduced, given the power that we're producing these days. But we feel a turbocharged formula definitely has more advantages than disadvantages."  "Frankly, there's nothing wrong with the racing. The racing is not CART's problem, other than a few oval tracks where we're going too fast or maybe never should have been in the first place. But racing is not the problem, though for the long term, we feel a reduced displacement turbocharged engine is the best way to go."
5/20/01

NASCAR copies CART backup car procedure  Sometimes he who laughs last, laughs loudest.  CART (and F1) has been chastised in the past for allowing backup cars to be used if cars crash on the first lap and the race is red flagged.  The one race that comes to mind is the Michigan 500 in 1996, run against the Indy 500.  The race was red-flagged due to a big crash in the 4th turn coming down for the green flag.  Drivers were allowed in backup cars and Jimmy Vasser drove his to victory.  In last nights The Winston at Charlotte, NASCAR allowed teams to use their backup cars when several were wrecked on the first lap and the race red-flagged.  Jeff Gordon drove his backup car to victory.  Everyone viewed what NASCAR did as "the right thing to do" yet when CART does it, it's not.  Ironically, the CART rule book allows for it.  NASCAR's doesn't.  The reason CART allows it is simple - the fans paid to see their favorite driver race.  If he or she is eliminated on the very first lap, they go home feeling cheated.  If the wreck is bad enough to cause a red-flag, and there is time to allow the backup car to be used,  do what's right for the paying customer.

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