:: 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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:: 28.2.03 ::

This week in racing:

March 2, 2003

Homestead, FL - IRL: Toyota Indy 300. Defending Champion: Sam Hornish, Jr.; Infiniti Pro Series: Western Union 100.

Las Vegas, NV - NASCAR: UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. Defending Champion: Sterling Marlin.
:: Eric 28.2.03 [+] ::
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:: 27.2.03 ::
In more somber news, Uruguayan driver Gonzalo Rodriguez's mother has filed a $25 million wrongful death suit against Laguna Seca and CART. Rodriguez is missed. I'll never forget that horrific crash, as I watched video of the car flipping over the barriers at the top of the corkscrew turn. 1999 was a terrible year for motorsports with the loss of Gonzalo Rodriguez & Greg Moore. My prayers will continue to go out to those who have lost someone they were close to, as a competitor or fan of motor racing.
:: Eric 27.2.03 [+] ::
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Good news for Sarah Fisher fans. She'll be in this week's Homestead race. Hopefully more i's will be dotted and t's crossed to fund a ride for the entire season. She's a more than capable driver, and a slam-dunk for any promoter to have her in the field this year. Let's hope they get it done!
:: Eric 27.2.03 [+] ::
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Helio Wins!!

Helio wins over teammate Gil de Ferran. No, it's not racing but tennis!
:: Eric 27.2.03 [+] ::
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IRL Fantasy League

I'm starting a fantasy league on the ESPN.com fantasy sports page. It's free to join, and the winners are placed in a drawing for prizes (though I'm not quite sure how that works). Anyway, I opened a public league on the website. Go to the fantasy sports link on espn.go.com , then look for the public league entitled "IRL Wacky Racers" and sign up.

You will be asked to select 5 from a pool of drivers. Each driver is assigned a value, and you're limited to 100 total points, so choose wisely. Then, you can change drivers from race to race or keep the same drivers as long as you want. There's no draft, so essentially everyone could pick Helio Castroneves if they wanted to. You will be competing for a place within the league, as well as against the entire population of ESPN competitors. Good luck!
:: Eric 27.2.03 [+] ::
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:: 24.2.03 ::
Three Stars – Week 2:

1. Paul Tracy: The first star of the week should have gone to Sebastian Bourdais. He dominated the qualifying after posting the best times during Spring Training. But a botched pit strategy and a tank-slapper showed he is a rookie after all. PT kept his temper under control, raced a good strategy, and wound up winning his 20th Champ Car race.
2. Boris Said: This star could have easily gone to Scott Pruett. He led all the laps of the Trans-Am race in St. Petersburg, and had the pole position. Pruitt’s win came after a long hiatus from motor racing. However, I’m giving the second star to opponent, Boris Said, because he started from dead last thanks to a failed tech inspection, and ended up on the podium. He came up through quite a dicey bunch of racers (ahem, Tony Drissi, ahem) to put on a strong finish.
3. Dale Jarrett: I only caught the final 40 laps of the Subway 400 from Rockingham, but I saw all that I needed to see. Kurt Busch and Dale Jarrett playing a game of cat-and-mouse, zigzagging through a huge group of lapped cars. Hey, NASCAR, did you know that sometimes attrition can be a good thing?!? Anyhow, it was exciting and once DJ got past Kurt, he never looked back. DJ looked hungry for a win, which is something I can’t say everyday when describing a Winston Cup driver.

:: Eric 24.2.03 [+] ::
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:: 21.2.03 ::
This Week in Racing:

Feb. 23, 2003

St. Petersburg, FL - Barber Dodge Pro Series, CART, SCCA Trans-Am. Inaugural race for circuit.

Rockingham, NC - NASCAR. 400 miles. Defending champion: Matt Kenseth.
:: Eric 21.2.03 [+] ::
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:: 17.2.03 ::
Three Stars - Week 1

Throughout the racing season, I will try to recap the racing highlights of the prior weekend by announcing my 3 Stars. (To borrow from hockey.)

1. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. - Dale had the car to beat for nearly the whole week. He won the Bud Shootout, the qualifying race, and had a front row spot in the Daytona 500. Only an alternator problem set him back, though you could tell he had a car that could have still worked his way back on the lead lap, had the race gone the entire distance.

2. Michael Waltrip - He was the right guy at the right place at the right time. In announcing his reaction to the win, he stated that he prayed to God to forgive him of his sins FIRST, then prayed for rain. OK, the praying for rain was kind of a selfish prayer, but to unapologetically proclaim his use of prayer on national TV - Mikey deserves a big thumbs-up!

3. The DEI team - They were the team to beat all week. Other NASCAR teams dubbed them the "23 Car". 8+15, get it. Their working together to get Dale Jr's first lap back, and Mikey the lead was crafted in such a way to make Jean Todt of the Ferrari F1 team proud! Team interaction may have taken a big step forward this year in NASCAR. We shall see!
:: Eric 17.2.03 [+] ::
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:: 11.2.03 ::
It's been announced (finally) that Roberto Moreno will indeed be driving for Herdez competition this CART season. The 44-year old veteran of CART, F1, IRL will race along side his teammate, last year's rookie of the year, Mario Dominguez. With Fittipaldi's announcement, the total number of drivers now on board is 19. That's one more than the minimum number Chris Pook promised (and is contractually obliged to produce), and equal to the number of drivers who competed most of last season.
:: Eric 11.2.03 [+] ::
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Hats off to seventhgear.com. The internet site scooped everybody when they announced that Emerson Fittipaldi will field a one-car effort in this year's CART championship. In a partnership with businessman, James Dingman. Tiago Monteiro, of Portugal, will drive the car. They will share garages in Indianapolis with Eric Bachelart's Conquest team.
:: Eric 11.2.03 [+] ::
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:: 5.2.03 ::
Malaysian F1 driver, Alex Yoong has also been seen wandering the paddocks at Sebring. Perhaps, his budgetary concerns will clear up, and we may see him in a Forsythe car this year?
:: Eric 5.2.03 [+] ::
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Mika Salo has been seen hanging around the PK team area quite a bit during Sebring Spring Testing. Could he be in line to drive for Pollock's CART team? As a 2nd driver, or (more likely) a replacement if Lemarie has a bumpy start? Stay tuned...
:: Eric 5.2.03 [+] ::
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It appears NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is doing a little moonlighting. According to Crash.net, the young Roush driver is making a side trip to Sebring to test Bobby Rahal's #9 Champ Car! Unfortunately, he is signed to a Winston Cup contract with Jack Roush, and will not become Rahal's second driver for this year. Let's hope he has a great experience in the open-wheeler. We could use another young, American hotshoe in CART!
:: Eric 5.2.03 [+] ::
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Champ Car

Robin Miller has a great run-down of who's driving for whom in 2003. Check it out!


:: Eric 5.2.03 [+] ::
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:: 4.2.03 ::
Indy Car

From the AP wire:

"INDIANAPOLIS -- Former CART champion Michael Andretti will retire as a driver after the Indianapolis 500 in May to concentrate on being a car owner."

So this is his last chance? Hmm. I don't know... You've got Kenny Brack, Helio, Gil de Ferran, Tony Kanaan, etc. It's going to be very tough competition this year.
:: Eric 4.2.03 [+] ::
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Indy Car

It was announced on the RPM.ESPN site that Rick Mears will be a driver coach for the Infiniti Pro Series. He will maintain his current role working with the Penske team in the IRL also.

There is no better coach than the 4-time Indy 500 winner, 3-time Indy 500 polesitter, and multiple CART champion. Congratulations, Rick!
:: Eric 4.2.03 [+] ::
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Champ Car

The rumors are flying almost as fast as the Fords are at Sebring's Spring Training.

First big rumor is that Emerson Fittipaldi will be fielding a team with a Portugese driver this year. And related to that rumor is the idea of Estoril being added to the schedule in the near future. Or, as Chris Pook would say, "2004"

Second rumor is that, with a stronger presence in Europe, several European (German) manufacturers are possibly going to enter the CART series when the new engine packages are created in 2005. This is the time when it has been proposed the teams will switch to a normally aspirated V-10 setup similar to that of F1.
:: Eric 4.2.03 [+] ::
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