Racing News - February 2001
- (2/28/2001) - Duke Nalon, who raced in the 30's through the 50's and who captured two Indy 500 Pole Positions, died two days ago at age 87. Duke was well known for having the strength to handle the powerful Novi racecars. In 1949, he led the first 23 laps, then hit the north chute wall in a crash
that took him out of racing for a while due to serious burns. Survivors include his wife Frances, sons Dennis Jr. and Patrick, a stepson, Rick Stookey, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
- (2/25) - WC race in Rockingham is delayed due to rain.
- (2/24) - Sam Hornish, Jr. remained the fastest driver at Homestead this weekend. Sarah tagged the wall. This track is wide and flat.
- (2/23) - The IRL will be practicing at Homestead today and tomorrow. Stay abreast of the action at Indyracing.com. So far in the first 3 of 4 sessions, Panther Racing's Sam Hornish, Jr. has been the fastest and the only car to break 200mph a lap out of the 13 drivers to show up. I think some teams will be practicing at Phoenix next weekend.
- Open house: Indianapolis 500 legends Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser will have a special treat for fans during their visit to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the track's Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami Open House on Feb. 24.
Rutherford and Unser will give Pace Car rides around the 1.5-mile oval to fans who purchase their tickets for the Infiniti Grand
Prix of Miami.
The Open House also will include an autograph session with many Indy Racing Northern Light Series stars from 12:05-1 p.m.,
a contest for a trip for two to this year's Indianapolis 500 and other fun-filled activities for the family.
Pace Car rides for ticket buyers will take place from noon-1 p.m. (EST) Feb. 24. Fans who purchase tickets also will receive a
Rutherford is a three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, while Unser is one of only three drivers to win The Greatest
Spectacle in Racing four times. Rutherford now is in charge of special projects for the Indy Racing League. Unser is driver
coach and a consultant to the league.
- (2/22) - McCormack Motorsports is not teaming up with Johnathan Byrd this year. They are also going to run rookie
Brandon Erwin of Denton Texas in the IRL for 2001.
- (2/19) - IMS is adding 5 new large tv screens along the main straight, all facing toward the tower terrace, thus increasing the value of those seats! This moves the number of huge tv screens to 18 around the historic track.
- (2/18) - Dale Earnhardt, Sr., in the last corner, in the last lap, of the Daytona 500, slammed head-on into the concrete wall after making contact with Sterling Marlin at the front of a tight pack of five cars fighting for position. The Nascar legend died at age 49 of a basilar skull fracture. Earnhardt won 7 Nascar championships and the 1995 Brickyard 400. He finally won the Daytona 500 in 1998. Dale is survived by his wife, Teresa and Kelly King, Dale Jr., Kerry and Taylor Nicole." Click Here for Earnhardt pictures.
- (2/18) - Michael Waltrip made his first win special by winning a Daytona 500. He had participated in almost 500 races before finally getting the win. There was a very bad crash 25 laps from the end that involved 17-19 cars and had Tony Stewart's car flipping around up in the air. His crash looked worse than Dale's, but luckily he was o.k.
- (2/17) - Dale Jarrett won his first IROC race in Daytona in his 6th season competing. Dale Earnhardt was last year's IROC Champion.
- (2/14) - This may be old news, but I just heard the amount paid and had to post it. As we know, NBC, Turner Sports and Fox Sports, bought the television rights to broadcast the Winston Cup races away from CBS & ESPN. I read that they paid $2,800,000,000.00 for a 6-year run! Billion? Billion?! Geesh, just to show it on tv. So they must figure they can get more than this in advertising dollars from Nascar sponsors over sponsors of some other show. Wow.
- (2/13) - Sam Schmidt, who was paralyzed in a accident while testing at Walt Disney Speedway last year, met Frank Williams in September. Frank is the wheel-chair bound boss of the Williams F1 Team. He so inspired Sam, that Sam has teamed up with Larry Nash and is starting his own IRL team!
- (2/13) - Scott Goodyear has agreed to run the 2001 Indy 500 for Team Cheever!
- (2/11) - Like last year, Stephan Gregoire is impressive in testing, as he ended the IRL's 'Test In The West' (Phoenix) with the fastest overall lap and speed. (CART's Penske Race Team, showed up for testing with their new IRL cars, but finished at the bottom of the speed charts.)
- (2/11) - Well, it looks like its final, CART has lost the Brazil race in Rio de Janeiro. CART contains many Brazilian drivers, so its a real shame for the Brazilians. There are other tracks in Brazil, however CART's new president, Joe Heitzler, has probably squashed those hopes with his undiplomatic handling of the Rio mayor. He not only called him immature and irresponsible, he called him a criminal! Well, as most of us know, the government in Brazil is pretty corrupt, but CART won't be welcome anywhere with public relations like that.
- (2/10) - DaimlerChrysler is hurting financially as well as structurally, with layoffs and the loss of their best designers. Having launched into Winston Cup with their Dodge Intrepid, they are also trying to buy into Formula One. Sounds pretty expensive, especially for a company that is laying off 26,000 Americans. Well, after the Germans run it into the ground, maybe Lee Iacocca can buy up all the idled Chrysler plants cheap and start another succesful American car company.
Bernie Ecclestone head of Formula One, and the financially troubled German media company EM.TV own half of the Formula One holding company that is now up for sale. Doesn't sound very promising for F1 with the two screwed up German companies running things.
I'm getting side tracked. Back to DamnedChrysler and WC.
The race season opens this weekend with the Bud Shootout in Daytona, the first of 3 WC races at this track this month.
Bill Elliott in the new Dodge Intrepid, captured pole for the Daytona 500 with a average lap speed of 183.565 mph. Because of a variety of aerodynamic changes on the cars, it was the slowest pole-winning speed since A.J. Foyt's 182.744 mph in 1971.
- (2/9) - Galles Racing has added Budweiser as an associate sponsor at Indy. They were with T/CG last year at Indy. I doubt that the official beer of the 500, COORS, appreciated the winning team sporting Bud logos.
- (2/9) - Due to injuries incurred while practicing for CART, Gil de Ferran will not be in the first IROC race at Daytona. Tony Stewart will replace him. Why not get another CART driver?!
- (2/9) - Brian Barnhart, IRL v.p., announced a new IRL rule: Series points will no longer be awarded to the top three qualifiers.
"The (old system) created an environment where people were spending a lot of money to buy championship points by making qualifying (engines)," he said. "That runs counter to Tony's philosophy of controlled costs."
- (2/9) - Bob Reif, IRL v.p., announced that the IRL will increase its television presence to 500 hours in 2001, up from 88 in 2000! All races will be shown live on ABC & ESPN.
- (2/4) - The IRL will be testing at Phoenix Feb 9-10 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Team Penske is showing up and it will be the first time that these CART boys have practiced with the IRL.
The main grandstand will be open Feb. 10, free of charge,
for spectators. Fans should enter the track through Gate 7.
An open autograph session featuring Indy Racing Northern Light Series drivers will start at noon Feb. 10 on the front straightaway at PIR.
- (2/4) - Buddy Lazier finished 22nd in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona this weekend in a Judd R, driving for Robinson Racing. Dale Earnhardt's Corvette team finished 4th. The endurance race was won by a Corvette driven by Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell, Chris Kneifel & Franck Freon.
- (2/4) - Gil de Ferran injured his foot when he put his Honda/Reynard into the wall at Homestead. X-rays determined his foot wasn't broken. Gil had a similar accident in Phoenix last week, again while practicing.
- (2/2) - Struggling F1 team, Minardi, has been bailed out by Australian businessman Paul Stoddart who has purchased the team.
- (2/2) - Scott Goodyear has been testing for Team Cheever in Homestead. An offer was made for Scott to join the team, but nothing official has been signed yet. Goodyear last ran at Homestead under the old configuration back in 1996.