Dan's IndyMotorSpeedway.com
News & Views

This Page:
  • APRIL 2005
  • MARCH 2005
  • FEBRUARY 2005
  • JANUARY 2005
  • Other Pages:

  • 2004 JAN-APR NEWS
  • 2004 MAY NEWS
  • 2004 JUNE-DEC NEWS

  • April 2005

  • (4/28) - The Speedway has sold the name for their NASCAR race. They will be calling the Brickyard 400, the Allstate 400. I guess if the insurance company gave me millions of dollars, I'd change my name too - Dan Allstate.
  • (4/27) - Ganassi has bought some Dallara chassis for driver Scott Dixon. Their other two drivers (Briscoe and Manning) will continue to drive the Panoz G-Force cars. Now that the Target team has expanded to a three car team, they have the resources to do more experimenting with the cars. A.J. Foyt Enterprises has one Panoz G-Force chassis entered in the Indy 500 for Larry, and a Dallara for Little A.J. and Scott Mayer. Penske used to run both chassis in the 500 too.
  • (4/23) - Did you know that Tomas Enge, the new driver for Panther Racing, beat out current Champcar ace Sebastian Bourdais for the 2002 FIA Formula 3000 championship, but was disqualified when traces of cannabis was found during a drug test.

    A former Ferrari physician claimed this winter that there was rampant cocaine use amongst F1 drivers. The FIA suddenly chose some "random" drivers to test yesterday after practice at San Marino. They chose Jacques Villeneuve (Sauber), Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella (both Reneault). I'd like to know why they didn't choose Schumacher and Barrichello from the Ferrari team if its the Ferrari physician stirring up the gossip. What's with this idea of "random"? Why not test all the drivers, it's not like there are 10,000 drivers; only 20.

  • (4/13) - Playa Del Racing has announced that it has filed an entry for the 89th Indianapolis 500, with IndyCar Series racewinner Jaques Lazier as the driver. Lazier will drive the team's No. 21 Panoz/Toyota in an attempt to make his fifth 500 start. His best finish is 13th as a rookie in 2000. Last year, he substituted Robby Gordon after the NASCAR ace had to leave during a rain delay for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. "Obviously, I'm very ecstatic about being back in the IndyCar Series and being here for the Indianapolis 500," he said. "I'm very confident I can get right out on the track and be up to speed," added the Colorado native, whose single IRL win came from the pole in 2001 at Chicagoland Speedway.
  • (4/12) - Newman-Haas report they are going to run a two-car team at the Indy 500. They will be bringing Indy veteran Bruno Junqueira and Champcar's 2004 champion, Sebastien Bourdais, who will be an Indy rookie. They will race Honda-powered Panoz chassis.

    In Junqueira's rookie event in 2001 he started 20th and finished fifth. He won the pole position in 2002, led the first 32 laps but retired in 31st place with engine failure. Last year in his first Indy 500 with Newman/Haas Racing he qualified fourth despite limited practice time, led 16 laps and finished fifth. The 2004 event marked the first time for Newman/Haas Racing to have competed in the Indy 500 since 1995.

  • (4/8) - 2003 Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran joined Scott Goodyear in the broadcast booth for IRL races after he retired from racing. He is now leaving that job for a management position on the BAR F1 team - as sporting director.
  • (4/6) - Motorcycle racer Jeff Ward will return to the Indy 500 to run a second car for Vision Racing.
  • (4/5) - IMS announced that once again the pace car will be the Corvette. Yawn. Don't get me wrong, it's a cool car with lots of power, but it seems it is always the pace car. (2005, 2004, 2002, 1998, 1995..) IMS has a tradition of using cars from the engine manufactures which participate in the Indianapolis 500. American brand engine manufactures to be more precise. And as we know, all but one team uses Japanese powerplants. One team is still using the "so-called" Chevy power fortunately so they can once more select an American pace car. What happens next year after Chevy drops out?

    Why not let Honda, who keeps winning the Indy 500, supply pace cars one year? They should allow Toyota a chance. Might as well let their cooler brothers in too - Acura and Lexus. Might even consider Infiniti and Nissan since the junior series are powered by Infinitis. Personally I don't buy foreign cars, but I think it is only fair to allow the companys that suppply the engines and sponsor some of the races, to get some of that special Indy 500 advertising. I would like more variety in the pace cars too.

    I have no clue how IMS chooses their pace car drivers. This year the honor goes to General Colin Powell. My nieces were wishing for Van Diesel.

  • (4/4) - After nine years of nothing but ovals, the Indy Racing League began turning both directions on Sunday at the street race in St. Petersburg FL. While some of the drivers had only oval track experience, they none the less got the race under way cleanly. The crowds were there, the weather was perfect and the racing was hot - the entire event was a tremendous success. Helio Castroneves was quick, but he miscalculated a pass on last place Foyt and put them both out of the race on lap 12. Rookie Danica Patrick was on a different pit schedule than the leaders and at one point she was in 2nd place. However, her car began slowing and she had to come into the pits. She thinks she accidentally flipped her pit speed limiter on and that tore up the gearbox. Doh. She still managed to finish in 12th place. Meanwhile rookie Ryan Briscoe was leading up until the end, when Tony Kanaan came along in 3rd place and knocked Darren Manning out of the way to take over second. He went to pass Briscoe and knocked him right into the tire wall, this slowed Tony down enough for his teammate Wheldon to get around him for the lead. The entire Andretti-Green team swept the first four positions and the race was soon over. Dan Wheldon, a new St. Petersburg resident, won.

    The hippies are still reigning in Formula One. Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli repeated their last performance at the Bahrain GP Sunday by finishing 1-2 respectively. Michael Schumacher debuting his new Ferrari but fell out of the race after 12 laps.

  • (4/1) - Team Penske submitted three entries for the Indy 500. Of course Helio and Sam are in two of the entries. If you are wondering who will be in the third car, prepare yourself. Jeff Gordon! The Nascar star is planning on racing the double (the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600) this Memorial Day weekend - like Robby Gordon does each year. Penske will be running a Chevrolet engine in their third entry instead of a Toyota, as Chevy sponsors Jeff in the Nextel Cup and has that as a requirement. Gordon of course said he's always dreamed of racing in the Indy 500 and he's very excited about finally getting a chance.

    Ok, the above was a April Fools joke. But now that I've thought about it I think the smartest thing Tony George could do right now is to hire Jeff Gordon full-time as a driver for his new team. I don't care how much money it takes, it is a sure way to get a whole lot of people checking out the IRL!

  • (4/1) - Foyt IV will be driving a different car this weekend in St. Petersburg. The team has entered the No. 48 Panoz/Toyota for this weekend's event. The car is the same solid Coyote red color that A.J. Foyt became so closely identified with during his Indy car career. The number holds significance for Foyt who is celebrating his 48th anniversary of Indy car racing this year, having begun his career in 1957 at Springfield, Ill. Moreover, this year's Indianapolis 500 will mark Foyt's 48th straight Indy 500 in which he has participated as a driver and/or a team owner. I'm currently reading his autobiography and will be pulling some quotes out for the death pages; around 59-61.
  • (4/1) - Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing and driver Paul Dana will sit out the next leg of the 17-race IRL IndyCar Series. The team has decided not to participate in the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend in Florida. The decision to take this weekend off allows the team to focus on their oval program and be as prepared as possible for the Indianapolis 500 in May.

    "We are going to do a few days of oval testing to try to get our program sorted out, and since the other two road course events aren't until later in the year, hopefully we'll have some time to get our road course car put together and tested before then," Dana said. "I started out in road racing up in Canada so I'm really excited that the series is going in this direction. It's frustrating to have to sit out one of the early events, but we've gotten such a late start to the season we've got to pick our battles a little bit."

  • (4/1) - TV ALERT - "Kart Racer" this Sunday on the Family Channel at 8 p.m. (ET) It is a movie about a dad and son trying to win a karting championship, starring Randy Quaid.

  • March 2005

  • (3/31) - Sam Schmidt Motorsports Monday named veteran Richie Hearn to drive the No. 70 Meijer/Coca-Cola Special in this May's 89th Indianapolis 500. Schmidt's entry will be a Chevrolet-powered Panoz chassis.

    Schmidt's team is the defending champion of the Infiniti Pro Series, having won six races and nine poles in 2004. Hearn, 34, finished third in the 1996 Indianapolis 500 and was sixth in 2002 in a Schmidt car. This will be his sixth Indy start and his fourth consecutive start with Schmidt.

  • (3/31) - Juan Pablo Montoya has been deemed unfit by McLaren’s doctors to drive in this weekend’s GP of Bahrain, after inuring his shoulder during a tennis match in Spain. Team tester Pedro de la Rosa will take over the Colombian’s race ride alongside Kimi Raikkonen, while the tall Alex Wurz will be able to fit the new MP4-20 to perform Friday testing duties.
  • (3/25) - The rock band for the Carburation Day concert has been announced - the Black Crowes. Their first album, "Shake Your Moneymaker,” went platinum in 1990. The band has sold more than 19 million albums worldwide.

    With roots firmly planted in bands such as the Faces, Aerosmith, and early Stones, the Black Crowes have steadfastly retained their blues-based sound, despite the fact that many of their contemporaries are adopting a more sonic approach. Critics may find fault with the band’s outrageous public behavior, but it has always guaranteed them plenty of headlines. Quite fearlessly, the band (Chris Robinson, vocals; brother Rich Robinson, guitars, vocals; Steve Gorman, drums; Eddie Harsh, keyboards; Sven Pipien, bass; Audley Freed, guitars while touring) has openly supported the pro-marijuana organization, NORML. As singer Chris Robinson puts it: “Some guys know how to party, and some just don’t!”

    Whatever. These guys are has-beens. I would have chosen Jet to play at Carb Day if I were Tony. I guess Tony's getting old.

    Carb Day this year is on a Friday, May 27th. The concert is free to all the people who attend Carb Day. This is the last day the racers will be practicing on the track before the race. After practice there is the pit-stop competition, followed by the concert (around 4 p.m.)

  • (3/24) - 1996 Indy 500 Champion Buddy Lazier has been entered in this year's Indy 500 by Panther Racing with sponsorship from Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria.

    Mo Nunn Racing is hiring Adrian Fernandez to race in the Indy 500. Fernandez owns an IRL team, but he isn't racing since he lost his personal Mexican sponsers. Instead, Scott Sharp and Kosuke Matsuura are racing for his team. Has a team owner ever competed against his own team for another team before?!

  • Unser and Andretti
    Al Unser III and Marco Andretti

  • (3/24) - The Infiniti Pro Series has a couple of rookies practicing at the speedway this week with names you might recognize. Marco Andretti and Al Unser will be joining Arie Luyendyk, Jr. in the IPS this year. Marco, 18, is the son of Michael Andretti. Al Unser, 22, is the son of Al Unser, Jr. Their first race will be on the street course in St Pete on April 2nd. They are practicing today on IMS's Formula One road course.
  • (3/23) - Ferrari boss Jean Todt, 59, is set to marry. He has become engaged to former ‘Bond girl’ Michelle Yeoh, 42. Yeoh starred in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ as well as the martial arts epic ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. She is the highest paid actress in Asia.
    Jean Todt Michelle Yeoh
    It appears Jean better behave!
  • (3/20) - The IRL had a good race yesterday. Sam Hornish, Jr. showed that he is not to be taken lightly... while winning the race along the way. Look out Helio!

    The hippies are the fastest in Formula One!
    Alonso Trulli
    Alonso and Trulli start on front row for Malaysia G.P.
    And finish 1st and 2nd respectively!
    Both of Honda's (new) engines blew up in the first couple of laps at the Malaysian grand prix where temps were reaching 100 degress Fahrenheit.

    Barrichello gave up near the end as he felt his tires were about wore out. It's too bad they cannot change tires now. It's part of the plan to slow the cars to make them safer. But how safe is it when the driver has to decide to drop out of the race because his tires have deteriorated to the point that it is scaring him?

    Giancarlo Fisichella slid up into Mark Webber as Webber passed him. His tires tangled and he got jerked around pretty good and almost flipped over. Otherwise Renault is looking strong this year.

  • (3/17) - Japanese driver Kosuke Matsuura has been put on probation by the IRL after causing the big pile-up at Homestead that resulted in a minor concussion for Danica Patrick and $2.3 million of equipment damage. "It was clearly not a blatant case (of bad driving)," Brian Barnhart said. "This is a case of a guy using poor judgment, and the result of that is risking the health of other people and causing a lot of damage. He affected the event."
  • (3/9) - The Indy Speedway has finished up its massive repaving of the entire track. Crews began the project by milling 2.5 inches of the old surface in August 2004 and completed the paving process in early November. They poured 19,000 tons of new asphalt over the 2.5-mile oval, pit lane and warm-up lanes. They paved over where the yard of bricks go at the start/finish line, then they cut the pavement out and replaced the bricks, 570 of the 1909-vintage bricks. My friend has one of the original bricks. It says "Culver Block" on them. All that remains to be done now is painting the lines on the pavement and installing a new SAFER barrier.

    [The track was paved with 3.2 million bricks in 1909. Most of the bricks, except the middle portion of the main straightaway, were paved over with asphalt by 1939. In 1961, the main straightaway was finally paved with asphalt, and the "Yard of Bricks" tribute was established.]

  • (3/6) - Adrian Fernandez started 40th in the Busch race on the Mexican road course. He finished 10th!
  • (3/6) - Kosuke Matsuura tried passing a pair of cars high on cold tires during lap 158 of the 200-lap Toyota Indy 300 this afternoon. He ended up wrecking 8 cars and sent Danica Patrick to the hospital with a possible concussion. Ryan Briscoe hit the wall and took himself out on lap 63. Andretti-Green Racing and Penske Racing duked it out for the win with Dan Wheldon scoring the checkered flag.
  • (3/5) - Nascar's Busch series is going to be racing at a road track in Mexico. IRL team-owner Adrian Fernandez is going to race in it for Hendrick Motorsports. This will be his second stock car race. Today he was the fastest in practice at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez! Another Mexican ex-CART racer has signed on to run the whole season in Busch - Michel Jordain, Jr.
  • (3/5) - Surprise, Surprise! Michael Schumacher did not win the first F1 race of the year, infact he got knocked out and didn't even finish! Renault had the day with Fisichella winning and Alonso coming in 3rd. Barrichello got Ferrari some points by finishing 2nd. The FIA didn't appreciate's Australia's court forcing them to allow Minardi to qualify without meeting the 2005's safety standards and threatened to pull all motorsports from the country! Minardi got busy and upgraded their cars and made the race.
  • (3/5) - Tomas Scheckter put his Chevy-powered Indycar on the pole for tomorrow's IRL race at Homestead. The only other Chevy engined race car qualified 3rd and is driven by Scheckter's rookie teammate: Tomas Enge. Chevy doing well is quite a surprise! The bottom of the starting grid is powered by Toyotas.
  • cool wing

  • (3/4) - I thought this was pretty cool. McLaren F1 showed up at Melbourne this week with this "bull horn" wing. It rained and the first day of qualifying was in the wet. Giancarlo Fisichella was the fastest of the day.
  • Bucknum

  • (3/4) - Dreyer Reinbolt Racing will be adding a second car for the Indy 500. They have selected driver Jeff Bucknum to drive the #44 Investment Properties of America (IP of A) Dallara/Honda at Japan and Indy. Buckner has race the American Le Mans Series since 2002 and will run the complete 2004 season with Miracle Motorsports in the LMP2 class this year.
  • (3/4) - Poor Minardi has evidently not been able to prepare their racer for the new Formula One rules package and wish to run last year's car at the first race this weekend in Australia. FIA officials have stated that the car does not meet the new 2005 safety standards and cannot race this Sunday in Australia. (Minardi is owned by Australian Paul Stoddart.) Last night, the Victorian Supreme court, in an emergency session, issued an injuction that will allow them to compete in qualifications tomorrow, however it does not look likely that they will take the grid on Sunday unless they can modify their cars over the weekend.

    Some interesting comments were made by FIA chief Max Mosley. He claimed Stoddart was naive and was being used by rival team bosses.
    "I think Paul is a bit too trusting, even naive. One or two team principals who now pretend to be his best friends are the same individuals who tried to grab his Minardi money a couple of years ago. They were only stopped because because the FIA insisted he should get what was due to him. They then said Paul had no place in Formula One. They are using him now but will turn on him as soon as it suits them."

    My, my. Those Europeans are some cut-throat son of a guns.

  • (3/3) - Don't you hate it when you have to stop at some cheap gas station and their gas is cut with corn alcohol? I always have. I want the highest octane gas for my sports car. I use expensive synthetic oil and I treat my car with all the respect that I know to do. Anyway, think how A.J. Foyt is going to feel next year when the IRL starts cutting his Methanol with 10% Ethanol!

    That is what the IRL announced today. I suppose the Ethanol industry will be playing some type of sponsorship role. They say there will be no performance difference. I say, then why only use 10% Ethanol?! Ethanol probably does make sense though since its cleaner and helps save our fossil fuel supplies. I probably can't tell too much of a difference unless I'm at the track running quarter miles - and then I try to use 110 octane race gas anyway.

    Meanwhile, Nascar is still using 110 octage LEADED gasoline even though some extreme environmentalist, including the Clean Air Trust, have been complaining. While leaded gas was phased out in the U.S. during the 70's and 80's, Congress exempted the aviation and racing industries from the lead ban in 1990.

  • February 2005

  • (2/11) - The IRL wrapped up open testing at Phoenix. On the first day of tests (Wednesday), Tony Kanaan had fastest speed on the 1-mile oval at 20.6994 seconds, 173.918 mph. On Thursday, Dario Franchitti ran the fastest lap, 20.5042 seconds, 175.574 mph. In all, 20 drivers turned 5,532 laps of testing without incident. The test was the final preseason activity before the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 on March 6.

    Note: Penske driver Sam Hornish, Jr. is suffering from tendonitis in his right wrist.

  • (2/10 - MORE NEW F1 CARS:

    The Red Bull RB-1:
    Red Bull RB1

    The Renault R24:
    Renault R24

    Renault R24

    (There are more pictures of the new F1 cars scattered further down this page.)

  • (2/9) - Or should I say, October 10th, which is the date Tony George suddenly appointed Brian Barnhart as IRL President.

    George announced today the formation of his own race team. He is buying Kelley Racing and renaming the team Vision Racing. He has hired Larry Curry as team manager and his step-son Ed Carpenter as driver. His team will also participate in the Infiniti Pro Series with Jay Drake, the 2004 USAC National sprint car champ, behind the wheel.

    As I've stated before, I don't think a race series should be ran by team owners or you end up with the mess that was CART. Of course George is no longer the president of the IRL, but he's still president of IMS. He says though that he is not going to be involved in running the team, but just try to find them a sponsor. Since a 1-car team doesn't pose much competition to the big teams, I don't think we'll hear other team owners complaining of unfair advantages for Vision Racing - too much.

    I imagine of formost concern for George is that he is providing his son with a means to race. Secondly, the IRL needs all the cars they can get. I think however that these 3 and 4-car teams have too much of an advantage. The IRL would have a fairer distribution of money if there were a rule limiting a maximum of 2 cars per team. Of course if all teams ran 4 cars, that would be fair and we'd have a higher car count as well.

  • (2/4) - Hemelgarn Racing is coming back to the IRL! American Paul Dana will be driving the #91 blue, white and green Ethanol Dallara/Toyota. Dana raced for Hemelgarn last year in the Infiniti Pro Series where he finished 2nd in points. Dana's sponsorship from the Ethanol group has made it all possible. With no family money, Dana had to go out and find sponsorship to support his racing.

    This 29-year-old former mechanic and motorsports journalist from St. Louis won the 1996 Bridgestone Racing School Mechanics Championship. He then moved up to FF1600 and, with backing from Gerald Forsythe, he moved into the FF2000 ranks in 2001. He moved to the Infiniti Pro Series in 2003 where he drove for two different teams.

    Hemelgarn Racing won the first "IRL" Indy 500 in 1996 with Buddy Lazier.

  • (2/2) - I was worried that Jim Beam sponsorship would leave the IRL for NASCAR when NASCAR ok'd liquor sponsorship for 2005. While Jim Beam will be a sponsor for Robby Gordon in the Nextel Cup, they apparently are continuing their sponsorship for Dan Wheldon.

  • January 2005

  • (1/31) - Williams BMW has chosen German Nick Heidfeld as their second driver along side Ausie Mark Webber. Heidfeld drove for Prost in 2000, Sauber from 2001-2003 and finally for Jordan last year.
  • 1/30) - MORE NEW F1 CAR INTRODUCTIONS (more at bottom of page)

    The 2005 Mercedes McLaren MP4-20

    The 2005 Williams BMW FW27

  • (1/27) - I'm happy to report that Sarah Fisher has found a new racing job. Richard Childress Racing has hired her to drive the full season in Nascar's West Series of stockcars. She will also compete in two Busch series races in '05 as well. I'm sure she'll be as popular in Nascar as she was in Indycars.
  • (1/26) - The Jordan Grand Prix F1 team has been bought by the Midland Group, a 9-year old company that made its industrial fortune in Russia and Eastern Europe. The team will continue too use the Jordan name throughout the year and Eddie Jordan will stay on with the team to help get sponsorship.
  • (1/22) - Buddy Rice captured the fastest speed of the day at the IRL's open testing on the Homestead oval. Rice drives a Honda-powered Panoz for Rahal-Letterman Racing. Scott Sharp was second fastest with his new team, Fernandez Racing. Note: new comer Danica Patrick was fifth fastest. The number of cars practicing this week grew by one as A.J. Foyt IV showed up in a Dallara/Toyota. 20 drivers practiced in all during six hours today racking up 3,099 laps with no accidents.
    • Friday morning - A two-hour practice session for all entrants
    • Friday afternoon - Two shorter practice sessions divided among the slower and faster cars from the morning practice. This will determine the qualifying order with the slowest cars first. However, the fastest driver of Friday afternoon gets to choose whether he goes first or last in Saturday's qualifying.
    • Saturday afternoon - Single lap qualifying takes place. Followed by a 10-minute shootout between the fastest 6 drivers to determine their starting order. Those in the shootout will be allowed to refuel and get new tires.
    Weight - cars will add 75 pounds for a minimum weight of 1600 pounds.

    Mandatory use of single-point refueling systems - This means the crewmember who was previously responsible for operation of the vent and jack is now free to operate only the jack.

    Change to Trackside Fuel Tank Volume
    85 gallons for races of 187.5 miles
    90 gallons for 200-milers
    100 gallons for 225-milers
    125 miles for 260-milers
    135 gallons for 300-milers
    175 gallons for 400-milers
    225 gallons for 500-milers.

  • St. Pete Course

  • (1/22) - The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will take place on a picturesque fourteen-turn 1.8 mile temporary course framed by the city's waterways and incorporating the runways of Albert Whitted Municipal Airport.

    The race, which will be the third of 17 events on the 2005 IndyCar® Series schedule, will mark the first-ever IndyCar Series race run on a non-oval track.

    The race is owned and promoted by Andretti Green Promotions, LLC. Led by Barry Green, who will serve as the managing director of the event, Andretti Green Promotions, LLC is focused on continuing the steady growth and increasing popularity of the IndyCar Series as it makes its debut into street racing.

  • (1/22) - The G-Force chassis from Britian has been used by the IRL since 1997. The company moved its entire operation to the U.S. (Georgia) and have dropped the name G-Force in favor of Panoz. The owner of the company is Don Panoz with David Bowes the CEO of partner Elan Motorsports.

    Three IRL teams are apparently using the Panoz chassis this year: Chip Ganassi Target Racing, Super Aguri Fernandez Racing, and Rahal Letterman Racing which used the car to win the Indy 500 last year.

  • (1/20) - Andretti-Green fared well on the second day of testing at Homestead, with the fastest speeds being recorded by Dario Franchitti followed by his teammate Dan Wheldon. They are both driving Honda-powered Dallaras.
  • (1/19) - The IRL began open testing on the roadcourse at Homestead today. Newcomer Ryan Briscoe ran the fastest of the day in his Ganassi Toyota Panoz(G-Force). Helio spun once and Danica spun twice. The IRL will practice on the roadcourse tomorrow and hit the oval Saturday.
  • (1/19) - With the demise of Kelley Racing, Scott Sharp and his sponsors (Delphi, Futaba, AT&T and Bryant Heating and Cooling) have found a new team - Fernandez Racing. Unfortunately, the team has room for him because Adrian Fernandez himself has lost his major sponsors, Telemex and Tecate, and won't be racing unless he can find a new sponsor. Fernandez, 41, jumped from CART to the IRL last year, missing the first race. None the less, he went on to win three IRL races and finished 5th in the points. He may be in his early 40's, but he's potent and we need him back!
  • (1/19) - Competitors in the 2005 IROC series:
    Buddy Rice (IRL)
    Helio Castroneves (IRL)
    Matt Kenseth (Nascar)
    Kurt Busch (Nascar)
    Mark Martin (Nascar)
    Sebastien Bourdais (Champ Car)
    Steve Kinser (WoO)
    Danny Lasoski (WoO)
    Bobby Hamilton (Craftsman Truck)
    Max Papis (Grand American Road Racing)
    Scott Pruett (Grand American Road Racing)
    Martin Truex Jr. (Busch)

    Nine of the 12 drivers in this year's IROC field have raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


    The new BAR 007 has a unique front wing which dips below the nose, almost touching the ground.

    Toyota's 3rd attempt - the TF105

    Sauber's C24 - We'll see Jacques Villeneuve driving one of these.
    Sauber C24

    Here is a recent photo of Mark Webber. I hope this isn't the new Williams BMW.
    Mark Webber

  • (1/18) - Panther Racing hired Tomas Enge to team with Tomas Scheckter for the season. I wonder what's become of Townsend Bell, who replaced Mark Taylor on the team last summer.

    Enge is a 28 y/o from the Czech Republic. In 1996 Enge won the German Formula Ford Championship and the following year competed with the Opel BSR team in the German Formula 3 Championship. In 1999 he made his debut in Sports Cars competing at Sebring and Road Atlanta in a Rafanelli Riley & Scott prototype. 2000 saw Enge break into F1 when he became a test driver for Jordan. He competed in 3 F1 races in 2001. He raced in F3000 in 2001 and 2002 where he finished 3rd both times. There was a controversy in 2002 at the Hungaroring over some drug test that he didn't pass. None the less, he won the race. In 2003 he won the GTS class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Peter Kox and Prodrive Ferrari.

  • Ryan Briscoe

  • (1/17) - Chip Ganassi Racing announced they have added a third driver, Ryan Briscoe to their IRL team. He will be teaming up with Scott Dixon and Darren Manning. Briscoe is a 23-year-old Australian and will be driving the No. 33 Toyota-powered Panoz this week at Homestead for the first Open Test of the season.

    Briscoe is a product of the Toyota Driver Academy and won the 2001 Italian Formula Renault championship with five victories and six poles in 10 races. In 2002, in addition as a test driver for the Toyota Formula 1 team, Briscoe competed in the German F-3 championship and the F-3000 championship. In 2003, the young Australian dominated the Formula 3 Euroseries with eight victories. His entire 2004 season was spent devoted to the Formula 1 test role for Toyota.

    Ganassi had originally hired Tony Renna as their third driver, but he was killed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway testing on his first day of work.

  • (1/15) - 2004 IRL Champion, Tony Kanaan, won the Jerry Titus Memorial Award as the Top Driver of the Year during the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association’s 35th All-America Team dinner.
  • (1/14) - Longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network reporter Robert C. "Bob" Forbes died Jan. 13. He was 76. Forbes served on the IMS Radio Network from 1971-94.
  • (1/8) - Indiana’s Tracy Hines held on to post a slim victory in Saturday night’s 19th Annual O’Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals 50-lap championship feature at Tulsa Expo Raceway.
  • (1/6) - One of Michael Schmacher's body guards died in the horrific tsunami that hit Asia. Schumacher has pledged $10 million to the relief effort. Schumacher makes $80 million a year, enough so that he moved out of his native country and to Switzerland seeking lower taxes. (How could you survive on just $40 million in Germany?) Tiger Woods is the only athlete in the world that made a little more than Schumy. Being half Asian, perhaps Tiger will consider helping the relief effort too.
  • (1/4) - No fun! Martinsville Speedway in Virginia will be eliminating carry-in cooler choices this year like other ISC (International Speedway Corporation) tracks. The choice for beer is a tiny 6" x 6" x 12" (15cm x 15cm x 30cm) soft-sided cooler. In addition, the only other type of purse/fanny pack/back pack allowed is a clear pastic shopping bag.
  • (1/3) - List of Hoosiers racing at the
    Oklahoma Chili Bowl Midget Nationals:

    Wednesday Night Qualifiers:
    Bill Rose
    Cole Carter
    Matt Hummel
    J.J. Yeley
    Joh Stanbrough
    Brandon Hartsell
    David Fuhrman
    Brad Paris
    Nick Lundgreen
    Mike Nigh
    Rex Norris III
    Brad Kuhn
    Nelson Stewart
    Jordan Noblitt
    Shane Cottle
    Jeff Dickerson

    Thursday Night Qualifiers:
    John Wolfe
    Mike Neher
    Ryan Hamilton
    Bryan Clauson
    Critter Malone
    Tracy Hines
    Austin J. Martin
    Tony Stewart
    Tony Elliott
    Travis Miniea
    Stephen Arnold
    Michael Lewis
    Mike Smith
    Kraig Kinser
    Shane Hollingsworth

    Friday Night Qualifiers:
    Johnny Heidenreich
    Bobby East
    Dean Franklin
    Cameron Dodson
    Dave Darland
    Billy Wease
    Tom Bigelow
    Mike Schenker
    Chris Kopczynski
    Steve Kinser
    Clay Klepper
    Brian Gerster

    There are 257 entries this year from 27 States plus Oz and New Zealand. Also competing is Kasey Kahne, WoO RunnerUp Danny Lasoski, USAC Sprint Car champion Jay Drake, 2-time Chili winners Dan Boorse and Cory Kruseman, New Zealand phenom Michael Pickens, USAC Midget champion Bobby East, USAC/CRA champion Rip Williams, Dave Darland, and two-time National Midget Driver of the Year Aaron Fike.

  • (1/2) - Tony Stewart competed again in the winter Midget race in Fort Wayne Indiana. He bought the car the night before and pretended to be the guy that sold him the car until the race was over. Stewart started second in the 60 lap race, took the lead on the 14th lap and never looked back.
  • (1/1) - Buddy Rice, 2004 Indy 500 champion, will be racing in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Rice will share driving duties of the No. 67 DP with Tracy Krohn and Nic Jönsson. The Krohn/TRG car will be Riley chassis with Pontiac power.


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