The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on July 24, 2000 · Page 21
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 21

Indianapolis, Indiana
Issue Date:
Monday, July 24, 2000
Page 21
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MONDAY, JULY 24, 2000 C3 CART owners have no clue if they abandon Michigan Speedway THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR BROOKLYN, Mich. The talk among car owners and some Championship Auto Racing Teams officials this weekend was how they couldn't wait until ; V The Racing act T1 u 3 Michigan Speed-insidcr way expires after Robin 2001. Miller They want to leave because only drawing 50,000 people in a 136,000-seat venue is embarrassing and, besides, they can find a street course in Uganda that pays more money and gets just as many paying customers. But, if CART turns its back on f I--, S ' ' ' ''-2 .. .. The Detroit News David Guralnick Hard hit: Pieces from Kenny Brack's car scatter across the track after he hits the wall on the backstretch. Brack was trying to get around Christian Fittipaldi when the cars collided. YOUTH Continued from Page 1 upon the lapped car of Tarso Marques. "We were side by side with a slower car in front of us, and I decided I wasn't going to lift," said Montoya, whose victory margin (.040 of a second) was the third closest In Championship Auto Racing Teams history. "I would have hit him (Marques) if I had to and it was real close. "But it was a lot of fun racing close with Michael, it seemed like we passed each other 100 times. I lost this race by about that much last year, so this was good." Andrettl, who took the FedEx Championship points lead, thought he was looking at his 41st champ car win. "I was setting Juan up for the last lap and I got him to do what I wanted," said the 38-year-old veteran, who led 58 laps. "I let him get by in turn one, and I knew I wanted to draft going into three and get him back. "I came off four really strong and I thought Tarso was actually going to help me because I got a little tow from him initially. I thought, "Yeah, stay there,' but then he went up to the wall. I was fighting for that tow, but Juan was stuck right there. "Neither one of us backed off and if Tarso would have moved down just half a car length, I would have won. He (Marques) was just trying to stay out of the way, but he gave Juan that tow." Dario Franchitti, who finished 1.6 seconds behind in third in the Kool ReynardHonda, said: "Michael was close to Juan, Juan was close to the wall and Marques was close to both of them." But, unlike when they clashed last year at Japan (resulting in a fine and probation for Montoya), CARTs marquee performers drove in a professional manner. "It was good clean racing, and Juan and I gave each other a few slide jobs, but we took care of each other," Andrettl said. "Unfortu- Paid Advertisement "It seems to me that the most important career for the future welfare of our country is parenting. -John Wooden, UCLA Parenting an Athlete, com Dear Billy, As a long time coach of 30 years, I see more involve-ment from parents in their child's sports activities. The Billy Shepherd FounderCEO j V : J r. ; V authoritative coaching style seems less accepted by parents today. Do you think this is true and why? Don Dear Don: Coming from an era of authoritative coaches (my Dad in high school, Tony Hinkle at Butler, and pro coaches Wilt Chamberlain and Al Bianchi), I Union this track, it truly has no clue about its heritage and what makes this form of motorsports so special. Sunday's Michigan 500 was a showcase of speed, ability, trust, stamina and mechanical performance. It was three hours of passing, drafting, dicing and racing as close as you can ever hope for in open-wheel racing. It left the fans as breathless as the guys putting on the show. Those drivers, who haven't been able to get through the first turn the past three races, put on a command performance for most of the afternoon. Adam Saal, who handles the publicity for the Indy Lights series, charted every lap and figured there were an astonishing 162 lead changes at various points on the track during those 250 laps. , ' . " 1 mat Michigan 500 (Top finishers) Driver Car 1. Juan Montoya L-T 2. Michael Andretti L-F 3. Dario Franchitti R-H 4. Patrick Carpentier R-H 5. Helio Castroneves R-H 6. Adrian Fernandez R-F 7. Paul Tracy R-H 8. Oriol Servia R-T 9. Max Papis R-F 10. Memo Gidley R-T Chassis: R-Reynard, L-Lola. Engines: H-Honda, F-Ford, T-To yota. Series Points leaders: Andretti 104, Roberto Moreno 90, Tracy 80, Gil de Ferran 75, Montoya 74 nately, he just beat me." The win put Montoya in select company. The last driver to win Indy and Michigan the same year was Rick Mears in 1991. "I didn't think I had much of a chance before the race," said Montoya, who started seventh and gave Toyota its second champ car win. "But I went from seventh to first on the opening lap and thought, This is pretty good.' " Amazingly, seven of the 13 cars running at the finish were on the lead lap and the first six were within 3 seconds of each other. The caution flag flew for only 38 laps, and rookies Kenny Brack and Alex Tagliani escaped injury with the only hard wall impacts. But Gil de Ferran suffered a broken finger from flying debris and Christian Fittipaldi incurred some bruises when he slid off the track. agree with you that it is less accepted today. Parents in general are not as strict with their children and are sometimes shocked by a coach who imposes discipline. To overcome this, it is important for coaches to meet at the outset with parents AND players to explain expectations, rules and ramifications for not meeting them. Be clear that parents and players must abide by those standards set for the "team". If these are stated before the season with a clear understanding by everyone, parents will be more supportive of the discipline. In other words, more than NASCAR's had in the past 10 years at all its races. And therein lies the mystery. The past three races here have been the three best 500-milers I've ever seen, start to finish. The winning margin, added together, for the trio is less than a second. And the crowds are smaller than they were five years ago. But Winston Cup packs 175,000 into Michigan twice a summer to watch a bunch of stock cars drive around, mostly in formation, at 170 mph. There's even a waiting list. "If people don't like this, then I give up," said Dario Franchitti, who finished third Sunday. "It was wild and crazy out there for three hours and I loved it." WALLACE Continued from Page 1 field in the final stage of the 200-lap race. On several laps before Mayfield's tire shredded, Burton tried to squeeze past Wallace Inside and outside only to come up short. Burton was disappointed but not heartbroken, like Mayfleld. "Rusty did an awesome job of blocking me and pinching me off," Burton said. "We raced clean and we never touched." Mayfleld was on pace to win his third race at Pocono. With Wallace and Burton battling each other, he led by six-tenths of a second heading to the last lap. Mayfleld didn't know his air pressure was dropping and certainly didn't see a cause for it. As he went into the troublesome second turn, known as the tunnel turn, his Mobil 1 Ford sailed off line. He was fortunate to keep the car off the concrete wall and hang on to finish 10th. The finish wasn't much different from the race here five weeks ago, when leader Dale Earnhardt drifted out of the groove just beyond the tunnel turn. But Earnhardt's misfortune was caused by a controversial push from Mayfleld, who went on to win. Earnhardt finished fourth. "I guess the track owed me one," Mayfleld said. "But (my) car was the best car out here, and I don't think anybody disputes that. Sometimes you have good luck and sometimes you don't." Jeff Gordon, who overcame mid-race contact with Mike Bliss, broke up the Ford domination by finishing third in the DuPont Chevrolet. Dale Jarrett and rookie Matt Ken-seth finished fourth and fifth in Fords. Jarrett, the defending Brickyard champion, led a race-high 73 laps but dropped from first to 13th on his final pit stop, when his team opted to take four new tires. His rivals benefited by taking only two. The change of leaders gave a memorable finish to what was an otherwise forgettable afternoon. Pocono's long straightaways and unique flat corners created several mechanical problems. Ricky Rudd, who crashed hard in turn one, and Dale Earnhardt also cut tires. Engine failure ruined the race for Mark Martin, John Andretti, Sterling Marlin, Scott Pruett and Bill Elliott. Pole sitter Tony Stewart never got his Pontiac to drive the way it qualified. He finished 26th. His teammate, points leader Bobby La-bonte, finished sixth. Most of the drivers agreed that Sunday's show was a preview of the Brickyard. And, truth be told, it wasn't a good thing. "I hope the Brickyard is as good of a race as this one," Burton said. "But it's been hard to pass everywhere this year and Indy is the worst (track on the circuit) as far as being hard to pass on." Tip of the Day PALMER brought to you buy DODGE Junior high kids interested in playing at the high school level, should become familiar with their sport at the next level. Know the coaching staff, attend the high school games, and pay particular attention to the players at your child's projected position. Learn about the teams on the schedule. Your child's increased interest will help him or her project themselves into the high school athletic scene! To submit, email your questions to dearbilly(fl, or call 317-624-4636 and enter 4550 to leave your question. Log on to Billy Shepherd is a former Mr. Basketball and professional athlete (ABA). His father was a Hall of tame coach, and Billy's two sons attended college on athletic scholarships. CART needs to do three things. First, forget what NASCAR draws and try to regain the old fan base of 70,000 because that's still a hell of a crowd. Second, If it's so concerned with the perceived lack of promotion from ISC (International Speedway Corp.), then CART needs to spend some of its money on promoting this event like it did in 1996 at the U.S. 500; 111,000 fans showed up. Flood the market with some special promotions and take some sting out of those $95 and $80 tickets. Give the fans a preliminary race Sunday morning instead of a few pace cars making laps and hours of silence. Third, don't just give up and walk away from a track that's been part of your heritage since 1968. Winston Cup Pennsylvania 500 (Top finishers) Driver Car 1. Rusty Wallace Ford 2. Jeff Burton Ford 3. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 4. Dale Jarrett Ford 5. Matt Kenseth Ford 6. Bobby Labonte Pontiac .7. Mike Skinner Chevrolet 8. Rick Mast Pontiac 9. Jimmy Spencer Ford 10. Jeremy Mayfield Ford Series points leaders: Labonte 2,825; Jarrett 2,772; Dale Earnhardt 2,718; Burton 2,624; Wallace 2,557. 2000 Brickyard 400 THURSDAY, AUG. 3 7 a.m. Public gates open 8- 9 a.m. IROC practice 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. NASCAR Winston Cup practice 1:30 p.m. NASCAR Winston Cup pole qualifying (pes. 1-25) 4-4:45 p.m. NASCAR Winston Cup practice 4:50-5:30 p.m. IROC practice 6 p.m. Public gates close FRIDAY, AUG. 4 7:30 am Public gates open 9- 11 am. NASCAR Winston Cup practice Noon NASCAR Winston Cup qualifying (pos. 26-36) .15-2:15 p.m. NASCAR Winston Cup final practice 2:45 p.m. IROC race, 40 laps 6 p.m. Public gates close SATURDAY, AUG. 5 6 am. Public gates open 11:30 a.m. Driver Introductions 12:15 p.m. Brickyard 400 start, 160 laps 6 p.m. Public gates close :::::::::::::::::'.::: RACE TICKETS 400 & F1 BUY SELL TRADE 595-7900 800-925-2500 PREFERREDTIX.COM 6505 E. 82NDST..STE213 1 iiV7t ENTER TO WIN A FREE TICKET TO THE WCW LIVE EVENT ON SUNDAY, JULY 30TH! Dovourbest champ -tallrin', LOUD-MOUTH. toD-of-the-ropes vurestlerimpersonaticjn Pick a Wrestler, any Wrestler! Who can you impersonate the best? Leave your creative, original and all-around best impersonation of any wrestler. An Indianapolis Star panel will pick the 6 best. They will keep originality, clarity, and lack of obscenities top-of-mind! Rules: Enter before midnight on July 24th. Three entries per person only. The 6 winners chosen by (he panel is a final decision. Winners will be notified by phone by 5 p.m. Thursday, July 27th. Winners must be able to pick up their ticket by 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 28th. Employees of Indianapolis Newspapers, 27st Century Paging, their advertising agencies and their immediate family members are not eligible to win. One of CARTs strongest attractions is that it takes a very versatile race driver to handle short ovals, road courses, street circuits and superspeedways. Is it dangerous? You damn betcha. It is too fast? Well, most of Sunday's race was run between 220 and 225 mph. But that's the reason people stood for much of this race and these drivers command big salaries. It's supposed to be the fastest, most challenging series in the world. And Michigan Speedway's wide banked turns are built for these cars and this superlative show. mmmmmm liillMOiHOIfhUliliU'MiM SO) OiMitffNttiii 2000 i ' G20 2000 130 !1000 Plus Fees Due mmwMwrnrim M000 Rus Rrrt Ptent and G20 $299 per mo. plus tax on payment. G20 48 Mo. lease. MRP $24,220. 130 $399 per mo. plus tax on payment. 130 48 Mo. lease. kSRf $30,099. Based on 1 2,000 miles per year. Must have beacon score of 700. Also, based on availability and out of dealer stock only. Offers expire July 31, 2000. 3' T v S - if: . .5-,- . ;i. .-. '-iWMiyW M si ! - 4 "There's no better race than this one and it's tough out there. We are mentally spent after this, but I guess that's why we're paid to race these things," said Michael Andretti. "As for whether they (CART) are going to race here again, I have to go where they say. But, yeah, in some ways it would be a shame to lose Michigan." A shame? No, it would be a disgrace. Robin Miller is the auto racing writer for The Indianapolis Star. You can contact him by calling (317) 624-4636 and entering 7165 or by e-mail at rmiller -Mas-' - - Mht Ami - -f 1 1 fin if i MiiiiilifflM' Mil 4 itiifiiiffiii ' $2997- 48 MONTH LEASE $3997 48 MONTH LEASE First Payment and Al Lease Signing Z7 V.V - T I K 1 Bom Ima R.H. Marlin 1GB .Ikink "UMWtMtitMMM' Or' J f "V A"-"WiW yutmffilum wmtw w iKhuupma sum WILLIAMS Cf INFO

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