2000 RACING NEWS

Oct-Dec


October
  • (10/31) - Interesting how CART drivers purport their superiority, yet both IRL drivers that moved over to CART in the last year or so, finished in the Top Four (Kenny Brack, Roberto Moreno). Juan Montoya finished 9th in points.
  • (10/30) - CART's Fontana 500 ended with just 6 drivers left in the race. Christian Fittipaldi won and Gil de Ferran finished 3rd, wrapping up the 2000 FedEx Championship.
  • (10/29) - Final CART race gets rain delayed shortly after start. Time enough for Paul Tracy's engine to blow, knocking him out of the points lead contest. Three drivers remain in the points race: Kenny Brack, Gil de Ferran, and Adrian Fernandez.
  • (10/29) - Andrew Bordin, a Toyota Atlantic driver, was piloting the NSX pace car around before the start of the CART race and lost control, wrecking in turn 2. He broke his back in the accident. The guest passenger was slightly injured.
  • (10/28) - Toyota Motorsports has ended its 19-year relationship with Cal Well's PPI Motorsports CART team. Toyota will now provide engines to Newman-Hass next year instead of Ford. Mercedes is dropping out of the CART series and it appears there will be a shortage of engines in the series next year.
  • (10/28) - Oriol Servia has been fined $20k and had his 4 points removed after the CART race in Australia, where he knocked Paul Tracy off of the track.
  • (10/25) - Penske Racing spent two days testing tires at the speedway this week in preparation for making a return to the Indy 500. Penske owns two IRL Dalara's. Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves drive for Penske in the CART series.
  • All donned red wigs for the Ferrari champions

  • (10/22) - Michael Schumacher won the last 4 races in the F1 calendar clinching the Championship for Ferrari and himself. Michael tied Nigel Mansell's record of 9 wins in a season. This last win at Malaysia made Michael's 44th F1 victory, he is 2nd on the all-time victory list.









  • Scott Goodyear

  • IRL driver, Stephan Gregoire, became a daddy for the first time - a daughter! Her name: Eliza.
  • (10/15) - Scott Goodyear ends the IRL season and his last drive for Panther, with a big win in Texas, barely edging by Eddie Cheever, Jr. and Billy Boat!







    ec
    Cheever values his IROC win this year.

    Al Unser, Jr. led the most laps, but DNF due to clutch problem.

    2000 IRL Champion

    Buddy Lazier and Hemelgarn Racing finished 4th in Texas and win the 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Championship!!!

    Airton Dare won the 2000 IRL Rookie of the Year honors.

    Airton Dare

  • Sam Hornish, Jr., rookie, has been named to replace Scott Goodyear in the Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Aurora for the 2001 IRL season. Panther is considering running a second car next year and could pick Billy Boat as the driver for it.
  • Davey Hamilton will be driving for Treadway/Hubbard Racing in 2001.
  • Tony George, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was chosen as Indianapolis's "International Citizen of the Year" for 2000. Indy Mayor, Bart Peterson proclaimed Sept. 26 Tony George Day.





Buddy Lazier is the 2000 IRL Champion

Buddy Lazier and Ron Hemelgarn, 2000 Champions
Buddy Lazier and Ron Hemelgarn




Bobby Labonte - 2000 Winston Cup Champ!
Bobby Labonte

After winning the 2000 Brickyard 400, Bobby won 3 more races to win the Nascar championship and $3 million in prize money.

Bobby drives for Joe Gibbs Racing which has been competing in NWC since 1991. This was their first championship.

Their other driver, Tony Stewart, won six races in 2000, but finished 5th in the points.



Racing News - November 2000
  • After flunking out of Formula One during his first season back, CART champ Alex Zanardi is returning to CART. After sitting out of racing entirely this year, Alex joins Tony Kanann on the Mo Nun Racing team for 2001.

    The Target/Chip Ganassi team, winner of the 2000 Indy 500, has hired Bruno Junqueira and Nicolas Minassian from F3000 to replace Montoya and Vasser. 2000 Toyota Atlantic Champ, American Buddy Rice, under contract with Ganassi, is being shipped to Europe to compete in F3000 next year (2001). He will be driving for David Sears' Super Nova team, the same operation that helped Montoya win the 1998 title and Bruno Junqueira take this year's crown. If Buddy was extremely impressive in F3000, it is conceivable an F1 team might eventually hire him. Several sources inside F1 teams have suggested they need an American driver in F1 for their U.S. Grand Prix to be a long-term success.

  • Exciting medical news - Researchers at Purdue University (Lafayette Indiana) have discovered that applying small electrical charges to a spinal injury, can cause the nerve tissue to regenerate. They have created a device called an extraspinal oscillating field stimulator, which has successfully helped a dog overcome paralysis caused by a herniated disk. I mention this because we have lost a driver in the IRL, Sam Schmidt, to paralysis due to a back injury and because a spinal research charity was an IRL sponsor. Purdue's efforts will be bolstered by a $2 million appropriation by the Indiana General Assembly and a $2.7 million donation from Mari Hulman George, the Chairman of IMS.
  • Jerry Nadeau

  • (11/20) - Jerry Nadeau won the last Winston Cup Race of the year, the Napa 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway. This was Nadeau's first NWC win in his 103rd. Nadeau, a 30-year-old native of Danbury, Conn., lived in a motor home while trying to break into racing, and bounced among three teams before landing with powerful HendricksMotorsports this season. Also of note, this was Darrell Waltrip's last race. He won 84 out of 809 Winston Cup races and 3 championships.






  • (11/14) - 2000 IRL Champion, Buddy Lazier and runner-up, Scott Goodyear, have been invited to compete in IROC in 2001. Neither has been in a stock car before. Competing once again from the IRL will be Eddie Cheever. The first IROC race will be held February 16, 2001 at Daytona. Their last race of the year is held here at IMS.
  • Whoops! Now since Andretti left Newman/Haas, Sponsor Texaco is suing to get out paying the remaining $19.5 million to the team. Sounds bad.
  • (11/14) - Kmart plans to dump auto-racing sponsorships by 2001. They currently spend $40 million on Nascar (Haas Carter) and CART (Newman/Haas). Boy, looks like Andretti got out in the knick of time.
  • (11/12) - Bobby Labonte wins the Nascar Winston Cup championship.
  • (11/10) - F1 champ, Michael Schumacher, underwent surgery in a Swiss hospital to remove a pin from his right leg, broken in a crash at Silverstone last year.
  • (11/07) - A.J. Foyt Enterprises released Jeff Ward.
    Kelley Racing's new team manager is Tim Bumps.
  • (11/01) - Pep Boys, the nationwide auto parts store chain that defaulted on its sponsorhip in the IRL last year, has closed 38 stores.


Racing News - December 2000
  • (12/24)- According to the Indpls Star, Dr. Jack Miller, the racing dentist, has signed with Cahill Racing for the 2001 IRL season. One of the sponsors is Opalescense, which is a teeth whitening product. I don't know if Donnie Beechler will be back with Cahill or not.
  • (12/19/2000) - Stan Fox passed away today in an auto accident in New Zealand. Stan raced in the Indy 500's from 1987 to 1995. Stan raced in many types of cars, USAC midgets, CART, the American Racing Series and Super Vees. Stan Fox is survived by his children, Marie and Alex; two brothers a sister and his ex-wife. The funeral will be Dec 29 at the First Lutheran Church in his home town of Janesville, Wisconsin.

    Fox got into a near-fatal accident in the 1995 Indy 500.

  • (12/18) - The IRL races will be broadcast to an additional 50 countries next year! Although the IRL broadcast to the United States on ABC and ESPN, their world feed is handled by FOX Sports and Trans World Internantional.
  • (12/13) - GM announce they will phase out 16 of its models, including Oldsmobile, by 2004. Currently, Oldsmobile Aurora and Nissan Infinity supply engines for the IRL and the Indy 500. GM sells blocks, cylinder heads and other pieces to the varoius IRL engine builders, basically supplying half the parts it takes to build the entire engine.
    Joe Negri, GM Motorsports Director, said "I don't see any impact to our short-range program and GM is committed to the IRL for the long run."
  • (12/05) - Indiana has lost its only big league professional golf tournament. A senior PGA event has been held at the Brickyard Crossing since 1988. Comfort Inns, the sponsor the last four years, suddenly withdrew its sponsorship and Des Moines Iowa snatched up the September event.
  • (12/04) - After months without a leader, CART has finally chosen Joe Heitzler as president. (This actually took longer than it took for Florida to choose George W. Bush.) Joe is 56 and comes from a tv production company.
  • (12/03) - After the racing season has wound down, the races have been run, the trophies handed out, and the points leaders recognized and rewarded, certain media types felt that they need some filler, I mean, to tell you who the driver of the year was.

    This panel of 16 "experts" has decided that Bobby Labonte is the "driver of the year". This is the fellow who won the Brickyard 400 on his way to the Winston Cup Championship.

    Here is some data for you to consider...

    • Bobby Labonte won 4 of 37 races, or 11%.
    • Rusty Wallace won 4 also.
    • Tony Stewart won 6 WC races, or 16%
    • Michael Schumacher won 9 of 17 F1 races, or 63% and the championship.
    • Buddy Lazier won 2 of 9 IRL races, or 22% and the championship
    • Gil de Ferran won 1 of 20 CART races, or 5% and the championship.
    • Helio Castroneves won 4 of 20 CART races, or 20%
    • Juan Montoya won 2 CART races plus the Indy 500




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