The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on April 19, 2004 · Page 32
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 32

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Monday, April 19, 2004
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Page 32
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D8 MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2004 isi Sports THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR - WWW.INDYSTAR.COM AUTO RACING Newman says he will skip Indy 500 Longtime owner won't when the team returns to By Steve Ballard steve.ballardindystar.com LONG BEACH, Calif. The Newman half of Newman-Haas Racing doesn't intend to be a part of the team's return to the Indianapolis 500 next month. Actor-racer Paul Newman has long been a vocal critic of Tony George and the Indy Racing League. His ire was raised again in January when George attempted to purchase the assets of a bankrupt CART so he could shut down the series. Asked if he planned to join partner Carl Haas in bringing a team to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time since 1995, Newman offered a succinct reply: "I'm not gonna be there." Jim McGee, who has spent the past several years as team manager at Patrick Racing, is Tracy Driver uses push-to-pass button at the right time. From 01 of the 1.968-mile street circuit. He gave it up for two laps on his last pit stop and Junqueira was scored as the leader for one lap when the start was waved off and the official first lap was run under cautioa Tracy's final margin over Junqueira was 5.68 seconds, which was typical for most of the race. Bourdais wound up third, followed by Patrick Carpentier, Mario Dominguez and rookie Justin Wilson. Bourdais admitted to getting snookered on the start. "With Bruno and me, it definitely didn't work out the way we wanted it to," the Frenchman said. "Such is life." Alex Tagliani also got around Bourdais at the start and was very much in contention until a slow pit stop when his crew had trouble changing the right rear tire. He wound up eighth. Facing the prospect of another long season spent chasing Tracy's blue Forsythe Racing Lola, a frustrated Junqueira questioned the new rules package that in his opinion didn't work as advertised. TAX PROFESSIONALS AND RETIRED IRS VETERANS Ma ,v-UM. 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Please always wear your seat belt, drive salely and obey speed limits. join partner Haas compete at IMS. heading up the Indy program for Newman-Haas, where he previously served as crew chief for Mario Andretti. McGee skipped Long Beach to continue preparations for the May 9 start of Indy practice. A Newman-Haas spokesperson said the team is waiting until it has its car, sponsor and driver set before making an official announcement. Brazilian Bruno Junqueira, who won the 2002 Indy 500 pole for owner Chip Ganassi a year after finishing fifth in the race, is almost certain to be the driver. Conflict of interest alleged One of the criticisms Adrian Fernandez levied at the new Champ Car management on his way out the door to the IRL was that each of the three ownership "It's unfortunate the way the rules are that a lot of people came here today and didn't get to see what they expected a race between me and Tracy," the Brazilian said. Junqueira was most critical of the pit-stop rule requiring each driver to make a minimum of two green-flag stops. But he was hurt more by his team's strategy than the rule itself as Newman-Haas opted to play it safe and pit early each run in case a caution flag flew. But the race was caution-free after a second-lap crash that Pssst. This ought to stimulate the economy. t" - - Tf f ct- ' --fii f 5 V , " .M i ' ' 1 1 329 First month', payment yhe C23q Spoft Sedan fe equipped wjth g sporttuned suspension, s 2.3:50 Capitalized cost reduction S795 Acquisition fee 17" a,ly wheels- drilled and ventilated performance brakes, and a supercharged Kompressor engine. The C-Class. Value. Unlike any other. 3,474 Cash due at signing For a test drive, visit your Indianapolis Mercedes-Benz Dealer. World Wide Motors, Inc. 3900 E. 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN (317) 580-6800 www.wwmotors.mercedescenter.com CHAMP CAR NOTEBOOK partners scooped up a monied driver instead of letting that sponsorship go to another team-Owner Derrick Walker lost Rodolfo Lavin and, more importantly, sponsor Corona to Gerald Forsythe. Walker doesn't accuse Forsythe of any wrongdoing because Lavin was determined to leave, but Walker is concerned about the potential conflicts of interest that arise from having his rival owners in charge of running the series. "They have one responsibility running the organization and another running their teams," Walker said of Forsythe, Kevin Kalkhoven and Paul Genti-lozzi. "I think they are going to be challenged on a regular basis. Something that should be black and white I see right now as a little too gray." In the process of lining up K7 knocked out three cars, including former series champion Jimmy Vasser. It occurred in turn one seconds after Tracy had executed his decisive pass. "First corner, first race," Vasser lamented. "I don't really know what to say." The crowd was estimated at 75,000, down about 10,000 from a year ago. But it looked good to Tracy, who couldn't resist using the occasion to chide former mates who have departed to the Indy Racing League. Noting the lack of cautions Sunday, he said: "In the past jr - - " P8 I..JT The 2004 C230 Kompressor Sport Sedan Cummins to sponsor a car for Mario Haberfeld this season, Walker did not enlist the Champ Car front office for assistance. "You should be able to walk in there and feel like that is impartial and sacred ground," he said. Champ Car president Dick Eidswick characterized the offseason dealings as "the normal push and pull among the owners." Etc. Gentilozzi had more to celebrate than a successful launch of the series he co-owns. He also drove his Jaguar to victory in Sunday's Trans-Am race, holding off Greg Pickett on the final lap. ... Ryan Dalziel won the Toyota Atlantic season opener Sunday at Long Beach. Rookie Al Unser, son of Al Jr., finished last in the 21-car field after being caught in a first-lap crash. Call Star reporter Steve Ballard at (317) 444-6184. Full service: Paul Tracy's pit crew changes tires and adds fuel at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Tracy, who got around front-row starters Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais on the first green-flag lap, won the race for fourth time. lfi WW Lester Associated Press when we had all the superstars here, we had non-stop yellows." For emphasis, Tracy used his fingers to put air quotation marks around "superstars." But the reality is that his series, while off to a good start, is far from being over the hump. Indicative of the challenges is the fact Champ Car's best driver doesn't have a sponsor. "We're close to putting a package together," Tracy said. "Winning today doesn't hurt, for sure." Call Star reporter Steve Ballard at (317) 444-6184. c uu4 Mercencs-nen' u;a, li l 1 i :i'C-vMm W'"- J- sr Road repair: Workers attempt to repair the racing surface after a piece of concrete broke free and created a hole in the track. Wallace inspired by watching Masters Associated Press MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Rusty Wallace spent the off-week leading up to Sunday's race playing golf in Arizona and watching the Masters. The time to relax and watch Phil Mickelson win his first major at Augusta inspired Wallace, who felt a kinship with the golfer. "I'll tell you what, I got all caught up with Phil Mickelson," he said. "I really like Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els those are two of the favorite guys I pull for a lot. And everyone's also asking Mickelson, When are you going to win? When are you going to win the big one?' "When he won, I swear, I looked at my wife and I said, 'I swear. Mine's just around the corner. It's gotta be,' " he said. Wallace ended his 105-race winless streak Sunday. A real chuck hole The race was stopped for more than an hour when a piece of concrete broke free and created a hole in the track. A large chunk of cement was sitting on the surface in the third turn when drivers notified NASCAR Nextel Cup officials of the problem. "The track's coming apart," a clearly annoyed Jeff Gordon said. He was trailing race leader Wallace Race halted for more than hour to repair hole in track. From D1 At sundown Sunday the race ran late because of a one hour, 17 minute red flag for track repairs Wallace made what on the surface was a fairly mundane runaway of the finish of the Advance Auto Parts 500. But knowledge of who was winning was drama enough to send a sellout crowd of more than 85,000 to a standing ovation for the final two laps. Wallace shrugged off any sort of justice for his persistence through the drought. "This sport doesn't owe me a thing," he said. "It's been awful good to me. But I do want to thank the fans who stuck with me." Labonte decided to sit back and savor the waning laps, since he couldn't catch Wallace anyway. "We had a good car but not good enough at the end to catch Rusty and pass him," Labonte said. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third after leading on two occasions but dropping back with 90 of the 500 laps left, because of an understeer in his Chevrolet. Then he got a mismatched set of tires on his final pit stop. The victim of the worst fluke of the day was Jeff Gordon, who started on the pole and dominated the early stages until a chunk of concrete broke loose from the track surface and damaged his Chevrolet on lap 284. The pothole caused by the broken concrete caused Michael Wal-trip to spin after Gordon's mishap, q MORTGAGE fliNBING, INC T Lacalh, nwnrd ami antral,,! raixiiiv Purchases Refinance FHAConventional Slow Credit, Bankruptcy OK In-Home Appointments Available Sooth - 5601 S. Meridian St, North 3806 W. 86th St. (317)787-2150 (317)879-9010 www.familymortgagefunding.com syg trnmL hnuH rw S k.ad nnto rn lor 3A0 nwo tarw 80 ITV IHmorlQOOB Oedrt approval iMuirBO1 ftotei I "n wtofscl to chonat APB may vocy dwndinfl on Win 5 Rusty Jarratt Getty Images NASCAR NOTEBOOK Dale Earnhardt Jr. when the red flag flew on lap 291. A hole measuring about a foot long and a foot across formed when the chunk of cement came loose, NASCAR officials said. Two other holes, each about the size of a baseball, also needed to be patched. Once the holes were patched, the sealant needed to dry before racing could begin again. When the race resumed with a series of caution laps, Gordon made several trips to pit road to repair damage caused by driving through the hole. Rudd and the rookie Casey Kahne has gotten good reviews for his solid results early in his rookie season, but he did little to enhance his relationship with veteran Ricky Rudd. Running in the top 15, Rudd had to make a green-flag pit stop after contact when Kahne cut his tire. "I don't know what he was doing," Rudd said. "He was racing us really hard. He was a lap down and we were on the lead lap and got together. He wouldn't get out of the way." Rudd wound up 20th. "I learned a lot today. It was a real education," Kahne said. Advance Auto Parts 500 (Top finishers) Driver Car 1. Itusty Wallace Dodge 2. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 4. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 5. Ryan Newman Dodge 6. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 7. Jamie McMurray Dodge 8. Matt Kenseth . Ford ! 9. Sterling Marlin Dodge 10. Dale Jarrett Ford Series points leaders: Earnhardt Jr., 1,167; Kurt Busch, 1,162; Kenseth, 1,155; Johnson, 1,088; Elliott Sadler, 1,069 Results: Complete field. D9 and the ensuing caution was quickly followed by the red flag. Wallace had mingled in the top five without leading until he passed Jimmie Johnson on lap 457, just as the final caution came out. The green flag flew again with just 37 laps remaining, and Wallace had clear sailing from there. "After I got the lead," he said, "I had to talk to myself: 'Be smooth ... hit your marks . . . don't screw up.'" It all amounted to the final minutes of nearly three years of "a lot of soul searching," Wallace said. "I questioned a lot of things during that dry spell. "It made me look at myself, my driving style. I asked, 'Why is it that I'm not in victory lane all the time like I used to be? Am I digging deep enough? I think I am.' "Finally," he concluded, "today made it all worth while." You Get You Pay $50,000 $283.89 $100,000 ....$567.79 -$150,000 ....$851.68 t?nn nnn ti 1 1; J ' ""J $300,000 ....$1703.37 9 APR Copyrighr 200tom.ly Mortqaos Furting Inc ,5- i

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