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DATE News (chronologically)
04/21/07
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Indy Japan 300 post-race notebook  Ikuo Shimizu, president of Mobilityland, which operates Suzuka Circuit and Twin Ring Motegi, announced his retirement effective July 1, 2007 at a sponsor's party on Saturday night at Twin Ring Hotel. Under Shimizu's leadership, Twin Ring Motegi was a two-time winner of the Indy Racing League's promoter of the year award.

Indy Japan 300 winner Tony Kanaan and his wife Daniele are expecting their first child, a boy that they will name Leonardo.

"By the ultrasound, we can see his nose is as big as mine, so it's my son," said Kanaan

Dan Wheldon lost radio communication with his team during the race, a mistake he said cost him during the race.

"But it was just a little bit unfortunate we lost radio communication pretty early on.  We were being very conservative with the time that we had to pit.  Perhaps some improvements we could have made with the car over the duration of the race.  I think that was basically what really hindered us.  Not so much the fact that we didn't have the radio, but just the time that we had to pit because of that.  
 
"But I think it was a mistake that was made.  You know, I know Chip's feeling on it.  Certainly mine is the same.  It needs to be rectified because that's not good enough." 

A 2-year-old Dan Wheldon-dressed clone caught the attention of the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver at Twin Ring Motegi. How couldn't he have?

From the red firesuit with appropriately-placed sponsor logos to the white Puma shoes and even the white sunglasses that the 2005 IndyCar Series champion favors, Rei Nakamura, a mini-Wheldon, was wandering the paddock. The hair, however, needs a little work.

The Nakamura family made the three-hour trek from Chiba Prefecture (near Tokyo Disneyland) in their red vehicle with Target logos on the hood and door panels for the Indy Japan 300.

Kazumi Nakamura, Rei's mother, purchased the replica firesuit (more like red one-piece pajamas) and applied logos by silk-screening or sowing "with a lot of prayer."

After having his photo taken with the family and signing one of Rei's driver shoes, Wheldon said he's catch up with the family after the race to present them with his driving shoes. The runner-up to former teammate Tony Kanaan fulfilled his promise.  Rei's college fund could get a boost; check eBay.

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