Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on June 9, 1997 · Page 23
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 23

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Monday, June 9, 1997
Page 23
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MONDAY, JUNE 9, 1997DETROIT FREE PRESS 7B One for the road: Brazil's Kanaan takes Indy Lights BYSTANDORSEY Free Press Sports Writer . Brazilian teammates Tonv Kanaan and Helio Castro-Neves refused to relinquish their choke hold on the rest of the field Sunday, finishing 1-2 in the Indy Lights race and complet ing a weekend in which they domi nated from the lirst practice runs. Kanaan, who led all 36 laps in his third career victory, became the first repeat winner in the race's nine years in Detroit. He credited his experience on road courses with his success on the 2.1-mile Belle Isle circuit "I have raced on the road courses for all my life," said Kanaan, who got his start racing go-karts. "I am very, very comfortable on them." Kanaan s only scare came from his own car. With five laps left, Kanaan began having problems with his gearbox, which twice caused him to shift from fourth to first gear. Kanaan s sudden drop in speed nearly presented Castro-Neves an op portunity to pass his Tasman Motor- sports teammate, but Kanaan won by .355 second. - Tony was pretty tough to over take," said Castro-Neves, who kept his season points lead with 88 to 67 for runners-up Kanaan and David Empringham. "I tried to push him really hard, but when you are teammates you can't try anything crazy." ; As Kanaan zipped out to an eight- second lead, Castro-Neves and Geoff Boss battled for position during the first several laps. Boss, from Narragansett, R.I., passed Castro-Neves midway through lap 2. Three laps later, Castro-Neves shot underneath Boss on turn 14 to reclaim second for good. "I got a good start, got past Helio and didn't want to give it up," said Boss, whose third place was best of his rookie season. "I knew from practice he was quick in turn 14. He got a good run at me there and went past" SUPER TOURING: David Donohue and Dominic Dobson won Sunday's two Detroit Grand WJ Prix runner-up Michael Andretti, foreground, celebrates with Greg Moore on the podium. Moore and Andretfi finished 1-2 for the second consecutive week. What race? Drivers pass nothing but time of day Charlie Vincent, from Page IB wanted to confirm that what I thought I saw, I had, indeed, seen. I told him I recognized it might be a stupid question, it might even sound insulting, but there was something I had to ask. '.' "Did you pass anyone on the track for position, before you passed Maur-icio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell on the last lap?" I asked. Gugelmin and Blundell were waiting to exhale until they got across the finish line. But they never made it, losing their gamble that the fuel in their cars would hold out until the checkered flag. V As they both began coasting less than a mile from the finish line, Moore flew by. But had he passed anyone else during the day? "Well," Moore said, "there was -Alex Zanardi, when he crashed." ; But did you pass any cars that ; were actually moving and had fuel in them? ! He hesitated for just a moment ; ., "Actually, no I didn't . . . but we won." ' i .And a big smile creased his face. ! ', Michael, I apologize. I For 76 of its 77 laps, Sunday's race 'was as dull as a butter knife and as boring as your mother-in-law. And it was all of the things Andretti alleged. . Then Moore, put in position to contend by an efficient pit crew, won when the two guys ahead of him ran out of gas. "When Mauricio ran out of gas, I thought, 'Oh, neat, I'll finish second.' Then Mark ran out and I thought, "Wow, how about that!' " Moore said. I guess somewhere, sometime, maybe when I was dozing, someone passed someone, but for most of the day the only way to gain position was to be quicker in the pits. You want dull? How about this? From lap 35 through lap 50, there were no races, and Neil Crompton lost his season lead when he was dropped from second place to last in the second race for bumping Donohue's Dodge into the barrier. It happened in turn 13 on the last of 12 laps. Super Touring officials originally allowed Crompton's second-place finish to stand, but changed their decision two hours later. Crompton's car rode onto the grass as he tried to pass through a narrow opening. Crompton was not around to comment on the decision, but said earlier "Unfortunately, David and I made contact. I feel bad about it. But my job description is race driver. I see a hole and I go for it" Donohue, who wound up fifth, declined comment on the accident, but drew satisfaction from his wire-to-wire victory in the 15-Iap first race. He had the poles for both races. "For me the first race was picture-perfect," he said. "The PacWest Dodge team was really on the money this weekend." In the second race, Dobson quickly eclipsed Donohue on the start. Dobson cruised to his first victory of the season and the Dodge Challenge Cup, awarded to the driver who amassed the most points in the two races. He finished second in the first race and now stands atop the point standings, 97-94 over Donohue. Crompton, who finished the first race third, is next with 91. "I'm obviously pleased with the decision and excited because it puts me in the points lead," Dobson said. "I think the decision sends the right, message to other drivers." Neon Challenge: van Dyke Dodge owner Carl Galeana overcame a third-place start and a second-lap brush with the wall to win the 12-lap race. It raised $185,000 for the Police Athletic League. KIM KIM FOSTERDeiron Free Press changes in position among the top 11 cars. From laps 52 through 56 there were no changes among the top 19. From laps 58 through 66 there were no changes among the top 13. The cars were pretty and they were loud and the sun shined brightly, and on televisions around the world Detroit was a pretty sight. It was just the racing that was awful. Race officials say they will make some changes before next year to provide more spots to pass, more places cars can run side-by-side, more places where there will be competition. I say: Please, do! Andretti, from the most aggressive family in the sport long ago surrendered not to the competition, but to this track. Sunday he was out for a drive, resigned to the things he could not do in the cockpit of his car. "I really didn't take any. chances," he said. "I just left it up to the guys in the pits to get track position for me and they did. We moved up from fourth to second on the second pit stop and they're the reason I'm here." Still feeling some of. the sting of the bad publicity from the "Mickey Mouse" remark, he was cautious, though, in his comments about the track itself. Moore conceded the track is "fun to drive ... but as far as the racing goes, it's really the toughest track we have to race on. A guy can be three or four seconds slower, but you're not going to get by if they don't want you to." Gil de Ferran, who finished third, said: "This course is very exciting to drive on . . . but to race here is very difficult because of lack of overtaking opportunities." Asked his opinion, Andretti, the runner-up, replied with a single word. "Ditto," he said. Michael, I apologize. M. . 4 f UM . t-' . L V I M KIRTHMON F. DOZIERDetrolt Free Press Canada's Greg Moore, coming through a turn in his Reynard-Mercedes, won for the second consecutive week, giving him two career victories. "I just hope it never stops," Moore said. This is beautiful I love it" now they Finished Results of Sunday's Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle, with driver, starting position in parenthesis, residence or home country, type of car and laps completed (Greg Moore's winning speed 86.047 m.p.h.): POS DRIVER HOME CAR LAPS I. (7) Greg Moore Canada Reynard-Mercedes 77 2(6) Michael Andretti Nazareth, Pa Swift-Ford 77 a (1) GH de Ferran Brazil Reynard-Honda 77 4. (12) Jimmy Vasser Las Vegas Reynard-Honda 77 5. (3) Roberto Moreno Brazil Swift-Ford 77 6(13) RaulBoesel Brazil Reynard-Ford 77 7.(9) Bryan Herta New Albany, Ohio Reynard-Ford 77 a (15) Al Unser Jr. Albuquerque, N.M. Penske-Mercedes 77 9. (11) Bobby Rahal New Albany, Ohio Reynard-Ford 77 10. (22) JuanFangtol Argentina Reynard-Toyota 77 II. (19) MaxPapis Italy Reynard-Toyota 77 12. (20) Christian Danner Germany Lola-Ford 77 13. (5) Darto Franchlttl Scotland Reynard-Mercedes 77 14. (23) P.J. Jones Rolling Hills, Calif. Reynard-Toyota 77 15. (18) Patrick Carpentler Canada Reynard-Mercedes , 77 16. (8) Mauricio Gugelmin Brazil Reynard-Mercedes 76 17. (10) Mark Blundell England . Reynard-Mercedes 76 18. (26) Amd Meier Germany Lola-Ford 75 19. (27) Hiro Matsushita Japan Reynard-Toyota 72 20. (14) Parker Johnstone Brush Prairie, Wash. Reynard-Honda 71 21. (21) Gualter Safes Brad Reynard-Ford 61 22. (25) Michel Jourdaln Jr. Mexico Lola-Ford 43 23. (16) Richie Hearn Henderson, Nev. Lola-Ford 32 24. (2) Scott Pruett Crystal Bay, Nev. Reynard-Ford 25 25. (17) Andre Ribetro Brazil Lola-Honda 10 26. (4) Alex Zanardi Italy Reynard-Honda 1 27. (24) Adrian Fernandez Mexico Lola-Honda 0 Reasons out Paul Tracy, Canada, Penske-Mercedes, withdrew, back spasms. Out of fuel: Gugelmin, Blundell. Engine: Johnstone, Pruett. Crash: Salles, Hearn, Ribeiro, Zanardi, Fernandez. Suspension: Jourdaln Jr. Tlm of race: 1:5245.14a Margin of victory: 1.618 seconds (about 10 car lengths). Caution flag: 5 for 18 laps. Lead changm: 5 among 5 drivers. Lap leader: de Ferran 1-27; Moreno 28; Franchlttl 29-32; Moore 33-51; Gugelmin 52-76; Moore 77. 8eriee points leader: Tracy 94; Andretti 86; Moore 85; Vasser 69; Zanardi 67; Pruett 65; de Ferran 60. Indy Lights Sunday's results with driver, country or residence and winner's average speed (all cars are Lota V6 with Firestone tires): 1. Tony Kanaan, Brazil, 65.599 m.p.h. 2. HeHo Castro-Neves, Brazil, a Geoff Boss, Narragansett, FU 4. David Empringham, Canada. 5. Sergio Paese, Brazil 6 Mark Hotchkts, Pasadena, Calf. 7. Naokl Hattorl, Japan, a Chris Simmons, Indianapolis. 9. Luiz Garcia Jr., Brazil. 10. David DeSUva, San Francisco. 11. Christophe Tiraeau, Franca 12. Robby Unser, Santa Fe, N.M. 1a Airton Dare, BrazL 14. HkJekl Noda, Japaa 15. Casey Mears, Bakersfietd, CaSf. 16. Bob Dorrteott Jr., San Mateo, CaHf. 17. Andrew Bordin, Woodbridge, Ontario. 1& Clint Mears, Bakersfleld, Calif. 19. Rodotfo Lavtn, Mexico. 2a John Jones, Littleton, Colo. 21. Didier Andre, France. 22. Lee Bentham, Toronto. 2a Jaques Lazier, Val, Colo. 24. Shigeakl Hattorl, Japaa 25. Fredrik Larsson, Sweden. 26. Cristlano da Matta, Brazil Time of race: 52 minutes, 59.459 seconds. Winner's average speed: 85.599 m.p.h. Margin of victory: 0.355 second. Lap loaders: Kanaan 1-36. PPQ-Flrestone Indy Light championship standings: 1, Castro-Neves, 8a 2, Empringham, 67. 2, Kanaan, 67. 4, da Matta, 64. 5, Simmons, 60. 6, Bentham, 49. 7, Larsson, 4a 8, Hotchkls, 41. 9, Clint Mears, 31. 10, Dare, 31. Super Touring Championship Race 1: Sunday's results, wtth name, teamcar and fastest lap: 1. David Donohue, PacWest Dodge, 63.48a Z Dominic Dobson, PPG Dodge, 83539. a Net Crompton, Tasman MotorsportsHonda, 83537. 4. Peter Cunnlrigham, HARJ.Honda, 81.994. 5. David Welch, Fastech RacingFord, 81.106. & Walt Puckett, SchaderMazda, 79.09a 7. Bob Schader, SchaderMazda, 78.935. 6 Forrest Grankmd, HART.Honda, 79.513 9. Randy Pobst, T.C. CUne RacingBMW, 82.082. 10, Darren Law, Hartong MotorsportsBMW, no time. 11. Brian Battaglia, T.C. CllneBMW, did not start Race 2: Sunday's results, with name, teamcar and fastest lap: 1. Dominic Dobson, PPG Dodge, 63.494. 2 David Welch, Fastech RacingFord, 81.191. 3. Bob Schader, SchraderMazda, 80.034. 4. Forrest Granlund, HART.Honda, 80.171. 5. David Donohue, PacWest Dodge, 63639. 6 Peter Cunningham, HART.Honda, 83451. 7. Walt Puckett, SchaderMazda, no time, a Randy Pobst, T.C. Cline RacingBMW, no time. 9. Darren Law, Hartong MotorsportsBMW, no time. 10, Brian Battaglia, T.C. CllneBMW, did not start 11. .Ned Crompton, Tasman MotorsportsHonda, no time. Neon Challenge Sunday's results, wtth name, affiliation and fastest lap: 1. Cart Galeana, Van Dyke Dodge, 65.470. 2 Sam Moses, Autoweek, 65.01a 3. Bruce McCaw, PacWest, 65.34a 4. Ron Kagan, Detroit Zoo, 64.697. 5. Francois Castalng, Chrysler, 64.94a & Ed McCracken, Silicon Graphics, 64.428. 7. Marc Bekolay, B&H Machine Sales, 64.235. 6. Steve Kostan, WCSX radio, 63.608. 9. Mike Bouchard, state senator, 63.468. 10. John U. Bacon, Detott News, 62.302. 11. Joe Riccl, Joe Rice! Dodge, 61.914. 12. Bill Carrel, Dana Corp., 61.792. 1a Paul Nalfe, Harman Motive, 62.095. 14. David Meka, Motorola, 61.260. 15. Travis Engen, ITT Industries, 62.501. 16 LJ. Connolly, Goodyear, 60.73a 17. Rich Zahren, PPG, 60.667. 18. Brian Stewart, Jervis B. Webb Co., 60.549. 19. Benny Napoleon, Detroit Police, 57.560. 20. Doug Podel, WRF radio, 58.04a 21. Mary Conway, WXYZ-TV, 49.807. 22. Jeff Gilbert, WWJ radloV4a7Z Moore wins when Blundell, Grand Prix, from Page IB Blundell's car coughed to a halt It would have been the first win in 21 CART starts for Blundell, 31, whose best finishes were fifth last year on Belle Isle and in the U.S. 500 at Michigan Speedway. If something in his racing past was more crushing, Blundell couldn't recall iL "I don't think so," he said. "I keep talking with my friends, saying, You know, I've got a lot of bad luck at the moment.' And it's going to turn, but today wasn't the day, either. "I'm just really upset because the team did a fantastic job all weekend. And I take my hat off to them. They made the gamble and it nearly paid off. We were only one corner away, but that's racing." Perhaps most remarkable about Moore's victory is that it arrived without his passing a single car for position. He started seventh. Moore said he learned from his pit via radio two laps from the end that Gugelmin and Blundell apparently would not pit for fuel. "They said, 'Well, if you've got a possibility, a good chance to pass, you better do it,' " Moore said. "Then I saw Mauricio bobble. Then down the - end of the back (straightaway) I saw Mark and thought, "Wow - unbelievable! I just can't believe this.' " Moore also was blessed with two superb stops, the second of which was for fuel only after 51 laps. Moore, first when he ducked into the pits, came out fourth behind three yet to make a second stop Gugelmin, Blundell and Patrick Carpentier. "This one goes to the team for sure, because our stops were so fast," said Moore, whose first stop began in third place and ended in first. "And Dizzy Tracy doesn't start but stays 1st by Steve Crowe and stan dorsey - Free Press Sports Writers Paul Tracy's head didn't feel right Sunday morning. And it had nothing to do with celebrating a Stanley Cup. Tracy, the Championship Auto Racing Teams points leader, with- drew from fliWaiTiT.TIt t the De- troit . Grand r h.x J i Prix because of a recurrence of spasms in his upper back and neck and related dizziness. "Well, yesterday he had complained of a little bit of dizziness under hard braking," team owner Roger Penske said. "So they went to the doctor last night, and he recommended giving him some medicine. Paul took that and slepL But then this morning it happened again during warm-ups. "So at that point, we decided in the best interest of Paul's safety and the other drivers, let's not just have to pull him in during the race. Well get him to Phoenix and get an MRI, then know where we are for Portland." Tracy, a Canadian native who lives in Parker, Ariz., said: "Obviously, this - is a huge disappointment. The good news is that we should be ready to race in Portland, and . . . we'll still be leading the championship when we arrive there." Tracy's lead over Michael Andretti shrank from 94-70 to 94-86 heading into the June 22 race in Portland, Ore. Andretti was second Sunday. Asked his reaction to Tracy's withdrawal, Andretti said: "It's a tough sport, a brutal sport, and it's something we have to take advantage of. Really, when I heard it, the first thing I thought of was the points." Tracy missed two races last year after suffering a chip fracture of the spinous process cervical vertebra. It seemed possible that this weekend's symptoms came from a viral infection. "That's what Olvey said," Penske said, referring to Dr. Steve Olvey, CART director of medical affairs, who said the symptoms are likely to disappear in a few days. "But we don't know yeL If they gave him a pill for that, it would be one so strong that he wouldn't be able to race." SPARE PARTS: Sunday's attendance was 61,023, up from last year's 46,000. The three-day total, including an estimated 55,000 for Friday's Free Prix Day, was 157,542, up from 129,000 last year but still lower than the 172,000 of 1995. ... Last week, Greg Moore's Milwaukee victory made him CARTs youngest winner, at 22 years, one month, 10 days. Sunday's victory made him the series' youngest lwo-race winner. Al Unser Jr. who got his first win at Portland in 1984 just short of 22 years, two months didn't get his second until one year, 13 days later. . . . Defending series champion Jimmy Vasser came in fourth as he finished his 25th straight race. He has scored points in 24, with his last scoreless finish coming last year at Portland. He's fourth in points, 25 behind Tracy. . . . Tasman Motorsports owner Steve Home watched his chances at an afternoon sweep bounce away when Adrian Fernandez didn't make it out of the first lap before being spun into a tire wall and Andre Ribeiro barreled into the tires on turn 4 of the 10th lap. Earlier in the day, Tasman's Tony Kanaan and Helio Castro-Neves were 1-2 in the Indy Lights race. "I got tapped from behind when I was passing another car," said Fernandez, a West Bloomfield resident who started 24th. "The first lap is really your only chance to make up positions on this track because passing is so difficult" Gugelmin run out of gas that allowed us to stay out front." Not changing his Firestone tires, thus saving precious seconds on stop No. 2, "is probably what won us the race. We were getting good fuel mileage out of the Mercedes. I was running full-rich and just trying to stay ahead of Michael. "I'm glad the race didn't end one lap sooner, that's for sure." Gugelmin's view was opposite. "At Milwaukee, I said we may have to give one away before we get one," said Gugelmin, winless in 60 CART starts, but fifth at Milwaukee and second at Long Beach in April. "We gave one away today, so we better get one soon. Everything went perfectly. We planned one stop from the start, and it was the right decision. ... We just didn't get the yellow that normally comes at this place." There were five caution periods i i Hi r n m. Associated Press AJ. Foyt, left, punched Arie Luyendyk twice. "You don't mouth somebody in victory lane," Foyt said. "I just wanted him out of there." Turned out Arie belonged. Luyendyk wins bout with USAC scoring Free Press News Services FT. WORTH, Texas - Arie Luyendyk was right: He, and not A. J. Foyt, deserved to be in the True Value 500K winner's circle. Luyendyk was declared the winner of the Indy Racing League event Sunday following an all-night review of a wild race that ended with Foyt twice punching Luyendyk in the head. Initial race results Saturday night had Foyt drivers Billy Boat and Davey Hamilton 1-2 and Luyendyk third before 100,000 at Texas Motor Speedway. Foyt was taking part in the winner's ceremony when Luyendyk charged into victory lane, saying he won. Foyt slugged Luyendyk. Then an outbreak of pushing and shoving sent the 62-year-old Foyt on top of Luyendyk. IRL founder Tony George was among those who separated them. U.S. Auto Club officials worked through the night to figure out what had happened after Luyen-dyk's Treadway team protested. USAC discovered a huge mess caused when its electronic transmitters in use since 1990 to register laps didn't always count cars crossing the start-finish line in the pit area. Five of the 26 cars were affected, including Luyendyk's. "We've never had a problem of this nature," USAC chief steward Keith Ward said. "Certainly, this is a magnitude we have never seen. We're embarrassed by it." Luyendyk's lap count was thrown off during each of his first two pit stops, leading him to actually go 210 laps two more than necessary. A new top 10 emerged based on who was where when Luyendyk finished No. 208. The reversal gave Luyendyk consecutive victories, although both have been a bit confusing. The last lap of his Indy 500 victory came with the starter waving a green flag while lights mounted on the track wall remained yellow. Boat and Hamilton dropped to second and third. USAC said it would allow further protests through noon Thursday. Foyt said he would protest. NASCAR: Defending champion Jeff Gordon, in a Chevrolet, overcame a cut tire that left him nearly a lap down after 20 and won the Pocono 500 at Long Pond, Pa. "I thought the day was over," Gordon said after his sixth win of the season and 25th in 4A Winston Cup seasons. "At least we were at Pocono, where there's a lot of racetrack to work with." Gordon came out of the pits first during a caution on lap 131, and led the rest of the 200-lap race. He beat Jeff Burton's Ford by 1.415 seconds. totaling 18 laps, not enough to stretch PacWest's single-tank runs. "We took our chances and were right on the ragged edge, but it just didn't work out," PacWest Racing president Bruce McCaw said. "We knew it would be close, but what can you do? We just needed something to come our way, a couple of laps of yellow, and it never happened. We knew we were gambling, but the whole team made the decision." Despite finishing third, Gil de Ferran went as far as anyone toward giving fans something to roar about. On lap 74, de Ferran passed Roberto Moreno into third, with Jimmy Vasser passing Moreno into fourth. It was the only pass for position among the leaders in the race's second half. "We were able to pass Moreno but I don't know how," de Ferran said.

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