Fan Takes A Spin in Two-Seater
(Detroit Free Press May 12, 2001)
Roberto Guerrero has crashed before at Indianapolis Motor
Speedway. But Friday's wreck was the first with someone in
Guerrero was driving in an Indy Racing League ride-along
program with Scott Schroepfer of McHenry, Ill., who paid $1,000
for a few laps around the 2.5-mile oval at about 160 m.p.h.
Coming down the front stretch, the car's rear wing came loose.
"The wing pretty much fell off," Guerrero said. "It didn't fly away,
but it slid all the way in the back. And it's funny, because I heard
a little weird noise. And when I went by, they told me (via radio),
'Stop! Stop! Stop!' But by then I had already turned -- I was
already spinning. We spun twice, and I just kissed the wall with
the nose a little."
Schroepfer apparently was more amused than terrified. "And
that was amazing," Guerrero said. "As soon as I stopped, he
said, 'Oh, man, that was awesome!' "
The crash came the day before pole qualifying for the
Indianapolis 500. Guerrero, named Friday to drive the rest of
this year's IRL series for team owner Dick Simon, was
participating in the ride-along program for the first time.
"They were out of drivers," said Guerrero, 41. "And I said,
'Well, that's perfect. I'm going to be getting in a real car, and I
haven't been on the track since last year. That would get me
acclimated.' Unfortunately, it got me acclimated the wrong
Simon said: "It got his heart going." Guerrero: "It woke me up."
The wreck apparently brought the IRL's two-car ride-along
program to a screeching halt. Earlier this week, in separate
incidents, the cars suffered a blown engine and broken
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