The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on June 18, 2001 · Page 31
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 31

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Monday, June 18, 2001
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WWW.INDYSTAR.COM THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2001 D7 1 Rudd holds on to score Veteran driver ends an 88-race losing streak as he holds off Jeff Gordon to win the Pocono 500. By Dick Brinster ASSOCIATED PRESS . LONG POND, Pa. - Ricky Kudd figured because he was winning the race, something bad was bound to happen. And with Jei'l Gordon closing at the end Sunday, the script seemed perfect for another defeat. But Rudd outlasted Gordon, had enough fuel to finish and broke an 88-race drought. Ricky Rudd "1 knew something had to go then 1 saw the wrong, and checkered flag," Rudd said after taking the Pocono 500 for his first win since 1998. "Earlier, 1 thought I Audi scores repeat with 1-2 sweep at Le Mans Associated Press Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro won the Le Mans 24 Hours race in an Audi for the second consecutive year Sunday, finishing the grueling endurance rarp In Rranrp uith a nnp.lnn nH- vantage. Pirro drove the silver car across the finish line as he had done last year after completing the last of the 321 laps on the 8.456-mile circuit. He was followed by Audi teammates Laurent Aiello, Rinaldo Ca-pello and Christian Pescatori, and the Bentley trio of Andy Wallace, Butch Leitzinger and Eric Van De Poele. The Bentley was 15 laps behind the leader. The winning trio took the lead at the end of the second hour Saturday and held it the rest of the - race despite heavy rain during the night and more showers Sunday. " "It was very hard, definitely harder than last year," Biela said. Thousands of fans oacked the stands to watch the finish and cheered loudly as the winning Audi crossed the line. - The German carmaker's domination was not as complete as last year when it swept the top three places. Two other Audis, which were entered privately, retired Saturday night after breaking down. But the two works-team cars were far superior to their main ri- tolo fmm Ront1ir Thp Rrftich manufacturer was making its first i crv t appeal cuiic in au ycaia ai uc mans, and It hasn't won since 1930. - Martin Brundle's Bentley took tVio lfnH In IHa flrct hnnr hilt W9fi soon overtaken by the winning Au- lt J 1 J I iUiA JnnA Only 21 of the 48 starters fin- IcVipH EVuirfh uac a Phrvslpr driven by Monaco's Olivier Beretta, Austria's Karl Wendlinger and Portugal's Pedro Lamy, eight laps behind the third-place Bentley. ", The Chevrolet Corvette C5-R driven by Ron Fellows, Johnny .O'Connell and Scott Pruett finished first in the GTS catetlorv and was eighth overall. Another win by Force John Force earned his third NHRA Funny Car victory of the sea son ai me ronuac &xciienieiii ia- - tionals in Hebron, Ohio. ",' Force drove his Ford Mustang to a 4.963-second, 308.00-mph fin- . Ish, beating Del Worsham, whose Pontiac Firebird lost traction and ; slowed to a 6.204 at 160.79. The victory was the 95th of Force's career. Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Warren Johnson (Pro Stock), Angelle Savole (Pro Stock Motorcycle) and Bob Panella (Pro Stock Truck) also won their categories. Rncci urine Patalnnia GP ; Valentino Rossi won motorcy- c Ins's Cata on a 500cc Grand rax on aunaay in Darceiuua, oyam, tVion cfuffloH uHth rival and nin- ner-up Max biaggi. Rossi has won four times this season and leads the standings ,.riU 11C nnlntD Ofi ol"liafl nf Rlafftfl W1U1 11U puillio, uiiv.uu fmfyy Thf twn Italian riders arrived at ''the news conference after the race with red marks on their faces only a minute or so after they had been celebrating on the podium. Eyewitnesses confirmed the scuffle started when Rossi tried to push nast one of Bias's associates. Kenny Roberts of the United States, the reigning world cham- plon, crashed ouf on the third lap. 43? was going to finish third, then I realized, 'Hey, this thing is sticking in the corners.' " It was Rudd's first victory in nearly YA seasons since selling his own team to drive for Robert Yates Racing. It was the first win in four years for the No. 28 car long a favorite of NASCAR fans because many Hall of Famers have driven It. "There's no way I can describe it," said Michael "Fatback" McSwain, who got his first victory as a crew chief. Finishing second was Gordon, who passed Rudd on the last lap a week earlier in Brooklyn, Mich., to win for the second time in a row. It was McSwain who decided Rudd had enough gas to make it to the end. "We had to watch it, but they were pretty confident," Rudd said. "I was running 95 percent most of the time, but when I saw Jeff com- Associated Press Ed Andrieski Mile-high duo: Buddy Lazier (91) of Vail, Colo., passes the car driven by Buzz Calkins of Denver on his way to winning the IRL Radisson Indy 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. IRL adds Michigan next year Series confirms race at MIS 2-mile oval, but will hold off on offer from oval in Germany. By Curt Cavin STAFF WRITER FOUNTAIN, Colo. The Indy Racing League will add yet another Midwest race to its growing schedule in 2002, but it will not go overseas. At least not yet. Bob Reif, the IRL's senior vice president of sales and marketing, confirmed Sunday at Pikes Peak International Speedway that his series will race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., next year. The date has not been set, although it likely will be in late July, the summer slot to be vacated by Championship Auto Racing Teams after this season. Races in Indianapolis; Kansas City, Kan.; Nashville, Tenn.; Sparta. Ky.: St. Louis, and Joliet, 111., will also be on the IRL's schedule, to be formally announced in the next couple of weeks, Reif said. The IRL also will add a race at Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway and possibly California Speedway in Fon-tana next year. Reif said he is open to the Fontana race being on the same weekend as NASCAR's event there in late April. "Any opportunity to get an oval (track on the schedule), especially an International Speedway Corporation-owned oval, is something we want," he said. "We want to take the product to the people, and right now the people are at Winston Cup races." LAZIER Continued from Page 1 "When it's at home, there's nothing like it," he said. "And I get to drive home with this trophy in my own car, and I get to be the hero of the house and maybe my town." Lazier's victory moved him to fourth in league points, 62 behind Hornish with seven races to go. Hornish finished second, but there was little smile on his tired face. The first two-thirds of the race had been his alone. By lap 80, he had lapped the fourth-place car. The 21 -year-old Hornish was so in charge, he was closing in on the last two lead-lap cars driven by Lazier and third-place Robbie Buhl on the 1 16th lap. Then the race changed. The yellow came out, slowing the pace and allowing Lazier and Buhl a reprieve. While Hornish led for another 40 laps, his advantage was gone. The tires his car had during the final segment didn't work as well as those earlier and Hornish lost his pace. Meanwhile, Lazier ran the final 81 laps on the same set of tires. "I could almost taste (the vie- T? r. " ', UJ ..A-ff k Associated Press Keith Srakocic For the lead: Ricky Rudd (28) passes Dale Jarrett to regain the lead in the NASCAR race at Pocono International Raceway. ing I stepped it up a bit." He was relieved to win. "You don't have to explain yourself . . . why you lost," Rudd said. "It makes conversation easier on Monday." Rudd got his 21st career victory. The 44-year-old driver from Chesapeake, Va., now has won for six different car owners. Bobby Allison IRL NOTEBOOK But Reif said he wants to hold off on what he called "a major (financial) offer" he's received to race at the new oval in Lausitz, Germany, which will host CART this season on Sept. 15. "It's tough to find a date for (a foreign race) in 2002 and besides, that's too quick for us," Reif said. "It takes a lot for us to stay focused on moderate growth. But 2003 is another year." Hattori held out Second-year IRL driver Shigea-kl Hattori was not allowed to participate in Sunday's race after crashing twice on Saturday. Series medical director Dr. Henry Bock was concerned about a possible head injury. Hattori's team manager, Thomas Knapp, spoke of the team's dissatisfaction with Bock's decision, particularly with the team having one of the league's stronger sponsors (EPSON). "We had a couple of 45 (G-force) hits, which are like nothing on an oval," Knapp said. Hattori, who owns the Vertex-Cunningham team, opted not to put another driver in the car. Ray struggles mightily Greg Ray was the pole sitter at PPIR for the fourth consecutive race Sunday. But the two-time race winner easily had his worst day. Sam Hornlsh Jr. lapped him four times in the first 100 laps. IHOt tACIHB UAHUt Radisson Indy 200 (Top finishers) Driver Equipment 1. Buddy Lazier D-A 2. Sam Hornish Jr. D-A 3. Robbie Buhl G-l 4. Billy Boat D-A 5. Airton Dare G-A 6. Eddie Cheever Jr. D-l 7. Felipe Giaffone G-A 8. Scott Sharp D-A 9. Richie Hearn D-A 10. Sarah Fisher D-A Chassis: G-G Force, D-Dallara Engines: A-Aurora, l-lnfiniti Series points leaders: Hornish 229, Eliseo Salazar 173, Sharp 171, Lazier 167, Giaffone 166. tory)," said Homish, who considered pitting for new tires but didn't want to give up his lead. "I wouldn't say it was heartbreaking, first victory since JX?Ut M-9 M' -r-r '..JCW i . 1 won Winston Cup races for seven. It was the first victory for Rudd in 44 starts at Pocono International Raceway, where he has competed since 1977. He is third in the series standings after 15 of 36 races, trailing leader Gordon by 130 points. "Once he got in clean air, nobody was going to catch him," Gordon said. "We did everything we pos Ray finally ended his run after 132 laps, finishing 18th among the 20 starters. The car was loose from the get-go," he said. "It was impossible to keep a handle on it when traffic was passing me high and low." Ray said he stopped because he didn't want to be a factor in the finish of the race, as a lapped car was for him last week at Texas. Ray crashed with the slower Rob-by McGehee with four laps to go. "Last weekend made me pretty angry." Ray said. "It is only respectable to get out of the way." Notes Team owner Sam Schmidt was relieved that his car, driven by fill-in Richie Hearn, was undamaged in finishing ninth. "After what happened last week (with driver Davey Hamilton being injured), that's what we (needed)," he said. ... No one would explain why, but Eddie Cheever Jr. had to be physically pulled back Into trie pre-race drivers meeting by IRL president Tony George. Other drivers said Cheever was one of about four drivers IRL vice president of operations Brian Bamhart singled out for blocking in last week's race at Texas Motor Speedway. Barnhart said tracks have "straightaways, not weave-aways." . . . Dave Steele led the final 85 laps to win Sunday's U.S. Auto Club Silver Bullet race at PPIR Aaron Fike finished second with pole sitter Dane Carter third. Contact Curt Cavin at 1-317-444409 or via e-mail at curt.cavinindystar.com but ... " Buhl interrupted Hornish. "You've won two races and finished second (in another this season). It can't be that bad," the veteran Buhl said. Replied Hornish: "I'm happy with this season and I'm happy I didn't hit the wall (on lap 162). Last year I would have been thrilled to be second. This year I'm not so happy about it." Buhl finished third with Billy Boat fourth and Airton Dare fifth. There were signs that an intense pre-race meeting of IRL officials and drivers produced a safer race. Brian Barnhart, the league's vice president of operations, showed a dozen examples of blocking in last week's race at Texas Motor Speedway. Such moves in the future would draw a penalty, he said. Lazier, Hornish and Buhl agreed there were still some bold moves to protect positions, but generally, it was a cleaner race. "This proves we can (race each other) and we don't have to Interlock wheels and scare each other," Hornish said. Contact Curt Cavin at 1-317-444-6409 or via e-mail at curt.cavin indystar.com sibly could. Catching him was one thing, but passing him would have been another." Gordon never got close enough to find out, and trailed by about 15 car-lengths at the end. Rudd's Ford led 39 of 200 laps on the 2'i-mile triangular-shaped oval to beat the Chevrolet of Gordon by 1.119 seconds. Third was Rudd's teammate, Dale Jarrett, followed by Sterling Marlin in a Dodge and Mark Martin in a Ford. "We had a great race car. and this was a good day for Robert Yates Racing," Jarrett said. "We wanted to stay behind Ricky and finish second, but our fuel gauge began to sputter and we had to back down a bit to finish," The winner averaged 134.389 mph in a race slowed by seven cautions covering 26 laps. The $3.2 million race had 13 lead changes among five drivers. Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Ken Schrader and Jeff Burton completed the top 10. Rudd won $189,542. CASTROriEVES Continued from Page 1 More important, the fifth win of his career earned Castroneves a sweep of the maximum 22 points for the weekend and moved him within five points of series leader Kenny Brack, who finished ninth. "That was our goal," Castroneves said. "Now it's a race." Dario Franchitti, who struggled through a miserable 2000 season and hadn't managed a top five finish this year, made a daring pass on Patrick Carpentier on a restart with seven laps remaining to grab second place. Roberto Moreno followed Franchitti and got alongside Carpentier before the two bumped, sending Moreno flying and Carpentier almost Into Michael Andretti on his outside. Moreno managed to keep the car going straight and Carpentier wound up eighth. Franchitti finished 0.702-sec-onds about eight car-lengths behind the winner. "It was messy but it worked," he said of the pass. "I had marbles on my tires and thought, 'Maybe I'm not going to make this.' So I banged it in second gear." It wasn't enough to get his first win since 1999. "Helio was too strong," Franchitti said. "Unless he made a mistake, I wasn't going to go by him." Moreno held onto third, followed by Andretti, Christian Fittl-paldi, reigning series champion Gil de Ferran and Cristiano da Matta, the early season points leader who had crashed out of his two previous races. The crowd, at what might be the last Detroit Grand Prix if a new contract cannot be negotiated among CART, promoter IMG and the city administration, went wild as Castroneves leaped from his car and dashed to the wall. "I'm getting better and better at it," he said. "This is my town." Although he never fell behind, Castroneves rarely was more than a second ahead as he was chased first by teammate de Ferran, then Carpentier and Franchitti. "Most of the race, I was under pressure," Castroneves said. "But I was doing quite well and I had no problem at all. The car was " 1 " s ' iff 'i f 4 l !( f v4k V:"-M J Associated Press Carlos Osorio No passing zone: Helio Castroneves (3) leads Dario Franchitti. Castroneves led every lap in winning the Detroit Grand Prix. NOW APPEARING Babes West Only June 18th-23rd If its not a Babes why BUCKET OF BEER $10 EVERY TUES. 2 FOR TUESDAYS FREE ADMISSION TILL 6PM West "East 38tJi& Lafayette Rd 7259 Pendleton Pike 299-0433 545-5100 4 BIG SHOWS DAILY!... 6:30 PM-8 JO PM-10:30PM-12:)OAM Open Mon.-Sat. pm-3 am Babes West Open Sun. 5 pm 1998 Winston Cup Pocono 509 (Top finishers) Driver Cap 1. Ricky Rudd Ford 2. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 3. Dale Jarrett Ford ' 4. Sterling Marlin Dodge - 5. Mark Martin Ford 6. Matt Kenseth Ford 7. Tony Stewart Pontiac 8. Bobby Labonte Pontiac 9. Ken Schrader Pontiac 10. Jeff Burton Ford Series points leaders: Gordon 2,176; Jarrett 2,140; Rudd 2,046; Marlin 2,029; Stewart 1,937. Detroit Grand Prix (Top finishers) Driver Car 1. Helio Castroneves R-H 2. Dario Franchitti R-T 3. Roberto Moreno R-T 4. Michael Andretti R-H 5. Christian Fittipaldi L-T 6. Gil de Ferran R-H 7. Cristiano da Matta L-T 8. Patrick Carpentier R-F 9. Kenny Brack L-F 10. Mauricio Gugelmin R-T Chassis: R-Reynard, L-Lola Engines: H-Honda, F-Ford, T-To-yota Series Points leaders: Brack 74, Castroneves 69, Andretti 48, da Matta 46, de Ferran 44 handling well. In the straightaways, I had the fastest car. "I was trying to just stay cool, save the tires, save me and save the equipment. What a great result, huh?" Notes Newman-Haas Racing uiiveilrd a new spot to promote a sponsor. WheelFx uses LEDs to display messages and sponsor logos on the wheels of Christian Fitti-paldi's and Cristiano da Mat-ta's Lolas. The technology will help open-wheel cars, which do not have as much surface area as NASCAR stock cars, find more room to plug sponsors. WheelFx is expected to be introduced in Formula One teams in the coming months. . . . Race winner Castro neves led every lap at Long Beach, another street course, earlier this season. He's the first driver to lead wire-to-wire in two races in the same year since Michael Andretti in 1992 Sunday's race drew 44,000 about 6.000 fewer than in 2000. 1 . - w - V tKJ girl, look.' ?7 i i m: w OEE2L njkr i V

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