:: fast in-laps ::

A place to share interesting information on auto racing, especially CART, IRL, & F1. Also welcome are any anecdotes from the club SCCA-type racing set. E-mail: ebrott -at- juno.com Pray for our troops. Read Romans 8:28.
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:: 8.8.03 ::

Big changes on the way in open-wheel racing.

With announcements from the IRL on racing at Milwaukee and a second NASCAR race at Fontana, it would seem that CART will soon be out of the oval racing business. The skinny (according to AutoWeek magazine) is that the future of CART at Lausitz, Germany and Rockingham, England is not very good. CART took a bath financially at those two venues, and cash flow for next year will be a lot tighter than this year.

Meanwhile, across town in Indy, Tony George will probably make announcements about 1 or 2 US road courses. Basically the IRL will morph into "NASCAR w/o fenders" as Dave Despain puts it.

By the way, if you haven't watched it yet, I'd highly recommend watching "Wind Tunnel" on the Speed channel. It's a great way to keep current on all the major series of 4-wheel and 2-wheel racing.
:: Eric 8.8.03 [+] ::
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This week in racing:

Sunday, August 10

Lexington, OH - CART: Mid-Ohio Grand Prix. Mid-Ohio road course. Defending champion: Patrick Carpentier. Also: Toyota Atlantics, Barber Dodge Pro Series, Formula Ford 2000, Speed World Touring.

Madison, IL - IRL: Emerson Indy 250. Gateway International Raceway oval track. Defending champion: Gil de Ferran. Also: Infiniti Pro Series.

Watkins Glen, NY - NASCAR: Sirius at the Glen. Watkins Glen International road course. Defending champion: Tony Stewart

Also: Craftsman Trucks in Nashville.
:: Eric 8.8.03 [+] ::
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IRL Fantasy League Update:

The oval trackers are taking it to Gateway, MO this weekend. Make sure you have your lineups in by Saturday! Good luck.
:: Eric 8.8.03 [+] ::
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:: 25.7.03 ::
IRL Fantasy League Update:

This weekend's race is at the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. That means driver lineups are due by tomorrow (Saturday). For the first time in over 5 years, I will not be able to attend this race. My niece is being baptized on Sunday, so we all know which is more important. As a consolation, it looks as though I'll be going to the August NASCAR race. So things aren't so bad.
:: Eric 25.7.03 [+] ::
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This week in racing:

Sunday, Aug. 27

Vancouver, BC - CART: Molson Indy. Concord Pacific Place Street Circuit temporary road course. 2002 champion: Dario Franchitti

Brooklyn, MI - IRL: Michigan Indy 400. Michigan International Speedway superspeedway. Defending champion: Tomas Scheckter

Long Pond, PA - NASCAR: Pennsylvania 500. Pocono International Raceway tri-oval. Defending champion: Bill Elliot
:: Eric 25.7.03 [+] ::
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:: 18.7.03 ::
IRL Fantasy League Update:

I know it's been a whole week since the race ran and results were posted, but the podium for last week's race in Kansas looked like this:

1. Lambros Entry
2. Mean Machine
3. Whizzing Wheels

Lambros Entry posted its first victory, last week, largely due to strong finishes from the entire team, including a 2nd place finish from Helio Castroneves. Mean Machine suffered a setback due to some early retirements and troubles from some of the more promising drivers. Kanaan and Dixon finished 4th and 6th, but the other 3 drivers failed to crack the top 15. Whizzing Wheels posted good results with drivers averaging a finish just over 9th place.

With a strong run of results over the last couple of weeks the overall season standings are changing. The current season podium looks like this:
1. Mean Machine
2. Lambros Entry
3. Whizzing Wheels

The season is now in the heart of summer, and just past the halfway point, so look for the points battle to really heat up. Good luck.

Note: This week's race is on Saturday. If you haven't already done so, go to the Fantasy site to make lineup changes, now. Today is the deadline for this week!!
:: Eric 18.7.03 [+] ::
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This week in racing:

Saturday, July 19

Gladeville, TN - IRL: Firestone Indy 200. Nashville Superspeedway tri-oval. Defending champion: Alex Barron

Sunday, July 20

Silverstone, England - F1: British Grand Prix. Silverstone Circuit road course. Defending champion: Michael Schumacher

Loudon, NH - NASCAR: New England 300. New Hampshire International Speedway oval. Defending champion: Ward Burton

Also, Busch Series in NH; Craftsman Trucks at Gateway, MO; NHRA in Denver.
:: Eric 18.7.03 [+] ::
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I'm Baaack!! I've been enjoying a couple of weeks off and this is my first week back to the routine. So, I'll get right back to updating the status of the IRL Fantasy League and previewing the events that are unfolding in Open Wheel racing.
:: Eric 18.7.03 [+] ::
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:: 25.6.03 ::
Three Stars - Week 3

1. Toyota: Not many people paid attention to the kiwi driver, Scott Dixon leading up to the Homestead race. But Dixon won a race with an all-Toyota podium The Hondas did well enough, especially the Andretti/Green cars. The Chevy contingent was trying REAL hard, but those cars are way down on power this year. The Penske Toyota drivers shared the podium and Scott Sharp drove his Delphi Toyota really hard.

2. Ryan Newman: Yes, Rousch racer Matt Kenseth won the race, but the hard driver of the day in Las Vegas was definitely Ryan Newman. The Penske Dodge boy battled back from 2 laps down to finish 10th.

3. Gil de Ferran: IRL/CART Penske veteran driver de Ferran had a great race strategy that was only spoiled by Dixon's awesome drive. After a late pit stop that brought de Ferran and teammate Helio Castroneves together, you could tell that they were poised to orchestrate a quick move out front for the balance of the race.
:: Eric 25.6.03 [+] ::
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:: 20.6.03 ::
CART to go private?

It's no secret that CART has had its struggles. The sanctioning body has been plowing through its reserve cash at a feverish clip. Stock prices are down near $3.00/share. News reports are flying around saying that CART is looking for a buyer to step up and take the company private. Among suitors are majority shareholder, Gerry Forsythe and Formula One mega-tycoon Bernie Ecclestone. There's a great article about this in this week's AutoWeek (in print, sorry no hyperlink.) and another great perspective from open-wheel guru, Robin Miller (with hyperlink).
:: Eric 20.6.03 [+] ::
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FYI: Dario Franchitti is due to undergo back surgery following his motorcycle injury earlier this year. As a result, his season driving in the IRL for Andretti Green is over. His ride will be taken over by a driver to be named later.
:: Eric 20.6.03 [+] ::
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Indy Racing League Fantasy Update:

The results came in for the Pikes Peak race. Team Muttley lapped the field. The podium looked like this:

1. Team Muttley
2. Lambros Entry
3. Whizzing Wheels

Team Muttley was helped by the majority of drivers making the top 10. Only Scott Sharp was outside the top 10. He finished 11th. Lambros posted a decent finish. He also had Scott Dixon, who won the race, and was mainly hindered by keeping retirees Andretti and Luyendyk on his team. Whizzing Wheels posted a good finish at third, based on a solid field of drivers. Her best driver, Kenny Brack finished 7th. Wardy's DNQ was responsible for the team's only zero.

Based on the results of the Colorado race, the season podium looks like this:
1. Team Muttley
2. Texas Two-Step
3. Whizzing Wheels

The results have tightened up the race for second place, while Team Muttley has increased his lead. But there are still plenty of races to be run, and it won't take much to bring the group up to contend for the lead. Keep posted on the latest driver developments as I find them and make comments.

The next race is in another week: Saturday, June 28th at Richmond's small oval. Make sure you pick your drivers by Friday, June 27th. Good luck!
:: Eric 20.6.03 [+] ::
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This week in racing:

Sunday, June 22, 2003.

Portland, OR - CART: GI Joe's 200. Portland International Raceway road course. 2002 Champion: Cristiano da Matta.

Sonoma, CA - NASCAR: Dodge Savemart 350. Infineon Raceway road course. Defending Champion: Ricky Rudd.

Also, Craftsman Trucks race in Memphis, TN.
:: Eric 20.6.03 [+] ::
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:: 13.6.03 ::
This Week in Racing: (Super-sized)

It seems everything with 4 wheels and an engine is racing this weekend. Check it out!

Saturday, June 14 - Sunday, June 15

Le Mans, France - ACO: 24 Heures du Mans, Circuit de la Sarthe road & street circuit. Defending champions: Team Audi (LMP)

Sunday, June 15

Monterey, CA - CART: Grand Prix of Monterey. Laguna Seca road course. 2002 champion: Cristiano da Matta

Montreal, Quebec - F1: Canadian Grand Prix. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course. Defending champion: Michael Schumacher

Fountain, CO - IRL: Honda Indy 225. Pikes Peak International Raceway oval track. Defending champion: Gil de Ferran

Brooklyn, MI - NASCAR: Sirius Sattellite Radio 400. Michigan International Speedway superspeedway oval. Defending champion: Matt Kenseth

Also, this weekend: Busch Series in Sparta, KY on Saturday. NHRA in Columbus, OH. Didn't I say everyone was racing this weekend?
:: Eric 13.6.03 [+] ::
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:: 12.6.03 ::
IRL Fantasy League Update

The results came in for the Texas race and the podium looks like this:

1. Team Muttley
2. Epp Entry
3. Lambros Entry


With a race as exciting as the Texas race usually is, the results for the fantasy league were a little less exciting. Team Muttley just about lapped the field scoring 134 points. Second place Epp Entry scored only 72 points. Muttley's performance was bolstered by the podium finishes of Tony Kanaan and Tora Takagi. Jeff's team came in second on the backs of race winner Al Unser, Jr. and 10th place finisher, Sam Hornish. (Hint: Robby Gordon, Jimmy Vasser, and Scott Mayer are back at their regular jobs at NASCAR, CART, and Pep Boys? respectively.) Lambros Entry can attribute its third place to 3 solid finishers: Dixon, Helio, and Fisher. (Hint #2: Andretti and Luyendyk were out registering with AARP.)

So, after 5 races the season podium looks like this:
1. Team Muttley
2. Texas Two-Step
3. Whizzing Wheels


Fortunately, the point totals were low enough to keep the podium the same as the previous race. Though the gap has widened at the top and tightened up elsewhere throughout the field.

IMPORTANT: There is an IRL this weekend. If you need to change up your driver lineup, make sure to have it in by Saturday to count towards this week's race.

Good luck!
:: Eric 12.6.03 [+] ::
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