Dan's Indianapolis Motor Speedway
News & Views

April 2004

  • (4/28) - Kenny Brack says he doesn't have time to get a car and his team ready so he won't be running Indy. (I can't believe he's going to let a tight schedule keep him from racing in the 500!) Brack hasn't raced since his hard crash at the Texas Motorspeedway last October. He plans on playing guitar again at the Carb Day concert this year.
  • (4/28) - Apparently A.J. is going to give his youngest son Larry Foyt a chance to race in the Indy 500. Larry has been racing over in Nascar. He will be competing against his nephew, A.J. IV. (Its funny how the grandson looks more like A.J.)
  • (4/28) - Rookies who have passed the Indy speedway's driving test this week: Mark Taylor, Kosuke Matsuura, Ed Carpenter, Luis Diaz
  • (4/28) - As expected, Newman/Haas Racing is bringing the 2002 Indy 500 polesitter, Bruno Junqueira to compete this year. He will be driving the #36 PacifiCare G-Force Honda.
  • (4/28) - It looks like Felipe Giaffone will be picking up Robbie Buhl's Dreyer-Reinbolt ride at the 500.
  • (4/25) - IMS had a new event before May has even arrived - Mutt Strut Day! People brought their dogs and so did some drivers, for doggie games, tours and autographs. Photo shows Sarah Fisher and Nash.
  • (4/25) - The Formula One San Morino G.P. was especially exciting. McLaren is still not having any luck and BAR Honda surprised all when Jenson Button qualified on the pole and finished in 2nd place. Michael Schumacher beat him in the pits and won his 4th straight race!
  • (4/25) - A few laps from the end of the NASCAR Talledega race, a car wrecked and brought out the caution flag. To my dismay, the crowd began throwing beers at the car! The track was soon littered with trash and the cars were swerving down low on the track to avoid! If cirucmstances would have allowed the race to resume, there would have been too much debris to do so! Some say they were Dale Earnhardt Jr fans, since he was to be placed in 2nd place behind the boy so many like to boo - Jeff Gordon. Jeff and Little E had been driving side by side and Jeff was judged to have been ahead by a nose when the yellow was brought out.

    QUIZ for when you're at the track:
    Do you

    1. place your empty pork rind bag safely away so that it doesn't blow out on the track?

    2. or take one swig outta your 16 oz. PBR then make like G.I. Joe and "toss the grenade"?

    If you chose 1, then you are a good race fan.
    If you chose 2, then you need to switch to tea.

  • (4/23) - Robbie Buhl made the switch to the IRL at its inception eight years ago and competed in the Indy 500 every year since. He has been a co-owner of Team Purex/Dreyer & Reinbold for the last few years. He announced today that he will continue his interest in the team, but he is retiring from the driver's seat.

    "It was not an easy decision," said Buhl, 40, a Detroit native and Cleveland resident. "My life has been racing, but personal goals continue to evolve for all of us. I remember when my goal was just to drive in the Indy 500. Now I’ve started in the front row, started in the back row, and I’ve led the race. I may leave some unfinished business at the Brickyard, but this is the right decision for everyone -- my family, my team, and me. I’m healthy, happy, and walking away on my own terms."

  • (4/19) - Paul McCartney showed up at Long Beach this weekend and Tom Cruise, a buddy of Paul Newman, was the passenger in the new two-seater Champ Car which led the field around during the pace laps prior to the start of the race.
  • (4/16) - Greg Ray proved in qualifying for the Japan race last night that he is still fast. A few years ago when he was with the established Team Menard, a powerhouse in the IRL, he won many a pole. After some dry spells he got a ride with the startup team Access Motorsports. While the competition in the IRL has increased since Menard’s hey day, Greg Ray none the less qualified on the front row for tonight’s Japan 300, next to the pole-sitter, Dan Wheldon who drives for Andretti-Green. The race will start at 11pm Indy Time, 12am EDT
  • (4/7) - CART's last big team, Newman-Haas has not competed in the Indy 500 since 1995. Haas has finally gotten a clue and announced he will compete in this year's Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The team's CART drivers are Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais. Bruno has competed in the 500 recently. Carl may be here, but Paul Newman intends to sit home and pout.
  • (4/4) - Michael Schumacher continued his smoking start to the season with a 3rd win in Bahrain - a new $150 million installation that challenges the drivers with its technical track. This was Michael's 73rd F1 victory!! For all his efforts, he wins a waste paper basket?

    Kimi dnf'd again(!) with another blown Mercedes engine. BAR Honda continues to show well with both drivers in the points and Jenson Button on the podium, in third behind the two Ferraris (again). Ralf got punted aside when he tried to close the door on Takuma Sato.

    In answer to my query on the grid girls in Bahrain, they DID appear, but instead of appearing as models or cheerleaders, they were decked out like wacs!

  • (4/3) - I had a picture of Schumi and wondered if the tats were real. It didn't seem to fit in with his multi-million dollar image.

    Then a few weeks ago in Malaysia he was sporting one less tattoo on his arms!

    Is he getting his tatooes out of a box of Cracker Jacks? :-)

  • (4/2) - CARB DAY CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT - Since these free concerts at the speedway began four years ago, we've been witness to Collective Soul, Smashmouth and then Cracker. IMS have signed up Blues Traveler, a harmonica based blues-pop band that was popular in the 90's.
  • (4/1) - F1 is planning a race in the little desert island country called Bahrain which is off the coast of Saudia Arabia and is 100% Muslim.

    They don't like booze, and are actually forbidding the traditional spraying of some Mums champagne on the winners podium! I wonder how they'd react if I showed up with a cooler of beer? "Off with the infidel's head!!"

    Now the question is what will they do with the F1 pit babes; dress them from head to toe in sheets?

    Speaking of new tracks, F1 plans to race in that vast communist land known as China. You would think that their tobacco sponsorship would be safe in this land of smokers, but no. Groups within China are demanding that no tobacco sponsorship be allowed - they may lose their race before they even get it.

  • March 2004

  • (3/31) - What has happened to being cool in the IRL? Has the ex-CART owners decided that they need to cultivate some ridiculous Ron Dennis (McLaren) mentality about corporate appearance? You've seen what Penske has done to Hornish, but have you seen what Rahal has done to Buddy Rice?! You can't even recognize him. He's gone from wild and crazy to Dorkville. (Ha! And I've been calling Bobby Rahal a dork for 20 years.) Is it 1955? The next thing you'll see is Sarah Fisher with a dress and ribbon in her hair!
  • (3/31) - While some IRL teams have signed up more cars for the Indy 500 (A.J. Foyt, Ganassi, Kelley, Mo Nunn & Dreyer-Reinbolt), PDM Racing has hit a snag in their sponsorship deal which supposed to have began with the Indy 500 and continue through the year. Paul Diatlovich had to let the rookie driver Ben Collins go consequently.

    Paul said, "The team is back to work, searching for the proper funding to run beginning in May. "We have a few opportunities that we are currently working on, and we have some good people helping us with those opportunities. "We have been speaking with a couple of drivers that would like to work with us, and that have some experience with our team."

  • (3/31) - The IRL has doubled their television broadcasting to 180 countries. Buddy McAtee, IMS Productions v.p., says that Japan and Brazil both have two stations that broadcast IRL races.
  • (3/22) - In the Nascar race at the narrowed Darlington this weekend, Andy Hillenburg was once again racing. He's competed in about every Nascar Cup race this year. They are really making an effort this year to get a good program going. Unfortunately, Tony Stewart decided to punt Andy into the wall. Nevermind that they're both from the same state, Indiana, and that Andy was out winning World of Outlaw Sprint races when Tony was still sucking his thumb and that Andy too competed in the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 and that Andy has more right to be out there than Stewart simply because he's been working hard at a racing career for 28 years. No, Stewart continues to vie for "Biggest Dick" in Nascar. Unfortunately for Andy, Jeff Gordon came daydreaming along and t-boned him. Thats going to set Andy's team efforts back a notch. And of course the Media only repeats Gordon's snippy little "Slow cars shouldn't be allowed to race" line and nevermind about Hillenburg who I'm sure has more wrapped up personally in his team than these spoiled rich drivers. No mention is made of penalizing Stewart for causing the melee. I was happy to finally see a couple drivers on ESPN stand up for Andy - Joe Nemechek and Michael Waltrip, who also said that Andy has every right to be out there and that he is earned it, and in fact that Andy can put his car together, which is more than they can do!
  • (3/18) - Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company just gave Matt Kenseth a special Screamin’ Eagle Softail Deuce for being from Wisconsin and winning the Nascar Cup last year.

    Matt Kenseth's new free Harley

    Must be nice.

  • (3/18) - CART took another blow this week. Bobby Rahal has decided to consolidate his team and run in one open-wheel series instead of two. Calling Adrian Fernandez brave, Bobby "The Dork" Rahal, who hated the competition from the IRL as vehemently as any one in CART, is now abandoning CART altogether.

    Team Rahal will field two Honda G-Force Indy Cars for the remaining 14 races of the 16-race 2004 IRL season. The driver and primary sponsorship for the team's newest entry is being finalized and will be announced shortly. The team currently fields the No. 15 Pioneer/Argent Mortgage Honda G-Force for Buddy Rice who is filling in for the injured Kenny Brack. The team will campaign a third car in the Japan Indy 300 (April 17) and the Indianapolis 500 (May 30) with Roger Yasukawa.

    Team Rahal leaves their CART Mexican driver and sponsor behind.

  • (3/17) - Adrian Fernandez was rather surprised at the dumb comments made by CART fans on Wind Tunnel last night on his call-in show, "It's very difficult. But the most difficult thing is when you criticize somebody else without the facts in your hand. If I'm going to be a fan of somebody, if I'm going to be a friend of somebody, I'm not going to criticize or give my opinion before I have the facts on my hand. Everybody has a right to criticize and to say something. But I've been surprised in the way some people, some fans, have reacted without the real facts on their hands."
  • Freeman

  • (3/17) - Morgan Freeman will be the ceremonial pace car driver in the 500 this year. Freeman received numerous awards for his performances in films, television and theater, including Academy Award nominations for Best Actor for “The Shawshank Redemption” in 1995 and “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1990, and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for “Street Smart” in 1988. The pace car this year is the new Vette - a picture of it is further down this page.

  • (3/16) - Adrian Fernandez wrote a letter to the media today. In it, he explains how he tried to support CART and he went to their meeting in Long Beach to find out what is going on. He didn't get any answers or attention from the new CART board which calls itself OWRS. As I've mentioned before, I don't believe having team owners in charge of a series makes any sense. Adrian discovered, "Then we found out about all the deals in the background – a recognizable race winning driver with a contract but no ride (Paul Tracy) who was told this at the last possible moment; sanctioning body owners talking with funded drivers who were also negotiating with other race teams." He also mentioned they have less than 12 confirmed drivers and no rational business plan. He just doesn't have faith that OWRS is going to fix CART and he is not going down with the ship.
  • (3/16) - Adrian Fernandez's move to the IRL may simply have done what Tony George's $13.5 million bid for CART failed to do - put an end to CART. The new organized CART series is teetering as other teams, such as Rahal and Newman/Haas consider making the switch. Newman/Haas already has new IRL cars for their run at this year's Indy 500 and Rahal's Mexican sponsor, Gigante, is teetering on going to the IRL. As it stands, it does not look like CART will find enough cars to field a race next month. If Rahal and Newman/Haas switch, it will be all over.
  • (3/16) - I see our little buddy Jason Priestley must be healed up after his Indy Pro crash as he's going to be in a tv series called "Tru Calling" on Fox. I still miss his humor from his IRL broadcasting year.
  • (3/14) - Not only was Bob Jenkins fired by ABC as host of the IRL races, but pit report Gary Gerould was also let go.
  • (3/14) - CART says they have finally found a tv station to broadcast their races: Spike TV, a new cable channel. CART races will be shown on Sundays from 4-6pm. Bob Jenkins was let go by ABC and will now be hosting their races on Spike TV.

    Also announced is a new "turbo-power-button" for their cars which will increase turbo pressure allowing the cars to have a squirt of more speed. Each car will only be allowed to use the button for a total of 60 seconds during a race. An interesting idea I've seen in cartoons. Perhaps they'll add a button that will raise the car up 6 feet above the wheels, so that they can drive over the top of the driver in front of them! Oh, and let's not forget the spill-oil-on-ground button to make the competitors behind slide!

    Could this be CART's new Lola?
    Tom Slick

  • (3/13) - Robby Gordon plans to return for the 88th running of the Indianapolis 500 as a driver/owner. The Nascar Cup driver is teaming up with Thomas Knapp (team manager) from Team Menard and John Story (general manager) with sponsorship from Meijer. They will be racing a Dallara/Chevy. Robby is the only driver known to be running the
  • (3/13) - Former Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack and his wife Anita have been named honorary chairpersons for this year's CARA Charities Indianapolis 500 Fashion Show on Friday, May 28, at the Indianapolis Westin Hotel. Many of the models are from the racing community, as well as local celebs. Tickets are now available for the extravaganza with individual tickets priced at $60 per person. 1000 people expected. For more information on tickets, corporate tables or event sponsorships, contact the CARA Charities headquarters at 317-299-2277 or e-mail carachar@aol.com.
  • (3/13) - Adrian Fernandez announced he's moving to the IRL. Fernandez has been a competing owner/driver in CART since 2001. He has also had a stake in the IRL with Super Aguri Fernandez Racing, a Japanese and Mexican combination. Fernandez racked up 7 wins in CART in his past 11 seasons. He will be driving a Honda- G-Force with sponsorship from long-time supporters Quaker State, Telmex and Tecate and new partner Aceros Vilag.

    Fernández Racing and Super Aguri Fernández Racing recently moved into a new 27,000 sq. ft. race shop in Indianapolis.

  • (3/13) - The 2004 Indy 500 Pace Car will be the newly designed Corvette.

    04 Vette

  • (3/10) - The history and thrills of NASCAR racing can be seen in a new wide-and-tall 45-minute movie that opens this Friday, March 12th: NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience!
  • (3/4) – A new twist appears in the NASCAR race at Las Vegas this weekend. Mandated new softer tires that wear out faster will be used. That combined with the new, shorter spoiler heights (5½ inches tall, a three-quarters inch reduction from 2003) in place for non-restrictor plate events, is intended to decrease the aero advantage for the cars, which possibly will help the better drivers distinguish themselves and put a stop to the fuel mileage and track position games of last year.

  • February 2004

  • (2/29) - Sarah Fisher says that as of right now, she only has a ride for Indy.
  • (2/26) - Kelley Racing has a new co-owner: Rick Weidinger.

    Scott Sharp also has a new chief engineer: Andy Borme, who was Castroneves' engineer in his two Indianapolis 500 wins!

  • (2/19) - The IRL's PDM Racing Team has hired British rookie driver Ben Collins. Collins has ran British Formula 3 and Indy Lights, ASCAR and sports cars. He'll try and qualify at the second event of the season: Phoenix.

    PDM will have sponsorship from the British Tourism Board, which was a collaborative effort between the team and David Chapman of Go Britain Racing. “PDM was the appropriate team to approach,” said Chapman, who noted that Go Britain Racing was a minor sponsor of the PDM car with Ed Carpenter for the final three races of the 2003 season.

  • (2/15) - Things I'll remember from today's Daytona 500. President Bush showed up and walked around in the pit lane and gave the starting command. Prez Bush says howdy
    They showed Air Force One taking off as he left. (I bet if he was at Indy, he'd have stayed till it was over. ;-)
    AirForce One

    I liked the guy coming down from space in the jetpack.

    Michael Waltrip did the Daytona infield catch dirt and flip routine.

    Little E won his first Daytona 500 where his daddy finally won in 1998 and where he raced his last race in 2001.

    And the last thing I'll remember is the bad taste, as Tony Stewart referred to John Andretti as terminally stupid, in the post-race interview to the entire world even though Tony placed 2nd. Stewart ran into the back of Andretti in days past, and now he's blaming and slamming him.

  • (2/12) - Yea! Sarah Fisher has been picked up by Kelley Racing! I'll bet Dreyer-Reinbolt Racing is going to regret losing her; their boy Buhl started the season by slamming into the wall this week at the test in Phoenix.

    But you can't have your cake and eat it too. With Sarah's entrance into the team, what is to become of Al Unser, Jr.? (Scott Sharp is definately retained.) I hope he lands somewhere good.

  • (2/12) - IRL 2004 RULE CHANGES

    * Scoring will change somewhat. Instead of drivers getting just a point for finishing in the rear, now all finishers in spots 19-24 will get 12 points each and finishers in spots 25-33 will get 10 points each.
    * Teams may not modify ear pieces, attenuators, wickerbills, timing transponders, wiring harnesses, impact recorders, rev limiters, track condition radios, camera mounts and cover and head surrounds and their fasteners.
    * Cars will have to use a specific wicker bill at all race except Indy and Richmond, which will slow them down a little.
    * Methanol tanks on cars will be reduced from 35 to 30 gallons.
    * Amount of fuel allowed in teams' trackside tanks have been reduced

    • for 200-mile races, 97 gallons
    • for 225-mile races, 108 gallons
    • for 300-mile races, 145 gallons
    • for 400-mile races, 195 gallons
    • for 500-mile races, 245 gallons
  • (2/9) - Since I'm drifting off topic, here is a fruit label from the late 1800s.

    Tony George Grapes

  • (2/9) - Danika Patrick, the formula racer from Illinois, appears in FHM Magazine this month.

    2001 2004 2004

  • (2/7) - Last out, First in. Football is over and Nascar's Nextel Cup started the racing season off tonight in the Budweiser shootout in Daytona! Dale Jarrett won, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in second and 2003 Brickyard 400 winner, Kevin Harvick in third. Jeremy Mayfield hit the wall hard with 10 laps to go.
  • (2/7) - Honda is to decide later this season whether or not to continue ploughing the millions into BAR's Formula One project. "By Silverstone, a decision will be made," said Honda's Otmar Szafnauer. [I included this newsbit so I could use that name!]
  • (2/2) - One of Sarah Fisher's sponsors, Tag Heuer, will be the official timekeeper for the IRL this year. They sponsor F1 also. Sarah also has Raybestos,AOL,GMC/Chevy and Dial sponsorship. It would be nice now if the IRL's "Most Popular Driver" had a ride! She has sponsorship, she's a great driver, she's mega-popular, and yet rookies are finding teams and Sarah is not - as usual. If you think there isn't major discrimination against women going on in racing, then you are mistaken.

  • (2/1) - Renault's new Formula One car, the R24, is wild! Check out those aerodynamic wing doodads popping out of the side pods and that huge end plate on the rear spoiler

  • (2/1) - Bernie Ecclestone is saying that this year's San Marino Grand Prix at Imola will be its last. Then Italy will have just one F1 race (Monza). Imola is where Ayrton Senna got killed in 1994.
  • (2/1) - Dale Earnhardt, Jr. teamed up with Tony Stewart and were winning the 24 hours of Daytona, but fell victim to a suspension problem in the final 17 minutes, relinquishing the lead to Christian Fittipaldi's team!

    The conditions in the Rolex 24 were grueling, with most of the race held under cool temperatures, wind and rain. During the early morning hours, the race was run under caution for about 2 ½ hours and at 7:38 a.m., for the first time in 15 years, the Rolex 24 was red flagged for standing water. At 10:30 a.m., the race resumed setting up a two hour, 42-minute sprint to the finish.

    Other Nascar drivers participating: Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Petty, and Robby Gordon.

    Indycar drivers also participating: Arie Luyendyk Jr, Scott Dixon, Scott Sharp, Didier Theys, Anthony Lazzaro, Stephan Gregoire, Max Papis and Scott Pruet.

    Paul Newman also drove.

  • January 2004

  • (1/28) - CART gets another chance for survival and changes its name to

    Judge Otte has decided that the open-wheel war will continue, discounting today's higher bid by the IRL of $13.5 million for the assets AND liabilities of CART, and awarding them to OWRS. Apparently the deciding factor being that OWRS would try and honor the contracts with the tracks to run races there this year.

    This may make Nascar and F1 happy for another year, assuming OWRS has enough money to actually start up a new league, get races, and buy airtime. It really doesn't matter though. I don't think the League Formally Known as CART will be any more capable of garnering open-wheel fans in 2004 than they were in 2003. After they go bankrupt next year, the IRL will have what they wanted, unified open-wheel racing in North America, and will have saved themselves $13.5 million. (Interesting note: Roger Penske sold his CART stock for $19.5 million, before moving to the IRL.)

  • (1/27) - Little E's older brother Kerry Earnhardt is going to try to make the Daytona 500 and a few more Nascar Cup races this year. He races in ARCA. He made one Nascar race in 2000.
  • (1/27) - Negotiations with Jordan G.P. has broken down and Jos Verstappen appears to be out of Formula One for 2004.
  • (1/27) - Delphi corporation is sponsoring the IRL Safety Team. They are adding some on-board cameras to the safety trucks which will transmit a signal to the hospital. In the case of a serious accident, the hospital will be able to view the extraction of the driver and have an idea of what they are going to be seeing when the helicopter delivers him.
  • (1/25) - Tony George spoke up after a week of Gentilozzi bravado against him in the news, ""None of these guys has as much appreciation for open-wheel racing as I have," George said, referring to the partnership of CART team owners Gerald Forsythe, Paul Gentilozzi and Kevin Kalkhoven in the Open Wheel Racing Series group that is the other bidder for CART's key assets. "Their collective appreciation does not equal mine.

    "I committed to the Indy Racing League 10 years ago, not 10 months ago. I am very committed to making sure open-wheel racing succeeds, and the IRL is on a very firm foundation going forward. We've got the right path to be successful, and we will be."

    Both sides are saying they are ready for a bidding war come Wednesday, when the bankruptcy judge must decide.

  • (1/25) - There are indications that the pace car for this year's Indy 500 will be the Chevy Impala SS.
  • (1/24) - The IRL apparently outbid OWRS for CART yesterday. It seems we will all have to wait until next Wednesday to learn what the judge will decide about CART's assets. Tony George released a message to the race fans about what was happening:

    " The Indy Racing League has made an important decision and I want you to know what it is and the reasons for it.

    We have decided to bid on certain assets of the bankrupt CART racing series.

    Let me give you background on this decision.

    Since 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been the primary steward of open-wheel racing in America. For the last 59 years, the Hulman-George family has taken enormous pride in operating IMS for the benefit of American auto racing. As part of that stewardship, it proved necessary to respond to problems undermining open-wheel racing. The Indy Racing League was founded in response to these concerns.

    While the Indy Racing League was intended to serve racetracks and markets not served by CART, it was treated as an enemy by CART and by some others. We never measured our success against CART's, since we compete against all forms of entertainment in our economy. We go about our business with only one objective: to build our League.

    Many of you have advocated a single, unified open-wheel series as a goal for some time. Towards that end, several times in recent years, various interested parties approached the League with the suggestion that we purchase CART. None of these proposals were commercially viable in our view. When CART announced its plan in September to merge with OWRS for $7.4 million subject to a stockholder vote, I declined again. In all of these cases, the complicated entanglements of purchasing a financially troubled series overcame the goal of unification that most desired.

    However, when CART declared bankruptcy in December 2003 and announced it would not conduct a 2004 season, the situation changed. By filing for bankruptcy, CART made its assets available to the highest bidder, and the only bidder offered $1.63 million. I decided to give the situation another look. On Jan. 9, 2004, the IRL began an examination of physical assets and contracts, in order to determine whether or not to bid.

    That decision has now been made. The Indy Racing League has decided to bid on certain available assets of the bankrupt CART. Thursday night, we submitted a substantial bid with CART and the unsecured creditors' committee; a bid we believe is fair and equitable for the assets we are seeking. As a member of our Indy Racing League community, it is important for you to understand how this bid fits into the future of open-wheel racing.

    We believe in the integrity of our analysis and bid, and we believe in the success of our plan, should we prevail in this proceeding. If we are successful with our bid, our intention is to work quickly and effectively to create a unified, market-driven North American open-wheel series. We believe there is a window of opportunity right now to accomplish this and position open-wheel racing among the highest quality and most successful sports entertainment in North America.

    When the Indy Racing League was announced in June 1994, the official news release said that ovals and road courses would be included. Our concentration has been on oval tracks since our first season and we will continue to be a predominately oval series in the future. But we are committed to expand our schedule to preserve and protect key traditional road and street races in North America, since CART is no longer able to do so.

    Clearly, it is in the best interests of open wheel racing to move forward into the 21st century with one series, based on the heritage of the Indianapolis 500, taking advantage of the many new oval venues built in the last decade and incorporating historic road and street courses which are important to fans and sponsors.

    From a modest beginning, the League is now regarded by impartial observers as the premier American open-wheel series. The Indy Racing League, backed by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and a wide array of sponsors, teams, drivers and fans, is the sanctioning body best positioned to offer leadership in open-wheel racing.

    Regardless of the outcome of our bid, the Indy Racing League will continue to adhere to our founding principles, will continue to be a predominately oval series, and will expand our existing schedule to include road and street races in North America.

    I hope this helps you understand what we are doing and why, and I hope to have your support in this very important endeavor.


    Tony George"

  • (1/23) - I found the recent comments by Paul Gentilozzi, naive, conspiracy-paranoid and blustery, reinforcing my belief that race team owners need to be kept out of governing their racing series. They don't have the temperment or the motive to be fair so that the sponsors, tracks and other teams/drivers make money.

    Today was the last day for anyone to make bids on the CART sell-off auction and news is that the IRL put in a bid. Paul was not worried that he could outbid Tony George, but felt it necessary to warn others that if Tony got it, he would not try to resurrect CART.

    Did Paul really expect the IRL to ignore the bankruptcy of CART and the release of it's assets?

    Does he really think that the man who put up $30 million to bring Formula One to the United States, who's family's business has been on the national scene for the last century and who owns the most famous piece of racing real estate in the world, was going to be worried about an ex-Trans-am driver? Perhpas we could take OWRS more serious if it had four Michael Schumachers, or even four Jeff Gordons as owners. OWRS only bid $1.6 million on a company that used to have hundreds of millions. What a waste. These team owners have proved they can't run a race series. How mentally ill are these guys? They've robbed the stockholders of millions. You'd think they'd figure it out. But sadly no, they've got their head down looking at their feet as they keep trying to plow forward like a left tackle.

    Oh well, it appears that we will soon have unity in this country with open-wheel racing. It will just be delayed a year if OWRS is allowed to burn up whats left of the "assets" (along with their own bank accounts.)

    If the IRL wins the bid, then they just did Gentilozzi a favor in my opinion.

  • (1/21) - The French Grand Prix is back on the Formula One schedule!
  • (1/21) - Rubens Barrichello has signed a contract to continue his drive for Ferrari through 2006! Michael Schumacher said, "I am very happy for Rubens, the extension of his contract is a natural and logical decision. Ferrari has made the right choice not only because Rubens is a good, fast driver but because this means that we can go on working in the same great atmosphere of recent years."
  • (1/21) - Newly Revealed 2004 F1 Cars:

    Here is the Sauber C23

    The McLaren MP4-19

    The Jaguar R5

    The Toyota TF-104

    The Williams is further down this page.

  • (1/19) - IRL drivers Scott Dixon, Scott Sharp and Helio Castroneves will compete in the IROC series this year. There has been a IROC race during the Brickyard 400 weekend, but this year, the 4-race series is going to be in Atlanta instead of Indianapolis.
  • (1/17) - Kevin Kalkhoven, a co-owner of PK Racing and a member of OWRS which is wanting to purchase CART, was mad that the IRL was also looking at CART's assets. He said, "I doubt that the IRL would put in a bid in order to continue the series. In my opinion, their desire would be to kill it. The result would be many hundreds of Americans out of work, depriving two million fans of the opportunity of watching some of the greatest racing in the world and showcasing a great historical American motor racing series. I would sum it up as the IRL wants to bury – OWRS wants to build; that’s the difference.”

    Fred Nation, the IRL’s executive vice president for communications response: "We have come to expect over the years that provocative statements are a stock and trade of whoever is in charge of CART."

    I'd say that was rather understated!

    Fred also said, "We have a greater chance of going forward with a unified approach to open-wheel racing on both ovals and road and street courses -- a better chance than anyone else does, in our opinion. The gentlemen who are bidding on the bankrupt CART assets are not responsible for CART’s bankruptcy. They’re trying to resuscitate a failed operation and take it forward with the same failed business model used in the past. We would argue that everyone’s energies would be better spent on a unified approach to open-wheel racing in North America."

  • (1/10) - The IRL is examining the assets for sale after CART declared bankruptcy. They are particularly interested in CART's races in Long Beach, Toronto, Elkart Lake, and Mexico. However, they are cautious about being held responsible for future law suits on CART contracts.

    Fred Nation said CART has some other valuable assets, "We're a racing company, and they have racing equipment for sale. Most of the items are things we need."

    So, look for the IRL to perhaps outbid OWRS for CART, and put an end to it.

    Gen. George S. Patton
    Tony George did a walk-through of the C.A.R.T. offices on Monday.
  • (1/10) - Dr. Henry Bock will be speaking at the International Council of Motorsports Sciences this month in Mexico. He will deliver a presentation on the Delphi earpiece sensor system, which was required equipment for all IRL IndyCar® Series and Menards Infiniti Pro Series™drivers in 2003.

    The sensors, built into the communications earpieces, measure dynamic forces exerted on a driver’s head during a crash. The sensors essentially create a record of head motion that is used to evaluate the effectiveness of energy absorbing characteristics of the chassis, helmet and other cockpit protective systems.

    “Before the development of these sensors, no one has had he ability to measure head forces online and compare them to clinical outcome (concussions, etc.),’’ Dr. Bock said. “This technology will enhance the understanding of head acceleration in all sports and lead to better understanding and prevention of head injuries.”

  • (1/10) - Super Aguri Fernández Racing has chosen a different driver for their 2nd season of Indycar racing. Out is 26 y/o Roger Yasukawa. In is 24 y/o Kosuke Matsuura.

    This 24 y/o Japanese native finished third with 3 wins in the German Formula 3 Championship with the help of the ARTA Project run by Super Aguri Fernandez Racing Co-Owner Aguri Suzuki. He finished second in the 2002 German F3 Championship with the Prema Powerteam with 2 wins. His accomplishments in F3 competition earned Matsuura a test with the Lucky Strike BAR Honda Formula One team last December.

    Kosuke Matsuura will be driving the No. 55 Panasonic ARTA entry.

  • (1/9) - Buddy Rice, who drove for Cheever Racing last season, has been replaced by Alex Barron. Rice will be subbing for the injured Kenny Brack at Team Rahal at the start of this year's Indycar series.
  • (1/9) - Larry Curry is out of jail after two and a half years. Remember Larry? He got into trouble while running the Tri-Star IRL team. Mail fraud I think the charge was. He apparently was over billing John Menard. Larry is getting another chance to work in racing. He has been hired to direct the two-car sprint-car program for Tony Stewart.
  • (1/9) - NASCAR teamowner, Joe Gibbs, is going back to coaching the Washington Redskins where he helped them win 3 Super Bowls back in the 80's. Joe, there's a thing called salary caps now...
  • (1/8) - Lame duck award: While several local car dealerships have race teams (Dreyer Reinbolt, Penske) there is large dealer in Indy named Hubler. They paint pictures of stock cars and Indycars on the sides of their truck, which proclaim Hubler Race Team. However, they do not have any team, nor do they help sponsor anyone. I guess Hubler figures "Why spend money on racing, when you can just pretend that you do?"
  • (1/7) - Hmm. I drove by the Players Forsythe CART team this morning. I would have thought the place would have been empty, but there were more cars in the parking lot than I've ever seen there before.
  • 2004 BMW
  • (1/6) - Williams BMW is the first F1 team to unveil its new car and what a change! Check out this front end!
  • (1/6) - Kenny Brack's wife, Anita, gave birth to their first child on NYE. They named their new daughter Karma. Kenny couldn't be there to help with the delivery, as he was on a different floor of the hospital undergoing a gall bladder removal. He is still recovering from his crash at the season ending IRL race in Texas. He is now using crutches but is now living at home and doing outpatient rehabilitation. No date yet on when he'll return to racing.
  • (1/3) - GOOD BYE C.A.R.T. - The bankruptcy judge approved OWRS's agreement to purchase CART assets, assuming no other bids come in before January 23rd. They are likely to continue with the name "Champ Car".
  • (1/2) - I seem to get all the exercise I need simply walking around the 300+ acres of the speedway during May, beer cooler in hand. In contrast, there is some growing contingent of vexed souls who feel they must run until they puke. Hence the Indy mini-marathon continues to grow each year. This May event begins in downtown Indianapolis and winds up 13 miles later as these curious masochist jog around the hot rough blacktop of the track. This race is the largest mini-marathon in the country and the 500 Festival has already received 27,000 entries so far! Egad.


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