Ok, maybe he didn't say that. But he did say he's received approval to open an outdoor kart track east of Indy in New Castle!
New Castle?! What's up with that? Not only is it 50 miles away from Indy, there's probably only 50 people in that whole town! I wish it was going to be closer!
Local karting news in the past year:
The indoor track that's been around a long time on the west side of Indianapolis is now called Prodrive Karting Center.
But the hottest rumour has Villeneuve, 31, returning to Williams where he scored all of his 11 wins and won his world championship. It's no secret that Williams technical director Patrick Head is unhappy with Ralf Schumacher after a number of crashes and costly tangles with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.
Jacque's manager, Craig Pollock, said "He has to get the right drive and he is literally the only driver who has beaten Michael Schumacher in Michael Schumacher's career and he merits good equipment round about him. If he can't find the right team that's a decision he'll have to make. He will be there in 2004 and that's my objective and my job. If he's not, then I've done a bad job."
So, look forward to watching the young South African see how far he can push Chip. My guess? Not far!
None the less, I did a little calculating and was surprised at how many tires that an IRL driver is "restricted" to - seven hundred and ninety-two tires a season! Now that's burning rubber.
Tony George has been instrumental in providing overall leadership for the SAFER Barrier project from initial concept, through the development process and to actual application. Dr. Dean Sicking, director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, led the team of researchers and engineers that created the barrier.
The SEMA Motorsports Engineering Award is presented only once every two years, and its recipients must represent "the advancement of the state of the art in engineering," according to SEMA's nomination criteria.
Previous SEMA Motorsports Engineering Awards were:
"Compared to years past, everything is stepping up in the Indy Racing League," Menard said. "We need to step it up, too. MCT will bring more resources and input to our team to improve our technical abilities for the 2003 championship.
MCT will be headed up by Bernard Dudot, who excelled as the technical director of Renault Sport from 1980 to 1997, winning six constructor's titles and four driver's titles in Formula One.
Also, Eddie Cheever is saying he is not going to drive the entire IRL season next year. Look for him to retire driving Indy cars after the next Indy 500.
Team Penske will have a float in the Christmas parade in Reading PA -- a race car pulling a sled.
Sam Hornish will be in the parade in Toledo OH for the Shriners.
This is the third NASCAR title for crew chief Greg Zipadelli and the second Winston Cup title in three years for team owner Joe Gibbs.
Besides Stewart, another Hoosier won a Nascar title this year - Ryan Newman. The 24 y/o was named Winston Cup Rookie of the Year.
1) Qualifying has been redesigned. Instead of an hour of qualifying on Saturday, where a bunch of drivers are on the track at once, they will begin the qualifying process on Friday. Each driver will get 1 flying lap with the track all to themselves, as we do it in the IRL. None of these times count towards race day, but instead determine the qualifying order for Saturday. On Saturday, each driver will again get 1 flying lap, alone on the track, to qualify for the race. The slowest cars from Friday will be the first to get to qualify on Saturday. Conversley, the fastest cars from Friday will have to qualify last on Saturday.
The only reason I can figure out why they are doing this is that it reduces the chances of a good team qualifying high on the grid, since they only get 1 chance at qualifying and there is a higher probability that they will not get a great lap in one try, as opposed to running around for an hour. However, this same thing applies to the lesser teams...
2) The points system, currently 10,6,4,3,2,1 for the top six, will be changed so that the top eight finishers will benefit. The race winner will still score ten points but from second place on down will be 8,6,5,4,3,2,1 -- they think the new system should keep the championship closer.
I have reviewed all the races this year and present for you the difference this point system would have made over what it actually was:
Not much difference, eh?
3) They say that Team orders will also be banned... as much as they can be.
4) The other decision was that the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps has been removed from the 2003 calendar due to Belgian's new anti-tobacco advertising laws. This will make room for China in 2004 anyway.
As for CART, TCGR is leaving it, which frees up two CART drivers. Bruno Junqueira may join Newman-Haas. There is no word yet what will become of Kenny Brack, the 2000 Indy 500 winner.
Meanwhile, the project to bring F1 to Moscow has died out as the Ruskies were not willing to sign over all ticketing, television, and advertising rights to Bernie. Moscow's mayor said that the only thing they were going to be left with was engine smoke!
"I think the ovals probably don't play a big part in CART's future. They need to take the more downtown cities and overseas, I think -- like you go to Australia or even in the other overseas, the Canadian ones, are just huge. They make it more of a carnival; the atmosphere is a lot nicer. And, you know, you go to some circuits, some of the ovals, like Milwaukee, nobody really turns out. They don't really know what is going on.
I think Toronto, Vancouver and Australia are pretty similar. They make a big party of it, a lot of action going on. But maybe the enthusiasm could be coming because they probably drink a lot."
"It doesn't bother me too much, it just lacks respect, that is all. Respect, for me, is important. I'm not angry but it is very annoying and disappointing. It just takes a lot of energy.
"You don't want people not to like you. If you feel not wanted somewhere, you don't work well anymore. I think it had a negative effect on a few races during the season because lots of energy was spent where it should not be. We spent it arguing and it affected on the team too. Then they don't work well either."
He thinks next year's car will be better and that since his contract will be up, they won't spend any energy trying to get rid of him (due to his high salary), but he did say they wanted the team to be British and that Jenson Button, his new teammate, "will be the little darling of the team."
There are usually dominant teams in any racing series. I believe this year in Supercross, the same guy won EVERY race.
We see many racing series that try to keep competition tight and also slow down the cars. Restictor Plates, grooved tires, boost pressure, ballast, etc. Then there are the spec series, such as IROC, where the cars are equal and it is all up to the driver.
Many rule changes have been suggested for F1 recently. What I think they might consider is getting rid of the tire war and go with just one spec tire. Right now, Ferrari has an advantage with their close relationship with Bridgestone. Their closest competitors use Michelins.
I would love to see them remove all driver aids (powersteering, traction control, ABS, Automatic transmissions, etc.) This would certainly do more to separate the great drivers from the merely good. It might even make things worse, but as a race fan, I would be more interested in the races if the driver had to do more than floor it and steer.
Another idea would be to change the qualifying and make it more like sprint car racing. Make the fastest cars start last and the slowest cars start first! That would make things more intersting.
Adding weight penalties or other handicaps to just one team, because they have done such a good job, is simply unfair and unsportsmanlike.
In Austria this year, Rubens dominated the race. While Schumi had a good lead in the points battle, Ferrari wanted a larger cushion and asked Rubens to move over. Rubens didn't have to do it. Afterall, they couldn't force him to relinquish the lead, but Rubens is a team player. He swallowed his pride and slowed down and let Michael pass.
Afterward, on the winner's podium, Michael obviously felt bad about what had happened. It certainly wasn't his decision. He cheered Rubens and had him join him on the winners block. He gave him the winners trophy. (Both were fined hugely for this days later.) Many in the racing world were wroth. While Rubens was hailed as a decent chap for the act, Ferrari and Schumi were vilified.
Now, five months later, when Schumacher, on his own initiative, returned the favor, he is again rebuked and reviled. Rubens had just won the previous race and had a pretty decent lead for 2nd place. Ferrari did not order Michael to slow, but Michael showed he is a man of honor. (Some of you may have heard me gripe about Schumi for Jerez in '97, when he tried to wreck Villeneuve. I recently heard Michael say that that is the one act he most wished he could reverse. That has improved my opinion of him.) While personally, I would have preferred for him to stay on the gas at the end of the U.S. Grand Prix, I can understand that this may remove the asterisk next to his race win total.
Did any of you notice that on the McLaren team in 1998, after David Coulthard slowed to give his teammate the win in the first race of the season, that Mika Hakkinen never returned the favor while he went on to capture two world championships?
As an aside, I also thought that having a tight side-by-side finish was more exciting and photogenic. Also it was impressive how Michael Schumacher could have orchestrated such a CLOSE finish - just behind Barrichello by 1/100th of a second at over 200 mph! Awesome!
You must also realize that this behavior is legal. If you don't like it, then let the FIA know you want a rule change, but don't hammer Michael Schumacher for it.
What I'd like to ask you Nascar fans that are upset about teammates cooperating, what exactly do these Winston Cup guys do when they "team-up" with a driver on some other team, to help each other draft?
Perhaps the formation of new IRL teams as they switch over?!
"I think it would be great for the league, and we would love to have it here," Gossage said. "Some people may think the idea is a little crazy, but a lot of people thought the idea of Monday Night Football was crazy when it first started."
IRL and ABC officials believe the prime-time race would expose people who haven't seen an IRL event to the excitement of the IRL races, which could boost the ratings for the Sunday afternoon events.
2002 IRL Season Recap
Sam really turned up the burners towards the end of the season to capture the championship from the Penske Marlboro team.
The IRL this year has certainly backed up their brag as the most exciting racing on the planet. Their formula and great American speedways have provided the fans with thrilling wheel to wheel action inches apart at speeds around 215-225 mph! The closest finish in Indycar history has been broken three times this year!
List of 2002 IRL Race Winners
Gil de Ferran hit the wall after swerving to avoid the car infront of him who had just lost fuel pressure. He was temporarily knocked out as his throttle was stuck open. This powered his car along the wall until it finally bounced out onto the track and the tire got spun off the rim. Track workers ran out to turn off his engine. He was airlifted to the hospital awake and conscious. It was later reported he did suffer a concussion. It will be up to Dr. Henry Bock as to whether he gets to compete for the championship next week.
Eliseo Salazar had his rear wing flip backwards. Luckily he was on a straight when it happened and he avoided contact. Foyt's other driver, Airton Dare crashed out.
In addition, CART is outlawing the use of traction control next year.
NHRA U.S. NATIONALS - Results
While Ferrari ran away with the show, we got to witness 1995 Indy 500 Winner, Jacques Villeneuve pull some impressive passing once again. He first passed Giancarlo Fisichellla in the Jordan Honda, and then shortly put the wraps on Toyota's Allan McNish.
While the young Kimi Raikonnen started next to Michael, he dropped back to 4th. Near the end, his engine blew.
Villeneuve had some good pitstops and finished in 8th having started 12th.
1999 U.S. F2000 champion, Dan Wheldon, from Emberton, England, will drive the No. 15 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone as a teammate to reigning IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr.
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