The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on September 14, 2001 · Page 36
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 36

Indianapolis, Indiana
Issue Date:
Friday, September 14, 2001
Page 36
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C4 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2001 THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR WWW.INDYSTAR.COM MAK A weekly look at the auto racing world CART: German 500 Saturday - 6:30 a.m., ESPN F-1: Grand Prix of Italy Sunday - 6:30 a.m., Speedvision Winston Cup: New Hampshire 300 Postponed to Nov. 23 NHRA: Keystone Nationals Postponed to Oct. 4-7 Trucks: Silverado 350 Postponed to Oct. 5 IRL: Chevy 500 Postponed to Oct. 6 Texas Motor Speedway's season falls apart ifPIIROA IRL This was supposed to have been the best season yet in the relatively brief but successful history of Texas Motor Speedway. . It hasn't worked out that way. - With every major U.S. racing series scheduled to visit the 1.5-mile oval outside Fort Worth, track president Eddie Gossage began the year with high expectations. But with a Championship Auto Racing Teams event being canceled and Indy Racing League and NASCAR truck series events being postponed, Gossage has seen his dream season fall apart. With everything that has happened elsewhere in the country this week, Gossage is the first to admit his problems pale in comparison. "All our lives changed forever on Tuesday (with the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., and related crash of a hijacked plane)," Gossage said Thursday after announcing the IRL and truck races had been postponed to Oct. 5-6. "Officially, when does it become SPEEDWAY Continued from Page 1 look at all the precautions that are in place to ensure safe travel and safe participation by the public in public events." The security preparations will be aided by the city's terrorism preparedness coordinator, Peter Beering, and Marion County's Emergency Management Agency. Steve Robertson, agency director, said meetings with Dine and IMS officials next week will focus on three main areas in light of Tuesday's attacks: Intelligence information that might suggest a threat; Obstacles to air transport efforts needed to bring race officials, teams and their cargo here; . Whether the event should be postponed or canceled. - The problem you run into is if there is a threat, and if there's a credible threat, it's probably prudent to do so," Robertson said. "If there's no threat, and should we do so, then in a sense the terrorist wins because we're altering our way of life. "So, there's a fine balance there in terms of continuing our life as we know it and putting our citizens' lives at risk." Beering, among the first to hear from Dine, said he doesn't think the Speedway and its F-1 event are in jeopardy from terrorists. "I'm not sure this is a valid assumption, but let's assume the suspected party bandied about in the media is responsible," said Beering, referring to Osama bin Laden, whom Secretary of State Colin Powell identified Thursday as the prime suspect in the attacks. "What we saw Tuesday is only FAST CASH HOME LOAMS!! Bill Consolidation 1 st & 2nd Mortgages Payoff Land Contracts Up to 125 Home Value Slow Credit, Bankruptcy OK In-Home Appointments Available iii.uroiM: Locally owned and operated ,' 'iTi'v Payments bawd on 6.875 fixed note role for 360 (north term, 80UJV Hmortgoge Oedflapprowireowred. Q33 Roles sutoted to change APR may vwv depentjng on term 7 34 APR QjpyngH 2001 hrl Mortgage Funding, Int. fjrHjj 3 ISSSf-JSiBBU ft i.i. r OK to stop mourning? I don't know in this case that it ever does." Gossage's season began to unravel in April when CART canceled on race morning because of the excessive speeds its cars were running on the high-banked track. That cancellation remains in litigation and still is a sore spot with Gossage. "1 think our fans will be a lot more understanding this time," he said. "This is a lot different than a lack of preparation on CARTs part in April." Ironically, the make-up date for the IRL race conflicts with a CART race that weekend in Houston. And there's one other conflict that figures to hit Gossage in the wallet. "There's a little football game that weekend that's important to people down here," he said. Texas the most recent in a 15-year campaign against the United States," said Beering. referring to U.S. embassy bombings, the bombing of the World Trade Center and the assault on the USS Cole last year as prior targets linked to bin Laden. "Given that history, while I think it is highly likely that this is just one in a series, I am not sure that there is any reason to believe that there is any particularized threat this month or even this year." Beering suspects that whatever the next event may be will not involve airplanes as weapons. Still, he said he and IMS officials have a standing agreement to avoid public discussion of security at the track. "We do not discuss security measures that are employed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, except to say that there are measures, that they are significant and that in light of Tuesday we are having discussions at a very senior level about having additional measures. "And if there are additional measures affecting the public, there will be notification in advance." IMS officials gave no indication Thursday what - or whether - security precautions being taken for the race might affect the public. "I really don't have any comment on that," Speedway president Tony George said. Spokesman Fred Nation said any heightened awareness that might have resulted from the terrorist attacks is not uncommon among those responsible for security. "Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in its long history, has been through a number of events with security concerns higher than usual," said Nation, citing the 1991 Gulf War as one. There's probably not another place in the world where you have as many public safety personnel as we do here on a major event day." He said IMS and local law enforcement will take every necessary precaution. "Given what we know today, we feel secure that this event will be as safe as always." Staff Writer Steve Ballard contributed to this report. Contact James Gillaspy at 1-317-816-4434 or via e-mail at ""'""" ''M"iiF"'i fiiT iTryY " " Hart "- r- t mbuI ft yXVn' . ; - 4 ft---'ismfmh . .. -.,sm- - -. i ) vs. Oklahoma." CART gets wet The first day of practice was rained out for the German 500, CARTs inaugural event at Euro-speedway in Lausitz. Meanwhile, driver Michael An-dretti fourth in the championship points standings remained stranded Thursday afternoon at his home in Nazareth, Pa. He had a ticket on a commercial flight and his team had arranged for a charter, both out of nearby Allentown. Andrettl was waiting to get on the first plane out. CART plans to distribute red, white and blue ribbons to all participants in the race and is asking each team to carry a black decal on the bodywork of their cars bearing the date, Sept. 11, 2001. Happy to stay home NASCAR driver John Andretti was preparing to drive from his home in North Carolina to New Reigning ARCA champ agrees with decision to race at Toledo By Steve Crowe DETROIT FREE PRESS His place of business is a race shop in Jeffersonville, Ind. And seeing his crew continue to turn wrenches there this week struck ARCA ReMax star Frank Kimmel as something great about America. "We were Just talking here yesterday about how fortunate we are to live in a country where something like this happens, and we're still working on our race cars," said Kimmel, runaway series leader entering Sunday's Jasper 200 at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway. Kimmel, 39, the defending ARCA champion, concedes that it is "really strange" preparing for one of ARCA's biggest events while the country is digging out from terrorist tragedies in New York and elsewhere. But Kimmel agrees with ARCA president Ron Drager that this weekend's event should go on. "I've always been a firm believer in that, that the worst thing we could do for those idiots is to stay home," Kimmel said. The only thing they have to gain from this is changing the way we live. I think the American people are very resilient and incredibly tough. And I don't think Americans or race fans are about to let terrorists win that battle." Drager, also part-owner of Toledo and Flat Rock speedways, said he struggled for about a day with whether to postpone the only Toledo stop this year by ARCA's top touring series. "I guess I knew what I felt in my gut and heart," Drager said. "And then I listened to President Bush, I listened to Mayor Giuliani. And that made me feel even more strongly about what the appropriate thing to do is this weekend." The American flag at Toledo, already at half-staff, will remain that way throughout the weekend. ARCA is working with the Red tr: Li. Staff Photo Matt Kryger Waiting game: CART driver Michael Andretti is still trying to get transportation to the German 500 in Lausitz. Hampshire when word came that Sunday's Winston Cup race had been postponed. He was relieved. "Outside of my family, nothing on Earth has meant as much to me as driving a race car since I was a kid," the Indianapolis native said. That's all I've ever done and all I've ever wanted to do. 4 4r i if i- '"Y Associated Press Reed Hoffmann On with the show: Frank Kimmel (right) and his brother and crew chief, Bill Kimmel, get ready for this weekend's event. Cross, Drager said, to stage a blood drive at the track or do something else to aid victims and their families. "We're going to follow their recommendation in terms of how we can best do something constructive by running this weekend," Drager said. Suites, resurfacing Toledo's half-mile oval has been resurfaced since the track's most recent event two weekends ago. But the 7,000-seat track got fancy this week, when the finishing touches were put on six new suites and a control tower. At $1,000 each, all the 20-seat suites have been sold for this weekend's event. It could mean the introduction of suites at quarter-mile Flat Rock in the near future. Although he hasn't quite clinched, it would take several extremely bad days to keep Kimmel from his third ARCA ReMax title. NASCAR, IRL delay weekend events Racing series change course from previous decision after NFL decides not to play. By Steve Ballard STAFF WRITER NASCAR and the Indy Racing League shifted into reverse Thursday and decided to postpone their respective weekend events. Shortly after the NFL announced there would be no games this weekend, NASCAR postponed its scheduled Winston Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon and its Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Texas track officials didn't want to proceed with only half of their weekend show and initiated talks with the IRL, leading to a rescheduling of the season-ending Chevy 500 to Oct. 6. The trucks will run the day before. The decision by the NFL played a major role in what happened the rest of the day," said Fred Nation, the IRL's vice president of corporate communications. On Wednesday, NASCAR and the IRL both announced their intentions to race this weekend, albeit h "When somebody like me is wondering whether I really want to race or not, then a lot of people must be having some pretty serious doubts." Pit notes Events will go on as scheduled this weekend at Indianapolis Raceway Park. A U.S. Auto Club sprint and midget doubleheader is on tap Saturday on the IRP oval. The dragstrip will be busy today through Sunday with the National Hot Rod Association Division 3 finals. . . . The American Speed Association Joined the list of postponements by moving the Winchester 400 at Winchester, Ind., from Sunday to Sept. 23. . . . The Formula One U.S. Grand Prix on Sept. 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be televised locally on tape delay at 11:30 p.m. (WRTV, Channel 6). Contact Steve Ballard at 1-317-444-6184 or via e-mail at '1 i-v. ' fv, Through 20 of 25 events, Kimmel holds a 1.060-point lead (5,725-4,665) over second-place Jason Jarrett, son of NASCAR Winston Cup star Dale Jarrett. The most a driver can take from any one ARCA race is 260 points. Klmmel's nine victories among 17 top-five finishes match his career high of nine in 1998. The series record is 12 by Tim Steele in 1997. "We're in excellent shape don't get me wrong," Kimmel said. "We're Just not celebrating here yet. We're very fortunate to be in the situation we're in, with all the circumstances that have happened this year, with Steele and some other things going on. We've had a great year, and we're not going to quit no matter what." Despite competing in only 14 races, Steele is ninth in points with 3.610 and three victories. But Steele's season has been abbreviated by reorganization and lack of sponsorship, and he won't be competing at Toledo. Associated Press Ric Feld 1 1 : : A i A No go: NASCAR president Mike Helton said postponing Sunday's New Hampshire 300 is "the right thing to do." with abbreviated formats. All the IRL teams either were in Texas or en route. A van caravan of IRL officials, including vice president of operations Brian Barnhart, had been on the road for about six hours and was in Cuba, Mo., when the call came to make a U-turn. IRL president Tony George had f - Points leaders x-Sam Homish Jr. 451 Buddy Lazier 385 Scott Sharp 315 Billy Boat 295 Eliseo Salazar 276 x-clinched season points title Next green flag: Chevy 500 at Fort Worth Texas, Oct. 6 CART Points leaders Gil de Ferran 115 Helio Castroneves 110 Kenny Brack 110 Michael Andretti 103 Dario Franchitti 85 Next green flag: German 500 at Lausitz; qualifying, 6:30 a.m. today; race, 6:30 a.m. Saturday, ESPN NASCAR WINSTON CUP Points leaders Jeff Gordon 3,768 Ricky Rudd 3,546 Dale Jarrett 3,375 Tony Stewart 3,356 Sterling Marlin 3,302 Next green flag: 400, Sept. 23, Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover, Del. FORMULA ONE Points leaders x-Michael Schumacher .104 David Coulthard 57 Rubens Barrichello 48 Ralf Schumacher 44 Mika Hakkinen 24 x-clinched season points title Next green flag: Italian Grand Prix at Monza, qualifying, 6 a.m. Saturday; race 7 a.m. Sunday, Speed-vision NHRA Points leaders Top Fuel Larry Dixon 1,527 Kenny Bernstein 1,482 GaryScelzi 1,206 Mike Dunn 1,197 DougKalitta 1,190 Funny Car John Force 1,486 Whit Bazemore 1,243 DelWorsham 1,134 RonCapps 1,127 Bruce Sarver 1,071 Pro Stock Warren Johnson 1,238 Jim Yates 1,158 Mike Edwards 1,030 Bruce Allen 998 Jeg Coughlin Jr. 982 Next green flag: AutoZone Nationals at Millington, Tenn., Sept. 21-23 SHORT TRACK SCHEDULE Today: Stocks at Indianapolis Speedrome; wing sprints, stocks and modifieds at Bloomington; drag racing at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Saturday: Late models and fig-ure-8s at Indianapolis Speedrome; sprints, modifieds and stocks at Lawrenceburg; USAC sprints, midgets and drag racing at Indianapolis Raceway Park; sprints and modifieds at North Vernon; sprints, modifieds and stocks at Putnam-ville. Sunday: Drag racing at Indianapolis Raceway Park. no comment when reached by phone. Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage said he went to bed Wednesday night believing most professional sports organizations would be open for business this weekend. But the slow resumption of air travel and other logistical problems left them little choice. "When you get right down to it, we're an insignificant speck in the grand scheme of things," Gossage said. The Championship Auto Racing Teams' inaugural event in Lausitz, Germany, and the Formula One Italian Grand Prix in Monza are still scheduled to be run. NASCAR's New Hampshire 300 was rescheduled for Nov. 23, and becomes the season-ending race. "We felt it simply was the right thing to do," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. But trying to race cars in New Hampshire the day after Thanksgiving could present a whole new set of problems. "I'd say put your chains on," veteran driver Rick Mast said. "I'm sure the snow will be a foot deep by the time we get there." Contact Steve Ballard at 1-317-444-6184 or via e-mail at C f f

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