The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on July 29, 1996 · Page 26
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 26

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Monday, July 29, 1996
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1 C2 THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR MONDAY. JULY 29. 1996 Drivers worry speeds are climbing too fast By Robin Miller STAFF WRITER BROOKLYN, Mich. It was a brutal week for two of Roger Penske's three drivers as Emerson Fittipaldi broke a vertebra in his neck Sunday and Paul Tracy fractured a bone in his back Saturday. Other hard crashes during the Marlboro 500 put Parker Johnstone In Foote Hospital overnight, bruised Roberto Moreno and shook Alex Zanardi. And Sunday's third-place finisher says IndyCar's drivers are concerned with the violent velocity of Michigan International Speedway. "The drivers are very concerned with the speeds," said Mauriclo Gugelmin. "We could have run 240 this weekend with regular boost and I wouldn't be too keen to be in one of these cars to be honest. "We keep trimming out our cars But if something goes away . . . you don't have a chance to react. I think we can put on a good show MILLER .Continued from Pagel American driver. We're just interested in running up front," said Valvoline's Mark Coughlin. fYou know, part of our attraction (in IndyCar) is the international appeal." Since Honda is intent on keeping its six-driver rotation, Walker Racing will not be able to run a two-car team even if Scott Goodyear scores a sponsor. But Green could expand from one to two cars in '97, depending on how the Brahma dominos fall. I hear Green won't take Brahma back if Raul Boesel is part of the package. ; With Kool coming from Indy Lites to IndyCar and demanding a top-notch American driver, Green wanted Michael Andretti but couldn't buy out his contract with NewmanHaas. I So it basically came down to Scott Pruett or Gordon: and, evidently, Firestone made it worth RIBEIRO Continued from Page 1 flat-spotted tires. ; "I was disappointed with our qualifying, but I knew we had a good, strong car. And we didn't have to worry about the beginning, . . . just the end." i While the wheel-to-wheel action and seven lead changes kept the estimated crowd of 65,000 entertained, the high speed took its usual toll on drivers and equipment. Emerson Fittipaldi took the worst of It, as the two-time world champion suffered a broken vertebra In his neck, a fractured left shoulder blade and a partially collapsed lung after walloping the wall In Turn 2 of the opening lap. The popular 49-year-old veteran,! was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Ann Arbor and was listed In serious but stable condition. Surgery was planned, but Fittipaldi had no neural deficit, and his long-term prognosis was good, according to CART spokesman Adam Saal. " Parker Johnstone also was hospitalized with a sore neck and bruised knees following his Turn 4 crash. Roberto Moreno walked away from his fourth-turn crash with minor bruises, while Alex Zanardi escaped injury after pounding that same wall. "The leaders didn't fare much better during the 3 hours, 16 min- 1 friceson & i-boo-317-eyes. Center For Refractive Surgery. VfcJry The LaserEye Centers. 51 9002 N. Meridian St., Ste. 100, Indianapolis, IN 46260 INDYCAR NOTEBOOK with 600-700 horsepower, we don't need 900." Championship Auto Racing Teams has kept a pretty good handle on safety, as have the car constructors, and tried to keep horsepower and aerodynamics in check. But winner Andre Ribeiro practiced at 238 miles per hour Saturday with 40 inches of manifold pressure (instead of the usual 45) and raced at 231 -plus in the closing stages. "Tires, engines, cars ... the technology is getting too far ahead of us," continued Gugelmin. "It's getting out of control." Watch out, Gil Gil de Ferran knows all about bad breaks and almost experienced the worst one of all. Running third on Lap 128, de Ferran was nearly speared in the head by a flying tire off Alex Zan-ardi's car. When Zanardi crashed, his right front slammed into a caution light, bounced down on the track and hit Jim Hall's Penn- while for Pruett to stay with Pat Patrick. Gordon, whose career has stalled this season but still packs plenty of potential, is tied to Ford. Even though Brahma and de Ferran were a good fit, Green cannot run a Ford in one car and a Honda in another. There is a rumor Emerson Fittipaldi, who discovered Brahma, will take the Brazilian beer company and start his own team In '97. But the two-time world champion said he wanted to field a car some day but "in the future." ALL-AMERICAN RACERS: P.J. Jones and Juan Fangio are hoping for a better Eagle or stronger Toyota or both. ARCIEROWELLS: Jeff Krosnoff's death has left an obvious void, and Hiro Matsushita will move over to make this a two-car effort. BETTENHAUSEN: Veteran Stefan Johansson or Mad Max Pappas? BRIXCOMTECH: Parker Johnstone says everything is OK. FORSYTHE: Greg Moore is s-o-o-o good and smart and a Player here in '97, but i ii bet Penske is looking at him hard. .rar oft Mi Associated Press SWEET WIN: Andre Ribeiro is enamored with the trophy for winning the Marlboro 500. utes it took to go the 250 laps. Pole-sitter Jimmy Vasser paced the initial 15 circuits, then his Target '96 ReynardHonda turned to Junk. He struggled home ninth. Rookie Greg Moore looked strong In leading 31 laps before his Player's '96 ReynardMercedes burned a wheel bearing. Michael Andretti was out In front before an alternator pitched In his KmartTexaco '96 LolaFord. Zanardi pounded the concrete while leading on Lap 128. With 20 laps left, Scott Pruett looked like a good candidate to "Glasses didn't athleticlifestyle." Tom Godby's glasses used to slip off on long summer bike trips. But that's history now. In 1993 Tom, president and owner of Godby Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning, had RK surgery for nearsightedness. "I have an athletic lifestyle. I bike, ski, scuba and play racquetball. Glasses were inconvenient, and I couldn't wear contacts." Refractive surgery gave Tom the Visual Freedom he needed for his active lifestyle. When he decided to change the way he looked at the world, Tom Godby chose PriceWhitson, the leaders in vision-correcting surgery since 1983. Shouldn'tyou? MsMiMasM aiimisMformctftoto. fitinwilhmv 1996Prict'WliitsotiQriterFi)rRefrmivtSuiffry Ifetao 500 At Brooklyn, Mich. TOP FINISHERS 1. Andre Ribeiro L-H 2. Bryan Herta R-M 3. Mauricio Gugelmin R-F 4. AI UnserJr P-M 5. Stefan. Johansson R-M 6. MarkBlundell R-F 7. Raul Boesel R-F 8. Robby Gordon R-F 9. Jimmy Vasser R-H 10. C. Fittipaldi L-F CHASSIS: L-Lola, R-Reynard, P-PnsK6 ENGINES: H-Honda, M-Mer-cedes, F-Ford SERIES POINTS LEADERS: Vasser 112, Unser 111, Gil de Ferran 111, C. Rttipaldi 87, Michael Andretti 73. zoil Special. The tire tore off de Ferran's leftside mirror, left a thick tire mark right next to his windshield and ripped away the leftside end plate of the rear wing. "It didn't hit my head so I guess it was my lucky day," said de Ferran. "But it was close." A wheel bearing finally knocked him out, but the Carmel resident is still only 20 points out of first place. GALLES: If Rick Galles stays in CART, Davy Jones probably has a full-time ride. If Galles goes IRL, Jones probably has a full-time ride. GANASSI: Jimmy Vasser and Alex Zanardi are happy, and so is everybody atTargetGanassi. GREEN: California cool Gordon in Kool car makes Boesel look like odd man out in Brahma triangle. HOGANPENSKE: If Carl Hogan keeps association with Roger Penske, will Fittipaldi be back for a final fling? NEWMANHAAS: Andretti and Christian Fittipaldi just need a little more horsepower. PAC-WEST: Bruce McCaw likes Mark Blundell and Mauricio Gugelmin. PATRICK: Pruett may have Indy Light ace Gualter Salles as a teammate. PAYT0NCOYNE: Roberto Moreno is likely to return, and Dale Coyne says he's got funding for two cars. PENSKE: Al Unser Jr. and Paul Tracy don't have much affection for each other, but they both have contracts with The Captain. RAHAL: Bryan Herta and bossman Bob remain a team. TASMAN MOTORSP0RTS: Adrian Fernandez and Andre Ribeiro look secure. WALKER: De Ferran brings renewed enthusiasm and Honda . . . maybe he should also bring an engineer. defend his title here. He had just moved the Firestone '96 LolaFord around Ribeiro and Into first before losing oil pressure. But Ribeiro, who hot-lapped at 238 mph Saturday, said he wasn't concerned about Pruett. "We were saving fuel, not pushing 100 percent, and I knew we had something in our pocket," Ribeiro said. "That was not the time to battle, we would have waited for the last few laps." As it was, Ribeiro's healthy advantage was erased with Johnstone's Lap 235 accident. A nice hustle job by CART's clean-up crew had the green flag waving again with eight laps left, but Mauricio Gugelmin and Herta couldn't take advantage. "You never give up, and I had a chance to get in Andre's draft; but I wasn't able to. ... He was strong, and It was his day," said Herta, who shoved his Shell '96 ReynardMercedesGoodyear around Gugelmin on the Lap 242 restart. After finishing second In last May's U.S. 500, Gugelmin did another nice job and came from 13th to take third In the Hollywood '96 ReynardFordGoodyear. "We had to make nine pit stops because I ran over some debris from Emerson's crash, but this was one of the best-balanced cars I've ever driven," said Gugelmin. Al Unser Jr., In the Marlboro '96 PenskeMercedes, never led a lap but soldiered home fourth. He moved to within one point of Vasser in the PPG standings. Stefan Johansson scored his best result of '96 by taking fifth in the Alumax '96 ReynardMercedes. Are you happy with your look? We service all types of hair replacements. am service department. 1 In Solving Hair Loss Problems Call Today 899-1009 or 1-800-982-7655 Apollo of Indiana 8989 Pendleton Pike Indianapolis, IN 46226 Financing Avallabi Martin watches ftarnhar accident Somehow, he avoids all the debris and finishes third at Talladega. By Curt Cavin STAFF WRITER TALLADEGA, Ala. Mark Martin might have had the best view of the spectacular accident that sent seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt to the hospital with chest pain. While Earnhardt's No. 3 was skidding upside down, Martin's No. 6 was sliding backward. Martin didn't so much avoid the melee, he took a seat and a view. He should have bought a ticket. He was helplessly out of control. Yet, he never hit a thing. Nothing. There were only 11 cars to chose from. "I have no idea how I did it," he said, shaking his head. "In fact, I couldn't have done it any better if I'd have been driving it myself. I bet I couldn't have driven through it." Martin's luck has been miserable despite an llth-place standing in the series points fight. He Accidents TALLADEGA, Ala. Sunday was one of the longest days of my racing life, and not just because of the lengthy rain delay in the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. I was Involved In the first big accident of the day, a pileup on Lap 103 that collected 16 cars. Mine took a solid hit, too, and was retired. I was OK. I don't apologize for everything, but when I make a mistake, I do apologize. It was like the Daytona 500 In Brickyard Diary John Andretti February, only this one was my fault. I don't know what else I can say. When I went Into Turn 3, Dale Jarrett and 1 were two abreast. Several of the previous corners had been contested three abreast. I was on the bottom of the race track, where I preferred to be. When I got in there I got a little bit on the bumps there are a few there in the middle of the 33-degree banking and got loose, My car just took off and got Into Jarrett's. The back end came around and unfortunately, all those guys behind us got caught. I had been loose all day, that's why I had fallen back after running as high as second earlier in the race. On that pivotal lap, I slid out further than I GORDON Continued from Page 1 from series sponsor R.J. Reynolds. Sixteen cars were Involved In the day's first crash when John Andretti tapped Dale Jarrett. Jarrett bobbled but kept on going, eventually to the point of passing Gordon for the lead four laps from the finish. Gordon, however, regained the lead as the final group of 14 cars went for its final hurrah. It was stock car racing at Its best, and Jeff Burton's charge to third place he settled for seventh at the Hill wins in Germany, pads Formula One lead Associated Press HOCKENHEIM, Germany Formula One leader Damon Hill won the German Grand Prix on Sunday, taking the lead when Gerhard Berger's engine blew up with three laps to go. Hill, who started from the pole position, fell behind early but rallied to edge Jean Alesi of France by 11.5 seconds In the 190.8-mile race. "I have had my share of bad luck here," Hill said. "I was leading the race by 30 seconds In 1 Images - Hair Club P.H.D. -Etc. Apollo is the 1 hair replacement company in the world. Apollo of Indiana has the most advanced equipment and trained personal to service all hair replacement methods. Come and meet our award winning iHiirt'nlMi kSjifT Jh from close range NASCAR NOTEBOOK easily had the best car at Pocono last week, leading 121 laps. He finished ninth. He has won two poles but has not taken a race. The season is now 18 races old. Time is slipping away. With the second pileup, Martin moved up, eventually finishing In third place. He viewed it as a good omen. "Maybe God is going to spare me," he said. Mast has wet ride Rain drenched the area for nearly 24 hours, creating water pools and mud slides throughout the spacious Talladega Infield. Rick Mast took advantage of the sogginess to avoid hitting the infield fence with an early-race accident. His Hooters Pontlac ended up in 2 feet of water, hydroplane-style. He blamed Jeff Purvis. "There's a guy out there racing that doesn't race with us a lot," Mast said. "We were all off three-deep, two-deep and all that when the race started. This particular car was running low, running peo are part of finish gave Gordon an air boost past Jarrett. "I had so much momentum that he couldn't keep me back," Gordon said. "I went low, high. . . . It's a wide race track." "It was a matter of getting in the right spot at the end," Jarrett said. "Jeff got a run, , . . and there is Just nothing you can do when these cars get going." Much of the post-race controversy involved Andretti and Irvan, who were blamed for the two Incidents, the latter involving Earnhardt and 10 others. Andretti accepted responsibility; Irvan did not. 1993 and had a puncture on the last lap. These things happen, I'm afraid, in motor racing. "It would have been an exciting last few laps If Gerhard had kept going. It Is a shame for him." The win gives Hill 10 more points In the world championship standings. He leads teammate Jacques Villeneuve, who was third in Sunday's race, 73-52. Hill averaged 140 mph in winning for the first time at Hocken-helm and tying Michael Schumacher with 20 Formula One career victories. After trailing early In the race, Hill passed Alesi on the 23rd lap but still trailed Berger. The Briton took the lead when Berger went for his first pit stop on the 24th lap. He then clocked the fastest lap of the race at 1 minute, 46.5 seconds, a speed of 143 mph. Berger regained the lead when Hill pitted. Hill pressured Berger's Benetton Renault, making repeated attempts to pass the Austrian, but Berger managed to block Hill's EASTSIDE 2333 N. POST RD. (170 & Post) WESTSIDE 56TH & GEORGETOWN RD. j iLOGqj (In the Cross (In the Cross Creek Centre) ple high and crowding everyone. . j "I was unfortunate enough to get on the outside of him down there in Turns 1 and 2. He kept running me up higher and higher, and finally, coming off Turn 2, he turned me right into the wall." The ride was nothing short of a ' miracle, given that he did not hit any of the second pack of cars' chasing from behind. He slid unscathed to the water, which showered him on Lap 25. "I slid back down there through the swamp and it broke the transmission," Mast said. Notes In the first multi-car accident, 16 cars were involved. Amazingly, 14 were Fords. There were 24, which started the 42-car race . . Much-needed strong finishes:; Jimmy Spencer in fifth, Jeff Burton In seventh and Darrell Waltrip, in ninth . . . A. J. Foyt had his, Winston Cup car here at Talladega; to be Inspected ... Indianapolis take note: The past four Winston Cup weekends (Daytona, New Hampshire, Pocono and Talladega have been plagued by rain. The Brickyard 400 will be held at the. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday. the game should have. I feel terrible. Again, all 1 can do is say I'm sorry.', ' I lost the back end; It was nobody's fault but my own. There were a couple incidents where there should have been trouble earlier. That's what happens in restrictor plate racing, where there's so much close racing every lap. Racing is racing and guys drive hard all of the time. You try to find space where you can and sometimes you have to create it. Some guys raced harder earlier and some raced hard later. I just ran where I thought I was comfortable. If your lane goes faster, all of a sudden you've got friends for drafting. If your lane doesn't go fast, the ; other lane is the one to be In. It's a day-long game. We had been loose, but I got into the middle of the ' track, where it's rougher. That turned me around. I apologize to my team and all the other teams that were involved, too. There's nothing 1 can do now but " go home and think about Indianapolis, which begins" practice Wednesday. This is part of racing. At least everyone escaped relatively injury-free. It was a bad day. John Andretti, driver of the purple No. 37 KmartLittle Caesars Ford, will be writing a daily diary during the week ol the Brickyard 400. He linished 39th in Sunday's DieHard 500. "(Marlin) wanted to go by Earn-, hardt ... so he was jerking, trying to get real close to him," said Irvan, who was booed by the crowd. "He ran right into my right front fender. I was right In line with Earnhardt. You've got to give and take." "(Irvan) turned into me," Marlirt said. Jarrett, Irvan's teammate, finished second with Mark Martin third, Irvan fourth, Jimmy Spencer fifth, Geoff Bodine sixth and Burton seventh all Fords. "I was one lonesome Chevrolet," Gordon said. TLJBft': ' Formula Ono Gsrsnsa G? (Top finishers) Driver Equipment Damon Hill Jean Alesi Jacques Villeneuve Michael Schumacher David CouHhard Rubens Barrichello OHvtef Panls Heinz-Harald Frentzen MikaSaiOj Martin Brundle Renault Renault Renault Ferrari Mercedes Peugeot Honda 1 Ford Yamaha Peugeot Series point leaders: Hill 73, Villeneuve 52, Alesi 31, Schumacher 29, Coulthard 18. taster Williams Renault. At the end of the 42nd lap, Berger's engine exploded in a cloud of smoke. Of ITEM Buy one item at regular price and get a second item of equal or lesser value at half price. Discount good on regular priced merchandise only. 895-7005 ! Offer expires 83196 I 5 - T

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