2000 RACING NEWS

July-Sept

July

  • The Michigan 500 - Wow!! CART raced at the 2-mile Michigan high-banked oval with an incredible number of lead changes. With many racers on the lead lap, one of the top five leaders of the day, Kenny Brack the 1999 Indy 500 champion, got shoved into the wall by Christian Fittilpaldi. The other leaders of the race were usually Montoya, Andretti, Fittipaldi, and Castroneves, all of which made it to the finish. In a spectacular display of driving, Michael Andretti dueled with Juan Montoya, 2000 Indy 500 winner, over the last 15 laps. Back and forth they traded position. As they came off the last turn, it appeared they even touched wheels. As Juan passed the finish line, Michael was just a half a car length behind.

    The last three IRL races, all ovals, have been spectacular too. I think Formula One better take notice! What good does spending ten times the money for an entertainment event that is ran soley to attract fans to see the advertising, if the event can not compare for excitement?

    I hear people say that they don't like watching CART when they are on road courses. I believe many people find oval racing easier to follow, both on television and live at the scene. Perhaps F1 should follow CART's example and try some ovals! F1 will sort of get a chance at oval racing when they come to Indianapolis this September where half the course is ran on the original oval.

  • Nascar's Winston Cup drivers wrapped up testing for the Brickyard 400 next month. Rusty Wallace had the fastest overall time at 181.217 mph.
  • Yeah! Tony George, president of IMS, has decided to open the track in May a week early and to add a 3rd day of qualifying for the 2001 Indy 500! Since teams were coming to practice in March and April this year, he decided it would be best to just do it in May. Also, this will make things easier incase a qualifying day got rained out or if a team needed time to repair a car because of a crash. For many years, the new schedule was the norm, with even a 4th qualifying day. Mr. George shortened the "Month of May" back in 1998 in a test to save teams money. CART, who has not yet made a schedule for 2001, was informed. Chip Ganassi reportedly said "CART has to clear those three weekends... All I know is that I am going to Indy."

  • July 7 - Kenny Irwin, 30, of Indianapolis, was killed today while practicing for the Nascar Winston Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
  • Alex Zanardi has agreed to fill in for injured Tony Kanaan this weekend in testing the Hollywood car in the CART series.
  • H-H Frentzen, Formula One driver, visited the track and took a lap through the F1 course in a Mercedes E55.




Racing News - August 2000
  • Hubbard Racing will join with Treadway Racing for 2001. They currently run the racers Robby McGehee, Shigeaki Hattori and Tyce Carlson. It is unclear who will have a ride with this team next year, but Shiggy probably has the most sponsorship...
  • Buddy Lazier won the inaugural IRL race at the new Kentucky Speedway. Pole sitter Scott Goodyear led several times, but finished second. Sam Hornish and Jimmy Kite had some fast cars today also. Sarah Fisher did pretty well, she led a few laps and more importantly, she didn't have any contact with the wall today. The speedway was pretty full with about 55,000 tickets out of 65,000 sold.

  • Porsche Supercup and Ferrari Challenge announced as U.S. Grand Prix support races.
  • CART released new 2001 schedule. They are leaving two weeks open in May so that CART teams that desire, can try to qualify for the Indy 500. However, Opening Day for the Indy 500 is May 6 and CART will be racing in Nazareth on this day. Then, the first weekend of qualifications for the Indy 500 will be May 12, but Cart is scheduled to race in Japan on May 19. This is CART's largest schedule ever with 22 events.
  • Team Menard has released team manager Thomas Knapp.

Brickyard 400 Update

SATURDAY

FRIDAY

  • Mark Martin won the IROC at Indy race. This was his 3rd consecutive IROC win at the Brickyard!
    Dale Earnhardt finished 2nd and won the 2000 IROC Championship.
  • Jeremy Mayfield hit the wall during Friday practice at the Brickyard. He suffered a concussion. He was released from Methodist hospital later that day.
  • Brett Bodine sets Nascar Track Record of 181.072 mph. However since it was on the second day of qualifying, he will start 26th. He is surrounded on the grid by his two brothers! Todd will start in 25th, and Geoffrey will start 27t.
  • Jeff Gordon did not try to requalify and stayed with Thursday's time, placing him 29th on the starting grid. Today was Jeff's 29th birthday.
  • Kyle Petty ran in his late-son's car at the Busch race down the road at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Kyle qualified 4th for the Brickyard 400.

THURSDAY

  • Darrell Waltrip set a new track record. He recieved a standing ovation from the crowd, this being his last year in Nascar. However, he will be starting second, for Ricky Rudd came out a little later and grabbed the pole with a average lap speed of 181.068.

Racing News - September 2000

  • (9/21) Bob Hurt was a race car driver back in the 60's who came to Indianapolis in 1964 and passed his rookie test. He broke his neck while practicing for the qualifications in 1968. He has followed racing all these years, as he has bravely battled paralysis from his racing injury. Bob Hurt died last week at age 61.
  • (9/21) 38 y/o Michael Andretti has inked a 5-year deal with Team Green. He'll leave Newman-Hass after this season and join Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy. Dario has been over in Europe this summer testing for an F1 team, so there was the possibility that he would move on, but evidently not. Barry Green folded his 2-car IndyLights team to field 3 cars in CART. He said his 3-car team, which is based in Indianapolis, would not be competing in the Indy 500 in 2001 so it looks like Michael has to wait until???
  • (9/21) Team Coulson plans to field rookie Chris Bingham in Texas IRL race if he passes his IRL rookie tests. Bingham has raced in American Le Mans roadracing and IndyLights.
  • (9/21) Team Xtreme has replaced Davey Hamilton and pulled in Jaques Lazier (prior contract) for next months Texas race leaving Mid-America Motor Sports without a driver and enough sponsorship to run at Texas. Davey may miss his first IRL race if something doesn't happen quick. He has ran in 42 events so far.
  • (9/21) Defending USAC Sprint Car Series Champion, Dave Darland, passed his IRL rookie tests in Texas.
  • (9/20) A decision has been made to hold the 2001 Brickyard 400 on Sunday, rather than Saturday.
  • Michael Schumacher runs away with U.S.A. Grand Prix. He spun out near end of race, but retained lead to the end and won it. Mika Hakkinen had an engine let go during the first half of the race and David Coulthard was penalized for a false start. Rubens Barrichello came in second. Frentzen retained 3rd position from a hard charging Jacques Villeneuve who had to be content this day with fourth place.
  • Mario Andretti and Al Unser, Jr. will be competing against 1998-99 U.S. Trans-Am champion, Paul Gentilozzi in the Porsche Supercup this week.
    Pirelli Porsche Supercup
    There will also be five other American drivers in this Porsche race. Remember Alessandro Zampedri? He is supposed to race too.

    Another race going on this weekend before the F1 race, is the Ferrari Challenge.

    Here is what I believe will be ran,
    Ferrari 360 Modena
    the 400-horse Ferrari 360 Modena.

    It supposed to exceed 185 mph.

  • (9/17) Jeff Burton was the first NASCAR Winston Cup driver in 20 years to lead every lap in a race as he tooked the checkered flag under caution in New Hampshire.
  • (9/13) The Winston Cup race at New Hampshire should be interesting. With several of their drivers losing their lives there recently, Nascar has decided to run restrictor plates at New Hampshire, like they do at Daytona and Talledega.
  • (9/13) After the big crash at the start of last Sunday's F1 race at Monza Italy, television showed several of the drivers involved in the crash over by a retaining wall looking at someone on the ground. It was Paolo Ghislimberti, 33, a track crew member. He was killed by flying debris following the accident.

  • (9/12) The IRL added Atlanta to the final 2001 Schedule, giving the series 13 races between March and September. Jack Arute says he heard Las Vegas wants the IRL back next year. Oh well.
  • (9/12) To gear up for the influx of foreign visitors for the U.S. Grand Prix, Indianapolis has many bi-lingual residents volunteering to schedule time off from their jobs to be available for the visitors. Some will be posted at welcome centers at hotels and other locations, and some will staff a phone bank. Fifth Third Bank has agreed to relax its restrictions on currency exchanges and will stock up on yen, marks and other currencies.
  • The IRL's races next year at Kansas City and Chicago will have the Dayton Indy Lights series (owned by CART) as a support race.
  • CART team-owner, Barry Green, will be running the F1 BAR team temporarily, with the upset in management there between Adrian Reynard and Craig Pollock.

    Similarly, former Indy 500 winner and CART team-owner Bobby Rahal, will be resigning his post as CART president, to go over seas and run the suffering Jaguar F1 team. The Jag team was Stewart Grand Prix until Ford decided to buy the team from Jackie Stewart and rename it Jaguar. Jackie retired and the team has not been so well.

    And who will run the CART series now? Roger Bailey, whom runs the Indy Lights series, was propositioned, but he turned it down. I wish they'd offer it to Robin Miller, then he could leave Indiana and move to Michigan. He's always telling them what to do anyway. Now that I think of it, maybe Bill Benner should take the IU basketball coaching job so he could prove how superior he is to Bobby Knight. Yeah, right.
  • (9/10) Gil Morgan won the rain-shortened Comfort Classic at the Brickyard by one stroke over Jim Ahern.
  • (9/10) Michael Schumacher won the emotional, crash-filled Italian Grand Prix at Monza. This was Michael's first victory in 6 races, bringing him within two points of Mika Hakkinen for the points lead!
    This was Michael's 41'st victory - tying Ayrton Senna's record! During the post-race interview, when this fact was mentioned, Michael broke down in tears.
  • ~ Quote of the Month ~ After F1 Team, Williams, announced they would be loaning out Jenson Button to Benetton to make way for 1998-99 Cart Fed-Ex Champ and 2000 Indy 500 Champ, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jenson's team-mate, Ralf Schumacher told Motorsport Aktuell magazine, "It is a pity that we have to dismantle the team to make way for Montoya because for the moment no-one knows whether he is any good."
  • (9/8) WOW! Even all the general admission tickets are sold out for the U.S. Grand Prix!
  • (9/7) The Senior PGA Tour hits Indy this week for the Comfort Classic at the Brickyard. There are 78 players in this 54-hole tournament trying for a purse of $1,250,000. The tournament begins Friday (Sept 8) and ends Sunday. For more information, head to brickyardcrossing.com
  • According to a conservative economic impact study, IMS events will pump at least $727,000,000.00 into the Indianapolis economy this year! Not only that, but all construction at IMS has been performed without public money! Other popular sports in town, such as the Pacers and the Colts, are constantly threatening to leave town if the tax payer doesn't pump more money into their system.
  • Autoweek reports that Billy Boat has signed to replace Scott Goodyear, 2nd in the points, at Panther Racing.
  • (9/4) Down the street at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Tony Schumacher raced to his first U.S. Nationals victory Monday, beating Gary Clapshaw in the final to regain the lead in the NHRA Top Fuel standings. Schumacher, who defeated Doug Herbert, Larry Dixon and Kenny Bernstein in earlier rounds, had a final run of 4.644 seconds at a top speed of 316.90 mph in his U.S. Army dragster.

    Jim Epler, Jeg Coughlin, Antron Brown and Bob Panella also raced to their first U.S. Nationals victories in the $2.6 million competition.

  • (9/1) Buddy Lazier did more than close in on his first Indy Racing Northern Light Series championship with his victory in The Belterra Resort Indy 300 on Aug. 27 at Kentucky Speedway. He also became the seriesí first $5 Million Man. Lazierís winnings of $126,300 pushed his Indy Racing League career total to $5,020,804. Lazier has competed in 41 of the 42 races since the series started in 1996. Heís earned an average of $122,458 per start during his Indy Racing career.

    Winning the Northern Light Cup and its $1 million bonus would quickly make 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Lazier the seriesí first $6 Million Man. He leads second-place Scott Goodyear, 258-220, in the series point standings and must finish 13th or better at the season-ending Excite 500 on Oct. 15 at Texas Motor Speedway to clinch the title.

    1999 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1998 series champion Kenny Brack is second in all-time Indy Racing League earnings, with $4,494,440. 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. is third on the all-time list with $4,419,303.

  • (9/1) Cory Witherill passed his IRL Rookie test at Kentucky Speedway. Witherill, 28, is in his third season of racing in the Dayton Indy Lights series. In 1998 and 1999, Witherill won the PACE U.S. Off Road Championship in the Super 1600 dune buggy class. He has experience in the Shelby Pro Series, Formula Ford 2000 racing and also started racing with the SCRA sprint car series in 2000. Witherill, who is Navaho, lives in Santa Monica, Calif.


BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE USGP:

  • Michael Schumacher wins U.S.A. Grand Prix!!

  • 3 middle aged Canadians go to sleep in camper with engine running to power the air conditioner and they never wake up. Carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Meantime, drunken Mr. Diaz nearly kills 58 y/o speedway official as he runs him down on Crawfordsville Road.
  • David Coulthard had the fastest time for the 1st Day of the USA Grand Prix.
  • Ivana Trump, the Princess of Malaysia and actor James Garner are here.
  • Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas rented a private home on the northside.
  • Prince Andrew is scheduled to arrive Friday.
  • The Ferrari Cup of America will exhibit 100 of its classic cars on Vermont Street between Meridian and Pennsylvania. Food vendors and musicians will be there.
  • A free party is planned for Friday, Sept 22, at Veteran's Mall from 4 pm to 10 pm.
  • I hear George Harrison is here, for the first time since he played here with the Beatles in 1964!
  • Tommy Hilfiger's F1 party headquarters is above the Malibu Grill downtown and he's got helicopters scheduled to fly him to the track Friday.
  • There will be no infield parking for this weekend!

The U.S. Grand Prix is almost here!!!
September 24th

F1 TELEVISION SCHEDULE
on Speedvision and Fox Sports Net
All Times Eastern (EST)
FRIDAY, September 22
Noon to 3:00 pm F1 Practice
SATURDAY, September 23
10:00 a.m. to Noon F1 Practice
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. F1 Qualifying
SUNDAY, September 24
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pre-race Show
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. F1 Race


December 12, 1959
The Cooper-Climax McLaren
Bruce McLaren winning the first ever U.S. Grand Prix at Sebring.



Dan's Picks for the USGP

(Sept 21 before any practice) I predict Rubens Barrichello will win the Inaugral U.S.A. Grand Prix at Indianapolis. He won Hockenheim which is kind of like a big oval. He is the number 2 Ferrari driver. Last year, Eddie Irvine won Hockenheim as the number 2 Ferrari pilot.

If it rains, Michael Schumacher would be my favorite to win.
If something happened to the Ferrari's and the McLaren's, then Jacques Villeneuve will once again look like this...

Jacques after winning '95 Indy 500


(Sept 26, 00) I don't think I did too bad with my predictions. It did rain before the race and Michael Schumacher did win. Rubens Barrichello came in 2nd and Jacques Villeneuve came in 4th.




RACE NEWS Nov 99 - March 2000
RACE NEWS April 2000 - June 2000
RACE NEWS July 2000 - Sept 2000
RACE NEWS Oct 2000 - Dec 2000